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Author Topic: Spur Stop
atkhorses
Junior Member
Member # 2087

posted April 02, 2004 11:16 AM        
Thanks Spyro for confirming what I thought, just couldn't be for sure! Leads me to another question. What all goes into this spur stop training? For instance, I don't really know how to cue for the lope. So far, I move my rein hand towards his ears (to say we're going forward), then smooch and squeeze with my left leg (for right lead), this is when he just long trots, I then squeeze more with the left leg and ad a nice little spur squeeze (not too hard), but he then tucks and gets really collected, yet NO LOPE! This is probably just as frustrating for him as it is for me. I've also noticed that sitting way deep in the saddle and back may help get him into a lope. Another thing he does is when I cue like above, he pops into that lead, but then goes down to the trot and this is when I'm figureing he's testing me b/c he's lazy and doesn't want to lope. He' is such a smooth little horse, I hope I can figure him out before I mess him up. Heck, he's competed at Congress and blew a lead (I'd bet money it was the right one, too!), but he got on the judges cards!! Exciting!! I so appreciate your help. You're right, the tucking cue is neat while in a trot and probably will be in the lope as well, if I can keep him in it!! thanks, looking forward to your reply
Kelley King
4-H Alumni/Adult Leader
***Not a trainer***

Posts: 16 | From: New Braunfels, Texas | Registered: Mar 2004
PaintShowin
Member
Member # 681

posted April 02, 2004 11:56 AM        
Spur stops are handy, but it depends one what event you do to determine if it will be beneficial to you. I like rail horses to know a spur stop, and reiners to be the opposite...I ride the reiners with my leg on them all the time, and when I pull my feet off and forward and sit down they should stop.

Anyway, you teach the spur stop the same way you teach any other cue for stop, by repitition. I like them to know "whoa" first, from the ground, so atleast they have an inkling idea of what I will want when I stop them. Another thing to remember about a good stop is that you want a horse to stop on their hind legs, with them planting in the ground, and the rest of the body being supple and "folding" into the stop. Even a rail/pattern horse. In order to get this, the horse has to have forward impulsion when we ask for the stop, hence we don't want to slow them down first. When a horse is slowing down, he's putting all his weight forward, onto his forefeet, and his stop will be choppy, late, uncomfortable and ugly. When you have forward impulsion, your horse will be able to stop by tucking his hind feet under him. A spur stop is a way to get this quickly and neatly, because the "spurs" (leg pressure from your heel) drives the hind end up, and the reins (contact with the mouth) stop forward motion. As for teaching it, sit deep deep on your horse, with your shoulders only ever so slightly behind your verticle shoulder/hip/heel alignment. This will also encourage your horse to plant his tailend down. Squeeze with your heels, get contact with the mouth, and say whoa. It won't be pretty right at first, but if you stick with it, over and over, your horse will learn that when you make contact with his mouth and plant your heels into him, while sitting deep and slightly back he is to stop, hard and fast. This stop looks great on Horsemanship/Equitation horses, and will allow your stop right at the marker designated. Another good tip for teaching a horse to stop on his haunches is to back one or two (or more) steps after you stop about 90% of the time. This mentally conditions your horse to immediately get on his hocks because he'll have to to back up.

As for cuing your horse to lope, I imagine he's well trained since he's been to Congress. So that's not the issue. One thing that may be confusing him is you putting your hand forward. This is a no-no because when you are putting your hand forward, your seat is coming forward along with the top of your body, which is putting you way out of balance, and actually PREVENTING your horse from going forward freely. You should, instead, think of "driving" him with your seat, by sitting deeply, like you said, and imagine pushing his hind end forward with your seat. Free up his shoulders and his head this way too. Also I know it's been said a million times, but STAY RELAXED throughout your body so that he doesn't feed off of your tension which will also prevent a smooth lope transition. Keep your hand low and still in front of the saddle horn. If he tries to trot, block that forward motion with your hand by making contact. Hold him there while still driving with that lead foot and your seat. If he continuously tries to trot, don't let him! Stop him immediately and back him, quickly, not lazily (for him). Make it clear he did the wrong thing, and then ask immediately again. As soon as he picks up a lope, relax and let him lope, even if it isn't pretty so he gets the idea that he did the right thing by going straight into the lope. Again, repition will make for a cleaner, smoother transition.

**Another thing that helps with a nice walk to lope transition is moving your horse's hip to the inside first, and then asking for the lope. This allows him to drive off with the correct lead foot from behind, and it also prepares him mentally for the lope transition which will make it much smoother.

Hope that helps some.

