The problem with a movement like the flying change is that you either get one or your don't. Movements like shoulder in or medium trot can be improved while you're in the midst of doing them. If your shoulder in doesn't have enough angle, fix it and continue on. Same thing with the medium trot; half halt and go for it again.
Once we do start the canter work, I can't just ask for a flying change either because I need to get him soft and on the outside rein first. If I've been diligent and correct in my aids, I can start to think about asking for the change after we've done a few simple changes through walk and maybe some counter canter.
Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, told me something funny the other day that I've really taken to heart. One of her clients asked why she couldn't do whatever it was until the second try. Chemaine laughed and said it was because she prepared on the second try but not on the first.
Well that explains a lot. With that thought in mind, preparing, I've been super careful about asking for the flying change. Speedy will only give me his best effort a few times which means that I can't afford to waste his time by not preparing.
On Monday, I got a crisp change. I changed direction, got the next one right away, and called it quits. I don't want to burn Speedy out or make him dread that part of our ride.