Flying Changes

learning flying changes

The day has arrived – Berry and I’s lesson focusing on learning our flying changes. Hilariously enough, Berry caught on way faster than I did, and I could sense her irritation at me not getting it right.

We started with cantering a squared off figure eight, preparing for the change going through the center, and then asking over the pole. It sounded simple, but I was such a mess. I’d remember one thing, and forget everything else. Basically, whatever the last thing my trainer said was what I remembered, and then nothing else went through to my brain.

flying lead changes
A floppy approach
thoroughbred hunter
Slightly stronger

It took a few times, then Berry caught on, and she did it! It was a little bounce, and bam! Flying change was done. I was so excited! Unfortunately after that though, I did not get it again. I was not providing the support needed, and she would just keep on cantering, or do a simple. Since she figured out what to do, a few times, when I was like “ahh! I give up!” after the pole, she just squished up and did a quick simple change. Kind of like “Ugh!! Stupid human! I have to do everything around here!”

“What are you doing up there?!”

My trainer doesn’t want to overschool her on the change though, so we didn’t dwell on it. We moved on to a single across the diaganal, with the setting up for the change during and after the jump. The good news is that most of the time she landed on the right lead, and I was so distracted by working for the change that I forgot to be scared of my nemesis, the green flowerbox jump.

thoroughbred jump flower box
So… we meet again.

So there was no refusal, or even consideration of refusing the jump. I suppose I’ll have to wait for it to also have brush to see if have finally beaten the battle against this thing. Although I know what our next nemesis will be – the blue solid boxes in the first pictures. She dropped the top pole off it when the lesson started, and my heart skipped a beat. But our battle will not be fought yet…

I didn’t get any flying changes after the jump. Instead I just ended up with a pissed off Berry, as I shoved her sideways.

stride after jump horse
That’s max tail flicking! (also, she looks bizarrely proportioned here. Like her back legs are a foot too long.)

I’m pretty pleased with our jumping though!

thoroughbred hunter

We just need to work on the afterward.

horse lead change
“Cut it out, Mom!”

The times I wasn’t on the correct lead, I got to circle until she thought about doing the flying change.

circling to change leads

We will get there eventually!

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  1. Berry looks awesome over those fences! I don’t address changes for much the same reason — I don’t want to flop around myself and mess up my horse. So I just… don’t! But I also don’t ride in hunterland where they seem really necessary.

    1. Yeah I have to get them down before I can do any “real” shows :'( I feel like a bag of cooked spaghetti doing them. Hopefully with the weather improving now, I’ll get them down!

  2. ha i’m wayyyyy too uncoordinated to even try getting the changes on my mare, even tho she has them… instead i just try to land them when possible. funny tho – i have the same experience of the jumps going much better when i’m too busy thinking about other things to mess it up lol

  3. You guys are looking good. As for lead changes, pay attention to where you’re looking. That always helps me. I never get changes if I’m looking down. My coach always asks if I dropped my wallet when he sees me doing it. And looking around the bend makes it more difficult for me. The best results I get are when my eyes are up and looking over his outside ear and leg on of course. Good luck!

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