Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
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.