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Is teaching dressage flying changes really THAT diff than teaching hunter changes?

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  • Is teaching dressage flying changes really THAT diff than teaching hunter changes?

    Is there really that big a difference in the beginning? I was just told that if I teach my own young horse (formerly dressage, now a hunter) basic flying changes, I will be teaching him wrong because it is more of a dressage way than hunter way, that it may effect his training and salability as a hunter. Something about how he needs to do them flat?

    Back when I was a kid doing hunters, we kind of threw the horse off balance, and splat into a change. Everybody clapped. But that was 30 years ago. Things might be different now.

    I am not sure I understand. What is the difference? Can someone please explain?

    I have seen hunters changing front to back (like some reiners), and then I have seen them do them correctly back to front. From what I can tell, they are not able to tell the difference and just think a change is a change?

  • #2
    Hunters correctly change back to front. Sometimes people being active, leaning or pulling on top causes the front to back change. It should be seamless, you shouldn't be able to see them change. Nothing dramatic, all of a sudden they are on the correct lead. Otherwise it disrupts the rhythm, causes them to stall, and lose their pace. You can feel the difference even if others can't see it!

    Comment


    • #3
      The only difference as long as the change is ridden back to front correctly is the canter it comes out of.
      Hunter canter a little longer and flatter, dressage canter a little higher and rounder.

      A good rider on a well trained horse should be able to shape the change how they like. You know, by ...riding.

      For the record, none of my hunter trainers have ever objected to my horse's lead changes, and this horse and I have lessoned with some of the best in the business. I just quietly don't mention that he is in full-on dressage training and schools in a dressage saddle 99% of the time, and apparently these top top trainers don't notice the "difference."

      Similarly none of the internationally competitive dressage clinicians can "tell" that the horse actually competes in the hunters.

      Either they are all blind, or I'm just a really good trickster or...the only difference is the canter it comes out of.
      The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
      Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
      Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
      The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Seal Harbor View Post
        Hunters correctly change back to front. Sometimes people being active, leaning or pulling on top causes the front to back change. It should be seamless, you shouldn't be able to see them change. Nothing dramatic, all of a sudden they are on the correct lead. Otherwise it disrupts the rhythm, causes them to stall, and lose their pace. You can feel the difference even if others can't see it!
        Unless you ask the hunter forums, where most of the folks there don't know the difference. Though, yes, a hunter is supposed to change back to front as well, otherwise technically they're changing a stride later in back.

        I have never had trouble getting a horse who has learned to change while travelling more uphill learn to flatten out the changes when it is asked to travel in a more flat manner.
        Originally posted by Silverbridge
        If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thank you. Just as I thought. I think its more about trying to stay in control of the situation. This horse is so rediculously uphill he couldn't be flat it he tried. They love him for his uphill rhythmic metronome canter and jumping technique.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes one is like a lead swap rather than a transition IMO.

            If you are training changes in dressage for competition you are most usually riding a horse in collection.

            Collected work = straight upward changes

            Flat work (working gaits) = change of lead that is most usually a swap of legs vs. a transition that is more obvious.

            Teaching a lead change before collection would be the same in any discipline being that most horses are not straight enough to say they are doing them the "dressage" way.

            An uphill horse naturally may look like he/she is doing them the dressage way... But a trained eye can tell the difference.

            The auto lead change is very much encouraged in the hunterland.... But all that this could mean is the horse is not deep enough of a mover to keep counter canter (notice I said could), and really would be undesirable a trait for dressage being that the canter is very shallow behind (uness it was a trained response turn = change a very different issue).

            My two cents with a bit of salt.
            ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
            http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              In dressage, we were taught to weight the new inside seat bone while tapping with the new outside leg and half-halting with the new outside rein. We also give slightly with the new inside rein so the inside shoulder can have more height. All done sitting, not in a half seat.
              Anne
              -------
              "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Not again, what are the hunter aids? I am wondering how they cue them, as they say. Are the canter aids the same? I teach all my horses the same way as I ride my fei horse - cantering mainly from the seat: ride the horse uphill, inside seat bone swings forward into canter seat position, inside leg for support, outside leg slightly behind girth. It will be interesting to see what he feels like after taking a detour for a few months into hunterland.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  He has simple changes. Quality walk canter, canter walk. Not sure where he stands about canter canter.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider View Post
                    Not again, what are the hunter aids? I am wondering how they cue them, as they say. Are the canter aids the same? I teach all my horses the same way as I ride my fei horse - cantering mainly from the seat: ride the horse uphill, inside seat bone swings forward into canter seat position, inside leg for support, outside leg slightly behind girth. It will be interesting to see what he feels like after taking a detour for a few months into hunterland.
                    When hunter riders ride poorly, "hunter aids" are to add leg leg leg, pull the inside rein and lean to the inside. This usually results in a front-to-back change.

                    When hunter riders ride well, "hunter aids" are to straighten, straighten, straighten, send the horse's weight away from the desired lead, hold the new outside rein and allow the new inside lead to come through.
                    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                    Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      But what are the aids that they use to ask for the canter itself? How do they ask for the flying change?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hunter changes should be back to front, just like dressage changes. However, they shouldn't be expressive like dressage changes. They should be perfectly flat- the legs should just switch. The rider should hardly feel anything, and to the obeserver, it should look like the horse is just cantering around in a rhythm going about his business. They shouldn't even notice the change.