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Rita Olsen
San Antonio, TX
www.olsenperformancehorses.com

Posts: 92 | From: San Antonio, Texas | Registered: Sep 2003
QHGirl
Member
Member # 493

posted April 02, 2004 01:32 PM        
OH ATKHORSES... I want your horse... that is my dream horse... congress material.... for open shows.. [Wink]

Didn't read all of it, will in a little bit... TRY when you are asking for the trot, PICK him up, DON'T extend your arm, LITERALLY pick up the reins to collect him so his head is arched... say you are going to the right... Pick him up, take and put your left leg (calf area) into him to push out his HIP and THEN kiss and ROLL your heal into him... Hard to explain but give it a try. DON'T let him TROT at all... STOP him at once if he does back him up and ASK again... he will understand then soon...

OH and spur stopping, when you are ready for the stop... SAY WHOA and Sit deep putting your heals into BOTH sides of himand sit deep... he shoudl stop. Wait a second, release and then pat him/her...

Let us know!!!

Posts: 1350 | From: Indianapolis | Registered: Jul 2003
QHGirl
Member
Member # 493

posted April 02, 2004 01:33 PM        
PS... is there anyone that you can take lessons from? His old owner??? Any trainers down there??
Posts: 1350 | From: Indianapolis | Registered: Jul 2003
spyro1
Member
Member # 647

posted April 02, 2004 06:00 PM        
PS and QHGIRL, way to go, great advice!!! [Bow]
atk, have you ever taken western pleasure lessons before?? may be a great idea to find a good WP trainer, load your guy up and go take a few lessons. It will help you guys immensely:) I have only been riding pleasure for a few years, (rode hunt seat before that, BIG difference) and there is still a lot I learn from my girlfriend who is a trainer. I am constantly asking her to watch, give me tips, etc.. [Wink]

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http://members17.clubphoto.com/beth819817/2122088/guest.phtml
Only those who risk going too far, will ever know how far they can go.

Posts: 2755 | From: Sunny South Florida | Registered: Aug 2003
Cody's Grand Que
Junior Member
Member # 2112

posted April 02, 2004 06:14 PM        
I dont ride western, but another post mentioned if he trots to stop him...wouldnt it be better to run him into a lope rather than to stop him everytime he doesnt pick it up? If you stop him everytime, hes just going to learn that if he doesnt pick it up right away, then he wont have to do it at all, and will just get confused on why he has to trot then stop, trot then stop. Eventually if you keep running him into a lope while using aids, he will understand the aids and pick up the lope when you ask for it.

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Codys Grand Que
(Cody)
4yr old American Paint Horse
17hh gelding, black/chocolate tobiano. Did I mention cute as a button?

Posts: 14 | From: PA | Registered: Apr 2004
PaintShowin
Member
Member # 681

posted April 02, 2004 08:12 PM        
CGQ,

No, stopping him isn't getting him out of it, because you don't stop in a pleasant way, and you don't let him relax. You stop fast, back up hard and fast, and ask for the lope again immediately. On a Western Pleasure horse, or any kind of show horse, the lope is asked for from the walk. If your horse trots even a few strides, you are disqualified. If she allows this horse to "run" into the lope, he's cheating, and she's not going to succeed at what's she's trying for. Also, if she allows him to "run" into the lope, he will learn to do this everytime she asks for it. Bad news. Plus, a good lope has all drive from the hind quarters, and when a horse trots into the lope, they pull themselves into it, instead of pushing from behind, and it's very incorrect.

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Rita Olsen
San Antonio, TX
www.olsenperformancehorses.com

Posts: 92 | From: San Antonio, Texas | Registered: Sep 2003
belle4
Member
Member # 864

posted April 03, 2004 02:30 AM        
PaintShowin,

Oh, I just love your answer about the running into the lope. I don't think a lot of people that ride in other disciplines understand the importance of transitions to a western show horse. The execution, timing, balance, and feel all have to be in order to get walk, walk, lope. It is every bit as important to a pleasure person to get perfect transitions as it is for a jumper to get the right number of strides down a line. If your horse can melt into the lope and maintain the topline, you are doing something right. Transitions should be like butter, smooth and creamy.

Posts: 1075 | From: michigan | Registered: Oct 2003
atkhorses
Junior Member
Member # 2087

posted April 03, 2004 06:21 AM        
PaintShowin, QHGirl and Spyro--Really appreciate your help; and it is helping quite a bit.

After reading your posts, I do think the lesson idea is a great thought, especially for this horse and issue! I've actually entertained the thought many times---like when he's longtrotting and we become frustrated. Can't tell you how much I envy you horse trainers who have the experience to get a horse to do what you are asking and when don't get it, know what to do to correct. I wish I had more time to devote. I simply have 3 kiddos one in 4-H (she's 10) and 2 clover kids. I was fortunate enough to grow up being active in 4-H and open shows. Enjoyed it so much, I want my kids to do the same (keeping them busy and out of trouble to boot!). We have one palomino mare my daughter took to the state 4-H last summer and placed 5th in halter mares.

It's quite a story about this gelding I'm talking about. I tried to get him out of my mind, but he would not go away! I found him on the internet and he was in Delaware. I'm in Texas!! So, yes, I bought him without riding him--video only. I am not the type to do this, but like I said, I just couldn't get him out of my mind!! So, that's the story in short. He'll come along. It's just me, I think that needs the refreshing.

