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lope why??

This is a discussion on lope why?? within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

     
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        11-13-2008, 08:38 PM
      #11
    Trained
    Wow! I'm glad I saw this one. I was wondering about this myself when I was showing.

    When I was first training my paint I had just gotten him to start cantering and my friend and I took our horses to a show out of town. Well, they didn't want to be separated. Her horse is a year older than Hunter so she had a little more work done with hers than I had with mine and she had her slow canter down but Hunter and I just had one speed. (I'm not a fan of the slow canter anyway..) So I was just thrilled that I got Hunter to canter in the ring! He'd rarely do it as he was still unsure... So anyway he was in there givin'er and we got by Erin and Gunther and Gunther wanted to stay by Hunter so he sped up and boy did Erin get mad at me!! I got yelled at lol. But I couldn't help it!
         
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        11-17-2008, 09:24 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by horsey*kisses    
    lol I think I answered this same question a couple of weeks ago lol

    Alright for example if you had to ride your horse for two or more days straight would you like to do it at a trot or a easy canter??
    When horses were still the only way to get around and the real cowboys were slinging guns and all that they taught their horses to stay in step with the cows at the faster paces with a canter instead of a trot so the cowboys werent as saddle sore and for men....welll.....it was just eaiser lol
    So western pleasure is the ideal western horse and well that was it lol
    I always read that cowboys prized gaited horses for much the same reason.

    This post, however, reminds me of a conversation that comes up every so often. I ride western. For no particular reason, I have always refused to post the trot. (I can do it, I just refuse to out of stubborness). My horse, however, has a trot that is smooth. When told that I must post for my comfort and the horses, my response is "if you can't easily sit the trot, it isn't your fault - it's the horse's. You simply need a new horse."

    Yes, a smooth slow lope is good for long comfortable distances. But a gaited horse is better and a comfortable ground eating trot can be just as good!

    :)
         
        11-20-2008, 05:19 AM
      #13
    Showing
    The really slow exaggerated lope became the fad in the late 70's and early 80's I think. Judges began to judge the "peanut rollers" higher than the natural moving horses. They are getting better now but it still looks like an unnatural gait to me. Most horses with the "peg-leg" motion for western pleasure are really not that pleasurable to ride. It is rough and tends to just feel weird.As for you guys on the green horses with the fast lopes, don't concern yourselves with controlling speed perfectly yet. As long as the horse is not running away with you, let him go at his speed. When he gets to going too fast, just give a little pressure and let him know "hey, slow down a little" and nothing more. If you keep him on the bit all the time, they will tend to start nosing through the bridle. Cruise control will come with time. :)
         
        11-22-2008, 04:19 PM
      #14
    Foal
    I heard that when people were herding cattle they needed their horses to preserve energy so they could keep...cattleing... without their horse getting tired. I don't know if this is strictly true.
         
        11-24-2008, 03:02 AM
      #15
    Weanling
    I really dislike the whole super low head set, slooooow jog, slooooow lope of the Western Pleasure horses (at least the last time I checked) it looks so unnatural and choppy to me. But leave it to us humans to take something beautiful (the way a horse moves naturally) and twist it to a ridiculous extreme for sake of fashion and trends. Another perfect example: teacup hooves on big bulky halter QH's...........the DA who first went in that direction obviously didn't have the horses interests at heart.
         
        11-27-2008, 12:37 AM
      #16
    Foal
    The first time you ride a slow western lope- yes, it feels funny, but when you consistently ride and show it, it's the best thing ever...same with the jog. It is smooth, and easy to feel (why do you think so many pleasure riders win Egg and Spoon? ;])

    The thing a lot of people don't (or refuse to) understand is that these horses are BRED to be slow legged and travel with the classic WP headset. A GOOD WP prospect is one that carries itself slow and low from a very young age and only requires the teaching and refinement of aids during training with minimal slowing down done by the trainer. The ones that are naturally more fast with a higher headset are the ones who give off the "artificial, forced" look.

    A fast lope/slow gallop looks VERY uncontrolled next to a slow loper and therefore will be marked down since part of what's being judged is how much of a "pleasure" the horse is to ride.
         
