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Late Behind?

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  • Late Behind?

    I'm coming at this from a dressage/eventer angle so forgive my ignorance. I've noticed that a lot of the hunter videos have flying changes that are late behind. Is this acceptable in a hunter round? Is it "not penalized but clean changes are rewarded"?

    Just curious!
    Forward momentum!

  • #2
    Originally posted by ClassAction View Post
    I'm coming at this from a dressage/eventer angle so forgive my ignorance. I've noticed that a lot of the hunter videos have flying changes that are late behind. Is this acceptable in a hunter round? Is it "not penalized but clean changes are rewarded"?

    Just curious!
    It is called a "hunter change" versus a "dressage change"

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    • #3
      It is not acceptable in a hunter or equitation round.

      It is penalized to some degree, depending on whether the horse cross cantered one step, or five steps, or ten steps, or more.

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      • #4
        It is not the "correct" way for a hunter to do the change either, however, keep in mind that hunters and equitation are scored/ judged relative to everyone else in the class, not against a numerical standard per movement. Therefore, the overall course with a late change behind could still be better than the some or all of the other competitors, so end up placing in the class (or even winning). However, given two courses that are of exactly the same quality except one horse changes late behind, the horse with perfect changes should win.

        Edited to add that even a correct hunter change is not the same as the desired change for a dressage horse. From what I understand (I could be wrong, but have heard this from people who I think know what they're talking about), a dressage change should be powerful and explosive looking. For hunters, the changes should be smooth and should not interrupt the rhythm and flow of the round.

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        • #5
          It is penalized.
          It might pin well if the competition is mediocre or if the others have some difficulties.

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          • #6
            Depends on what you mean by a late change.

            If you mean a horse that changes in front and then immediately changes behind (versus one who changes behind then immediately changes in front) I don't think most judges really care unless one is smoother than the other.

            Now if you are talking about one that changes in front and it takes the horse a few strides before it gets the rear change then you will usually see it reflected in the placings.

            Of course it is all relative to what else is in the class.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by M. Owen View Post
              It is not the "correct" way for a hunter to do the change either, however, keep in mind that hunters and equitation are scored/ judged relative to everyone else in the class, not against a numerical standard per movement. Therefore, the overall course with a late change behind could still be better than the some or all of the other competitors, so end up placing in the class (or even winning). However, given two courses that are of exactly the same quality except one horse changes late behind, the horse with perfect changes should win.

              Edited to add that even a correct hunter change is not the same as the desired change for a dressage horse. From what I understand (I could be wrong, but have heard this from people who I think know what they're talking about), a dressage change should be powerful and explosive looking. For hunters, the changes should be smooth and should not interrupt the rhythm and flow of the round.


              Yeah. That.^^^^

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              • #8
                So I could be wrong but it is my understanding that
                in the hunter ring a change is not considered late if the horse swaps first in front and then immediately swaps behind.

                In dressage a horse needs to swap front and back at the same time.

                Like somebody said hunter change versus dressage change.

                I don't think that OP is talking about a horse that swaps two or three steps late. Just about the back legs following the front legs being 1/2 a step behind?
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                • #9
                  I'm trying to remove a dressage change from a horse right now. It feels like he's trying to pause in mid-air to change both ends at the same time. That's totally unacceptable for him to do in the turn going around a course, so he's (slowly) learning to keep cantering through the change without the pause, still doing a change that we consider clean, but changing each part in succession as it comes through the step smoothly.

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                  • #10
                    Yup. Although fun to ride, a "dressage change" is simply not useful when you are looking for a smooth fluid hunter ride.
                    Horses often back them selves up a little and then "pop" the change. it wouldn;t be a big deal in the smaller stuff but once you move up the ranks they need to produce a smooth change.

                    Here's a piggy back question. How about the Eq? Are hunter changes still better or can you get away with a dressage change even in the 3,6?
                    Timothy, stop lurking

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DancingQueen View Post
                      So I could be wrong but it is my understanding that
                      in the hunter ring a change is not considered late if the horse swaps first in front and then immediately swaps behind.
                      That's not a hunter change, it's an incorrect change. Just because it's done doesn't mean it's right. A lead change is a lead change. A correct lead change starts in the back.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DancingQueen View Post

                        Here's a piggy back question. How about the Eq? Are hunter changes still better or can you get away with a dressage change even in the 3,6?

                        That "Dressage change" often looks like what I call a "bunny hop" change where the whole body sort of comes up to get both ends to swap at the same time...it is not very smooth to watch and I'm guessing it is going to disrupt the flow as much as it disrupts the pace in the Hunters. You have to really collect/package them to arrange that kind of change, that'll kill your momentum. Something you don't want to do looking at a 3'6" oxer off a roll back.

