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?? about flying lead changes

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  • #21
    Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
    What ELSE are you working on?

    Jumping xc, dressage---including what I need for the test (flawless transitions, better connection, control and accuracy, etc,), conditioning work. Calm, forward and straight being the focus with everything...again....I do NOT need a flying change to be straight and balanced...so it is NOT something I bother with. It isn't the we couldn't work on it or even do them...but it is NOT important....until the horse shows me he/she doesn't want to be a xc horse. Then I put the changes on them and sell them as show horses....since many in the show world put so much emphasis on whether or not a horse has its changes.....
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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    • #22
      Originally posted by subk View Post
      While the into-the-wall-and-jerk doesn't score you any points with the judge it doesn't hurt you as much as a nice balanced lead change through the trot. Very simply, if it did you wouldn't see it so often.

      Also, since the vast majority of hunters do their changes "automatically" that doesn't say much for "control."
      Well, I learned how to install changes from Rob Bielefeld's assistant trainer, and there was a reason she taught counter canter first: so the horse WAITS. A major flaw in the hunters is the swap off, it is an automatic 55. So the people who are aiming for the real deal install a counter canter and go up the longside, counter canter around a couple times, and then pop the change before a short side.

      Extensive practice is maintained cantering the diagonal into the counter canter, changes on the diagonal are AVOIDED to minimize any possibility of a swap off.

      Interestingly I employed this exact same method and people watching said, "Why are you teaching that hunter such a dressagey change?" I said, "Um, I learned this from one of the top hunter programs in the country, actually." And then when I go to dressage lessons the dressage trainers love my horses' changes. Universally deemed "100% clean" and "straight."

      Again, if you want to ride the lower levels feel free to take shortcuts. Sure you can see people cranking their horses around for the changes in the lower level hunters but is that what you want to aspire to?

      The real deal is the real deal and carries a high level of expectation no matter what discipline you are riding. "Ima only do the bare minimum" never got anyone to the top or even past passably intermediate. May as well go after EVERY LAST BIT of your ride.

      Blugal, while I have never had the opportunity to do a drop jump into water, I know that my horse is fine with water with no hesitation, has a solid yes ma'am to the leg, and no tendency to stop, so I suspect he would add his basics up together and do just fine. And yes, if I turned out to be incorrect, that would be indicative of a hole in the training to be filled. Of course it would. Any time you ask for something and for whatever reason the horse says "No," there's a hole.

      Why then is a lack of a lead change NOT a hole in the training?
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      • #23
        I would gather to say that most horses would actually do a lead change if asked for it, but they aren't at the lower levels because it's not important. My horse has changes. I rarely use them when not jumping. Every once in a while I will ask for them and they are there and they are clean, but it's not a focus on my training program.

        I will say, when you get a horse that has changes installed BEFORE counter canter, then it can be very difficult to get the counter canter. Since counter canter isn't introduced until preliminary eventing, not everyone focuses on that part of the dressage training, which is why you won't see the change often until the higher levels either.

        The horse can be quite green and still be competitive at training and below. Dressage is essentially training level dressage, so basic WTC stuff, so advanced level moves are not required (even prelim is only first level) and the fences are low enough that horses who are still developing balance, straightness and forward are still pretty capable at training and below. It's essentially still a schooling level.

        ETA: I think you see the swap at hunters at the lower levels often because they are trained to swap and riders are not always instructed on how to properly ride a true change. Look at the wanted ads. Most want the auto lead change. That has become auto swap these days.

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        • #24
          meupatdoes - because you are saying:

          1. my hunters (and most hunters) have lead changes
          2. many eventers don't
          3. therefore eventers have a hole in their training

          But you are claiming the converse is not true. If I applied the same logic,
          1. my eventer (and most eventers) can jump into water
          2. many hunters don't
          3. therefore hunters have a hole in their training

          You're saying:
          1. my hunter hasn't jumped a drop into water
          2. because I don't need to teach it to him for my discipline
          3. it would only be a hole if I asked for it and he said 'no'

          And I say, the same logic could apply to eventers. We are saying, lack of changes isn't a "hole" unless we make it one. We are concentrating on other things (like teaching them to jump into water) and if/when we NEED those changes, our basics should have been installed properly to make this happen.
          Blugal

          You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

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          • #25
            Well written, Blugal. I am pretty sure this happens with meupatdoes every time changes are brought up in this forum.

