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AskHQ: Leg yield

Q: Why is leg yield not considered a lateral movement?

A: Leg yielding does not belong to the lateral movements, since the horse, whilst being in slight lateral flexion through the jaw should actually show no bend in the body. Lateral movements on the other hand are defined as exercises in which the horse is flexed and bent. In the leg yield the horse moves forwards and sideways at an angle of up to 45 degrees, on two tracks along the long side or in fact on any straight line chosen. In the lateral movements, the horse moves on three or four tracks in a constant forwards-sideways motion. In the leg yield the inner legs cross and step through past the horse’s centre of mass, but in the lateral movements the hind legs step under the centre of mass and take weight. Therefore, leg yielding, whilst a great warm-up exercise is not a true lateral movement. However, it is easily confused with the lateral movements as it is a great tool for introducing horses to the lateral movements.