                        As for aids, bring new outside leg back and squeeze. Some hunter trainers teach the kids to lift the new inside hand as well.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider View Post
                          But what are the aids that they use to ask for the canter itself? How do they ask for the flying change?
                          Different people ask different ways depending on how correctly they ride, no matter what discipline they are in.

                          Riding incorrectly or correctly is not discipline specific. There are good hunter riders who ride changes beautifully and poor dressage riders who can't get them to save their lives.

                          Just ride the most correct way you know how, in the way that you believe will get the most universal results no matter what horse you are riding.

                          If someone said "hunter riders pull on the inside rein and lean all their weight on the inside stirrup while increasing the stride to a hand-gallop," this would certainly be true for SOME hunter riders, but would you want to imitate it? No.
                          The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                          Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                          Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                          The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks everyone! This is very educational. Always like to expand my knowledge as to how other disciplines do things. I really didn't think there was much of a difference.


                            joiedevie99, how do they achieve this flatness? To me that would sound like the horse is not so much on its hind end, not so back to front, but more in the middle? But exactly HOW do they achieve flatness? What if the horse is not flat? His hind leg jumps way under him at the canter, like under my leg.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I dont think you want to achieve flatness. I think that is meant RELATIVE to the roundness in dressage which is - collection. The dressage flying change is more collected - it is more power and push where the hunter or jumper is - yes in essense - SWAPPING leads more than a 'flying' change. I think a lot of problems occur when a hunter is not collected ENOUGH and CANT change back to front. The horse is not asked correctly is part of it - the other part of it is a lackof balance. A lot of novice riders perch and cue. Their horses are on the forehand. Some horses balance despite that due to their conformation and/or training. But I have seen a lot of 4 beat canters that are downhill due to balance and the horse COULDNT do a back to front change if they tried.

                              But I have seen that in dressage too. But then, its not asked for by a novice rider in dressage unless you have a novice rider on a 2nd level horse or up (which wastes the horse IMO) - a novice rider needs to follow the training scale too. IMHO Like - learn to balance a horse and ride solid training level and first level work before trying to do dressage type flying changes. Whereas, a novice riding a 2'6" course needs to change leads when she changes direction.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider View Post
                                Not again, what are the hunter aids? I am wondering how they cue them, as they say. Are the canter aids the same? I teach all my horses the same way as I ride my fei horse - cantering mainly from the seat: ride the horse uphill, inside seat bone swings forward into canter seat position, inside leg for support, outside leg slightly behind girth. It will be interesting to see what he feels like after taking a detour for a few months into hunterland.
                                Originally posted by Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider View Post
                                But what are the aids that they use to ask for the canter itself? How do they ask for the flying change?
                                I taught my hunter (breed show, not A show) changes that way. Basically he was naturally collected enough to just change with those basic cues. It eventually evolved into just asking for the lead he wasn't on as someone else suggested - new outside leg back and a little pressure. To canter, it was the same - move the outside leg back slightly, light squeeze. Some hunters are squeezing all the time, to get still legs or make up for lack of seat. Doing that on my horse would have gotten him over whatever fences were in front of him, arena included. In IHSA in college, lead changes basically worked the same way on all horses, but of course I had to emphasize straightness before and after a lot more when it was horses who I hadn't been riding aka training to go straight when not told to bend/turn.

                                BTW - my QH hunter could do up to two tempis if I asked him to collect and come a bit more uphill. Easily. I never got ones, but never really tried hard, either.
                                Originally posted by Silverbridge
                                If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  No, as others have quite articulately stated.

                                  One way to think of flat, aside from smooth, is that it doesn't interfere with your stride and eff up the distance to a fence. So, if you happened to do a change on a roll-back turn the distance and your relationship to it wouldn't be affected by doing the change.
                                  The Evil Chem Prof

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Hey Peggy! How's it going? Thanks for the insight! I am a dressage rider for the last 34 years since I was immersed in hunterjumper land. :-)


                                    Originally posted by Peggy View Post
                                    So, if you happened to do a change on a roll-back turn the distance and your relationship to it wouldn't be affected by doing the change.

                                    Me No Speak Hunter Jumpericano! :-)

                                    (spin on the song "We No Speak Americano" - one of my favorite workout songs, or to dance to! Fun beat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7bLO8D9sis



                                    .

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Seal Harbor View Post
                                      Hunters correctly change back to front. Sometimes people being active, leaning or pulling on top causes the front to back change. It should be seamless, you shouldn't be able to see them change. Nothing dramatic, all of a sudden they are on the correct lead. Otherwise it disrupts the rhythm, causes them to stall, and lose their pace. You can feel the difference even if others can't see it!
                                      There was recently a thread on the H/J forum and I learned that it is considered a good change, even if it is front to back so long as it is in the same stride and smooth, and that was according to CBoylen, who shows hunters year round.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by SaddleFitterVA View Post
                                        There was recently a thread on the H/J forum and I learned that it is considered a good change, even if it is front to back so long as it is in the same stride and smooth, and that was according to CBoylen, who shows hunters year round.
                                        I know who she is. I have been doing the hunters for a very long time. She is correct, however the most correct change no matter what the discipline is back to front.

                                        It is infinitely easier to maintain a rhythm if the changes are back to front. Front to back there is still the millisecond where the horse might get late behind.

                                        My most recent horse, a TB, started for the track but never anything much beyond that, did back to front changes the first time he was asked. As a very long 2 year old. Both directions. In a baby hunter frame, on nearly no contact. He is naturally balanced despite being built slightly down hill. He does want to step up under himself and use his hind end.

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