LEG YIELD EXERCISES

There are many exercises you can do involving leg yield but here are a couple to get you started.

Leg-yield-image
  1. Riding leg yield teaches your horse to move away from your leg and it helps the horse's back and hindquarter muscles - because the exercise helps to supple and strengthen these muscles.
  2. For the first exercise you are going to leg yield from the threequarter line to the track. Try the exercise in walk first so you and your horse get the idea, before moving on to trot.
  3. From the short side of the school, turn up the threequarter line and ride a couple of straight steps before leg yielding to the outside track. You need to keep your horse's body straight with just a slight bend to the inside. Take care that your horse does not lead with his shoulder and fall out through the shoulder. If this is happening, ensure you are using your outside aids positively and check that your inside hand is not too strong. To help with your inside hand aids, remember that you want to just see the horse's eye. If you can see the whole eye your inside rein aids are far too strong.
  4. Remember that throughout the exercise your horse needs to be moving forwards and sideways positively - if you find you are losing your impulsion ride forwards out of the exercise, make a few transitions and then try again.
  5. If you're lucky enough to have mirrors in your shcool you may be able to see if your horse is straight or not. Otherwise, ask a friend to stand ahead of you at the school fence and give feedback on your horse's body position.
  6. Remember to work on both reins. Once you have mastered this exercise you can turn up the threequarter line and leg yield towards the centre line.
For a different leg yield exercise and to improve your turns and corners, try this!
  1. Ride up the threequarter line, initally in walk, staying straight until you are opposite the B or E marker. Then leg yield left or right, depending on which rein you are on, towards the arena fence arriving at the marker and then continuing the leg yield so that you go deeper into the corner.
  2. It's important that  your hrose remains balanced and confident throughout the exercise, as you ride deeper into each of the four corners of the school. If he loses his balance then circle and restore his confidence and way of going before trying again.
  3. Once you and your horse are happy in walk, try this exercise in trot. Think about your own aids as if you position your legs incorrectly you'll affect how your horse uses his body.
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