        11-27-2008, 12:22 PM
      #17
    Foal
    I think the main reason I have a hard time getting my head 'round the Western Pleasure mindset is that for me the main 'pleasure' I get from horse riding is from feeling the power and drive in a spirited horse, going fast, having the wind in my face from the motion and my arms full of mane.

    It's that feeling on sitting on a tame volcano, so to speak. You feel the horse alert and awake, wanting to run and always wanting to go faster but they keep that in check just because you ask them to and you're a team and then regularily, when the ground is good and it's safe, you allow them to go as fast as they want (without breaking up into gallop, although sometimes that too) and yeah, the bliss..

    I understand travelling for hours. I've done multiple day (my longest one was around 8 days) horse treks with between 7-10 hours in the saddle per day. That was on Icelandics and I really 'get' why you'd want gaited horses for travelling, 'cos that's a smooth ride in a full range of speeds.

    But yeah I don't get why anyone would want to breed such low headset, slow moving horses. It just doesn't look like much pleasure (to me! NB) to ride at all. Maybe I'm just a speed and power junkie. Heh..

    Also from seeing Western Pleasure shows it looks too slow from a travelling point of view. It'd take aages getting anywhere moving at those speeds. I don't think even herds of cows move that slow.

    Having said all that though, I've never tried it so I don't know what it feels like.
         
        11-27-2008, 02:03 PM
      #18
    Foal
    Today's WP horses are bred for the arena, not for working cattle or going out on trails (otherwise they'd be, well, working cow horses or trail horses).

    They are also not made to be
    "always wanting to go faster but they keep that in check just because you ask them to and you're a team and then regularily, when the ground is good and it's safe, you allow them to go as fast as they want"
    I guarantee if you get on a NATURALLY bred WP horse and ask them to go as fast as they want, you won't get much
    The thrill and adrenline us WP riders get is going out in a huge class and making a cut or winning the class- there is no better feeling than seeing your TEAM WORK pay off. We have bonds with our horses and if we don't get along, it's obvious.

    Also, WP horses aren't dead, expressionless horses who have no personality.
    They run, they buck, they snort, and have a good time out in the pasture although I must say my guys look like wusses trying to "run' with my gamer and trail horse...they couldn't keep up if they tried (because they are NATURALLY slow legged).
    My gelding (who will be an all-around pleasure horse) follows me EVERYWHERE, he sees me and nickers, stands at the fence and watches me walk away...obviously he is a happy horse that shares a great bond with me.
         
        11-27-2008, 02:28 PM
      #19
    Foal
    I'm not disputing at all that the naturally bred WP horses are happy, well cared for and in good harmony with their riders/owners, or that they're bred to move like that. I'm absolutely sure your gelding leads a good life.

    The thing I didn't understand is why, well.. anyone would on purpose breed a horse like that, but I think that that's because I'm coming from a horse culture that really values speed, power and somewhat feisty horses.

    I'm also not particularly competitive and while I very much enjoy working with horses I've never really found the urge to compete so that doesn't hold much appeal. When it comes to barrel racing, cutting and jumping I can see the appeal. I really enjoy herding horses and sheep (I've never worked with cattle though) and while I've not jumped so far it looks like a fun activity in itself and barrel racing looks like a lot of fun, since I enjoy galloping and doing tight turns while herding when that's called for. Dressage is slightly different but I can see the use of the lower levels there as a really good grounding to make sure your horse is supple and balanced and in good shape so it'll be even better on the trails or when herding etc.

    Thank you for your response, it's really interesting to see just how many different ways there can be to keeping and riding horses.
         
        11-27-2008, 03:00 PM
      #20
    Foal
    I wasn't necessarily addressing everything you wrote in my last post...I just like to point out and disprove some of the misconceptions (one of which is that these horses have no personalities).

    "The thing I didn't understand is why, well.. anyone would on purpose breed a horse like that, but I think that that's because I'm coming from a horse culture that really values speed, power and somewhat feisty horses."

    Because there is a market and competitive venue for them ;)
    There is NOTHING better than working with a calm, willing horse who would walk off a cliff if you asked them to...don't get me wrong, I love my speed events (I run barrels as well) but the feisty "NO-sayer" attitude of some of those horses drives me NUTS.
         

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