Canter/Lope & Trot/Jog

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Canter/Lope & Trot/Jog

This is a discussion on Canter/Lope & Trot/Jog within the New to Horses forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Ground eating canter
  • Difference between trot and canter

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    07-21-2014, 04:40 PM
Canter/Lope & Trot/Jog

Are there any differences between the english canter and the western lope? Or the trot and jog? For a while I thought the only difference was the name, and when I rode an english trained horse in a western saddle and loped, it didn't feel any different, but when I was at a horse show yesterday, watching western trained horses, it looked different. I'm mostly curious.
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    07-21-2014, 05:15 PM
When it comes to showing, the western jog and lope are much slower and more relaxed looking/feeling than the English trot and canter.
    07-21-2014, 05:21 PM
Okay, so if it weren't a show the lope would look like the typical english canter?
    07-21-2014, 05:34 PM
I consider the lope to be pretty exclusive to Western Pleasure, in which case it is considerably slower.
    07-25-2014, 03:39 AM
Western lope and english canter are just that: if I took my mare out in a western saddle I'd be jogging and loping, if I went back in and changed to an english saddle I'd be trotting and cantering.
Generally however, loping is perceived to be a slow canter b/c in a western rail class such as western pleasure slower gaits are considered "more desirable" while in english rail classes such as hunter under saddle horses are trained for a slightly faster gait.
BarrelRacerHeart likes this.
    07-25-2014, 08:25 AM
From my observation, the western lope is flatter and slower than an English canter. Western riders favor self collection, as opposed to collection in the reins. The jog is much, much slower than an English trot. It is SUPPOSED to be a comfortable, non-strenuous, ground-eating trot that a horse can maintain for miles and miles of fence and travel, but the show industry has turned it into a kind of shuffle that annoys me.
bsms likes this.
    07-25-2014, 10:06 AM
Sitting any trot will naturally slow it down, but the show industry really stresses it in western pleasure (a good idea of what *I* think of as a slow relaxed jog is what is seen in a ranch horse class). I wouldn't say that the jog was meant to be "ground eating" but the trot in general is supposed to be a traveling gait that horses can maintain for miles at a reasonable clip unlike the canter or gallop which despite what movies portray horses and riders can't maintain for extended periods.
If you really want to get into it this is why gaited horses were bred they can gait for many miles and frequently are much faster than the canter of other horses, they were also a smoother ride for the plantation owners/farmers/rancher/etc
skiafoxmorgan likes this.
    07-25-2014, 10:27 AM
I guess my meaning in "ground eating" is that it is faster than a walk, and easy for the horse to maintain for miles...and in its ORIGINAL form, was a useful working gait that covered miles without undue stress or effort. So...ground "covering"? Modern jogs are hyperextremes of the gait and as much as useless outside the show ring.
IMO, of course.
    07-25-2014, 10:35 AM
BarrelRacerHeart Quote

Love your quote, I wanna remember that one.
I use to tell my students,
"If you catch the judge's eye the first time, you're good".
"If you catch the judge's eye the second time, you're really good".
"But if you catch the judge's eye a third time, You're Hard to Beat!"

Originally Posted by BarrelRacerHeart    
Okay, so if it weren't a show the lope would look like the typical english canter?
BarrelRacerHeart likes this.
    07-25-2014, 12:36 PM
Originally Posted by BarrelRacerHeart    
Are there any differences between the english canter and the western lope? Or the trot and jog? For a while I thought the only difference was the name, and when I rode an english trained horse in a western saddle and loped, it didn't feel any different, but when I was at a horse show yesterday, watching western trained horses, it looked different. I'm mostly curious.
The biggest problem you will run into when considering terms used by riders and trainers is that they can mean various things. This is the problem with language: the meaning is determined by the usage. For example, two dissimilar words may mean the same thing. Example: flammable and inflammable. On the other hand, the same word can have opposite meanings. The word "cleave" may mean to cut apart. The same word may mean to cling together.

Some people use the terms canter and lope to mean the same thing. Others try to make distinctions based on various factors. Most people agree that the foot falls in the canter and lope are the same. For example: the left lead begins with the right rear foot. This is followed by the left rear and the right front hitting at the same time. Finally, the left front takes the weight as the horse pivots over it and the horse glides through the air while regrouping its legs for the next stride.

Aside from the foot falls, the movement of the horse while cantering or loping may vary greatly. The horse may hold its head and neck at various heights. The back may be hollowed or rounded, although all knowledgeable riders want it to be rounded. The hind feet may be strung out or brought under the horse to various degrees. When a horse brings its hind feet further forward, the horse's pelvis must tilt to help accomplish this. The horse's stride may vary with the horse stepping a longer or shorter distance with each stride. The horse may use its back muscles to a limited extent or it may use them in long, smooth, undulating action. The horse's legs may flex to various degrees.

The desired movement has less to do with whether one is riding in an English or Western saddle than what the rider is trying to achieve. Knowledgeable riders will vary these factors depending on their goals for the horse at the moment.

Similar statements can by made with regard to trotting in an English or Western saddle. However, I have only heard Western riders refer to a jog trot. This is generally a trot of moderate tempo with limited back movement on the part of the horse and low elevation of the legs and feet.
BarrelRacerHeart likes this.

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