horse moves his shoulder too much
and his hip not enough (the most common problem), you might also need
to close your right hand a bit and/or
close the right leg to block your horse’s
shoulder and let his hip catch up.
Make sure you release the cue and
praise your horse at the very moment
you get a response; start small and
build. The release is the reward.
Praise, then ask again. You’ll get a better response each time this way.
JULIE GOODNIGH T shares her lessons
on her RFD-TV show, Horse Master (also
online at tv.juliegoodnight.com), and through
clinics and expos. HEIDI MELOCCO (www.
whole-picture.com) is a lifelong horsewoman,
equine journalist, and photographer.
At the same time you apply the indirect rein with your left hand, move
your right rein away from the horse’s shoulders to “open the door” to the
right while your left seat bone and left leg shift in toward your horse’s side
to “close the door” to the left. Your right seat bone and leg are an open door.
Keep your active leg (left) in the middle position to start—applying pulsating pressure exactly where your leg naturally falls. Move your leg in time
with the horse’s legs. Apply pressure when your leg naturally falls against
the horse’s side, in time with the movement of the horse’s barrel.
/ Troubleshooting /
Once you’re moving forward and sideways, you’ll need to adjust your cues
depending on how your horse responds. You want the horse to stay straight
in his body (facing 12 o’clock) while moving sideways toward 2 o’clock.
If your horse moves his shoulder to the right and just starts walking a
straight line to 2 o’clock, apply the indirect rein behind the withers: lift your
left hand up, in and back toward your belly button. That rein aid will help
the horse move his hip instead of the shoulders.
Moving your left leg back will also ask the horse to move his hip more. If the
Once the horse is moving for ward and to the side
in near-equal parts, you can see that he uses his
full-body engagement to perform the move. The
horse’s left hind leg reaches up under the belly in
a true leg-yield.