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What Is More Marketable On A Small Junior? Re: Lead Changes

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  • What Is More Marketable On A Small Junior? Re: Lead Changes

    What is currently more marketable for a small junior? To autoswap or to change when asked by the rider?
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

  • #2


    • #3
      I'd definitely go for a horse who autoswapped, but there are some potential difficulties. For one, a horse who autoswaps could become a swapper at all the wrong times too (not that this can't happen with any horse though lol, so I guess it's not really a valid argument against autoswapping ). Or, what if you are doing a handy and going down a bending line where you want to keep the horse on the same lead? In this case, it would seem preferable that your horse change when you ask it to so that your horse won't decide by himself to swap in the middle of the bending. Just one scenario of when you would want a horse that changes when you ask it. Just my two cents Personally, I'd be perfectly happy with either one!
      Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine - Class of 2014

      Chance Encounter
      RIP Tall Tales


      • #4
        I would say no auto swap. If a kid is ready for the juniors, I don't think it needs an auto swap at that stage in their riding. If you can handle the juniors, you should be able to ask for a lead change.

        Plus, getting an auto swapper to hold the counter canter can be a real b*tch, if the kid wants to play in the eq ring as well, that might be a deterrent.
        Proud Member of the "Tidy Rabbit Tinfoil Hat Wearers" clique and the "I'm in my 30's and Hope to be a Good Rider Someday" clique


        • #5
          asking for the change
          "are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn...I can yawn, because I ride better than you, Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn, you, not so much..." George Morris in Camden, SC


          • #6
            "Auto swap" is really just a well schooled horse that, maybe, is a little too well schooled-and that can bite you bad in a Handy class when a roll back shows up. Or they start anticipating where they are going after the jump and swap too early-at the base.

            There is almost no way to avoid this if you show or school courses, they learn what's next. Or what they THINK is next.

            Far as marketability...if the rider has to ask, it will probably drop the value. Especially of it is obvious the rider is asking and they have to squeeze it out of them. It's a moot point whether a Junior needs the auto swap tendency as the question was marketability and it gives you a larger pool of potential buyers including the move up horse market when the horse can help them out a little on a typical Hunter course.

            Lets just say the highest price is the one that picks up the subtle hints from a rider a change is coming up but will also hold off when asked to.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for everyone's replies. I can train him either way, and the time has come to make a decision
              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


              • #8
                Allow me to add, when that Junior comes out for a test ride and you have no idea if they are any good or not? It will help that sale if it swaps pretty easy, or by itself. They can school it out later if it starts getting too "smart" about it-that's easier then fixing a cross lead or late behind due to rider issues. Especially on a move up type for a younger rider that the Small Juniors are perfect for.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                • #9
                  Similarly to findeight, I never really understood auto-swaps to be those done with zero input from the rider- they could go that way yes, but in my mind's eye an auto-swap occurs when you land, balance, and head straight into the corner- somewhere near the end of that process you feel the legs switch underneath you. Not really something I ever considered training in, you just know when you have a greenie with a good/easy change he'll be an auto-swapper one day, because he's gonna figure out that's the plan at the end of the ring anyway.
                  EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta


                  • #10
                    I prefer a horse that has an easy swap but has to be somewhat asked--especially for the handy rounds in the juniors and the junior eq/classics--if you have a horse that just swaps on its own and doesn't listen to the rider you will end up having a lot of not wanted swaps on roll backs etc. Really my favorite is a horse that knows how to land on the correct lead when asked over fences very lightly--so its not obvious the rider is doing it...that way you don't have to worry about it at all or very little. My eq horse is trained completely that way--yes he will do regular lead changes but is always waiting to hear from me if I need him to land a certain way on the other side.


                    • #11
                      I think you train to ask for the change.. but if they end up auto-swapping, so be it.

                      Had a baby pony that auto-swapped from birth. He just didn't like being unbalanced and was smart enough to know that when he went across a diagonal to swap in the far corner.

                      My old hunter refused to do changes initially... then would do them when asked and gradually ended up being an autoswapper.


                      • #12
                        to change when asked.

                        I would hate an auto-swap, what if you are asked to counter-canter a jump in a ride-off?


                        • Original Poster

                          The question is, what is more marketable? My personal preference is to ask, but I need to know what will *sell* better.. so hearing what people prefer on a small junior is great... thanks and keep it coming
                          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                            What is currently more marketable for a small junior? To autoswap or to change when asked by the rider?
                            Personally, I'd only want a horse that changes when asked. Once you get to a certain level, auto-swap is REALLY annoying, and hard to correct. I've ridden a number of both, and would much perfer to have the change when I asked (and just take the time for the rider to learn HOW to ask correctly!)

                            Example: My hunter/eq gelding came with auto-changes. However, this means he tries to change when we want to school counter canter, bending lines on the flat, etc. I have to be really careful with my position, to ensure that I'm not allowing him to swap. It means I have to be really conscious of his body placement, bending, etc. When I turn to circle, sometimes he anticipates the diagonal and will set up to change. Same before corners on a course - I have to consciously ride him STRAIGHT after the fence, or he'll change and cut the corner. Also, he'll get lazy and auto-change first in the front (so the back trails), rather than waiting until I collect him and ask from behind.

                            I've been on other horses just like my gelding. While it's great to HAVE the changes (vs not), I'd much prefer to have control over them 100% of the time, without the horse anticipating and changing on their own.