New flying change thread

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khall
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New flying change thread

Postby khall » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:53 pm

I know it's been done before, but it sounds like several of us are on the pathway so I wanted to start another one.

Share your strategies for changes please! I've trained FCs on a couple of horses, but they were TBs so way easier than my WBs are and now Rip and I are on the path and I have been practicing and thinking about the different strategies for FCs. Why I joined the Ritter FC group to see what they had to offer. Still need to watch the 3 common mistakes video.

As we know getting the changes clean is the hard part most often. IMO it is all about the quality of the canter and the quality of the WCW transitions. I got to see Michael Poulin address this years ago and another BNT how she addressed it. Michael Poulin really concentrated on the simple changes, the other BNT did CW,CCW, CW on the circle. Michael Poulin did them on the straight line.

What I've picked up over the years and am working with Rip on now:
tons of WC, WCC transitions. I am doing them both on the straight and bending lines.
lateral work in the canter: SI, HI, counter SI, renvere (I've read if you do renvere on a bending line they WANT to change because of the difficulty of the movement) I've done it on the straight but not bending lines yet
keeping the quality of the canter in forefront of my mind at all times
medium C to collected C to refresh the gait and reinforce the HH
HP to change (have not done this yet with Rip but have with one of my TBs)

Rip flipped a change on me working on WC, WCC right to left one day. I have not asked for a change yet though.

One thing I am really working on is the simple change across the diagonal. He can be a bit sticky L to R, so I need to have straightness and fluidness for this I believe before I delve into changes. So while I am working with all the above, this is my litmus test as to how correct he is going.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:55 pm

Caveat: I have never trained flying changes before the current horse, only ridden them on horses who had them easily (young TBs) or schoolmasters. p.s. No, this is not the recommended approach.

In my first comments, I will say that doing changes with a short-backed, not huge-strided horse has led me to seek a much bigger canter than a collected canter for the changes (v. different than what Dresseur recently described and v. different from what I had experienced on other horses). I could be totally wrong here, but my best changes with Em come through a near medium canter. it is easy to collect her the stride after the change, but she can get very stuck and declare "it cannot be done" (and won't change) if she is too collected.

I look forward to learning more from you all. You've been very helpful over the year that I've been futzing along on this! I really am trying to clean up my training and not do any "bad practice" now.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Dresseur » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:42 pm

The changes are so individual to the horse, as each horse has different mechanics. I've trained 2 horses to do changes now, and am getting a solid education on riding changes on a number of horses from green changes to confirmed (Gala). What's interesting to me is that my coach has a friesian in training right now - zero aptitude for changes, and her job is to come up with a game plan to teach the horse changes, so I'm watching this from the ground up! What's very interesting is that this particular horse, when it collects, never, ever jumps it's hinds closer together - it just gets longer and slower behind - so there is a base level basics issue at play. So, I'm curious what the plan is going to be to try to get the horse to change. (It can do simple changes all day long with one trot step or one walk step in between).

In any case, prerequisites for the changes are that the horse can collect the canter a bit. Not full on piri canter - but canter, collect, canter, collect. The horse should be able to do at least a full counter canter loop - but not be overly confirmed in cc.
The horse should be able to do walk, canter, walk, or do walk, cc, walk. (note - these should be relatively straight... no contorting on horse or rider's part and it should be off the rider's hip - not cued by outside legs or what have you - that almost guarantees that you will get swinging changes.)

One thing I'll mention before I get into the patterns are, at first, the goal is to get the horse to switch its hips. The changes will not be on the rider's timing. Once the horse has the mechanics of the changes down, then the rider can start to ask for the timing to be more precise and be on the rider's aids.

There are a few patterns that changes get taught out of. The simplest is the long or short diagonal. So, you come across, collect the canter and ask for the change (I switch my hips: so basically, i'm in canter position, I pull my new inside hip forward so I'm now in the new canter position and hold until the horse changes). Don't drop the horse on it's head, canter off. Collecting the canter is part of the overall set of aids for the FC. If the horse doesn't understand, and doesn't change it's own hips - you have a few things you can try.
1. collect more - really, really make the hind legs jump quicker and closer together so that the overall distance that the new inside hind has to travel is less.
2. move the canter out - this is for horses that get overly stuck in the changes
3. tap the new inside hind leg with the whip - this makes the horse be a bit kicky behind, and they'll contract that side and pull the new inside hind up as they kick. Usually this creates a bit of a bucky change - but that can be ridden out of the horse. This is how we taught Willie changes.
4. In rare instances, tapping the outside hind works - it's the same principle, get the horse to be a bit snatchy behind, but for some horses this works.

