Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Four Stages of Loping

Sounds like a Larry Miller comedy bit, if you can remember back that far. The four stages of loping:

Stage one: Lope your horse
Stage two: Lope them some more
Stage three: And, lope them some more
Stage four: When you think they have had enough loping, lope them some more.

Now, I thought we were most of the way through stage three and getting to stage four, but now I think we've just barely scratched the surface of stage two. Saturday we went out alone because Ranae was riding in the mountains (lucky girl, I had a class on Saturday). After warming up in the alfalfa field we headed for our nice field by the Airpark and worked on rollbacks into the fence. She's still fighting me on this one. We spent much of the time working on our circle and actually did a little follow-the-fence. She really anticipates when we do the rollback (Of course she does. She doesn't want to bump into the fence with her nose.) It is improving...slowly.

We worked on it for about 15 minutes and she had a good sweat going. We took a short break and did some sidepassing, backing, and flexing. And then we did a little more rollback work. Then we just loped around the 9 acre field, changing leads, doing small circles when she got fast, and going the opposite direction she wanted to go.

We trotted off and made the loop down the canal and around back home. The GPS said we had been riding for about an hour, 45 and we had an average speed of 4.4 mph. As we were going along the canal, her trot was a bit fast and we did a LOT of transitions from walk to canter, canter to trot. She never really slowed down. And, it's not because we are pointed home (I don't think) because going down the canal we ride past our house for a mile to hit the street that we need to cross the canal. My conclusion: Lope them some more.
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