Looking for something new to try with your fave pony? Why not use our easy-to-follow guide and have a go at leg-yield and turn on the forehand? You’ll learn how to do each movement, as well as what they’re useful for and how to solve common issues – let’s get started.
Getting your warm-up right is so important because it’ll influence the rest of your schooling session. It’s worth spending time working out an effective warm-up for your pony that’ll get him listening to your aids and working forwards into your hands every time.
For both leg-yield and turn on the forehand, he’ll need to understand that your leg aids can mean sideways as well as forwards so think about how you can get him prepped in the warm-up.
If your pony’s struggling with the aids to go sideways, have a go on the ground instead, positioning your hand where your leg would be to push him across.
Side to side
Leg-yield involves your pony moving forwards and sideways on a diagonal line, crossing his legs underneath him and bending slightly to the inside. It’s a great way to keep him supple and strengthen his core, so even if you don’t need to do it in a dressage test, it’s a super exercise to add to your flatwork routine. To give it a go…
- Start in walk riding large around the arena, asking for a little inside bend – you should just be able to see your pony’s inside eyelashes.
- Turn onto the three-quarter line, keeping the little bit of inside bend. Push your inside leg back behind the girth and keep your outside leg on the girth.
- Apply pressure on your pony’s side with your inside leg to ask him to step across towards the outside track.
- Keep a feel down the outside rein to stop him falling out through his shoulder, and widen the inside rein very slightly to maintain the bend if you need to.
- Don’t worry if you only get a few correct steps to start with – you’ll achieve more and more as you keep practising.
Ask a friend to film your leg-yield to make sure you’re doing it correctly – it can be tough to know whether you’re getting it right when you first start.
Pick up your copy of March PONY on sale 12 January 2022 for more tips on trying new dressage moves and solving your troubles along the way