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throwurheart
Oct. 23, 2011, 10:16 AM
Question: Is swinging your inside leg way back to cue the leg yield an acceptable option?

I have recently started catch riding, and so I'm riding a variety of new horses for me, concurrent with starting with a new trainer.

She had me doing leg yield the other night, and insisted that I swing my inside lower leg way back "to move the haunches over". I never got what I felt was a great leg yield but the horse did finally go on the right angle at least, and vaguely correct in body position. (Just not through the back and connected well).

When I pushed back that I'd never been taught that method, she countered that horses are all different, and different methods are all viable.

I've been doing it the same way without a vast difference for 20 years. Inside leg at the girth or near it, driving sideways, with a slight bend at the poll away from travel. The outside leg supports and helps push forward movement.

But, she's successful with students in the show ring. Although she's an eventing trainer, she works with a dressage rider at the barn who just earned her bronze medal.

carolprudm
Oct. 23, 2011, 10:36 AM
Jane Savoie has some great vdeos on youtube. Here's one to get you started
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY1bEM7CefY

There are several more

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY1bEM7CefY

LaraNSpeedy
Oct. 23, 2011, 11:01 AM
HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

I have to think through what you are saying..... but you do know that technically the trotting leg yield is not classical dressage and that is based on the idea that it doesnt build towards collection because it doesnt ask the horse to step under - it doesnt work of the bend.

But even the SRS uses it to teach a horse how to move laterally from the leg. I use it for that and also to stretch out the shoulders.

THAT SAID - methods are not different. All horses should be trained to move away from the leg. At the girth means to displace the ribs - bend. More pressure the horse will yield that direction of the ribs. The haunches and the shoulders are then wanting to go the opposite direction. Thus if you are leg yielding that way - you have likely straightened the shoulders with your hands and basically you are yielding - say to the left leading with the shoulders. IF you swing your leg back to ask, you end up leading with the haunches.

I worked with a trainer for years who wanted me to lead with the hind in the trotting leg yield. I work with a trainer now who wants me to lead with the shoulders.

BUT the new trainer is teaching me as I ride my full engaged WB. So I end up doing a half pass most of the time. But my hot connemara cross, if I did that with him, he would become disengaged and hollow so I actually prefer stretching circles and counter bending work to open up his shoulders. BUT the trotting leg yield is not an engaged exercise.....

SO herein asks the question.... what are you trying to achieve?

throwurheart
Oct. 23, 2011, 11:05 AM
I know the way I do leg yields is already correct, so watching videos won't help answer the question. In twenty years of taking lessons (h/j, eventing, and most recently four+ years of fairly intense dressage) I've never come across inside leg back as a correct aid for leg yield for a trained horse. Wondering if any of you can validate her teaching?

I like her, love the barn family, want to train with her - but if she's teaching basic things wrong, that's a problem. :-)

All the horses I'm riding now are trained by her, so yep, they scoot sideways the moment I swing the inside leg back. But it's just not natural for me, plus the effect doesn't feel through and correct.

atlatl
Oct. 23, 2011, 11:14 AM
I know the way I do leg yields is already correct ...

All the horses I'm riding now are trained by her, so yep, they scoot sideways the moment I swing the inside leg back. But it's just not natural for me, plus the effect doesn't feel through and correct.

If you already know you are correct why ask? :)

I'm not sure what you mean by "inside" as I was taught that "inside" is in reference to bend and there is no bend in leg yield. If by "inside" you mean inside the bend when you are turning and then leg yielding away from that leg after straightening, that's how I was taught.

throwurheart
Oct. 23, 2011, 11:33 AM
If you already know you are correct why ask? :)

I'm not sure what you mean by "inside" as I was taught that "inside" is in reference to bend and there is no bend in leg yield. If by "inside" you mean inside the bend when you are turning and then leg yielding away from that leg after straightening, that's how I was taught.

