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tell me your flying change sucess stories

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  • tell me your flying change sucess stories

    Hi,

    I am teaching my mare (with an good instructor) to do flying changes. It is not an ideal situation as my trainer is retired from riding, and I am not very experienced with riding the flying change. My poor mare tries her heart out but we usually only get 1/2 changes ( a few weeks ago it was nothing at all)

    So I want to hear your sucsess stories! How you taught the changes and how long it took you. What excersices helped you?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I am interested in seeing the responses to this.
    Two creatures; The one who thinks and the other who executes the thought.
    ~This is the ideal of Classical Riding~

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't know if it's helpful for dressage riders but my hunter/jumper coach swears by canter poles in the corner (set up in more of a fan shape than a line) to help fix late lead changes! We do a change across the diagonal and if they're late in behind we take them over the poles to help them learn that they need to balance a bit more quickly!

      I don't know if that makes any sense to you or even if that's a regular method but it worked for my horse!

      Comment


      • #4
        All I can say is improve the quality of the canter.....and before you do that have someone on the ground teach you exactly what that means, ie what is a good canter - forward with enough jump and a quick hind leg. When I have 'that' and my horse is straight and truly through on each rein the changes happen without really even having to work at it.
        Ranch of Last Resort

        Comment


        • #5
          As said, first the quality of the canter must be consistently good. The rider must be able to shorten and lengthen while keeping the jump through.

          Then for the rider. I have them play with serpentines at the rising trot. Counter bend,absolutely straight, bend change, with posting diagonal change. I know that is something that should have been polished at First. but that is more complicated than an actual flying change. Once they realize that a flying change is no more difficult, they cease making a project of the change, and do it.

          I do, usually to make it easy, set them up initially on a really short diagonal.
          Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

          Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

          Comment


          • #6
            Have solid simple changes through the walk in nice controlled collected canter; then practice those on serpentine or diagnols; and then try asking for changes in the same spots. Also ground poles are helpful.

            Comment


            • #7
              I saw a very interesting exercise at the Stephen Clarke clinic last weekend to school changes. Mr. Clarke suggested not doing the change until you could move the shoulders where you wanted them; he had the riders practice cantering (and counter cantering) while moving the horse's shoulders to either side (with the same amount of bend used for a proper shoulder in.)

              Once the rider could move the shoulders to either side effectively without losing the quality of the canter, he had them create that shoulder in position before asking for the change. They were all clean if that was done properly.
              **********
              We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
              -PaulaEdwina

              Comment


              • #8
                I have seen a similar exercise using haunches in. I would worry that this could easily cause changes with the horse swinging its hindquarter left and right in the changes, so the rider would then have to fix this to get straight changes.

                Seems easier to get it as right as possible from the start.
                Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have seen a similar exercise using haunches in. I would worry that this could easily cause changes with the horse swinging its hindquarter left and right in the changes, so the rider would then have to fix this to get straight changes.

                  But that's the key of the exercises proposed by Clarke, it's that you mobilize the shoulders, supple the horse and establish straight. If you focus on the hind end as in the exercise you describe, mobilizing the haunches, the issue you are concerned about is far easier to occur because it feeds into some common evasions. Mobilizing the shoulders as done in the Clarke clinic isn't easy and requires focus and knowledge that you are doing exactly 'that' (so a good eye on the ground helps). It also requires that you keep the hind end reaching underneath and where you want it. If done correctly it can help even the most, um difficult welsh cob who thinks he's incapable of bending, do the changes and do them clean and straight <wink>.
                  Ranch of Last Resort

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by exvet View Post
                    I have seen a similar exercise using haunches in. I would worry that this could easily cause changes with the horse swinging its hindquarter left and right in the changes, so the rider would then have to fix this to get straight changes.

                    But that's the key of the exercises proposed by Clarke, it's that you mobilize the shoulders, supple the horse and establish straight. If you focus on the hind end as in the exercise you describe, mobilizing the haunches, the issue you are concerned about is far easier to occur because it feeds into some common evasions. Mobilizing the shoulders as done in the Clarke clinic isn't easy and requires focus and knowledge that you are doing exactly 'that' (so a good eye on the ground helps). It also requires that you keep the hind end reaching underneath and where you want it. If done correctly it can help even the most, um difficult welsh cob who thinks he's incapable of bending, do the changes and do them clean and straight <wink>.
                    This is exactly how Mr. Clarke described it and in fact, it *helped* the straightness during the changes. The horse's hindquarters stay on the proper line during the exercises and it's only the shoulders that shift. Until the rider can execute the shift of the shoulders properly, the changes are not attempted.

                    I cannot say I've had a lot of experience with this as my horse started out life as a hunter and therefore had a change installed very early, but just out of curiosity yesterday, I tried the exercise myself to see if I "had" the shoulders - and found that the quality of our change improved quite a bit. (More expressive and jumping, less flat/hunter like!)
                    **********
                    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                    -PaulaEdwina

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well for me we just started going down the center line and trying to get a change at the end. It was not a very structured plan. I was in lessons then. One day my horse just understood and got 6 or 8 in a row. For a while after, every time I rode her that was like her new thing. She would do flying lead changes while we were going straight on the rail. Once she got over that though she does them by herself now if I didn't catch it.
                      If I could redo it though, I would start by doing simple changes. Turn in a canter, trot after the turn, pick up the opposite lead and then turn back onto the rail. Just to get them thinking about switching left then right. Do less and less trot in between the canters. A canter pole can help because it gives them more time to change. And like the 2nd reply says they can help if the horse doesn't get the back lead. I know many ponies that have trouble getting the back.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks for all of the advice! I will really start to think about the quality of the canter. I don't think I understand the shoulder thing well enough to have it make sense to my mare, but I will play around more with shoulder in and shoulder out in the canter just to see if I can do it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Counter canter really helps to balance the horse especially through the corners.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            NB: Not the recommended way to teach them! I was a teenager with a slightly crazed OTTB, a loose ring single-joint snaffle, and a jump saddle, who had lessonsonce a week with a Hunter trainer who didn't ride. I showed Hunters at the time so the basic flying changes were necessary but the rest of it was just for fun. But it is a good success story! If ignorant teenage me could do it so can you!