Other common patterns:
doing a serpentine or figure 8 - this tends to work for horses that want to charge through the change or spread out when asking for the change - the wall acts as a barrier to help back the horse off.

Counter canter down the long side, ask for the change. Rinse and repeat. This tends to work for horses that get twisted in the change or start swinging their hindquarters around.

Rare instances - canter down long side, ask for haunches in, do a 1/2 volte in haunches in, half pass back to the rail, ask for the change. This helps with bucky changes - it really sits the horse down and keeps the canter tidy.

Rider aids are a whole other ballgame lol.
Last edited by Dresseur on Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:27 am

Dresseur, thank you for your notes.

Please clarify: " 2. move the canter out - this is for horses that get overly stuck in the changes"

Appreciate it!

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Dresseur » Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:35 am

Some horses that are shorter and tighter tend to get too tight behind, so the change is very small and pingy behind. Or, they may just start doing tempis behind, without changing up front. Once the horse understands the mechanics of changing the hips, it can also be a fix for bucky changes - I ended up having to push Willie into a bigger canter to stop the bucking in the changes ... but most horses that seem to need to change out of bigger canters seem to be the ones that are very close coupled, with a lot of action behind.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Flight » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:34 am

Well I've only trained one horse, and I did start a bit with Norsey.
What I've learned is that they have to clearly understand the canter aid. So all your trans (W-C) needs to be understood from a clear and simple and light aid and acted on straight away.
They have to be fairly well balanced and strong enough to offer it.
They might take a little while to get it right and don't be scared off by this. I read so much about how badly you can mess this up and teach them the wrong thing, so I'd freak out about asking for one, but it can take a bit of time so don't panic if it's not perfect straight away.
Get eyes on ground or at least video them happening because at first I couldn't always feel if they were late behind.
After that there are individual problems a horse might have, with different exercises to help, so that's when you might need to try different things or get some help from an instructor to sort it out.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Ponichiwa » Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:37 pm

I <3 flying changes. I'm not a natural at much in dressage but I have been able to put the changes on 5 horses over the years. And they were VERY different types of horses.

I'm in the process of transitioning Kiwi's swaps to true flying changes: I'd introduced the concept of hunter-type changes very early on in her training to avoid the super-confirmed-counter-canter-means-no-flying-changes-ever pitfall I'd found in previous horses. Which basically meant that I had flying changes everywhere for quite some time.
However, now that she's almost 11 and getting towards being a trained horse, the changes are on my request (80% of the time) and also very big/expressive. So we're making progress.

I suspect if I were a bit more refined in my understanding of her tendencies, I'd have confirmed the counter canter before introducing the changes. She's the type of horse that is very protective of her balance, so I suspect she would have been very easy to induce a flying change even after getting fluent with the counter canter.

Other horses (especially those that are a bit slow with the hind end in the canter) may benefit from the early intro to changes. The little hot ones need a lot of sedative-type riding before the changes stop feeling dangerous; the big slow horses need an adrenaline boost to make the changes happen.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Imperini » Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:26 pm

My horse came with [thankfully mostly clean] "hunter auto changes" but I took them out of the equation for a while to establish a counter canter. Now we have a pretty decent counter canter and hit and miss changes. :lol: I'm sure having had them before they'll be easy to re-establish when I'm really ready to get to it and get my parts right too.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Moutaineer » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:56 pm

Ponichiwa wrote:I <3 flying changes. I'm not a natural at much in dressage but I have been able to put the changes on 5 horses over the years. And they were VERY different types of horses.



Would you like to come stay in a nice ski resort for a couple of weeks? :) :)

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby mari » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:29 am

piedmontfields wrote:Caveat: I have never trained flying changes before the current horse, only ridden them on horses who had them easily (young TBs) or schoolmasters. p.s. No, this is not the recommended approach.

In my first comments, I will say that doing changes with a short-backed, not huge-strided horse has led me to seek a much bigger canter than a collected canter for the changes (v. different than what Dresseur recently described and v. different from what I had experienced on other horses). I could be totally wrong here, but my best changes with Em come through a near medium canter. it is easy to collect her the stride after the change, but she can get very stuck and declare "it cannot be done" (and won't change) if she is too collected.

