flexion and bend are terms sometimes misunderstood basically flexion happens at the poll, there can be lateral flexion side to side and vertical flexion, up and down. When speaking of bend we are usually referring to the bend longitudinally through the horses spine. In the early stages of this training program flexion will always be used in conjunction with bend, the refinement as the horses education progresses will allow flexion on its own merits to become a very influential aspect of control.
Most horses will flex and bend better to the left than to the right, for a horse to perform we must try to assist the horse to develop the subtleness to be able to flex and bend equally in both directions. Further to this and importantly, to set himself to buck a horse must be able to straighten his spine. If the act of flexing and bending
become conditioned reflex to the aid, the rider places himself in
a strong position to avoid being dismounted by a fractious mount. Many race horses will
resist when being asked to carry out unfamiliar manoeuvres so the ability to prevent
bucking is an important skill when training ex race horses or any horse for that matter.