odin for pcLoping our horses is not something we trail riders do very often. For me, certainly not often enough! It seems that in order for a horse to be good at loping we have to spend time doing it. Lots of time. Not just a circle every now and then. In order for us to get comfortable at loping we have to practice as well.
We do spend time getting our horses to navigate sometimes treacherous terrain at a slow pace to be safe. The opposite of loping. So, this week the focus will be on getting better at this skill.
Julie Goodnight’s Horse & Rider, February, 2011, article “Sitting the Lope” gives good advice on how to achieve a smooth ride. She uses a “push a swing” description for riding the lope. I’ve also seen a “hula hoop motion” used to describe the rider’s hip action in the saddle. Every little description helps!
When faced with a basic problem, Clinton Anderson is my go to people trainer. He is so good a keeping it simple enough for anyone to understant and I’ve always had great success with his methods. He makes it pretty clear in his article, “To Get a Great Lope, Lope!”, in Horse & Rider, that this is something that takes alot of time and you’ve got to commit. He also gives two different directions to use with different types of horses, which I hadn’t heard before. That’s why I keep reading and watching…always looking for that one little message imbedded in an article or a demonstration that no one had addressed before!