Start Date Start Date
End Date End Date
Category All Categories
  • All Categories
  • Academy
  • Academy Horse
  • Clinician
  • Clinton Anderson
  • Clinton Anderson Clinics
  • Clinton Anderson Horses
  • Clinton Anderson Performance Horses
  • Clinton Anderson Signature Horses
  • Downunder Horsemanship - General
  • Downunder Horsemanship App
  • Downunder Horsemanship Clinic
  • Downunder Horsemanship TV
  • Downunder on YouTube
  • Expos
  • Fundamentals with Phoenix
  • Method Ambassadors
  • No Worries Club
  • Shop Downunder Horsemanship
  • Sponsors
  • Training Tips
  • Uncategorized
  • Walkabout Tours
by Downunder Horsemanship

Training Tip: How to Achieve a Slow Lope Without Four-Beating

Question: How do you get a horse to do a pleasure lope and not have the horse break down to a trot on the back feet and lope on the front feet? – Cowgirlb

Clinton’s Answer: The secret to getting a horse to lope slowly is to practice and practice and practice and then practice some more. There is no shortcut to training a horse to lope slowly; it’s something your horse will develop the more you work with him. I lope my horses so much that they learn to conserve their energy and lope slowly. The lope is a three-beat gait. For example, the horse’s left hind foot will hit the ground, then his right hind and left front will hit the ground, and finally, his right front foot will hit the ground. There are distinct times in which the horse’s feet hit the ground.

A horse that moves so slowly that he breaks gait, where he’s loping with his front feet but trotting with his hind feet, is just an ugly sight. You’ll see a lot of western pleasure horses do this. If your horse does that, let him commit to the mistake and then speed him up. Squeeze his sides with the calves of your legs, kiss to him or spank him with the end of your reins if you need to until he picks up the lope again. If you’re consistent about correcting him every time he breaks gait, he’ll learn to lope slowly and correctly.

Will your horse probably speed up faster than you’d like the first several times you correct him for breaking gait? Yes. But if you let him relax and find the answer, he’ll learn to maintain a consistent, true three-beat gait.

You have to let your horse be responsible for his own feet, which means letting him commit to the mistake and then correcting him. You could babysit him and hold him in a slow lope, but you’ll always have to do it. Instead, teach him to maintain the gait on his own.

Have a horsemanship question or looking for more training tips? Check out the No Worries Club.