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ClassAction
Aug. 7, 2009, 10:30 AM
I'm coming at this from a dressage/eventer angle so forgive my ignorance. I've noticed that a lot of the hunter videos have flying changes that are late behind. Is this acceptable in a hunter round? Is it "not penalized but clean changes are rewarded"?

Just curious!

Parrotnutz
Aug. 7, 2009, 10:33 AM
I'm coming at this from a dressage/eventer angle so forgive my ignorance. I've noticed that a lot of the hunter videos have flying changes that are late behind. Is this acceptable in a hunter round? Is it "not penalized but clean changes are rewarded"?

Just curious!

It is called a "hunter change" versus a "dressage change" :lol:

Just having fun here folks

MHM
Aug. 7, 2009, 10:39 AM
It is not acceptable in a hunter or equitation round.

It is penalized to some degree, depending on whether the horse cross cantered one step, or five steps, or ten steps, or more.

M. Owen
Aug. 7, 2009, 11:22 AM
It is not the "correct" way for a hunter to do the change either, however, keep in mind that hunters and equitation are scored/ judged relative to everyone else in the class, not against a numerical standard per movement. Therefore, the overall course with a late change behind could still be better than the some or all of the other competitors, so end up placing in the class (or even winning). However, given two courses that are of exactly the same quality except one horse changes late behind, the horse with perfect changes should win.

Edited to add that even a correct hunter change is not the same as the desired change for a dressage horse. From what I understand (I could be wrong, but have heard this from people who I think know what they're talking about), a dressage change should be powerful and explosive looking. For hunters, the changes should be smooth and should not interrupt the rhythm and flow of the round.

Trees4U
Aug. 7, 2009, 11:30 AM
It is penalized.
It might pin well if the competition is mediocre or if the others have some difficulties.

Mel0309
Aug. 7, 2009, 11:38 AM
Depends on what you mean by a late change.

If you mean a horse that changes in front and then immediately changes behind (versus one who changes behind then immediately changes in front) I don't think most judges really care unless one is smoother than the other.

Now if you are talking about one that changes in front and it takes the horse a few strides before it gets the rear change then you will usually see it reflected in the placings.

Of course it is all relative to what else is in the class.

Seven-up
Aug. 7, 2009, 01:39 PM
It is not the "correct" way for a hunter to do the change either, however, keep in mind that hunters and equitation are scored/ judged relative to everyone else in the class, not against a numerical standard per movement. Therefore, the overall course with a late change behind could still be better than the some or all of the other competitors, so end up placing in the class (or even winning). However, given two courses that are of exactly the same quality except one horse changes late behind, the horse with perfect changes should win.

Edited to add that even a correct hunter change is not the same as the desired change for a dressage horse. From what I understand (I could be wrong, but have heard this from people who I think know what they're talking about), a dressage change should be powerful and explosive looking. For hunters, the changes should be smooth and should not interrupt the rhythm and flow of the round.



Yeah. That.^^^^:yes:

DancingQueen
Aug. 7, 2009, 05:30 PM
So I could be wrong but it is my understanding that
in the hunter ring a change is not considered late if the horse swaps first in front and then immediately swaps behind.

In dressage a horse needs to swap front and back at the same time.

Like somebody said hunter change versus dressage change.

I don't think that OP is talking about a horse that swaps two or three steps late. Just about the back legs following the front legs being 1/2 a step behind?

CBoylen
Aug. 7, 2009, 05:42 PM
I'm trying to remove a dressage change from a horse right now. It feels like he's trying to pause in mid-air to change both ends at the same time. That's totally unacceptable for him to do in the turn going around a course, so he's (slowly) learning to keep cantering through the change without the pause, still doing a change that we consider clean, but changing each part in succession as it comes through the step smoothly.

DancingQueen
Aug. 7, 2009, 05:50 PM
Yup. Although fun to ride, a "dressage change" is simply not useful when you are looking for a smooth fluid hunter ride.
Horses often back them selves up a little and then "pop" the change. it wouldn;t be a big deal in the smaller stuff but once you move up the ranks they need to produce a smooth change.