I look forward to learning more from you all. You've been very helpful over the year that I've been futzing along on this! I really am trying to clean up my training and not do any "bad practice" now.


I have a short-backed horse, but with a big canter. Collection seems to be the enemy of clean changes for us.
The aim of argument or of discussion should not be victory, but progress. ~ Joseph Joubert

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:23 pm

The comments on this thread are making me think that I "lost" our changes by 1. not keeping the canter big enough and 2. getting Emi too happy in the collected canter work (she is much stronger in this work than 6 months ago). Hmmmm....For ex., she has a much nicer counter canter both ways than 6 months ago.....Bummer...When I started playing with changes, I was very casual, just sending her forward towards her "gallop" and just changing my seat. She was getting it about 2/3s-3/4s of the time with that approach, but it wasn't happening on a letter. Then I started thinking about it and trying to make it more specific. Ugh!

I do think Flight's point about obedience to the canter depart aid is very important. That is the main focus of our work away from the changes now.

More insight from this experienced group very appreciated! I like Mountaineer's suggestion (please come help!). :-D

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Chisamba » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:29 pm

I was taught to train changes over cavaletti, since it instils jump in the canter through the change. I was also taught to get the changes first, before asking for straightness, since asking for both at the same time is similar to expecting collection from a training level horse. It has worked for me to continue to train changes this way, so i have not changed from it a lot. When i want to make my changes more polished i will do simple changes, on a straight line or on a circle, and then ask for the flying changes intermittently in amoungst the simple changes.

So, cavaletti should be one stride apart set in a triangle around X you canter in, and simply canter your circle, say to the left, over two of the three cavaletti until the horse is very relaxed smooth and adjustable over the cavaletti, then you stop in the middle of the triangle, do a simple change and do the circle, say to the right, over two of the three cavaletti. this may actually take two or three days of preparation. Once the horse is comfortable doing the figure of eight over the cavaletti, instead of a simple change you simply change direction at X and over the cavalettin the the other direction asking for a FC instead of a SC.

eventually you should be able to do figure eights with clean flying changes cleanly, easily and often, or simply circle and not change to avoid anticipation. Once the horse has that, you remove the cavaletti and get the change without the poles. one you remove the poles This will allow you to play with more collected, or more medium changes.

from here it depends on the horse, i might add a SC to counter canter, then a flying change or i might make my diagonal instead of a circle and go counter canter FC, FC to change direction, then simply Correct canter to FC FC FC on the diagonal. if the horse starts anticipating or swinging, i add a simple changed where i would have had a FC

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:37 pm

Chisamba, I am trying to visualize your cavaletti/triangle set up. If you know of a diagram online, please share. I probably can't pursue this full approach because it is incredibly hard for me to pick up and move a single ground pole due to my joint condition. :-( I have used the change over a pole and it is of some use.

When you say that you were taught to get the changes first before asking for straightness, do you mean before asking for straightness in the changes or straightness in the canter? (I'm having trouble imagining getting a change without some canter straightness.)

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Chisamba » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:08 pm

SmartSelectImage_2018-03-02-16-05-27.png
SmartSelectImage_2018-03-02-16-05-27.png (132.96 KiB) Viewed 1776 times


Every skew hunter can do a single flying change, don't know why you think a horse has to be straight first lol.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:16 pm

"Every skew hunter can do a single flying change, don't know why you think a horse has to be straight first lol."

Ha! :-) Because I'm trying to do a "proper change", not a bad hunter change (late behind)???

In your diagram, is the center portion the triangle? (not a pentagon)

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Chisamba » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:57 pm

good hunters don't change late behind, they sure as hell don't win if the do. i am a great admirer of how hunters put a good single flying change on their horses with no big sweat about it. They make their horses wait til asked, and make lovely clean flying changes. Sometimes i think we dressage riders make such a huge fuss about it . Anyway, my first GP horse came from the jumpers, he could not make the step up to the four foot division. He had a lovely single flying change. OF course i had to work on all the lateral work with him, shoulder ins, etc, but when it came time to put multiple changes in the straight line on him, he took to it like a duck to water. No big sweat. I honestly thought, based on my experience with him, that tempi were the easiest part of upper level work. Then i got my Irish horse, and putting three changes across the diagonal on her was the hardest thing i ever did.

anyway, in the diagram the poles would be a triangle if you extended each side til they met. the arrows indicate the distances, so if you are quite collected, you could work to the inside of the pole, if you were in a normal canter, the middle of the pole and if you were wanting to do medium canter, you could work to the outer edge of the pole, ( or cavaletti) . It looks fairly simple, but just doing the circles over the cavaletti is challenging enough to take quite a few days of work to do it easily.

