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HorsegurlHR 08-29-2012 01:08 PM

No not this again!
Or at least thats what my paint/quarter pony cross tells me when I ask for a lead change. My coaches have been giving me lots of great tips about how to do the but I still am rarely successful. My mare is a very sweet and willing horse who does just about anything for me... Well almost everything.

Anyway, when every I switch the bend and put some outside leg on she just starts cantering faster and faster, then when I half halt she trots and switches the lead from a flat trot. Does anyone have any good tips on how to keep my pony organized in her lead changes? Thanx!

Saddlebag 08-29-2012 01:46 PM

Give it more time. She's not balanced. I suspect her hind end isn't under her nor her back rounded which makes the transition more difficult. Instead of her scrambling to switch leads why not canter about a 15' circle, pick a spot bring her down to the trot then ask for the other lead. As you slow her her weight should shift back a little making it easier for her to switch. What can really help her is that you learn to identify when a particular hind strikes the ground. When you've become proficient at this, and you can't look, it will help her if your ask for the canter as her outside leg is just leaving the ground. This allows 2 seconds for the request to travel back to the engine and she will drive off with that leg.

Cherie 08-29-2012 02:37 PM

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.

HorsegurlHR 08-30-2012 02:43 PM

Thank you I will try this when I ride tomorrow!

Army wife 08-31-2012 06:19 AM

You could try making figure 8's over a small jump, that usually helps some. Counter cantering helps a lot too. My mare rushed flying changes at first (didn't bother me.) I just got her collected through them later on. From what I understand, it's easier for them to switch with a little speed. Not sure if that's the best technique, but it worked for me!! Good luck!

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