This Tuesday, my friend Joseph, got his first riding lesson. Ada and I also participated in the lesson and while Joesph was learning how to post at the trot, our instructor and friend, Madi, taught Ada and I a new bending exercise since we had horses that were known for being very stiff. I was riding the grey thourghbred gelding named Beretta that I lease and Ada rode a chestnut gelding named Bosley.
The bending exercise went like this: You start at the walk on about a twenty meter circle but always staying a little bit off the rail. Your outside rein is very short and your inside rein is the opposite: very long. You're kind of spiraling in, your outside leg is the gas;so squeeze or kick with that leg to get your horse to move on. Your outside reign is very short to keep them from staying out of the circle, and your inside rein is coming to your knee and pulling to get your horse to come in. Your inside leg is helping them to bend. Eventually you want to work on this at a trot, too. This exercise is a little awkward for the rider, but it works wonders. It works best if the rider is at a sitting trot. Make sure you're looking at your horses shoulder too, you're really trying to not let your horse's shoulder buldge outwards.
Eventually, once your horse gets the hang of it, you can then spiral out of the circle. Be carefeul not to let your horse just ruch out of the circle. Keep a firm outside leg, with an encouraging inside leg to gently push them out. Good luck, and have fun with this exercise!