Anticipating lope departures

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Anticipating lope departures

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    09-12-2011, 06:23 PM
Anticipating lope departures

I have a fairly green 4 year old wp gelding that has been anticipating lope departures. He is solid in his walk and jog, but when I move my outside leg to start to ask for his lead, he tends to get his head up a little, hollow out a smidge and speed up.
What I have been doing to improve his departures is to use my lope cues, such as using my outside leg to push his hip over like I would when asking for the lope and go around the arena like that till he has relaxed.
Anybody have an experience with this issue? What did you do to fix it?
I like to hear other methods of doing things in case one works better than what I have been doing.
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    09-12-2011, 11:02 PM
Super Moderator
You are going at it the right way. You just have to go through all of the motions leading up to a lead departure without departing. Do it over and over and only add a 'smoosh' and a 'nudge' after you have the hip in and the horse still relaxed.

I would worry as much about the lifting of his head and bracing. I would pull his head down really hard every time he lifted it until he understood that this is a no no.
    09-12-2011, 11:34 PM
He gives really well, I think the head up is just a piece of the anticipating. I ask for him to give me back his head and get level.
He was in a french link snaffle, but I recently changed him to this bit. He was anticipating the transitions before the bit change, which was requested by my trainer.

    09-12-2011, 11:48 PM
Don't jerk his head down.... you will only confuse your horse more and possible upset him. Plus you'd be discipling something that does not need discipline (unless he is trying to rear of flip). He is raising his head up because he is nervous and unsure which is also why he speeds up (flight response). The horse isn't sure about what your asking not behaving badly. Read your horses body language when he raises his head up release the pressure and reassure your horse then ask again. If its still a problem perhaps more practice in a slower speed is needed. Keep doing what your doing, continue working from the bottom up. You sound like your working him correctly and just keep practicing with him and just don't get into a hurry.
    09-12-2011, 11:52 PM
[QUOTE=reiningfan;1171105]He gives really well, I think the head up is just a piece of the anticipating. I ask for him to give me back his head and get level.

That's exactly what you need to do!

Never used that kind of bit before whats it called?
    09-13-2011, 12:25 AM
I did just want to mention that I love that bit. I have one and use it all the time. Has a great level of feel on it.

Peppy, here is a link to it.
AT Low Port Loose Cheek Low Port Western Bit 5in -
    09-13-2011, 12:34 AM
Ahh I see thank you smrobs =D. Its a curb bit for some extra leverage. That one doesn't look like it's too harsh. You should be fine with that bit.
    09-13-2011, 01:20 AM
Originally Posted by Peppy Barrel Racing    
Ahh I see thank you smrobs =D. Its a curb bit for some extra leverage. That one doesn't look like it's too harsh. You should be fine with that bit.

It's what I use on most of my horses when I graduate them out of a snaffle. Smrobs is right, it has good feel to it. I can isolate body parts without being confusing when they first switch from a snaffle, as the two sides work independently. I have two of this particular one and two more with different shank lengths.
    09-13-2011, 01:23 AM
Oh I wanna try that bit
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    09-13-2011, 01:32 AM
It's well worth buying. I guess I wouldn't have 4 of them if I didn't think that though, would I?

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