Thoughts From Walter Zettl

Walter Zettl Classic Dressage When I teach I often have a student who will ask when it is the right time to start the flying changes? It is very important that the horse must first canter with good impulsion and a clear three beat rhythm. The canter should be active and have “jump” so the suspension phase is as long as possible. The horse and rider must be confirmed in canter departs and be able to transition to canter with the slightest of aids, in both directions. The ability to counter canter is very important before the flying changes begin. The horse and rider must be able to counter canter, with the horse straight, in both directions. The horse must be able to counter canter a 10 meter circle, as well as serpentines and turns both left and right. The horse must be relaxed and free of tension in the counter canter and true canter. The horse and rider must also be able to do transitions within the gait, by lengthening the stride and shortening the stride easily while staying balanced. The horse must be sensitive to the slightest aids, because in the flying changes there is little time to give the aids and your horse must be responsive. It is a mistake to ask for flying changes until you have all these prerequisites firmly in place. Then when you ask for the change, it will be there, and your horse will understand. If you have mastered the basics and prepared fully, the flying change will be easy for your horse. Best regards, Walter

At the lope the change of lead accrued on the 3rd beat.


Happy Trails, Eitan