The Feel of Riding a Leg Yield

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Here we are shuffling

 

Usually performed at trot, to get the feel of leg yield, you need to be in rhythm with your horse. Think up and down to sit the trot easier, and side to side to alternate the hand and leg aids. Oscillating the aids helps to keep your horse from stepping over too quickly and to stay straight while driving forward.

The sideways motion reminds me of a clock. Tik tok, tik tok. I’m pushing him with my inside leg and gently tugging him with the outside rein- tik. He steps over- tok. My inside seat bone pulls him over- tik, and then returns to the normal position- tok. We continue this shuffle all the way down the arena to the two beat pulse of the trot.

Leg yields are such a fun little exercise! Weather you’re working on straightness, suppleness, connection, lightening your horse’s heavy side, even for fun. Going forward and sideways in the leg yield is the beginning of the lateral movements, such as shoulder-in, which begins at second level.

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