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.