finding the rhythm of the lope - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-20-2017, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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finding the rhythm of the lope

I have been trying to learn the lope recently and I am having a lot of trouble matching the rhythm and movement of the horse. I have watched a ton of videos and I can hear and see the rhythm of the beats of the horse's feet. However, when I am sitting on the horse, I can't seem to match up my movements. I can see in the videos that the rider has to scoop the pelvis forward, there is a suspension point, and there is a landing point where the scooping starts over. I can't tell which beats or foot falls those movements go with. If beat 1 is the rear foot, beat 2 is the diagonal pair, and beat 3 is the front lead foot, can someone tell me which beats the rider's movements goes with?
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-20-2017, 03:01 PM
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In a word, no. Just have your trainer put you on a lunge line and ride and feel it. If you can relax and not fight the horse, you'll get in the rhythm.
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-20-2017, 03:24 PM
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You're approaching it backwards. You need to feel the rhythm before you can start matching footfalls. It takes time. The lunge line is great for this. I the horse you are riding steady in his rhythm?
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-20-2017, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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I did do a few lessons loping on the lunge line first. The horse is pretty steady and has a good rhythm. I am holding on to the saddle when I lope so I don't keep bouncing so high. There was one time where I felt like I was matching the horse's movements but I was still coming up off the saddle and my butt would smack the saddle on the landing but my scooping motion was going with the horse. I was still bouncing higher and higher as I went and my coach said I was doing it backwards. I have no problem feeling the scooping motion of the saddle but I don't know how to stop rising up off the saddle and plopping back down on it.
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-20-2017, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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This is a video, it's pretty hard to see though. I hope this link works.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-20-2017, 03:39 PM
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You are most likely bouncing like that because you are tense and stiff. If you back is hollowed (pushing in toward the saddle horn) and your legs are tense this "pops" you up out of the saddle.

My advice is to really concentrate on leaning back (a little) and opening your legs at the knee. This is just to get you sitting on your pockets. once you find the rhythm you can sit more upright. The key is relax your legs.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-20-2017, 04:36 PM
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You need a comfy horse with easy canter (lope). might be a flat one.. that might be easier to sit. And just sitting.. It is possible to learn to sit without the scooping, but takes years of practice..
As Carshon said - lean back, open your legs from hips to below the knee, but wrap the horse in them, push your heels down, and let your waistline take the absorbtion of movement..

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post #8 of 11 Old 04-20-2017, 05:40 PM
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I like that you are thinking about the footfalls. it's a bit early to really be able to feel them, but to have that in mind is admirable. to your question, it is #3 footfall to which you want to sync your motion.

that is, the footfall wherein the horse lands in the most 'downhill' position, that is #3. in that step he is landing on his leading leg, and it will sound the heaviest. kind of like 1, 2, 3 and . . .(moment of suspension) 1, 2, 3 and . . .

if you get used to listening and feeling for that last , heavier footfall, that is your most downhill one, and it's to that one that you want to try and sync up. think of reall pushing DOWN into the saddle/ground with that down hill landing. think of really having even your feet go straight down into the ground on that leading footfall.

think of it as "1, 2, Down! . . . and 1, 2, Down . . . if you get yourself goind down with the horse, and you ALLOW the horse to carry you up, you'll by rythmically matched. I guarantee it!
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-20-2017, 07:40 PM
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If you are bouncing and hanging onto to the saddle, you haven't found your balance yet. One good cure for that - longe line work, meaning no hands, do the helicopter, around the world, stuff like that.

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post #10 of 11 Old 04-21-2017, 07:43 AM
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“Trying” to follow the movement of the lope may be causing tension in your muscles. Tension causes stiffness which inhibits movement. The fact that you bounced higher and higher as the movement went on is evidence of such tension.

Rather than “trying” to follow the movement, think of “allowing” your body to follow the movement. Realize that, in riding, gravity is our friend – as long as we are balanced. Allow gravity to keep your legs beneath your body on either side of the horse so you don’t feel any need to hold on to the horse’s sides with your legs. This should allow the rest of your body to move more freely. Don’t force the movement of your body. Simply allow your seat and hands to move with the movements of your horse as you balance your head above your feet.
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