Thursday, August 4, 2016

Lead Change Series - Prep Work Summary

To start off the series on Reining Lead Changes for Today, I wanted to talk about prep work. This is where I spend a lot of time with my horses. Since my reining mares are accomplished lead changers, I want to update their refinement of them. In order to do that, believe or not, I have to go back to the body control foundation or prep work.

Let's Get Started
Clinton Anderson's new western performance horse DVD series on lead changes will be my knowledge base. He shows how to teach lead changes on a few 2 and 3yr olds. I highly recommend the series. (I'm not being paid to endorse the product, btw.)

Prep Work

To do lead changes really well, you have to have the prep work done properly and consistently. There's no point in trying lead changes if our horses can't counter canter or 2-track at the lope well. Here is a list of the general steps. I will go into detail with future articles.

General Summary Prep Work Steps:
  1. Good body control foundation. Moving/Controlling the 5 main body parts: head and neck, poll, shoulders, ribcage and hips. Exercises like bending, counter bending, 2 tracking, hip in , side passing at all 3 gaits. 2-tracking at the lope is especially important.
  2. Loping soft and supple, with little to no resistance in the bridle.
  3. Lead departures are solid. The horse is supple in the bridle, with no resistance. You nail that lead departure every time!
  4. Counter cantering with good balance and no impromptu lead changes.
  5. Simulate lead change at the trot.
General Summary Lead Change Steps:
  1. Beginning lead changes in a counter canter circle, staying in the circle after the change.
  2. Intermediate lead changes in the circle, figure 8 and straight line – 2 handed and then 1 handed. Practise show pen lead changes.
  3. Advanced lead changes 1 handed everywhere!
See you in the next article on prep work details.

Putting my spin on learning.


@KISS Reiners

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