If you have never ridden a canter change before, make sure you find an experienced horse to learn it on. The canter change is a normal canter jump and feels so, if done right. After mastering this feeling, you can teach it to your own horse.
Your horse is ready to learn the canter change when it is trained into straightness and can bend equally on both sides.
It is important for the rider to place the position of the shoulders and hips precisely in canter. Therefore, the exercises shoulder-in and hindquarter-in have to be understood very well by the horse before the canter change can be practiced.
The following exercises can be used to prepare:
1. Canter from walk
When the horse can jump into canter easily from trot, the horse can be taught to jump into canter from walk.
2. Transition canter to walk
The transition from canter to walk increases the ability to collect. It is therefore important in this exercise to keep the energy going up-hill.
3. Tempo changes in canter
It is important for the rider to carry a precise tempo in canter Ride the horse in a circle , collect the horse on the outside hind leg (hindquarter-in style) and make the steps longer by riding the inside hind leg forward under the point of weight.
4. Renvers-canter (counter canter)
Renvers canter improves the straightness and the balance of the horse. Ride the horse slightly into a renvers in walk and jump into renvers canter.
5. Transition from renvers to hindquarter-in in walk
Make transitions in walk on a straight line, from hindquarter-in to renvers. This trains the horse to keep placing the other outside hind leg under the point of weight.
6. Simple change
Make a transition from canter to walk. Change the bending in three to five steps and jump into the other canter. The number of steps in walk can be reduced in time to one step. Make whole transitions and halts shorter and shorter. Finally, the horse will already change the canter at a half halt (actually, this is disobedience from the horse since it does not wait for the riders aids, but in first instance it should be rewarded. Later on, the horse should learn to distinguish between a canter-halt transition and a canter-halt- canter change transition).
By bending the horse from a slight renvers to slight hindquarter-in in the flight moment, the flying change is done.