I have done clinics with jumper trainers who scorn the change over a pole system. I like pole work, both in the trot and the canter, so i quite like it.

when i was at the anders lindgren clinic he would have riders change direction from E to B and ask for the change almost at B so the horse is rocking back because it is approaching the wall, or counter canter to the corner, and ask for the change just before turning. If the horse does not give the change go straight and do a canter halt transition facing the wall ( or mirror). back up out of the corner, pick up your new lead, and canter a circle. these are useful for horses who rush through the change and lose balance. Not the types that Dresseur described as needing to be more forward.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby musical comedy » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:47 pm

Chisamba wrote:good hunters don't change late behind, they sure as hell don't win if the do. i am a great admirer of how hunters put a good single flying change on their horses with no big sweat about it. They make their horses wait til asked, and make lovely clean flying changes. Sometimes i think we dressage riders make such a huge fuss about it .
<respectfully snipped> I agree that good hunters make good changes. I think sometimes DQ's give hunters a bad rap.

As you say, hunters have to learn changes very early because even in the absolute lowest level of jumping, you need the flying change. I don't know how they are taught because fortuntely when I did hunters, the ones I bought already had the change on them. When I switched to eventing, I took jumping lessons from a jumper trainer. There, we used the canter over polls and x-rails to teach the horse to change in the air, thus not needing a flying change. This is necessary in order to make time in the jumper classes.

I taught my old guy tempis, but that's the extent of my teaching horses changes. To be honest, I would probably have a pro put on the changes now if I had a horse that needed to learn them. I am of the mindset that once they learn how to do bad changes, it is hard to break. I realize that's not every horse, but just my thinking.

I also do definitely believe that for whatever reason, changes are difficult for some horses and easy for others. Thus, the reason so many can't advance past 2nd.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Chisamba » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:48 pm

musical comedy wrote:
Chisamba wrote:good hunters don't change late behind, they sure as hell don't win if the do. i am a great admirer of how hunters put a good single flying change on their horses with no big sweat about it. They make their horses wait til asked, and make lovely clean flying changes. Sometimes i think we dressage riders make such a huge fuss about it .
<respectfully snipped> I agree that good hunters make good changes. I think sometimes DQ's give hunters a bad rap.

As you say, hunters have to learn changes very early because even in the absolute lowest level of jumping, you need the flying change. I don't know how they are taught because fortuntely when I did hunters, the ones I bought already had the change on them. When I switched to eventing, I took jumping lessons from a jumper trainer. There, we used the canter over polls and x-rails to teach the horse to change in the air, thus not needing a flying change. This is necessary in order to make time in the jumper classes.

I taught my old guy tempis, but that's the extent of my teaching horses changes. To be honest, I would probably have a pro put on the changes now if I had a horse that needed to learn them. I am of the mindset that once they learn how to do bad changes, it is hard to break. I realize that's not every horse, but just my thinking.



I also do definitely believe that for whatever reason, changes are difficult for some horses and easy for others. Thus, the reason so many can't advance past 2nd.


I agree, especially the last statement, some horses seem to take to it easily and some do not . As for having a pro help, i was surprised to hear, in some parts of Europe, that there are piaffe specialists and flying change specialists. Ie pro's who lots of people bring their horse to to just teach that one particular thing. It seemed like quite a nifty idea :)

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby piedmontfields » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:20 am

Thanks for explaining the diagram, Chisamba. That looks like a neat exercise, with benefits even at a basic level of work.

I know that good hunters do lovely changes and that jumpers are well trained. I did say that I wanted to avoid practicing bad form changes, as I think bad practice is not that helpful.

