Leg Yield?

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Leg Yield?

This is a discussion on Leg Yield? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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    11-14-2012, 08:57 PM
Leg Yield?

My mare can disengage the hindquarters on the ground and under saddle pretty well.
I can get her to half pass at the walk She'll stay fairly straight.

Since I don't really do much showing, until the summer (I ride hunter/jumper)

I like to throw in other things from other disciplines, just to add a tool into our box and to keep things new and fresh

Can I learn myself and teach my mare to leg yield without a dressage trainer??

I have a general idea, and a few articles explaining it, but would it pointless to do it on my own?
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    11-14-2012, 10:18 PM
I think that any horse should be able to leg yield, and any trainer be able to teach it. There are lots of very experienced dressage people that I've been following on this forum, and I bet they'll be able to help. Anebel comes to mind- I love reading her posts.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am interested in reading what others have to say, because while I am confident that I could perform a leg yield on any horse, I am awfully handicapped when it comes to translating my actions into words. Subbing in I believe people call it in threads
Lexiie likes this.
    11-14-2012, 10:29 PM
I've been able to get three other horses to do it, not wonderfully of course, but they were getting what I was asking.

I'm just worried about teaching my mare to do it thinking I'm doing it correctly, but actually teaching her a habit that will be horrid to break! Haha
    11-14-2012, 10:38 PM
Hmm I also have the non-translation problem Bucephalas ^ does.

But I shall try.

Since your horse can half-pass she obviously understands moving off your leg.

There are some differences however. In the half-pass her head is moving in the direction you are moving...and her shoulders are slightly leading. Now in the leg yield, her head is facing the opposite direction of travel and her body should be parallel to the fence.

You can try it in the walk first, just to get the feel, but doing in the trot can sometimes be better because of the natural rhythm of the trot. Set her up properly with the correct flexion, then try going down the quarterline. You can sit or post, depending on the horse, I've done it either way. I do find sitting the trot easier though.

Then with a bit of inside flexion, ask with your inside leg for her to move gently towards the track. If you are struggling at first, just remember baby steps. After a couple steps done correctly, pat her. Don't let her run, half halt her and get her re-positioned if she starts falling towards the track. But also don't let her start walking either. Try to remain in a steady forward trot. Also don't get too steep at first; rather aim to give her plenty of space to move over at first. Once she gets the hang of it, you can ask for more and more.

Remember to keep her soft throughout the leg-yield. If she gets her head in the air and just runs then you have to go back to basics.

With my horse, it's obvious when it's going right. He starts to get more collected and more organized.

Good luck and I hope this mess helps...maybe...maybe not.
Bucephalas likes this.
    11-14-2012, 10:42 PM
I was just reading an article, and it says to flex her head lightly to the rail, so if she's moving the opposite way of her head, then shouldn't she e moving away from the rail?
Or is it that her butt should be facing in to the center slightly?

So if this is the rail, the horse's head being at the top of the slash and hind at the bottom, that's what it should be?? Or the opposite?
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    11-14-2012, 10:46 PM
If you are leg-yielding off the rail, then yes you need to counter flex them. In fact in First Three I believe you have to leg yield off the track to X. So yes in that case you would counter flex them a bit to the outside and then use your outside leg to push their bodies to the inside. Remember to keep their bodies completely parallel to the track...neither their shoulders or their haunches trailing or leading.

But I don't like to do that very often, I usually start on the centerline and leg yield to the track. Or the quarterline;)

And yes...in any leg yield the head is always flexed to the opposite way you are traveling.
    11-14-2012, 10:49 PM
At clinics, I have heard Olympian Cindy Ishoy explain to us that she doesn`t teach it at a walk, because people tend to ride it backwards. I think this makes sense, as katdressagegirl mentioned the trot having a natural rhythm, and you can easily tell which legs are off the ground. But I`m no expert, just an eager student that absorbs information LOL.
And the thought-to-words issue for me is so difficult! I love it when people can explain each little action.
    11-14-2012, 10:50 PM
I have absolutely 0 knowledge of dressage

I understand that there are markers (that we don't have)

What are the quarter lines and center lines?

Is that working way off the rail? Sorry for not knowing very much haha!
    11-14-2012, 10:55 PM
And while riding it from the inside to the track is how most people teach it, some schooling type horses will buldge their shoulder and rush to the track because they feel `safe`there. Make sure you are not riding a diagonal line, are completely bent, or are applying pressure out of sync to your horse`s movements. These are some common mistakes made by riders. Mabye you could have a spotter to make sure that your horse is crossing it`s back feet while you are doing it.
Lexiie likes this.
    11-14-2012, 10:59 PM
@ Bucephalas: Yes the trot can be very steady and rhythmical, making it easy to develop the feel and the timing of movements.

@ Lexiie: I'm sorry...I need to explain myself a bit more :/

Centerline is the very middle of the arena...a straight line from the top to the bottom. There are two quarterlines, they are between the centerline and the rail . The rail is the fence or you know the track...the outside.

In dressage, the inside reins/leg is always towards the centerline, and the outside rein/leg is towards the track.

Hmm hope that makes sense!
Back2Horseback and Bucephalas like this.

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