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Trainer Q&A - Behavior Problems & Quirks - Is there an easy way to teach a horse to automatically do flying lead changes?

Is there an easy way to teach a horse to automatically do flying lead changes?

Andy Asks:

My son has a 13 year old Welsh. She is great in every respect. See was the perfect mini stirrup pony for him. He has moved up to short stirrup and she does not auto swap. At 13 is there an easy way to teach her to auto swap?


Our Trainer Answers:

Teaching flying lead changes is not entirely easy, however, a horse of any age should be able to learn this maneuver, as they will automatically do it on their own when running free. Begin with your son riding his mare in a circle to the left at the canter, after she is nice and relaxed, ask her for a half-halt (trot) and begin circling to the right at the canter. Each time that he changes the direction of the circle, he needs to ask her for a half-halt (trot) before asking her to canter on the opposite lead. Have him school her on these "drop to trot" transitions until she becomes automatic at changing her leads.

Thank You and Happy Trails!

Christy Mellington