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Leg yield troubles!

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  • Leg yield troubles!

    I am having a hard time with my horse's leg yields to the right. He wants to bulge out the right shoulder and I am having difficulty counteracting it. It is also my stiffer/weaker direction. First Level test three...leg yielding K to X....help with proper set up please!

  • #2
    Make sure that if you are, say, asking him to leg yeild to the right you also use some right rein to keep him straight. Don't pull, just keep a bit more contact than normal. Inside leg outside rein... except you probably know that if you are third level, but either way I feel your pain. Its annoying when you just cant seem to get a potentially simple move down.


    • #3
      If he is bulging out through his right Shldr, then I suspect he is also over bending left in his neck. You need to keep him much straighter through his neck with your right rein. Be sure that you are sitting straight and not collapsing through your ribcage.


      • Original Poster

        @Suzy....yes! That is exactly what is happening....he gets contorted in his neck and then I collapse my seat bones left...and it ends up being a big mess!


        • #5
          I know what you mean. We have had the same issue going on. It's partly me and partly him... All is well in one direction, it actually looks quite nice, but the other, Oh My...

          We are making great progress, though.

          First of all, check he isn't sore in his stifles. If he is, you can see why he might be reluctant to play. (Mine was a bit sore, so we're adding "see? It doesn't hurt anymore!" into the equation.)

          If all checks out OK, this is what we have been doing that has helped:

          1. Nose to wall leg yield at a walk as part of every warm up to persuade him that the concept of crossing over behind in that direction is doable. Good efforts copiously rewarded with sugar... If it goes wrong, stop, regroup, regain the angle, ask again.

          During this exercise, much focus on my position. Where am I? Am I sitting so he can move under me or have I let him drop me onto the other seatbone? What am I doing with my hands and upper body? Am I leaning off to one side in the vain hope of shoving him over? Am I pulling with one rein instead of leading with my other rein? (My efforts are not copiously rewarded with sugar, I notice...)

          Astonishingly enough, if I sit on the seatbone in the direction of travel, stop unbalancing with wierd upper body movements and stop flailing around with my inside rein, we can get somewhere.

          The other thing is to not let my "pushing" leg swing back, but to keep it forward by the girth. "Just carry the saddle over" my old trainer used to say.

          Why I do this wierd stuff in one direction and not at all in the other remains a mystery to me.

          Then on to practicing the actual movement.

          Point the horse's nose where you want it to go. It makes it really difficult for the horse to bulge his shoulder if you do this.

          Shift your weight to the seatbone on the side you want to go towards, so horse naurally moves under you. (This was a little revelation to me--when I watched the Gal/Rath comparison video, I realized that I wasn't doing this naturally in one direction.)

          As soon as you feel that shoulder even thinking about starting to bulge, walk and move the hind end over to straighten up, then proceed in an organized fashion.

          As my trainer said to me the other day... practice the leg yield, not the shoulder bulge. If it's going wrong stop immediately and fix it...

          This should be easy, shouldn't it?


          • #6

            A couple things to try: Start your leg yield and go only a few steps with the straighter neck, then ride straight forward, then a few more steps laterally, then straight forward.

            In addition to possible overbend, its possible that you are not riding him FORWARD because you are thinking too much re sideways. The above will help this, and will also help you develop the feel but don't forget that outside leg.

            Edited to add: I also collapse left whenever things go a tad wrong.
            We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


            • #7
              Do it head to the wall first, keep the horse straight through the body (just flexed at the poll). Make sure you are holding both reins equally. And you PULSE the inside leg (the one at the wall) nearer the girth, you do NOT hold it w/o cessation. Then start from the 3/4 line and touch/release in time with the gait. Look were the horse looks (straight) and SIT IN THE MIDDLE. The inside leg asks the horse to move over, the outside can immediately as the horse to go again straight at any point.
              I.D.E.A. yoda


              • #8
                Ive never seen the nose to wall thing... Anyone know of a good video>?

                Id like to see it !'
                ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~


                • #9
                  A good way to set up the horse for the nose to the wall leg yield is to halt parallel to the wall. Then ask for a couple of steps of turn on the forehand to get the horse's hind legs on the inside track. From there, keep the horse's front legs on the track and ride a few steps of LY down the long side.


                  • #10
                    I see this a lot. It is usually a result of riders forcing the shoulders over by pushing the inside rein in the direction of travel. Try opening the inside rein (open rein opposed the hindquarters) then using the inside leg. It is, after all, a leg yield, not a rein yield. Pushing the shoulders over will almost always cause the hindquarters to lag and the horse to get diagonal, therefore losing the lateral of the movement.


                    • #11
                      Your reins are too short. Your stirrups are too long. You are trying to hold this horse in a frame. Take up your stirrups so that you can keep the weight of your feet on the rear edge of them. Let your reins out about two inches. Keep your shoulders up, especially your left one. Post the leg yield. As you rise, use your right leg against the horse's right side. As you sit, think forward/straight. Have your whip on your left side to tap the horse's left hind as you sit the post. Once you can get the feeling of how to move the horse forward into your reins from the posting trot, then try to take that body memory with you for the sitting trot. If you are collapsing forward, and not sitting the trot correctly, you will revert to grabbing up the reins, and being back to square one.

                      A head to the wall leg-yield is much more difficult for the horse than a normal one. Do not do long wall sections of this, or your horse will just get tight.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                        Do it head to the wall first, keep the horse straight through the body (just flexed at the poll). Make sure you are holding both reins equally. And you PULSE the inside leg (the one at the wall) nearer the girth, you do NOT hold it w/o cessation. Then start from the 3/4 line and touch/release in time with the gait. Look were the horse looks (straight) and SIT IN THE MIDDLE. The inside leg asks the horse to move over, the outside can immediately as the horse to go again straight at any point.

