Flying Changes

Discussion in 'Training Horses' started by Gamby, May 5, 2003.

  1. Gamby

    Gamby Well-known Member

    Im teaching my mare flying changes at the moment.....big step for me as ive never taught them to a horse before.
    Anyways she seems to do them well one way and not that good the other... would this because she isnt balanced and how can i help her not to do this?
    And she kinda takes off sometimes after doing a flying change..... i think its cos shes so proud but whats a good way to stop this?

  2. Denny

    Denny Well-known Member

    Hi Gamby,

    Aren't changes fun!!!! If you are traing changes for the first time (for yourself and the horse) then try and practice them with your coach. That way when things start to go wrong the coach will be able to tell you what's happening. But if your brave and teaching them on your own.. here are a few tips...

    If the mare is rushing after the change.. go back again to the simple changes and re establish those with her maintaining correct rhythym and tempo. Then go back to the change and ride it in your mind with out the walk.... sounds bizare I know. Sometimes us riders get so excited about the changes that our aid for the change is too strong and this causes the horse to rush.

    If your aids are ok and it is just her, after the change ride a transition of walk or even halt. Pat her and then pop her back to canter.

    Remember the saying...If your half halts aren't working then the halts aren't working So heaps of Transitions to improve the half halt. (and remember the ease!!!)

    To fix the change on the other side that isn't happening as well.... it's generally because the quality of the canter isn't suffiecent enough for a change. Go back and do heaps of transitions walk canter halt canter trot canter etc. When you think you've done enough.... do some more. Include some counter canter as well making sure to maintain correct R & T. When the canter has improved... move back to your simplechanges (10M 1/2 circles and return to S/C, on a serpentine or out of a counter canter) Once the S/C are settled then try the change.

    I hope this helps and doesn't sound like a load of nonsense!!!

    I find it much easier to explain these things on the ground in front of your horse!!! With the rider on the horse!

    Good luck

    PS... Once the change is established make sure you have someone on the ground to call your changes.... there is no point practicing late changes!
  3. beccy

    beccy Well-known Member

    eeeekkkkkk!!!!! some horses love changes, others dont. the ones that do, try and use every excuse to do one, and the ones that dont will try every excuse to do counter canter instead [​IMG] no its not really that bad *wink nod nod*

    ok this is long.......

    For yourself, so the aids are clear, first practice on the ground standing practicing the aids to which you would use. This is to help you understand that you know what aids you are going to use. a good dressage book should beable to describe the aid position. once confident then either practice on the lunge or at walk on circle yourself, with out stirrups swing the legs alternative from the hips not the knees. you can also practice this at trot. and again back at walk practice as if you were doing the change, with out the leg aid on, but change legs and hips and shoulders. remember to keep up straight and no leaning. (difficult horses may encourage riders to antisipate the transition and lean to get the change). Practicing the aid first is very important as a lot of ppl try and skip this part.
    when you are comfortable that you know the aid and can do it 100 exactly the same, then you can try it on the horse.
    If your horse is well trained, and you ask for a change, and your legs are late, your horse's back legs will be late to change too.

    one way to teach a horse is to train over a pole or small jump/cavelletti doing figure of 8's. the reason for this is it is easier for the horse to change, plus he has to pick up his whole body, and harder to practice late changes. Your aid also does not have to be perfect to get a good change either, so its a good way for you both learn the new transition. and practice getting that aid perfect and clean.

    practice getting your trot canter changes quickly and accurately. do them in corners, straights, circles, where ever. you may want to start off with a few strides inbetween then ask for less trot inbetween.

    As for figures to ride, a common one is pick up a canter lead, change the diagonal (short). establish a balanced counter canter, then after a corner ask for the change.

    Asking with a bend is easier for the horse like figure of 8's. but once he can do it with a bend practice straight lines as this will test to see if he is doing it corectly or just doing it because he is unbalanced.

    your instructor is best for helping as eyes on the ground, but reading and watching material will help you better understand what you want. and dont be afraid to video yourself.

  4. widgelli

    widgelli Well-known Member

    We had a different wasy to teach out horses to fly change.
    This way we found that they were less inclined to want to speed up after they had changed.
    Once we had taught the to change on a straight line , we would then go to walk through changes , gradually cutting down the number of steps between changes.
    We would also teach them to stop in the centre of the figure eight then go straight into a canter on the correct leg and flexion. By using the aids that were required to do this , the horses soon learned to follow the pressure of the legs and the half halt to change .
    I suppose this is as clear as mud , but it did serve to cut down on the rushing.

  5. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    Lol your so lucky your horse can change...Arnie changed his front legs meanwhile his back legs keep going the other direction!...

  6. Tam

    Tam Well-known Member

    Flying changes can be quite difficult for horses, thats why they don't feature in dressage till the mid- higher levels. In saying that some horses find them easier than others. My friends horse was a champion hack and excellent dressage horse, doing canter pirouettes were not a problem etc but she found the flying changes quite difficult and would never do one naturally in a paddock, let alone comfortably with a rider. My horse on the other hand is a real natural with them and even when his education was somewhat lacking, flying changes were "easy" The pole or jump exercises are fantastic and half halts like Denny and Beccy said. Horses naturally have a bad side even with their changes but that does get better as their muscle strength improves. Good Luck!!!!!!!!
  7. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    Yeh like my friend arabian and lil dolly I ride...They HOON around the paddocks and their throwing flying changes all over the place so quickly and they don't even know they do it...poor so many other horses either wobble and face it or come back to a trot and change...I have to admit teaching it to a horse that does not do it in a paddock is so hard...expecially when they'd rather step on the trot polls rather then hop! (Arnie) good luck training...

  8. Denny

    Denny Well-known Member

    How are the changes going Gamby?
  9. Gamby

    Gamby Well-known Member

    Sorry i didnt reply soon......been riding to much!!! Nah just kidding
    They're coming along alrite, i think she is slowly getting the hang of it aswell as me of course. I tried using the pole and the first few times she did a flying change really nicely except for the huge pigroot half way through.
    The other day though it was the best feeling, i was going across on the diagonal and thought what the heck i'll give it ago and to my delight it was beautiful. She did it even and didnt speed off so we might be getting somewhere.
    Thanks for all your advice ive been slowly trying different things. Unfortunately wont be able to put my practice in good use at the show i was suppose to be going to on the weekend but never mind.

  10. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    Good on ya! Sounds as though their really coming on well...

  11. The Old Grey Mare

    The Old Grey Mare Active Member

    lucky for me, my mare is a natural at flying changes .
    once she did about 9 in a straight line coming down the middle of the arena while mucking around. my jaw nearly hit the ground. perfect & no worries for her at all. i was not on her, & had put her in the arena for a moment while i cleaned her stable out.
    later on when she is ready, will be getting an experienced person to do this for me, as i really have no idea how to do it. have done it with her, but only by mistake. and this is not how i want her to learn. i will learn on an experienced horse so i am ready also.
  12. Denny

    Denny Well-known Member

  13. The Old Grey Mare

    The Old Grey Mare Active Member

    chatting to a good friend on the weekend, her gelding is about 10 yrs old, had been in "professional" western training for about 3 years when he was younger, but neither herself or the horse can do flying changes. WOW,.i was amazed.

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