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Got Change?

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  • Got Change?

    Okay Eqtrainer....this post is dedicated to you.

    Eqtrainer can attest that as a five year old, we had determined that my girl was going to be mentally challenged at changes.

    Current trainer has had her in full training now for two months and...we have changes.....

    Oh. Do. We. Have. Changes......

    I had to laugh last week in trainer gets on..as soon as he picks up canter...I hear.."Noooo, I didn't ask for that"...few seconds later.."Stop it, not yet!"...she was a changing fool. Apparently his seat suddenly equaled changes to her.

    So a couple of days ago, it was my turn to ask her for a few changes...

    After we got a couple good changes, we stopped on that, with huge pats.

    So..Christmas Eve, I'm by myself in the barn....she's being a good girl, so I start working on medium to collective canter....and all of a sudden we have..."BOOM, CHANGE" "BOOM, CHANGE BACK"...two strides later"BOOM CHANGE"...All I could do was start giggling. Now that she has learned how to change, she seems to enjoy doing them to the point that she just does them for fun.

    I'm not worried, I am fortuante to be with a very, very good trainer....but am just curious if anyone else has any good "CHANGES" stories. This is my first young horse, so I've never experienced moving up the ladder with a young horse before.

  • #2
    It's not really a good thing. At all. I would not be laughing or saying isn't she cute. Usually by the time people get to the second horse they do changes with, they realize this is not cute and is a problem, because the first horse never winds up getting good changes.

    On the first horse, they think the horse is 'eager' or 'excited to show off his new trick'.

    It's not that. It is a problem. The horse doesn't understand the aids, is tense, is off balance, is using the change to avoid working in the canter, or all of the above. But it is not unusual. In fact, most horses do this - the key is that they don't do it for very long. At all. Like a day.

    The key is that the change is causing tension, confusion, and they don't really understand the aid. The best thing one can do is teach the horse a very obvious aid for the change, not a little tiny twitch of their butt in the saddle, because then the horse is going to think eveyr time you move you mean for him to change. Make an obvious, clear aid.

    She needs to learn not to change until you ask. Stop her and start again (don't punish, just stop and start again, as immediately as possible), and try to develop your 'no change language'. Stay over to one side of the saddle, exaggerate your outside leg, even for just a short while, keeping a very slight bend toward the leading leg (but don't rely too much on that except for very briefly during this problem phase, let it be more from the leg and seat, if you 'get the change from the bend' you'll regret it later).
    Last edited by slc2; Dec. 26, 2009, 07:17 AM.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Oh my goodness, here's what I get for writing a tongue and cheek post in the dressage forum.

      Slic, I didn't even bother reading the entire post. I have a qualified trainer who is more than capable of fixing the situation...thus, why I wasn't asking for advice on how to fix the problem.

      I'm not off to compete in the big FEI's, I'm just having fun with the journey. I adore my horse, enjoy learning, have a good coach....that's really all that matters to me. Considerig I could have lost this horse to colic in 2004, this isn't a big deal in my game of life. This is a horse that a few years ago, we would have never guessed would have come this far, now she's half passing with ease and grace across the ring, she's muscled, she's starting to sit, AND she's enjoying her job. I'd say she's already made drastic changes in a mere 60 days. So I'm going to leave the "Training" to the trainer, I was just interested in hearing other people's experiences with their horses at this point in training. Maybe she's the only horse EVER in this universe to hit this particular snafu....dunno.

      I am sure that I am not the only one who has had a horse grow through some growing pains learning how to do changes. Maybe she'll just be a one "tempi" pony. And yes, that was also meant as a joke.
      Last edited by dalpal; Dec. 26, 2009, 08:37 AM.

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      • #4
        I am sure you will get it ironed out, you needn't bother with a progress report on my account.

        I did not notice anything tongue in cheek about your post, but on the other hand, we have way, way too many people here without the kind of help you have, and a ton more who think horses flipping off changes all the time are showing 'talent' and 'eagerness'.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by slc2 View Post
          I am sure you will get it ironed out, you needn't bother with a progress report on my account.

          I did not notice anything tongue in cheek about your post, but on the other hand, we have way, way too many people here without the kind of help you have, and a ton more who think horses flipping off changes all the time are showing 'talent' and 'eagerness'.
          That's exactly right, she's in qualified hands.

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          • #6
            OP - I have a gelding who has been sneaking changes like that since he was a four year old. In his world (the only one that matters, right? ), if you get a bit too centered with your seat bones - well - he takes over and starts to bounce between your legs...all the way down to his 1 tempi's. *blush* If you are schooling counting changes (lines of 4's, 3's, etc), he will sometimes advance the count to the 1's to 'get it over with' - he is quite smart and knows what is coming, so it is a bit of a game for him to take over. My Grand Prix mare Annie was the same way - they seem to find the changes fun and other than teaching them to wait and be patient, I just giggle, too. Several of the other FEI horses will do the same thing - but the real Tasker is a bit of prankster and seems to revel in catching a rider's error much like Annie did.

