How Do I Keep My Horse from Anticipating the Flying Change?
Q My horse anticipates the flying change every time I cross the diagonal. While I first thought it was a great thing, I now find it more annoying, as my horse doesn’t change from my aids. How can I solve this problem? Name withheld by request
Congratulations on having such a clever horse! Your problem is common, as many horses delight in executing this newly learned exercise even when you don’t ask for it. The solution is simple and requires going back a few steps before moving forward again. This will help you find the underlying cause of the problem and will clarify your aids and teach your horse to wait and listen.
It is important that for now you refrain from riding flying changes for a bit until you have re-established the security of your basic work, which led up to teaching your horse the flying changes initially. When you can perform the exercises that follow smoothly and without resistance, you may begin to introduce the flying changes again.
Before you begin, be sure that you have a high-quality canter. This means that your horse is collected with good activity of the hindquarters, reliable straightness and is free from tension or resistance. He should be in a good self-carriage and should not lean on the reins for support. Your half halts must be well-established and the transitions within the canter and between canter and walk/trot should be smooth and free from resistance.
Spend a few days (or weeks, depending on your progress) making sure you can calmly and
The goal is not to take away the horse’s desire to perform a change, but only to ask him to wait for your aid.