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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparrowette View Post
    ... I had always thought that a lope and a canter were just different names for the same 4-beat gait.
    Neither should be a 4-beat gait.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  2. #22
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    Suspension is a beat, therefore canter is four beat.



  3. #23
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    Much better than most but a little "hitchy" for my tastes too. I like the Ranch Pleasure video posted on the other thread.

    In Morgans, we are penalized for excessive drape in the rein; should be light contact with a smidgeon of drape. And our lope is definitely a 3 beat gait.
    Ride like you mean it.



  4. #24
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    But you all know we mean hoof beats ON THE GROUND.
    Ride like you mean it.


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  5. #25
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    I can't believe that there is no YouTube video of 'Huntin Big Dreams' the Jr Western Pleasure AQHA World Champion, produced by Charlie and Jason of High Point Performance Horses. That horse is as good as it gets these days, in natural ability and training/showing skill of their (now ex, on his own) assistant trainer.
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    But you all know we mean hoof beats ON THE GROUND.
    The reason a 4-beat canter, per your definition, even exists is because people are so programmed to ignore the beat of suspension that they diminish it to nothingness.

    Unless people ride to ensure that moment of suspension has the same priority as any of the sounded beats, they'll never see the folly of leaving it out.



  7. #27
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    Agreed, aktill. But in this discussion we are talking about 3 beats on the ground or 4 beats on the ground. So you are completely accurate but in this case the 4th beat is NOT suspension but a foot on the ground instead.
    Ride like you mean it.



  8. #28
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    Sorry to be confusing. I have a little training in music, and in music, the rest is counted in the measures. So that's the way I think of it.



  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    Agreed, aktill. But in this discussion we are talking about 3 beats on the ground or 4 beats on the ground. So you are completely accurate but in this case the 4th beat is NOT suspension but a foot on the ground instead.
    ...my point being that the only way to have 4 beats on the ground being to remove the moment of suspension. It seems pedantic, but it's not.



  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparrowette View Post
    Sorry to be confusing. I have a little training in music, and in music, the rest is counted in the measures. So that's the way I think of it.
    Same here, and it's the proper way to express it from a teaching perspective. Thinking of only the sounded beats is the way a "4-strike" canter is created.



  11. #31
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    Vaquero Toro, if that horse was shown in the UK everyone would assume it to be lame and chuck it out of the ring! Fashion is such a strange thing.


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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willesdon View Post
    Vaquero Toro, if that horse was shown in the UK everyone would assume it to be lame and chuck it out of the ring! Fashion is such a strange thing.
    Even on this side of the pond there are those of us who would do the same if we could stand being at such a show long enough.


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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktill View Post
    ...my point being that the only way to have 4 beats on the ground being to remove the moment of suspension. It seems pedantic, but it's not.
    But that's not what's happening in the 4-beat lopes. They actually 'single-foot' through a stride, so rather than outside hind - inside hind+outside fore - inside fore, it's outside hind - inside hind - outside fore - inside fore. Which is what a true gallop is, but with more speed and definite suspension.
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  14. #34
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    Yes, and the goal of the AQHA WP horse for the last 20 years has been to have a 3 beat canter with NO suspension - as one judge put - like the spokes of a wheel. 3 evenly spaced beats. Always one or two feet on the ground. Apparently this will carry over to Cowboy dressage, where Eitan's rules emphatically state that there is NO suspension in a "working" jog and little in a "free" jog. That makes the jog very different in Cowboy Dressage from what is expected in Ranch Horse Pleasure, Western Dressage and the AQHA video that no one pays any attention to. He doesn't forbid suspension in the lope, but I'm thinking he expects the same type of movement.



  15. #35
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    Lol, why should biomechanics matter, this is horse showing after all!



  16. #36
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    Vaquero Toro, if that horse was shown in the UK everyone would assume it to be lame and chuck it out of the ring! Fashion is such a strange thing.
    I think Ray Hunt once said, about watching a western pleasure horse move, that if he saw any horse of his moving like that, out in the pasture, he'd call the vet pronto.

    'Western Dressage', no suspension to the jog and lope......oh dear. Without some life to the gaits (and yes, a jog or lope can be collected and full of life, yet relaxed and cadenced), the horse can't use himself in any athletic way. Take the suspension out of a western horse, and he won't be able to jump for a cow, turn a barrel, or do pretty much anything. Oh dear.


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  17. #37
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    "Take the suspension out of a western horse, and he won't be able to jump for a cow, turn a barrel, or do pretty much anything. Oh dear."

    What they can do is pack wealthy novices around the ring, which is the point of it all.
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  18. #38
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    Please don't confuse Cowboy Dressage with Western Dressage. WDAA rules clearly state that both the jog and the lope MUST have suspension. I believe this is true for NAWD as well.


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  19. #39
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    DH has told me all kinds of horror stories from being in the barns as a kid in the 80s at APHA Congress... From horses being "bled" to their heads being tied to the ceiling for hours. I thought WP would be something I would never get into even though DH said there were honest trainers out there doing the right thing and training the right way. We ended up going to an APHA show one day and watching all the trainers warm up. A lot of it was downright sad, but one guy really stood out and we watched him at that show for awhile and then at a few other shows and were very impressed with how quiet of a rider he was and how all his horses had very naturaly slow gaits.

    We ended up getting a great deal on a nice WP horse and brought him to this trainer and couldn't be happier with him. He focuses on engaging the hind end and our gelding has wonderful suspension in the trot and canter and his gaits look so lovely and the trainer just looks like he is sitting there because of how quiet he is with his aids. I wish all WP trainers were like him!

    On a side note, our trainer works with several dressage barns to school young dressage prospect warmbloods.
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  20. #40
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    Just to add fuel to the fire....

    In my brain, a canter = a waltz. 3/4 time. There is no fourth beat. If you were conducting it, the suspension is that moment between the upbeat and the downbeat (I always drew it as a triangle in marching band). The thirds should be even. However, I can see how a horse might throw in a "dribble" beat if they're not particularly strong in the back end, something hurts, or out of alignment, etc.

    IMO, if you can hum the main melody of The Blue Danube Waltz in time to the footfalls, it's a nice canter -- if you can't...well. It's hard to do that watching a shuffling WP horse without any suspension, but occasionally you can visualize it.

    I've never heard of the canter being described as a four beat gait with the suspension being counted as a beat -- even Pony Club calls it a "three-time pace with three beats to the stride."

    @Willesdon: Yes, I also find them lame looking, but I guess in WP, there's varying degrees of looking lame.


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