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Discussion on Trot to a lope

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Daniel Halpin
Posted on Sunday, Mar 26, 2000 - 1:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have a Quarter horse gelding that goes from a beautiful, slow jog to a brain rattling rapid trot whenever he is asked to lope. He tosses his head a little and veers all over the arena. When he gets to the lope, it is a sloppy, bone jarring disaster. Everyone tells me he is just being lazy and that continued riding will make him more cooperative. I don't know how much more of his bullheadedness these old bones can stand! He was a quick cow horse last year while at the trainer's barn. Now he lives the 'good life' and does not seem to want to work. He will lope for a couple of very experienced riders, but even they cannot get him to maintain a lope more than once around the ring. Part of the problem is that he is gate sour, even though he does not get away with that manuver. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to convince him that a nice, easy lope is better than a rapid fire trot? I am tired of the constant fight.
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S. T. Bruce
Posted on Sunday, Mar 26, 2000 - 7:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'm not sure what a "quick" cow horse is but in working cattle many horses use a fast trot rather than a lope in heading the cow. It sounds as if your horse is not collecting himself prior to loping off, hence the need for the fast trot. He may have been allowed to fast trot first in handling cattle. You need to collect him up just prior to asking for the lope. Once you feel him collected (his back will raise) you can then release him into the lope.
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Pamela Griffin
Posted on Sunday, Mar 26, 2000 - 9:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Are you sure he is sound? I had a mare that wouldn't canter - ended up her hocks hurt her.
After injection she was much better. If he is sound then ditto the above message - you have to collect him into the lope. Can he lope from a walk?
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Daniel Halpin
Posted on Monday, Mar 27, 2000 - 10:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I watched this horse in training and he loped all around the arena, with a calf inside a circle, running down the wall, etc. with no problem. Yes, he can go from a walk to a lope without any trotting, depending on who is riding him. The problem is having to push him into doing it. He trots everyone to death at some point. My wife rode him yesterday and it was the same story. When he was in an open field, he was very well behaved and willing. When he was back on familiar territory (near the barn or in an arena) he lifted he head and had to be forced into a lope. The lope was still rough and short lived. His legs and back are fine. No swelling or soreness have been detected. She said that when she asked him for more leg speed, he bows his neck and turns his ears backwards, like he is listening to her and is collecting himself. Then she continues to que him to go into a lope, from a decent trot, and the before mentioned behavior begins. She thinks it may be his way of rebelling since he only does this where he is comfortable, not when he is in a strange place along the trail. My wife has such a close bond with this horse that she does not want to send him back to the trainer because she would miss him. But this problem is beginning to make everyone, including his 'Mom', pretty frustrated. Hopefully, one of you will have the answer to this problem!
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Lori Bailey
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 29, 2000 - 1:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

It sounds like maybe this horse has associated the area with something bad will happen, or even maybe he has been able to get away with not loping and it is working. I would go back to just making him answer the cue to lope and not worry about collection, until he gets the cue working. It might help to get a whip and tap him to encourage the cue. Don't allow him to trot faster, stop him if he does and cue with the whip again and again. He will figure it out as long as you keep doing the same cue. When he does respond pat him and quit for the day. Hope this will help, sometimes you just have to back up in the training when things don't work. It might help to go back to where it was working and work there for a while until he is consistant. Then try the problem area again.
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Daniel Halpin
Posted on Thursday, Mar 30, 2000 - 8:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Lori! We rode him for the past three days using the cues we are all familiar with and using a dressage whip. His attitude has greatly improved. Our NEW farrier came yesterday and confirmed our suspicions that our now former farrier had done a poor job shoeing this horse. That correction made a big difference in the horse's stride. Thanks to everyone.
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Les Potter
Posted on Monday, Apr 10, 2000 - 2:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am unfamiliar with the terminology here. What do you mean by "collecting" the horse? Also, what cues do you use to make the horse lope or trot? For my horse, I just simply kick backward and go Kck Kck to get him to go faster. If that isn't enough, I use the end of the reign on him. I have never had any "formal" training on what is the proper way to "cue" a horse. I just ride him. Perhaps I am missing something I should know. Thanks.
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S. T. Bruce
Posted on Monday, Apr 10, 2000 - 10:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Unless you plan to show your horse in one of the disciplines that requires it, you won't need to worry about collection. I show in Western Pleasure in AQHA events. In order for the horse to perform well he must be collected especially at the lope. A collected horse moves off his rear usually at a much slower pace than an uncollected horse. To cue my horses into a lope, I squeeze until the horse raises his back, at the same time I'm restricting his forward movement with the bit or bosal. After I feel the back raise I simply use my off leg to move his hip to the inside and release him. He moves into the lope on the next step. Kicking won't produce a collected lope off. The cues used by most people I know is a squeeze with both legs to produce a trot and aforementioned sequence to produce a lope.
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Elly2 (Elly2)
Posted on Saturday, Sep 23, 2000 - 9:22 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Can anyone explain to me explicitly how to collect the horse at a lope and slow him down for the WP lope used in the show ring. My horse will lope 1-2 candence on the long line, but when I am on his back he lopes a bone jarring cadence. Do you keep your legs squezzed on him all the time during the lope while you are restricting his forward movement? Thanks Elly
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mike phillips
New Member
Username: Dell

Post Number: 1
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, Nov 18, 2002 - 11:18 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have five horse that have been in my pasture for a period of 9 years to a colt of 6 months old. Within the past 4 months they have ALL begun to crib. They are destroying $$$$ of fence. Tried 2 kinds fo spray and collars. HELP!!!! Never cribbed before and their feed and hay is basically the same.
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Christine C. Mills in NC
Member
Username: Chrism

Post Number: 855
Registered: 4-1999
Posted on Monday, Nov 18, 2002 - 12:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Mike -

Are you sure they are cribbing and not just chewing the fence? What is the pasture like? How is their weight holding up?

If they are just chewing on the fence, the pasture is eaten down and they are looking a tad slim, this suggests to me they may need more "scratch" - i.e. hay, fed more frequently throughout the day, or even free choice.

You can also protect the fence line by running mesh wire on the inside of the fence.
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