problems with loping

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problems with loping

This is a discussion on problems with loping within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Horse leaning hsard when loping
  • My horse wont turn when loping

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  • 2 Post By mls

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    01-09-2012, 03:06 AM
problems with loping

I have switched my horse from a bit to a rope sidepull because he doesnt do great with a bit in his mouth so I switched. He was doing great with it and I loved how he was responding to it but now I have been loping him in the arena more and he absolutley will NOT turn at the lope in the sidepull, he is just totally defying me. I have tried Rythmic pressure so he can't brace against it, leg pressure, I've tried the gentle aproach and then the assertive approach. So im turning to anyone for ideas hoping someone can help because I would hate to switch him back to a bit. He doesnt neck rein well yet so the hackamore isnt an option so if I can't figure out anything else and he doesnt improve ill havta switch back. So how can I get him to respect it more and get a better response from him?
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    01-09-2012, 07:49 AM
Seat - it isn't as easy at a canter, but it is still my first signal. Twist a little, and I tend to lean into the turns a bit at a canter. Everyone tells me that is wrong, but my horses seem to respond. I'm not talking 20 deg of lean, but maybe 5 deg.

Also, leg pressure - if he is trained to respond to it at a walk & trot - still works. Bump his shoulder. Shove his rear may help...if I want to go left, and he isn't responding, I use my left leg about 3-4 inches back to move his hip to the right. Worst case - the one time I've done it was on a bolting horse - grab the horn, lean back, and kick him HARD in the right shoulder with my heel to turn him left.

Are you capable of turning his head by brute force? If so, then turning his head more can sometimes help. I get nervous, tho, because too much can throw a horse off balance.

If need be, go back to a bit. They are not cruel, and give you more control of the nose vs the entire head. I do 80% of my riding with a sidepull halter, but I think training with the bit helps the horse. The 10-20% of the time using the bit keeps them tuned up.

Finally, if he is defying you, work him at a trot. DO LOTS of turns, and make them small enough that he is working at the trot. That is good for his balance, flexibility, and responsiveness.
    01-10-2012, 10:28 AM
I'd be careful leaning much at all. I've come off my horse three times and once was because I was trying to teach my horse to cue off leaning. It was comical and no one was hurt, but I fell off. My mare just stood there looking at me over her shoulder with that "look."

I started a few green horses and I've always used patience and direct contact while teaching neck reining. Once they get the neck rein cues, it's a done deal. But, you'll need enough control to establish a line of communication between the neck cue and the actual turn.

What is not apparent from your question is why you changed from the bit. I am forced into a bosal because my mare will toss her head endlessly if I try a bit and then I have to become too heavy handed to get her attention. It'll work, but it ain't pretty. I can ride with finger tips in my bosal and she is real sweet as well as very attentive. If your horse is listening to the bit, without issue, I'd recommend going back there, at least until you have neck reining cues installed. Then you can switch around. Good luck.
    01-10-2012, 10:45 AM
Leg, leg, leg.

Ideally the bit is there for back up. The horse should be turning off your leg.
GotaDunQH and Elessar like this.
    01-10-2012, 12:21 PM
Sounds like you need to take a step back. How does he respond to leg pressure at the walk and trot? You need to have it solid there before moving up to a lope.

Why do you think you horse doesn't like a bit? What were you using on him?
    01-10-2012, 01:20 PM
Yes he does great from leg pressure at a walk and trot but I can't get him to respond at the lope but it did take awhile for him to get soft and respond well at a trot so maybe he just needs more work with it from me. Ill try going back to the trot and just bending and turning him alot and getting him more responsive before I move back up to the lope. I switched him from the bit because he threw his head alot, rooted in it, always tried to evade it no matter how gentle I was being and was just more nervious and high strung in it. I just used a simple D-Ring smooth snaffle with a lifesaver in the middle so its about as gentle as you can get. The lady before me used a pretty harsh bit on him im guessing because he wasnt very responisive at the trot and lope with turning so instead of fixing the problem she just made it more painful for him so he's probably just scared of the bit for that reason no matter what kind it is. I also had his teeth checked and they were fine so its not that.
    01-10-2012, 01:30 PM
Originally Posted by ringosmomma    
I just used a simple D-Ring smooth snaffle with a lifesaver in the middle so its about as gentle as you can get.
My gelding doesn't like a D ring. I believe it has something to do with how it contacts his face. Perhaps a different style with the same mouthpiece?
    01-10-2012, 01:34 PM
Originally Posted by mls    
My gelding doesn't like a D ring. I believe it has something to do with how it contacts his face. Perhaps a different style with the same mouthpiece?
well he used to be in just a smooth o ring snaffle and he acted the same way. If I can get him to respond better to the Rope sidepull then I wanna keep him in it because he's so much more calm in it but obviously if I can't get him to have any progress at all within the next few weeks ill havta switch him back.
    01-11-2012, 08:01 PM
Ringosmomma.. do you have a round pen? Try loping him in there. Then he's got no choice but to turn. Maybe he's feeling unbalanced and needs more inside leg for support.

But how does he react in his bit.. does he toss his head, gape his mouth, run backwards, grab it and pull ?

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