In last month’s article on the “ABC’s”, Kyra Kyrklund discussed displacing the horse’s shoulders laterally — the so called “box turn.” Another of Kyra’s fundamental exercises is the leg yield. In the beginning, she counsels, just be sure you can move the horse sideways. Initially, don’t be over-concerned about which way the horse is looking or if he is on the bit. As the term indicates, your basic goal is to be sure that the horse YIELDS to the LEG.
With each horse that Kyra Kyrklund rides or instructs from the ground, she has a set of expectations the horse ought to fulfill – reactions she expects from him in response to individual basic aids. Without these proper responses, it is unreasonable to think that more complicated combinations of aids will work the way they are designed to. Kyra calls the test of these basic aids her “ABC”s. Understand that whether the horse’s obedience to these aids needs to be reinforced is immediately evident to a rider like Kyra as soon as she gets on. If you are less experienced, you may need to go through the whole routine more often, as much asking your horse the questions to observe his reactions, not just to reinforce his responses.