For most horses flying lead changes are easier than simple changes. You see horses just switch leads running out in the field naturally. With simple changes the horse has to break into a trot, rebalanced then pick up a canter, then balance in the canter again. With that being said, teaching your horse simple changes first is a good thing. It helps them become more balanced. Although you shouldn't introduce lead changes until the horse is balanced on all four feet at the canter.
How do you know if they're balanced? One indicator is if they don't run to pick up the canter. Horses run to pick up a canter, because they are falling on the forehand and try to regain their balance. Just like how if you trip you kind of pick up speed so you don't fall on your face. Horses should feel like they jump into the canter using their hind end. Another thing is if a horse yanks their head down at the canter, also means they are losing their balance, and falling on the forehand.
I would try and pick up a canter when your horse is in a slow sitting trot, and try to keep their head up, and your hands steady, when she picks up the canter. Trot canter transitions are your best friend. Try cantering a few steps then break to a trot. Organize yourself in a slow sitting trot again, then ask for a canter. Then repeat.
Before introducing lead changes you should make sure your horse can move off your leg pretty well, and they have a lateral bend. Also working on half halts so your horse gets used to working from back to front. All energy needs to come from the horses back end. Once your horse is using their hind end, then you can start introducing lead changes.
Just be patient with everything...it takes a lot of time, but then one day, it will feel like out of nowhere; everything will just click.
Last edited by ErikaLynn; 04-12-2011 at 10:49 AM.