| Leg Yields - my issue is opening my hip |
So for leg yields horse is mostly straight but looking in opposite direction from where horse is moving, horses shoulder is slightly leading. I start on long side taking horse deep into corner, and place horse into shoulder fore position before first letter (after corner) then use outside leg slightly behind girth and push inside hip (hip in he direction you are going) forward - getting that hip to "point" to the letter you want the horse to go.
As far as opening hip - before I mount I do the "male dog peeing" position. I stand on left leg and lift right leg parallel to my waist, then move leg forward and back. This opens hips (and can cause cramps too) allowing rider to sit deeper. But really the "point the hip" as described above is the best way to get the leg yield properly. any tips on 1st level and the lengthen of strides?
So - as in all dressage preparation is the key. On the short side of the arena, coming into the long side, take the horse DEEP into the corner using a few steps of leg yield (inside leg pushing horse deeper into corner) to get hind legs underneath horses body. Horse must already be "in front of the leg". At first letter turn horse across the diagnol and "rev the engine", do a half halt (HH) to rock horse further back on hind legs, then soften (do not throw away) elbows and "allow" horse to increase stride. Like driving a car with 1 foot on gas and 1 foot on brake - you depress gas tetal while brake pedal is only depressed enough that you don't increase the car's speed. Then once you hear engine roar you release the brake - enough to get the go ahead but not so much the car stalls or burns rubber.
The minute horse falls on forehand or starts running do either another HH or if horse ignores HH do a full halt. Horse will be unable to carry itself for full diagnol until it builds up enough muscle, so only allow horse to perform lengthening as long as it's done properly - I.e. Not running and not falling on it's forehand.