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by Blugal View Post
              meupatdoes - because you are saying:

              1. my hunters (and most hunters) have lead changes
              2. many eventers don't
              3. therefore eventers have a hole in their training

              But you are claiming the converse is not true. If I applied the same logic,
              1. my eventer (and most eventers) can jump into water
              2. many hunters don't
              3. therefore hunters have a hole in their training

              You're saying:
              1. my hunter hasn't jumped a drop into water
              2. because I don't need to teach it to him for my discipline
              3. it would only be a hole if I asked for it and he said 'no'

              And I say, the same logic could apply to eventers. We are saying, lack of changes isn't a "hole" unless we make it one. We are concentrating on other things (like teaching them to jump into water) and if/when we NEED those changes, our basics should have been installed properly to make this happen.
              Your logic is off. If I ask my horse to jump into water and he says, "No," there has been a latent hole in the training all along. It does not matter what discipline he does or anyone else does. The hole existed undiagnosed, but it was there. The refusal therefore becomes a training opportunity. Simply saying, "Oh, well, it's not important to my discipline," doesn't mean there's no hole. Wtf? I put leg on and he said NO. This is a problem!

              If I simply NEVER ASK my horse to get on a horse trailer, maybe he will (indicating he leads well) maybe he won't (indicating there is a hole in how well he leads). But simply skirting the issue isn't training the horse.
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              • #27
                Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                Your logic is off. If I ask my horse to jump into water and he says, "No," there has been a latent hole in the training all along. It does not matter what discipline he does or anyone else does. The hole existed undiagnosed, but it was there. The refusal therefore becomes a training opportunity. Simply saying, "Oh, well, it's not important to my discipline," doesn't mean there's no hole. Wtf? I put leg on and he said NO. This is a problem!

                If I simply NEVER ASK my horse to get on a horse trailer, maybe he will (indicating he leads well) maybe he won't (indicating there is a hole in how well he leads). But simply skirting the issue isn't training the horse.
                Sheesh! Argue much? Several posters have explained why changes aren't 100% important and "automatic' in training event horses, especially at the lower levels. An event horse not having changes does not mean a) not under control b) not broke c) doesn't have a good canter d) not riding "all of the horse"

                Eventers are not hunters. Hunters are not eventers. The training is different for many reasons, let's leave it at that.
                No Trouble
                2/2/05 - 7/29/13
                Rest In Peace my quirky brave boy, I will love you forever.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Blugal View Post
                  meupatdoes - because you are saying:

                  1. my hunters (and most hunters) have lead changes
                  2. many eventers don't
                  3. therefore eventers have a hole in their training

                  But you are claiming the converse is not true. If I applied the same logic,
                  1. my eventer (and most eventers) can jump into water
                  2. many hunters don't
                  3. therefore hunters have a hole in their training
                  I said rather specifically and clearly that ANY horse that refuses to jump into [whatever it is asked to jump] has a hole in its training. The hunters (or any horse) who DO say "yes ma'am" and jump when leg is put on pass the test. The hunters (or any horse) who flip their rider the bird when they don't like what is presented to them have some work to do.

                  Originally posted by Blugal View Post
                  [
                  You're saying:
                  1. my hunter hasn't jumped a drop into water
                  2. because I don't need to teach it to him for my discipline
                  3. it would only be a hole if I asked for it and he said 'no'
                  Well, it wouldn't really be a hole if I asked for it and he said "yes," now, would it?
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                  Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                  Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                  The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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                  • #29
                    Disclaimer-I am not a good rider, have never gone past 3ft and basic dressage. I do not claim to have experience at the level being discussed. I am not saying a horse should or should not have changes, I'm offering a reason WHY the horses don't have changes. My opinion is based on the fact I am a not-perfect amateur.

