Need help with leg yeilds! 1st level tips? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-08-2012, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Need help with leg yeilds! 1st level tips?


I know the basics of leg yields and how to do them and everything but my issue is opening my hip. My instructor suggested looking up some stretches that I could do to open up my hip without making my knee point outward. I was hoping that, along with me looking some up, if I could get a few tips and some advice on stretches.

Also any tips on 1st level and the lengthen of strides? I just started today on working with them on diagonals and I was wondering if anyone might have any tips that they would help me with? Like things that happened to them and ways they got through it?

Thanks. Any advice and info would be very helpful and I appreciate it! :)

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post #2 of 5 Old 08-08-2012, 04:37 PM
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Do you do the thigh grab?

At halt, drop stirrups and completely relax your legs. Then grab the back of your thigh, the meaty part, with your fingers, and pull out and back. You are trying to rotate your hip in its socket to allow the knee and foot to face more forward. Allow your leg fall softly onto the horse's side. Repeat on the other side. You may feel some stretch and discomfort since you arent used to the position of your hips and legs, but work on keeping the thigh relaxed and long, and the INSIDE of your calf gently on and hugging. Every time you feel or see that your kneecap is facing east and west in stead of straight ahead (with your toes following your knees), reach over and grab that thigh and readjusts

At halt, I also liked to lift both knees together up and out, for 10 reps or so, whatever you want. You can really feel your seatbones in the saddle, and it allows hip joint motion.

Do the second one first-it will make the thigh grab easier.

As to 1st L tests, judges love to see clear transitions. Work on making your up transitions crisp and immediate. Also, make sure you have real working gaits...trot should track up, walk should at least track up or overtrack, Canter a clear forward 3 beat. Down transition to trot must go forward. Work with a metronome to develop a clear consistent forward rhythm at trot.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-09-2012, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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No I don't. Thanks I will try it. Also, thanks for the tips!

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post #4 of 5 Old 08-09-2012, 10:31 AM
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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.

Dressage is for Trainers!
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-09-2012, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Yeah my instructor tells me to basically sit the horse down before I ask to get the lengthen and also to show clear transitions. But that all makes a lot more sense. And yeah my horse can only do it for a few strides (that is probably because she gets confused on what I am asking at times) My trainer had me leg yielding from the quarter line at A to M, then through the corner getting the horse ready, then on the diagonals it was stride lengthening's. (it was my first time so we didn't go as hard and I found it difficult so she made it so I didn't leg yield from the corner until I had it down)

Thank you!


Last edited by coffeebean264; 08-09-2012 at 10:51 AM.
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