Leg Yield In, Half Pass Back.
This exercise is quite difficult, but the benefits are huge! If done correctly it becomes like a dance, in from the track to the quarterline in Leg Yield and back from the quarterline to the track in Half Pass. your horse maintains the same relative bend, however, he changes the legs that cross over in front, first moving away from the left leg, then the right leg, etc.
Track right from A into the corner by K and change the bend to the left, leg yield (right) in a couple strides and then half pass (left) back to the track, try to arrive just before E and straighten for a stride or two and then repeat from E to H, go large and repeat down the other longside. Try and ride this pair of “in and backs” closer to the quarterline before returning to the track.
Change rein “into the corner”, that is from A ride a half Volte left toward K and then back to A. Now tracking left on the longside ride a mirror of the “in and back” from F leg yielding (left) in and half pass (right) back to the track just before B, straighten and repeat between B and M. Now, go large and ride one more pair of “in and out” down the next longside between H and E and E and K.
By now you should have your horse in a good medium walk, bending easily left and right, haunches should be better engaged and if you are like most people I teach, tired mentally and physically!
As always, if you feel your horse losing the desire to go forward or straight at any point in the above exercises, do not hesitate to walk some straight lines, and even free walk can be good. For some of you this might be more work than you do in a whole schooling session so listen to your horse, he will teach you. Take a break free walking straight and forward and come back to the point you left off at and continue on.
The walk warm up is completed and now we will work on continuing the warm up at the trot in my next article. At the trot I tend to stretch lateral first and then longitudinal. The trot warm up I use is the same pattern as the walk warmup. I like to use the trotting pole grid for longitudinal stretching and trot to canter to trot transitions. That will be the next exercise that I share with you.