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I'm in trouble :/

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        10-30-2013, 02:26 PM
      #11
    Trained
    I usually give the horses a solid 12 months from starting the changes before expecting a clean solid change every time.
    A week is a bit extreme.

    There are a few exercises to try. From a left lead canter, begin a left half pass and slowly turn it into a leg yield (ie, flexed to the right) but without the horse scooting out through the left side. The body should be parallel to the longside of the arena. Then ask for the change and continue the LY for another few strides.
    As well from a counter canter (ie right lead) do a loop off the wall, not quite to the center of the arena, and as you begin turning right back to the wall, ask for the change to left lead and continue turning right.

    Those are my go tos for a late change. You also might need to consider that the horses aren't ready for changes quite yet.
    I agree that young horses and deadlines don't go together.

    Good luck!
         
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        10-30-2013, 02:28 PM
      #12
    Started
    Change leads over a ground pole - basically tricks them into getting the right lead and that inside hind leg HAS to stretch under them to make it over the pole, and before they realize it, they are on the correct lead! Sometimes, you have to be tricksy.
    I did it with Squiggy the other day and she didnt crossfire once! Even when I made her turn in a pretty tight circle right after she got the lead, which is quite often when she does get flustered and crossfires for no reason.

    I did it with her transition from a trot to a lope, but it works the same for a change. Your timing has to be spot on though, but I don't think its something you can't handle.
         
        10-30-2013, 02:36 PM
      #13
    Foal
    I agree with Ian. These things take time and horses will learn what they learn in their own amount of minutes, whether you and your boss like it or not. If you're riding these two with that anticipation of "deadline, end of week" though, you're probably not helping yourself. Remember to breathe and remind yourself that any stress you carry can be picked up by your horse.

    I'm just curious, what happens when your horse does pick up the wrong lead? Like what do you do?
         
        10-30-2013, 05:41 PM
      #14
    Trained
    That depends...The filly who isn't changing, I pick her up and slow her down (She rushes when she crossfires) and she then switches her hind. If she actually changes, instead of crossfiring, she doesn't rush at all.

    The colt, I roll my spur or break him to the trot/walk if I have to. Whatever I have to do to correct it. Once they do get it, I go ahead and relax.



    I did get the colt to change today though. He crossfired the first time, then I kinda just screwed around with it and I found by over-exaggerating my inside rein he would lift up and change. I've spent so long trying to get his hip soft that if I mess with that too much now he gets irritated. He's a very kinda horse so I only do what is necessary without picking on him.

    The filly however, we got one change to the right and never did get changed to the left. She is terribly stiff. I always have to spend extra time bending her, and even after that I don't think she's ever going to be as flexible as some.

    The two colts that are already changing have proved to be wonderful. I have a roan filly and a bay filly, both will change on the straight if I asked them too.

    I agree with you guys that colts shouldn't have deadlines - But in the cowhorse industry they have to be ready to go at a young age. It shouldn't take this long to teach a change, imo, and I can see how the boss is getting frustrated but I also think that these horses in particular are just going to be difficult. They've had more cow work than the other two, and less dry work, so they aren't quite as refined which is where I think the problem lies...
         

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