Leg yields are an excellent way to teach a horse about the "leg to hand" contact, as are turn on the forehands.
To transfer what you have been feeling through the leg yields to eventually be "how you ride" try first getting the feeling through the cones (or even leg yields without the cones), then come onto a 20 meter circle and ride inwards to about the 15m mark, and spiral out using a leg yield. Repeat this and add some walk trot transitions within the leg yield to really get him understanding what you want. Eventually simply the application of your inside leg, and even just yielding for one step, or only thinking about yielding will be enough to refresh his "back to front" contact. If anything ever goes awry, go back to where you know you can do it, and go back to the drawing board if the exercises you have chosen are really not working. Nothing is set in stone.
ETA on this note and in seeing tiny's post - it is absolutely the "norm" (as much as it can be in horses) for them to only "get" a connection in the leg yields, or has tiny has put it "where there is a component of lateral movement". At this stage it is totally acceptable for the horse to need a leg yield to get into the contact. I would not however recommend shoulder fore at this point as on a horse who does not have an understanding of true lateral aids (that is - sideways with bend) this will only result in crookedness later in the game. Sideways is OK, but bend is not really the goal right now. That's too many holes to close in the colander at one time.
A few things to watch out for:
Make sure first of all that you are maintaining a straight line from nose to tail in the leg yields with the forehand slightly leading. Any crookedness indicates that the horse is not using his body correctly.
Make sure your hands are together, side by side, at the same height and no more than 4-6" apart at any time, regardless of everything. At this same token it is going to be beneficial for you to press your hands into his withers to keep them absolutely steady. The steadiness of you hands is what is going to build the foundation for Cinny's willingness to accept contact and the more they move around the more cracks will be in the foundation. Lots of people like to say that hands are "too low" or need to be wide apart to create a contact and both of these statements for the most part are incorrect in situations where the rider and horse are just learning about contact. Keep your hands together, infront of you and low down enough that they have something to touch or press into that they will be totally stable.
Finally, and this is a point in general about contact. A good contact feels like a nice strong pull from the horse. Think of it like a hand shake, you don't want the horse to break your hand, but he shouldn't hand you a limp fish either. As he gets more used to going back to front, don't be surprised if he starts putting more into the contact - this is correct and is going to be the goal. Eventually he will be able to give you a firm feel through the rein at all times while your hand is steady by the withers. If you need to, to help him to get this feel, shorten your reins slightly, that his nose is not behind the vertical, but that the rein length is how long it needs to be for him to be putting in a good contact, while maintaining the nose on or in front of the vertical. It is only once he is at this point and accepting your contact that you should start worrying about stretchy circles, or long and low. First you need to establish the "handshake" in normal working conditions, and the stretching is only to test that handshake.
They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
Last edited by ~*~anebel~*~; 09-17-2012 at 06:53 PM.