How to cue for a lead change and a drop to trot lead change? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 5 Old 08-03-2013, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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How to cue for a lead change and a drop to trot lead change?

I found this article in Horse Illustrated (don't look at this months because this issue was printed in 2006, we keep a lot of our old magazines.) and it was called, "AQHA Team Wrangler Pro Jason Martin gives advice on how to master lead changes in western riding."
But here is the thing - it does not say a word on how to cue for a certain lead, how to change leads, or anything like that. All it says is 1)Understanding the western class, 2)Common problem when changing leads - like slowing down or speeding up, and 3) Practice will make changing leads easier and better.

But where is the part about asking for leads? It's not in there. Have read it over and over again, but I have not found it.

So my question now:
1. How do you ask for the right or left lead?
2. How do you do a correct drop to trot lead change that the horse will understand?
3. How to keep your horse from changing leads? (I couldn't find that in the article either.)

And any other advice you have about leads and changing leads would be great. Thank you, all!!

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post #2 of 5 Old 08-03-2013, 06:37 PM
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When your thoughts and the horse's thoughts about going left or right happen at the same time and there's no resistance or conflict through his body or through the reins and he's traveling balanced, he'll take care of the leads on his own. It's more a matter of allowing it to happen than making it happen. My personal experience in this area has been that until you ride enough, it won't make very much sense. When it begins to make sense, you'll realize that it was never that complicated in the first place. If I could go back a few years to when I was trying really hard to get it, I'd tell myself not to worry about it. Just go out and ride somewhere and try to forget about it. Focus instead on being able to ride well in any direction at any speed, anywhere and you'll be farther ahead of the game, imo.
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Last edited by Ian McDonald; 08-03-2013 at 06:39 PM. Reason: Thought of a better way to end that thought. XD
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-03-2013, 06:45 PM
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I ride english but the basics are the same. To cue for the lead change...shift your weight slightly to the outside and bend the horse slightly to the inside. Put the inside leg at the girth and squeeze with your outside leg behind the girth.

To keep the lead keep the horse properly bent to the inside, keeping your inside leg at the girth. Use leg squeezes to keep up pressure if horse likes to drop out of the canter. This is sort of individual to the horse as to how much pressure..you just need to play with it.

To drop back into the trot, sit deep and stop following with your seat. Use your legs to encourage the horse to come up under themselves while holding the reins (rather than following). Te idea, eventually, is to get the horse to drop back to the trot through sitting deeply on its own so the reins aren't really used. To teach it though you may have to actually put pressure on the bit to give the horse the cue to come down.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-03-2013, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you!

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post #5 of 5 Old 08-07-2013, 11:54 AM
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