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HorseCourage 04-23-2013 02:35 PM

Getting the western Pleasure Lope?
So i have my horse able to do everything western pleasure. The headset, the walk, the jog, but when it comes to loping, she acts as though we are in a speed class or something. If i gently do a half halt she will put on her full breaks and stop. Help?

waresbear 04-23-2013 02:57 PM

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It means she is incapable of going slow and keeping her head low because she is not working off her hind end. Forget about headset and concentrate on engaging her hindquarters. A horse light in the front and driving from behind will respond to a half halt, your horse stops because she is on her forehand and cannot slow down the rear to a lower gear in the lope. She could be impeded by your position, her position & strength or all of it. It is not a quick tip fix to correct this, sorry, it is best done with hands on instruction.
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HorseCourage 04-24-2013 09:45 AM

My Natural horsemanship trainer and I are working on it, and i realize its not a quick fix I just need some things that I could do to get her started on helping to fix this. I ride very consiously, I ride very much on my blance point. She also speeds at the lope on a lunge, and has a gorgeous walk and jog next time I'm out I will have someone tape both me riding, and me lunging her so that you may see what i am talking about

aforred 04-24-2013 11:35 AM

Has she been loping under saddle for a long time? I ask because it takes a while before they figure out how to carry a rider at the lope, and even longer to get comfortable and start relaxing.

I agree with waresbear on engaging the hind end. You can also work on strengthening her back, so it's easier for her to get round.

stingerscricket 04-24-2013 12:53 PM

Subbing..same exact thing with my mare except she can lope slow relaxed circles but then it turns into a race when I bring her onto the rail.
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HorseCourage 04-24-2013 02:25 PM

She has been loping a lot with a rider. But still any way i canter her she seems to always act like its a race. whether with a rider, or on lunge. How do you suggest i engage her hind quarters and strengthen her back?

aforred 04-24-2013 02:47 PM

My favorite method is the working trot. Encourage her to stretch long and low and use your legs on her body to encourage a little lift. Lots of circles and figure eights. Trotting over ground poles and cavaletti are also excellent for strengthening back and abdominal muscles.

To get a proper working trot, the hind end has to engage and you can feel the difference. It might take quite a bit of leg at first, if she's not used to it.

If the problem is relaxation, as in, she isn't relaxed at the lope, you can teach her to do it. Trot a big circle and spiral in, letting her slow down as the circle gets smaller. When she finally stops, let her rest for a couple minutes. When she gets the hang of it, try it at the lope. It might take a while, but she will come to understand.

Once she does, you can use it by starting a spiral every time she speeds up. When she relaxes and slows down, take her back out. Make sure to give her a break when she gives you what you want. Best reward in the world.

Also, pay attention to how you're asking for the half-halt at the lope. You may be doing something different than other gaits without realizing it. And practice transitions between gaits, as well as within them.

That was kind of convoluted, sorry. Hope this helps, though.

HorseCourage 04-25-2013 09:34 AM

it's very helpful thank you!!! thats like the most helpful thing i have ever heard !!! I'll try it tonight when i go to ride :)

GotaDunQH 04-29-2013 12:27 PM

I would love to see a vid! The lope is the hardest gait to nail...which is why they call it the money gait. SO much goes into a great lope...and it starts with mind set and conformation. Good lopers just don't want to go anywhere in a hurry.

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