Flying Changes

Discussion in 'Horse Riding' started by Mocha, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. Mocha

    Mocha Well-known Member

    Hi Everyone,

    Over the holidays, I have been riding Tristan and working on some 'flying changes'. I have never really done them with Tristan before, so I dont know if I am giving him the right aid's.

    The lady that I ride with said that when I cross the centre of the ring, to change my leg position and shift my shoulders a bit.
    I tried it but it didn't work.

    Am I giving the right aid's?


    p.s, we got a new saddle, YAY!

    Luv Ya'll,
  2. Pepsea

    Pepsea Gold Member

    Tanika, what are you doing flying changes for? i know you may want to, but i thought you were only doin low level dressage with him, then you wont need flying changes.. get an experienced person(instructor) to help you, get regular lessos and work on things with him, dont justy try a flying change out of the blue, get you aids woking well before you try it.. do simple changes,

  3. Kari

    Kari New Member

    Good advice Cherrie.

    Flying changes require much preparation including lateral work and counter canter becoming established before even being attempted. The horse also needs to be working round and have a certain level of collection before changes can be executed correctly.

    If this preparation is not done or not done correctly then the horse will change leads but will usually go into a disunited canter which is very unbalanced and is a bad habit to get the horse into.

    Although i might add some horses seem to have a natural ability for flying changes. One pony I was riding in 1995 had only been broken for 4 weeks and my instructor told me to shift my leg position and the pony changed immediately, and quite correctly. She obviously was naturally balanced, and these types of horses are rare. Most horses need years of training and preparation before they are physically capable of flying changes.

    Make sure the basics are established. Flying changes are not required until medium/advanced level dressage so i would not worry about them yet.

  4. Mocha

    Mocha Well-known Member

    Thanks Guys,
    I was not really sure about flying changes, but I was having a lesson a few weeks ago, and the lady said I should practise them on Tristan.
    I thought it would be easy considering Tristan has done top level dressage all his life.
    I will think abit more before I try stuff like that.
    oh, and if anyone is interested, there is going to be a mini ODE at Tristans agistment in June, its only walk/trot, and the jumps are only 18". I am sure it will be great fun!

    Luv Ya'll,
  5. beccy

    beccy Well-known Member

    Part of learning comes from experimenting on the horse. I congradulate you for wanting to learn more.
    Flying changes are fun to do, especially when you start multiple changes in a row.

    Some horses will offer changes at every opportunity they get, others are more timid of the changes and may take 6 months +++ before they are confident enough to do the change.

    However to rush through them can cause confusion for both you and the horse. The last thing you want is to spoil the horse.
    You as a rider need to know why you are asking for the change of lead, and what you want out of it. Where as the laterals are used to improve engagement and flexion of the hocks, flying changes are a test of co-ordination, response, suppleness, ballance. (and the bonus- it looks awsome, and soo much fun to ride when trained sucessfully)

    There are some things you will want him to beable to do first... a trot to canter on what ever lead you ask for no matter where on the arena. canter - walk - canter... with energy and grace & without resistance. introduce counter canter... shallow loops. Being able to sucessfully ride half halts at canter without breaking or loosing rhythm.

    As a rider, you need to beable to establish clear aids to the horse. Off the horse practice riding a canter figure of 8. at the point of change, think about where your hips are, where the ballance is, your shoulders-arms-hand, new inside/ouside leg, keep tall - don't lean in. Don't try on the horse untill you are comfortable off the horse with the aids. You can also try on a 44 gallon drum (pretend it is the horse) practicing your aids. IT is best with the help on the instructor so she/he can explain it better.
    On the lunge at walk without stirrups (with the help of your instructor), practice the riding aids for flying change. (if you need to) Ask your instructor to be very clear on what aids you are to use so there is no confusion.

    It is far better to learn on a schooly who has done them before. I really recommend riding a schooly first with the help of your instructor.
    The best way to teach a horse is over a pole or small cavalletti riding a figure of 8. This is because it encourages the horse to lift his legs cleanly to change as he is suspended in the air.

    Are you planning to do jumping, or hacking or dressage?

  6. Mocha

    Mocha Well-known Member

    Thanx Beccy!
    That was great advise.
    I was thinking about just doing some dressage, maybe hacking.
    Thanx again.

    Luv Ya'll,
  7. beccy

    beccy Well-known Member

    In dressage you aren't required to do a flying change untill higher levels, however in hacking, once you start doing official it will help if you can do them, as some judges will ask for one (especially in champion class)

  8. sil

    sil Gold Member

    If you do a search I wrote a piece a while ago on things to accomplish before working on flying changes. Beccy has great advice. Flying changes are UGLY if they aren't done properly, and I have seen a lot of ugly changes I can tell you! =)

    ~ Do as much as it takes, do as little as it takes. ~
  9. Mocha

    Mocha Well-known Member

    Thanx guys!
    Great Advise........

    Luv Ya'll,
  10. Raw Prawn

    Raw Prawn Well-known Member

    I am very excited!

    After reading your posts Beccy I went out today and attempted a flying change. I set up with a small cavalletti and prepared with some counter canter and walk to canter transitions. The first time i tried the change we got it! I think i lost tempo after the first one because i could not get her to change again so i finished the session on another note and i will try again in the morning. Thanks heaps for your advice, even though it wasnt directed to me!

  11. PlumpRump

    PlumpRump New Member

    I train the movement and my own position with simple changes before moving on and asking for flying changes, regardless of if the horse has done flying changes before. Most seem to pick it up quite easily and the practice runs of simple changes though the trot helps get my position into place. A pole can be useful to remind a slower minded pony of its legs. Walk to canter and canter to walk is my favourite exercise and helpful to master before training fluid flying changes.

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