Here's a piggy back question. How about the Eq? Are hunter changes still better or can you get away with a dressage change even in the 3,6?

Seven-up
Aug. 7, 2009, 07:53 PM
So I could be wrong but it is my understanding that
in the hunter ring a change is not considered late if the horse swaps first in front and then immediately swaps behind.

That's not a hunter change, it's an incorrect change. Just because it's done doesn't mean it's right. A lead change is a lead change. A correct lead change starts in the back.

findeight
Aug. 7, 2009, 08:13 PM
Here's a piggy back question. How about the Eq? Are hunter changes still better or can you get away with a dressage change even in the 3,6?


That "Dressage change" often looks like what I call a "bunny hop" change where the whole body sort of comes up to get both ends to swap at the same time...it is not very smooth to watch and I'm guessing it is going to disrupt the flow as much as it disrupts the pace in the Hunters. You have to really collect/package them to arrange that kind of change, that'll kill your momentum. Something you don't want to do looking at a 3'6" oxer off a roll back.

The horse can originate the change either in front or behind, behind is the smoothest but if the front goes first, it's fine as long as the back gets it on the same stride. I think that's what the OP is talking about.

Peggy
Aug. 7, 2009, 09:20 PM
If the dressage change means that the horse collects (i.e. changes stride length) to do the change then it can mess up your distance royally in a situation where you have to do a change relatively close to a fence (a roll back or bending line or just a case where you simply didn't get it done soon enuf). The break in rhythm, or whatever, can make the distance go poof. Even if it doesn't make your distance go poof, an extreme enuf version is going to make things look less smooth

A fix for dressage changes is to make sure that you are coming forward thru the change. Try to avoid using your hands at all. Heck, try to avoid moving the horse laterally. Because those last two things seem to make the dressage come out.

And, yes, it is possible to get a clean change without extreme collection or the bunny hop thing or a change in rhythm.

Gry2Yng
Aug. 7, 2009, 09:47 PM
A clean change is executed from the hind end first. There are many very nice hunters who execute a smooth change from behind. This should place higher than an otherwise similar round where the horse changes smoothly front end first. What you all are calling a "dressage" change is not necessarily correct in dressage land either. A flying change in dressage land is done in collection and for high scores you want expression and jump, but it is within a rhythm. A flying change in hunter land is much more forward and in a working gait, but still in a rhythm. If the horse changes rhythm to do the change, it is wrong in either world. It is not a dressage change per se, just bad riding/training. In dressage land you are always penalized if the front end changes first, in hunter land you are only penalized if someone else does it better, as a previous poster said.

Trees4U
Aug. 8, 2009, 09:32 AM
Aren't most movements in dressage done more dramatically and with more collection by design?
I look at an old video of Anky and Monica Theodorescu (sp?), & Klimke and everything is very theatrical. And sooooooo lovely...

meupatdoes
Aug. 8, 2009, 09:43 AM
I'm trying to remove a dressage change from a horse right now. It feels like he's trying to pause in mid-air to change both ends at the same time. That's totally unacceptable for him to do in the turn going around a course, so he's (slowly) learning to keep cantering through the change without the pause, still doing a change that we consider clean, but changing each part in succession as it comes through the step smoothly.

Two things:

First, I thought it was more desirable in the hunters to change while still on the straightaway before the turn rather than in the turn, though I have of course been guilty of a late change in the turn. Judges weigh in?

Second, CBoylen, are you saying that you are trying to get this horse to change one set of legs before the other (however close together) on purpose to make it look smoother, or just saying that you are trying to make a simultaeneous change more hunter smooth?

Gry2Yng
Aug. 8, 2009, 10:39 AM
Aren't most movements in dressage done more dramatically and with more collection by design?
I look at an old video of Anky and Monica Theodorescu (sp?), & Klimke and everything is very theatrical. And sooooooo lovely...

