Loping VS. Galloping
For the life of me I can not get my paint horse to lope. All she wants to do is gallop. I think she has previously been trained for barrel racing which could be effecting the situation. Can anyone give me advice on what to do?
Have you eliminated all pain?
What kind of bit?
How is she at the trot and walk?
I would do lots of transitions, circles, serpantines, and bending.
She is a fast trotter, although I have gotten her to slow down in the trot recently by getting her to follow an arabian who has a really good controlled trot.
She has a basic snaffle bit.
She seems to be really relaxed and enjoying the ride. It is not an out of control gallop, I just want her to have a controlled lope:) I think perhaps the transitions will help.
Transitions will help. The other thing is get the trot slowed down before you try to lope her. Does she give to the bit? She needs to give and respond to the bit to be able to slow her down. You can teach her while sitting on her. A snaffle is broke in the middle and works with side to side pressure. Take up one side and then the other until she gives in with her head. She should dropher head as she gives in. Don't release the pressure until she gives you a slight give. Make sure your release is quick. From there you can start to do it at the walk and work it up to the lope.
Make sure you stay calm and relaxed. Good luck
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I will bet your horse does not feel comfortable at a lope as she is not balanced. Horses tend to rush things they are not comfortable performing. Either the horse is not ready - or the rider is out of position.
How old is your horse and what is the training/conditioning history?
I agree with MLS. Many times people who dont know how to train a horse properly for a lope end up with all sorts of bad things happening such as they simply cannot get it, they end up with a 4beat/trope, or an injury to the horse because they cannot physically perform it for one reason or another. I would strongly suggest a trainer if your serious about teaching your horse to lope.
mbender, I have to stronly disagree with your see-sawing method. It creates a horse that evades the bit and is not straight.
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I had a horse like that. If I had her now, I wouldn't worry so much-- I'd just let her go, until she found her balance. You need good footing, and a big area. Give lots of praise for stopping, and when the gallop feels fairly balanced, I'd try spiraling into the circle a bit. Sit up and very still.
With my horse I couldn't figure out why she kept running, when her trot work was going so well. One day it was slick footing, and her legs slid right out from under her, and down we went. And it was THAT which initially slowed her down. She went so carefully after that, though of course I didn't canter much more in that mud. (But I don't recommend tripping up your horse, although I know there are trainers who can do it!)
Not long after, I think it was, we got a very mellow horse with a long, rhythmic canter, and one day my rusher watched her whole lesson. And the next time we cantered, she was slow! I thought it was a fluke, but she really did learn by watching. You can try that too.
I agree with Mls too. She probably isn't comfortable and/or doesn't have the appropriate muscling to canter/lope easily, so she's rushing. I wouldn't be working on loping anyways until you can get her to trot slowly w/ impulsion/power. That's a good way to help her build the necessary muscle. It'll help your riding ability too.
What *I* do (disclaimer - I am not a "trainer") is work on get a forward balanced trot. I do circles and serpentines and work on bending/flexibility. Then I work on slowing the trot by slowing my posting, then I speed it up again, then slow down, etc. I work large circles and shallow serpentines at first and gradually shrink the circles and tighten the serpentines as the horse shows it's capable and comfortable doing what I ask. After all that's said and done I move to canter work and use the same progression. Let the horse get balanced and forward, then work on bending/flexibility, and then work on transitioning between speeds within the gait.
My goal is to keep the horse relaxed, responsive, and forward moving with impulsion. I don't want a foot dragging lazy canter or trot, but I do want them to slow it down and keep the power. If that makes sense. One thing I do not (or try not) to do is mess with their head/mouth in terms of pulling them to slow down. I don't want them bracing against the bit and falling onto their forehand.
Again, I am NOT a trainer, but this is what I've been doing and it seems to be working well. I'm sure it would go better for me if I had a trainer and THAT is what I would recommend to you.
Anyone else with more experience feel free to correct me :D
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