Monday, August 16, 2010

Two New Gaits

After I spent last week house/puppy-sitting and thus not getting to the barn, Steen and I had another good ride today. We did the same route again, and he was a little better behaved the whole way around. We walked for most of the ride, and I loped him again for two sections of the route. After the second lope he was inclined to prance, so instead of getting him frustrated by yanking on the bit constantly, I worked on pushing him from one side of the grassy strip to the other using my leg and a little contact on the bit. He yielded beautifully, so I'd just push him back and forth across the margin a few times until he calmed down. I think the yielding helped engage his mind and once he started thinking again, he stopped prancing.

I must say it is very enjoyable and exciting for me to have loping be a regular part of my ride experience again. Steen's lope is very fast and energetic at this point and he gets riled up after we run, but I've never worked him consistently at the lope before, which means no one has. So I'm looking forward to getting this gait dialed in a bit better (even if it comes with its less desirable cousin - the prance).


  1. I've also just started loping again with my guys, and am getting similar side-effects. It's less of a prance, in my case, and more of a really excited, bouncy, stiff trot. I've gotten good, consistent, lopes from both my horses (good being a bit of a relative term with Tranikla), but it's been awhile. It seems like every time I start getting settled at the lope, something comes up that keeps me from loping for a good chunk of time. But I'm able to get a pretty consistent nice trot from Tranikla now. :)

    Hopefully you'll be able to get in some good loping before winter hits.

  2. Love the new look!

    Loping. My favorite gait!

  3. Erica: I'm glad you're getting your lope-time too. Too bad we can't do it together. :(

    Tammy: Thanks! And yeah, I love loping. I distinctly remember the very first time I ever loped, my exact thought was, "I want to spend as much of my life doing this as possible."


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