Karen and I were talking about why turning under saddle is so difficult for Maia when it’s so easy on the ground for her to come off that sliding outside rein. I said she has a very difficult time coming off the outside rein on the ground when I’m on the inside of the turn/bend. Karen said that she should really just glide her head right around into a released lateral flexion on the release of that outside rein. So I started playing with that, especially undersaddle, and found that, though a sliding outside rein is now starting to mean move the shoulders, it also often means counterbend (ie, she stiffens against it as she moves her shoulders away)! Oh dear oh dear. There are so many pieces to this.
So I worked for quite a while on having a really released lateral flexion—meaning, coming straight from the root of the neck, like the horse was going to scratch his tail, none of this twisty-bracey stuff off that outside rein. Once I explained it to her, more or less, using just that outside rein to re-educate at a halt that a slide means full lateral flexion, she started doing it quite well (definitely more twisty stuff to the right, however).
This is a bridle. It has two reins.
One on each side. Very handy.
It can be helpful to remember that you can use both of them.
So basically, I was sliding my outside rein, and giving a very very compassionate upward and slightly inside feel on the inside rein asking for both her inside fore to step to the inside and also to come back to me and release the root of her neck to the inside in lateral flexion.
She really seemed to connect to this and started doing some lovely lateral flexion at the walk while keeping her shoulders more or less all going in the right direction. Super!