Lead Changes

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Lead Changes

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    04-01-2011, 11:19 AM
Lead Changes

I'm wanting to teach my mare how to do a lead change. We ride both english and western, so either style of doing it would be fine. A few years ago all I had to do was switch my leg pressure and tell her "switch" and she'd do it. She was not taught to do that as I have done most of her training myself. I was shocked she picked it up. Now though she seems to have "forgotten" and since I don't know how she learned to do it I can't reteach her. I mostly saddle break horses and work with basic problem, so I don't know much about "specialized" maneuvers. Any help would be great. If I try to lead change her now. I change my leg position, try to create a little lift in her front end. Then cluck. She may pick it up, but mostly just picks up speed. She'll do it on her own if I do small circles,but i'm sure that's because she has to,not because I asked her to. Please any help would be nice, I'm not showing her or anything,but I do think this maneuver would come in handy.
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    04-01-2011, 11:48 AM
Ok, so you are probably going to get a bunch of responses but i'll try to help a bit.
Riding english:

One method I used was to canter in a circle and go diagonally across the ring. When I reached the corner that is when I would ask for the opposite lead. Changing the bend sit back and apply the correct leg aids. (ask in the corner)

Another method:
You could lay a ground poll diagonally across the center of the arena. Canter over it and when going over it ask for the lead change.

Another way:
Start with figure eights cantering the outsides and trotting the diagonals. Once your horse knows what is coming(the opposite canter at every end) try asking for the lead change across the center. It may take a couple times and some one trot simple changes before he gets it but that may work.

So you know, the arena I have is way smaller than a normal arena so you may want to use a portion of your space depending on your horses stride.
Good luck!
    04-01-2011, 01:40 PM
I guess I should probably have asked What is the proper way to ask for a lead change too?? From a trot I can ask her to pickup her left or right lead and she will. Which ever I want. I can even get her to counter canter. I'm not sure how to ask for a change though.

Thanks for the help!
    04-01-2011, 01:56 PM
I literally use the same cue from a trot canter transition to ask for the flying change. Only difference is you are already cantering...hope that makes more sense.
    04-01-2011, 02:07 PM
Thanks. Here's a nother question in refernce to lead changes. Would it be best to have her collect when I ask/ start to teach her. So that her weight is more balanced?
    04-01-2011, 02:59 PM
Absolutely, collection is key. If she is balanced on both leads then the transition will be much easier for her because she will be able to reach from behind and power the change.
(though I have done flying changes when not collected, he is much more responsive and more easily does the change when in a nice frame.)
    04-01-2011, 03:01 PM
*being in the correct frame let her use all her muscles effectively.
    04-01-2011, 03:13 PM
    04-01-2011, 03:53 PM
You know jwells Parelli has got a very good DVD sucess series lead changes that explains things really well. This is one of those things that is really hard to explain with words. The DVD is $50 and well worth it.
    04-01-2011, 04:00 PM
Thanks i'll look into it. I have one from John/Josh Lyons,but it's hard to follow, and it may just be sliding stops and roll backs, not sure I haven't watched it in a long time.

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