One user wrote in for help with flying changes:
“My horse was taught flying changes over a pole and he has done them well until a few weeks ago, when he started changing late behind. Is there a reason he is doing this and what can I do to retrain him?”
Dressage rider Alice Oppenheimer replies:
“Changing late behind is a common problem when a horse is taught to do a flying change over a pole, as they have to take their front legs over the pole prior to their hind legs; so they don’t have to change out of a truly united canter.
In order to correct him, you must essentially retrain him to do a flying change without using a pole. I have found that the best way to teach a change is to ride the horse on a half 10m circle and go back to the track on a change of rein. As you get back to the track, collect his canter so that he is shorter in his stride and quicker in his rhythm and ask for the change as you get back to the track, so that the wall or fence backs the horse off slightly. This should enable him to change cleanly as it will slow down his front end so that he can change both his front and his hind legs together.
You will find that it is likely to be more difficult to retrain him now that he has learnt to do the changes late behind, but with consistency you should be able to correct the problem so that he changes correctly again.”