The purpose of the “leg yield”  is to be the building block for engagement and half pass. The “leg yield”  is designed to teach the horse to move away from the leg without losing forward impulsion. This is one of the most important exercises in creating balance and straightness while establishing the aids for advancing to the lateral movements. Due to the purpose of the “leg yield”, it is only offered in First Level to confirm that the horse and rider have established correct balance and understanding of the “leg yield” aid.

The horse must learn how to direct its legs laterally, without collapsing through its barrel. The “leg yield” not only develops the horse to be obedient to the idea of yielding to the leg, but also helps it develop the musculature and balance to engage and strengthen its hind end. It is extremely important that the rider does not allow or cause the horse to collapse through the rib cage for this will cause the horse to disengage its haunches and “drift” to the rail versus, pushing. Straightness, as always, is the priority, with the “crossing over” developing slowly as the horse has learned to engage the haunches as it yields in either direction. As the horse becomes more comfortable with the “leg yield” aid, he will then be prepared and willing to do the Half Pass.