The leg yield is a great exercise to work on suppleness and straightness of the horse. When first training a young or green horse, the leg simply means to go forward but as the horses’ training progresses and the aids become more sophisticated, the horse must also understand that the leg can mean to move sideways. How to introduce the leg yield:
1. Start by getting the horse straight on the quarter line or the centerline.
2. Ask the horse to flex to the inside.
3. Close the inside leg at the girth and keep the horse from over-bending or falling through the outside shoulder with the outside rein.
1. Horse speeds up onto a diagonal line and does not cross the hind legs or stay parallel to the rail. Correction: use the outside rein to stop the horses outside shoulder and control the horse from running to the rail.
2. Horse takes over and runs forward in the leg-yield. Correction: make a walk transition and continue pushing the horse over.
3. Rider expects too much of the horse when first training the leg-yield. When the horse is first learning to leg-yield ask for just a few steps over and then go straight again. Be sure to praise the horse when they do the right thing.
4. Horse only moves over off of one leg but not the other leg. It is very common that the horse will move better off of one leg than the other.
5. Horse over-bends in the neck and falls through the outside shoulder. The rider can correct this by using the outside rein to. Prevent the horse from over-bending in the neck.
6. Rider leans to the side to get the horse to move over: When the horse isn’t responding to the leg, often riders are tempted to lean over to the side to try to get the horse to move over. This does not work. If you find yourself leaning in the leg yield, make sure to make some sharp corrections with the leg and get the horse responsive.
In this video I ride Mercurio, a PRE (Pure Rasa Española aka. Andalusian) and describe how to develop the trot from a flat quick trot into a trot that has suspension, elevation, and lift. This becomes a collected trot that is somewhere between a passage and a medium trot. It takes a LONG TIME to develop this trot and for the horse to develop the coordination and strength to carry the trot through the turns and lateral work! Happy Riding!! Amelia
Amelia Newcomb is a top Grand Prix rider and trainer who is passionate about educating Dressage enthusiasts around the world. Through her videos, blogs, social media posts, and e-mails, Amelia hopes to help teach correct dressage training and good horsemanship to as many people as possible!