Lead Changes

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Lead Changes

This is a discussion on Lead Changes within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Pony changes leads only in front
  • Horse skip lead changes

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    02-08-2012, 05:37 PM
Lead Changes

So I have been working with my mare lately on flying lead changes. We tried to start learning them about a year ago but kind of put it on the back burner while we dealt with other training ideas. Before, she didn't really have the hind end to get a change and would only do it with exaggerated movements over a fence. We spent a lot of time teaching her to sit and wait at the fences and are now comfortably jumping 3' courses, and can clear anything from any distance. I say this to emphasize that she definitely has the sitting and waiting down and the hind end power to do flying lead changes, without resting too much on her forehand.

Anywho, we've spent the last few weeks practicing flying changes over cavalettis with medium success. She didn't always get it, but once she figured out what we were doing, she sort of settled into it. We moved on to poles and are now just doing them without anything. If I set her up correctly and have her collected enough, I can almost always get her to change her front lead without issue. However, she has not once been able to change her back lead without the help of at least a cavaletti. I can get her to skip the back only 2-4 strides after the front changes, without breaking to a trot, but I'm looking for any hints anyone might have to help me get the full change when I ask for it. Any suggestions are welcome!! Please help and thank you in advance!
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    02-11-2012, 12:25 AM
So your saying she is cross firing?
    02-11-2012, 01:01 AM
I believe what she is saying is cross firing.


What I would start by doing is unsticking that hip. Just because she is fit enough in the hind end, doesn't necessarily mean her hip is "unstuck", per se. My trainer used to pull this on me all the time. Every part of the body needs to lose that "Stickiness".

I would take her down to "slow" again. Practice forehand turns. Frame her up at the walk and press her hip in at a 45 degree angle to the fence. Do 90 degree expanded forehand turns. Really get it loosened up. Then, try the change again after she gets really responsive. She will start pushing her hip to the inside more instead of just trying to cheat you and change the front end.

cross canter, lead changes, leads

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