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Equus_girl 08-29-2010 04:49 PM

I need a little advice on loping please!
First off - I have the most amazing horse in the world!! (Well, to me she is!) She's a 19 yr. old QH and very well trained. She puts the safety of her rider before anything else and I feel very comfortable on her. I ride her with a halter and two ropes with the exception of being on the road.

I have been trotting bareback on her lots and absolutely love it. If I feel a bit unbalanced I can just say, "Easy" and she slows down immediately! I've been wanting to lope bareback for a while and today I decided to try it. When I'm in the saddle she will lope for me, however I don't always feel totally balanced and I feel like I'm going forward which makes me hold onto the saddle horn. :-( Same thing was happening with trotting till I actually did it bareback. For some reason it was easier! I had to keep my balance or I would come off! :D
Even then I only fell off once trotting (totally my fault) and Berdi looked at me horrified like "what did I do wrong?"

Soooo.... that is why I want to try loping bareback. I actually feel more secure bareback usually. I can do a fast trot and if I think I might get unbalanced I use a neck rope. I tried loping today and did a couple lope strides on the lunge. It was fine. However Berdi refused to do anymore. I think she could tell I was a bit tense as I had the ropes fairly tight (I ride with ropes and a halter), and I held the neck rope. She just wouldn't do it!

I think that part of my nervousness comes from when I was taking lessons. My instructor put me over jumps at the canter before I actually learned to canter. I fell off both times. Hmmmm.... wonder why? I really didn't learn to canter after that so I'm kind of on my own.

I really think my horse thinks I'm not ready for it! And maybe she's right and I should listen - lol! :lol: Any tips to be balanced at the lope and get her to do it when I'm bareback? I guess my worry is that she will start loping fast and I will fall off. I'm sure she senses that and that is her worry too! :)

Sorry for how long this is! Cookies to all that read it!

Northern 08-29-2010 06:27 PM

Try canter in an enclosed space, make sure she has a one-rein stop on her, hold onto mane/neck rope at first, then let go as you are able. An alternative is to be just a passenger, either with a second person longeing horse, you astride at canter, or pushing passenger mode--hands off reins & v'd over her neck base, sitting deeply, & let her decide where to go, as long as she goes in canter. Gently squeeze her up to canter when she slows. You'll be able to focus on independent seat either way.

lilruffian 08-29-2010 09:37 PM

I love running bareback! ;D Honestly, it is much easier to lope bareback than trot because it's more fluid & doesn't bounce you around as much. THe only problem is when you slow back down, make sure you're aware of your seat because coming back down to a trot can throw you off balance so keep your hands near the mane! lol
Use your tailbone as well. A good way of accomplishing this is to keep your back straight & push your feet/legs out & down. This will force you to sit more on your tailbone ;)
If you bend your knees, you'll go forward & down onto the neck eventually.

A knack for horses 08-29-2010 09:47 PM

There are horses out there like that who can sense if you are or aren't ready for something.

For one, I would relax, you tensing up is transferring to the horse. And when you are tense, you stiffen up; which makes riding in a fluid, resistance free movement nearly impossible. You need to relax, sit up straight (resist the urge to curl up). Most importantly, have fun!

Equus_girl 08-29-2010 10:34 PM

Thank-you all for your advice! I certainly will try the things you suggested. I'm sure she does sense I'm tense and she just doesn't want to do it. I'll try relaxing more too.

Equus_girl 09-02-2010 11:00 PM

I loped bareback successfully today! I started out in our yard up a small hill toward our house. I actually gave her some rope (I was so tense before!) and she loped perfectly for me! It was so easy. I can't believe it. I am quite unbalanced and tense in the saddle but bareback seems so perfect! I feel very balanced.

Thank-you all for you advice! It really helped.

lilruffian 09-03-2010 12:13 AM

:D awesome! Good for you. I know, it's so much fun lol ;)

A knack for horses 09-03-2010 05:25 PM

Great Job! The more you practice, the better you will become.

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