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Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider
Mar. 20, 2012, 04:11 PM
At what age do you usually start and what technique do you use?

Thanks!

meupatdoes
Mar. 20, 2012, 04:28 PM
I start whenever the horse has a good canter-walk-canter simple change.

I pick up a counter canter up the quarterline, legyield out for two or three strides before the corner, and then ask for the change just before the turn.

To help explain it to the horse I do the above with a simple change a few times to help him figure out what I am getting at.

I often carry treats to reward the newbie. I find it helps them retain the lesson. ;)

If a horse is a little problematic I will use a pole to help, but try to wean away to a change "in the same place as the pole was" as soon as possible. The "geographic anticipation" can help the horse understand.

OveroHunter
Mar. 20, 2012, 04:32 PM
I start whenever the horse has a good canter-walk-canter simple change.

I pick up a counter canter up the quarterline, legyield out for two or three strides before the corner, and then ask for the change just before the turn.

To help explain it to the horse I do the above with a simple change a few times to help him figure out what I am getting at.

I often carry treats to reward the newbie. I find it helps them retain the lesson. ;)

If a horse is a little problematic I will use a pole to help, but try to wean away to a change "in the same place as the pole was" as soon as possible. The "geographic anticipation" can help the horse understand.

You leg yield towards the rail right?

Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider
Mar. 20, 2012, 04:42 PM
So this IS very similar to how we teach it in dressage. That's pretty much what I was thinking.

Overohunter, yes I think she/he is saying is it would be counter canter to the wall and ask just before the turn.

showponies
Mar. 20, 2012, 04:47 PM
I am going to have try this on the warmblood, they seem to be a bit slower than the thoroughbreds to pick this up...

OveroHunter
Mar. 20, 2012, 04:47 PM
Overohunter, yes I think she/he is saying is it would be counter canter to the wall and ask just before the turn.

That's what I figured because that is what I was taught, but I wanted to make sure because I'm sure she has way more experience teaching changes than I do!

enjoytheride
Mar. 20, 2012, 04:49 PM
It is not very common for a hunter rider to teach counter canter before teaching lead changes.

Appsolute
Mar. 20, 2012, 04:53 PM
It depends on the horse. I have been taught to train it similarly to what meupatdoes described with a leg yield to the wall before the corner.

My horse is rising 5, and we are just starting on changes. They seem to be coming very easy for her, nice back to front change.

I ride on a circle, then, right before returning to the rail, change my balance to ask for a canter circle the opposite way (right hand circle, before arena wall, look to left, change body position to left, ask for bend to the left, slide outside leg (right leg) back… and viola! A change. Lots of praise, pats and good girls when she gives me a change.

And like meupatdoes said, geography helps, she knows I am going to ask it when I change rein off of the circle, and as she progresses, the simple change in my body as I look to the new direction queues her to swap leads.

I have been also taught to place a rail at an angle to the wall as such when you cross the rail the horse is encouraged to change reins and swap over the rail.

Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider
Mar. 20, 2012, 04:56 PM
I am going to have try this on the warmblood, they seem to be a bit slower than the thoroughbreds to pick this up...

Hmm. Not so sure I agree. I think it depends upon the individual with a breed? I have a barn full of DWBs. Many are home breds. Most exhibit clean and pure flying changes in the pasture as babies. Some are tempi change machines! The ones with the natural talent are easy to teach. The ones who are maybe not so talented are not so easy to teach. For whatever it is worth, the two horses with the worst flying changes are TBx's.

Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider
Mar. 20, 2012, 04:58 PM
Can you guys tell me what are the aids (cues for hunter people ;-) ) for canter? What are the cues for flying changes?

(I am trying to get an understanding about the difference between the two disciplines).

Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider
Mar. 20, 2012, 05:00 PM
I am going to have try this on the warmblood, they seem to be a bit slower than the thoroughbreds to pick this up...



If a horse has a slow hind leg, or is out behind with the hind leg, this will make it more challenging for him to learn.

meupatdoes
Mar. 20, 2012, 05:00 PM
You leg yield towards the rail right?

Yes, to get the horse's weight off of the desired lead to free it up to come through.

For the record, in case people are just sitting on their hands resisting the urge to yammer at me that this is "dressage aids" which will ruin a hunter, Rob Bielefeld's assistant trainer taught me this. Inclusive of the counter canter.

meupatdoes
Mar. 20, 2012, 05:05 PM
Can you guys tell me what are the aids (cues for hunter people ;-) ) for canter? What are the cues for flying changes?

(I am trying to get an understanding about the difference between the two disciplines).

I cue my canter by sending my inside seat bone 'into' the lead I want, and adding gas with either inside or outside leg or a combination of both depending on "where the horse is" at the time. (The same way that if I am doing trot-walk transitions on a circle, and the horse starts to drift, I might do a little more outside leg in one transition than the other to address the drifting.)

