The lope is a three-beat gait.
One rear foot hits the ground followed by the other rear foot and the diagonal front foot.
Then the other front foot hits the ground.
Lope is the term used in Western riding for a canter.
During the lope (or at a faster gait, the gallop), the horse goes forward in a series of leaps.
As it lopes, the horse’s body is turned at a slight angle to the direction it is traveling.
In a circle, horses naturally lope on the inside lead.
If the rider simply collects the horse and uses stronger leg pressure than is required for the trot, the horse will lope on either the right or left lead.
The rider must guide the horse’s body into the correct angle for the lead, using the reins and legs.
For the left lead, collect the horse at the walk and lift its head slightly to lighten the forehand.
Do not lean forward.
To angle the horse’s body, move your right leg back a few inches and push the hindquarters slightly to the left.
Follow instantly with enough pressure to push the horse forward into the bit, but do not allow it to speed up.
At the same time, your left leg should put pressure at the cinch to increase forward motion.
Your body weight should be nearly centered, with a slight shift to the right (outside) sitting bone.
This lightens the left forequarter.
The horse should begin to lope from the walk without trotting.
It may be necessary to rein the horse slightly to the right to help pick up the lead.
Straighten the horse’s head as soon as it picks up the lead.
Reverse the aids for the right lead.
Your hands and arms should be relaxed enough to move with the horse’s head.
Locked arms tend to make a rider rock forward and back in the saddle.
Rigid posture is another cause of rocking.
Your back must be supple at the waist.
With practice and experience, a rider can feel whether or not the horse is on the correct lead.
When the horse’s body is angled away from the leading side, the saddle moves forward in a slight spiral, and the rider’s leg on the leading side is pushed ahead.
For example, when the horse is on the left lead, the rider’s left leg tends to move ahead.
Another way to check is to glance down, without tipping your head, at the horse’s leading shoulder, which naturally moves forward. (Do not lean over to look.) Left to itself, a horse often develops the habit of using one lead most of the time.
It may refuse to take the unaccustomed lead entirely.
Ask for a specific lead even on a pleasure ride to avoid this problem.
Using both leads also relieves strain on the horse’s legs.
The counter canter (the horse leading with the outside leg in a circle, or the outside Lope The 4-H Horse Project Riding and Showing 121 lead) is a good exercise to test the horse’s obedience and improve its balance.
Lead changes More advanced horses and riders may wish to try making smooth changes from one lead to the other.
The easiest method is to drop to a walk or trot and immediately pick up the opposite lead.
This is a simple change.
Try to take as few steps as possible between leads.
Another technique is the interrupted change.
Bring the horse to a complete halt, and immediately apply the correct aid to take the lope on the opposite lead.
There should be no walking or trotting steps.
The third type of change is the flying lead change.
The horse must change front and rear leads without dropping to a trot or walk.
If the horse misses the rear lead, it is called cross-centering, cross-firing, crossleading, or disunited.
When compared to an equal pattern using an alternate change, credit is given for a good flying change.
However, a simple or interrupted change with no mistakes is better than a flying lead change done poorly. across the neck.
Your outside leg should press against the horse’s side to help push it into the turn.
Your weight should stay upright in the center of the saddle.
If you are riding with two hands on the reins, pull the direct (inside) rein in the direction of the turn as lightly as possible.
Two hands are not used with a Western curb bit.
Move your hand back toward your body, not to the outside.
Loosen the outside rein slightly and lay it against the horse’s neck.
Your legs and weight work the same way as in neck reining.
The indirect rein aid is used to move the horse’s weight from one front shoulder to the other, bending only the head and neck.
The rein makes a line from the inner side of the bit, across the front of the withers, to the rider’s opposite hip.
One use for the indirect rein is to keep the horse from cutting corners, while still bending properly in the corners. Western Pleasure Western Pleasure is an event judged on a horse’s ability to be a pleasure to ride.
To be a pleasure to ride, a horse must be broke and quiet, soft and smooth, and go with little restraint.
In addition, the horse must meet the requirements of the class.
Western Pleasure—Pleasure Type and Pony Western Pleasure are class divisions and not separate events. Stops and Backs A good stop at every speed requires a definite set of aids to prepare the horse.
Give the voice command “Whoa” first.
Fix your hands in one position to set up a barrier with the bit.
Then, push the horse into the bit by squeezing the legs.
Sit deep, nearly on the tailbone, without leaning forward or back, to absorb the shock and avoid being jerked forward.
Grip with your thighs and put more weight on your heels to keep them low and underneath the body.
Do not shove your legs forward, as this pushes your weight back on the horse’s hindquarters and makes a good stop more difficult.
The horse should be trained to stop immediately when the reins apply pressure.
Relax the pressure on the bit once the horse has stopped, but maintain contact.
To back, give the horse a signal to move by squeezing with your thighs.
At the same time, create a barrier with the bit by setting your hand(s).
The horse cannot move forward, so it backs.
Relax the pressure on the bit as soon as the horse starts to back. Class routine Contestants show their horses at a walk, jog, and lope.
They are worked both ways of the ring at all gaits.
Horses may be asked for an extended jog.
The order to reverse is executed by turning away from the rail.
Riders should not be asked to reverse at the lope.
After rail work is complete, entries line up as directed.
Riders usually are asked to back. Scoring procedure Turns Turning requires a combination of reins, leg, and weight.
If the horse neckreins (turns with one hand on the reins), lay the outside rein against the horse’s neck in front of the withers without pulling on the bit.
Move your hand as little as possible, and try not to reach
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