My horse will not LOPE!

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My horse will not LOPE!

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  • Teaching a horse to lope
  • Cant get my horse to lope

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    07-01-2011, 03:53 PM
My horse will not LOPE!

Hello! I have a problem, I have been working with my 5 year old paint gelding to prepare him for the county fair horse show, and he refuses to lope. He has only been shown in walk trot classes until this year. I have tried used the corners of the arena, squeezing, giving him more rein, vocal cues: Lope, *Kissing*. He lopes when I lunge him, and he lopes with a saddle on, but once a rider is on, he refuses. Any advice? I am thinking about taking him to a trainer for a professional opinion.
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    07-01-2011, 04:03 PM
I could give you instructions on how to make your horse lope under saddle, but it's too easy to mess up and I don't articulate well when writing out instructions. Also, there so much leading up to it, it's just easier, safer and way less frustrating to get professional help. If you plan on showing your horse, you really should have a coach/trainer. My saying is "We can get really good at doing the wrong things."
    07-01-2011, 05:59 PM
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Many failures have led up to this point. Every time you have asked this horse to lope and have failed to get him to lope, he has gotten more and more determined not to lope. It may now take a LOT of pressure to get a lope out of him. If you are not up to putting however much pressure it takes to get the job done, then you should get a more confident rider to do it. This horse is REALLY NOT going to want to go into a lope and stay in a lope long enough to do any good.

We have encountered several horses (and mules -- they are even worse) with this problem. We have tried (and succeeded in getting them to lope) in a round pen with a second person in the center to MAKE the horse go into a lope or you can go out on an open trail or pasture with a lot of room to make the horse lope. I really prefer loping out in the open on a trail where there are no choices as to where to go or out in a big enough pasture that you can get the horse to go and can leave the reins alone.

You need to teach this horse to lope before you try guiding it at a lope as it will use any excuse to stop. The round pen works if it is a big (60 foot or larger) pen and you do not ask the horse to go more than 2 or 3 laps around it and you make it go until YOU ask it to stop.
    07-02-2011, 11:39 AM
Don't ask for a lope. Let the lope happen. Start trotting him and trot faster and faster and stay out of his mouth and off the reins until he CHOOSES to lope. Also you may need to slap him on the butt with a rope or crop to encourage him to lope.
Don't worry about the speed until you get him moving into the lope really nicely. If you ask him to lope and then you pull on him to slow down when he does lope you are likely to confuse and frustrate him. I mention this because it is a very common mistake.
    07-02-2011, 12:26 PM
Will he canter or hand gallop with a rider on him?
    07-02-2011, 02:30 PM
Thank you all for the replies! I contacted my trainer last night, and we are going to get together next week. She thinks he needs to see a chiropractor. However, she is going to get on him and give me her opinion and advice! I have worked with her before, and she does a nice job. The reason I haven't sent him until now is because this horse was part of a 4h project where I was to do all of the training. However, for this year he is part of "Light Horse Selection" which means he is allowed to have other training. Thanks again everyone!


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