TB canter vs. QH lope: Question - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-03-2012, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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TB canter vs. QH lope: Question

Quick background: i have always ridden QH.

Had a bad horse accident on New Year's Eve on a horse I was looking to buy.

When I recovered, I started looking for another horse. My confidence was shaken and I needed a "been there done that" horse.

I found her. I wanted a QH gelding. I bought a TB mare. Funny how your perfect horse sometimes finds you.

Anyway...I have been working on building our relationship, getting her in shape, and building my confidence. We cantered last night for the first time and it was great.

But it felt a lot different from any horse I have ever ridden. It seemed much faster. How much different is a TB canter from a QH lope? I am guessing it it faster? Is there any other difference? I was having trouble finding the right rythym but that may be because I am out of practice.

Also....what is the difference between a canter and a gallop? My horse was a polo pony and I imagine she is used to galloping across the polo field and I am wondering if that is what she was doing last night since we were playing around with a bunch of other riders and horses in the arena.

I work with a trainer and will be asking her about it this week but thought I would ask here as well.

I am so happy we reached this milestone but the TB world is totally new to me and I have a lot to learn. Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-03-2012, 08:38 PM
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A lope and a canter are the same thing just differant disciplines use differant words. I get particularly touchy about people assuming a lope is just a western pleasure peanut roll slow gait...Drives me nuts. LOL Every hrse is differant, just gotta find your seat in each one.

I have a couple visuals saved to asnwer your other question about the differant between a canter and a gallop, I'll go get them and return. :)
corgi and boots like this.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-03-2012, 08:56 PM
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Ahhh my laptp is refusing to upload my video visual so here's this article instead :)

The Difference Between Canter and Gallop Jim Milton's Horse Riding Lessons Blog

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-03-2012, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! A canter is a three beat and a gallop is a four beat with a moment when all 4 feet are off the ground. Got it.

I suspect we were galloping last night. Gonna have to work on my cues. I wanted a canter and got a gallop. But she did slow down as soon as I asked...I think she was really excited to be in the arena with the other horses. We were playing a relay race type game and when I asked her to "go", she went!!
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-03-2012, 09:13 PM
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The canter & lope are both 3 beat gaits. In some western riding (eg. Western pleasure) the lope is much slower and more collected than the typical english canter.

Speaking generally:

the average thoroughbred has a longer stride than the average quarter horse. So, the thoroughbred will cover more ground with each stride and may feel like he is going faster in comparison.

Thoroughbreds are bred for racing and are therefore naturally a faster, more forward horse than quarter horses. Yes,some quarter horses are also bred and trained for speed disciplines, but it doesn't sound like your quarter horse was of that type.

Your thoroughbred was trained for polo which requires speed, agility and competitiveness.

So, your thoroughbred is probably much more naturally forward moving than your quarter horse was. With good training, you can train your horse to canter quietly and with more collection.

In the gallop, the horse has a lengthened frame (picture a race horse crossing the finish line) and there is a moment of suspension - all 4 feet are off the ground.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-03-2012, 09:30 PM
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I have a typical foundation qh and paint with lots of TB in her. Yes, the canter feels different for both of them (qh's more "short", paint's more "wide" and fluid), but the speed and how smooth it is are about the same when they are balanced and respond to my cues. I'd say it's more about training than particular breed (although feeling could be different).

Congrats on new horse, BTW! :)
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-04-2012, 05:31 AM
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Congrats on the new horse!

I don't know if its much to do with the breed but my tb has a very smooth ground covering stride, though it is very slow most of the time because he is lazy. Most comfortable canter I have ever ridden.

My Qh however has a very fast canter. When he balances a bit better and stops trying to go as fast as possible he has a gorgeous smooth canter with a much smaller stride. He is a badly trained ex barrel horse though so I'm still working on his fast jerky canter that is hard to sit.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-04-2012, 06:59 AM
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I also hate that stumbling stroll of a lope that some western horses do. Its weird.

Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls- they give us hope!
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