At the Grand Prix/International level, yes. But my Pre-Green hunter goes to the dressage shows and does training level tests. Collection is not required at training and first level. Dressage horses are not even introduced to changes until 3rd level, at which collection has already been established. They are generally horrified to think that a horse would learn flying changes outside of collection. IMHO, so many of their horses have problems with the changes under saddle because they wait to long to introduce what is a natural movement. They also get a little more wound up about it because the HAVE to change behind first and that can be a good bit more difficult to get consistently.

I was also taught a change in the corner places lower than a change on the straight away. Get the change before the turn.

Summit Springs Farm
Aug. 8, 2009, 10:50 AM
Help, my 5 yr old hanoverian does the normal back to front change right to left BUT on the left to right he does the dreaded dressage change hop!!:confused:
Cboylen how do you fix it? Or anyone else??

meupatdoes
Aug. 8, 2009, 11:00 AM
Help, my 5 yr old hanoverian does the normal back to front change right to left BUT on the left to right he does the dreaded dressage change hop!!:confused:
Cboylen how do you fix it? Or anyone else??

As someone who does both the hunters and dressage, I still do not understand what people are talking about by "dressage change hop".

Are people training their hunters to break up the change front to back/back to front or just not able to smooth out a clean (simultaeneous) change?

Lucassb
Aug. 8, 2009, 11:10 AM
As someone who does both the hunters and dressage, I still do not understand what people are talking about by "dressage change hop".

Are people training their hunters to break up the change front to back/back to front or just not able to smooth out a clean (simultaeneous) change?

I think what they are describing is that moment of suspension required to do the "hop" in the "dressage change. The horse is in collection and there is a pronounced "lift" in the topline while the horse changes legs.

As explained, that frame and the pause that creates in the forward motion is not desirable in the hunter/eq ring. The horse must change smoothly within the canter - think of it as the legs changing without that lift in the topline. Ideally the horse will initiate the change behind but it is acceptable to change in front as long as the hind legs follow in the same stride.

GGsuperpony
Aug. 8, 2009, 11:35 AM
Summit Springs, try working him to the weaker side. To me, this sounds like a conditioning / coordination issue.

Don't school the changes - especially to that side - until he is strong enough to do them without having to "jump" into them. Because I am betting it's not that someone has taught him the uber-collected way of changing, but that he has to throw himself into the change on that side because he is not strong / coordinated enough to do it smoothly.

Five is young. Work his back and hind end more until he's strong enough to carry himself, then start schooling changes again. Once he can effortlessly get around the ring at the canter, bending to both directions without falling in or falling onto his forehand, then start thinking about changes again.

NB: I am a freak about being prepared for everything. Many people would school changes earlier than I would, and they would in large part be successful. So this is by no means the be-all-and-end-all of lead-change-training; it's just the way I do it.

Summit Springs Farm
Aug. 8, 2009, 12:18 PM
Summit Springs, try working him to the weaker side. To me, this sounds like a conditioning / coordination issue.

Don't school the changes - especially to that side - until he is strong enough to do them without having to "jump" into them. Because I am betting it's not that someone has taught him the uber-collected way of changing, but that he has to throw himself into the change on that side because he is not strong / coordinated enough to do it smoothly.

Five is young. Work his back and hind end more until he's strong enough to carry himself, then start schooling changes again. Once he can effortlessly get around the ring at the canter, bending to both directions without falling in or falling onto his forehand, then start thinking about changes again.

NB: I am a freak about being prepared for everything. Many people would school changes earlier than I would, and they would in large part be successful. So this is by no means the be-all-and-end-all of lead-change-training; it's just the way I do it.


Excellent post Thank You!! I do think he is weaker to the left canter, so to change he hops up to get the momentum, if you will, to change its always simultaneously. He will not skip or be late he just does the hoppy thing.

Going to the right he will miss the change if I don't "block" for the lack of a better word, the right shoulder. If he misses I bring him back to the trot, then change directions back to the right pick up the right lead and try again, since the opportunity was lost on the previous try.

What do ya think?

And yes you are right know one has taught him an collected way to change, since only myself and my trainers have ridden him since he was imported and was only 30 days under saddle.

