Leg Yield.
What is a leg yield?

Leg yield is a simple lateral movement. It involves a horse moving forwards AND sidewards from one straight line to another, maintaining overall straightness with slight flexion away from the direction of the movement.

What are the benefits of leg yield work?
Leg yield helps to teach the horse to move sidewards off the leg. It also physically develops the horses suppleness, by increasing the ability of the crossing hind leg to move forwards and under the horse, which cause strengthening and stretching of the limb at its main joints and therefore increases the horses ability to engage and take his weight on his hocks.

How do we ride a leg yield?
The easiest way to ride a leg yield is from the three quarter line to the track. Although a leg yield can be ridden absolutely anywhere, on circles, and around a circle.

the Aids to leg yield are simple. Prepare the horse with a half halt, i.e make suer the connection between seat and leg and hand of rider and the horse is prepared, then ensure the horse is very slightly flexed at the poll to the inside and then place outside leg back to receive the hind quarters, whilst the inside leg is a positioned a little further back than the girth and gently asks the hors or move away sidewards and forwards. The inside leg aids should be a tapping aid not a dead press, and the rider should think of asking the inside hind leg to step under and over towards the center of the horse. if the horse needs to go more forwards use the leg more forwards and if it needs to go more sidewards then use it slightly further back.

The upper body of the rider should be straight ahead with weight equal on the seat bones, as the horse moves over make sure the weight doesn't slip to one side. the hands remain quiet, the outside in its usual supportive role and the inside hand remaining in connection but NOT crossing over the withers or in anyway trying to influence the crossing of the horse. The hands are only there to support and maintain the very slight flexion at the poll.

Common problems in leg yield.

Horse doesn't move sidewards: try asking with inside leg further back and maybe try a few turn about the forehand to help tech the sidewards response to the leg before asking for the leg yield again.
the horse falls out through the shoulder and loses its straightness. This is very common, keep your outside rein feel and ride the horse more forwards than sidewards when it falls out, then attempt sidewards movement again. Also think shoulder fore in the leg yield. or simply put, think of placing the shoulders of the horse to the inside by moving your upper body slightly to the inside. this will prevent the movement of the shoulder to the outside.

Variations and patterns to ride leg yield in.

Try leg yield between two straight lines like the three quarter line to the track or from the track to three quarter line.

On a circle spiral your horse in from a 20m circle to a 15m one then use leg yield as a way to spiral out.

On a circle do leg yield around the circle, moving your horse around the circle with sidewards forwards movement.

Ride the three quarter line doing leg yield three steps either side until end of arena

Try leg yield toward the wall. Cut the corner coming into long side then ride with nose towards wall at a slight angle and ask the horse to leg yield along the wall with outside flexion.

COMING SOON Turn about the forehand and the half halt demystified.

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