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Piper182 06-26-2009 11:17 AM

Teaching a Flying Change
Hi. I was thinking last night about flying changes (I'm weird like that). I realized that I have been told how to teach a horse to do a flying change differently from almost every trainer I've ever had and that's a lot.

I myself have settled on doing simple changes with fewer and fewer trot steps until the horse finally just gets the change. I've always found that balances them the best and makes the change smooth.

One trainer says "bounce" the horse off the wall. He wants you to head straight for the wall and then turn to knock them off balance so they'll change.

Another trainer says to gallop them across the diagonal as fast as you can pretending you are going to stay in the same direction and then make a sudden turn and throw all your body weight inside to, again, knock them off balance.

The one I hated the most used a pole. She always made people over use the crop and all that ended up was the horse would bolt for the change and half the time still not get it.

So, now that this is incredibly long, I was wondering how other people teach a horse to do a flying change and why? I've had great success with my way, but I want to know if I'm the only one who was told 8 million ways.


barefoot 06-26-2009 11:23 AM

I was taught with a pole. Just shifting your weight over the pole would make a horse do a flying chance. I mean, it's more complicated than that though. But I guess its easier. I really don't know. I've never really taught a horse to do a flying chance but that's how I learned. I used to ride a horse that would do flying changes down a long side every other stride.. it was pretty cool. Dressage horses for you..

lovemyponies 06-26-2009 11:25 AM

I have never really been good at teaching horses to change, I never really worked on it. But recently I got a new horse who I want to show and she wasn't doing flying changes (she did in the pasture of course) So a friend at our barn started helping us teach another horse how to do it and she got it really well. So we decided to try my horse (TB mare) Well it took about 10 mins and she had it pretty well down. All we did was a big figure 8 and re-ask for the canter basically as we made the turn. So you start out on the right lead, go through the center and as you turn to the opposite direction re ask for the canter as you normally would, and have the horse pick up the left lead. Its hard to explain but you just re ask for the canter using whatever cues you use but just for the opposite way without having the horse break into a trot. It worked like a charm. Good luck

1dog3cats17rodents 06-26-2009 11:28 AM


Originally Posted by Piper182 (Post 336492)
One trainer says "bounce" the horse off the wall. He wants you to head straight for the wall and then turn to knock them off balance so they'll change.

This is how I was taught to teach ones who were having a lot of trouble with it. Otherwise, I was taught to get them in a nice collected canter, lift the inside hand and basically ask for the canter (outside leg + reins to the wall) If they only switched the front, then slow them down and keep the leg on to "hop" the back. Eventually the got the back quicker and quicker untill they got them idea and had the balance to swap both at once. A ground pole is also helpful to teach them where to swap

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