Saturday, February 26, 2011

Use a Riding Crop, or Spurs or..... What?

When I find a gem of information or a great question that is asked of me by someone, I can't help sometimes by passing it along here - for you!

You are riding your horse and find that repeatedly the horse is leaning on your leg.
They are fadding out. Your circles are getting bigger and bigger. Or you're moving towards the gate - closer and closer each time. You're using your reins to move the horse back to where they should be instead of using your leg...

Yet you know you are using your outside leg to ask them not to lean on your leg.
Or using your leg closest to the gate to prevent them from going there.

Are you with me so far? Does this seem familiar?
What do you do 'cause it ain't working.

Since you've been trying everything you know how to do...
and it's not working...Are you perhaps feeling frustrated like the commenter Sparkling?

Do you use a riding crop to make the horse listen to your leg cue? Or use it instead of your leg cue? I've seen that happen.
Or do you decide to use spurs to get the horse to listen to your leg better?

Or what? 

Is there something else that could be used instead? 
 Answer is:...Groundwork!

If you have tried everything under saddle you have in your tool kit to try to fix the leg yield problem, I don't believe that going to a crop or spurs is the answer. A crop or spurs are for refining your communication, not as a correction. <- This is important! I encourage you to reread this statement.

So the issue, in this case, is the horse not listening to your leg - not leg yielding (it could be other things too), so it's time to go back to groundwork exercises to teach or refresh the horse's memory about moving off your level of leg pressure.

So? Did you guess it right? - Good for you! :)

Putting my spin on fixing a leg yielding problem using Groundwork!
@KISS Reiners


  1. The leg yield is my one true nemesis that I cannot master. I get the concept in my brain. I can tell you what it is all about. I can occasionally do it. But it's rare. And so very frustrating!!!

  2. Hay Sparkling.... Have you tried mastering it on the ground first before under saddle?

    It can be very frustrating sometimes, for sure.

    When I find things frustrating I always go back to basic body control or western dressage and then if that doesn't work then I got back to my groundwork.