Leg yields are a very useful exercise in all paces. They make the horse more supple throughout the body, improving bend and flexion.
In a leg yield, the horse travels in one direction whilst looking in the opposite direction. As he comes off the right rein onto the diagonal, he has to look left, and the other rein, the opposite is required.

In all paces, start with just the leg yield and then change the horse’s bend into the direction he is travelling, and then back to the leg yield. When he is looking in the direction he is travelling, your horse is in a half pass. Without pulling your horse off balance and maintaining the forward impulsion and rhythm, practise changing from leg yield to half pass on the diagonal and along the long sides where you can check on your straightness.

When you are efficient at this and can count the same amount of steps in each direction, practise a Counter Change of Hand. The movement starts at the quarter marker i.e H on the left rein, and firstly, travel towards X in a leg yield (travelling left with a bend right. When you are nearly at X, maintain the same right bend and travel back to K. Again when you are good at this you can start at H with a half pass to the left and before X change the bend, reverse your aid and travel back to K in a right half pass.

This leads onto The Zig Zag down the centre line, which is in the Grand Prix.


A student is looking to help out with a horse in exchange for being able to ride 3 times a week. She is in the Godstone area.