Change of gallop

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A change of canter when riding is a change of the horse from left to right gallop (or vice versa). If the stride is maintained and then canter again after a few steps, one speaks of a simple change of canter . One speaks of a flying change of canter when the horse performs the change in the suspension phase of the canter. This lesson is required from level M dressage tests .

Requirements for the flying change of canter

The horse must " safely and easily master the assembled canter, the simple canter change, the external canter and transitions in canter on both hands " in order to be able to carry out the flying canter change.


The foot sequence for a flying canter change from left to right canter is as follows: right rear - right front and left rear - left front - floating phase - left rear - left front and right rear - right front. They say the horse should jump from back to front. Horses that move freely in the pasture are constantly changing canter. The exercise only becomes difficult when the horse has to perform the change of canter precisely to the point at the rider's command. As a rule, this change is ridden "in straight lines". It is important to have lively transitions in canter and "that the horse learns to jump through the change of canter calmly , straight and energetically uphill".

The following lessons serve to practice the flying change of canter:

  • on the long side from the hand canter change to the outside canter
  • flying change from a turnaround
  • flying change from a gallop traverse to hoofbeat
  • Riding outdoors on the circle and changing to hand canter

Flying gallop changes can therefore also be ridden on curved lines, such as circles ; but this is more demanding and serves to promote straightening . The horse has to jump from the more comfortable inner canter or hand canter to the more strenuous outer canter.

A further increase in the level of difficulty brings with it the repeated execution of flying canter changes, with the rider then usually trying to keep a certain number of canter jumps between the individual changes. There are four changes (four gallop jumps between the changes), three and two changes, whereby any other numbers are also possible. The change of canter with every gallop jump, also called change à tempo or change of one, is assessed differently. On demanding dressage tests and also at the Spanish Riding School (since Alois Podhajsky ), individual changes are ridden, while according to classical doctrine they represent a new, artificial gait to be learned. One change is observed, even if only back and forth, i.e. only two changes, even in free-running horses.

It is possible to teach horses to fly single alternations so that they can jump for more than 10 minutes at a time.


  • Guidelines for riding and driving. Vol. 2: Advanced training . Published by the German Equestrian Association (FNverlag), 12th edition, Warendorf 1997, ISBN 3-88542-283-2

Individual evidence

  1. Guidelines, Vol. 2 , p. 69
  2. Guidelines, Vol. 2 , p. 70
  3. Guidelines, Vol. 2 , p. 74
  4. Guidelines Vol. 2 , p. 72ff.