Any tips on getting my horse to reach under himself in his lope?

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Any tips on getting my horse to reach under himself in his lope?

This is a discussion on Any tips on getting my horse to reach under himself in his lope? within the Western Pleasure forums, part of the Western Riding category

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    08-28-2011, 05:46 AM
Any tips on getting my horse to reach under himself in his lope?

Alright so all I have ever done is small shows and im starting to move up to bigger and better things. As I get into the more competitive side of the horse world im noticing the horses who keep beating me have nicer lopes. They all reach nicely under themselves and their power is driven from the rear. My horse has a pretty heavy forehand and is strung out in the rear and im not sure how to fix it, any tips/excercises to help or slove this problem would be greatly appreciated. I need all the help I can get :)
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    08-29-2011, 11:49 AM
There are so many basics that a horse and rider need in order to create a balanced cadenced lope. In order to tell where you and your horse are and what basic foundation skills you have and need to develop before working on drills to create that type of lope a video of you and your horse walking and trotting and loping 20 foot figure eights would be the place to start.

It sounds like the first thing you need to do is get your horse off the forehand and that means you need to develop some softness in both sides of your horse and develop their top line muscles. But to do that your horse first has to accept your hands and legs so that you can make your horse exercise properly to achieve the soft sides and strong top line.

Rod Miller
    08-29-2011, 03:04 PM
Thank you, In our warm up routine we always start with walking circles and long trotting a few laps then we do stopping, backing, and roll backs to get him thinking about what im asking him to do. I will see if I can get a video today and I will post it up here and I would really appreciate if you will look at it and give me and advice you've got
    08-29-2011, 03:18 PM
I will look at the video and let you know my thoughts once you get it posted, :o) post it here so email tells me when you have posted again.

    08-30-2011, 01:13 AM
Alright this is the one of the figure 8's,

And this is rollbacks if you want to critique this one too :)

    08-30-2011, 08:51 AM
OK well the best thing is that you know what you need to do, :o) your horse is short striding (not reaching under) not only in the lope but also in the walk and trot as well it just shows up more in the lope because he is unbalanced and keeps falling forward and like us when we first learn to walk when we loose balance we have to scramble forward to try and stay balanced.

The main reason for this unbalanced short striding in your horse I believe is lack of balance and to be properly balanced where the horse can move with energy and cadence they need to be strong through the top line and abdomen.

In order for us to be able to exercise the horses top line they have to accept our hands and legs and in order to get our horses to accept our hands and legs we have to be effective enough riders to ride in rhythm and deliver cues to our horses with in that rhythm.

I am including links to some video's that will show you how I go about getting my horses to accept my hands and legs and also how I start to develop the horses muscles so they can perform with a round frame and stay balanced.

If you like you can also go read my blog where I discuss many issues like yours and offer idea's for solutions. It is best if you watch theses video's in order and also you may know most of it but I wanted to start at the beginning so we did not miss any steps. :o) good luck and BTW you seem to have a nice soft set of hands and a good seat with practice this will all be easy for you.

And my blog Rod Miller IPHDA & NRHA Professional

    08-30-2011, 11:09 AM
Originally Posted by Desilovesmojo    
Alright this is the one of the figure 8's,
Lotsa Working Mojo - YouTube

And this is rollbacks if you want to critique this one too :)

Mojo doing Rollbacks - YouTube
Actually those are not roll backs, those are turns on the haunches. The term roll back comes from the horse rolling back over it's hocks. At the wall ask the horse to back, put your inside leg on him, turn him into the wall and roll him back. The difference will be immediate.
    08-30-2011, 03:15 PM
Thank you Rod, But the 3rd and 4th videos said they were private so I couldn't watch those ones
    08-30-2011, 03:27 PM
Sorry about that they are from the first group of coaching video's I made and I have since made new ones and these ones are free and I share the links to them from time to time and when I do I have to change the settings, :o) if you want access to all my video's you can request an invite to my video blog by sending me an email to, it is free at this time as well be until I get the new video series done.

Hope it helps
BTW the other poster is right your roll backs are not really roll backs but I did not comment on those since it is the same thing - develop the muscles needed and roll backs will be possible without training that will cause negative issues later on with other maneuvers.
    11-18-2011, 12:47 PM
Welcome to the Forum!
Just to add. When you do rollbacks with him (as MLS described) or anything for that matter, you need to settle him, give him time to relaxe before you ask. You will get much better results. As he wraps his mind around what you are asking you will be able to ask him to do things with less settling in between.
He needs time to process what you are asking him to do (using leg aides)before you ask him with your hands.
Best of luck.

collection, lope, strung out, western pleasure

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