                    Meupatdoes- I think you're failing to realize every rider isn't riding at the level you are. You can do tempi changes and pirouettes, so obviously you are riding at a much higher level than most amateurs. Even at prelim, the dressage is 1st/2nd level. Sure if you got the horses perfectly balanced, straight, perfectly obedient to your aids etc, 95% of them would have changes AND still have great counter canter. But let's be realistic.... most of the riders aren't 3rd+ level dressage riders, they are low level dressage riders and a lot of the horses are going to be a bit strong/quick/crooked/etc and aren't going to be perfectly balanced for a change. Ever watch the upper level eventers? A lot of the horses aren't going to say 'Oh, of course I'll listen to you in the corners before jumping a big jump, please tell me what to do!" They're excited about jumping and telling the rider to piss off and let them jump. So the rider is going to focus on getting a good canter, a good line to the jump, the right turn, an effective half halt and a good distance, not whether they are getting a change.

                    Lastly, do you even event? I think it's great that you are doing so well in hunters and dressage. But until you take a green horse and take it through the levels to prelim, how can you say you know better what needs to be done in training an eventer than riders who HAVE brought a horse to prelim?
                    Last edited by Big_Grey_hunter; Dec. 6, 2012, 12:03 PM. Reason: can't spell
                    .

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Big_Grey_hunter View Post
                      Lastly, do you even event? I think it's great that you are doing so well in hunters and dressage. But until you take a green horse and take it through the levels to prelim, how can you say you know better what needs to be done in training an eventer than riders who HAVE brought a horse to prelim?

                      And then forget about riding a horse in stadium after they have galloped xc....or when they are FIT as a race horse for xc. Most hunters and dressage horses that I know and have known (and I've known some of the top in the country as well) are no where near as fit as an average Prelim event horse.

                      Or harder...try riding your nice course after they have done a long hard xc like Fair Hill CCI*** or Rolex. They may be sore and tired. They just ran a marathon. And because they are sore and tired, not all are going to be capable of doing the changes they normally can...nor be as adjustable as they normally are. That is our sport...and why after a big testing event, once done with their stadium round...most horses get a significant vacation. My trainer's horse got several months off after completing Burghley. He finished the event well and sound...but it is a huge test. So they get time to recover. This is a different sport in MANY ways from hunters AND from dressage.
                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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                      • #31
                        So many, many good points.

                        My question is: why, whenever this is brought up, to the hunters come over here and tell us, the eventers, we're doing it wrong?
                        Amanda

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                          So many, many good points.

                          My question is: why, whenever this is brought up, to the hunters come over here and tell us, the eventers, we're doing it wrong?
                          I just find it very interesting that a sport that is allegedly about a more holistic development of the horse goes frackin' batty when ....lead changes come up. Holistic but not THAT holistic, lol.
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                          The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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                          • #33
                            Because eventers know nothing about riding horses well and we all suck and do it wrong, clearly. Didn't you know that all event horses should be like hunters? Why are there even different disciplines at all?

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                              I just find it very interesting that a sport that is allegedly about a more holistic development of the horse goes frackin' batty when ....lead changes come up. Holistic but not THAT holistic, lol.
                              Who's going batty? Nobody is going batty. Plenty of people have taken the time to explain WELL why they aren't a focus in the training and development of young event horses and lower level riders. Yet, you seem to be of the opinion that no changes on a lower level horse = holes in the training, which is untrue and explained to you several times.

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                              • #35
                                A lower level event horse might be considered a training/1st level dressage horse who jumps cross-country obstacles. Are training/1st level dressage horses required to have lead changes? Are there "holes" in their training if they do not?

                                Bottom line: changes are not *required* to be a successful event horse below Advanced. Are they helpful at all levels? Yes. But a green horse may or may not be ready for them; a green rider may or may not be ready for them. It may throw off the horse's counter canter later in life. Teaching them may cause anxiety issues. The horse may not be balanced enough or strong enough or straight enough. The Lower-Level Forever horse, with a few conformational issues may never achieve collection enough to master 100% clean changes 100% of the time; but he's safe, fun, and packs his LL riders like a saint. He trots and canters his 20m circles just fine, he tromps through water and over ditches without blinking. He is the perfect first event horse...yet he has "holes" because he lacks auto changes? That's why he's an eventer, and not a show hunter.