The original question was whether my new trainer's teaching is an acceptable option. If I'm not doing a leg yield correctly after twenty years with a lot of training from UL riders, then I am even less adequate than I thought. :lol:

There is a slight bend in leg yield through the poll, away from direction of travel.

Dune
Oct. 23, 2011, 11:36 AM
Well....if you took the time to watch the video link, your question would be answered. ;)

Heinz 57
Oct. 23, 2011, 11:39 AM
The original question was whether my new trainer's teaching is an acceptable option.

Yes, it is. Although I suspect that the 'inside leg WAY back' is either you exaggerating about what feels different, or her exaggerating it to make a point. Generally the inside leg is slightly behind the girth, with the outside leg AT the girth. Make sure you're not unevenly weighting your seatbones.

throwurheart
Oct. 23, 2011, 11:51 AM
Well....if you took the time to watch the video link, your question would be answered. ;)

I apologize, I researched this before posting, so I assumed the video was one more explanation of what I already do, and that you didn't read my long post all the way to understand it was an option question. :-)

Forte
Oct. 24, 2011, 09:59 AM
There are two schools of thought when it comes to leg yield, one where the inside leg is at the girth and one where it comes back. I prefer the inside leg at the girth as I feel it is more useful at the girth for developing some flexion and eventually some bend. (yes, I know there is no bend in leg yield, but eventually the horse is going to have to do shoulder in and I want the horse to associate leg at the girth with bending and moving sideways) That said . . . I put my leg wherever it needs to be for the horse at that particular moment. For horses that are young or just learning leg yield, I do bring the inside leg back a bit to help them understand that they need to move their bum over. I would never advocate bringing any leg WAY back, just a few inches. Also for a horse that trails the haunches in the leg yield, bringing the leg back slightly, combined with halfhalting on the outside rein to control the shoulder, can help fix that problem.

LaraNSpeedy
Oct. 24, 2011, 10:51 AM
If its INSIDE leg BACK - and the horse is moving INTO the leg - wrong.

If the yield is coming from the outside leg but you are putting that inside leg back behind the girth to keep the horse straight.... I guess I could see that if you were on a horse that tends to get crooked but I would not TEACH my horses to all yield like that.

A horse should move away from the leg. If you start teaching horses to move into the leg, you are confusing things.

alto
Oct. 24, 2011, 12:16 PM
I know the way I do leg yields is already correct

Depends on the training school.



she countered that horses are all different, and different methods are all viable.


She's a keeper! you could learn alot from this trainer :yes:

dudleyc
Oct. 24, 2011, 02:42 PM
Just a thought re. Trainers......when I am in a lesson or clinic. I try to ride as instructed. I almost always record my lessons with my little flip.

There are times I am instructed to do things in a way that seems wrong but when done as asked and I see the results I can understand why I was instructed in that way.

After the lesson I give things some thought and keep the good bits and ignore the rest.

It sounds like you have a trainer you otherwise like.

Samigator
Oct. 26, 2011, 10:32 PM
I used to put my leg back to move the haunches before I started learning dressage. That was one of the first and biggest things I learned, the inside leg should NEVER be behind the outside leg. So, needless to say, learning shoulder in for me was challenging, as I always wanted to put my inside leg back to get those haunches to the rail.

My instructor explained it to me that the reason the inside leg should never be back is that it will confuse the horse when doing lead changes and lateral work in the canter, as if you move the inside leg back to ask for leg yield, you are actually positioning yourself for the opposite bend and canter lead.

easyrider
Oct. 27, 2011, 11:17 AM
Horses naturally push into pressure, so we have to teach them to move away from pressure. We install our "buttons," as Hans von Blixen-Finecke says, and teach the horse to respond to them. If we wanted to train a horse to leg yield by poking it in the croup and whistling The Star Spangled Banner, we could.

