How to leg yield down the long side of an arena - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-13-2011, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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Smile How to leg yield down the long side of an arena

This is my first post so I am not 100% sure that this is the right place to put it. Anyway, I take dressage lessons once a week and have just come back to riding after a 4 year break.

I have been working on leg-yielding. I am really struggling with getting it down the long side. I can yield from the centre lien to the wall and away from the wall. I can leg yield when working in a circle fine. But for some reason when my instructor wanted me to leg yield on a 30 degree angle down the long side I really struggled.

Does anyone have any tips?
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-13-2011, 08:09 AM
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Leg yielding on the long side is actually easier to ride than riding it from the 1/4 line back to the track ;) When starting on the 1/4 line, you have to control both the forward and sideways movement. On the wall, all you need to worry about is the sideways movement.

So think about how you ask for leg yield from the 1/4 line. Where does your weight go etc. ?
The aids are the same on the wall, however you need a little more hold from your core to keep the horse at the wall. Keep your body on the angle that you want to ride, because this is leg yield not shoulder in, we want our hips to be on the angle as well as our shoulders. If you feel the horse drifting from the wall, give a strong half halt with your core and ride on.
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-13-2011, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry. I am just trying to make sure I understand right. When I am doing this correct.

I start from a 20m circle and make sure I have him going well and stepping through, then when I get to the side of the arena, change the direction of his bend at the poll and start to pressure with the outside leg behind the girth. But I have been told to look in the direction I want to go.

Am I supposed to do this with my shoulders and hips on the 30 degree angle and just move my head, or is my head supposed to be on the same angle as my shoulders?

I'm not sure why I find this so much harder!
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-13-2011, 09:38 AM
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Are you leg yielding on the wall with quarters in or shoulders in? And are you doing it in riding trot or sitting trot?
Keep your hips and shoulders on the angle, and just look where you're going with your head. Your hips should always mirror the angle of the your horse's hips, and shoulders should always mirror the angle of your horses's shoulders. Think of yourself as an extension of the horse's body. For instance, if you want half pass, you would angle your body to mirror how you want your horse position in the half pass.
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-13-2011, 12:38 PM
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Are we talking about a nose to the wall leg yield here?
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-13-2011, 02:50 PM
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Ok I think there is a bit of a communication error going on here.
First thing first, leg lield is NOT a lateral movement. It is a basic "please move off of my leg" command in which we are not asking explicitly for bend through out the body, the horses for and hind legs are moving in a similar matter.
Secondly a "leg yield down the wall" consists of pushing the horse's haunches off the track, with out bend (IE not a travers).

The reason we do this exercise this way is because it is hard. Doing a leg yeild going outwards is easy, doing a leg yield with the haunches coming into the arena is hard because it is developing the outside aids.
First of all I would work on leg yielding from the wall to the quarter line to get the horse "unstuck" from the wall. Once this is good, then I would go to the walk, flex slightly to the outside and push the haunches over using the outside rein and leg, while opening the inside leg to help position the horse in the correct manner. The inside rein acts to keep the shoulders on the wall. Once you have the positioning right in the walk, then move into the trot.

Good luck!

ETA about your body position it is hard to say what is the right correction without seeing a picture. Ideally we want to be in teh center of the horse with level hips and shoulders and the head pointing straight forward. Because every person contorts themselves differently it is hard to say what the right "correction" is, but if you look at a picture of yourself from the back your ears, shoulders and hips should be level and pointing in the same direction as the horse.

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post #7 of 11 Old 04-13-2011, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry if there a was some confusion.

I am doing it with quarters in, I.e. The horse is facing the wall.

And my instructor has me doing it both rising and sitting trot.

Thank you very much for your help
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-14-2011, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by back again View Post
Sorry if there a was some confusion.

I am doing it with quarters in, I.e. The horse is facing the wall.

And my instructor has me doing it both rising and sitting trot.

Thank you very much for your help
This is not a movement I would ask a beginner to attempt.

It blocks forward movement, disrupts the natural position of the bend to accomplish...what exactly?

The purpose the instructor has to go from this movement to ..exactly what??

Or at least what benefit does this accomplish to either horse or rider.

This is probably why you are having trouble doing it. I could see the horse going from the circle down the long side but the bend would remain the same and it becomes a training exercise for the half pass.
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-14-2011, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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My instructor definately said that I want the horse to flex slightly at the poll towards the wall and hold the horses rear in towards the inside of the arena. I am going back on Tuesday and will ask what the reason behind the exercise is.

Thank you for the concern.

I did come from competing internationally in a different sport, so i have learnt a lot of fine muscle control and focus from that. It could be why she has me doing it.

But I would definitely like to know the purpose :)
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-24-2011, 07:19 PM
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I've done the head-to-wall leg yield for a few purposes.
One, basic obedience.
Two, getting the horse into the outside rein (this would be the outside rein on the leg yeild) or a variation was when I was trying to get a horse off the right rein so I'd do the head-to-wall leg yield with the left rein as my outside rein, thus getting her off my inside rein and into the outside rein, evening her out.
Third, in a clinic with Janet Foy, my trainer was intructed to do the head-to-the-wall leg yield halfway down the long side, straighten, then do an extended trot across the short diagonal. I did not get to watch that clinic lesson, but I did ride my trainer's horse at home with her instructing me to do the same and her horse remained uphill, light in the hand and under control/listening to my aids while entending, instead of becoming unstoppable/pulling and getting downhill or unbalanced.
I also find that using more extreme leg crossing (not a show ring leg yield) really helps to open up the horse's shoulders.

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