I'm fine to lope but I don't want to gallop - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 11-12-2011, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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I'm fine to lope but I don't want to gallop

I'm in my 40s and I'm not real interested in going too fast. My horse has a real nice lope (it's on the faster side) and I ride it just fine. But since the weather started changing ( I've had him since 4/11) all he wants to do when I ask him to lope is go really fast. He lifts his head real high and wants to go!! I can calm him but I feel like I spend half my riding time trotting him in tight circles to get him to slow down. He is not a spooky horse so he's not bolting. I want to lope, but I'm not sure how to make him slow down in the lope with out him breaking down into a trot. I rode when I was a kid, but have only been back into it for about 2 years. I have also no formal training. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 16 Old 11-12-2011, 09:03 AM
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Is your horse in a stall or is he in a run out/pasture? Does he get adequate time to run off some of his excess energy before you ride him? It may be that the cooler weather just makes him fresh, and you need to provide him with more turn out time, or possibly start lunging him before you step on to ride. Not because he is being bad, but just to help him burn off some of that excess energy. Hope this helps
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post #3 of 16 Old 11-12-2011, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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He gets turned out for 5 hours every morning. I usually don't ride till afternoon. Ir evening. I dint lunge him (Sounds like maybe I should) but I do 10 mins of walking for a warm-up and then about 10-15 mins of good working trot before I ask for the lope.
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post #4 of 16 Old 11-12-2011, 10:16 AM
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What breed is he and how old is he? If he is only doing it at the lope, I wonder if maybe you have changed the way you are riding him if he was very good at first and has started to regress. Have you gotten a different saddle, changed bits, gotten spurs? just trying to gauge what you are doing to see if I might have any tips to help you out. What setting do you normally ride in? A good exercise you can try is to start trying to push him into the bit. What I mean by this is:
start by bridging your reins (if you ride western, if you ride english then that's already taken care of) and setting your reins at a certain length. Push him up into a trot, and push him forward using your legs. Set your hands in a "wall" (meaning make your hands solid, do not let him jerk your hands forward) and apply steady pressure. You must keep constant pressure with your legs as well, really pushing him forward into the "wall" formed by your hands. What you are trying to do is to get him to give to the pressure in your hands. When he does this, his head will come down and back. You will feel him slow down somewhat and his weight will transfer back underneath your saddle. When he does give to this pressure, release your hands, giving him his head back and letting him relax. In this way, you are rewarding him for giving to your pressure. You can repeat this process, at the trot and then once you feel comfortable with that, the lope. The idea behind this is that, eventually, when you want him to slow down at the lope, you can just take hold with your hands, push with your legs, and have him slow down for you.
He may also already know how to do this. This is just one idea I have. Good luck!
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post #5 of 16 Old 11-12-2011, 10:41 AM
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Sounds like my gelding at a trot. He prefers to lope, and prefers it fast.

Depending on my mood, sometimes I have him do s-bends (circles are reserved fro extreme cases). Sometimes I just ask him to canter, and keep him at it until it has lost some of its fun. Just IMHO: I think the s-bends work great for getting his focus back on me. I think the longer canter than he wants does a better job of getting his energy out.

I'll spend 5 minutes at a walk to stretch myself and him out first. But it seems he has some pent up energy, and I'm getting better results from giving 5 minutes to wearing the edge off than I do from constantly trying to keep him at a trot.

But I've only been cantering with him for a couple of months, so we'll see. I'll check in on this thread to see how others deal with it. I don't have enough experience to "know".
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post #6 of 16 Old 11-12-2011, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies!! They are helpful. I use a big gage twisted snaffle and a barrel saddle. He is a 19yo paint. He is a finished barrel horse who is essentially retired now that I own him. I ride the barrel pattern often but not at the fast pace he was nice used to. He gets ridden 5 days a week.
I think part of my problem is that once I realize he wants to go fast, I get scared and then I don't let him canter at all. I guess I should let him go and then "check and release" if I have to. The more I think about it the more I realize it's a confidence issue.
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post #7 of 16 Old 11-12-2011, 10:12 PM
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I am wondering why you got a finished barrel horse if you had it in mind to always go slowly...
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post #8 of 16 Old 11-13-2011, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=twh;1231389]I am wondering why you got a finished barrel horse if you had it in mind to always go slowly...
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Because he has a great temperament and he is a great pleasure horse and his competition career was over. I will ride him at a fast lope, I just don't wanna go full out on him.
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post #9 of 16 Old 11-13-2011, 12:08 AM
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I agree that the check and release is good. My gelding gets better with his speed when I tip his nose to the inside and use my legs to round him up.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #10 of 16 Old 11-13-2011, 12:48 AM
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Pull and give and pull and give. Taking the bit out of his mouth may help, and might avoid a battle of tug-of-war. I favor bitless nosebands / rope halters on badly rushy horses.
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