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Trainer’s Tip Tuesday

More tips on leg yields. Think of a leg yield like changing lanes on the interstate. Your car doesn’t turn sideways to change lanes. Your horse should stay straight as well. The neck should remain straight in front of you. The poll should have slight flexion away from the direction of travel. The horse is traveling with a bend in the opposite direction they are moving. For example if they are leg yielding to the left, the horse has a slight bend to the right. This means at the end of the leg yield the horse is prepared for a right turn or a right lead if balanced correctly. If the horse stayed straight, did not lean towards the direction of travel, then you should be able to complete the leg yield an travel straight in your new lane of travel. Your horse should be prepared to ride a transition, change a direction, make a turn, etc. The horse should be able to remain balanced and maintain gait once leg yield ends and new movement begins. If the horse can’t perform the next movement without slowing down, speeding up or losing straightness then they were not straight in the leg yield. A leg yield should never be performed by pulling the horse off balance with the inside rein of the bend. For example: if you are leg yielding to the left, you should not be pulling the horse’s head to the right with the right rein. While pulling the rein may send the horse left, the horse is falling to the left not stepping to the left because they are being pulled off balance. They will be bracing against the rider’s hand and trying to run out the opposite side.

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