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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have owned this horse for about a month and he is an all around show horse, I have currently gotten seriously involved in western eq and pleasure. Although I can’t find much about how my horses lope goes with these disciplines. If anybody has any suggestions or thoughts all is welcome! His way of moving, speed, headset, quality, etc!

https://youtu.be/QtC2k6czV-g

This link includes some simple changes as well, but I added extra jog steps to practice a better transition
https://youtu.be/UlRPdGDF9Jg

Thank you!
 

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Your horse is so pretty, and trying so hard, but he appears to be significantly lame in his hind end. He is very unhappy about taking a lope, and his hind leg movement is short, choppy and uneven. At first I thought it was his right rear, but I'm now not sure which, or , BOTH hind legs are very obviously 'off'. I think it is either something in the Sacro illiac area, or the stifle, and not sure , as I said, if it's one or both rear legs.



Has this horse been evaluated by a vet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, he has been to the vet many times and has been 100% every time. He was actually checked by a chiropractor/vet after that ride as well, because I wanted to learn some stretches and see if he was using his rear. He said that he is an amazing horse with excellent conformation and all sign point to an extremely “drive from behind/collected” horse.
Maybe his lope stride in the back isn’t as fluid as other more forward moving horses? But he is completely sound with no issues! He isn’t sore or lame and doesn’t have any discomfort moving in/out of the lope
 

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If he is not lame, then he has been subjected to training techniques that have corrupted his stride. He probably knows how to do the super slow lope without four beating but that takes a lot of work on his part. Probably since you don't know him, and don't know how to "make" him do it, he's not giving you any correct gaits or proper transitions. Either that or he is getting arthritis or other age related issues where he can't physically perform that slowly anymore - you don't say how old he is.

If you want a pleasure horse, you may need the help of a trainer who can get him to pick up the gaits cleanly and stay in them for you. Right now you are just practicing very poor quality gaits with incorrect stride, rhythm and timing.

Personally, I don't like this type of training that emphasizes super slow gaits that are difficult and unnatural for the horse, but that's just a personal opinion about WP. What I would do with this horse is get him to move out with an emphasis on a true three beat canter, and find the speed where he can get a very consistent tempo without too much effort. Then if you wanted him to go slower from there, you could work toward it, but always having him move out again if he lost a true three beat gait.

The idea of him not being "forward moving" is mostly due to mental block from his past training rather than physical conformation. He has not been allowed or encouraged to move naturally, so is trying his best to do what the rider wants, even if it is very unnatural and uncoordinated.
 

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Hiya I look forward to learning from others here. I just wanted to say that if my dog moved like that horse I'd be pretty concerned moreso if my own horse was doing that o_O Very unnatural looking to me and I consider myself blind to lameness, relying on others for a professional assessment. But I am not used to the wp disciplines but even still.... that aside tho I wish you the best of luck in getting it resolved!
 

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The horse's movement displays something commonly witnessed when watching "Western Pleasure" horses for several decades. I suspect the idea was to develop a very slow canter (lope). But in doing so, the canter degraded from a free-flowing three beat into an awkward four beat movement in many cases. This change from a three beat to a four beat can also be seen in other disciplines such as when riders try to perform a canter pirouette.

If you want to seriously show this horse, you must conform to what the show officials currently demand. If you want you horse to enjoy being ridden, you should allow him the freedom to move more naturally. If he has been taught to move this way and punished when moving more freely, you may have some difficulty convincing him that he is allowed to do otherwise.
 

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Even if we don't care for the horse's "lope" and what the horse is being used for by the OP, the horse is not doing it correctly for what is looked for in WP. Even with the four beat gait, the horse is supposed to have the appearance of the rhythm of a lope, and the rocking forward motion. Other than the first stride or so when the horse first picks up the lope, there is no consistent movement, and the horse's legs are not following an obvious pattern. The front and hind legs are doing various things, and the horse does not maintain a certain speed or level of forward momentum.
See this video for an example of a horse that is actually moving the legs in the correct sequence and rhythm for a lope.
 

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I have owned this horse for about a month and he is an all around show horse, I have currently gotten seriously involved in western eq and pleasure. Although I can’t find much about how my horses lope goes with these disciplines. If anybody has any suggestions or thoughts all is welcome! His way of moving, speed, headset, quality, etc!

https://youtu.be/QtC2k6czV-g

On the first video you posted, your horse is not truly loping. He's leaving his left front foot on the ground too long, so that it is still on the ground when he again puts his right hind on the ground (in the left lead you are doing). He almost doing a combination lope and trot. He needs to drive from behind better, so that he has a true 3-beat lope. He would not pin well right now because of that. You could almost mistake it for "bouncy trot".


He does the same thing in the second video. He's slightly better on the right lead than the left lead, but the lope is still "wrong". He's not 4-beating but he's not doing a true 3-beat gait where his body is suspended in the air before his hind foot hits the ground again.

I would continue to try find a trainer to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you he almost looks like he is troping in the back, he knows how to do a nice collected three beat lope but I can’t figure out when he’s doing it because they feel almost identical. I almost need a little camera that follows our movement so I can watch while riding!
 

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He looks like a horse who is significantly sore behind (SI, stifles, or hock soreness is extremely common in WP horses) or he's been ridden in such a way as to force him into an improper gait with total lack of impulsion, likely from someone hanging on his face. Navicular is also common in quarter horses, and sometimes that soft pitter-pat forelegs way of going is because the horse is sore. I'd want a full complete lameness exam by a good vet done, with radiographs, before thinking this was only a training problem.

Even going in what seems like slow motion, a good WP horse has nice impulsion from the rear and self-carriage. Your horse lacks that entirely. You'd do better to skip the WP trainer for now and get him into some dressage or working western training to get him moving properly before you ever ask him to slow it down again. He needs to relearn completely how to move properly under saddle. I had a horse like this come to me several years ago, and for 6 months, we worked on getting a true working trot and a true 3-beat canter by riding miles down the gravel roads until he realized he could actually step up and go somewhere without getting his face ripped on and shut down. I committed the cardinal sin of riding and let him go as fast as he wanted on the way home, as at first, that was the ONLY way he actually got a true lope. It was a pain in the rear, but he did figure it out.
 

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I find it hard to believe he is 100% sound.

He looks so irritated about the whole thing.



But, you asked about the headset. By looking at his neck, one can see that he has had some time, years perhaps, where someone spent way too much time worried about where he was putting his head, and perhaps snapping the reins on him to get that headset, and so he has pulled his neck backwards.

What does that mean? It means he has pulled his head back, like a turtle pulls its head backward, causing the part of the neck behind the 3rd vertebrae of the neck to arch up, and the part of the neck closer to the withers to drop down. It's not a true U neck, because it isn't conformational, but rather a result of making the horse tuck it's head back, possibly behind the vertical, and not riding the horse from the back to the front, meaning pulling the horse back by its face, rather than riding it up so that it naturally drops to a vertical position.
 

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Another horse, I am wondering what your thoughts are on this other particular horses’ lope?
https://youtu.be/ivbYvWdrDGQ

I agree with Tiny that the horse is a little better doing similar to what your horse is doing when they are on the left lead. They are maybe "slightly" better than what your horse is doing, but their lope is still off nonetheless. The horse does a bit better on the right lead for the footfalls, but I agree the hind end looks worse. This video is not a good example of a lope.


Look at this video for an example. Now, this horse often holds its head way too low (and they should have been penalized for that) but at least watch their leg movement in the trot and the lope. At the lope, the inside hind leg is reaching up under the horse quite well, for how slow the horse is traveling. The lope is smooth and has a true 3-beat gait.


 
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