How to change leads? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-30-2009, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Question How to change leads?

How do you change leads? I mean, I don't ride competitevely so I don't necessarily pay attention to my horses' leads. He's gaited, and we ride Western. How do you change leads?
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-08-2009, 06:11 PM
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K i dont know anything about gaited or western but for english if you want to change leads you can go from canter to trot and ask for the correct lead or you can do a flying change
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-08-2009, 06:27 PM
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Or canter-walk-canter ;) (simple changes)

It depends what you mean by changing leads, are you refering to flying changes, where the horse continues cantering but 'jumps' across to the other lead, or through simple changes where the gaited it changed then canter is picked up again on the different lead?
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-08-2009, 07:57 PM
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I assume you are talking about flying changes. First you need a saddle for control. You need to first teach the horse leads or which one you want by simply using your left leg behind the girth for the right lead and the right leg behind the girth for the left lead. Get him strong in that first.
Flying changes come from your butt. If the horse is on his left lead and I want a flying change to the right I sit down in the saddle, get the rythm , put my right leg behind the girth to reinforce the lead and when I feel the horse in the middle of a stride I flip my but to the right and at the same time take my right leg off and flip over to my left leg on.
Again you feel the stride with your butt and a flying change comes from you butt and the shift of the legs.
Left leg for right lead, right leg for left lead.
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-08-2009, 08:41 PM
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Ok if we're going down the flying changes path, changes don't come easily to alot of horses and if you're not sure of the footfalls in canter and in perfect balance, more than likely you'll end up with a disunited canter.
I start changes by first teaching walk-canter and canter-walk transitions. They get the horse far more clued into your aids in canter, and will lighten the forehand (flying changes are just about impossible if the horse is on the forehand). They are also used frequently in many dressage tests before you start flying changes.
Once you have walk to canters, canter to walks dowpat, start riding them with a shorter walk gap between the canters, so go canter-walk. Walk for 4 strides then canter again on the same lead. Soon you'll master them enough to get one stride of walk in between canters. When you can get one or two walk strides in, you can start having a go at changing rein (simple changes). So canter a nice big circle, keeping the canter balanced, soft and steady, then ask for a walk transition, while gently feeling your new outside rein (currently inside) and putting your new inside leg (currently outside leg) on. The walk should come immediately, change your bend and ask for canter the other way. If you're doing it well, you'll be able to get simple changes with one stride of walk between canters without a problem. THEN you can start thinking about learning flying changes ;)
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-10-2009, 03:05 AM
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-11-2009, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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I don't mean flying lead changes, just simple lead changes. My horse was well-trained by his breeder before my family bought him, so he should know lead changes. I just don't know if I have to cue him into changing leads or if he changes leads naturally.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-11-2009, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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I'll try to take a video riding in a circle and post it here
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