How to teach your horse to leg yield from the ground using long-reins

While long-reining is an effective way to help teach a horse the leg and rein aids, it can need some visual aids from the handler to help get the most out of the exercise.

We asked equine therapy centre manager at Hartpury College, Fizz Marshall, 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 quite competetant in your long-reining before you start this exercise,” says Fizz.

Step one

“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.

Step two

“The second 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.

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“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.”

Step three

“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.