Those damn tempi flying changes!

Ever since my last lesson with Ville, I've been racking my brain trying to find a way in which I can improve the way that I ride the tempi flying changes. Vallu has no problem doing a single flying change or the tempi changes, but his limit is three 1 tempis. I can ride the 3s and 2s no problem, but flying changes every 4th stride? Yeah no those are guaranteed for me to fluff them up somehow 🙄 THIS IS SO ANNOYING... I find it incredibly easy to ride the 3s and 2s, but somehow the rhythm of the 4s just gets to me and I start doing 'something' which causes Vallu to either change late behind, do really short/small changes or then change on fifth stride.
Then after a bit of reading on the good old inter web I found this AWESOME article on Dressage Today from 1997 and this quote from Uwe Mechlem made everything go so much better: "impulsion must be maintained during the change. If the horse makes short changes, the rider must think of extending the gait—going more forward—making them out of medium canter." In the 2s and 3s I ride a lot more forwards because I know if he slows down I won't get clean flying changes, but during the 4s I stop riding him as much, leading to over collection and a very short canter = very short changes = not clean 4 tempis. 

So the last few rides we've gone for a bit of 'yeeee-haw' approach so that I don't collect at all beforehand, then ride the corner like normal, straighten during the first few strides of the diagonal and then go forwards in medium-ish canter and ask for the 4s and BOOM they are perfect (like every single time...) 🙌🏻 And major thanks to my mother who was watching me ride and shouted "forwards forwards forwards" from the side so I had no choice to back out! 😅 God I'm so relieved and proud that I managed to figure something out by myself without the help of any trainers, and now I have another trick to use in my toolbox.
And this is how I do my canter warm up with Vallu nowadays! 🏇
Like Volker Moritz mentions in this article "the more freedom, the more ground covering, the more expression—the higher the mark" so it's really important for me to get these 4s good so that if I ever were to do a test which required these I could go and not have to worry about it.

Have you ever figured out something by reading about it online?


  1. That's awesome! I love when something just clicks. Great job.

    1. Isn't great?! I LOVE that he lets me learn to ride him and doesn't get upset with me even when I mess up!

  2. When in doubt, always take the "yee-haw" approach! That's what I always say. ;)

    And the last quote you gave from the magazine can be translated into so many disciplines! Excellent quote.

    1. Hahah, yes totally agree with you and going to always yeehaw forwards with everything from now on!! 💖