So many people ask me how to get clean flying changes with their dressage horses that I’ve posted a short clip on Youtube. The clip shows 2 simple exercises you can do to get good flying changes.
The link to the Youtube video is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCpT_4bHoY0&feature=channel_page
In addition to these 2 tips, your horse needs to be able to do three things before you ask for a flying change.
1. Simple changes of lead (Canter/walk/canter).
• For the upward transition, he needs to be hot off your leg so that he reacts promptly to the canter aid.
• During the downward transition, he should be able to do a clear transition to the walk, with no dribbly trot steps. Shorten the canter with three or four half halts before you ask for the transition to the walk. Your horse needs to be cantering at the speed of a walk before you actually ask him to walk. Otherwise, his balance will shift to the forehand because he’s going too fast.
2. Balanced counter canter.
• Develop counter canter until your horse can do it without tension on circles and lines.
• He should also be able to do transitions from extensions back to collected counter canter without switching leads.
3. Collected canter
• Remember that a flying change is merely another canter bound. So, the most important prerequisite is the quality of the canter.
• Your horse needs to bound in the canter, with big, round, expressive, “off the ground” strides.
• If the canter is 4-beat or flat, he won’t have time to switch his legs in the air.
• Develop and maintain the quality of the collected canter by working on exercises that increase collection such as shoulder-fore, haunches-in, frequent simple changes of lead (with only five strides of walk and five strides of canter), and
If you’ve fulfilled these 3 prerequisites, and you’re still not getting clean flying changes, check out the tips on Youtube.