hannah asked in PetsHorses · 1 decade ago

horses...dressage, leg yields, pirouette?

how do you get a horse to perform a leg yield, what signals do you use and how do you keep the movement flowing? Also the same questions for pirouette. I've just started dressage and I'm having a little trouble, I've been riding for more than 6 years but only basic dressage.

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    hard to explain but here we go

    First, begin at a collected trot, horse must be on the bit (if you cannot maintain being on the bit, as the horse will fuss with you when you attempt this that is ok, but do try your best to improve in that area as to achieve a very good mark), with the fence of the ring on your left side

    gently, using your body weight, and a SLIGHT turn of the head, go down the center-line from C (or A)

    (you will be going to your left, your whip on the right)

    at about 3-5 paces, keeping horse collected, and on the bit, making sure your seat bones have an equal balanced weight, and you are sitting perfectly straight in your saddle with your arms gently tucked against your waist, leaning gently back, you must be relaxed for this, as in anything,....

    press with your left leg downwards in the stirrup, WHILE your right seat bone presses down on the right side of your saddle

    this step, while difficult, is crucial, it takes much practice

    while leg-yielding your whip can be gently tapping your horses right hind-quarter, your right foot (with spur is preferable at this stage) gently tapping horse's side (without losing the grip of your saddle and thigh), slightly back than normal, keeping left leg pushed down

    DO NOT TURN HEAD OF HORSE TO LEG YIELD!!!!! the horse must remain STRAIGHT, the horse will want to either drag his/her haunches you need to correct this with the equality of your weight and your whip tapping

    it is also essential that you look forward, straight forward, not down, but up, and YOUR SHOULDERS MUST BE SQUARE TO THE HORSE'S

    the horse needs to be kept at a consistent tempo and maintain good composure and frame (as do you!) you can do this with whip, leg and seat drive

    your leg yield, depending on the size of the ring, with a proper Olympic sized ring the leg yield should end at or just before F (starting at C)

    at F use body weight to shift back onto the rail and resume

    your reins during this must be steady, clam, and remain at your waist

    of course, I'm sure you know what a leg yield should look (if not look it up) in terms of what the horses' legs are doing, so remember: the larger the extension of crossing your horse and you perform the higher the marks

    this takes much time and practice, remember to reward your horse! it helps to watch yourself in a mirror if you have one and also video yourself to help improve on things

    if you have any questions about this or any dressage movement add onto this or add me as your contact and i will look for your questions

    i would suggest completing this before your move onto pirouettes

    pirouettes require much leg work from both you and your horse during the movement and collected canter, try this first.

    i hope this helps you! good luck!

    Source(s): i am currently past the prix st georges level, and would have gone to the olympics next year if it weren't for my schooling
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  • 1 decade ago

    While the leg yield is a basic movement found in first level tests, the pirouette is an upper level movement that a low level horse will probably not be doing. Either way, it is all about a weight shift and leg placement. To leg yield to the right, you would place weight in your right seat bone and move the left leg back. The inside or right leg continues to softly push the horse forward. It's usually easiest if you visualize a rope pulling you forward and to the right while you do the movement. Looking to the letter you want to go to is also necessary. Do not over do the leg or you'll end up with the haunches coming in. The leg yield should basically be with a straight body, neck bent slightly to the left. Some common errors are bending the neck too much which allows the shoulder to drop in and then the horse becomes crooked. The other is to not use the inside leg and then the horse goes sideways too much and not forward as well. Doing a leg yield across the diagonal works well if you do a short leg yield, straighten and go forward a few strides, then leg yield again.

    Pirouettes at the walk are created using fist a larger circle. Create haunches in and then ask the horse to basically walk in a smaller circle with the haunches in. The should must move around the outside of the circle with the hind end in the middle of the circle. Doing too small a circle at the beginning can cause the horse to just spin around the hind feet instead of stepping. The hind feet should continue stepping thruout the movement.

