08-29-2012, 03:37 PM
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I prefer not to teach a flying change from a simple change. I do want enough collection and enough hind quarter control that I can get a horse to bring its hind quarter over at both a trot and a canter. It should be pretty accomplished at performing a decent half pass at the trot and canter.
A flying change can then usually be accomplished out of a circle with reverse bend by maintaining the bend but changing the riders leg and and lead.
The other method I like is to teach the flying change out of a circle starting in a counter canter and getting a lead change with a change of legs, again keeping the horses nose and hip in the direction of the new lead.
I never ask for a lead change by changing circles while going across an arena. A rider can run into the side wall or fence before you get the desired response and the horse learns to stiffen and anticipate a change. I also never, never, NEVER use a figure 8, a sharp change of direction or a log or pole on the ground. They only learn to change front end first and usually end up not changing behind. This can turn into a really bad habit that is about impossible to break.
If you are getting a speed increase, you do not have the horse collected enough and/or you are using too much leg. You should 'press' a spur for the change and not use a 'poke', 'kick' or a bat. These will all get the wrong response. If you do not get the lead changed, you have to keep pushing him into the bridle and cannot let him take his head or his hip to the direction of the old lead. He has to maintain the bend of the new lead being asked for -- this is particularly true for the horse's hip.