Muppet, I agree with you. Training a younger horse that may not know exactly what you are asking for, that would be the wrong way to go about correcting an improper departure, but on a broke
horse who occasionally gets "blah" about stuff, it's best and quickest to correct immediately.
It doesn't matter if they lope really nice or if their lope is a nightmare, the departure needs to be corrected as a departure
, not as a lope. If you sort of ignore the departure because the horse lopes nice, then you can never expect the horse to have a nice departure. You let a broke
horse bumble his way around when he knows exactly what you're asking for but is just being lazy and refusing to do it, then you're spoiling him and undoing his training.
Christopher, I wonder if maybe you've just never implemented the method they are talking about. It's a method mostly used for finished
horses who sometimes get "ho-hum" to the aids. Whether they are being ridden by a lower level rider or they just aren't feeling it that day, it happens sometimes. I don't know about anyone else, but whenever I'm on a finished horse and they bumble their way into a partial lope departure, they never get passed the first stride or 2 of a trot. They aren't actually in
a lope when I shut them down. SO, by your reasoning, they aren't learning that
"hey last time I was asked to lope off I ended up being stopped and spanked, while my natural response to spanking, which would've probably been to lope off, was withheld. Loping off must the wrong response to the original cue
They are learning that trotting
off was the wrong response to the original cue and that it's completely unacceptable.
On a finished horse that does this, to slam him down, get after him a bit, walk him out, and then ask again, you'll get the correct response the second time almost without question...providing that you are asking correctly.
However, on even young horses, a modified version of this method works well. My young horse who is still <30 rides sometimes gets sticky with the left lead on a straightaway. Whenever I cue for the left lead and he gets sticky, I simply bring him down to a stop (I don't slam him because he's still young and isn't perfectly balanced), I might sidepass to remind him to move those hindquarters off that right leg, then I ask again. At first, it took maybe 4-5 times of bringing him back down before he picked it up. Now, on the rare occasion that he does get sticky, one little "refocus" and he'll get it right.