I think changes are one of the tricker things to teach. Some horses get it naturally, some need more encouragement! Some learn with a pole, some don't. (I usually don't use it that often) I've had a few horses that get anxious when you use the pole. Whatever works!
Yeah my shtland jumps sticks that lay on the ground so I couldnt imagine him doing changes over a pole. Haha wouldnt try to with him anyway. No point in it as all he is is a led pony for my brother lol
You should be able to ask a horse to strike off on the straight on any leg you want it too. Picking up the canter in a corner to get the correct leg is for baby's and novices, anything more advanced should be able to pick up the correct leg on the straight.
I dislike this comment. Novice riders should also be able to pick up a lead on a straight away, but sometimes it is easier for a horse to pick it up in a corner or a circle. A newer novice is not going to be able to do this either as there are still other things more important that they are trying to accomplish. Plus, you learn what your coach teaches you. If your coach tells you to pick up canters in the corner, then that is most likely what you are going to do until they tell you differently.
Velvets baby's refers to baby/novice horses. A horse that has half decent schooling should be able to pick up the correct canter lead on the straight with a decent rider.
My baby pony will be broken in january, I will expect correct canter leads on a corner or circle from him when I get him back in march. I will expect him to get it on the straight (when asked correctly, with correct bend) by the end of the show season so october time.
Novice riders may not be able to pick up on canter leads straight away but I do think that being able to ask for the correct lead on any rein at any time is just as important if not more so then diagonals in trot. I concider correct canter leads one of the basics of riding. I was taught right from the get go that there was no point getting canter if it wasnt on the correct leg. The reason coaches ask novice riders to do it on a circle or a corner is that when going round the corner the horse should have correct bend without the rider doing anything and thus should fall onto the correct leg.
Once you can sit the canter then you should be focusing on correct bends and getting the horse to strike off UP into canter on the correct leg rather then to fall through its shoulder into canter because it can't trot any faster!