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Ottakee 12-12-2008 06:47 PM

My horse trots a lot but doesn't canter in the pasture
I have a 15 year old QH/Arab gelding. I bought him about 9 months ago as a trail horse. Nothing bother this guy at all.

My question is that I have never really seen him canter around the pasture. He will trot around with the other horses but even if they pick up the lope, he will just trot along. Today he did gallop around in the snow for a minute but not really a nice lope.

I had him seen by a chiropractor 2 weeks ago and she said he was out and adjusted him. Still no difference when he is out with the other horses.

He will lope under saddle but doesn't pick up the left lead well---then again I am a beginning rider and we generally only lope on the trails so I don't focus on what lead he picks up. His lope is smooth but quite fast. He will lope up hills on the trails.

Since I am a newer rider and he is newer to me, I am trying to figure out if he is just such a laid back guy that he really doesn't have a desire to lope, if the trot is just his preferred gait (he can trot quite fast), or if there is a pain issue going on here. His walk is quite slow as well--but he will go for hours if needed.

Any ideas on this?

Cat 12-12-2008 07:55 PM

I have several horses who prefer to trot and will only go into a canter/lope when going up the hill in the back pasture. The trot is the horse's distance gait and they can go longer and easier at that than they can a canter.

Andi 12-12-2008 08:42 PM

I wouldn't really worry about it. If he lopes with you in the saddle then I don't think that there is a problem with his gates. And horses almost always favor one lead, and so its not unusual that he always canters on his right.

smrobs 12-13-2008 06:02 AM

I agree that it is not a thing to really worry about. Do you want to slow his lope down? Also, does he always kinda "insist" that he lope up hills on the trail or does he just go along with the other horses? As long as there are no signs of lameness, I don't think it is a big deal that he is reluctant to pick up his left lead.

bgood400 12-13-2008 05:49 PM

I dont think it is anything to worry about. A lot of our horses don't want to do anything more than walk from one area of the pasture to another. It doesn't mean that they are hurting. I just think they don't want to put out the effort of cantering or trotting.

Ottakee 12-14-2008 08:23 AM

Thanks for the responses. He doesn't seem to be in pain. I will follow up with the chiropractor to make sure his back isn't out, etc.

Maybe this is just his personality...........S L O W. Then again, on the trails, nothing bothers him which is good for me as a newer rider.

Jubilee Rose 12-16-2008 12:08 AM

I think he's just laid-back. There's a couple horses at my barn like that too. If the rest of the gang is cantering, they'll hang back and just trot. Like others said, if he's cantering fine undersaddle, then there shouldn't be a problem. How is he on the lunge line?

Dumas'_Grrrl 12-16-2008 10:40 AM

I'm gonna add to the "nothing to worry about pack" I have 2 OH's here and one will canter like a fool and the other just trots along unless it's absolutely necessary to canter.....(when he's plum freaked out) but otherwise he's king of the trot.

Ottakee 12-17-2008 09:16 PM

He doesn't really know how to lunge. Even though he is 15, I think much of his previous training was get on, ride, and put him away. He was lacking in ground manners (getting better) and some things like lunging. He is though great on the trails.

Now with winter here, any lunging will be done at a walk only due to poor footing. In the spring I hope to do more.

Glad to hear though that there are other horses out there that just trot along instead of lope.

My girls have a 30 year old gelding and he will pick up the lope at the slightest cue and lopes a lot in the pasture.

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