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How do you teach flying changes?

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  • How do you teach flying changes?

    At what age do you usually start and what technique do you use?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I start whenever the horse has a good canter-walk-canter simple change.

    I pick up a counter canter up the quarterline, legyield out for two or three strides before the corner, and then ask for the change just before the turn.

    To help explain it to the horse I do the above with a simple change a few times to help him figure out what I am getting at.

    I often carry treats to reward the newbie. I find it helps them retain the lesson.

    If a horse is a little problematic I will use a pole to help, but try to wean away to a change "in the same place as the pole was" as soon as possible. The "geographic anticipation" can help the horse understand.
    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

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    • #3
      Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
      I start whenever the horse has a good canter-walk-canter simple change.

      I pick up a counter canter up the quarterline, legyield out for two or three strides before the corner, and then ask for the change just before the turn.

      To help explain it to the horse I do the above with a simple change a few times to help him figure out what I am getting at.

      I often carry treats to reward the newbie. I find it helps them retain the lesson.

      If a horse is a little problematic I will use a pole to help, but try to wean away to a change "in the same place as the pole was" as soon as possible. The "geographic anticipation" can help the horse understand.
      You leg yield towards the rail right?
      Southern Cross Guest Ranch
      An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        So this IS very similar to how we teach it in dressage. That's pretty much what I was thinking.

        Overohunter, yes I think she/he is saying is it would be counter canter to the wall and ask just before the turn.

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        • #5
          I am going to have try this on the warmblood, they seem to be a bit slower than the thoroughbreds to pick this up...
          Gates Equestrian
          National Champion Dan Patch sire of USEF/USHJA winning ponies!
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider View Post
            Overohunter, yes I think she/he is saying is it would be counter canter to the wall and ask just before the turn.
            That's what I figured because that is what I was taught, but I wanted to make sure because I'm sure she has way more experience teaching changes than I do!
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            An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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            • #7
              It is not very common for a hunter rider to teach counter canter before teaching lead changes.
              http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                It depends on the horse. I have been taught to train it similarly to what meupatdoes described with a leg yield to the wall before the corner.

                My horse is rising 5, and we are just starting on changes. They seem to be coming very easy for her, nice back to front change.

                I ride on a circle, then, right before returning to the rail, change my balance to ask for a canter circle the opposite way (right hand circle, before arena wall, look to left, change body position to left, ask for bend to the left, slide outside leg (right leg) back… and viola! A change. Lots of praise, pats and good girls when she gives me a change.

                And like meupatdoes said, geography helps, she knows I am going to ask it when I change rein off of the circle, and as she progresses, the simple change in my body as I look to the new direction queues her to swap leads.

                I have been also taught to place a rail at an angle to the wall as such when you cross the rail the horse is encouraged to change reins and swap over the rail.
                APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by showponies View Post
                  I am going to have try this on the warmblood, they seem to be a bit slower than the thoroughbreds to pick this up...
                  Hmm. Not so sure I agree. I think it depends upon the individual with a breed? I have a barn full of DWBs. Many are home breds. Most exhibit clean and pure flying changes in the pasture as babies. Some are tempi change machines! The ones with the natural talent are easy to teach. The ones who are maybe not so talented are not so easy to teach. For whatever it is worth, the two horses with the worst flying changes are TBx's.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Can you guys tell me what are the aids (cues for hunter people ;-) ) for canter? What are the cues for flying changes?

                    (I am trying to get an understanding about the difference between the two disciplines).

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by showponies View Post
                      I am going to have try this on the warmblood, they seem to be a bit slower than the thoroughbreds to pick this up...


                      If a horse has a slow hind leg, or is out behind with the hind leg, this will make it more challenging for him to learn.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OveroHunter View Post
                        You leg yield towards the rail right?
                        Yes, to get the horse's weight off of the desired lead to free it up to come through.

                        For the record, in case people are just sitting on their hands resisting the urge to yammer at me that this is "dressage aids" which will ruin a hunter, Rob Bielefeld's assistant trainer taught me this. Inclusive of the counter canter.
                        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

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider View Post
                          Can you guys tell me what are the aids (cues for hunter people ;-) ) for canter? What are the cues for flying changes?

                          (I am trying to get an understanding about the difference between the two disciplines).
                          I cue my canter by sending my inside seat bone 'into' the lead I want, and adding gas with either inside or outside leg or a combination of both depending on "where the horse is" at the time. (The same way that if I am doing trot-walk transitions on a circle, and the horse starts to drift, I might do a little more outside leg in one transition than the other to address the drifting.)

