Question on Flying Changes
   

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Question on Flying Changes

This is a discussion on Question on Flying Changes within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Can't get flying change
  • Showing hunter without flying changes

 
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    05-30-2011, 12:38 PM
  #1
Foal
Question on Flying Changes

I've got a bit of an issue at the moment with flying changes and showing this summer. We are planning on showing hunters this summer, and it wouldn't be anything big, 2' 3/6" classes at most. Now the mare that I'm planning to ride knows her flying changes, but she doesn't complete them very clean or always know what you are asking for when you would ask for the change. She will either 1. Completely ignore what you are asking for because I honestly think she's just forgotten the cue 2. Rush into the bridle and get on her forehand and after the flying change, proceed with an unbalanced rhythm.

My next show is at the beginning of July, so I've got quite some time. But what I'm wondering is that if my trainer and I can't get her lead changes down pat (I lesson once a week and ride all six other days in the summer) will it be that big of a deal if I don't complete flying changes at this level? We are competing in the B and A circuit and may end up doing a AA show to end the summer, if that helps for the importance of her changes.

Also, what kind of exercises do you know of that could help calm down her flying changes and not get her to push into the bit so much?

Thanks in advance everyone! :)
     
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    05-31-2011, 08:06 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Unfortunately lead changes are a very VERY big deal in the hunter world. Especially if you're going to an A or B show. If I take a super green horse to an A or B show without a change I can pretty much guarentee I won't ribbon unless the division is super small and/or someone falls off/refuses. Shoot, it's hard to ribbon at our schooling shows without a solid change!

By not completing a change do you mean your mare swaps in the front and then either doesn't get the back or gets them late? There are a lot of reasons for this.

1) stiffness or unsoundness somewhere. This is pretty common with older horses. In fact, when an older horse that used to always have a change starts missing them in the back it tells me that there's probably a hock or possibly back issue and it's time for some maintenance.

2) unbalanced/crooked/heavy on the forehand. This is going to be my guess for what's going on with this mare. Particularly the heavy on the forehand part. Makes me think she's ridden by her front end, not her back end. She sounds a lot like a horse I had in training last year who either swapped just in the front (and ran with his head down), or put his head down and RAN into the change then dragged me around the corner. Ugh! I had to fix his trot and canter first before we could even get to changes. Lateral work and lots of it. His trot was not great and his canter was so uncomfortable! Shoulder fore was particarly good for him because his canter was so crooked, but leg yields, shoulder ins, haunches in were really helpful. Once he got off his forehand and got straight he was able to get his changes. We also had to work with his rider. She would lean forward and throw him on his forehand so she would aggravate the problem. Make sure you are riding balanced as you can and strengthen your horse to carry herself properly. Then rule out soundness.
     
    05-31-2011, 08:18 PM
  #3
Weanling
Changing is very hard for a horses. If they do not have enough forward movement or are on the forhand they can not change.
They need to lift in to it. I have used a ground pole to help them to change. You ask and set them up for it as you go over it. I have also found that it is easyer for them to change on a strait line than to try and teach it on the bend. \
Now I do know that you will not place in any hunter show with out a lead change. The only jumping class you can ride in is hunter hack with out a change.
     

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