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The medium and extended gaits represent a fifth of all the movements on the Third Level test, where extended walk, trot and canter are first introduced.
First appearing at third level, the flying change quickly becomes the most frequently performed exercise in tests from fourth level to grand prix.
Of all the disciplines, dressage is the one most in danger of becoming boring or stale to both horses and riders. Finding ways to keep things interesting while still building toward one's goals will keep the daily ride interesting, but it also offers tangible training benefits.
First introduced at fourth level, the counter change of hand in trot, or zig-zag, is one of the more difficult exercises in the trot work. The horse must not only be laterally supple in both directions, but he must also be straight and on the aids in order for the change of direction to take place with no loss of balance or rhythm. I address the change of direction already while schooling the leg yield. Many of the same principles apply, since a change of direction in the leg yield requires the horse to move sideways in one direction, to straighten for a moment, and then yield away from the leg in the opposite direction.