Dumb Question #101 - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-19-2008, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Dumb Question #101

Is a canter and a lope the same thing? I always thought the english rider called it a canter and the western rider called it a lope but it is the same thing. Right or wrong?
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-19-2008, 10:11 PM
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It is the same thing to me.. I think in the western show world the lope may be considered a slower gait than a canter but I have always said lope for canter.. Like Sorrel - western, Chestnut - english
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-19-2008, 10:26 PM
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dumb question

Hey there it is the same just under western it is called a lope and the western style can be a slow lope or can be speeded up to a faster lope as with english canter . Vida where do you live at from the pics when you post it looks to be a beautiful place and looks like a lot of open range around the backround looks just like what id like to live on in the west but dont think ill ever get there full time . we have 4 sections in nevada but lost all our building fences and home there last year in the fires
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-20-2008, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Dave, I'm in south east Kansas in an area called the Flint hills. I always imagine buffalo and native Americans roaming the area when I ride We are kind of on the edge of it so there are a few more trees. North and east of us its just rolling tallgrass prairie. My mom always said "anyone can love a mountain, it takes spirit to love a prairie"
Here is a little info if your interested: http://kansasflinthills.travel/
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-20-2008, 09:59 AM
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dumb question

Thank you yes it is a verybeautiful place and i can see why you can imagine the bufflo and indians there while you are out rideing.it looks like to can just stare off in to it and watch the way it was back then and almost like a small piece history right before your eyes . Thank you so much for shareing it with us
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-21-2008, 12:35 PM
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Canter is for English, lope is for western.
The difference is the lope is a whole lot slower.

"Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness."
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-05-2008, 01:09 PM
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It's the same thing.
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-05-2008, 02:40 PM
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Yeah, a lope is slower & usually used in the Western riding. ;)
I say canter 'cause I do English, lol.

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post #9 of 12 Old 04-05-2008, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove
It's the same thing.
No. The lope is judged on pacientce and speed. On how slow and how natural the horse moves. Canter is based on responsiveness, alterness, stride, and rapidity.

Thats how i view it
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-05-2008, 07:35 PM
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Ahh, the faithful AQHA handbook of rules and regulations.

I think everyone should have to read it before they mount a horse... but thats just me.

I could give you my own version of the definitions as I've read them, but I'll just copy some verbatim selections.

447. (a) (3)
The lope is an easy rhythmical three beat gait. The horse should lope with a natural stride and appear relaxed and smooth. It should be ridden at a speed that is a natural way of going.

447. (b) (3)
Canter is a three beat gait; smooth, free-moving, relaxed and straight on both leads. The stride should be long, low, and ground-covering.

I think the canter definition is very straightforward. But some of the western descriptions are open to translation, especially the "natural way of going" part. As a result, it goes on to describe various qualities of the western pleasure gaits in order to further clarify what is poor, average, good, excellent, etc. This is to help them clean up all that peanut roller mess. But I will spare you all that.
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