So lately I've been having issues setting up and getting my changes quietly. I have the bad habit of not really setting up for them and then doing the pull hard on inside rein and jerk my body. I'm working really hard on fixing this and trying to be more conscious of it. My main problem now is in setting up the change, trying to get the new bend, I'm getting stiff and rushy, which is making the mare I ride get more stiff and even more reluctant to bend. We can do the changes very nicely in those times I actually am able to sit, get the bend and then ask. However, it takes me a while to get to that. Anybody have any exercises or tips to get me to relax and not get so stiff and rushy?
How are your simple changes? Are you doing these on the flat or or while jumping, or both? I think there was a recent thread on the pros and cons of schooling changes on the flat, so that might be worth a read.
I have always found that if my horse is straight and I sit up straight and think about putting my weight in my outside stirrup, then the change happens 99.9% of the time. I also have a "feel" on the inside rein, but I wouldn't say that I "pull" it to get the new bend.
However, if I mess, fuss, or fiddle with the change, then I usually do not get it. Almost always, my horse is not straight or I am leaning too far forward, etc. etc.
If I get in a rut, I go back to simple changes for a little bit so I can stop "messing" it up... It has always worked for me.
Is this a green horse? If so, then just take your time - don't frustrate your mare. If she learns to be fussy about the change, then you will get the tail-swishing, ears pinned, ugly change and it will take you a while to undo it, if you can undo it.
Simple changes are great. And we almost (90-95% of the time) always get the change it just isn't smooth and quiet. I'm leasing her from my trainer, who doesn't have this issue with her so I know it's mostly me and how I'm setting up/asking. We haven't schooled them on the flat much just because we don't want to drill her. She's extremely smart and picks things up very quickly. On the flat I can get her to change the bend and then wait to be asked but I'm having a hard time getting that same feeling during a course.