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My horse had western pleasure training a couple years ago but since then he had been doing hunters at his old home, but now that I have him I'm doing both English and a little western with him. I was riding him today and got him to do a really nice slow jog. If he starts out trotting too fast I can just squeeze the reins a little and he'll slow down a bunch and stay like that on a loose rein. But I can't get him to go slower at the canter really. Sometimes I can, and he'll be going a good speed, but most of the time it's really fast. He doesn't listen to my reins aids as much as he does at the jog. How can I slow him down at the canter? (I say canter because it's too fast still to be considered a western lope.)
 

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First off I realize in the pleasure world this probably isn't true but a lope and canter should be synonymous.

Anywho.

Ruling out pain (Some horses will go faster trying to get away from pain from saddle fit, teeth, the works) start him loping, lope for a few strides, then break him back down to a trot for a bit longer. Then lope a few strides, back down to a trot. This way he is automatically thinking "slow" when you get going "faster".
 

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I sit really deep and either hum (which it seems many western trainers do to slow them) or quietly go shhhhhhhhhhh as I sit deep. THey eventually get the idea to slow, if you reinforce it with rein in the beginning. I personally like all my horses to be totally "adjustable" in their gaits. That is something I always try to do with them anyway.
 

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First off I realize in the pleasure world this probably isn't true but a lope and canter should be synonymous.

Anywho.

Ruling out pain (Some horses will go faster trying to get away from pain from saddle fit, teeth, the works) start him loping, lope for a few strides, then break him back down to a trot for a bit longer. Then lope a few strides, back down to a trot. This way he is automatically thinking "slow" when you get going "faster".
English riders typically use the word 'canter' and western riders use 'lope.' A canter is much faster compared to a western lope.
 

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English riders typically use the word 'canter' and western riders use 'lope.' A canter is much faster compared to a western lope.

I am aware of what each discipline uses (I ride both) and like I said, it's probably not true for the pleasure world, but if we all went by that logic all western riders would be "loping slow" but then what would be call it when we sped up that lope, like in reining? Would we then call it a "canter"? And a lot of HUS horses now have a "canter" that resembles western pleasure. So would that be a "lope", too?

Sorry, the point to that is that both terms should use either one for the same thing.
 

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I am aware of what each discipline uses (I ride both) and like I said, it's probably not true for the pleasure world, but if we all went by that logic all western riders would be "loping slow" but then what would be call it when we sped up that lope, like in reining? Would we then call it a "canter"? And a lot of HUS horses now have a "canter" that resembles western pleasure. So would that be a "lope", too?

Sorry, the point to that is that both terms should use either one for the same thing.
I also ride both english and western so I am aware of both terms...and in reining most people would call it a gallop?
 

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I also ride both english and western so I am aware of both terms...and in reining most people would call it a gallop?
I never have in my years of showing it, my trainers does not, and never once have I met anyone who has.
 

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I am aware of what each discipline uses (I ride both) and like I said, it's probably not true for the pleasure world, but if we all went by that logic all western riders would be "loping slow" but then what would be call it when we sped up that lope, like in reining? Would we then call it a "canter"? And a lot of HUS horses now have a "canter" that resembles western pleasure. So would that be a "lope", too?

Sorry, the point to that is that both terms should use either one for the same thing.
Also HUS horses wouldn't go as slow as what a real western lope is...maybe slower then a canter, but I don't think it would be slow enough
 

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But from your perspective, a slower canter would automatically be considered a lope?



Is that technically a lope or a canter?

I'm not trying to pick on you here, It's just a major pet peeve of mine when a lope is automatically dubbed a slow western canter....
 

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I ride Western and I define a canter as a very collected Lope, so restricting those terms to the two disciplines is unnecessary and making this argument very useless.
I know that people haven't heard of canter defined that way but that's how I go with it, and I'm not the only one form around here who thinks of it that way.
 

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If your horse has western pleasure training he likely just needs to be reminded. In a couple of years they can get pretty rusty so start from scratch with him.
When you ask him to lope off does he accelerate (get faster and faster until he is more of an English Canter?) If so simply ask him to lope, sit nice and deep in the saddle, and if at stride 4 his lope is too fast stop him, relaxe him and ask him to lope off again until he gets too fast. The key is to make him realize that speeding up is going to equal a stop, and a restart which is very hard work for him.
As he gets better and he gets even a little rushed you can circle him back in a tight circle and that will slow him up. If it doesnt go back to the stop and restart until he gets it right again.
Welcome to the forum and best of luck.
 

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Lope = canter and vice versa.
I've said canter when I meant lope. I "lope" my reiner off, but she's technically "cantering"
Reiners never actually truly gallop. Most horses don't truly gallop that often.

OP like someone mentioned he probably just needs a refresher.
If he goes to fast, stop-back-roll back and go off the other way.
Do lots of lateral and bending exercises to get his body working the right way. Expect him to lope off slow, if he "canters" off then you may need to stop-back-roll back and continue.
 

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He may not be in good enuff shape to lope yet. It takes a lot for them to collect enough to go slow. Do some lateral exercises with him and keep reminding him of what you want.
 

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Agree, and a lope covers even less ground. IMO, there's lope, canter, extended canter, hand gallop, and gallop.
This is how I understand the gaits as well. I am also working to train my horse in WP and am taking lessons on a trained WP lesson horse. I can get a really nice, slow collected canter out of my gelding, but when I ride the lesson horse at a lope, the gait feels entirely different. The trainer says the lesson horse "shuffles" a bit, but I am still confused as to when I am getting a true lope. Maybe someone could describe how they count the beat of each?

In the canter I count - da-da-dum, da-da-dum, da-da-dum... rhythmic and steady at medium, fast and slow (don't know if this sounds right or not)

Lope- ????
 
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