How to ask for flying change? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-31-2010, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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How to ask for flying change?

My last horse didn't know how to do a flying lead change, and my trainer never taught me how to ask for it. If the horse is experienced and knows how to perform a change, how do you ask for it?
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-31-2010, 01:39 PM
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I was always taught (assuming the horse already knows how to do it) to slow the horse ever so slightly (but not breaking the gait), then put your leg on to ask for the opposite lead.

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post #3 of 6 Old 12-31-2010, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Does it matter if it's outside leg or inside leg? Or both? =/
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-31-2010, 01:46 PM
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Well, say if you're cantering on your right lead, and you turn and want to ask for a flying change (so your right leg is your inside leg, left is outside). You'd slow, then put your left leg on and right leg slightly back, the way you'd ask the horse to pick up the left lead if you weren't already cantering.

I'd wait and see for others to reply. I'm not entirely sure if that's the right way, seeing as I've only ever done flying changes a few times, and it was mostly the horse who picked them up herself. That's just sort of what I gleaned from my instructor explaining it to me in lessons.

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post #5 of 6 Old 12-31-2010, 02:06 PM
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The way I was taught was basically (if you were cantering right) keep a controlled and balanced canter then simply ask for the horse to canter left (left leg on and right leg back) and then continue. Once the lead changes start to get more difficult (things like tempi's) the rider doesn't have to move their legs as much and just have to move their hips, pointing to the shoulder that will be leading (this happens automatically when you ask for the canter as I have already stated). This, of course, doesn't always work when trying to teach the horse to change leads, for example, every stride.

"You know, for as long as I can remember, I've had memories." ~Colin Mochrie
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-31-2010, 10:04 PM
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Everyone's giving you pretty sound advice. I'd just like to add that with many well trained hunters all you really have to do is "step" to the outside as you're rounding a corner or basically shift your weight there, so actually asking for it on some of these horses is overkill. I know a mare who will do beautiful changes if you just step, but will kick put if you actually ask in the traditional way for a canter. They are trained that way because they want it to look as effortless at possible to the judges.
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