difference between trot & jog? how about canter & lope? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 02-26-2020, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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difference between trot & jog? how about canter & lope?

Hiya, My eldest is doing Cert 1 in Equine Studies this year & today was their first prac day, at a QH stud & training facility, Western oriented. They got to ride in a Western saddle & now they want one

So... Darcy just asked me what is the diff between a jog & a trot, or a lope and canter. I said it was just Western v's traditional terminology for the same thing. But seems that's not correct, in these people's eyes at least. Darcy was on lunch, watching a different class lunging horses(why they didn't feel they could butt in to ask), and they were telling the students to "ask for a jog... now ask for a trot... see the difference?" and "get him to lope... now get him to canter... see the diff?"

So, can you please enlighten us, what IS the difference?
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post #2 of 37 Old 02-26-2020, 06:18 AM
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I thought a jog was slower than a trot, and a lope was slower than a canter. Seems like the lope is a very slow, round gait, with lowered neck whereas the canter is more "up". But I'd love to hear what others say.
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post #3 of 37 Old 02-26-2020, 06:23 AM
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I was taught jog is slower than a trot with less animation and smaller ground covering motion of the body.
Same for a lope versus canter...slower in speed, but also smaller movements of the horses body and less "action" of motion of the body as a whole...
I hope you could understand that.... but basically western gaits to me are slower speed, motion and primarily leg action than riding the English larger gait with a bot more impulsion of ground covering wanted/needed.
This is what I was taught that would apply say to a equitation class...have "0" idea about western pleasure cause to me that is a foreign looking horse performing not anything natural to me about carriage and gaits.


I find riding western is as much "work" for me as riding English to keep the body aligned, quiet. sightless cues given and being a partner to my horse when in the show ring...
Now, allow me to go trail ride and complete pleasure it is for both horse and I enjoying our scenery and time together...no not-picking to be just so.

...
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post #4 of 37 Old 02-26-2020, 06:41 AM
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Ok, so thirty five years ago, it was pretty much the same thing. In western pleasure, they liked to call the slow trot a jog. As far as gait, it's the same thing but slower. As with anything over the years, people have a tendency to want to exaggerate things to stand out. The jog is still the same two beat gait as a trot only sloooowwweeerrrr. In English, it would be a slow trot so we are now back to calling the same thing two different names.

Imagine if someone came to watch people riding, and they've always rode english and have never seen western riding. They make a comment "That horse has a really nice canter" Another person who's ridden western all of their lives says "Oh no, that's a lope" The english person is scratching their heads as they are seeing this three beat gait duh duh duh- duh duh duh They ask "What is a lope?" the other person "That right there" English person "that's a canter if I've ever seen one"

I personally don't see any difference unless you want to differentiate it by speed but it's still the same gate. There is obviously a difference between a canter/lope as opposed to a gallop. Three beat vs four beat.

Personally, I think that if you want to differentiate between speeds in the same gait by calling them different names that is fine but it's still the same gate. Wouldn't it be less confusing to call it the specific gate with a speed attached to it? Or is this too boring?
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Last edited by LoriF; 02-26-2020 at 06:48 AM.
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post #5 of 37 Old 02-26-2020, 07:27 AM
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One good way to see the difference between the two styles would be to look up on the computer an AQHA western pleasure class to see how they move at the jog and lope, then look up a Hunter Equitation class to see how the movement is at the trot canter. I would suggest you don't look at AQHA for the English class in order to get a better variation, but even AQHA hunter under saddle should show some difference
This should give your children an idea of the difference.

I looked up an AQHA west pl class one time and at the lope my husband came over and looked at the screen. he said "all those horses are lame, what's going on?"
He is not a horse person and that was just his observation.
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post #6 of 37 Old 02-26-2020, 07:40 AM
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I had the opportunity to ride an Appendix a few years ago. To my English-trained self, the 'jog' was slower, yet also had a decidedly lateral movement in the hinds, and I was told that this is typical of a quarterhorse jog. So, I believe that breeding also comes into play in defining the difference. In asking your child to feel the difference, perhaps it was speed as well as laterality.
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post #7 of 37 Old 02-26-2020, 07:52 AM
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I've ridden a couple of western horses who had amazing jogs. You just sort of... set it and forget it. Once they're in a jog, they seem quite happy to maintain it. The last horse I own had been a western horse up until I bought her (I was a pony clubber, so it was all English with me), but had all the buttons. She could jog at the same speed as a walk, and it was relaxed and smooooooth.

