The 3 must do’s for a perfect leg yield

Hey Dressage Superstars! Today’s question is, “The 3 must do’s for a perfect leg yield?”

The number one thing you need is control of the shoulder. So I’ll come around and I’ll do a leg yield that is not controlling the shoulder. So leg yielding, okay. Now I’m pushing with my right leg. I have to make sure I do it badly. Now what’s happening, I’ve lost his shoulder. So that was barely a leg yield because he just fell with what’s called his left shoulder. So the first thing you need to remember about a leg yield is that it’s parallel, that the shoulders and the hind legs are directly exactly within 0.1 of a millimeter at the same line.

If you don’t have a mirror, get someone at home to tell you. Because sometimes it’s really hard to feel if the shoulders and the hind legs are definitely in line you can start off in walk, whichever way is easier, but start to develop that feel of being able to control the shoulder exactly.

 

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Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

Hey superstars, today I’m going to answer the question. The three must do’s for a 10 out of 10 leg yield.

Okay, so the number one thing you need is control of the shoulder. So I’ll come around and I’ll do a leg yield that is not controlling the shoulder. So leg yielding, okay. Now I’m pushing with my right leg. I have to make sure I do it badly. Now what’s happening, I’ve lost his shoulder. So that was barely a leg yield because he just fell with what’s called his left shoulder. So the first thing you need to remember about a leg yield is that it’s parallel, that the shoulders and the hind legs are directly exactly within 0.1 of a millimeter at the same line.

So here I’m going to make sure, but I block the shoulder with my left and leg yield again. Now you can see I’m dead even, lost it for a second, but mostly dead even. So if you don’t have a mirror, get someone at home to tell you. Because sometimes it’s really hard to feel if the shoulders and the hind legs are definitely in line you can start off in walk, whichever way is easier, but start to develop that feel of being able to control the shoulder exactly. If you need help with that, there’s some other videos on leg yield, on how to control the shoulder. All I’ll say now is it’s obviously controlling the shoulder with that outside rein so that left rein controls the left shoulder. The right rein controls the right shoulder. Okay.

The second step you need is forward. The second problem I see most riders do in leg yield is they go, okay, here’s my trot, here’s my trot, here’s my trot and I’m leg yielding. Leg yielding. And the trot gets really slow. Now what happens when the trot goes really slow? What happened to his head? His head went up. So you want to make sure you keep the forward energy, keep the horse engaging his hind leg. Now he doesn’t want to travel forward. To leg yield and travel forward is hard work, but that’s the whole reason we leg yield, to supple and train the horse to be stronger.

So here, I’m going to say, okay, leg yield, keep the forward, keep the forward, keep the forward, keep the forward, keep the forward, keep the forward, keep the forward, keep the forward, keep the forward. Good. Whoops. Okay, good boy. So, when you’ve controlled the shoulder and then you control the forward, the third step becomes easy. The third step to an amazing leg yield is that the neck and the head and the bend doesn’t change.

Now most people, and even when I’m first teaching a young horse, if I have to, I will bend a horse out of line to teach it the leg yield. So the leg yield has no bend inflection, but when you’re learning you might flex the horse the opposite way to where you want it to leg yield so that he leg yields. But did you see the problem with me putting his head to the right, where did his shoulder go? To the left. Is that a problem? Yes. So you can do it very, very early on to teach a horse leg yield, but then you want to stop doing that because you can’t control the throttle when you’ve bent it to the other way unless you’re very good.

So you want to keep the nose in the middle of the chest. You want to keep the shoulders and the hind legs parallel. You want to keep the head down, you want to keep the neck still, you want to keep everything the same. Good boy. and then you get a great leg yield.

So, step one and step two is how you get step three. If you’re not going forward, the head will move. If you don’t have control of the shoulder, the head will move. So to get three, which is the third step of a great leg yield, which is that the head doesn’t move and stays in the middle of the chest and there’s no bend left or right, you need to work on one and two. That’s the beauty about dressage. Normally, the last step that you want or the outcome that you want is generated from doing your basics and doing your original steps.

So trust that helps, remember if you guys need any help with steps, procedures, strategies, recipes, how do you do A? How do you do B? How do you do C? I’ve got a free training class that tells you all about creating a dressage system that works for you. Go check it out on the link below.

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