All Around Western Lope - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-21-2019, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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All Around Western Lope

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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post #2 of 17 Old 04-21-2019, 11:41 PM
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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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post #3 of 17 Old 04-22-2019, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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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 ďdrive from behind/collectedĒ horse.
Maybe his lope stride in the back isnít as fluid as other more forward moving horses? But he is completely sound with no issues! He isnít sore or lame and doesnít have any discomfort moving in/out of the lope
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-22-2019, 02:31 AM
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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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post #5 of 17 Old 04-22-2019, 06:12 AM
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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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post #6 of 17 Old 04-22-2019, 07:12 AM
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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.

Training riders and horses to work in harmony.
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-22-2019, 07:36 AM
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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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post #8 of 17 Old 04-22-2019, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys for all your help, I’m trying to find a trainer nearby, but I live in such a small community nearly no one trains WP horses
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post #9 of 17 Old 04-22-2019, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetsecret View Post
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 canít 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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post #10 of 17 Old 04-22-2019, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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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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