            Congrats on making such wonderful progress with your girl! Good luck to both of you in the New Year!
            Watermark Farm
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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Tasker View Post
              OP - I have a gelding who has been sneaking changes like that since he was a four year old. In his world (the only one that matters, right? ), if you get a bit too centered with your seat bones - well - he takes over and starts to bounce between your legs...all the way down to his 1 tempi's. *blush* If you are schooling counting changes (lines of 4's, 3's, etc), he will sometimes advance the count to the 1's to 'get it over with' - he is quite smart and knows what is coming, so it is a bit of a game for him to take over. My Grand Prix mare Annie was the same way - they seem to find the changes fun and other than teaching them to wait and be patient, I just giggle, too. Several of the other FEI horses will do the same thing - but the real Tasker is a bit of prankster and seems to revel in catching a rider's error much like Annie did.



              Congrats on making such wonderful progress with your girl! Good luck to both of you in the New Year!
              Thanks Tasker.....This girl is very much a "take charge" kind of girl.....My trainer thinks that she'll probably wind up being one of those trusty schoolmaster types who says.."Honey, I've got this"

              We have a wise old schoolmaster at the barn (this horse has quite a lengthy show record and he has been there and done that), and much like yours...he thinks he is large and in charge. He likes to take advantage of my friend (her daughter is his owner)...She was practicing changes on him one day recently (wanting 3's) and he would give her 1 four, several twos and would end every line in about 6 ones. Anything BUT threes! He knew what he was doing and was enjoying having his way. She's an experienced FEI rider, but she wasn't HIS rider and he was just having a bit of "I'm in charge of this ride" attitude.

              I am proud of my girl....she has gone from looking like a gangly teenager to this beautiful round muscled horse. I laughingly told my trainer that now she looks like a big pony on stilts. He has done an amazing job with this girl in two months.

              Now my older TB who is trained through 3rd/4th level.....He always gives me the best changes when I don't ask. It never fails, if I'm in a lesson on him, by about the third time across the diagnol, he will take charge and do it on his own....at that point, I always hear..."There you go, that one was clean". And yes, I sheepishly yell out..."I didn't ask".

              We have another horse at the barn who has memorized the PSG test....and if you start riding it, he just takes over.

              Comment


              • #8
                This made me smile.

                While I know that 'volunteering' can be bad (boy do I know!) I also find it endearing at times.
                InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

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                • #9
                  Congratulations! Sounds like you are on the right track -- and glad you have a sense of humor AND appreciation for her trying to please you. And, even if she is not really trying to "please you" but rather getting too eager or is mixed up, so what? She is changing -- and the opposite (confusion and NO changes) is a MUCH worse situation. Good for you for not punishing her. That really would be the wrong thing to do.

                  So many riders (myself included in the past) get so wound up and tight about the changes...and that is so counter-productive. It needs to be a fun game for the horse and you. My coming 5-1/2 year-old has figured out changes and I really have to focus on my weight across diagonals or after a canter half pass or she does changes. When she does, I don't make a big deal (other than laughing or smiling to myself) and I just keep going, and resolve to be more precise with my weight next time...because it was most likely me not her!

                  Keep going and keep having fun with your girl!
                  "Dreams are the touchstone of our characters." Henry David Thoreau
                  Touchstone Farm
                  www.bytouchstonefarm.com

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Touchstone Farm View Post
                    Congratulations! Sounds like you are on the right track -- and glad you have a sense of humor AND appreciation for her trying to please you. And, even if she is not really trying to "please you" but rather getting too eager or is mixed up, so what? She is changing -- and the opposite (confusion and NO changes) is a MUCH worse situation. Good for you for not punishing her. That really would be the wrong thing to do.

                    So many riders (myself included in the past) get so wound up and tight about the changes...and that is so counter-productive. It needs to be a fun game for the horse and you. My coming 5-1/2 year-old has figured out changes and I really have to focus on my weight across diagonals or after a canter half pass or she does changes. When she does, I don't make a big deal (other than laughing or smiling to myself) and I just keep going, and resolve to be more precise with my weight next time...because it was most likely me not her!

                    Keep going and keep having fun with your girl!
                    Thanks Touchstone! While I adore riding my older horse, I get more gratification out of this horse's journey. We've certainly had our ups and downs (I've had her since she was 3 months old)....but now she is really starting to enjoy her job and really trying.

                    And if anyone needs to be punished for changes....it's not the horse, it's me. I'm the one who is mentally challenged when it comes to timing....thus why I'm just now starting to ask for a couple in my lesson....trainer rides her most of the time....we want her secure, so my "oops moments" don't interfere with her education. I'm practicing on my schoolmaster, while she is getting stronger with a veteran on her back who knows what they are doing.

                    Thanks for the support guys!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      LOL don't you love it when they have such fun with stuff they play!

                      I'll be like you, giggling my little head off, if I ever get lucky enough to get my horse to be offering that....think we've got a ways to go
                      I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.

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