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
  • How to leg yield on a horse
  • Leg yield dressage

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    07-08-2011, 09:07 PM
leg yield

I know this is a very basic movement but I'm having trouble getting it right. I know my horse can do it because my former trainer(she moved) had her doing it but for whatever reason I cannot get it right. She never got the chance to teach me how to cue it so I've just been reading articles online how to do it. I do have another trainer now but she is not a dressage trainer and I'm unsure if she'd be able to help me(although I haven't ask). So can anyone explain in simple terms how to ask for a leg yield? Please and thank you my former trainer is supposed to come visit this month so I'm sure she can help me get it, but I'd rather be able to do it before then lol
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    07-08-2011, 11:13 PM
ROFL - My trainer yelled at me "THAT WAS AN AWESOME LEG YIELD!" the other day, and I had no notion what a leg yield was. All I knew was that I wanted my horse to move forward and closer to the rail, and I did a few things that I felt would make that happen, and they did, and apparently it was a leg yield. :)

So, and I know that this is next-to-useless because there are serious dressage riders here - but until they weigh in, here's what I do (and she's told me that I do this a lot...I just didn't realize it had a Name). If I want my horse to go more to the right (I don't want to use the terms inside and outside because it seems like they mean something different from the regular meaning)...left rein firm against horse's neck to keep shoulder from bulging out. Right rein to the outside for direction (not up, but to the outside). Right leg on a bit, but not hugely, just keeping horse going forward. Left leg back behind the girth just a little, and on firmly to move hindquarters over to the right. So I think (and this is super-tentative, because I'm not training for dressage at this point...although I'm certainly considering it!) the right leg is keeping the horse going forward, and the left leg is giving horse signal to move over to right.

Any minute now, someone who really knows what they're talking about will be along - for me, I thought of keeping my horse straight and just moving him over to the side, and it works beautifully...he's even done this at a trot...and believe me, I did NOT know what the heck it was at the trot - felt like the weirdest movement ever, but it had the effect I wanted which was forward and sideways movement, and my instructor (who does dressage) is stoked about it.

Best of luck!
    07-08-2011, 11:19 PM
My coach taught me to really "push" the horse over with my leg, but while still keeping slight pressure with the other leg to keep forward momentum. You want your horses whole body to move sideways, so they're crossing their legs as they step. If your horse starts "leaning" towards the front you're supposed to angle him back, keeping him straight. Don't judge my method ! Its always worked for me and my trainer :P
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    07-08-2011, 11:22 PM
Open outside rein, constant inside rein so they don't just turn their head or go at a funky angle - a lot of inside leg.
    07-09-2011, 01:37 AM
Super Moderator
Serafina , you are a hoot!

You described pretty much what I do, for better or for worse. If the horse doesn't get the ide of moving over, like to the right in this case, I will take my right leg off his side, just a hair, and put a little more weight into that right (outside) stirrup to encourage him to move into the open door I made for him. You'd be amazed at how effective weighting the stirrup toward the side you want the horse to move toward is.

Also, you put inside leg on BUT not constant. You want to kind of "pulse" your inside leg such that you are applying it just as his inside (left) leg is stepping forward. You will feel the barrel of the horse shift toward the outide (right) and this tells you that the inside (left) hind is reaching under the barrel and THAT is when you apply the pulse with your inside leg aid.
    07-09-2011, 02:18 AM
Green Broke
It depends on how your horse has been taught.
Stan was taught that leg slightly behind the girth and weight in the outside seatbone means move over and how much pressure dictated how quickly he went sideways. For leg yield the forward motion should be more then the sideways.
Outside leg on the girth to keep him going forwards
Outside rein to stop him falling through his shoulder, inside rein gently sponging to encourage the correct bend (which for leg yield is towards the inside)

The most common problem you see with leg yield is people just opening the outside rein and pushing the horse accross. The horse then falles through its shoulder, crooks its neck to the inside and shuffles sideways slightly. Looking like this
    07-19-2011, 05:06 PM
A leg yield done well the horse is almost straight in it's body - just walking sideways.

So lets do a leg yield off the left leg. Rider is walking horse counter clockwise around the arena/pasture/etc. While you are walking you should be establishing the use of your inside leg "pulsing" at the girth - like bump wait bump. As you "bump" the horse with your left leg you squeeze the outside rein - squeeze then soften the rein (back to how hard you were grasping the rein BEFORE the squeeze) - such that when you use your inside leg you are also using the outside rein.

Horse should move away from inside leg into outside rein. Horse should be looking SLIGHTLY left (not over bent like picture other poster showed you - as they stated this is NOT how you want it to look).

At first you might only get 1-2 steps. If you do then allow the horse to then go forward, praise and try again - eventually you'll get more and more steps sideways in a leg yield.

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