                          If he is a little heavy on the inside leg, I use more inside leg during the transition. If he is a little drifting-out, I use more outside leg.



                          Eitherway, "inside" leg is at the girth, "outside" leg is slightly behind. "Inside" hip always slightly forward and "into" the lead. The "inside" (could be different sides depending on true canter or counter canter) hip and leg position tells him what lead, and then the leg aids are applied in the manner that gets the straightest and most organized transition.


                          If you ask this way on a well schooled horse, you can always get the lead you want whether you are riding a counter canter curve, a circle, a counter canter circler, a serpentine, and no matter where you are in the ring.

                          For the flying change, I ride very straight, leg yield away from the desired lead (even if barely perceptibly for half a stride), then hold new outside rein to "stop" the current lead and switch hips and add switched legs to "send" the new lead 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

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider View Post
                            Can you guys tell me what are the aids (cues for hunter people ;-) ) for canter? What are the cues for flying changes?

                            (I am trying to get an understanding about the difference between the two disciplines).
                            Hunter aids for canter are generally small bend to the inside, outside leg back and on, inside leg at the girth, connection through outside rein. Most horses will respond to simply the outside leg moving back a tad.

                            Flying changes are bacially just the same as asking for the canter in that direction.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Appsolute View Post
                              I have been also taught to place a rail at an angle to the wall as such when you cross the rail the horse is encouraged to change reins and swap over the rail.
                              You can also add a second rail off the "going away" curve from the rail in the new lead to help correct a cross-canter. So basically you hop over the one rail and then curve smoothly toward the next in the new lead.

                              But over-reliance on the rail can create front-to-back changes.
                              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


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                                It is not very common for a hunter rider to teach counter canter before teaching lead changes.
                                A counter canter up the quarterline is just cuing the lead you want on a straght line. This should be easy before you try changes.
                                It's not counter canter until you go around a turn.

                                However, depending on the horse you have, you may want to gently reinforce counter canter before you bring up changes (if he has a tendency to start swapping early on his own), or be damn sure to just stick with the straight line (if he was born being able to counter canter a 10m circle).

                                The first horse needs to learn to wait for the rider, the second one needs to learn to pay attention and REACT and not just ladida in the same lead no matter what.
                                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


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                                  You can also add a second rail off the "going away" curve from the rail in the new lead to help correct a cross-canter. So basically you hop over the one rail and then curve smoothly toward the next in the new lead.

                                  But over-reliance on the rail can create front-to-back changes.
                                  Hey, thanks for the tip! She is prone to corss cantering when changing from her "good" direction to her weak one. I will try this.
                                  APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

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                                  • #18
                                    Excellent thread. Thanks for the great explanation meupatdoes!
                                    Southern Cross Guest Ranch
                                    An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by showponies View Post
                                      I am going to have try this on the warmblood, they seem to be a bit slower than the thoroughbreds to pick this up...
                                      Don't think this is a correct generalization at all. My warmblood picked them up VERY easily. Matter of fact, hunter trainer cantered across the diagonal, asked as she approached the rail and got a clean change first time she asked. Same thing the other way except that she had to make her aids a little stronger that way. Horse is naturally balanced with a very nice canter. IMHO, the quality of the canter is going to make or break you when it comes to teaching flying changes. If you have a well-balanced, active canter, it makes teaching changes much easier.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                                        You can also add a second rail off the "going away" curve from the rail in the new lead to help correct a cross-canter. So basically you hop over the one rail and then curve smoothly toward the next in the new lead.

                                        But over-reliance on the rail can create front-to-back changes.
                                        We used this all the time with one of our "big babies" (one of those horses that's definitely old enough to know how to do changes, just likes to pretend he doesn't know what's going on) and they worked wonders. They helped him figure out that when the rider shifts her weight and gives the cue for a canter, he's supposed to lift into the other lead. He hated to pick up his feet normally, so the pole gave him a bit more time to organize and get the front and back.

                                        But please don't just pick up a forward canter and run your horse into a fence at an angle to set it off balance and into the other lead. Doesn't teach the horse anything, looks horrible, and, most importantly, can be kinda dangerous.
                                        I like mares. They remind me of myself: stubborn know-it-alls who only acknowledge you if you have food.
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