01-10-2012, 11:35 AM
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Sounds like either a control/cueing issue on the rider's part or the horse may be out of shape, not ridden in a while, or ridden by poor or inexperienced riders.
I had a similar situation with my mare who had a 10-year absence from riding when I found her. She would go into an extended trot when asked to lope (we do western riding) and then when she finally did get into the lope, would go back to a trot intermittently. Then when she progressed to loping circles, she went super fast. I had to keep on working with her to build up muscle and stamina, and eventually she remorphed back into the great horse that she is today. She lopes at the speed I ask, and can do slow controlled loping in circles. People tell me they can't believe she is 16 years old and had three foals. She used to be a cutting horse and super athletic. Anyway, enough bragging on my horse...
If I were you, as others suggested, I would ask a trainer or very experienced rider to ride her to evaluate her skills, and then watch you ride to see if they can give you any pointers. And by all means, please get her a decent saddle! Good luck!