A fear of loping is not uncommon in the equestrian world. The fear could of started with an out of control horse, a buck, or maybe you’re just nervous about the speed of the gait. Now’s your chance to be brave and ease those anxieties you feel in the saddle!
Before you try this simple exercise, make sure you have an appropriate horse. One that bucks and bolts doesn’t need tips, but rather a professional trainer. As you work through you own fear of loping, it’s best to find a calm and reliable horse to build your trust on.
Simple Loping Exercise
1) Begin by evaluating yourself and what could be potential triggers. If you’re afraid to walk or jog, there’s a good chance you’re not ready to lope.
2) Take deep breaths, sit tall in the saddle, stay relaxed, and ask a friend to watch.
3) Pick up a working jog and keep at it until you’re comfortable and confident.
4) Sit deep and ask your horse to lope for one stride. Bring them back to a jog, and continue this transition several times.
5) When you’re confident enough, allow your horse to lope three strides and then bring them back to a jog.
This exercise will allow a rider to maintain complete control of their horse by telling them when to lope and stop. Practice this at home, and watch as your confidence slowly increases!