As to fuss, well I started *not* making a fuss about and had modest success. Then convinced myself that I didn't know what I was doing (because I don't). Then I broke my wrist, recovered, got back in riding shape and am ready to tackle this anew! I don't need to show 3rd level or any level. I don't care about medals. I just want to learn to train and ride this correctly.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Flight » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:01 am

Here's some video of my trying to get the timing right. This is in a lesson from yesterday. I find it hard to count when someone else is saying when to do them, which probably means my timing is wrong!
I know Dresseur talks about using your hip only, not legs. I'm working on trying to decrease my leg aids so it will be hip only. You can see how we do get some swinging quarters at times, and this is usually because I've been too strong with my leg (a bit of panic to get him to do it!)

Also, this is the soloshot 3, it's been going so well with it's tracking and videoing. You can adjust the zoom, it doesn't have to be this close. https://youtu.be/ZT0nSKogMnU

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby piedmontfields » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:17 pm

Thanks, Flight. It is very helpful to watch you work! I think I do need to be quieter and focus on the hip change.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Moutaineer » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:12 pm

We've been working hard on the CC, the W/C/W, etc., and I'm feeling it's mostly getting pretty tidy and accurate. This is frankly largely because of the emphasis I'm putting on my own body positioning and core stability. Laddie is a big boy, long as a bus, and if he can pull you forward out of position it's hard to get his hind end back underneath him. So lots of work on controlled tempo, sitting and waiting, and listening to my hips.

Yesterday I could pretty much taste the change in there, but restrained myself--and I'm wondering why now.

Logically if feels that the place for us to start doing these is from a CC to a true C at the end of the long side. Going across the diagonal, which I was doing last year when we got to this point, could get a bit strung out and rowdy. because of the above mentioned ability to drag you out of the saddle if he gets motoring--no galloping him into a change, we'd die...

Watching Mette working on these a little at the clinic last month, she was working on them out of a 10m half volte at the short end and a short diagonal back to the track with a change before you hit the track, on the same grounds that it all gave you more control and straightness and less chance for things to get away from you. There's usually too many people wandering across my path in the ring to try this, but it seems a valid approach, also.

I'm riding with her when she comes back in May and I'd kind of like to have the basics down so she can help me with them then. But I'm not rushing anything. I'm sure she will find plenty to work on...

I know my trainer isn't entirely thrilled about my working on these on my own, but I feel I need the focus of working it out quietly for myself rather than having to process what I'm doing, what he's doing, and the addition of what she's saying and get it all together. If we can get a broad brush understanding of the aids, as Dresseur says, then we can add her in for more refinement.

Thanks for the video, Flight. That was actually very helpful in seeing the tempo you are riding them at, amongst other things. How are you scoring on your single changes? I would have thought pretty good?

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Ponichiwa » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:59 pm

Snipping for exercises:

Moutaineer wrote:Logically if feels that the place for us to start doing these is from a CC to a true C at the end of the long side. Going across the diagonal, which I was doing last year when we got to this point, could get a bit strung out and rowdy. because of the above mentioned ability to drag you out of the saddle if he gets motoring--no galloping him into a change, we'd die...

Watching Mette working on these a little at the clinic last month, she was working on them out of a 10m half volte at the short end and a short diagonal back to the track with a change before you hit the track, on the same grounds that it all gave you more control and straightness and less chance for things to get away from you. There's usually too many people wandering across my path in the ring to try this, but it seems a valid approach, also.


The one caution I have for you re: the placement of the change if you're putting it in or near the corner of the arena at the end of the long side is that you can accidentally create a crooked change by turning within or immediately after the change. Placing the change on the long side several strides away from the corner gives you higher odds of keeping the haunches under you and not swinging to the outside.

I really like the 10m half-volte "ice cream cone" exercise for big long horses, because it naturally keeps the canter a bit more together instead of long and sprawling (been there, ridden that).

My previous horse was a big long Dutch Harness x gelding who was very very confirmed at counter canter before I came along and tried to introduce changes. As a result, I had to almost knock him off balance to get him to change. What worked to keep his big gallumphing canter together and still get a change were exercises like a change-through-the-20m circle (like a yin-yang symbol of connected 10m circles) with the change in the center, or halfpass to the wall and then 10m half-circle to the centerline and asking for the change before/during the 10m half-circle (danger! may cause haunches to swing out!).

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Flight » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:49 pm

Moutaineer wrote:Thanks for the video, Flight. That was actually very helpful in seeing the tempo you are riding them at, amongst other things. How are you scoring on your single changes? I would have thought pretty good?