So your new trainer is correct that there are different methods. However, we all tend to use similar ones in any given discipline so that our horses are rideable by anyone. Even so, Lisa Wilcox will use an outside leg aid to ask for canter, while others will use an inside leg aid. We can argue about the advantages and disadvantages, but both methods work.

Reading your explanation, it sounds as if there might be a miscommunication rather than a disagreement about the aids for LY. If you "pushed back," you might have made her "push back" too -- not wanting to enter a theoretical discussion with you in the middle of working the horse, so rising above your objection with a truism.

Just a thought or two:

If she instructed you to do something different, was it after seeing you get stuck trying to leg yield using the aids you usually use? If so, it's possible that she really wanted those haunches to move over NOW, so was telling you to make that happen. It's also possible that your body stiffened as you tried to do it her way, because you're not used to it and you were resisting her instructions. Or it may have felt much more extreme than it was -- sometimes an inch of difference to a rider feels more like four inches, especially when our muscle memory is fully established.

Also, you don't mention how green the horse is. When it's appropriate, early on, I exaggerate the aids, and depending on how athletic, intelligent and willing the horse is, they become subtler and more invisible over time. That time frame varies. That's not everyone's way either. Look at Ulla Salzgeber's leg in tempis.

CHT
Oct. 27, 2011, 06:08 PM
Isn't it the German Riding Manual that states BOTH legs slightly back for the leg yeild? Or is it Zettl....or both of them....

One to push sideways as the leg comes up and off the ground, and the other to catch, correct, and send forward.

Lusoluv
Oct. 27, 2011, 08:14 PM
Inside leg is pulsing in time with the rise of the inside hind leg at any gait. Outside rein half-halts lightly to prevent the outside shoulder from leading. If you ran into the rail or side of the arena (which I don't recommend :winkgrin:) your outer calf would be the first to touch the wall. If there is any deviation, it is better for the shoulder to lead the horse's hip by an inch or two. Inside leg is at girth, outside leg a hand's with behind girth. Almost no bend in horse's neck, more of a SLIGHT curve in horse's ribcage away from your inside/asking leg.

I rode a young OTTB today. On his stiffer side he did not understand what my inside "step over" leg was asking. I exaggerated my correct position a little, dropped a bit more weight into my outside seat bone so he'd get the hint to move to the outside and I tickled him right behind inside leg with my whip. I did NOT move my inside leg back and he figured it all out. So yes, break it down and make the exercise simpler, but don't change from a correct position to a wrong one. If need be, get off the horse and ask it to turn on the forehand and yield from your asking fingers where you'd normally have your leg. Then get on and repeat. Good luck!

LarkspurCO
Oct. 27, 2011, 11:50 PM
I have always done it the Jane Savoie way.

When leg-yielding to the left, my right (inside) leg is slightly behind the girth and my left (outside) leg at the girth. As Jane says in the video, activate the outside leg at the girth for more forward, activate the inside leg for more sideways.

Reiter
Oct. 28, 2011, 01:03 PM
Isn't it the German Riding Manual that states BOTH legs slightly back for the leg yeild? Or is it Zettl....or both of them....

One to push sideways as the leg comes up and off the ground, and the other to catch, correct, and send forward.

This is how I do it (learned it)! To me it makes no sense at all to have your outside leg in front of the inside leg as LarkspurCO says Jane Savoie teaches it. If you need more forward it should come from the inside leg, even if that inside leg is telling the horse to also go sideways at the same time!

CHT
Oct. 28, 2011, 01:45 PM
Phew, glad someone else does it the same way!

Wouldn't having either leg "at the girth" encourage bend through the ribs? The horse is supposed to only have bend at the pole for a proper leg yeild, with the forehand slightly in advance of the hindquarters. It seems confusing to me to use inside leg at the girth to ask for sideways motion of the entire body, when in other instances it is used to ask for bend.

angel
Oct. 28, 2011, 03:43 PM
The discussion of where to place the rider's inside leg has been going on for a long time. Let's address it by considering what is happening when the horse and the rider are crooked. Also, remember that generally we are using the leg yield on a fairly green horse because as the horse is more advanced, we will use the half pass or the shoulder-in more. That does not mean we should not go back to the leg yield now and then, just as we should not forget the turn on the forehand now and then.

