Exercises to Increase Suppleness & Softness
Dressage Mastery TV Ep231
Hey, dressage superstars today I have superstar Lordy and we are going to give you an exercise on how to increase suppleness and softness in your horse.
I’ll start off in walk. Everyone knows leg yield is good for your horse, but do you know why leg yielding is good for your horse. Leg yielding is good for your horse because you’re not just teaching your horse to go forward off the leg, but to also go sideways off one leg. So if I apply my left leg, Lordy goes to the right, and if I apply my right leg Lordy goes to the left, just like magic.
Now I’ve got heaps of videos on how to teach your horse to yield off that. So, this is not a video on how to teach your horse to move off the leg, but to increase suppleness, and softness, it’s actually a really good exercise to leg yield to the inside and then when you feel the horse take over, have you ever felt your leg yield halfway across, your horse just throws down and falls – it’s not on the forehand. Well, it still is on the forehand, but the side forehand, they just throw themselves to the left. It happens even worse if you come down the central line, which is why we take courses to begin with leg yield, this is not teaching a horse leg yield.
So if I was teaching a horse to leg yield, I’d put my right leg on and tell him to leg yield left, and because the horse naturally wants to fall to the wall, I’m just using everything natural. But because Lordy’s naturally – there he fell to the wall. The minute I feel him fall to the wall, I leg yield hm back the other way and I say, Hey, I don’t want you to do that. Then when he goes, oh, okay, we’re going to start falling this way, I leg yield him the other way and then I go, whoops, you’re falling there, so I’m going to leg yield that way. And then if he does it again, I’m going to leg yield that way and it just really supples and helps you control all sides of the horse so you can control every little bit. You can do the same thing in trot, so you’re going trotting along and not like, leg yield, okay you’re good. I’m happy with that. Now I’ve lost it, leg yield the other way I want a reaction. Hey, hey, back this way.
And it’s not about training a leg yield for a 10 for the test. It’s all about just going, do I have the left side of the horse? Nope. And yeah, they might put their head up and that’s okay. And then the left, and then the right. And then I might do a 10 meter circle, so all different things you can do.
Then I might change my mind and then go back this way. Then I might leg yield off this leg. Didn’t like that. Leg yield back. Now I want you to leg yield without throwing. That’s better. And you’ll notice when you leg yield back a couple of times, the horse stays upright and doesn’t throw down anymore because he’s almost anticipating you throwing him back to the wall. Lordy is waiting for me to put him back to the wall and now he’s not going off that leg so I go – Hey! Really go off!
So sometimes they anticipate the other way and go – well you can throw me back to the wall. So I’m actually not going to keep leg yielding that way. You have got to keep them guessing, keep them thinking, where am I going to put them? And then back, and then change my mind again and then back and then change my mind again.
So that’s just a really cool exercise you can use. It does a whole heap of things. Check that the horse is reacting to your leg. Check that the horse is even left and right, but it’s not like you can leg yield left whenever you want, anytime you ask for leg yield right nothing happens, as I said, increases the suppleness and softness of the horse, and just a really cool exercise so have fun with it.
If you would like some more dressage help, I have a completely free ultimate state package which is filled with videos, training plans, a 30 day training plan, bonus videos and bonus explanations of what you need to do in your training for the next 30 days. I would love to give that to you for free. Just click on the link below and check that out. And remember, live your dreams.