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chino is neato007

Flying Lead Changes

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I did get totally off topic on this subject...I was not talking about a 4 beat "lope", was speaking about the gallop or run and I am a firm believer that there is 4 beats in it...I am wondering if this is the difference in the change of lead "style". One collected and one at speed....

Smilie...I do get my feathers ruffled when ever "barrelracers or gamers" are lumped into a group of people whom don't train our animals and just yeehaw them into thier gaits. I have spent way to many hours practicing and at clinics. Sounds like you have been there too.

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Sorry, I try not to lump barrel racers into one group, as i know, same as any discipline, at upper end the training is there, or those horses wouldn't be winning

However, just like I constantly battle negative comments concerning western pl, because there are still many lower level shows examples of all that was negative concerning western pl, there is also the same negative examples of barrel and games horses at many open show

I'm faced with the constant reference to peanut roller s from this fall out, and there is also a reason why many people dubb games classes the 'whip and spur event

We each have to do what we can to show the good examples of our disciplines

Yes speed makes the need for correct body control not all that nessisary for flying changes, but correct flying changes, to be taught are the same either way.

You can also run ahorse at speed into a lead departure, in a circle, and changes are he will pick up the correct lead. However, this does not mean the horse has the skills to pick up a correct lead, Ie the lead asked for, whether in a circle, a counter canter or in a straight line

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I have never heard that the gallop is three beat, but that it is a four beat gait.

I looked at the first link you posted Smilie - I'm not a WP person but is that REALLY how they are supposed to look? It looks terribly uncomfortable for the horse.

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The gallop has been described as both a four beat and a two beat gait-no relevance to flying changes.

Spacy, both links show western riding, not western pleasure. The first is of an amateur Paint event, as I couldn't in ahurray find a video of a Congress AQHA champion open western riding horse

The second one has one flying change, collected, that is World Class

What you are seeing in the western riding pattern, is a horse doing a series of flying changes at exact locations between the cones. This requires a high degree of collection and percision

Try and ride such a pattern with cowboy changes, and I garentee that the pattern will be demolished.

No way can it be done at speed without whiping out th cones

<Maybe go back and see the technical difficulity of these type of changes-changes without change of topline or speed, and actually try and see the level of ability

Just in case you really failed to observe the lead changes between cones, look at this video. It clearly shows the horse executing percise flying changes on a loose rein with cadence

The horse happens to be an Appaloosa, well known for his show results, being ridden by his amateur rider

If you can't appreciate the caliber of these flying changes, well , all I can say, you need to attend some clinics

Edited by Smilie

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I realize what you were showing, that wasn't my issue. I was simply asking a question about the speed and if that's how a western horse goes normally.

And as to the issue of the gallop, no, its not the issue, but it should be clarified, and you yourself said you would remain open minded if presented with evidence, which people did. Then once it was argued, you said it was irrelevant.

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I have never heard that the gallop is three beat, but that it is a four beat gait.

I looked at the first link you posted Smilie - I'm not a WP person but is that REALLY how they are supposed to look? It looks terribly uncomfortable for the horse.

It is not AT ALL uncomfortable for the horse, they are some of the happiest, fittest horses around, western pleasure horses, it is what they are bred to do, they are the PINNACLE of collection and can go with speed or with suspension carrying that beautiful topline, it is quite a feat.

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Hi Spacy

The irrelvence of the beats of a gallop, referred to flying changes. Correct flying changes are correct flying changes-back first, changing both behind and in front

So you are HJ. Well, all of usd can find disciplines an d

pick them apart, but first one should try and understand what is considered excellent in that discipline

The ability to execute true manovers, be it a lope or flying changes, increases with difficulity, the slower they are executed at

Most broke horses can do three gaits going around the ring and pick up correct leads while remaining fairly steady. Most can also change leads, given speed and direction change

The ability to have self carriage, ridden on aloose rein, performing true gaits and also flying changes,without changing top line or speed, separates the truly great ones from the wanta bes`` and local type schooling shows

The western riding pattern of Impassible, shows a high degree of training and ability. Without that collection and rating of speed, impossible to nail those changes

If you don`;t beleive me, set up a western riding pattern (available on line, I`m sure ) and try riding it with your HJ. Even with contact, I know you won`t get those changes

You go into the pattern slow, as you waNt ahorse relaxed,,not chargy in the pattern, or on the muscle.

Try doing some straight line flying changes without rein support, you just might get some insight concerning level of self carriage and training

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I think the major problem here is most of our inability to see and admire the athletisim in horses of all disciplines. Takes athletism for Zeneyetta to change leads like she does coming off that turn at 35 just as it does for those horses holding themselves in self carriage ...a different type of athletism but athletic just the same.

Again off topic...sorry.

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great video of an upper level dressage horse

It is easily seen that a great deal of collection and rating of speed is involved

The western riding horse is collected with a level topline, off of seat and leg alone

The dressage horse is collected with a higher head set and has rein support

Both are excellent examples of their discipline and athletic ability

Good comparison to show that collection is independant of head set, which is determined by conformation.

