flying lead changes!!! HELP! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-12-2009, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Smile flying lead changes!!! HELP!

im putting the final training touches on my horse. i want to start him jumping next summer...but one thing he has to know first is flying lead changes! only problem...i have know clue how to teach him. i know how to ask for them just not teach them. could anyone help?? and yes i have a trainer but i want to do this. i want to finish him myself and not have someone do it for me. i want him to be trained my way!!! so can anyone help me PLEASSEE!!
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-13-2009, 12:33 AM
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Start by putting a small jump in the middle your arena or wherever you ride.. And Ride figure 8's with the jump in the middle, making him change lead every time he goes over the jump.. Give him the aids for a flying change and eventually take the jump to just a pole on the ground.. And then take it away.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-13-2009, 07:17 AM
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I would like to hear what the aids are??? How do you get a flying change if the horse was trained? How would you go about asking??
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-13-2009, 08:50 AM
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you could jump before flying changes because if you are looking were you are going over a jump your horse should automatically change leads
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-13-2009, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by savvylover112 View Post
you could jump before flying changes because if you are looking were you are going over a jump your horse should automatically change leads
This doesn't tell how you ask for a lead?? Unless it is clear in your own head exactly how you ask then how to do expect the horse to know. Jumping, turning him in the air forcing him to land on a certain lead is not asking for a lead.
Yes you are getting the lead but how???
What are the steps in asking??
Does the lead change come from the legs? the reins? or the butt???
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-13-2009, 09:13 AM
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Just looking at the next jump won't teach your horse to do flying changes. You might get lucky but if your horse isn't trained to do flying or auto changes than the chances of that working are slim to none.
And it still wouldn't teach him anything. I agree with RiosDad.

I give myself very good advice, But I very seldom follow it
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-13-2009, 09:26 AM
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Not sure if this will even help the OP but this is how I get them. Never late behind, never got cross canter but good clean changes.

You must assume that at the point of trying this I had a comfirmed canter on both leads and could do counter canter at a reasonable degree of collection. In other words not perfect CC but certainly good enough to hold it around corners.

I never try to get flying changes from the trot to canter or canter to canter. The possibility of cross-canter, rushing and an unbalanced canter is too likely to happen.

My preference is walk to canter or halt to canter and I think you will find that a disunited canter is EXTREMELY rare under these circumstances.

I also keep in the back of my mind that horse are notorious for learning something in certains areas of the arena and once done in a certain place and way will repeat that pattern over and over again.

That being said I simply teach the horse a pattern.

I will canter a few strides then walk,then counter canter a few strides then walk. I will repeat this exercise for as long as it takes. I usually start on a circle and the amount of canter strides is unimportant in the beginning. If the horse gets excited (some do) then go on with something else and try again later in the ride or another day.

When the horse accepts the back forth pattern on the circle go anywhere in the arena and I find the straight side is very good. In some cases the horse may respond better on the straight side first before the circle and that is also OK.

Slowly shorten the number of canter strides between each change of lead. If you can "feel" your horse you will almost "know" that the horse is ready for the first change from the counter-canter to the regular canter and if it is done on a curve (corner) you have a very good chanch of getting a clean change (front and back). Go back to your "pattern" and wait for the next "opportunity". I prefer at this time to try to go to the halt canter to halt--then counter-canter halt---canter halt--etc, Again when the opportunity offers itself the flying change from the counter canter. It is impotrant to ensure that the horse is walking or halted and not rushed back to the opposite lead too soon. The length of time between each canters are shortened as you go along and the possibility of 2 changes could be possible.

I am sure that you understand that you will need to switch direction from left to right rein so that your counter-canter opportunities will able to be exercised on both leads.
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-13-2009, 09:40 AM
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Great post Spyder, this info might help as well:

"In order to signal your performance horse for a flying lead change at the canter, you’ll need to shift your weight to the opposite direction of the lead you want him to switch. For example, if your horse is tracking right at the canter and you want to switch him to the left lead, you’ll want to shift your weight to the right. You might also add pressure with your right leg behind the girth to shift his hindquarters left."

Read more:

I essentially got my mare to do flying changes by just riding a figure 8 and "re asking" for the canter with same aids I would if I were asking for the canter from the walk. So whatever cues you use now to get the right lead or the left lead do the same as you come to the center of the figure 8 and change direction.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-13-2009, 10:12 AM
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There are several ways to teach a horse to do a flying lead change. Spyder's method is a good one, and so is lovemyponies. One time I taught a horse to do a flying change, we went around the arena in a figure 8 pattern, cantering the loopy parts, trotting in the middle, and then picking up the canter again. It's much the same as what Spyder said, except from the trot. We started taking less trot strides between the canters and eventually she just changed leads.

I also just want to point out that horses will do a flying lead change in the wild.

You can teach a horse to do a flying lead change over a jump as well. It takes a balanced horse and rider though. You can't just canter to a jump and yank your horse to one side and expect him to change. The horse has to come up smoothly [it's easier at an angle, like a figure 8,] and then while you're over the jump, shift your weight, look, and aid for the canter in the other direction just like you would when asking for it in the first place. Your horse will have to pick a lead one way or another, and if he takes the wrong one, bring him down to a balanced trot and ask for the lead you want. If you continue in this pattern, your horse will learn to do a flying lead change over a jump.

It's just important that your cue for a flying lead change is really just a cue to canter from the other lead. My canter cue for the left lead is a half halt, right leg back, sometimes a little left leg at the girth to "give her gas." My cue for the right lead would be just the opposite, left leg back, right leg at the girth. I never ever EVER ask for a canter from a bad trot. My horse isn't ready for a flying lead change, but if she were doing them, the cue would be the same to ask for the canter, but now, I'd be asking for the other lead.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

Last edited by riccil0ve; 08-13-2009 at 10:14 AM.
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-13-2009, 01:24 PM
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Maybe this will help too.

The canter starts with the inside hind leg (so if you want the right lead, the right rear leg has to be the push off). When I am ready I sit with my butt pressing on the side I want, wait for her hind foot to hit and then lift with it. At the same time I also have my lead shoulder slightly up and forward and I bump with my outside leg when her feet are in the position to change.

I will usually ride straight for a few strides to feel her rhythm so I can time it right.
You will soon be able to feel it and just shift your weight and she will switch.

Once you are ready you will be able to shift your weight back and forth and do flying leads every step down a straight away - really cool.
Pole pattern and serpentines are also good patterns to work on.

My horses have done so well on dac that I became a rep. Stand behind 'em 110%.
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