Usually get 7s, sometimes 6s with 'needs more jump'.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby DJR » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:14 pm

This is such a great thread. Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far.

Today I tried a couple of things that Lauren Sprieser blogs about to help late-behind changes. First, I trained Jet today to canter off a whip aid (outside hip). He was confused at first, but caught on very quickly and within three tries was doing w-c and even h-c from just the whip. Then I cantered down the long side and put him in renvers, then asked for the change from the whip alone (to counter canter, but still on the long side). It worked a charm, totally clean. Tried it the other way with the same result. Lauren explains that from renvers, it sets them up for the change and makes it very difficult for a late change because of the positioning, and the whip aid keeps them hot and from behind.

Before I did that, though, I worked very diligently on keeping Jet right between my aids. He tends to barge through the hh (and I've unfortunately let him in the past so it's not his fault), and then get behind the leg or rush (same difference really). My feel has improved tremendously and I'm much quicker to correct him when he's leaning and not taking responsibility for his body & tempo himself. This also helped just with the basic work.

Can't wait to ride again tomorrow!
formerly known as "Deanna" on UDBB -- and prior to that, as "DJD".

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:10 pm

DJR, thanks for writing about Lauren S's guidance and sharing your experience. I have not had success with this approach at all---basically my mare is like "why are you beating me?" This could be related to the fact that my basic w-c aid is more of a hip position than an outside leg aid. I do have more success with the whip activating the inside leg of the new canter lead (I think Dresseur mentioned this as a technique for some).

But I know that the renvers positioning does completely set them up for a good change. I'm glad you had a great ride and great success!

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby DJR » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:43 pm

piedmontfields - I can definitely see how some horses (especially mares!) might be offended by the whip aid to canter. Jet needs the help to get his hind legs more active and ready, so it works beautifully for him. He was cantering off a light tap after 3 tries so it wasn't traumatic.
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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Moutaineer » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:07 pm

Yeah, I nearly got bucked off with the whip aid thing... Laddie gets very easily offended by the whip--he's such a little worker bee that I think he already feels as if he's giving you 100%, "so what more do you want, witch?!" But the renvers is an interesting and understandable approach to add to the quiver.

Ponichiwa, yes, I can see that one would want to pull the FC back from the corner to keep it straight.

Flight, THX! Don't take this the wrong way, but it really helps to have a visual that is a normal horse and rider, not CDJ and Vallegro.

It's all been a bit academic this week. Work has been insane. This too shall pass.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby musical comedy » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:56 pm

I'm curious. Why would someone that isn't planning on showing up the levels care about teaching flying changes.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby khall » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:08 pm

Why not? Logical step of training IMO. SRS doses not show yet their horses do changes, PK does not show yet his horses do changes, AB does not show yet her horses do changes.

Showing and "moving up the levels" is not the end all be all. Dressage is about training not showing, at least for me it is.

I am not a huge fan of showing especially recognized shows, cost for one, I hate white breeches and Rip is on banned medication (dex) with his cicatrix issue. He gets throat spray 3 times a week and it has dex in it. Not sure what kind of hoops I would have to jump through to show him recognized at this point. I am picky about my show grounds and the one I like the best and is pretty close to me changed hands recently, the schooling shows at this venue were great fun, but again I am picky, picky about time frame (don't like to show in the blazing heat, no covered there) we will see if the new owner keeps going with the shows (Poplar Place in Georgia, holds recognized dressage and events as well as big schooling shows)


At some point I might show recognized again, but not a big goal for me at this time. Would rather spend the money on lessons.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Josette » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:37 pm

khall - I totally agree with you. I also have no interest in showing, however, I love learning. Besides it's fun!

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby musical comedy » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:50 pm

khall wrote:Why not? Logical step of training IMO. SRS doses not show yet their horses do changes, PK does not show yet his horses do changes, AB does not show yet her horses do changes.

Showing and "moving up the levels" is not the end all be all. Dressage is about training not showing, at least for me it is.

I am not a huge fan of showing especially recognized shows, cost for one, I hate white breeches and Rip is on banned medication (dex) with his cicatrix issue. He gets throat spray 3 times a week and it has dex in it. Not sure what kind of hoops I would have to jump through to show him recognized at this point. I am picky about my show grounds and the one I like the best and is pretty close to me changed hands recently, the schooling shows at this venue were great fun, but again I am picky, picky about time frame (don't like to show in the blazing heat, no covered there) we will see if the new owner keeps going with the shows (Poplar Place in Georgia, holds recognized dressage and events as well as big schooling shows)


At some point I might show recognized again, but not a big goal for me at this time. Would rather spend the money on lessons.