If he is a little heavy on the inside leg, I use more inside leg during the transition. If he is a little drifting-out, I use more outside leg.



Eitherway, "inside" leg is at the girth, "outside" leg is slightly behind. "Inside" hip always slightly forward and "into" the lead. The "inside" (could be different sides depending on true canter or counter canter) hip and leg position tells him what lead, and then the leg aids are applied in the manner that gets the straightest and most organized transition.


If you ask this way on a well schooled horse, you can always get the lead you want whether you are riding a counter canter curve, a circle, a counter canter circler, a serpentine, and no matter where you are in the ring.

For the flying change, I ride very straight, leg yield away from the desired lead (even if barely perceptibly for half a stride), then hold new outside rein to "stop" the current lead and switch hips and add switched legs to "send" the new lead through.

Jumpthemoon16
Mar. 20, 2012, 05:07 PM
Can you guys tell me what are the aids (cues for hunter people ;-) ) for canter? What are the cues for flying changes?

(I am trying to get an understanding about the difference between the two disciplines).

Hunter aids for canter are generally small bend to the inside, outside leg back and on, inside leg at the girth, connection through outside rein. Most horses will respond to simply the outside leg moving back a tad.

Flying changes are bacially just the same as asking for the canter in that direction.

meupatdoes
Mar. 20, 2012, 05:10 PM
I have been also taught to place a rail at an angle to the wall as such when you cross the rail the horse is encouraged to change reins and swap over the rail.

You can also add a second rail off the "going away" curve from the rail in the new lead to help correct a cross-canter. So basically you hop over the one rail and then curve smoothly toward the next in the new lead.

But over-reliance on the rail can create front-to-back changes.

meupatdoes
Mar. 20, 2012, 05:16 PM
It is not very common for a hunter rider to teach counter canter before teaching lead changes.

A counter canter up the quarterline is just cuing the lead you want on a straght line. This should be easy before you try changes.
It's not counter canter until you go around a turn.

However, depending on the horse you have, you may want to gently reinforce counter canter before you bring up changes (if he has a tendency to start swapping early on his own), or be damn sure to just stick with the straight line (if he was born being able to counter canter a 10m circle).

The first horse needs to learn to wait for the rider, the second one needs to learn to pay attention and REACT and not just ladida in the same lead no matter what.

Appsolute
Mar. 20, 2012, 05:31 PM
You can also add a second rail off the "going away" curve from the rail in the new lead to help correct a cross-canter. So basically you hop over the one rail and then curve smoothly toward the next in the new lead.

But over-reliance on the rail can create front-to-back changes.

Hey, thanks for the tip! She is prone to corss cantering when changing from her "good" direction to her weak one. I will try this.

OveroHunter
Mar. 20, 2012, 05:54 PM
Excellent thread. Thanks for the great explanation meupatdoes!

inca
Mar. 20, 2012, 06:19 PM
I am going to have try this on the warmblood, they seem to be a bit slower than the thoroughbreds to pick this up...

Don't think this is a correct generalization at all. My warmblood picked them up VERY easily. Matter of fact, hunter trainer cantered across the diagonal, asked as she approached the rail and got a clean change first time she asked. Same thing the other way except that she had to make her aids a little stronger that way. Horse is naturally balanced with a very nice canter. IMHO, the quality of the canter is going to make or break you when it comes to teaching flying changes. If you have a well-balanced, active canter, it makes teaching changes much easier.

Electrikk
Mar. 20, 2012, 07:41 PM
You can also add a second rail off the "going away" curve from the rail in the new lead to help correct a cross-canter. So basically you hop over the one rail and then curve smoothly toward the next in the new lead.

But over-reliance on the rail can create front-to-back changes.

We used this all the time with one of our "big babies" (one of those horses that's definitely old enough to know how to do changes, just likes to pretend he doesn't know what's going on) and they worked wonders. They helped him figure out that when the rider shifts her weight and gives the cue for a canter, he's supposed to lift into the other lead. He hated to pick up his feet normally, so the pole gave him a bit more time to organize and get the front and back.

But please don't just pick up a forward canter and run your horse into a fence at an angle to set it off balance and into the other lead. Doesn't teach the horse anything, looks horrible, and, most importantly, can be kinda dangerous.

inca
Mar. 20, 2012, 08:50 PM
But please don't just pick up a forward canter and run your horse into a fence at an angle to set it off balance and into the other lead. Doesn't teach the horse anything, looks horrible, and, most importantly, can be kinda dangerous.

I think this was directed at me and that is NOT what was going on with my mare. She stays VERY balanced and rhythmic and changes well before she is "run into a fence." There is no running involved at all. No different than asking out of counter canter just before the short side of an arena or asking while cantering a figure 8.

