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How do YOU ask for a flying lead change?

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  • How do YOU ask for a flying lead change?

    I'm a newbee to flying lead changes, I'm still getting the hang of it. Are their many different ways to do them? How do you do your flying changes? Thanks!

  • #2
    Each horse can be a little different. One of my horses is outside leg, squeeze inside rein, and the other is outside leg, hold the outside rein. One of my horses is also automatic, but we ask by bumping with the outside leg, so she doesn't think she's in control of when the change comes. Ask you trainer how to best ask for a lead change on the horse you ride.
    Mendokuse

    Comment


    • #3
      -Few strides off the fence, create "spring" = impulsion
      -Inside leg push over, slight inside hand, supporting outside hand
      -When all feet are off the ground, slight weight shift to outside and cue with outside leg

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with hunterrider23 about asking your trainer what works best for the horse. However, I always think of it as "set-set-ask" when getting the change. I make sure the horse has forward energy (you can't get them if they are going "backwards"), sit up, raise the inside hand/rein and gently ask for the change of bend to the new lead you are asking for, then "asking" by squeezing with the outside leg. You should get the change before you make the turn or else your horse will fall in and either not change or only get half of it. You also want to make sure the horse is balanced.

        Comment


        • #5
          The weight shift to the outside mentioned above is also a key element. You need to avoid leaning in at all costs. Very few horses will do a clean change if you lean in.
          I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

          Comment


          • #6
            I third the talk to your trainer response. Lead changes are timing and setup. For some horses they are easy peasy, for others more difficult. There is an excellent video (it's western, but they know their stuff) by Charlie Cole and Jason Martin about teaching a young horse the change and I think once you understand the mechanics asking becomes that much easier.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5iwmWgIIQc

            Comment


            • #7
              Agree, working with your trainer so she/he can see what you are doing to make sure you are asking correctly. And each horse is different but require the same solid principles.

              I love someone on the ground (trainer) because I used to twist my entire body and looked like a goober and didn't even know it... of course a habit I HAD to break.

              But over the years working with a few green beans as a DIY rider I had to figure it out often by myself. This is what I found worked for me.

              First, make sure horse either has changes or knows how to pick up any lead asked on the rail. Also, if horse needs a vet for hock injections make sure that is handled first.

              A horse that doesn't know them; I will ride them on the rail, maybe three to four feet off the railing and teach them very consistently when I use a bit of inside rein and can see their eyelashes, and inside leg at the girth begin to move them to the rail and slide the outside leg back looking to the inside of the ring ask for canter. Once the horse knows this well then you can start changes.

              At the canter, on left lead (for example) cross the diagonal, at center of the ring, start to move your horse left keeping the left bend.... then ask for simple change as you then change to right bend. Make sure your horse is moving forward, balanced and relaxed. Try not to ask for a change if your horse is anticipating in or acting too energetic.

              The helpful thing for me was to use my right leg and yield the horse to the left (before the change) since the horse knows the cue to pick up a lead from the bend and sliding outside leg back then you can add that instead of the simple change.

              So to "try" to make it simple, I canter on left lead across the diagonal and start moving my horse with my right leg to the "left" keeping the left bend, then hold with right leg, slide left leg back and right rein to change the bend softly and ask as if you were asking for a canter with your left leg.

              Clear as mud? LOL.

              Key for me is always moving the horse over "first" that way they are not leaning in on the "new" inside shoulder and if they are doing that, they cannot change....
              Live in the sunshine.
              Swim in the sea.
              Drink the wild air.

              Comment


              • #8
                The "general" way is outside leg, inside rein.

                If you ride a horse with very automatic changes, it can be helpful to spend time cantering across diagonals and holding the counter-lead through the diagonal and around the turn rather than asking for a change. A good way to make sure you're not twisting or pulling on a particular rein.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DNB View Post
                  I agree with hunterrider23 about asking your trainer what works best for the horse. However, I always think of it as "set-set-ask" when getting the change. I make sure the horse has forward energy (you can't get them if they are going "backwards"), sit up, raise the inside hand/rein and gently ask for the change of bend to the new lead you are asking for, then "asking" by squeezing with the outside leg. You should get the change before you make the turn or else your horse will fall in and either not change or only get half of it. You also want to make sure the horse is balanced.
                  I agree with most of your post, but asking the horse to change bend for the lead change is one surefire way to miss the change behind if the horse's changes are iffy. Changes should be done straight, without bending the head/neck. Most will change by lifting the new inside hand slightly and shifting the haunches slightly to the new inside by using the outside leg slightly behind the girth.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So about your username... I saw a Gabriela Mershad this weekend at WEF in the medium juniors and she seemed to have a pretty good grasp of lead changes. Have you guys met up since you're in Wellington too? What a coincidence that you guys have the same name!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well..... I just make sure we are both straight & balanced & he whips them out, LOL
                      I agree with those that said every horse will be slightly different in what works for them.
                      For mine keeping him STRAIGHT then slightly moving the shoulders over(to the outside), so they are out of the way for the new inside hind leg to come up & he'll pop changes out like nothing.

                      If I lean or he is crooked he will either not change at all, crossfire, or get it a step late depending on how crooked we are.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For me the feeling is almost exactly the same as for a smooth walk-canter transition: make sure I am sitting square on both seatbones, squeeze the new inside rein enough to see his eyelashes, then cue with my outside leg just behind the girth. I want that same feeling of the outside hind stepping forward to start the new canter stride.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Inside leg pushes their weight into the outside rein (I almost think leg yield but hold a firm contact with my outside rein and maintain pressure through my whole outside leg to serve as a "wall" to stop the actual lateral movement).

