Cross cantering in equitation
I feel like maybe this is a rhetorical question, being that equitation is supposed to be judged on the rider, not on the horse, but maybe it isn't.
My first show where I get to jump higher than crossrails on my own horse is this weekend. She understands lead changes, but can't do a flying in her back, so if we pick up the wrong lead after a jump, she switches her front, and then refuses to change anything. What is the likelihood of me getting penalized for this in an equitation class? She's a paint, so with the unfairness I've seen towards paints at shows, I feel like even in equitation, between two good rounds, the judge will pick the person riding the fancy warmblood doing the flying changes. Enlighten me anyone?
Half a change is worse than no change at all from a judge's perspective. Horse going to its next fence cross cantering will usually be so unbalanced that they jump poorly. You will definitely be pinned below someone with clean changes or who lands on the correct lead. Check the rule book for your showing organization; it should give you the specifics on how it is scored.
This is considered a fault in a equitation class because the rider being judged is supposed to be able to influence and control both ends of the horse - the rider who executes a clean change is considered superior to the rider who only gets the half change because he/she has shown better control of the horse. (That the horse likely has auto changes and has not been cued by the rider is not taken into consideration.)
Has absolutely nothing to do with color and fancy-ness.
If your horse isn't capable of a full, clean change, then your best strategy is to teach her to land from the fence on the correct lead. This produces the calmest, steadiest trip anyway.
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