Flying-Change Fix at a Glance

Leading hunter/equitation trainer Emil Spadone tells how to teach your horse trouble-free changes after a fence.
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Leading hunter/equitation trainer Emil Spadone tells how to teach your horse trouble-free changes after a fence.

RECOVERY: As you land, put weight in heels; stretch leg down at girth; relax hips into saddle; bring upper body back; keep head, eyes up.

? Arianna Delin

? Arianna Delin

HALF-HALT: Sit deep on outside (opposite new lead) seatbone; squeeze with both legs; take firm, even feel with slightly stronger outside rein. Hold for one stride; relax hand; repeat, if needed.

CANTER/SITTING TROT TRANSITION: Sit deep and tall, support with leg, take firmly with both reins.

CIRCLE: Circle in direction of new lead; new inside bend (soft taking-and-giving inside rein, steady outside rein); push with inside leg toward outside hand.

HAUNCHES-IN: Coming out of circle, focus on point at end of ring; striaghten front end, taking feel of outside rein. Once on line, ask for inside bend; move outside leg behind girth and push hind end in direction of new lead for five strides.

CANTER DEPARTURE: Repeat after-jump sequence through circle; then collect horse for one stride and ask for departure: inside bend to new direction, inside leg at girth, outside leg behind girth, squeeze with outside leg.

FLYING CHANGE: Repeat recovery, half-halt (maintain energy with strong leg); ask for new inside bend, hold steady inside leg, move outside leg behind girth, squeeze.

This article originally appeared in the March 1996 issue of Practical Horseman magazine.