Where do I go wrong? Loping Question - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-02-2013, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Where do I go wrong? Loping Question

When loping, i tend to sit deep in the saddle, and lean BACKWARDS. When I want to lean forward, I feel unsafe, like I will fall. Seeing as this is supposed to for constructive criticism, maybe you guys can tell me how I'm such a bad rider and how i can improve haha!!

The hardest part about riding is the ground. -Dr. DoLittle 3
The only difference between cowgirls and angels is that angels can't ride that good. -Cowgirls & Angels
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-02-2013, 12:57 PM
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I do the same thing. I think it's because we aren't quite into the rhythm yet. I think it takes a bit of time to get use to feeling of going faster and moving with the horse. I was really bad at first and I'm slowly getting better from the video's I see. I remember when Trotting felt like I was flying, now it feels so much slower that I can move around my saddle without feeling like I'm going to fall off, so I assume it will just take time with the lope as well.

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Originally Posted by lilkittie7991 View Post
When loping, i tend to sit deep in the saddle, and lean BACKWARDS. When I want to lean forward, I feel unsafe, like I will fall. Seeing as this is supposed to for constructive criticism, maybe you guys can tell me how I'm such a bad rider and how i can improve haha!!
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-02-2013, 01:23 PM
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When I was first learning to canter my instructor had me lean back in order to get the rhythm of the canter and learn to move my hips with the horse. Once I got the rhythm down it became much easier to sit up straight and move with the horse. Don't rush it, focus on moving with the horse first, then on bringing your body up to where it's supposed to be.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-02-2013, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input you two!:)

The hardest part about riding is the ground. -Dr. DoLittle 3
The only difference between cowgirls and angels is that angels can't ride that good. -Cowgirls & Angels
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-02-2013, 02:13 PM
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its easier when you are first starting to get the rhythm and keep from bouncing when you lean back. I think it may have something to do with not having developed the abdominal muscles or having a tight lower back. Force your self to sit up and relax and eventually it will start feeling natural.
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-02-2013, 03:40 PM
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To apply an English term, I found it very helpful to start in a half-seat. You can practice 'two-point' in a western saddle as well, and then just settling a little gives you a 'half-seat'. Then, as you learn the horse's rhythm, you can match it without flopping on his/her back.

Also, I like this video:

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"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-03-2013, 12:52 AM
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Are you fairly stiff? Or do you bounce around in the saddle a bit? If so it could be that you are not moving with the rhythm of the horse. I’m guessing that the leaning back and not feeling safe when leaning forwards a bit could be from having your centre of gravity in around your chest area instead of down in your pelvis. And leaning back will probably push your feet forwards. Combine parts one and two, the stiff no rhythm with the horse, with the high centre of gravity, and it will make it hard to ride at all. (and no rhythm with the horse might mean you have the rhythm but are a bit behind the horse’s rhythm too).
Good thing is though that it’s something we all went through at one stage or another, it’s part of learning, so don’t get down about it, and it means that if you have the idea of what to do you will get it with practice.
I was taught to think of everything from my belt down to be part of the horse and everything above that to be floating along on that, and to kind of imagine pushing my weight down into my pelvis with my weight flowing out through my heels kind of like sand running through an hourglass. Then you have to really relax your hips so that they move with the horse and your upper body just sits on top of that lightly staying pretty well upright. So the join between the hips down, which belongs to the horse, and your hips up which attaches lightly to it, should move kind of like the universal joint on a drive shaft.
If you are riding with your stirrups too short It can make it hard to settle your weight down into the saddle and bring your centre of gravity up too.
And with the leaning forwards, if you get your weight down into the saddle and get your heels well down and keep your upper body light it should take care of that.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-03-2013, 02:35 AM
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Leaning back can be a good thing, if you have the tendency to pitch yourself forward. But if you lean back farther than you should, you are then behind the horse's motion.

Working on your core strength will help you feel more secure being more 'upright' when you lope or do anything really.

It's better to sit back farther IMOP than creep forward infront of the motion.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-11-2013, 10:56 PM
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Here's a nice video that shows you how to move with the horse at the lope. It really helped me. I wasn't moving my butt/hips with the horse. I was only sitting and trying to let her movement move me, not me move with her. It worked great.

Last edited by MiniMom24; 10-11-2013 at 10:59 PM.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-11-2013, 10:58 PM
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Now the rest I'm sure will just take time once i get use to this and figure out her movement.
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