Long-reining can be used to teach the horse to leg yield without a rider on board. The first few attempts will need an extra assistant on the ground and the horse must be confident with the basic long-reining techniques and commands before attempting this exercise.
We asked Fizz Marshall, while she was working as equine therapy centre manager at Hartpury College, to guide us through how to teach a horse to leg yield from the ground while working on long-reins.
“There are three main steps to doing this and you need to be competent in your long-reining skills before you start this exercise,” says Fizz.
“First of all I ask the horse to walk keeping a straight line, not asking them to move over at all, travelling nice and forwardly, and evenly in the hand,” she says.
”The next phase is to bring a handler in to walk besides the horse at girth level,” Fizz explains. “They will place their hand just behind where the girth is, almost where your inside leg would be if you were asking for leg yield when you were riding.
“The driver gives a little tap with the inside long-rein and holds the outside long-rein to ask the horse to move over, whilst positioning themselves slightly outside of the horse on a straight line.”
“We’ll do the above a couple of times and then we’ll take the handler away, keep my position the same and use the inside long rein to move the horse over,” says Fizz.
Who is Fizz Marshall?
Fizz has an MA in equine business management and BSc (Hons) in equine science, as well as years of experience working with competition horses across the disciplines. She continues to ride and work with horses from the ground and has a particular interest in the rehabilitation, re-education and training of sport horses.