                                With apologies to e.e. cummings

                                Me up at does
                                out of the arena
                                quietly Stare
                                an eventer without changes
                                still who alive
                                is asking What
                                have i done that
                                You wouldn't have
                                “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                                ? Albert Einstein

                                ~AJ~

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                                  But again, the ability to do a flying change is a SYMPTOM of having achieved a certain level of control, straightness and balance. There are prerequisites that have to be in place in order for a good change to happen, it cannot be faked. If for some reason there is a roadblock on the path, why on earth not work at it?If the horse is 1.) straight, 2.) responsive, 3.) understanding of the lateral aids and 4.) politely under your seat there is the change. If the change isn't there, work on 1, 2, 3, and 4 some more and try again in a couple days.

                                  What ELSE are you working on?
                                  So if I have a 1/4 mile gallop to a fence, what is the correct lead? Should I get the swap at the 1/8 mile mark or wait to a few strides out?

                                  As I said on other threads, those who chastise us for how we approach our training have NO idea of what we do. Just like it would be foolish for eventers/dressage riders to chastise hunter riders for how they get/teach lead changes.

                                  And, I would be happy to compare chops/training.

                                  Reed

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                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                                    So if I have a 1/4 mile gallop to a fence, what is the correct lead? Should I get the swap at the 1/8 mile mark or wait to a few strides out?

                                    As I said on other threads, those who chastise us for how we approach our training have NO idea of what we do. Just like it would be foolish for eventers/dressage riders to chastise hunter riders for how they get/teach lead changes.

                                    And, I would be happy to compare chops/training.

                                    Reed
                                    If you could blue quote where I CHASTISED anyone I would appreciate it.

                                    Simply identifying that there is an additional training marker out there that may as well be striven for as a holistic part of developing a horse is not chastising anyone. Obviously lower level horses may not have them in yet (although you don't need to ride 3rd level to get one), but what I am not quite getting is the outright hostility being expressed toward even trying to develop the balance and straightness that is required for a basic, single lead change. People are acting like it is some huge herculean rocket science when it isn't.

                                    Other things that lower level horses of any discipline often don't have fully installed are
                                    walk-canter transitions
                                    good trot-halts
                                    good stretchy circles

                                    but that doesn't mean you just take them off the table and never try to work toward them. If you want to someday LEAVE the lower levels....those are the steps.

                                    If people were saying, "Hey, the lower level eventers don't have the changes because they're still really, really green," that is one thing. But trying to SIMULTANEOUSLY claim the canter is this awesome balanced thing, check check, our work here is done, when you ALSO do not have access to lead changes is a non-sequitur. Regardless of discipline.

                                    The best trainers of all disciplines will say that good training is about ACCESS. You want maximum possible access to the maximum amount of the horse in the shortest possible window of time. An excellent horse on the aids has everything available to him.

                                    It is one thing to say, "Lower level eventers are way too green and not yet balanced enough for that sort of access, but they are surely working on it!" and quite another to say, "their balance is JUSTFINE tyvm, even without access to half the horse, who needs it why even work on it."

                                    It does not have to be a confrontational thing. We could be all in this together, striving for maximum access with all of our horses no matter what discipline. What I'm wondering about is the apparent hostility (from what is arguably the most holistic discipline out there) toward that notion.
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                                    • #38
                                      Look, as I stated on other thread about lead changes, I did not train lead changes in my upper level horse until we were at Advanced. As stated before, the COUNTER CANTER is more important in balance and training. In the jump ring, if the horse is balanced, who cares what lead? I see plenty of balanced cross fires still clear 5' in the jumpers and have done it myself over the years as needed.

                                      It is pointless to train a lead change when the rider is still trying to learn straightness, throughness and balance. I refer you to Hilda Gurney and her training methods. She works through the counter canter long before she gets to lead changes.

