Dissecting Leads and Flying Changes! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-05-2010, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Dissecting Leads and Flying Changes!

So I have recently become aware of the fact that I have a bit of a gap in my riding knowledge. I've been riding dressage nearly 12 years and doing quite well, but I've been riding primarily our two horses who (bless their souls) always pick up the correct lead. I haven't ever formally been taught to do a flying lead change, either.

Since coming to college, I've been plunked on a wide variety of horses, some of whom don't agree that it's always good to pick up the correct lead and are so good at counter canter that they'll have me fooled for a while before I figure out I'm on the wrong lead. Part of it is that I just need to be paying a bit more attention, but any tips for exactly what I should be paying attention to? Is it accurate to say that when you're on the right lead, your right hip will feel slightly ahead of your left? Or do I have it mixed up?

Also... flying changes. Are the cues different in dressage as opposed to huntseat/western pleasure? Lately I've been riding mostly horses trained in huntseat and western pleasure, I've never been taught a formal flying change, and I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing... though most people in the huntseat and western pleasure world seem to think it strange that I'm such a capable rider and don't know how to do a flying change.
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-05-2010, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
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I'm not sure about the hip thing. As all the horses I've ridden for a while have ask for the lead and they'll get it.

For lead changes it depends on the horse. All my horses will do them automatically with a simple weight shift while balancing them through turns to the new lead. Some horses learn by simply stepping on the outside stirrup of the new canter or squeezing with the inside of the new canter into the outside rein. Really just think of whatever the cue as asking for a new canter, since that is what you are essentially doing. You just want to jump into the new bend.
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post #3 of 3 Old 12-05-2010, 05:42 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Some times Llanelian - North wales, sometimes Hull in East Yorkshire (UK)
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to get the correct lead you need good quality trot with the correct bend, put your outside leg back and the horse SHOULD strike off correctly if the bend and the quality of the trot is right.

Changing leads depends on what the horse has been taught, stan was taught that leg back on the left means strike off on the right lead and vice versa. He would always strike off on the lead you indicated, to change leads all you had to do was put your leg back and he would strike off onto that leg whether he was in canter already or not.

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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