Are you looking for an argument? As I said, I'm only curious. You are responding like I am poking at people that don't show. Don't read that into it because that wasn't my intention..

Dressage is about training is true, but that is open to interpretation depending on whom you ask. Does it have to be training to increase the level of difficulty?

I have come to the conclusion that for many of us, dressage is about developing a horse that is a pleasure to ride. That means developing response to the aids, balance, impulsion, bending and basic stuff. A certain degree of collection is required, but a higher degree of collection is not needed to have a pleasure riding horse. Perhaps I'm missing something, but unlike some other dressage movements and exercises, I don't see where flying changes are beneficial to a horse's soundness or rideability.

Read my other recent post I am about to make, and maybe this inquiry will make more sense.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby piedmontfields » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:12 am

musical comedy wrote:I'm curious. Why would someone that isn't planning on showing up the levels care about teaching flying changes.


MC, I take this as a serious (genuine) question.

For me, it is about learning to train and ride. This is an engaging and interesting hobby, and a huge part of that is the learning and change involved. I hope that this is not my last horse and I would like to be more evolved and educated for my next!

Also, I will admit that a personal fantasy of mine involves flying changes (do not be afraid): I once leased a cottage on a gorgeous 1000 acre farm with multiple training barns. People rode by our gardens and cooed, while I was in awe over the horses. I used to drool over this woman riding her handsome big bay WB bareback in a ring and practicing 3rd and 4th level movements. At that point (just a couple of years into any riding at all, as I started as an adult), I said to myself "that is the goal for me in riding! It looks so fun and delightful for both horse and rider."

Sorry I am not more ambitious---but I am a realist! (I am shortish, roundish and definitely grey--and so is my horse! :D )

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby khall » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:41 am

MC, no that was my first reaction to your query not looking to argue, well why ever not train FCs? They are just a change of lead in the air, easier IMO on the horse than simple changes through the walk. Single changes do not take much collection as evidenced by how many hunters with FCs? Now tempes are more demanding, but singles not so much. I think we all (me included) tend to put them on a pedestal like they are some unattainable dream.

While I may not have huge ambition to show big time, I still have strong ambition to train my horse to as high of a level that we can be. That is why I listed what I consider to be high level trainers/schools that train their horses up to and including FCs. Rip is sound and the work makes him way easier to deal with and ride for me, the more demanding work focuses him. I have no issues with anyone who does not want to train to a higher level and can understand being satisfied with a supple soft horse that does not reach high collection, I happen to be a bit different. It's been many years of hard work to get here with the big guy, and has been especially difficult after losing Mark, but dang it we have progressed even without Mark here simply because he had set us up for success with the knowledge he imparted. I learn every time I ride/work with Rip. It takes a willingness to try and fail and then go back to the drawing board, especially when you do not have regular eyes on the ground.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby piedmontfields » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:32 pm

Something I've learned from Jeremy Steinberg's teaching (to source it): Flying changes do not develop strength, but they require strength (and obedience) to achieve. Essentially they are an anaerobic jump. Practicing flying changes does not put "gait in the bank" the way practicing walk-canter-walk does.

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Ponichiwa » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:37 pm

I was thinking about that question (Why train changes if you're not planning on showing?) while I was riding yesterday. FCs are a bit of a peak movement, like pirouette or passage. They aren't the next step to anywhere. However, their quality is indicative of the underlying quality of the canter and they can be diagnostic of issues in the connection. So, intellectually, there is that.

They're also loads of fun.

Practically, they've also saved my bacon a couple times when I was boarding at a H/J barn that catered to young/new-to-riding lesson students. The ability to change direction easily at the canter is a godsend in an arena like that!

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Re: New flying change thread

Postby Josette » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:56 pm

piedmontfields wrote: Sorry I am not more ambitious---but I am a realist! (I am shortish, roundish and definitely grey--and so is my horse! :D )



LOL! - you just described me and my pony. (rider age 61, 5'2", 130#+, gray) (pony age 18, 14.2, gray) :)


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