A lot instructors talk very authoritatively about 'inside leg to outside rein' but never really explain it.


We just got back from the amazing Valenca stable in Portugal (www.valencaequestriantours.com) and had something of a revelation there while we had heard instructors before talk about using the inside leg to accelerate/pivot the horse and the outside resin to balance/half halt. When challenged as to exactly HOW to make this happen many instructors get a bit vague. Meaning they don't really know - and if they can do it they can't communicate how someone else should learn to do it. So we posed that question to Filipa Valenca who doesn't just train in the baroque style but has also trained the current Portuguese junior rider sport dressage champion to Grand Prix.

She showed us how, in hand, they first teach the horse to yield the quarters, and do shoulder in in a circle, then yield the shoulders (its on out forum in detail if you want to check it out - horseboyworld.com).

Then she showed us how you could do an inverse bend in hand like that so the horse was in renvers in the circle. Once the horse was in that position she started teaching the horse to associate a small half halt on the outside rein with a tap with the piaffe stick on the outside hind - asking it to cross the outside hind.

Then she put a rider up and assisted the same exercise from the ground. By that time the horse had been doing this a while. It associated the outside rein with bringing across the outside hind and turning its neck - yielding to the outside rein - at the same time which meant the rider could then use the inside leg to either give gas or provide a pivot.

She had us try the in hand exercises then ride half passes and pirouettes on the same horse - and they just floated....

So thank you for the breakdown and the clarity Filipa. Go ride with her if you can - www.valenceequestriantours.com