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Leg Yield

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  • Leg Yield

    I am a bit out of the loop and am riding without a trainer. For some reason I am not sure where the driving leg should be. I was using the leg back behind the girth in order to move the quarters. Found out recently it works much better if I use my leg at the girth. Could someone tell me which is correct.

  • #2
    Someone on a BB (it may have been this one) did a comparison of a dozen or so top trainers and their aids for leg yield. There was almost as many different directions as there was trainers.

    That said, I pretty much use these aids:
    Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"


    • #3
      Really my question is, what does the rest of your body do when you move your leg forward vs. back?


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by cnm161 View Post
        Really my question is, what does the rest of your body do when you move your leg forward vs. back?
        I try to stay centered. I had one trainer tell me to sit on the outside seatbone another on the driving side. My biggest problem is loosing him through the outside shoulder. I use fairly strong half halts (both leg and hand) on the outside to prevent this. The horse is clydex and though he tries hard this is difficult for him. I find by using the driving leg at the girth instead of back he does not bulge through the outside shoulder as much.


        • #5


          I found these videos helpful.


          • #6
            Originally posted by cnm161 View Post
            Really my question is, what does the rest of your body do when you move your leg forward vs. back?
            i really believe it depends on the horse. You want to sit straight and centered, but I have one that wants to follow my weight over so I step into the outside stirrup a bit more. The other goes pretty much away from the leg and wants me to stay out of his way.
            Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"


            • #7
              For the leg yield, you do use your inside leg as your driving leg.

              This question will be in your mind for many, future movements. Let me help you to think about it. The horse has two diagonals: from inside hind leg to outside shoulder and from outside hind to inside shoulder. Your primary aids need to be given to one of those diagonals, and that diagonal is the one that points in the direction of the motion. Your weight aids, or how your shoulders are carried in relationship to your hips determine where the greater weight occurs. If a greater weight needs to happen on the inside, your inside shoulder needs to be back farther over your inside hip.

              In leg yield, the direction of motion is from your horse's inside hind to his outside shoulder. You need greater weight on the inside to add weight to his inside hind leg so that it pushes against the ground to a greater degree. The extra weight comes as you move your inside shoulder back slightly more over your inside hip. The "drive", or extra weight on the horse's inside hind leg, gives the horse the energy as it springs from the ground in order to move that inside hind to the degree forward necessary to create the motion in that direction. To go straight again at the end of the leg yield, some of the weight of your torso needs to be taken back to your outside aids, which means your inside shoulder needs to move slightly forward again. Weight goes back slightly into your outside stirrup to return the horse to straight line motion.

              To give example of extra drive being added to the outside hind, think of the canter which requires the outside hind to have greater energy to lift the horse's inside shoulder higher. Or think of a more extreme, when you do half pass, and the horse really needs to drive with that outside hind.

              Does that help you better understand how to use a driving aid? You add weight to the end of the diagonal pair that points the direction of the motion.


              • #8
                Outside shoulder fix

                Cat Tap. When you start to lose the outside shoulder, ride straight forward. As you do, feel how you are using your outside leg. When you start going laterally again, keep that leg engaged, much as you did when riding straight forward.

                The half halt is necessary to allow the horse to rebalance enough to cross well but overdone will be inhibiting to flow you need.

                As for the inside leg, it can depend on the horse you are riding. Too far back can cause leading with the haunches, except for a horse that trails its haunches.
                Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                • #9
                  I do leg at girth (maybe a hair back but nothing obvious), and seat bone towards the direction of leg yeild....

                  A trick I learned was just ride straightish in your bend and let the bend come from a softer connection on that inside but dont ASK for the bend simple allow it to come with the movement.... ALLOW the bend but dont ask for it helped me a lot
                  ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~


                  • #10
                    This is an exercise in which many people disagree about the location of the inside leg. But generally, it is inside leg pulsing (greener horses are sometimes more forward) closer to the girth. Inside leg sideways, outside leg to go straight again (stair steps). Horse is parallel to the long side and lightly flexed (not bent) away from the direction he goes. The rider looks where the horse looks. The rider sits in the middle, but the inside heel is slightly weighted to bulk the calf/lower the heel so the horse feels the calf.
                    I.D.E.A. yoda


                    • Original Poster

                      Thank you for all the helpful hints. I will try to position my inside shoulder back. It is something I hadn't thought about. But what I am concluding from all these replies is that the aids required depend on the horse you are on and may vary from one horse to another.


                      • #12
                        I teach inside leg at the girth.

                        I teach my students first out of rising trot. The trot is a two beat gait in which diagonal pairs move alternately.

                        The horse can only answer the sideways moving aid when the inside hind leg is in its non-weight bearing phase (when it is in the air). Coincidentally, this is also where the rider is rising if they are on the correct diagonal. When the inside hing leg is grounded, the horse cannot take it sideways, so there is no point in aiding for the leg yield then. You only confuse the horse, teach him to ignore you half the time, and make it twice as much work on yourself.

                        So, I teach my students to pulse their inside leg at the girth as they rise to ask the horse to step sideways. The leg aid is actually acting towards the outside shoulder - its job is not only sideways driving but also activating, forward driving. The outside leg contains the haunches. The inside hand maintains flexion, the outside hand controls the shoulders - it can act towards the direction of travel to open the door for the horse, away from the direction of travel to slow the shoulders so that the haunches can catch up, or in neutral position but never crossing the plane of the withers.

                        This explanation is so much more clear with visual aids


                        • #13
                          Inside leg at the girth, weight on the leading (outside) seatbone, shoulders square to the end of the ring. Horse is submissive in the neck and jaw but not truly bent around the inside leg - the shoulders moving away from the inside leg create the bend.
                          Last edited by Tasker; Mar. 9, 2012, 07:56 AM. Reason: typo!
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post
                            I do leg at girth (maybe a hair back but nothing obvious), and seat bone towards the direction of leg yeild....

                            A trick I learned was just ride straightish in your bend and let the bend come from a softer connection on that inside but dont ASK for the bend simple allow it to come with the movement.... ALLOW the bend but dont ask for it helped me a lot
                            This, although the leg yield is a straightening exercise, so you use inside flexion, not bending. The horse's body should be straight.
                            'Like' my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calla...946873?sk=wall


                            • #15
                              Thank you Kim yes i also meant flexion! But instead of moving my hand I just use like shorter hand towards the
                              mouth and a let my hand drift a tiny bit for indirect i expect the OP is training it and this is how I start it

                              The key thing that a good trainer taught me was you ask lightly and if nothing be ok with nothing because at this point a horse should have learned to be on the aids and step underneath enough that if you dont get the response then you have to start again checking your aids
                              ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~