teaching the lope - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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teaching the lope

how do you do this?
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 02:26 PM
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Are you talking about while riding and asking for a lope? Or asking from the ground like you're lunging?

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post #3 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 03:11 PM
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Or do you mean the actual act? Because lope is the western term for canter.
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 03:18 PM
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Horses come fully equipped to lope and it is part of their original operating equipment.

It is the rider that has to learn how to ask correctly and move with the horse.

"The greatest strength is gentleness."
- Iroquois Proverb
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry should have been more clear....there is the canter, like any other canter, and then there is a nice, slow lope...I've tried half-halts and they aren't working. What else can I try?
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 05:07 PM
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How long have you been practicing the half halts? They won't work in a few days. It will take weeks of consistency and never letting her go "fast".

Amber.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 06:42 PM
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Are you talking like a Western Pleasure lope that is slowed wayyyy down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marecare
Horses come fully equipped to lope and it is part of their original operating equipment.
This made me laugh so hard.
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Poseidon View Post

This made me laugh so hard.
Me too! Good one, Marecare!


The thing I've found very helpful for slowing down my mare's canter (I think of a canter being a fast, longer strided, version of the lope and the lope being a slower, shorter strided, version of the canter) is just going for long canters.
I take her out on the trail and get to a maybe a mile long stretch of relatively flat, pretty straight, trail and I ask her to canter. I don't let her stop until I ask for it and I usually have her canter the entire way. She's discovered that loping is a much more efficient way of getting that stretch done. At first she'd try to canter fast and, I assume, "get it over with" but by the end she was SO tired. I figure that eventually something clicked in her brain and she realized that if she stopped trying to be so fast, she'd feel better at the end.
It took a month or two of doing that once/twice a week but now, whenever I ask for the lope/canter she automatically starts loping. I can ask for her to canter but her auto "setting" is loping.
I think it also helped cantering be less exciting. Before I only asked her for short stretches of cantering and she loves to canter, so every canter was oh SO exciting, and therefore fast.

Hopefully that all makes sense and it somewhat helpful! :)

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post #9 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 07:27 PM
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Also, you could try instead of half-halting, coming to a complete stop any time the speed picks up faster then you'd like. After some hours of hard work, they should understand to keep it slow or they have to start over.

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post #10 of 11 Old 04-03-2011, 08:28 PM
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Me too! Good one, Marecare!


The thing I've found very helpful for slowing down my mare's canter (I think of a canter being a fast, longer strided, version of the lope and the lope being a slower, shorter strided, version of the canter) is just going for long canters.
I take her out on the trail and get to a maybe a mile long stretch of relatively flat, pretty straight, trail and I ask her to canter. I don't let her stop until I ask for it and I usually have her canter the entire way. She's discovered that loping is a much more efficient way of getting that stretch done. At first she'd try to canter fast and, I assume, "get it over with" but by the end she was SO tired. I figure that eventually something clicked in her brain and she realized that if she stopped trying to be so fast, she'd feel better at the end.
It took a month or two of doing that once/twice a week but now, whenever I ask for the lope/canter she automatically starts loping. I can ask for her to canter but her auto "setting" is loping.
I think it also helped cantering be less exciting. Before I only asked her for short stretches of cantering and she loves to canter, so every canter was oh SO exciting, and therefore fast.

Hopefully that all makes sense and it somewhat helpful! :)
I agree. When a horse has to canter for a long time, they slow it down to conserve energy. When they don't know if they are going to have to canter for 2 miles or 7, they don't want to use all their energy in the first mile. By going for short canters, they get excited because they can use all the energy at once. Depending on where they are kept, like in a stall or paddock and they can't move around much, when they get to canter, they get to be able to stretch out.

One thing to watch out for though are hot blooded horses like Arabs. Having them canter for long distances actually can get them more worked up.

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