Page:Notes on equitation and horse training.djvu/71

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haunches, bringing the hind legs under and moving to the front. This very complexity shows their importance. It will therefore be readily understood that gallop leads, alternated at short intervals, will rapidly perfect the young horse's training and, moreover, that this is the best method of paving the way for the lesson of change of lead.

Change of lead.—Change of lead is nothing more than exacting the gallop lead when the horse is at the gallop. It is the most difficult of leads and must not be attempted until the horse is thoroughly confirmed in the gallop lead from the trot and walk. If the lesson of change of lead is given too soon or if the rider is too exacting at first the horse will slow up and become uncertain in gait. He will learn the trick of holding back and especially of galloping disunited; hence, all the benefit of preceding lessons will be lost.

To bring the horse up to the change of lead, gradually decrease the intervals between the alternate leads exacted from the slow trot. The set of the horse must be changed before he returns to the trot. Thus, for instance, if the horse is galloping right, set him with the left diagonal, effect (right leg and left supporting rein). The change of set causes the horse to balance himself and brings him down to the trot (where he feels steadier), but if the lower aids continue to force the gait the horse will take the gallop with the left lead.

This is the analysis of the change of lead. Little by little the length of time of the intermediate trot is diminished until the change of lead in the air is obtained.

The lesson of change of lead can be given on the track of the riding hall or on a circle. At first it is advantageous to lead off with the outside foot and then attempt the change of lead to the inside foot. This plan is especially applicable to work on a circle.

In all this work, the thing to be avoided is a desire to progress too rapidly. If the horse resists, you must not