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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2001
    we've got sand and rocks, and rocks and sand...

    Default Lead Changes

    So... how do *YOU* teach em?
    The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2012


    I use a placing pole on the center line and work on a figure 8 over the pole. I first do simple changes, over and over and over again (obviously not consecutively) at the trot and then also the walk and halt. Some I halt before the pole, some just after, some I try and halt over, etc and same with my canter-trot and canter-walk transitions. With the last mare I taught, first time I asked for a change over the pole (using this same method), she got it immediately. I continued the same process for about a week with always starting on the simple changes, and then I'd ask for one change at the end, give her a big big pat and call it a day. After that, she had them down to a pat and she'd do them wherever I asked. She was very intelligent, though, and picked everything up usually after one or two goes so it was no surprise she had the cue mastered after a week.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006


    For most horses I do the following:

    Canter around the short side, walk.
    Counter canter up the longside, walk.
    Canter around the short side, walk.
    Counter canter up the longside, walk.

    (repeat until those transitions are GOOD.)

    Canter around the shortside, walk.
    Counter canter up the 1/8th line, leg yield out two steps before the corner, CHANGE, canter short side, walk and pat.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2011


    There have been a few of these threads. I won't go too too much into detail since you can search for them if you want more but....

    I don't use the center pole as I find it can teach a horse to change late behind.
    I establish SOLID correct leads and I encourage you to work on lots of the tougher transitions including walk-canter, canter-walk, halt-canter.

    I will only start teaching changes after my horse is loose, 'up' and very responsive. If the day didn't go well, save it for another day. Changes can be stressful.

    I never teach changes on the diagonal. ALWAYS a figure 8. I have taught on the diagonal and it gives me trouble when riding a diagonal line o/f's and my horses swapped, mid way.
    Always teach the horse to change when a new bend is established and not before. This way if they learn auto changes you can control the change if you don't want it.

    Overall, I pick up canter to the direction the horse prefers the least. That way when I ask for a change they WANT to get on that other lead.
    I start my figure 8- hold canter- straighten- passing middle change bend and ask for the correct lead- holding canter. (Keep your balance).
    I do this to give the horse the idea that I am asking for something and to see if they can get it.
    If they don't get it, trot, canter immediatley.

    Repeat 2-3 times the SAME direction.

    Call it a day as long as they kept their cool during the lesson. Otherwise, work on a few simple things he/she does well and call it quits and don't try teaching it again for atleast 3 days.
    (I say 3 days due to the way a horse's mind 'learns'. Google it, very interesting really and so true.)

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