    Source(s): Owner/trainer/riding instructor for 30 years. Specializing in Dressage and rider confidence issues.
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  • 1 decade ago

    I usually do leg yield across the diagonal in this way:

    "Open" your inside rein- just bring it slightly away from the neck. Use your outside rein to maintain the straightness of the head and neck. Ask your horse to move away from your outside leg by putting pressure on this leg.

    Another way to practise this is to turn up the 3/4 line and leg yield back to the track in around 3 to 5 paces.

    It is best to practise in walk then progress to trot (usually sitting trot).

    You can keep the movement flowing by keeping your leg on and allowing the horse to move forward.

    If you need more help I suggest having lessons as it is easier to teach dressage when you can actually see the horse and rider moving.

    Good luck

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  • 1 decade ago

    For starters, a pirouette is a very very very very high level maneuver. No basic dressage rider, or basic dressage horse would be capable of performing a pirouette, even a walk pirouette right off the bat. That particular move requires much collection and suppleness, that can take years to develop.

    A leg yield is relatively simple, and something that all horses should learn how to do. The easiest way to start it, is to ride on the 1/4 line, just off the rail. By applying the inside leg at the girth, you strive to get the horse to move sideways to the rail. The bend in his body should be facing the middle of the arena, so there should be a gentle curve around your inside leg. The goal is to get the horse to move laterally, evenly, over to the rail again. His shoulders should not lead, nor should his hind end. It takes a bit of time to develop this, but a leg yeild is a simple maneuver that they will get and figure out easily.

    So, if you are leg yielding to the left, you would be tracking right along the 1/4 line, apply the right leg to the girth - remember to apply & release, apply & release - and the horse will curve around your inside leg (sometimes using a little rein can help - a little inside rein to encourage the inside bend, and a little outside rein to direct the horse over to the rail). His right front leg should cross in front of his left front leg, and the right hind leg should cross in front of the left hind leg. He should not be leading with his shoulders or haunches.

    A leg yeild can be done at the walk, trot, and canter.

    You should not be doing this without the help of an instructor, of course - as with any dressage maneuver.

    The opposite of the leg yeild is a half-pass, which is actually much harder to perform, and should not be attempted without the help of an instructor, and many many many months of solid performance. It is a higher level maneuver, that I think isn't called for until level 3 or 4.

    A pirouette can only be performed at the walk or canter. A walk pirouette is a great way to learn the basics of performing a pirouette - and is a called for move in Dressage, but these moves are for 4th level horses only - it is an advanced display of collection, impulsion, suppleness, and willingness - and should absolutely not be attempted by a beginning rider or horse.

    The idea behind a pirouette is to have the horse in complete collection and attentive to your aides, and on his hind end well, rounded, and with much impulsion. The front end would move around the hind end, and the hind legs will only move so much as though they were locked into a tine 6ft diameter circle.

    This level of collection, control, and performance is truly only acheived through years of training and practice. Start with your 20 meter circles, and stick with those. You can practice spirals, eventually over time getting your horse balanced and steady to a 10-meter circle, but these things take much time and practice - correct riding, balance, and suppleness are key to performing these moves.

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  • 1 decade ago

    This can take years and years to achieve, so sllllow down! The loss of propulsion is the biggest problem, as a horse does a complicated movement the horse has a tendency to slow down and loose propulsion. Additional leg is needed to push the horse through the movement.

    Again, this takes a long time to understand - so be patient with yourself, keep taking lessons, and one day it will happen.

  • 1 decade ago

    I am assuming you are taking lessons? If you are then I would not worry about these moves as of yet. It's all about building blocks and you really need to get the basics down for you and your horse before you start asking for more complicated work. Another good reason for getting the basics down first is that it helps supple and fit your horse for the the increasingly harder movements. When you and your horse are ready to progress your trainer will let you know... if they are worth anything.

    Source(s): Finski Hill Farm
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  • 1 decade ago

    If you go to the British horse society website and look at the register of instructors you should be able to find someone that specialises in teaching dressage in your area. then they would be able to teach you the movements and also see if you if you are getting the correct response from your horse.

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  • 1 decade ago

    If you don't get the answer you want email me and I will ask my neighbor as she does dressage other than that wouldn't a member of a club be able to help you

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