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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I am going to be doing the Equitation at the APHA shows soon, and I had a question about changing your diagonals. When I watch the other people doing the patterns and look at past world champions and such, they all sit to change. I learned to change on a really bouncy horse, so I change my diagonals by standing, not sitting. So I do an up up change, not a down down, lol.

I have not seen anyone else change like this, even at my barn, my trainer didn't teach me to do this its just what I do, but I can do it better than a sitting change. So if I do a up up change during a pattern would it be counted against me? Or would I get like, extra credit for doing it differently for everyone else?

I can do a sitting change if I need, but it doesn't look as good IMO since my horse is like a jack hammer. So just some ideas on that.
 

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I've never seen anyone change diagonals like that either. A judge definitely isn't going to give you extra credit for doing it differently :) but they might not count it against you. Something like that might even vary from judge to judge- one might not even comment on it, while another might mark you down for it. The only sure way of avoiding being marked down for it is to do it like everyone else, but if it's that uncomfortable for you, it might be worth the risk of losing a point or two.
 

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You sit for a stride to change diagonals. You don't rise & stay risen for a stride to change, sorry, you are going to have to do it properly to be competitive. Remember it is only 1 stride, so jackhammer movements will only be a second.
 
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In reality, either way is correct.

In the show worlds where appearances count, I guess not.

Surprisingly, posting on the incorrect diagonal is not penalized in dressage. And sometimes there is a good reason to do so.
 

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I guess it must be a big deal in hunters, but not dressage or eventing/jumping. Heck, in dressage there IS no such thing as a correct diagonal, only rising as a bending tool. I use both methods to change, it depends on the horse's movements.
 

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Thanks guys. I am actually going to be doing the Eq on my western horse, who is a LOT smoother than my Hunt Seater (and has lead changes and can do all the other pattern elements!) so I have been practicing my sitting changes on her. I'll post a video of me doing both types of changes later so everyone can see what I'm talking about, lol.
 

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I show AQHA and change my diagonals in the air for patterns. Is it common? No. But it works best for my horse. And having discussed it with several big name AQHA judges, it is acceptable.

The same is likely true for APHA, but I would ask any judges if you can.
 

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I was surprised when I saw a trainer coaching to change the diagonal on the up beat..I was always taught to sit the one beat. I tried to do it using the up beat once and missed :)

You can cheat a little. Rather than standing, go in to a modified three point by lifitng a little. You won't be completely sitting or standing and when you hesitate that one beat, it will look like you were sitting.

The ony other thing to do is practice it. I would practice the sitting trot a bit first so you get used to the bump of the horse, even one that is really bouncy. By sitting deep and relaxing into it you can learn to sit even the worst trot. Once you do that, sitting that one beat in the post will be simple.
 

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Im with you OP. I always stand, my horse has a very big upright trot and i feel like im going to be flung out of the saddle for that one stride. So i stand, looks more graceful and feels much better!
 

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I sit my changes, but I really enjoy sitting the trot, so it came easiest for me. I also try to spend as little time in the air as I can lol. But the best way to see if it is allowed is to ask the judges who will judge your shows. The rules are different between organizations. For me, I was taught that posting the wrong diagonal would be counted against me in dressage, but which rules that applies to, I don't know. I assume USDF. I was learning the introductory tests for 4H English, 4H Western, and USDF. I also started nosing around the introductory tests for Gaited Dressage (I'm not sure who judges those...). But there is also the FEI standards to consider as well as the fact that dressage may be scored differently for Three Day Eventing or Hunt Seat or Equitation, depending on who is judging.

The best thing to do is just ask your own judges in your own organization.
 
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