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Leg Yielding Tips for the Dressage Horse from Jane Savoie

Renowned dressage coach and clinician Jane Savoie demonstrates how to correctly do a "zig zag” leg-yield.

September 2013 Extra

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"A type of leg-yield you can try [to improve your horse's responsiveness] is the zigzag away from and back onto the rail,” says renowned dressage coach and clinician Jane Savoie. "You should do the same amount of steps in each direction so that your horse is using his body to the same degree in both directions. It’s also a great coordination exercise for the rider because you have to switch your aids and change the flexion.”

If you want to do a zigzag leg-yield in posting trot, you’ll have the added coordination exercise of changing your posting diagonal when you switch your aids. The only time you can activate and influence the horse’s hind leg is when it’s pushing off the ground, which is easier to do in the sitting phase of posting trot.

"When you zig in toward the center of the arena away from the rail, you want to be on the ‘wrong’ posting diagonal,” says Savoie. "When you zag back out to the rail, you want to be on the correct posting diagonal. That way, if you have to turn your passive leg into an active aid, you’ll be using it at the right time.”

Read more in the September 2013 issue of Horse Illustrated.


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Hilary    Coarsegold, CA

9/9/2013 5:45:09 PM

This was helpful, we were just working on this with my horse. It was fun to see this exercise performed in action. I am currently reading her book on Dressage and found it very much in sync with what my trainer has be doing with my horse. I love her book!!!

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

9/4/2013 11:46:30 PM

Great advice.

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