Tag Archives: leg aids in dressage

Q12 – Are Your Legs Under Control?

“Nag, nag, nag, nag, nag, nag, nag, … why not give your horse a break and see whether he’ll keep moving if your legs stop flapping – it’s worth a try!”

Legs Artist – Zella Strickland

I am a big believer in putting the leg on and then always immediately off – a squeeze and release.  This assumes that your legs are hanging gently at your horse’s side and only being used when needed and not clamped on for dear life or bump, bump, bumping with every stride.

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less is moreThe Less is More lesson was bought home to me recently.  I have had a succession of instructors that have screamed “MORE LEG”, “PUT YOUR LEG ON” to the point where I had convinced myself that I did not have strong enough legs for the job.  Imagine then what a relief it was to me discover that the better way is:

Leg On, then immediately off.  If you do not get the response, on again and immediately OFF.  When you get the response you want – keep the leg OFF”.

If you don’t, back it up with the whip, but be persistent in the on/off approach.  Not more leg, less leg but more often and just to re-iterate, when you get the response you want – KEEP THE LEG OFF.

Less is More – This was not only a relief to hear but how beautifully it works!

I do not have to clamp my legs onto the horse to keep it going, even when asking for the horse to move away from the leg laterally, its on and off, not constant pressure.  My horse is sharp to the aids and I am less tired.

Throughout this journey I have been continually surprised that my gargantuan efforts have been hindering my progress and less is, without doubt, more.

Patricia – The Dressage Tipster


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