Flying changes. Exercises.
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Friday, August 28, 2015 09:01 AM
To have a better picture of Santo's issues in flying changes please read the previous blog - Flying Changes.
Warm-up in canter:
Shoulder in on 20 m circle until canter feels very compact and bouncy. Paying attention to even and light contact. Canter strides must shorten from positioning not from pulling.
Change to travers still on 20 m circle. Inside rein and outside leg are active aids, other pair are supporting aids. Sit to the inside. Think of bringing horse's head and tail closer together. If both shoulder in and travers go well make circle smaller (down to 14 m) and repeat the exercise.
Flying changes:
  • I should not worry if Santo changes when I don't ask. Never punish a horse for a flying change. Plus the more changes he does the more he will practice them :)
  • Teach him to wait for it
  • I need to be careful where I sit in canter. If he throws me to the outside he changes. My seatbones must be plugged in at all times. I must never disconnect from his back in any moment during the stride, or being pushed to one side during the phase of suspension
  • I push myself out of the saddle during flying changes by using my hips and thighs a lot. I must sit deep and feel like I just switching the lower legs
  • Count before change - 1-2-3-change! This good practice for future sequential changes
  • Use leg-yield to make him wait for the aids. Exercise - 10 m half-circle at the end of a long side - leg-yield back to the wall (sit quietly, ride quietly) - straighten for a diagonal - 1-2-3-change.
  • Shoulder-fore position before change
Santo has a particular problem. He wants to jump up behind in changes from left to right. During the lesson they were resembling bucks :) Here is how Sharon approached this problem - the buck happens because left canter is not closed behind. The pelvis is not tucked under and left hip is flat. Also, left canter does not have enough jump in it. Exercises to help with it:
  • Left canter departs from a reinback
  • Walk-canter transitions in a rapid succession, different leads, with occasional reinback, mix and match.
  • Right lead depart from shoulder-fore
  • Travers in right lead canter to make him carry on left hind
  • Counter-canter on left lead in counter-shoulder-fore - walk if he wants to change - if half halt feels like enough correction continue in canter - when feels good ask for a change
P.S. Last Sunday Santo debuted in Third Level at PAALH Andalusian Nationals. In first two tests he messed up his changes a bit. But by the third test he felt more together and got 8 on his flying change from right to left and even left to right was more normal with very little jump, we got 6.5 for it. Overall, Santo ended up reserved champion. I was very proud of him.
Happy riding...
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