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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone know about western riding?

    I am primarily an English rider- the only one at my barn. There is a gal there who rides a reining horse and is an accomplished western rider. She is working on an appendix quarter as a project. The other day she was cantering/loping the project horse around and around in a small round pen. What would be the point? I can see walking or trotting but not a long bout of cantering- seems like it would be hard on the legs to do this for any extended length of time. Anyone able to enlighten me?



  2. #2
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    From what I've been able to piece together, I think there's strong evidence that cantering is less stressful than a trot at the same speed under most conditions. And anything done without the weight of the rider is going to be easier on the legs than with the weight of a rider.

    Loping works different muscles and maybe she wants the horse to develop better muscling and balance through groundwork. Loping is pretty important for reining, but honestly, I don't know anything about how the horses are usually brought up.

    Maybe she was trying to "work him down"/tire him out before getting on. I've known both English and Western riders who use lunging/roundpenning for that. Some just to get the kicks out, some until they are sweaty and panting.

    You're asking for insight, not advice, but honestly, the only person who can enlighten you is the reining-girl in question. You just have to figure out a nice way to let her know you're curious. You know, not, "Hey, are you trying to turn that horse into butter, or blow every tendon and ligament below his knees?"



  3. #3
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    Loping a horse in a round pen for a long time is not a known/good training practice used for all western horses, but could be for some specific reason. However, the most common reason I've seen is not a good one. I've seen trainers who don't get the use of seat to slow a horse longe horses at a canter until they're tired and slow themselves. They do learn to carry themselves at the speed you want and get there faster on their own each time because they don't enjoy getting chased out there. These horses also tend to go lame quickly. I know of a trainer-by-roundpen who claims that they should only ride their horses 20 minutes because they only have so many miles in them, yet the horses get their legs longed off daily.

    However, in this case it could be a fitness or balance without a rider issue, or some other reason she wanted this horse loping without a rider. There could be valid reasons which might also apply to English disciplines. It is just hard to know without asking her.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

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  4. #4
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    Ask the girl - you say she is an accomplished reiner so I'm sure there is a "method to her madness." And I mean that in a good way. I do not understand why you would jump the gun and post it on a hunter/jumper message board looking for insight on reining.



  5. #5
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    Default

    I am a hunt seat rider who boards at a reining barn, it has been a bit of culture shock for me and my horses.

    Everything the reiners do is at a lope, they do not show at the walk or trot so just about all their schooling is done at a lope. They do a lot of loping in the round pen to start working on a good stop. They keep loping just past the point of the horse wanting to break stride so that when they do stop it's clean and complete. This may be what she was doing. Circles are also really important to them, it isn't very often that I see them working on the rail so I can imagine the roundpen is a really big part of the end goal.

    I have also noticed that the rather small quarter horses have no problem working in the roundpen at the ranch, but my warmbloods are tripping over themselves at a trot. A roundpen that we find small and extreme may not be for the reining horses.

    I agree, talk to the girl. It's really interesting to hear about how they bring their horses along and how they teach them to stop and spin. I find that a lot of there goals are the same, they just use different aids and methods. If you ask questions with interested she would probably be happy to tell you about it.



  6. #6
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    I've seen plenty of hunters cantering around on the end of a longe for an hour getting "prepped." How is that different/better?

    OP, do you mean longeing, or riding in the round pen? I've known some wester trainers who use the round pen to teach horses to lope slower. I don't think that's good training but no worse that doing a ton of small circles in an arena which I've seen from hunters, dressage and western riders as well. Far too prevalent to get too worked up about if the horse is getting fed/farrier/etc.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillnDale View Post
    Maybe she was trying to "work him down"/tire him out before getting on.
    She was riding him. I think asking her about it, no matter how nicely, might be taken as criticism- and she seems to be a touchy/defensive person.

    I know some people longe a horse for a long time. I never spend more than 15-20 minutes longing- and it is an equal combination of wtc. At any rate the circumference of a longe line circle is much larger than this round pen.



  8. #8
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    I would be super surprised to see an appendix QH as a reining prospect. Perhaps she has other plans for the horse.

    What age is the horse? How broke is it? How long has she been riding the horse in the round pen? How long does she lope the horse around? Is the horse a pistol or dead quiet?



  9. #9
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    We have reiners and lope and lope and lope. Just the way it is. We don't really use the roundpen for it but a big open ring but lope big & small circles is the name of the reining game.



  10. #10
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    Jun. 15, 2005
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    If it's an appendix quarter horse, odds are its future is not in reining anyway. She may have other goals with this project horse. Just ask her!
    Cowboy up.



  11. #11
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    Depending on the build of the appendix, it could make an excellent reiner. Some appendixes are built just like straight quarter horses. I wouldn't rule it out since we haven't seen the horse.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mukluk View Post
    She was riding him. I think asking her about it, no matter how nicely, might be taken as criticism- and she seems to be a touchy/defensive person.

