08-02-2008, 08:03 PM
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If she's just anticipating the lope with your spurs, this is what I would do. Use your spur and/or calf to ask for a slight haunches in, like you were going to lope off. Then hold her there, and don't let her lope off. Contiue to funnel her like the other poster said with your hands. This will help to keep her head down. But whatever you do don't let her lope off. She will get frustrated for a bit, but she should eventually drop back down with her head into your hands. The second she does that, release your leg, release your hands, and let her walk in a straight line. Do this a few more times until she stays more relaxed. Then add the kiss, and maybe a bit more pressure with your leg and ask her to lope off. She may now resist the lope off a bit, but just continue to firmly ask her to go. It takes a while to get this together, but it really does work.
This way of loping off is actually used in the show pen quite a bit. Imagine if you are walking and the class is asked to lope off, but you have 5 horses in front of you. You want to be ready to lope off as soon as the horse in front of you goes so that you don't hold up the class, but you don't want to go before the other horse, then you'll lose your place on the rail. So what you can do is set your horse up to lope off, but continue walking. So you use your outside leg/spur to move the haunchs in, but keep walking regularly. The horse is ready to lope off with a kiss, and will go easily and willingly. I also used this in pattern classes, walking up to or standing at the first cone. Prepare to lope off, then as soon as the judge nods their head, I kiss to him and off we go smoothly and quickly.