                            When I taught my boy I did not go on a diagonal but straight across the short way (think BXE). I made sure he was rocked back on his hind end and rode straight at the wall. Just before the wall I would signal a fairly abrupt turn and he would swap. Despite riding in a straight line I had to pretend in my mind that I was going on a circle and not changing because otherwise I would unconsciously start to bend the other way and just end up with a counter-canter and no change. Eyes on the wall the whole way, then bam! After a few of these surprise!wall!changes he understood the idea well enough.

                            After that we moved on to diagonals followed by canter serpentines with a change every time. Then I got the bright idea to teach tempi changes.

                            I started shortening my serpentines and not going all the way to the wall. So I had a snaking line from A to C with a changes. I continually made the line straighter and straighter while asking for changes. After a couple of weeks of work he could do 1 tempis the whole way in a straight line. They weren't the most elegant with invisible cues but they were straight and complete changes every time. Honestly, I think the fact on occasion we did pole bending for fun in 4-H actually helped quite a bit!

                            ------------

                            Also a quick note. Try to get your changes from back to front. You didn't ask for advice and you said you have a good instructor so feel free to ignore the following!

                            If you're getting half changes your mare might have too much weight on her forehand. Make sure you are sitting up and looking ahead and have her rocked back on her hind end. There's a sort of natural tendency to throw the upper body forward into the new stride to help the change which in reality will really unbalance her. Sit UP! Since she's learning you may want to even lift your new inside hand a bit when you ask. Also, make sure you're asking at the right point in the stride. If you mistime it the horse can't physically do what you're asking.

                            This is a great lesson series. I recommend reading this lesson and the next one. http://www.classicaldressage.net/mem..._changes1.html
                            Last edited by EvieG13; Mar. 1, 2014, 03:30 PM. Reason: added link

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Cowboys have been using the run 'em into a wall, training method for ever. They have also been using sharp bend turns.

                              The trouble with us dressage types, is we want them jumping through, and straight, on a horse that has the muscle and conditioning to carry it off well.

                              It sounds as though you have been lucky enough to get the right results instinctively.
                              Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                              Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                                Cowboys have been using the run 'em into a wall, training method for ever. They have also been using sharp bend turns.

                                The trouble with us dressage types, is we want them jumping through, and straight, on a horse that has the muscle and conditioning to carry it off well.

                                It sounds as though you have been lucky enough to get the right results instinctively.

                                Yeah if I were to put changes on a horse now I wouldn't do it that way! That TB I had as a kid was stupidly athletic so I think that's probably how it managed to work out.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I didn't read most responses, but before you can put a change on a horse, you must be able to do them cold yourself.

                                  If by "half-changes" you mean that the horses changes the lead up front and not behind, I would stop attempting changes at all right now.

                                  It is very easy to ruin changes by poorly training them at the beginning.

                                  Once you learn how to do them yourself, you can try to put them on your horse with good instruction.

                                  I will say that changes are as much about the quality of the canter as they are the change itself.

                                  Cowboys have been using the run 'em into a wall, training method for ever. They have also been using sharp bend turns.
                                  Cowboy training is the very antithesis of dressage training. Aside from being poor training, throwing a horse off balance and forcing a change can cause lameness.
                                  Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Ask for a change only after your horse is as supple and balanced in the counter canter as he is on the correct lead.

                                    I guess I'm in the minority in that I didn't really learn to ride (dressage) changes before I taught my horse, but that's the rule that I stuck with and it has led us to nice, clean, easy changes and we're now easily schooling 3s and 2s. Your horse MUST be really balanced with great jump and activity before he'll be able to cleanly change both back and front together. Think about it, and watch some slow-motion videos so you can really see how much air time is needed to change the sequence of the footfalls mid-air.

                                    ETA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUgnXKK0ris

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      DressageLvr:

                                      "Cowboy training is the very antithesis of dressage training."

                                      This is an over-generalization. If you're interested, there's some great reading out there that will show you this. Some cowboy-trained horses could put the average "dressage horse" to shame - in a dressage show.

                                      As usual there are goods and bads all over.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Dressagelvr View Post
                                        I didn't read most responses, but before you can put a change on a horse, you must be able to do them cold yourself.

                                        If by "half-changes" you mean that the horses changes the lead up front and not behind, I would stop attempting changes at all right now.

                                        It is very easy to ruin changes by poorly training them at the beginning.

                                        Once you learn how to do them yourself, you can try to put them on your horse with good instruction.

                                        I will say that changes are as much about the quality of the canter as they are the change itself.


                                        Cowboy training is the very antithesis of dressage training. Aside from being poor training, throwing a horse off balance and forcing a change can cause lameness.
                                        Before you go to commenting, read the posts!!!!!!

                                        Every rider, has to learn to do changes some time. Few of us start in the saddle knowing how to do them "cold" or hot.

                                        As far as using the wall goes. I don't think anyone spoke of throwing the horse off balance. Using a wall or a very short diagonal helps set he horse up mentally for success, much as many of us ask for the first correct canter lead when turning the corner onto the short side of the arena, or coming off the short side.
                                        Last edited by merrygoround; Mar. 2, 2014, 12:37 PM. Reason: Added some thoughts!
                                        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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