4 beat lope
Need YOUR opinions as to why a horse would four beat lope....on the longe or under saddle....
Also, how would you go about getting the horse to return to a 3 beat lope?
3 beats is a "lope", ("canter", for English riders)
4 beats is a gallop, in both worlds
Keep lunging, and when your horse begins to tire, you'll get the 3 beats (lope) again.
Also, lunge at all 3 gaits and teach them voice commands for walk, trot and canter. Another exercise is a spiral. Try starting in a very small circle, then play out the line a few feet at a time until the circle is at it's largest, then pull back a few feet at a time to do a spiral. Horses will collect when they have tight turns.
^ Haha, clearly you have never ridden a horse that 4-beated the canter! It happens when that one leg just lags behind, turning what should be a smooth 3 beat canter into a choppy 4 beat canter.
I used to school a horse who did this. The best thing I could do was get him forward forward forward! It's caused by a lack of energy and impulsion, so you need to create that energy. It's a lot of work but certainly rewarding.
Small disclaimer: You should be sure that the horse isn't "lagging" due to pain or stiffness in his hocks, stifles, or hips. Sometimes it's just uncomfortable to bring the leg forward that quickly, and it feels like it "sticks."
Haha thanks Corporal! No I'm talking about a slow lope, with FOUR beats....it's an undesirable lope, but many horses do it.....it used to be the 'fad' a long time ago in WP. Some horse just do it, and some don't. Even my guy does it sometimes and it's awful!!!
I was curious as to the mechanics of the four beat, why a horse would do it, and how to train it out or avoid it. It's real ugly to sit too.....
I have ridden a 4-beat "canter". It certainly can be from chronic lameness, but if the horse isn't lame, then it comes from weak hindquarters. There are many many exercises to fix that. I have ALSO owned TWH's. When they don't like where you are riding, you get to experience the "broken washing machine." It feels the same as the 4-beat lope.
Some horses just have such a naturally terrible canter - if you want a competition prospect, a horse with a poor canter is generally one to avoid.
If the horse is a naturally good, correct mover the second thing to look at for 4 beating in canter is soreness. If a shoulder, back or hind end is out, the canter quality will suffer and often become 4 beat.
After pain, its the rider's fault for not riding/working the horse forward. In Dressage we see 4 beat canters a lot when riders try to bring the horse into collection by pulling on the reins and slowing the canter, rather than quickening the hind legs and shortening the stride by riding the hind legs up and quick.
To resolve this, the horse just needs to be ridden super forward for a while. We're talking get up off it's back and just let it roll along in canter while the rider has some lessons on how to ride forward!
He also does it intermittently on the longe, and I get after him for it and make him stride out.
I've been working on collection with him, picking up the reins and applying leg at a trot to push him up into the bit and as soon as he gives me a few strides of 'soft and round' I release, same with the lope....but I think the impulsion is lacking at the lope while trying to collect him, guess my legs need to work a bit harder!
I don't think he is very strong over his top line yet, even though he appears to be that way (very solid strong looking horse - a little fat)
If you're struggling to keep the forward 'button', scrap any ideas of collection and fix it. Before thinking about collected work, you need to make sure that all basics are firmly established, and that you horse will willingly remain in front of your leg. You certainly do not want to be kicking him on every stride just to keep him going - if thats the case, collection will never come.
I sometimes wonder if he's not getting tired and just kind of falls apart.....I will keep working at it.....I'm sure it will come together.....eventually:-)
Is it a genuine in front of the leg, forwardness though, or a 'horse wants to go fast' forwardness? Biiiiiiiiiiig difference and the latter is a frequent problem with a lot of riders of hot and ottb types, thinking the horse is going forward when it is just over reactive and running away.
The other cause can be unbalance, if the horse isn't in perfect balance and you try to bring it into collection, it can 4 beat. Again, sending the horse forward into an open hand will remedy this, with lots of work on balance.
Unless the horse has bad paces or their conformation dictates that they will naturally 4 beat, it is a forwardness/balance problem.
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