Collection is based on drive and rounding

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An athletic horse moving at speed should change leads naturally to keep himself balanced. Really a horse that isn't athletic enough to change leads when changing directions at a gallop isn't a horse suited to speed events IMO.

That said, my barrel horse has correct, on cue lead changes. He is very broke and a super natural changer. Lead changes come much more easily for some horses than others.

Truthfully I have seen major differences in the way lead changes are taught and executed depending on discipline. Dressage horses are not taught lead changes until they are already more advanced in their movements than many horses ever will be. If you can canter a true half pass and change directions, boom, you will get the lead change. Half pass is not to be confused with leg yield.

I've seen hunter/jumper horses on the A circuit that change a stride late behind - not that it is desired by any means. The typical hunter horse isn't taught to do advanced lateral work or collection. The changes are flatter, in general, without much difference in stride or frame. Most h/js I know use ground poles to teach lead changes.

I think reining horses are sort of in the middle, they are generally very broke and know their lateral work but they hardly go like upper level dressage horses. Most reining horses are very athletic little buggers, too. I've probably heard a million different methods on training reiners their lead changes.

I guess what I am trying to say is that different disciplines require different levels of lead changes, much like how they require different levels of collection, or quality of gaits.

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If you wish to compare western discipline lead changes to that of dressage horses, you need to look at top level western riding horses, not reiners

Having earned Superiors on two of my horses in western riding, I do teach it on the straight, half passing at the lope, first into the direction of the lead I'm on, and then in the opposite direction

A well broke horse is a well broke horse. While I can appreciate the ability of an upper level dressage horse, it does become tiresome to have dressage horses presented as the epidome of training.

Takes some ability for a western riding horse to execute percise lead changes , with self carriage, and without rein support, an ability I wish those from English disciplines could also likewise appreciate

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If you wish to compare western discipline lead changes to that of dressage horses, you need to look at top level western riding horses, not reiners

Having earned Superiors on two of my horses in western riding, I do teach it on the straight, half passing at the lope, first into the direction of the lead I'm on, and then in the opposite direction

A well broke horse is a well broke horse. While I can appreciate the ability of an upper level dressage horse, it does become tiresome to have dressage horses presented as the epidome of training.

Takes some ability for a western riding horse to execute percise lead changes , with self carriage, and without rein support, an ability I wish those from English disciplines could also likewise appreciate

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Sorry, didn't mean to sound like I was judging - I was genuinely curious as this is not my discipline and I am not used to seeing a horse moving so slowly. The video also does not lend itself to much detail (as much amateur video) so its hard to see any sort of impulsion. To me it looks like shuffling but again, its not my discipline and hence my question.

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Well, Spacey, first you have to realize that a horse can't shuffle and change leads correctly, back to front, nor can he do it without engaement and implusion

The vidoes,(the one with Impassible being better than the amateur Paint one, ) is an example of western riding, not western pl. While some western pleasure horses go on after time, to become all around horses, including western riding, most western pleasure horses never reach this more advanced level of training, executing balanced flying changes, without rein support.

Again, if you can;t see the level of training and ability in the western riding pattern by Impassible, you really do need to absorb some more knowledge and eye for athletic movement.

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dressage horse, it does become tiresome to have dressage horses presented as the epidome of training.Takes some ability for a western riding horse to execute percise lead changes , with self carriage, and without rein support, an ability I wish those from English disciplines could also likewise appreciate

SMOOOOOOOOOOOOCH!!! [Not Worthy]

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Coming back to this thread...I posted a reply May 10th which is over a month ago. I have been working on lots of simple lead changes with my horse. Basically anywhere and everywhere. I do all sorts of things. I break from canter to the trot to change leads or I'll go from canter to trot and pick up same lead just so horse doesn't anticipate or drop shoulder. I'll also go from walk to canter. All sorts of different things. The more changes of direction or gait I do the better my horse stays with me and tries.

After re-reading the posts I really noticed that the thread got off track from the orginal question of some advice on how to teach a lead change. Not what was the correct kind of lead change. So...I'm hoping maybe to bump this up and see if maybe we can get some more examples of the how-to's instead of the what's right and what isn't.

I have been playing around with a technique that I saw Al Dunning do... Basically...Travel in a circle - Whoa- sidepass into the circle - than lope off on the opposite lead.....I have good control over shoulders and hips and my horse picked it up quick so I tried to play with some flying lead changes with the same technique so to speak but traveling foward. I figured since I had A down (the lead change from the sidepass) I would try and move on to B (the lead change while traveling foward). We are having a bit of a mental block.

Although it appears that I am lifting that shoulder and cueing for the change he still wants to counter canter. Obviously moving forward doing all of this changed things. I have to go back to whoa. Redo sidepass and he travels off beautifully. My problem seems to be somewhere in between my control of hips and shoulders at the slower speeds and keeping that control at the lope. We need some suggestions for more hip and shoulder exercises at the lope.

