Leg Yield?

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Leg Yield?

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    07-28-2010, 08:30 AM
Green Broke
Leg Yield?

Okay I think this is going to sound bad, but what excatly is the leg-yeild and how do you teach it??

I was just reading another thread and I relized I don't actually know what it is, I have a basic idea I think... is it just the crossing over of the horses legs on a diagnal line or have I gotten confused with something else.

The reason I want to know is I have actually relized my horse doesnt respond to my leg aids. Like when I put one leg on to push him in a direction he will slightly move but he will also start to go faster.

*forgot to add*
I have been trying to teach turn on the forehand but the thread I was reading I think was saying this would be better to teach first
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    07-28-2010, 08:53 AM
The way I understand it is moving across whilst still moving forward (so you end up with a diagonal line), and the horse flexed in around your leg. If you are yielding to the right, your horse should be flexed to the left. The horse should be well warmed up and be on the contact before attempting to leg-yield. (for yield to the right) I ask my horse to flex to the left by lifting my left rein and applying a bit of pressure with my left leg, then to get the move across I will move my left leg back a bit behind the girth and 'push' my horses hindquarters across, at the same time bring your right rein out so the side a bit to ask your horse to follow it, your right leg applies pressure on the girth to maintain forward movement. This is how I do it anyway, not sure if others do it differently. If your horse isn't very good at responding to leg pressure this can be a good exercise, you can try it on a circle to make it easier to start with, push your horse outwards to make the circle bigger. You can also try going in and out of cones only using your legs and no rein or try side passing although some horses find it difficult to cross their legs straight across to begin with. Hope this helps :)
    07-28-2010, 09:03 AM
Green Broke
How would I teach it though from the ground first like just appling pressure... but then I would need to be moving forward... hmmm Or should I just do lots of ground work exersise with pressure and him moving away from it?? Not to sure
    07-29-2010, 07:57 AM
You could start on the ground with moving away from pressure, have you heard of Steve Brady? He has lots of exercises to teach this, I will try to write a couple of them, they aren't all related to sideways movement but they do teach the pressure thing, it is hard to explain though.

1. Teach horse to go around you in a quarter turn, face the horse and with your hand on the rein close to the bit ask the horse out and away from you, if they don't move, ask with voice, if still don't move tap on rump with dressage whip, getting harder until they move, remove pressure as soon as they move (very important)
2.once they have this really solid you can make the circle around you a bit bigger and then get them to side pass by walking towards them and pushing the hand that is on the rein across under their head, you can apply some pressure to the barrel-just behind where the girth would be as this will be where your leg would be if in the saddle, tap with the dressage whip until they move over and then immediately release, this can be very difficult for them to get at first but doing it on the circle helps. Then you can progress to just doing it straight off without needing the circle. Its really hard to make this make sense without being able to see it, I wonder if there is any steve brady stuff on youtube lol.
    07-29-2010, 08:19 AM
Green Broke
Hahaha I think I get it I may check out youtube but I actually fail with it lol never know what to search
    07-29-2010, 08:37 AM
I just did a quick search and couldn't find anything, but hopefully you can figure it out. I will eventually get around to making a video of all the ground work I do with my horse but don't usually have anyone around to film.
    07-29-2010, 08:52 AM
The leg yield can be done along the side of the arena, across the diagonal, on a circle etc. Just about anywhere! The body is straight, while the poll is flexed slightly in the opposite direction of travel, with the inside hind and fore crossing over the outside hind and fore at the same time. Theoretically, the leg yield is actually NOT a lateral movement as there is no bend involved. However it is an effective lead up to lateral movements as the horse is moving away from the leg laterally rather than just moving forward, and teaches the horse to accept, and work into, an outside rein contact.

Problems that can arise in leg yield are the horse moving too steeply across to the track, so it basically goes straight sideways! This is combatted by riding forward in a straight line every few strides, half halting, and asking for a few steps of leg yield until you reach the end of the arena. Another issue is also the horse running on when you put your inside leg on. Again, the combat this, half halt (or give a half halt aid even if the horse is not experienced enough to able to fully respond to a correctly applied half halt) to get horse back with your seat and rebalanced, then ask again. Exaggerate the half halt so the horse almost walks, if the horse is being particularly pushy about running on.
Another issue, is the horse just walking straight on a diagonal line. Many beginners at leg yield will be fooled into thinking their horse is in leg yield. Make sure that your hips and shoulders are parallel to the short side of the arena, look ahead and push the horse across with your inside leg.

The aids for leg yield, when riding a more experienced horse are:
Weight your inside stirrup
'Feel' your inside rein to ask for a little flexion
Maintain a firm but elastic outside rein
Keep your hips and shoulders parallel to the short side wall
Apply inside leg on the girth
Outside leg slightly behind girth to support

A horse that has not been taught leg yield however, will need a little more encouragement.
The main change I use when starting with a green horse, to to open my outside rein right off the horse's neck to 'open' the outside of the horse's body. Contact on the outside rein must be maintained of course, but out away from the body to free to outside up a little. Then I'll apply the same aids, weight on the inside stirrup, inside leg on, 'feel' the inside rein and away we go ;)

It is easier to teach basic leg yield steps on a large circle. Start on a 20m circle and once the horse is travelling comfortably, ride the circle a little smaller, to about 17/18m. Apply your leg yield aids to get back out onto the larger circle.
You can soon start riding your leg yield from the circle onto a straight line. So go back to your 17m circle, and just before you get to the long side, start asking for leg yield. Instead of continuing on the circle, ride large around the arena, leg yielding back to the track from the circle.

Starting with only a couple of metres off the track will give the horse, and you, more confidence. Then once you are both competent at leg yielding a couple of metres, you can start your leg yield closer to the centre line. Ideally, you want to have enough control of your horse, to be able to ride leg yield zig zags. It took my ottb only one week to be able to leg yield OFF the outside track onto the centre line, then back from the centre line to the outside track. He is now able to ride a zig zag up the arena incorporating 3 changes of rein - not bad for a very green ott!
Any horse can do it ;) And you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much more reactive he'll become once you've mastered the leg yield.
    07-30-2010, 10:55 AM
Kayty, you explained it so much better than what I did!!! That is what I was trying to get across, thanks for clarifying it :)
    07-31-2010, 01:11 AM
Green Broke
Okay thanks Kayty, I think I get it.
I will simplify it in what I understand of the exercise :)
Ride in circle go in a couple of metres to do 17m circle, then give aid to move put from that circle (the 17m) to go back out into the 20m circle.
The horse should move in a sideways direction with the feet crossing over and the head will be facing the middle (well its flexed that way).

Is that pretty much it?
And are these exercises done at a walk or trot or do you start at a wlak then go into a trot?
    07-31-2010, 02:18 AM
What kayty said. You can start at a walk, if your horse has a good walk. Keep it at a good tempo (ie not a death march) and on a longer rein with a focus on stretching to the contact. If any tension or rhythm mistakes begin to occur in the walk, immediately move to trot and leave the walk alone. In more advanced horses, all these exercises can also be performed in canter.

Good luck!

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