dressage · trail riding

Stupid Question Theater: Which side is outside when you’re traveling straight?

Last night, I found that Tristan had enough natural forward energy that I decided to use it and put him on the bit a little bit, to increase the amount of push through his hind end and thus the difficulty of our hill walking.

I was taught to put a horse on the bit by using inside leg to outside rein, having one rein as a steadying one to help create that mix of self-carriage and impulsion.

Last night, I found myself wondering: if I’m traveling straight, ie down a dirt road with no arena walls, which side do I make the outside?

What do you do? Swap sides, much like you do for posting during long trots? Work on your horse’s weaker side? Some other solution?

I ended up simply flexing Tristan a little bit both ways to soften his mouth, and concentrated more on getting him soft and low rather than strictly speaking on the bit, asking for a little bit of straightforward carriage instead of flexion/bend/outside rein.

8 thoughts on “Stupid Question Theater: Which side is outside when you’re traveling straight?

  1. hm good question! i'd probably alternate too, tho i'm personally pretty one-sided. also – in response to Sarah – i used to do easier to harder, but someone suggested doing harder first so that the easier side could come as more of a reward – like ending on a good note. it was an interesting thought!

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  2. I am horribly one-sided too, sigh.

    I like the idea of doing the harder side first to let the easier side be the reward. I've done something like that in schooling dressage. Makes sense to do it on the trail as well!

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