Let’s go sideways!

Posted in Flatwork

Here are some tips to help you with lateral work and some problem-busting ideas, too!


Asking your pony for leg yield

Where you ask your pony to go sideways makes a difference. Try asking from the centre line. It gives you more control and stops your pony rushing back to the track.

Here’s how:

1. Turn onto the centre line in a bouncy walk. If you turned left onto the centre line your inside is your left (your inside is right if you turned right)
2. Get straight before tightening your fingers on both reins to ask your pony not to go forward and to listen to you (a half halt).
3. Give him a strong push with your inside leg.
4. As he steps over catch him with your outside leg.
5. Tap your fingers on your palms again and use both legs to ride forward.

Problem bust your leg-yield

Problem: Your pony’s shoulders get to the track before his quarters.

Cause: you’re pulling him over with your outside rein.

Solution: Keep your hands together so his shoulders stay together in front of his quarters.

Problem: Your pony bends his neck like a banana.

Cause: He isn’t straight to start with, or you’re reins are allowing the bend. Or you’re bending your body!

Solution: Keep your contact and think about moving his body, not his head.

Problem: Your pony grinds to a halt!

Cause: You’re pulling too hard, or your pony is just confused.

Solution: Make sure you follow his head with your hands (don’t pull back) so your pony doesn’t get confused and think you want him to halt.

Problem: Nothing happens!

Cause: Your pony lacks energy (your fault!), or he isn’t listening to you.

Solution: Don’t flap. One strong push from your leg (backed up with your whip if you need it) is better than too many confusing kicks.

Problem: He just turns.

Cause: You’re looking where you want him to go – and that means your body turns and so does his.

Solution: Look ahead, keep your shoulders and hips facing forwards and so will your pony.

Have fun mastering leg yield!

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