                          As you feel the outside hind leg reach up underneath I typical use a nudge of the spur with my leg slightly behind the girth.

                          I do not spur the horse to go faster or so hard that I get a swish of the tail, head toss, or other aggregation (unless they are fresh! ). I simply use the spur as another soft aid since I am already holding a lot of outside leg in order to maintain straightness. My personal horse is well schooled and I am able to simply increase the pressure of my outside leg, but some horses are not as sensitive to this (it's very slight!) and so I typically use a touch of the spur the first time to ensure I get the lead change and then gradually decrease the level of my aids as I get a feel for how well schooled the horse is off of the leg.

                          The way I was taught there is very little inside rein with the exception of the consistent soft feel you should have anyway. No additional pressure is added to the inside rein.

                          Also, no additional speed is necessary. For those that have a "sticky" change I exaggerate the aids I describes above. I like to think of "bouncing the horse off a wall". The wall being my outside aids.
                          There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
                          inside of a man.

                          -Sir Winston Churchill

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I can't even really describe how I ask. I guess its a slight indirect inside rein, supporting outside rein, inside leg to maintain bend through the horse's barrel, and a bump with the outside leg a few inches behind the girth.

                            A big thing that my trainer used to say to me was to "STEP OUT!" in the corners. So I do that (step my weight into my outside heel). Helps keep me from leaning for the change.
                            Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree with woodhills.

                              You need to push the HORSE'S weight to the outside rein. This makes the outside pair of legs 'heavier' and frees up the new inside to jump forward for the change. The rider pushes the horse's weight over by weighting THE RIDER'S inside hip. If the rider leans their weight to the outside it blocks the horse. You don't want to pull on the inside rein either, because it blocks the inside pair of legs from jumping through. You want to hold the OUTSIDE pair of legs back.

                              It is very important that the rider's weight always be over the desired leading leg. This makes it clear to the horse what lead it is supposed to be on no matter what direction it is travelling.

                              Yes, there are many ways to elicit a change and some horses will indeed change if you lean off to the outside and pull on the inside rein, but I do not suspect these horses are ones that can do a transition from walk to counter canter in the corner. When you can do a 20m circle and go three steps true canter, walk, three steps counter canter, walk, three steps true canter, walk, etc etc etc, then the horse is schooled.
                              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 meupatdoes View Post
                                I agree with woodhills.

                                You need to push the HORSE'S weight to the outside rein. This makes the outside pair of legs 'heavier' and frees up the new inside to jump forward for the change. The rider pushes the horse's weight over by weighting THE RIDER'S inside hip. If the rider leans their weight to the outside it blocks the horse. You don't want to pull on the inside rein either, because it blocks the inside pair of legs from jumping through. You want to hold the OUTSIDE pair of legs back.

                                It is very important that the rider's weight always be over the desired leading leg. This makes it clear to the horse what lead it is supposed to be on no matter what direction it is travelling.

                                Yes, there are many ways to elicit a change and some horses will indeed change if you lean off to the outside and pull on the inside rein, but I do not suspect these horses are ones that can do a transition from walk to counter canter in the corner. When you can do a 20m circle and go three steps true canter, walk, three steps counter canter, walk, three steps true canter, walk, etc etc etc, then the horse is schooled.
                                I think a lot of this is in the description but lots of posters are saying fundamentally the same thing. I find myself nodding at both this and ybiaw's posts, which sound contradictory but really are not.

                                For me, the "inside rein" command is really an "opening" not a "pulling" and it is miniscule, a "softening of the inside hand" that allows the horse to make the switch rather than anything more. If you half-halt properly and push the horse over with the inside leg, then "sinking weight into your outside heel" like my old trainer described it, you are NOT leaning at all but are rather pushing the horse's shoulder over with your inside leg at the girth, then cuing with the outside leg behind the girth for the new hind leg to lead (as good changes come from behind). I think the "sinking weight" analogy clicked for me because you don't want to spur the horse into the change, it's more lifting him and redirecting that hind leg.

                                Anyway, all of this to say that these two perspectives are not necessarily at odds with each other...just different ways of describing the process. OP, work with a trainer who understands dressage to learn your changes, not the "run him into the corner, pull on the outside rein and throw your weight to the inside" type and you'll be OK!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I usually do some extreme flopping, and pray.
                                  Thoroughbreds: classic

                                  Turn. N. Burn.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                                    Anyway, all of this to say that these two perspectives are not necessarily at odds with each other...just different ways of describing the process. OP, work with a trainer who understands dressage to learn your changes, not the "run him into the corner, pull on the outside rein and throw your weight to the inside" type and you'll be OK!
                                    That was seriously one of the hardest things I've ever had to describe in my life.

                                    I don't know. Now I'm confused with myself. Guess I'll have to ride one of these days and give it a shot and see how I actually do it.

                                    I think it just depends on how you've learned, too, and how your horse has been taught. But I'm an enigma - a mystery, wrapped in a riddle.
                                    Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by HunterJumperGin View Post
                                      I usually do some extreme flopping, and pray.
                                      Basically same here
                                      Mendokuse

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        What do you think of this trainer's method?

                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrbF9cSzwHA

                                        Skip to 1:15.
                                        Yes, I know how to spell. I'm using freespeling!

                                        freespeling

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