                        If you can even "counterflex" a wee bit during your head to the wall, by George you know you've got it. That is when you REALLY have control over the shoulders. It's easy peasy from then on.
                        Last edited by meupatdoes; Apr. 6, 2012, 11:03 AM.
                        The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                        Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                        The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post
                          Ive never seen the nose to wall thing... Anyone know of a good video>?

                          Id like to see it !'
                          This one starts at at 3:00 but the way she enters the exercise she is making it harder on herself.

                          If she had started out riding on the longside towards the camera, then done a half turn and ridden a straight back to the wall on a 30 degree angle, and just kept the angle up the wall, it is much easier for the horse.

                          You can also turn up the centerline, ride a 30 degree angle, legyield a few steps on the same angle, ride straight a few steps to give the horse some relief, ride a few leg yield steps, etc.
                          The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                          Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                          The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                          • #14
                            It is very common to lose control of the shoulders in a leg-yield. But is shows us just how important shoulder control really is! Here is a tip, you are probably overbending him with your inside rein and I'm also betting you are stiffening your inside hip flexor as you try to squeeze him over with your inside leg. So to remedy this try the leg-yield a few times without your stirrups. Let both hips HANG and rythmically touch the horse on the inside to ask him to move away from that leg. If that does not move the horse over there is your problem right there. Teach the horse to move away from a super light leg aid while your hips relax and ALLOW him to move sideways. If your hips tighten then you are asking him to move over, but then not allowing it.

                            Second tip, lower both of your hands and keep them down near his shoulders a few times. This prevents you from pulling up and back with the inside rein and helps teach you the feeling of containing that outside shoulder. Really try to feel how the rythmic aides from your inner leg are pushing the horse right up into that outside shoulder, and feel how you must control that shoulder in the leg-yield. Then try to keep that feeling when you go back to regular hand position.


                            • Original Poster

                              Thank you everyone for such useful advice! Now to get my body to cooperate


                              • #16
                                Remember, and practice, your 10 meter circles to the left - this is the bend you want.

                                When you bend to the left in a circle, he may want to bulge his right shoulder out, as well. In this circle, practice leg yielding out to a 15 meter circle, then a 20 meter circle.

                                To do this, you need to hold his right shoulder with your knee, initially - move your outside leg forward to HOLD the right/outside houlder in place. Use your outside rein to keep him from over bending.

                                Doing this, you are giving him a 'railing' to ride up against.

                                If you can do this in the circles, repeat it at the leg yield along the wall. Bend him to the left, but HOLD him with your outside rein and outside leg, forward nearer the shoulder.

                                Initially, you may need to really move your leg forward more so than you will have to do later, move it up to the shoulder as far as you have to, in order to hold that shoulder from bulging.

                                Additionally, hold your whip at the shoulder - I have had to press the whip on the outside shoulder of my horse along with this knee to keep it from bulging.

                                So: Leg yield along the wall clockwise, to the right:

                                turn my torso to the wall, entirely
                                left leg back, strong, behind the girth
                                right leg forward, knee pressed against shoulder to keep from bulging
                                whip in right hand, pressed, or tapping right shoulder
                                Strong right rein for support
                                massaging left rein for bend

                                Remember to sit back - well back, to get off his shoulder. I think "lead with my hip (right hip) and at a walk or trot, I walk or trot my hips along with his.

                                Initially, I carried two whips, one to tap his haunches to get him to step under, the second to tap his right shoulder to keep it from bulging out.

                                Sit back so he can move his shoulders out ahead of you.

                                If it doesn't come, go back and do the same at a trot 10 meter circle until you get the bend correct (inside rein) and the outside rein/leg/shoulder carrying.

                                And remember

                                YOUR hips mirror his hips.

                                YOUR shoulders mirror his shoulders.

                                Back to the leg yeild - left LY is at 11:00 and right LY is at 1:00 o'clock.
                                My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


                                • #17
                                  I agree with runny jumps analysis.

                                  And head to the wall is the EASIEST way to start a horse with LY because the wall maintains the horse. In days of yore one did head to the wall LY perhaps a few times, and that was it (just to get a reaction to the inside leg (the one at the wall) and moved on. The horse reacted, that was enough. Certainly no LY on diagonals. IF one reacted to the head to the wall actions, the leg. Then shoulder fore (and exercises with bend) were begun. But the horse had been ridden straight on for almost a year before any of those things.

                                  Inside leg is almost always used nearer the girth and outside leg stretched down and back. There are times when you might momentarily bring the inside leg back for a very brief moment (ALWAYS timed to the movement of the hind legs), but leg is NOT planted nor with toe turned out. And if one fixes the hands down at the withers the horse will tend to want to hollow. PULSE the aids, the reaction to the action of the rider is never rigid nor strong, but clear. The reins from the 'funnel' the legs pulse the hind leg reaction (which can be supported by a touch of the whip). But the point of touches of the whip (behind the calf not on the croup or flank) is to support the (action of the) leg, not to 'step under' (which does not really happen in LY anyway). Certainly the reins are not messaging imho.
                                  I.D.E.A. yoda


                                  • #18
                                    I do like the head to wall.. I tried it a couple of times with my mare and can see the difference already

                                    But I can see the overuse would cause disengagement.

                                    Any ideas of how to make sure the horse is NOT simply just moving away but truly coming under and up?

                                    I am backing off of the LY at trot for a while except maybe this at the walk and using the wall... Because my horse was getting a little prancy dancy or behind the leg whenever I did them ( I know its my seat and core)...

                                    I am using MORE shoulder fore.... Then will go back to leg yeild again after the trot work feels stronger from the SI.
                                    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~