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ak_showgirl 06-12-2008 06:15 PM

Problems with flying lead change *Please Help*
So, recently i have been trying to teach dusty how to do flying lead changes, he is doing well switching his front lead but his back legs dont change. We are learning them using a ground pole and doing figure 8's over it. I really just dont know how to fix his back legs. any help would be great!! :D

Horse_Chick 06-12-2008 11:02 PM


How old is he???
i might be able to help more then.


mlkarel2010 06-13-2008 02:53 PM

when you are practicing right after the lead change speed him up so he has to fix his back legs...... it might be smart to put some sport boots on him at first... eventually if he does it right you don't have to speed him up after the change and you will keep getting better

hopefully that helps

buckaroo2010 06-13-2008 10:48 PM

The only kind of flying lead changes I have ever taught my horse was pole bending and he finally catched on to that

Hrt4Dressage 06-13-2008 11:20 PM

I was going to suggest asking over a ground pole, but you're already doing that... :) You could try using a cavaletti instead (just a raised ground pole). Someone suggested asking him to speed up if he doesnt swap in the back, which will probably get the change just be careful it doesnt teach him to speed up every time you ask for a change. Are you working with a trainer? Also if you just started them give him time to catch on... Most horses will swap front and in a few strides swap the back.

mayfieldk 06-14-2008 02:14 AM

Don't ask him to speed up, you'll teach him to rush his changes.
Don't practice them in a slow canter, however... if you ride with more impulsion, it will be easier for him to change.
If it's not a problem of pain then it's one of two things--doesn't have the strength, or he's not supple enough.
To make him more supple, ride him at a counter canter (let's say, right lead going around the arena to the left), and practice keeping his head straight ('neutral'), and then bending his head INTO the arena (into the left). If he has a terrible time of doing this, you'll know he was stiff. Once you can, it should help change his back end.

ak_showgirl 06-14-2008 03:56 AM

hey thanks guys, he is 9 years old and he deff has the strength to do it but we just started learning them. I tried to ride him through it but he still wouldnt switch....i also dont think that it is a suppleness problem ( i can trot small/medium circles with his head bent in or out and he does it pretty well. do you guys think that he will just figure it out after a couple weeks??? thanks for all of the responses!!! :D

mayfieldk 06-14-2008 05:16 AM

it's either suppleness or strength, not 'he just doesn't get it'. Trotting and being supple and cantering and being supple are two very different things; a horse's balance through the canter is incredibly different then that at the trot. Do suppling exercises at the canter will help, if not fix the problem entirely. Once a horse can bend the opposite way it is cantering, it can perform the change easily, because it's body can bend that way.
Remember, when a rider is on the horse's back, the whole way he moves and carries himself changes. Make sure you are inviting him over to the new direction with a giving rein--if you are too tight with your new inside rein through the change, the horse will feel 'trapped' and get locked up. Often times a horse can perform flawless changes in the pasture, and not under saddle--it's because we cause the problems, not them.

mlkarel2010 06-14-2008 01:56 PM

i would say overexaggerate your cues.... move your leg farther back and push his hind end over.... maybe even pick up a crop and hold the reins in one hand and hit him on the rump.... maybe practice him yeilding to your legs too so that he becomes more responsive to moving his hind end away from leg pressure

ak_showgirl 06-15-2008 03:02 AM

YAY! so tonight i worked with my trainer and she helped me to the point where i got him really collected at the canter and over exaggerated the cue and he did it! im so happy. i just wasnt asking him fault :oops: but thank you for all of the input and i will deffinatly start doing some suppling exercises at the canter. :) thanks again everyone!!

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