                                      I agree that a horse that responds to the aides has everything available to them. HOWEVER, on XC you DO NOT want a horse completely on the aides as that allows them the freedom to take care of themselves over rough ground and in crappy conditions. And that is the difference between eventing and other disciplines. We want our horses to be able to operate WITHOUT aides when needed.

                                      And yes, you are being condescending and chastising eventers for YOUR perceived lack of training in most of your posts. You are arguing with many who are quite experienced in training high level horses when they are giving you clear and concise explanations as to where your are mistaken.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        I'd like to say I'm not being hostile or purposely confrontational. What I was arguing was the point that it's a "hole" in the horse's training if it doesn't have changes.

                                        I just disagree with that concept, while I agree with the idea that having as many tools as possible (both rider and horse) is beneficial. As a matter of fact, I do work on changes. But I don't work on them to the exclusion of other things. I have a list of priorities. Changes are further down the list for my eventers, than they probably are on your list for hunters. I don't have a problem with that.

                                        If you glanced at the 2013 goals thread, you'd see that one of my goals is to get better at flying changes.

                                        However, with my current horses (4 & 5 years old), my goals last winter as I approached the spring season looked something like this:

                                        1. required dressage movements

                                        2. required jumping (grids, courses, combinations, proper height, position)

                                        3.a) required XC (ditches, water, grades)

                                        3 b) make sure they are fit enough, make sure they can handle going out alone, make sure they actually listen when we are in the great outdoors

                                        4. get the horses out, schooling, clinics, show environment, work on any issues with that

                                        5. flying changes (yes, I did work on them. When the season came & they weren't perfect, they stayed at "low priority" and we continued to improve the canter and do simple changes)
                                        Blugal

                                        You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                                          If you could blue quote where I CHASTISED anyone I would appreciate it.

                                          Simply identifying that there is an additional training marker out there that may as well be striven for as a holistic part of developing a horse is not chastising anyone. Obviously lower level horses may not have them in yet (although you don't need to ride 3rd level to get one), but what I am not quite getting is the outright hostility being expressed toward even trying to develop the balance and straightness that is required for a basic, single lead change. People are acting like it is some huge herculean rocket science when it isn't.
                                          Other things that lower level horses of any discipline often don't have fully installed are
                                          walk-canter transitions
                                          good trot-halts
                                          good stretchy circles

                                          but that doesn't mean you just take them off the table and never try to work toward them. If you want to someday LEAVE the lower levels....those are the steps.

                                          If people were saying, "Hey, the lower level eventers don't have the changes because they're still really, really green," that is one thing. But trying to SIMULTANEOUSLY claim the canter is this awesome balanced thing, check check, our work here is done, when you ALSO do not have access to lead changes is a non-sequitur. Regardless of discipline.

                                          The best trainers of all disciplines will say that good training is about ACCESS. You want maximum possible access to the maximum amount of the horse in the shortest possible window of time. An excellent horse on the aids has everything available to him.

                                          It is one thing to say, "Lower level eventers are way too green and not yet balanced enough for that sort of access, but they are surely working on it!" and quite another to say, "their balance is JUSTFINE tyvm, even without access to half the horse, who needs it why even work on it."

                                          It does not have to be a confrontational thing. We could be all in this together, striving for maximum access with all of our horses no matter what discipline. What I'm wondering about is the apparent hostility (from what is arguably the most holistic discipline out there) toward that notion.
                                          Nobody ever once said that we don't strive for this. In fact, several of us (all actually) have said that those are the important things we look for in a canter and that the change likely would be there were we to ask for it, but often, we don't, as it's not important in the training schedule of a lower level event horse at the time.

                                          Nobody said it should never be taught, but we started talking about a training level event horse, not ALL event horses, and certainly not upper level event horses.

                                          For some reason, you seem to fail at computing what we are telling you. We want a quality canter and that is what we strive for. We want balance, connection, straightness and forward. THAT is what is important. Changes are not. Sure, they develop from those things and most horses and people likely could easily get them if they were training them, but we don't focus on that, because there are other things we focus on BESIDES flying changes. Why can't you get that?

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