    I know some people longe a horse for a long time. I never spend more than 15-20 minutes longing- and it is an equal combination of wtc. At any rate the circumference of a longe line circle is much larger than this round pen.
    Oops, that's my English showing. I just assumed she was on the ground. I leased a super-cute western going paint while in college. I rode in the round pen on-site exactly one time, to demonstrate to the owner I was not an ass-hat. Then straight off to the trails, catching my bra on the dang horn jumping fallen trees >>> ass-hat

    So, sorry, no further insight, except that yea, reining involves a lot of loping and IS tough on the legs (like a lot of things we ask of horses). Oh - and I probably seem touchy and defensive to others, but am more likely feeling shy and retarded, or am in a lot of physical pain which I'm trying to save you and my horse from being a part of. But flattery will get you everywhere. Tell me you like my horse, my dog, my ass in these breeches, I would happily confess all my horse-torturing secrets



  13. #13
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    Hi all. I would ask this gal but as I said she she is touchy and defensive. She is a nice young lady but in the words of a fellow boarder thinks she "knows it all." The last thing I would want to do is rock the boat as I want to have a good relationship with her. This young lady intends to sell this horse (who is tall and lanky like my TB) as an english horse, possibly eventer. I think she is well versed in reining (she has a fancy reining horse and used to show in that discipline) and I think she is just doing what she knows. I like her but the fellow boarder and I agreed that it would likely not go well to ask for a rationale from her. On the plus side, I have a lesson coming up with an english trainer where we board and reiner gal did express interest so I think that would be very positive for her to have an english lesson on a horse that she intends to sell for english. I appreciate everyone's input. I really don't know much about reining so asking her about that in general would probably go fine.



  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=Go Fish;5685584

    What age is the horse? How broke is it? How long has she been riding the horse in the round pen? How long does she lope the horse around? Is the horse a pistol or dead quiet?[/QUOTE]

    I am not sure of the horses age. It will walk trot canter and do some lateral work. He can be a little stiff. I was not sure how long she loped him around in the round pen but in my opinion it seemed like to small a circle to lope a big horse. The horse is not dead quiet but not super hot either. I think he could be a nice eventer though he is just starting to work on baby jumps.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mukluk View Post
    Hi all. I would ask this gal but as I said she she is touchy and defensive. She is a nice young lady but in the words of a fellow boarder thinks she "knows it all." The last thing I would want to do is rock the boat as I want to have a good relationship with her. This young lady intends to sell this horse (who is tall and lanky like my TB) as an english horse, possibly eventer. I think she is well versed in reining (she has a fancy reining horse and used to show in that discipline) and I think she is just doing what she knows. I like her but the fellow boarder and I agreed that it would likely not go well to ask for a rationale from her. On the plus side, I have a lesson coming up with an english trainer where we board and reiner gal did express interest so I think that would be very positive for her to have an english lesson on a horse that she intends to sell for english. I appreciate everyone's input. I really don't know much about reining so asking her about that in general would probably go fine.
    This kinda changes things. I thought you meant that she was training it to be a reiner, not an english horse. I'd say have a conversation with the trainer about it before the lesson so the trainer can recommend different exercises that would be appropriate for an english horse. When it comes out of the mouth of a trainer, people tend to listen better than it coming out of a fellow boarder's mouth...

    Having a similar situation at my farm. I'm trying to get a fellow boarder to take a lesson from my trainer so she will stop ripping her horse's mouth apart over fences.



  16. #16
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    Think that asking her to share a lesson with you would be a great way to break the ice. And...come on...99% of all of us think we know it all as late teen and early 20 adults.

    The late Jimmy Williams is credited as saying "It's only what you learn after you know it all that counts" and "I never knew how much I didn't know until I thought I knew it all".

    Now, I have no idea why she is doing so much round pen work other then that is what she knows to do and it worked with what she was riding in the past. And that is what alot of cow horse people do, they lope in circles to warm up and stay loose.

    Try to be open and friendly, maybe you can each learn from the other as you share a lesson or two.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    Think that asking her to share a lesson with you would be a great way to break the ice. And...come on...99% of all of us think we know it all as late teen and early 20 adults.

    The late Jimmy Williams is credited as saying "It's only what you learn after you know it all that counts" and "I never knew how much I didn't know until I thought I knew it all".

    Now, I have no idea why she is doing so much round pen work other then that is what she knows to do and it worked with what she was riding in the past. And that is what alot of cow horse people do, they lope in circles to warm up and stay loose.

    Try to be open and friendly, maybe you can each learn from the other as you share a lesson or two.
    Indeed. It is always easier to cross a river with a bridge than to go around it with a detour.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  18. #18
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    Thanks all! I'm glad I got so many helpful responses. I did google "reining" to see what those horses do in competition. I'd love to see a Grand Prix horse do a sliding stop in a dressage test some day. That would be awesome!



  19. #19
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    I worked at a western barn for a while and they would canter/lope around on the horse's back in the round pen or a small arena to teach the horse to continue on at the same speed without needing constant rein contact. Horses learned to maintain pace on a loose rein - but most graduated out of the round pen and into an arena relatively quickly - where they continued to canter/lope around on a loose rein. If the horse wanted to get quick or lean, it was back into the round pen, rather than picking up the reins.



  20. #20
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    I boarded at a reining barn when I was a teenager and they were pretty competitive. The trainer used to cringe when we'd pull/cut manes. Anyways, a typical daily work out for most of the horses consisted of loping both ways, and if they weren't babies then they would work on sliding stops, rollbacks, and occasionally he'd take them out on trail rides(he was a nice guy), the barn was next to a park with trails across the street. I did buy a drop-out reiner for a first horse(big mistake), all he knew how to do was lope in circles and stop(REALLY FAST), I can't tell you how many times that horse rolled me off his shoulder, and I was riding in a western saddle. It was pretty bad. I did have a conversation with a guy once who owned a pretty nice and successful reiner(i was 14 at the time) and he informed me that dressage and reining when it comes down to it all are pretty similar in the movements department, which is true. I mean didn't Anky take up reining for fun.



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