lovemacy

Eeek! Transitioning Into The Lope

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a couple of months ago i bought a breeding stock paint mare who knew nothing and she's coming along really nicely. she walks and trots with a very nice relaxed headset but when i ask her to go into the lope she shoots her head up and kind of roughly jumps into the lope. i know the in order for them to take off into the lope you need to move their hip and i try to do this but maybe i am not doing it right? any insiders tips points etc. i might be able to post a video of her if needed.

thanks

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First of all, welcome to HC! We're glad to have you on board.

If you get a video, that always helps.

Hmm... out of curiosity how does her tack fit? Have you run your hand down her back/body for areas she might be in pain? I might check for pain first, once that is ruled out it comes down to training both horse and rider. (Which I'll leave to others who can explain things much better) ;) There are many people here with great advise.

Best of luck!

Edited by Running_Free

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Just an observation but you don't want to transition them from a trot into a lope. It becomes an extremely hard problem to break.

the reason you don't want to is that the lope needs to be collected. when you're trotting and ask them to canter they usually throw their heads up in the air, hollow out their back, and get faster and faster before they transition. it's not pretty and it sounds as if thats what your horse is starting to do.

What I did to teach my 3 yr old to lope is used rollbacks, but you need to have complete shoulder control and have them pretty broke to do them. But really getting them to lope is all about the energy that you give them through your hips. You're helping them and and pushing them into a lope with your body energy.

good luck!

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thanks play!

that makes a lot of sense. i actually have quite a few videos and they all have helped alot and i have started teaching her rollbacks (although its hard beause of the icky rain i havent gotten in a lot of riding time) but i will definantly start working on that!

thanks!

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The first few times that a horse lopes with a rider are not going to be it's greatest, the horse is going to need to find balance, and that takes some loping so get through the rough patch and let the horse lope and get balanced. After the horse understands the cues to lope, and you are getting good response then work on refinement. Most horse will pop their heads when loping off, after a bit of loping you can ask to have the collection from the start but I think if you ask for "everything" to be right from the first lope you will frustrate the horse. Take it in steps and realize that the lope will be the hardest gait to perfect (in my opinion) so take your time and do lots of loping, staying out of the horses face and try to sit relaxed, not leaning forward, and it will come.

I personally don't have a problem with letting a horse go into the lope from the trot to begin as your goal to begin is just to get the lope. Which ever way is easiest to begin, as making the walk-lope transition may be too hard and your goal is to make it as easy as possible and not make it an issue, a couple of trot steps will be easy to fix after you get the cue taught.

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I have a smiliar problem with the horse i'm currently training; never been cantered.

Before you canter, go into these steps;

- slowww trot. (no posting - if you are at the normal trot)

- NO OUTSIDE LEG. That's the biggest mistake you can make on a horse just learning to canter. With your inside leg only, squeese. (not kick!)

- Give her alot of reign.

- Kiss if she doesn't pick it up right away.

She should pick it up much easier that way :)

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she picks up the lope and i have loped tons of circles on her its just when she transitions into the lope its sloppy and she shoots her head up i want to teach her to keep her head down and transition into it slowly..but miles will cure that im sure

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Miles yes but teaching her a better head set couldn't hurt either. As reinin4fun brought up you want that forward motion first so you don't want to get in a horse's way when you are teaching them to lope off. Have you introduced verticle flextion to this horse yet, perhaps through my favorite avenue of lateral flexing? When you ask for her nose with two reins at the stand still, walk or trot, will she come back to you and tuck her nose? Or is her first inclination to grab the bit and root out in front? If she understands rein pressure and is responsive to the cue then you should be able to start asking for her nose at the canter but don't hold her in it. Just ask, let her tuck and then pitch those reins right back at her. You are just trying to create the correct response at first. Once you have that working consistently you can begin to ask for her head for longer periods and while she's soft and giving to you, now you want to "drive" her up underself and work on collection. Just get her to understand that rein pressure only means stop if your body has stopped riding. If you are still riding with your seat and legs engaged but you take up with the rein you just want her to soften and give to you from the poll. The canter is pretty exciting to a horse that doesn't get to practice it very often so this is a common problem. So, practice the gait as often as possible and while you are loping around just remember to keep asking and releasing the moment she gives to you. Make the correct response to rein pressure a good habit and a learned response by always rewarding her give.

Have fun with it

William (historyrider)

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I disagree totally with no outside leg. Teach the horse the correct cues for a lope from the beginning

Also make sure your horse understands leg aids and has body control.

This horse is not a green horse loping for the first time, but one that has learned to be resistant in the front end, instead of rounding and driving up into the lope from behind

Make sure the horse has good body control and is soft at the slower gaits first.

Moving the hip into the lead and asking the horse to drive up correctly from behind with outside leg, will not in itself be effective if you just let that momentum and form dribble out the front.

You need to be able to hold with rein however much it takes at first, to have that horse remain light on the bit, face on the verticle, shoulders up, driving into the lope from behind , while not changing frame.

Yes, lots of rollbacks to the outside of the circle, loping just a half circle or one circle , help, as long as you have that horse set up correctly to pick up the new lead, don't let them dribble into it, and make them stay soft in the face and poll.

A horse that has gotten really bad at throwing their head, might need to have draw reins applied for a few sessions, to help him keep form while transitioning to the lope . Use them only if you understand how to use them correctly, and then go to riding without them asp.

Legs, legs legs, driving the horse while holding the horse with reins until he softens, will fix transitions

No, miles will not cure it. You have to show the horse the correct way and reward it. This horse has developed a bad habit (incorrect form ) , going into a lope and it won't be fixed with miles doing it the same way

When you ask for the lope and she just wants to elevate head and stick nose out (resistance). stop and back her up until she is light in the hands and giving correctly at the poll. Position her again correctly for the lead you want and ask again. Don't let her continue loping until you have a soft transition. She knows how to lope-thereofe loping more isn't going to help. Working on the actual transition, not letting her lope on when it is bad, is the answer.

Edited by Smilie

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HUGE ditto to everyone but the person who said "no outside leg"! Teach it right the first time. Don't 'reward' poor form/behavior. Because you're working on the transition, don't lope for too long. Lope for only one wall of the arena, or half of a wall, then transition down to a trot. Reward relaxation and good frame. Trot a few strides, 8 or 10, then ask for the lope again. Keep doing it over and over until she does it well. Historyrider gave some good advice, as well as Smilie.

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PS

If you wish to see a good video on transititions, I just picked up a DVD with Cleve Wells that deals with transititions, both up and down

While the average riding horse does not need that degree of technical correctness, the concepts still can apply to any horse.

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