From the answers from the post there are obviously lots of ways that a lead change can be taught and correct or not I think my goal right now is to get the horse to understand that I want him to change leads while moving forward. The horse just needs a little lightbulb to go off saying (oh this is what you want). My experience with training horses (which doesn't even compare to most of you, but I can hold my own) is that when teaching them something new, it always isn't pretty or proper. Sometimes it can even be on accident. Sometimes you have to try several different things even if its the wrong thing and then build to proper and perfect.

Hopefully I can get some new insights. Thanks guys.

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How do you ask for alead departure?

Flying changes are nothing more than a series of opposite lead departures without breaking gait

Thus you build on that. I haven't watched Al Dunnings version, but in is a common method, onlY i have seen it be more effective without breaking from the lope. In other words, you two track the horse for a stride or two into the old lead, thus freeing up the new lead side, so you can just push hip into new lead and change

I find methods where you go to a simple change, gets a horse always wanting to break for a stride and continue to do a simple change, thus many reiners never use a simple change when teaching flying changes

Two tracking is agreat method. You do it first at the jog, and then at the lope, in both directions. While in alope, you two track first into the lead you are on, then ask horse to two track in the opposite direction, and don't let them break gait.

At first I give them lots of time to change, just holding that leg on until they do. A field with good footing is great. Point is not to rush them, and make them get anxious about changing

Over time, All I need to do, is put inside leg on for a stride, hold inside shoulder up with inside rein, put outside leg back, moving hip into new lead, and volia-lead change

Here is a video link with Sandy Collier that might help

tp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4UGXLgd84s

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smilie....

Great solid advice. Noticing the hind end control in the youtube video. We are at the begining stages still and my 5 year old took a long time to mature and does not have the strongest rear end in the bunch.

I found the two tracking for the beginner horse most useful. She only asks for a few steps then releases. I also noticed the exercises I described from Al Dunning are basically what she is doing in one part of the video except that the Al Dunning video shows him coming to a complete stop - sidepassing then heading off in new lead. She actually comes down to a trot (keeping that foward motion) then heads off on new lead. I'm gonna try now bumping it up to that trot and working on getting that hind end unlocked.

You are absolutely right in your description of what we are doing. I've basically conditioned him to break gait before that change so I have to now do some work to recondition him to continue that forward movement while keeping his body in the right position for an easier transition.

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Sorry forgot to answer how I ask for lead departure. Basically identical to what you described. I lift my inside rein put inside leg on just till I feel him lift and unlock inside shoulder - than slide outside leg back and off we go.

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How do you ask for alead departure?

I find methods where you go to a simple change, gets a horse always wanting to break for a stride and continue to do a simple change, thus many reiners never use a simple change when teaching flying changes

I always heard this too. I think it is crucial to COMPLETELY separate a simple and a flying in a horses mind - some riders assume they are getting flying changes when what they are getting is a very fast simple. Hard to 'unteach' in my opinion.

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Wanted to update on some progress with those flying lead changes. We've been working on them following some wonderful advice. By moving the hind end around while cantering I've found my horse changes leads much easier. (Now that I know what an important part of teaching the lead change this is I highly suggest doing lots of these)

It is much harder on myself to be very conscious of my timing and aides. It's kinda like driving a stick shift. I try to count 1, 2 3...1 2 3 change. When I over rush or over think we blow the lead change but I found when I just relax slow down and FEEL we've had a few really nice changes.

At this point if we don't make the lead change I just try and relax myself and my horse and continue on waiting until both of us are back riding foward and straight. Now it's time for lots of practice. I was suprised at how willing Rocky was to try. No tail swishing or head tossing.

I think he's getting it figured out before I am. He's just waiting for me to get it together.

Just wanted to help encourage anyone trying to learn or teach the art of the lead change... I'm far from perfect but I've been tying to be very forgiving of myself and my horse and I'm realizing the importance of timing and feel. People can give a rider all sorts of great advice but until the rider feels it for himself/herself it doesn't work. Ya definately have to spend lots of time in the saddle working on relaxing enough to be aware of what you as a rider need to work on to help your horse get things right. It's a tough job but I'm enjoying the ride....

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First I made sure my horse would pick up the correct lead when I asked even without being on a circle. I have gotten mixed responses on how to ask a horse what lead to pick up, and finally decided that whichever lead I want I ask with the opposite leg behind the girth. I want the right lead I put my left leg back, I want the left lead my right leg goes back.

So I would pick up a lead. Then I would circle her a couple times in that direction. Go down the diagonal of the arena and just keep counter-cantering her while putting my leg back like asking for the lead change. Eventually she would get uncomfortable enough to switch. I always want to make it my horses idea to switch instead of forcing them to switch (like running into the fence or something like that). I would keep on practicing like that and eventually she would change right when I asked for it.

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