Posted by: ivyschex | February 19, 2012

Diary: two days of lateral work

February 18, 2012

I worked with Jackson again for an hour and a half. The first half hour was on liberty work, just playing around, mainly working on liberty piaffe, with me in front of Jackson.

Then I hopped on Jackson and rode for a while. I spent doing some legs yields at the walk, focusing on inside leg to outside rein. I also focused on “riding the base of the neck,” it helped me not over bend Jacksons while leg yielding. Jackson does better leg yielding to the right than to the left, so I did spend more time working to the left. I used the clicker to really reward Jackson when he got and did it smoothly.

Once he started getting it at the walk, I began doing it and then transitioning to the trot, asking for a few steps of the leg yield, then going back to the walk. This went very well on a left bend and not as well on right bend. I found that going from leg yield in the walk to leg yield in the trot helped Jackson understand it a little better.

Then I would do a leg yield on a circle at the trot, once Jackson untracked, I would ask for a lot more forward, then back to a slower trot and leg yield again. I am trying to use transitions more; it is slow, but I am getting there!

After doing that in both directions, I worked on doing some trot/canter/trot transitions. I think it went well, but without a video, I do not know for sure.

February 19, 2012

I worked with Jackson for about an hour. I started with just a little bit of liberty to warm up, then moved on to mounted work. I had a couple of things to work on and try.

Julie Williams gave me suggestion for working on leg yielding. She said to try holding both reins in just one hand (outside) and let the other arm hang loosely at my side. I tried this and had a little bit of success. Jackson was still stiffer leg yielding to the left, so I spend more time on that. I work at the walk first, to help him learn, and then, once he seemed to get it, I moved on to the trot. I do think doing it one handed did help.

Then I did another thing that was recommended: I did more transitions. 😀 At the trot, I asked him to leg yield/untrack then I let him go straight or on a slight curve and go forward, after about 5 strides, he would lose his balance and I would ask him to slow down and untrack again, then forward again. I think this went well. I know, I know, a lot of my friends are going, “At last! She is getting it!” *grin*

I also did a few trot/canter/trot transitions. I would ask him to leg yield on the circle at the trot and then go right into a canter for about three or four strides and then back to trot and right into another leg yield. I do not know if this is all correct or not, but I got some pretty good transitions, and one that felt great!

I also did a few trot/walk/trot transitions, trying to get a good downward transition. I think there was success there too! What more can anyone ask?!

I also learned a few other things which I will put in another article.



  1. For some riders, what helps even more is to teach lateral work at walk, then at trot….without stirrups. Doing this consistently will refine the leg and seat influences and the horse’s response to them, and reduce the rider’s reliance on hands. I had a snag in the progress of an advancing medium horse with canter half-pass last month. Scratching my head, it dawned on me to question myself…my self as perceived by a horse is, of course, my position in the saddle. SO next ride, I dropped stirrups for canter work, shaped the horse by my position, and voila…the movement unfolded!
    I must rememebr to write about this for the readers of

    • Christopher, thanks so much for that comment. I will try it!

Leave a Reply to Christopher Hyams Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: