The Power of Walk


Sit down with a nice cup of tea and have a read of Diana's latest horsey posts.

Why I love leg yield

Feb 05, 2024
Multiple images of Icelandic pony in different stages of leg yield

Leg yield is such a good exercise for balance and suppling. It really supports the horse to explore their balance in the whole body by transferring weight from leg to leg, sideways as well as forward. They can also explore the range of motion adducting and abducting each limb.In slow walk, the horse can gradually expand the range of movement and explore balance. They can safely pause to process, building new neural pathways for long term change.The benefits in trot are not the same because it is harder for the horse to change compensation patterns. Being higher impact and faster, the horse must protect their body by moving in a way they are accustomed to. Also, change is more difficult because each diagonal pair can only move as much as the least flexible leg in the pair.Once the changes have taken place and consolidated in walk over time, the changes will also be seen in trot, without any need to work specifically on the trot. This is much gentler on the body.The photo shows the sequence of leg yield in slow walk, how the front and hinds adduct and abduct, and how the weight is transferred between the legs with each step.

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