                        The horse can originate the change either in front or behind, behind is the smoothest but if the front goes first, it's fine as long as the back gets it on the same stride. I think that's what the OP is talking about.
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                        • #13
                          If the dressage change means that the horse collects (i.e. changes stride length) to do the change then it can mess up your distance royally in a situation where you have to do a change relatively close to a fence (a roll back or bending line or just a case where you simply didn't get it done soon enuf). The break in rhythm, or whatever, can make the distance go poof. Even if it doesn't make your distance go poof, an extreme enuf version is going to make things look less smooth

                          A fix for dressage changes is to make sure that you are coming forward thru the change. Try to avoid using your hands at all. Heck, try to avoid moving the horse laterally. Because those last two things seem to make the dressage come out.

                          And, yes, it is possible to get a clean change without extreme collection or the bunny hop thing or a change in rhythm.
                          The Evil Chem Prof

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                          • #14
                            A clean change is executed from the hind end first. There are many very nice hunters who execute a smooth change from behind. This should place higher than an otherwise similar round where the horse changes smoothly front end first. What you all are calling a "dressage" change is not necessarily correct in dressage land either. A flying change in dressage land is done in collection and for high scores you want expression and jump, but it is within a rhythm. A flying change in hunter land is much more forward and in a working gait, but still in a rhythm. If the horse changes rhythm to do the change, it is wrong in either world. It is not a dressage change per se, just bad riding/training. In dressage land you are always penalized if the front end changes first, in hunter land you are only penalized if someone else does it better, as a previous poster said.

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                            • #15
                              Aren't most movements in dressage done more dramatically and with more collection by design?
                              I look at an old video of Anky and Monica Theodorescu (sp?), & Klimke and everything is very theatrical. And sooooooo lovely...

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by CBoylen View Post
                                I'm trying to remove a dressage change from a horse right now. It feels like he's trying to pause in mid-air to change both ends at the same time. That's totally unacceptable for him to do in the turn going around a course, so he's (slowly) learning to keep cantering through the change without the pause, still doing a change that we consider clean, but changing each part in succession as it comes through the step smoothly.
                                Two things:

                                First, I thought it was more desirable in the hunters to change while still on the straightaway before the turn rather than in the turn, though I have of course been guilty of a late change in the turn. Judges weigh in?

                                Second, CBoylen, are you saying that you are trying to get this horse to change one set of legs before the other (however close together) on purpose to make it look smoother, or just saying that you are trying to make a simultaeneous change more hunter smooth?
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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Trees4U View Post
                                  Aren't most movements in dressage done more dramatically and with more collection by design?
                                  I look at an old video of Anky and Monica Theodorescu (sp?), & Klimke and everything is very theatrical. And sooooooo lovely...
                                  At the Grand Prix/International level, yes. But my Pre-Green hunter goes to the dressage shows and does training level tests. Collection is not required at training and first level. Dressage horses are not even introduced to changes until 3rd level, at which collection has already been established. They are generally horrified to think that a horse would learn flying changes outside of collection. IMHO, so many of their horses have problems with the changes under saddle because they wait to long to introduce what is a natural movement. They also get a little more wound up about it because the HAVE to change behind first and that can be a good bit more difficult to get consistently.

                                  I was also taught a change in the corner places lower than a change on the straight away. Get the change before the turn.

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                                  • #18
                                    Help, my 5 yr old hanoverian does the normal back to front change right to left BUT on the left to right he does the dreaded dressage change hop!!
                                    Cboylen how do you fix it? Or anyone else??
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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Summit Springs Farm View Post
                                      Help, my 5 yr old hanoverian does the normal back to front change right to left BUT on the left to right he does the dreaded dressage change hop!!
                                      Cboylen how do you fix it? Or anyone else??
                                      As someone who does both the hunters and dressage, I still do not understand what people are talking about by "dressage change hop".

                                      Are people training their hunters to break up the change front to back/back to front or just not able to smooth out a clean (simultaeneous) change?
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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                                        As someone who does both the hunters and dressage, I still do not understand what people are talking about by "dressage change hop".

                                        Are people training their hunters to break up the change front to back/back to front or just not able to smooth out a clean (simultaeneous) change?
                                        I think what they are describing is that moment of suspension required to do the "hop" in the "dressage change. The horse is in collection and there is a pronounced "lift" in the topline while the horse changes legs.

                                        As explained, that frame and the pause that creates in the forward motion is not desirable in the hunter/eq ring. The horse must change smoothly within the canter - think of it as the legs changing without that lift in the topline. Ideally the horse will initiate the change behind but it is acceptable to change in front as long as the hind legs follow in the same stride.
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