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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Everyone knows I’m trying to get my horse to get the right lope lead right? So I have a question regarding that… When he gets the wrong lead, should I keep loping a couple laps, or immediately slow down to a trot and try again? Some people say just lope! Take him in tight circles! Make the wrong thing hard! And some people are like, noooooo just stop and try again! I just want to hear everyone’s opinion on which one is more effective…
 

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I'm not sure which is more effective, but I always bring my horse back to a trot and pick up the right canter lead right away.
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It depends on the horse. Normally I just bring the horse right back to a trot and try again. However I recently have been riding one horse who you can tell gets frustrated if I ask him to canter (pick up the wrong lead), and then bring him back to a trot. He starts to get very anxious each time that happens. With him I will canter usually at least 10 strides and then bring him back down and try again. He is much more calm about it if I do that with him.
 

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When he gets the wrong lead, should I keep loping a couple laps, or immediately slow down to a trot and try again?
You bring it right back right away and ask again. I don't see any point cantering around because horse won't even realize it did something wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You bring it right back right away and ask again. I don't see any point cantering around because horse won't even realize it did something wrong.
That is exactly why I asked :) I've heard a lot of people say that one is better than the other, but personally, I agree with you and wouldn't lope around on the wrong lead. It feels to unbalanced and out of control.
 

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I would bring him back to a balanced trot and ask again. I would increase my chances of success by doing a slight leg yield or shoulder-fore before asking for the lead again. Proper bend almost always guarantees the correct lead.
 

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I agree with Val, however, I must say that Pepperduck had a good observation in that sometimes the horse will become very frustrated if you pull them back and start again over and over. In a case like that, I would leave the canter altogether. So, if the took the wrong lead, and I brought them back and tried again and again but felt the horse was really getting frustrated and entering a place of mentally "battling" me, I'd leave the canter and work at trot on a loose rein to wipe the slate clean before trying again.
 

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Back in the day, I trained a gelding that saw loping for long periods as a kind of "punishment" (he was older, undiagnosed arthritis, etc so loping was probably uncomfortable for him but I was very young and didn't know better). In his mind, keeping him in the lope on the correct lead was "punishing" him for being on the correct lead.

We eventually figured out that to encourage him to pick up the correct lead, we could make him lope for a really long time on the incorrect lead, then when he got the correct lead, we loped on it for 2-3 strides, then stopped him and walked him out for 5 minutes, then repeated. To get him over the idea that cantering was bad, we started giving him carrot pieces as soon as he was back down to a walk after cantering on the correct lead. He eventually got the idea that cantering on the correct lead was the best thing EVER and we phased out the carrots.

Once we started teaching him that way, he got the idea really fast. Eventually we built up to loping on the correct lead for longer and longer.

Of course, that doesn't work for every horse but this horse was VERY "slow=good, fast=bad" so it worked well for him.

For my mare who is extremely "fast=good, slow=bad", stopping her when she picks up the incorrect lead works great. She wants to keep cantering so she works hard to get the correct lead and keep cantering.

To my mind, it really depends on the motivation of the horse, whether they want to be fast or slow.
 
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That is exactly why I asked :) I've heard a lot of people say that one is better than the other, but personally, I agree with you and wouldn't lope around on the wrong lead. It feels to unbalanced and out of control.
The big issue with letting it canter on wrong lead is that horse learns to do it and re-training it is much bigger hassle.

tiny, you don't just pull it back and start over. I agree with MBP, you establish a good trot/bend first to set a horse to success. If everything is in place it'll fall into the correct lead even on stiff side. You don't want to rush it into the canter just to start. :D
 
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Hm.
It depends on the horse, and the situation.

If you horse is AWARE of what a correct lead is, and is becoming frustrated- canter it whatever direction.

If you are TEACHING a correct lead, bring the horse back to trot, steady it up and ask for more inside bend and inside leg- that way the natural process is to hit off on the right leg.

When you have a horse like Duffy, that hasn't cantered before, if you get canter, it doesn't matter what it is- keep it. You can work on the correct lead after a week or so depending on the horse. If you pull the horse back, then it thinks canter isn't what you asked for- with a green horse, any reaction for forwards is better than none!
 
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