Most green horses are crooked or hollow to the right. It means that as they travel, their bodies take rather like a figure "S" to the line of travel, i.e. the shoulders stay too far to the right of that line and the hindquarters stay too far to the left of that line. Because of this crookedness, and because most of us are also crooked, our left leg tends to more too far forward in all movements, not just leg yield.

Starting a green horse means an exaggeration of everything. When we ride the leg-yield right, because the horse's haunches are falling to the left and because our left leg is too far forward, we deliberately move the left leg back. It helps correctly weight our seatbone on the left as well as giving us more control over the muscles of the horse that we need to impact to effect the leg-yield right. What is really important is that we continue the one, two or left, right, left right rhythm of the motion. The slight bend of the horse should stay the same whether we leg yield right or go straight in a counterclockwise direction. At the transition from leg-yield to straight line, it will rather feel as if we take our leg from being back slightly behind the girth to a position at the girth. That is all it should take to effect that transition. If both horse and rider are fairly straight from which to begin, I agree that the rider's inside (left leg) should be on the girth, and the rider should be able to control the direction with her inside left groin. However, in that crooked horse, the groin area tends to be more off the saddle and not as effective, so taking the left leg slightly back, also helps to better get the rider's inside groin area back to the saddle.

Going the opposite or clockwise direction, and then asking for a leg yield left is not served by taking the inside leg (right leg) back, because it is the shoulders of the horse that will affect the allignment for the leg-yield left. In this instance, it means that the rider needs to pay more attention to keeping her left shoulder blade closer to her spine, i.e. not giving away that outside, left rein which is needed to better control the shoulders. Still the rider needs to remember to ride the rhythm of the gait. This imformation will also be somewhat true when you start the plie for the canter work.

LarkspurCO
Oct. 28, 2011, 05:19 PM
This is how I do it (learned it)! To me it makes no sense at all to have your outside leg in front of the inside leg as LarkspurCO says Jane Savoie teaches it. If you need more forward it should come from the inside leg, even if that inside leg is telling the horse to also go sideways at the same time!

The Jane Savoie reference was to the first video link posted by carolprudm (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY1bEM7CefY) I wasn't very familiar with her teaching until I watched it, but it's exactly how I have been instructed, and it works.

To CHT's question on bend in the rib cage, "normally" one would achieve that with the inside leg on the girth and the outside leg slightly behind the girth.

One benefit I see in keeping the outside leg at the girth in leg yield is to support the outside rein in keeping the shoulder straight.

Of course, as has been noted, if you've trained your horse a different way, that will work, too.



If you need more forward it should come from the inside leg, even if that inside leg is telling the horse to also go sideways at the same time!

I was taught to ride with two legs.:)

throwurheart
Nov. 2, 2011, 05:45 PM
Angel... that was an amazing dissertation on straightness and cues. Thank you! I haven't checked in for a few days, figuring this silly little leg yield question had died out. I should have known. Not only horse people, but a dressage question. Everyone's responses were helpful, and I appreciate the feedback.

Personally, I guess leg-wise I ride with a leg position to be preparing/ready for shoulder-in and half pass. On my schooled horses, I switched from leg yield to shoulder in to half pass and back again for strengthening. But Angel's discussion of left versus right is ringing true on this particular catch-ride horse, as my left leg never seems to be back enough to please the trainer.

I've been an owner for so long - when I take weekly dressage or jumping lessons, or clinics, I'm usually on a familiar beast, now it's a whole 'nother ballgame catch-riding. Add a new trainer to the mix, and I'm entirely upside down and questioning everything.