I was putting exercise rides on a friend's western horse a couple of summers ago, and while he wouldn't go AS slow, he still had jog as a very distinctly separate thing from his trot. Again, you could just put him into it, and totally relax. His trot, however, was quite fast and animated.

Both of these horses had pretty big canters, though, so I don't think I've ridden a real "lope."
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post #8 of 37 Old 02-26-2020, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Hiya, My eldest is doing Cert 1 in Equine Studies this year & today was their first prac day, at a QH stud & training facility, Western oriented. They got to ride in a Western saddle & now they want one

So... Darcy just asked me what is the diff between a jog & a trot, or a lope and canter. I said it was just Western v's traditional terminology for the same thing. But seems that's not correct, in these people's eyes at least. Darcy was on lunch, watching a different class lunging horses(why they didn't feel they could butt in to ask), and they were telling the students to "ask for a jog... now ask for a trot... see the difference?" and "get him to lope... now get him to canter... see the diff?"

So, can you please enlighten us, what IS the difference?

I ride western, your kid probably rode a pleasure horse. A jog is a slow comfortable trot (you can easily move with the horse), it should he slow and relaxed. A lope is just an easy nice and balanced canter. Controlling the speed with your seat and voice cues is important. (you can say hmmmmmm to make em go slower and go sit deeper too. Or you can say easssssyyyy to make them transition from one type to another but you will still have to use seat and leg cues too to tell the horse exactly how much you want him to slow down. If you take of your legs and say easy a well trained reining horse may very well hit the breaks hard... :p) I learned to only take up contact when the horse doesn't respond to the seat. It depends on how the horse was trained, some ppl ride them with contact and a bit, some use neck reining and bitless. You need to learn this by 'feeling' it. This can be done by riding a well schooled horse that knows what to do. This will give your kid the aha erlebnis and they will know what it should feel like. ;)
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post #9 of 37 Old 02-26-2020, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteadyOn View Post
I've ridden a couple of western horses who had amazing jogs. You just sort of... set it and forget it. Once they're in a jog, they seem quite happy to maintain it. The last horse I own had been a western horse up until I bought her (I was a pony clubber, so it was all English with me), but had all the buttons. She could jog at the same speed as a walk, and it was relaxed and smooooooth.

I was putting exercise rides on a friend's western horse a couple of summers ago, and while he wouldn't go AS slow, he still had jog as a very distinctly separate thing from his trot. Again, you could just put him into it, and totally relax. His trot, however, was quite fast and animated.

Both of these horses had pretty big canters, though, so I don't think I've ridden a real "lope."

why do you think I ride western? Lol. Those horses are a dream to ride. The cantering can indeed be really fast and extreme on reining horses, but they are taught to speed up along certain lines in the riding area so... :p I definately learned to stick to the saddle on those horses, haha.

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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post #10 of 37 Old 02-26-2020, 09:35 AM
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As already noted, imo, they are the same footfalls/gait for jog/trot and for lope/canter. The jog should be easily sit-able by the rider as it's a slower cadence/tempo, whereas a trot may or may not be sit-able and may require the rider to post for balance and to avoid bouncing. Yes, the jog can have more of a side to side feel, depending on the horse. The lope is a slower, softer version of the canter. Neither jog or lope should be so slow as to change the footfalls, as in the artificial movements seen in modern Western Pleasure Classes too often. It might be helpful to think of the difference in jog vs trot, for example as similar to the difference in Dressage for free walk vs working walk, or working trot vs extended trot,,,similar as in difference in length of stride and implulsion.

Anyhow, that's my take on it and my limited understanding.

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