Leg Yielding

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Leg Yielding

This is a discussion on Leg Yielding within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • What action will leg yeild have a#on a horses preformance
  • Dressage commands for leg yield

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    10-26-2011, 12:34 PM
Leg Yielding

Currently during my lessons, my trainer has been getting me to do some leg yielding. I know that I am still learning, but does anyone have any advice on tips for leg yielding? I am trying to do what my trainer tells me to do, but I feel that I am "barely" doing it?? I have heard that you have to have alot of "leg" to sometimes get the horse to go how you want??
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    10-26-2011, 01:12 PM
Here's how I teach my horses and riders:
As you turn (say to the left) you horse is looking left and should be bent around your left leg.

So a step or so soon after the turn (horse is now straiught) when horse picks up it's LEFT hind leg you push with your left leg behind the girth while at same time you squeeze with right rein. Then as horse puts left hind leg down you stop pushing with left leg and stop squeezing with your right rein.

What you're doing is when hind leg is in the sir pushing with leg when no weight is on it makes him cross hind legs, squeezing with right rein encourages him to move sideways instead of straight ahead.

You start/stop the pushing/squeezing so horse doesn't learn to ignore your leg (like person that yells all the time - you soon learn to ignore the yelling).

Then reverse for leg yield to the left off the right leg (left rein).

Oh by the way - when horse is first learning the sideway movement will NOT be dramatic - be certain to pat horse on inside rein when they take a step or 2 - that's all you'll probably get the first time IF horse doesn't know what you want (i.e. Hasn't done this before).
    10-26-2011, 01:51 PM
Thank you for your reply!!! That was really straightforward and I thoroughly understand what more is to be done. I don't think that I am pushing hard enough.

I shall be sure to take this advice when I ride next :) :)
    10-27-2011, 12:10 AM
I learned how to do this recently too. A lot of it is the timing. You put the leg on when the opposite hind foot is on the ground - so if you want to go over to the left, you wait until the left foot hits the ground, then you lay on the right leg. Also, think about tossing a baseball from one hand to the other - you lay on the right leg and "catch" the horse with the left rein. So it's like...leg...sponge the opposite rein...leg....sponge the opposite rein.

It also helps if you think about putting your weight on the seat-bone that is on the side you want the horse to move forward. And if you are leg yielding at the trot, and you are on the proper diagonal and want the horse to move to the outside, you put your leg on when you are *up* - not down. I found that thinking of landing my rising trot on the seatbone as I mentioned above was very helpful - you wind up automatically putting the leg on at the right time when you do that.

But be sure to sponge on the rein in alternating rhythm with laying on your leg.
    10-28-2011, 03:35 AM
Sorry, but just a question tag along with this thread. My last instructor had me que leg yield with my leg behing the girth, but my current instructor says use the leg at the girth, but in a movement towards the outside shoulder to get a leg yield.

I was just wondering if there is a more correct way to ask for it, or if is a matter of how the horse is trained?
    10-28-2011, 07:46 AM
Super Moderator
Here is a decent explanation that WILL help you.

    10-28-2011, 08:37 PM
We must take three things as truths.

You cannot influence a grounded leg.

The rider's leg will influence the opposite of the horse's body, just as the rein action will also.

There is no such thing as '' sponging''.

From that the answer should be obvious
    10-28-2011, 09:02 PM
Originally Posted by Spyder    
We must take three things as truths.

You cannot influence a grounded leg.

The rider's leg will influence the opposite of the horse's body, just as the rein action will also.

There is no such thing as '' sponging''...
Why are these true?

When I back a horse, I look to see which leg is slightly out front, and give a light pull on that rein while settled in the saddle - and that leg, grounded tho it may be, moves back. Then the other side. It seems entirely natural to the horse.

Also, the ex-military guy in me says that there are two types of commands - preparatory command and the command of execution. (Drill Commands) When training a green horse, I understand that there is no such thing as a preparatory command, because the horse doesn't understand the command of execution yet. However, a trained horse certainly can anticipate, with an off-time cue acting as a preparatory command.

Of course, the key to that is finding an ex-military horse...

Joking aside, at a higher level of riding, and if the horse is not allowed to anticipate, then I can see where that would be bad. For many of us, however, it is normal. I may try to time my leg cues to be in rhythm with the horse, but I can neck rein without worrying about which leg is where - that is for the horse to worry about. It is like head position - for many aspects of riding, I want the horse to decide where to put his head.

As for my objections to the other two...that should be obvious...
    10-28-2011, 09:07 PM
Originally Posted by Spyder    
There is no such thing as '' sponging''.
I remember quite a hot discussion in other thread on using those words, but I still think it's just a terminology some people use. Squeezing would be another one. I don't use either (and neither does my trainer), but I don't see anything wrong with it as long as an idea behind is correct.
    10-28-2011, 09:16 PM
Originally Posted by bsms    
It is like head position - for many aspects of riding, I want the horse to decide where to put his head.
The point is you don't force the horse's head to the position. In some way horse chooses where to put its head, and if it's worked correctly the head will set correctly.

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