A helpful coaching device for each horse and rider, the leg-yield whereas horse driving supples the horse by way of his hips, croup, decrease again, and shoulders. Leg-yielding teaches the horse tips on how to transfer away from the within leg to create bend within the physique and step beneath his heart of gravity.

The U.S. Equestrian (USEF) Dressage Rule Book describes the leg-yield as follows:

The horse is saved nearly straight, apart from slight flexion of the ballot away from the route wherein he strikes, and the within legs cross and cross in entrance of the skin legs with the forehand barely prematurely of the quarters.

Get Our Free Weekly Enewsletter About HorsesAli Calkins demonstrates an accurate leg-yield on Emma, an 18-year-old Appendix Quarter Horse mare owned by Nancy Biglin. In the leg-yield, the horse travels with their physique principally straight (with out bend) alongside a diagonal path. Photo by Amy Dragoo.

You can use the leg-yield in lots of sorts of workouts to ascertain a greater connection from inside leg to exterior rein. Lateral work improves connection, stability, and suppleness. It additionally offers you extra perception on the place your horse could also be fighting rigidity in his physique. The leg-yield is often ridden on the stroll or trot.

This motion is launched in First Level dressage and is a vital prerequisite for each the horse and rider earlier than transferring on to superior lateral work.

How To Ride the Leg-Yield

When performing the leg-yield beneath saddle, I want to start out within the trot because the train has the tendency to compress the horse, so the ahead impulsion helps maintain him transferring sideways extra steadily. With a extra ahead and delicate horse, it could be higher to start out within the stroll.

Sitting barely extra in your inside seat bone, maintain your shoulders degree and pointed within the route of your horse’s shoulders together with your arms parallel to one another. Your eyes needs to be wanting straight forward with the vacation spot of the leg-yield in your peripheral imaginative and prescient.

leg yielding horse ridingIncorrect: The mare’s neck is turned and she or he pushes out the other shoulder, operating by way of it. Photo by Amy Dragoo.

Beginning on a straight line—both the quarterline or centerline—first trip straight and ahead earlier than starting this transfer. Keeping your horse straight by way of the neck on the skin rein with a bit of inside flexion, press together with your inside leg barely behind the girth within the rhythm of the trot.

Be certain to maintain your exterior rein contact regular, as chances are you’ll have to half-halt in case your horse begins to hurry or his shoulders drift too far over. Your exterior leg doesn’t come off, however stays on softly as what I name a “forward guiding leg” to forestall your horse from falling abruptly sideways. The inside flexion encourages your horse to remain gentle in his jaw and ballot all through the motion.

When you might be first studying to leg-yield, give your self loads of time to succeed in the wall. Moving on too steep of an angle could trigger your horse to lose straightness and stability.
I like to recommend starting the leg-yield a few quarter of the way in which down the road you begin on and ending on the wall earlier than the following nook. For instance, beginning the leg-yield between D and L, and ending at H or M.

leg yielding horse ridingA fast look all the way down to test that your arms are parallel and in step with the entrance of the saddle pad will forestall overbending your horse’s neck. Photo by Amy Dragoo.

When you arrive on the wall, your exterior leg closes and your exterior hand comes into the neck to ask your horse to journey straight after which put together for the bend within the subsequent nook. You could really feel that the nook turns into simpler to trip because the leg-yield pushes the within hind beneath your horse’s heart of gravity, making a larger diploma of bend.

Troubleshooting Rider Errors

Here are three frequent errors when driving the leg-yield and tips on how to repair them.

1. Incorrect driving place: During the leg-yield, it is necessary that you simply stay balanced within the heart of the horse’s again. Commonly I see a rider swinging or rocking her hips or dipping one shoulder. The leg-yield is a comparatively straight motion; you could proceed to think about touring a straight line together with your physique to assist the horse keep stability.

Often the rationale for the place points is that your horse shouldn’t be responding to the leg you are attempting to yield away from. In this occasion, I’d advocate carrying a whip or sporting a small spur to help and reinforce the help, if wanted.

visible is to image that you’re leg-yielding to a number of traces shut collectively; journey on one line straight and simply transfer a couple of ft over to the following line, and the following, till you may have completed on the wall.

2. The horse’s neck is crooked or pulled in the other way of the leg-yield: In this case, the horse doesn’t leg-yield, however somewhat pushes by way of the other shoulder and falls sideways.

You should keep in mind to maintain your arms parallel to manage your horse’s neck place and to maintain his shoulders from drifting. I typically inform my college students to look at their arms and use the entrance of the saddle pad as a reference to maintain their arms parallel.

It’s a simple visible so that you can see from the saddle if one hand or the opposite desires to float ahead or again. By retaining your arms on this place, the contact of the skin rein prevents your horse’s neck from overbending and offers him a gentle connection to push his inside hind leg into.

leg yielding horse ridingPulling in your exterior rein an excessive amount of will bend your horse’s neck, permitting the other shoulder to
come out. Photo by Amy Dragoo.

3. The horse activates a diagonal line somewhat than transferring sideways: For this challenge, I prefer to arrange pairs of poles or cones parallel to the facet of the world. You ought to solely want about three pairs when leg-yielding from centerline.

Depending on the size of the world, place the primary pair a few quarter to a 3rd of the way in which down the world someplace between centerline and quarterline. Set them a cushty width aside to trot your horse in between them, perhaps 4 to five ft.

Set the following pair one other third of the way in which down the world the identical distance aside, and the final pair on the monitor on the far finish of the lengthy facet earlier than the nook.

To trip this train, start your leg-yield from centerline to the primary pair of poles. Close your exterior leg and ship your horse straight by way of the poles. Leg-yield once more to the second set and proceed straight by way of the poles once more. Finish the leg-yield between the final set of poles on the monitor.

By breaking apart the leg-yield, you’ll perceive tips on how to use your exterior leg to information your horse straight within the leg-yield to forestall him from turning to a diagonal line.

Take your leg yield to the following degree with Part Two of this sequence.

This article in regards to the tips on how to enhance your horse’s leg yield appeared within the June 2021 challenge of Horse Illustrated journal. Click right here to subscribe!

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