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How to Teach a Horse to Leg Yield?

how to teach a horse to leg yield


Leg yielding, a popular equestrian exercise, teaches horses to move sideways under command. Horse and rider both benefit from this exercise. It helps develop balance, coordination, and communication skills with horses. It is not difficult to teach a horse to yield his legs. With patience and consistency it can be done in a short time. This article will explain the steps required to teach a horse leg yield.

Steps to Teach Horses to Yield Legs

1. The Basics

Establishing the basics is the first step to teaching a horse how to yield its legs is important. The basics include teaching the horse how to move forward, stop and turn. You will need to use a bit, reins, and a bridle to accomplish this. It is important that your horse feels comfortable with the equipment, and that they understand the commands you are giving. Once you have established the basics, you can teach the horse how to yield to your leg.

2. The Leg Yield

Next, you will need to determine the leg yield. You will first need to move your horse’s hindquarters in the direction you want. You will need to press down on the horse’s hindquarters using your outside leg. You will also need to use your reins in order to direct the horse’s attention in the right direction.

3. Reinforcing the Leg Yield

After the horse is able to move its hindquarters in the direction you desire, you can reinforce the leg yield. When the horse has completed the exercise successfully, reward it with a treat or pat. This will reinforce the horse’s behavior and make it more able to understand what you are asking.

4. The Leg Yield: How to Practice

Practice is the final step to teaching horses to yield their legs. You can do this in many ways. You can also practice this exercise on the ground, by asking the horse to move away or in circles. It is important to be consistent with your commands and to reward the horse for his efforts.


It is easy to teach a horse how to yield its legs. With patience and consistency it is possible. You can teach your horse the basics, reinforce the leg yield and practice the exercise.


How long does it take for a horse to learn to yield its legs?

It all depends on the horse. However, it usually takes several weeks of consistent practice to get a horse to yield to his legs.

Is leg yielding a way to improve balance in horses?

Yes, leg yielding can improve balance and coordination in horses. It can also improve the ability of the rider to communicate with the horse.

Is there another exercise that could help a horse improve its balance?

There are many exercises that can improve a horse’s balance such as shoulder-in, lateral work and half-pass. Visit this site for more information.