Out of control lope- what to do? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-12-2010, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Out of control lope- what to do?

While working with Citrus today, I started out loping with intentions of loping for a long time until he settled (his lope is a mess and he needs to get comfortable).

Immediately I noticed his steering was not what it should be so I put him back to a walk and worked on leg pressure, light rein cues and then a trot- doing serpentines, 8s, random crossing of the arena- I over killed it and went back up to the lope and once again, total loss of control. I would give the same leg and rein cues to turn (and body) and he would either not turn at all or I was literally pulling the bit through his mouth (not something I want to do- I pride myself on soft hands).

Citrus once turned so late and clearly not on cue because he stepped through the fence. He was not injured but I was getting more and more frustrated. I finished up on a good note but seriously.....

Any body have an idea as to what his issue is or mine and how I can fix this? His lope is a mess and I do want to be able to lope him around a few times so that he settles into a consistent one and then I will stop instantly. I won't be able to if he won't turn. Ugh.
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-12-2010, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-12-2010, 10:05 PM
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i had a similar problem with one of my horses and I rode him in a clinic with a man named Ray Hunt. Ray was a master horseman in every sense of the word. He is credited with popularizing the "natural" methodology that all the clinicians like Clinton Anderson, Pat Parelli and John Lyons use today. When I ask Ray about how to get my horse better at the lope he said that I had holes in my walk and trot and when I had fixed them thelope would take care of itself. What I really wanted him to say was move your inside leg back and lift your rein a little and everything will be peachy. I wanted a quick fix but there wasn't any. I went home after the three day clinic and worked on getting perfect control at the walk and trot. I THOUGHT that I did have good control but when I tested it I couldn't control speed or his quarters like I needed to. After a week of perfecting contol at a walk and trot I tried him at a lope and I could slow him down and move him and do flying lead changes and nice soft stops like I never could before.

My advice is get your horse absolutely perfect at a walk and trot then move to the lope. You may THINK that you have it perfect but if you did you wouldn't have problems at a lope. When you add speed you magnify all the holes in your horses training.

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post #4 of 7 Old 03-12-2010, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Excellent advice- thank you Kevinshorses. I will find those holes.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-12-2010, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Oh and something painfully obvious just hit me- we have owned this horse for not even a month. Sure he enjoys me and his owner (my daughter) but I may just be expecting too much- he just moved to Colorado from North Dakota, new place, new people, new everything. I keep forgetting that he is new- it took a good two years of training with my other horses for me to get them in show shape. Slow down is my new mantra.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-13-2010, 12:59 AM
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Great post Kevin. I was just going to say, go back to trotting and walking. Lots of trotting in equal directions to get the horse fitted up and balanced equally on both sides. It will also give you time to work on all of the holes, as Kevin said, that you need to fill up in your current training.

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post #7 of 7 Old 03-13-2010, 03:54 PM
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Yes that is a great post Kevin! It is funny but since I "started cantering" Phoenix I seem to be doing more trotting than ever!
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