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To trot or not to trot

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  • To trot or not to trot

    I was recently listening to a trainer at a show who told her rider that not matter what not to break to a trot for a change. As in if you don't get your lead go around on the wrong lead as opposed to fixing it.

    Now in our area if you have a missed lead (cross canter included) you can count your self out of the ribbons period. So in that case is that just trainer preference?

    Personally I would rather have my students at least acknowledge that they are in correct and change it rather then cantering on the in correct lead. This of course is assuming that the flying change is not working properly either rider or horse error.

  • #2
    I think it depends in part on the particular schooling/training issues of the horse and rider combination.

    For example, if the equine gets "stuck" by the ingate and slooows dooowwn and misses the change because he is mired in the short side, my advice would be, "So help you God you are going to GALLOP around that turn I don't care what lead (or leads) you are on."

    Alternatively if a horse is rushing and getting explosive through a botched lead I might say, "Pull up and HALT if he does that, at this point the class is blown anyway you may as well school the horse."

    So who knows what "issues" that pair brought to the horseshow from home.
    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
    Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
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    • #3
      From a scoring standpoint, a totally missed change (remaining in counter canter to the fence) and a break in gait are both major faults. If I have to choose between the evils, I would have the student continue on the wrong lead in a hunter class, and make the simple change (as you said, acknowledging recognition of the mistake) in the eq ring.

      In some schooling show classes, there will be an option to trot the changes (noted in the prize list).
      Patience pays.

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      • #4
        At my show on Sunday, it was a walk/trot/canter EQ class, so I was allowed to drop back into a trot, but of course Sterling shocked me by doing the first flying lead change of her life

        Since it was an eq class, though, no one was really concerned even though she crosscantered for a few steps. For a hunter class, though, I would stay on the wrong lead and fix it over your next jump.
        Proud member of the COTH Junior (and Junior-at-Heart!) clique!

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        • #5
          Strictly from the scoring perspective, a break in gait to the trot is worse than the counter canter or cross canter around the turn. Obviously either one will knock you out of the ribbons in any kind of competitive class.

          From a training perspective, the best course of action might depend on the horse.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have to agree with Meup, totally depends on the horse:

            Old schoolmaster, knows changes, keep him GOING.

            Younger, greener horse, iffy on balance, trot and change the lead. The younger, more unbalanced horse is not going to be helped, going on the wrong lead to the fence. Keep him calm and happy with his job by trotting, the ribbons will come later, when he can do the change quietly in stride. The ribbons WON'T come later if the horse gets all bent out of shape being told to go on, out of balance, anyway.

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            • #7
              This is such a pet peeve of mine, these canter leads.
              A cross canter (disunited) should be penalized hard. It's improper movement always. And the horse that, in the name of a flying change, doesn't do a clean change -- iow, disunited -- should be penalized, and the judge should see it as that, and not label it a flying change.

              In these lower-level eq. classes, why should a rider be penalized for making an intelligent and sophisticated move of doing a simple change when needed? If this is an eq. class, then the rider who proactively makes decisions and RIDES the horse as she sees fit -- doing a simple change vs. stuttering thru a poor change -- should be rewarded, not dinged. So many flying changes come from the horse, who is often older and very experienced, and is not a reflection on the rider anyway, so why make a flying change so pre-eminent over good decision-making and choices? That's a part of horsemanship.

              End of pet-peeving, but if it's about horsemanship, making a good decision with the horse on that day should trump an auto-change.

              Comment


              • #8
                One of my students has a 15.3 mare that is slightly short strided. She is not a hunter but she really competes in low level BN eventing but we take her to HJ shows for practice. Rider is a very pretty equitation rider though she prefers eventing and jumpers. The mare is not really green - she is not finished but not green - she does correct first level dressage work at home and can cleanly jump a 3'6" course with good distances. She mentally gets stuck when asked for a flying change and will tense up and only give half a change but if the rider is proactive and paying attention - mare will make a lead change over a fence.

                I HATE cross cantering. That is far worse to me that missing the lead and cantering the corner on the wrong lead or doing a simplechange.

                I have another student doing 2'3" courses on a green QH (he is 9 but new to jumping). So person I first mentioned - since she events as a priority - I tell her to keep cantering - focus on tempo. The changes will come down the line with help from the dressage work. The second horse, I tell her to do a simple change.

                So it depends.

