lead changes - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-16-2009, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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lead changes

we have been working on lead changes for a year and a half now, and my horse HATES them! he objects every time we ask! we have conquered the right, and now we just have the left! he is good with everything else, but for some he reason he just hates the left change! any tips?
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-16-2009, 08:43 PM
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Do you have someone helping you? Having someone on the ground is SO helpful for lead changes. They can sometimes see something that you can't feel. Have you used poles set off the corner to start with? Ask for the change over the pole. Do this on a regular basis and be consistent with it. Make sure he stays slow and straight to the pole. Don't let him rush it or fall in becuase then he will miss it for sure. If he does miss it over the pole, don't make a big deal about it. Just get the skip and then go about your business. He should start to get the idea, then you can add a real change in here and there after he has mastered the pole. Make sure to keep the same process without the pole as you had with it. Note: Some horses just physically can't do lead changes or can do one but not the other.
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-17-2009, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the advice! i do have a trainer and i have tried poles just not a lot...we have already made progress with the right, he just doesnt like the left (its obviously his bad way)

***we know he can do them because he always does the change...but with the left he usually kicks out and right after changes his lead...we just want to eliminate the kicking part but that will come with time i guess just like the right***
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-17-2009, 09:25 AM
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It might be an idea to get his back checked. A friend's daughter's jumping pony wouldn't pick up a left lead (coincidence - it could just have easily been the right one), and when they had the chiropracter in they discovered a problem. Once he'd been treated he picked up the left load OK. Just a thought....
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-17-2009, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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he did have a sore back we got him checked...but hes good to go now!!! he also had really bad worms and was lethargic...but both of those things are long gone now (they were part of the problem and it helped a little bit once they were gone) i ride with a back pad just in case and i usually massage his back before or after riding and when i groom i try to work into him like a massage...personally i think this problem is all about time b/c after a while the right lead was fixed too! thanks for the advice!!!
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-17-2009, 12:36 PM
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Have you had him looked at by a chiropractor? He could have something wrong with his back or hips that is making changing leads uncomfortable. I would also have the chiropractor check your saddle fit and placement.

Aside from that, I would take some lessons with a Dressage trainer and work on your position and his balance, as well as your "feel" for his strides. A horse can't preform nice changes unless both horse and rider are balanced, and the horse is asked at the proper time in the stride.
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-17-2009, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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thanks! the vet did check him for everything, i gotta new saddle that fits perfect, and we work on it in lessons most of the time so now i just need to be patient...and like you said we need to especially work on balance!
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