ChelseaR
Aug. 8, 2009, 03:42 PM
Yes - it can be tough to fix a dressage change so that it is acceptable for the hunter ring - two very different movements. Dressage change is a powerful collected movement with both ends at the same time and elevating the front end. Not at all what you want for the hunter ring.

Hunter lead change should be as unnoticable as possible. No different that a canter stride with a level topline. No expression, no jump, no additional collection, no change in stride length, just forward and smooth. To get this you really want the back end first then the front end in the same stride. Smooth to ride and subtle before the corner - not as easy as it looks some horses have a natural tendency to jump into their changes..

EAY
Aug. 8, 2009, 04:32 PM
Summit Springs, try working him to the weaker side. To me, this sounds like a conditioning / coordination issue.

Don't school the changes - especially to that side - until he is strong enough to do them without having to "jump" into them. Because I am betting it's not that someone has taught him the uber-collected way of changing, but that he has to throw himself into the change on that side because he is not strong / coordinated enough to do it smoothly.

Five is young. Work his back and hind end more until he's strong enough to carry himself, then start schooling changes again. Once he can effortlessly get around the ring at the canter, bending to both directions without falling in or falling onto his forehand, then start thinking about changes again.



I also have a five-year-old (mine's a 17+h TB and still a bit gangly) who has trouble getting her changes in one direction, and I don't school them at all but instead focus on developing her strength and balance particularly on her weaker side. It's sometimes hard to be patient, especially since she can canter really nicely around a small course, but as I've known her to do them in both directions, both at liberty and under saddle, sometimes so smoothly that you can hardly feel them, I know they will come eventually with the
right ground work.

Gry2Yng
Aug. 8, 2009, 04:34 PM
Yes - it can be tough to fix a dressage change so that it is acceptable for the hunter ring - two very different movements. Dressage change is a powerful collected movement with both ends at the same time and elevating the front end. Not at all what you want for the hunter ring.

Hunter lead change should be as unnoticable as possible. No different that a canter stride with a level topline. No expression, no jump, no additional collection, no change in stride length, just forward and smooth. To get this you really want the back end first then the front end in the same stride. Smooth to ride and subtle before the corner - not as easy as it looks some horses have a natural tendency to jump into their changes..

Not sure I agree, could be we are talking about the same thing using different words, but...I have an OTTB gelding that does lovely clean changes in collection in the dressage ring and equally lovely no expression forward and smooth changes in the hunter ring. It is really a matter of how he is being ridden/what kind of frame he is in. It can be difficult for a horse that has been schooled in dressage to learn to "go forward" to his change instead of collecting for his change. It can be equally difficult for a rider that has learned changes in collection to learn to ride them forward. The "hoppie" thing I think can be blamed as much on tension as on collection or dressage. I have seen plenty of horses that have never seen a dressage saddle "hop" their change. Most OTTB's have learned to change on the track so they tend to have a very natural forward going change. There are also plenty of WB's who are very natural at it. Then there are those who go to lead change school for what seems like a lifetime and they can start out very hoppy because you are basically doing every thing you can to *make* it happen. As PP said, can be a strength issue at play - or just stubborn WB who will change all day in the field and never when you are sitting on him.

CBoylen
Aug. 8, 2009, 05:44 PM
Two things:
First, I thought it was more desirable in the hunters to change while still on the straightaway before the turn rather than in the turn
You're absolutely right; I was using "turn" in the collective sense of "not between the jumps" and didn't think about my imprecise wording being confusing related to the discussion. Sorry. :o


Second, CBoylen, are you saying that you are trying to get this horse to change one set of legs before the other (however close together) on purpose to make it look smoother, or just saying that you are trying to make a simultaeneous change more hunter smooth?
I'm saying I don't give a flying change what he does with his legs, as long as he goes from one lead to the other in one stride without changing his pace or making a display of it. I don't want to notice his change, and I don't want anyone else to notice it when watching him.
It's definitely coming after a couple of weeks of forward and straight changes, but they are still noticeable when you put a new rider on and they let him revert to slowing down to change. I'm hoping another couple of weeks will take that instinct out of him. It's definitely a product of training, the horse arrived over-collected in general.