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                • #9
                  I have a student riding a big bodied, blokey type of horse that needs to go around in a bouncing ball frame. He will gallop and swap in front, get strung out and cross canter behind. If she gets him packaged he will catch the hind end up.

                  This rider is very comfortable and very good at a simple change, it is her go to. Her ride is to the point now, where the horse actually slows down in the corner and waits for the simple change. There have been times at a show, when I have told her to just keep cantering, keep him straight and go through the corner.

                  As a trainer, with a horse like this, you sometimes pick your battle. She shows in the low childrens, and equitation at fairly competitive local, non-rated shows. I have been frustrated with the fact that her excellant simple change does not get rewarded, she gets nailed on the break of stride every time. When she does keep canterig, the horse will sometimes offer up a good change, or catch up behind, and someties we cross canter all the way to the fence. Since she can hit every distance and do the numbers, if I don't have her trot, she can eek out a low ribbon that at least keeps her encouraged. In the meantime I am trying to teach her to land on the lead. When I school the horse, I set him up to land on the leads, but she just isn't finessey enough yet to execute it consistently.

                  The pair is a good match, he a utilitarian style horse that is athletic enough to keep his rider safe. She doesn't get to ride a ton, a once a week lesson girl who tries really hard.

                  Maybe it was me... you heard me say keep cantering, no matter what!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cyberbay View Post
                    This is such a pet peeve of mine, these canter leads.
                    A cross canter (disunited) should be penalized hard. It's improper movement always. And the horse that, in the name of a flying change, doesn't do a clean change -- iow, disunited -- should be penalized, and the judge should see it as that, and not label it a flying change.

                    In these lower-level eq. classes, why should a rider be penalized for making an intelligent and sophisticated move of doing a simple change when needed? If this is an eq. class, then the rider who proactively makes decisions and RIDES the horse as she sees fit -- doing a simple change vs. stuttering thru a poor change -- should be rewarded, not dinged. So many flying changes come from the horse, who is often older and very experienced, and is not a reflection on the rider anyway, so why make a flying change so pre-eminent over good decision-making and choices? That's a part of horsemanship.

                    End of pet-peeving, but if it's about horsemanship, making a good decision with the horse on that day should trump an auto-change.
                    Totally agree.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cyberbay View Post
                      This is such a pet peeve of mine, these canter leads.
                      A cross canter (disunited) should be penalized hard. It's improper movement always. And the horse that, in the name of a flying change, doesn't do a clean change -- iow, disunited -- should be penalized, and the judge should see it as that, and not label it a flying change.

                      In these lower-level eq. classes, why should a rider be penalized for making an intelligent and sophisticated move of doing a simple change when needed? If this is an eq. class, then the rider who proactively makes decisions and RIDES the horse as she sees fit -- doing a simple change vs. stuttering thru a poor change -- should be rewarded, not dinged. So many flying changes come from the horse, who is often older and very experienced, and is not a reflection on the rider anyway, so why make a flying change so pre-eminent over good decision-making and choices? That's a part of horsemanship.

                      End of pet-peeving, but if it's about horsemanship, making a good decision with the horse on that day should trump an auto-change.
                      I understand your point, but in the show ring - first and foremost you have to get the job done, and getting the flying change (auto or not) is part of the "test." The judge is not actually picking the winner based on the relative difficulty of the horse they are sitting on; it's about choosing the rider who executes the course and answers all the questions it poses correctly. And of course - a properly ridden flying change should look like an auto change anyway... the really good riders make it look like they are just sitting there looking pretty while the horse does all the work. Even when they are actually riding the hair off the animal in question, LOL.
                      **********
                      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                      -PaulaEdwina

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks everyone I just wanted to make sure I didn't miss some thing! 90% of my students have changes. This was a student on a different pony for the last show who didn't have changes. We borrowed him so she could do the show.

                        What made me question my old stand by of get the lead no matter what, is the owner of the pony decided to offer a little coaching advice to my student (which student promptly asked about). When the owner had her daughter in a hunter classic (2' pony/schooling) for the first time she decided that scores were better if you didn't trot your change but went around on the wrong lead ( I saw no evidence of this sometimes you just have to nod and smile). So she proceeded to tell my student this. Of course my student listened to me. BUT while we were at the show this weekend I over heard a trainer telling her kid "Just keep cantering, Don't trot" Which I am sure was for pace reasons.

                        So hence just needed to verify that either way you were SOL

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