And my point was that you can't say warmbloods in general don't get changes easily. My mare just said "oh, we are changing direction and you asked so I will very calmly, quietly and politely do a flying change." And when I mention an "active" canter, that does NOT mean super forward. It means active with their hind legs - a term I guess more often used in dressage. It has nothing to do with speed.

Blacktree
Mar. 22, 2012, 12:02 AM
This has been a great and timely thread. When I taught my last 2 competition horses (my old tb and our stallion) flying changes, they just did them from the beginning when I asked, so I never really learned how to 'teach' them. My current youngster actually has a lovely canter, but he's had to be taught every. little. detail. about how I expect him to move when he's ridden at canter, especially staying up and through. It's just something he's had to think about and learn, unlike my others. I tried a few months ago to introduce changes on him and it didn't work very well. So I set it aside and have been working even more to further his balance and jump through at canter. Lately things have really been 'clicking' and his canter feels wonderful. So I read this (and the other thread in dressage) yesterday to freshen up and voila! he got his changes after 2 tries yesterday, then confirmed that he 'got it' every time I asked for them today. I am thrilled. So thanks for the tips, guys! And if you are working on introducing changes but not having success, remember to back up and make sure that your canter is where it needs to be. Some horses just need a little more time. : )

Dewey
Mar. 22, 2012, 12:12 AM
Someone posted a link to this article in a similar thread a while ago, and I liked it so much that I bookmarked it:

http://www.southernstates.com/articles/the-key-to-lead-changes.aspx

Carol Ames
Mar. 22, 2012, 12:49 AM
ideally the horse will do it naturally:cool: but, if not:no:, leg yield off the inside leg to wall; half halt on outside rein while weighting outside stirrup , "step" out"
one stride trot to canter;"

Addison
Mar. 23, 2012, 07:56 AM
Aids used to ask for the canter on a well schooled horse…"outside leg".

Frivian
Mar. 23, 2012, 10:28 AM
This is a great thread and thanks for the explanation meup. Last year with my horse we tried to teach him changes using the typical hunter "canter across the diagonal with a pole and force the change over the pole" and it turned into a disaster. I had to stop trying changes with him because he would get so anxious going across the middle of the ring, and also going over poles.

We spent the winter improving the canter and teaching counter canter. I hope to try with the changes again soon, and this technique sounds MUCH better than what I've tried in the past!

Carol Ames
Mar. 23, 2012, 11:23 AM
Amazing, isn't it? this is bringing up all sorts of memories of horses I've ridden; the most important part of the canter stride is the "up" suspension phase, think it longer ; Then sitting very still, ride a school figure, the horses who taught me the Most the did it or offered it on their own after working on a school figure like a serpentine, focusing on the quality:yes: of the canter; going from counter canter to true canter focusing on the "jump in the canter allows the horse time:yes: to change;) The same across the short end thinking about making the "up" phase longer:cool:, then stepping "out" on the turn also, prepare by doing a simple change in each corner; if you have a solid wall or fence use that as a "reminder":lol:to do a change; remember thre is a BIG difference between a counter canter in balance;), and cantering on the "wrong:eek: :" lead;riding a serpentine in canter is probably the best way to teach a balanced counter canter; from there a calm, balanced flying change will follow:cool:; just allow it
to happen, rather than trying to make :o it happen:mad:

Electrikk
Mar. 25, 2012, 08:24 PM
I think this was directed at me and that is NOT what was going on with my mare.

Sorry if what I said about running horses into fences seemed to be directed at you, that was not my intention at all. I was just thinking about all the pony kids I see at the local shows with trainers just yelling at them to "KICK 'EM KICK 'EM RUN 'EM INTO THE FENCE!!" which does nothing except cause the pony to gallop around like a maniac and encourage bad habits in horse & rider.
I really do apologize that I seemed to be going after you/your methods, that was not my intent.

Carol Ames
Mar. 26, 2012, 01:36 PM
[Actually it is the inside leg;) just below the knee;

I had difficulty understanding/ accepting this until my last horse for whom ," less was in fact more"":lol:She was extremely sensiti:ove to touch and often overreacttive:eek:,too:o; I learned , finally to her, I'm sure to:mad::cool: use just the muscle about 2 fingers below the inside knee






quote=Addison;6212984]Aids used to ask for the canter on a well schooled horse…"outside leg".[/quote]

altjaeger
Mar. 26, 2012, 02:12 PM
The wikipedia article on "the canter" has well written descriptions of the 3 sets of canter aids which they call:

1) Outside lateral aids -- for green horses (to be used by trainers)

2) Diagonal aids -- for most horses and most riders

3) Inside lateral aids -- for advanced riders and horses

But I don't know if these are universally subscribed to.

Aids for the canter depart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canter#Aids_for_the_canter_depart)