8.47 minutes – In this video John explains two exercises that he does for lead change preparation at a canter. He starts on the correct canter lead and then counter bends the horse to the outside (exercise 2) then he rides across the diagonal onto a counter canter. In the counter canter he doesn’t change the bend but the bend is now to the inside. When John is riding counter canter he is riding exercise (1B). The bend is to the inside and John’s leg is softening and lifting the inside of the horse’s ribcage. In this video he rides between the two exercises at the canter. The goal when doing these exercises is to not lose your forward rhythm as you yield and lift your horse’s shoulders, ribcage and back. You also want your horse to stay soft in the contact in preparation for a good lead change. John also explains that you do these exercises so your horse isn’t anticipating a direction change or changing the arc in their body with a flying lead change.
Lead Change Preparation Exercises at a Canter – 1B & 2