With all the time you've spent educating me on the spur riding, I thought you'd get a kick out of my story. I'm having a great time with this forum and glad I finally found it!

Kelley King

Posts: 16 | From: New Braunfels, Texas | Registered: Mar 2004
Blistering Winds
Member
Member # 843

posted April 03, 2004 09:06 AM        
Why do you want to perform a spur stop???? In my judging class, we saw that a lot and actually TOOK OFF for people doing them in pleasure classes. The horse itself looks aweful during a spur stop.....

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Horses should not be treated as people. They should be respected for who they are and what they are capable of doing!

Born Free Now Expensive

Posts: 4337 | From: Texas | Registered: Oct 2003
spyro1
Member
Member # 647

posted April 03, 2004 05:08 PM        
BW, did you read this entire post?? She isn't wanting to perform it, she bought this horse who was trained this way and is trying to get info on how to get him into the lope...
Ok, thinking here, BW, go and read the post on keeping him in the lope..I think that this one may carry over from that one.
atk, I did enjoy your story on this boy, there must be something in the future for you guys, that is why you couldn't get him out of your head:) hey, I am no trainer, beleive me, all I have learned is by doing what you are doing now, seeking advice, taking lessons, and trial and error:) [Wink]

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http://members17.clubphoto.com/beth819817/2122088/guest.phtml
Only those who risk going too far, will ever know how far they can go.

Posts: 2755 | From: Sunny South Florida | Registered: Aug 2003
Dawn
Member
Member # 14

posted April 03, 2004 07:21 PM        
Why would smooth transitions be anymore important in wp than any other discipline?

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Heard in the midst of a handwriting exam ~ "And to think, we could've been bio-chem majors."

Posts: 6885 | From: Tennessee | Registered: Nov 2002
belle4
Member
Member # 864

posted April 04, 2004 03:57 AM        
http://www.aqha.com/youth/activities/yws/winningrun/trail.html

http://www.aqha.com/showing/shows/worldshow/experience/amateurtrail.html

[ April 04, 2004, 04:04 AM: Message edited by: belle4 ]

Posts: 1075 | From: michigan | Registered: Oct 2003
atkhorses
Junior Member
Member # 2087

posted April 04, 2004 06:41 AM        
Those video clips are really cool to watch! Do they go faster if you have DSL?? I've got just the dial up modem at this point!

Kelley

Posts: 16 | From: New Braunfels, Texas | Registered: Mar 2004
PaintShowin
Member
Member # 681

posted April 04, 2004 08:38 AM        
Dawn,

You didn't read the entire post. She didn't say that the trainsitions were MORE important in WP, she said they are JUST as important.

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Rita Olsen
San Antonio, TX
www.olsenperformancehorses.com

Posts: 92 | From: San Antonio, Texas | Registered: Sep 2003
PaintShowin
Member
Member # 681

posted April 04, 2004 08:40 AM        
ATK!!!!

You live like 30 minutes from me! [Big Grin] You should come by sometime, or vice versa, I always love meeting new horsey people in the area! If you want to, you can go to my website, and see the ranch I train out of, and send me an email. The link is by my signature.

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Rita Olsen
San Antonio, TX
www.olsenperformancehorses.com

Posts: 92 | From: San Antonio, Texas | Registered: Sep 2003
PaintShowin
Member
Member # 681

posted April 04, 2004 08:42 AM        
Blistering,

A spur stop works like any other cue or transition. If done correctly, it does not look ugly, and you wouldn't take off from it in WP. You wouldn't notice it so much that you would want to. Of course there are people who do it wrong, and yes, it can be ugly, like anything else.

My question, then, is what kind of stop did you WANT to see in a WP class?

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Rita Olsen
San Antonio, TX
www.olsenperformancehorses.com

Posts: 92 | From: San Antonio, Texas | Registered: Sep 2003
Blistering Winds
Member
Member # 843

posted April 04, 2004 10:09 AM        
Spy,,,...no I didn't read the whole post, I just asked why would people do it because i've seen it a LOT juding classes the past few weeks. (not officially, but for class)

Most of the spur stops I see, the horse rounds out TOO much, tossing his head because of the confused signal. If the rider sits back and teaches the horse when they sit back and relieve the leg pressure, the horse would stop better. (in my experience and in watching other WP horses trained to stop like that)

I want to see a nice smooth stop. Head carriage and head set not changing. Most of the good ones even engage their hind quarters into the stop. And not go up on their forehand, where many of the spur stops I've seen (and notice they were spur stops) end up stopping. VERY ugly. Now if someone in the class I've judged stopped with a spur stop and I didn't notice it, then good. They must have performed it correctly. But still, overall, not good practice. I've had someone tell me the concept of it all, and if it confuses me, the poor horse MUST be confused as well. Which explains the horses stopping after being asked for the lope, etc.

It's not the fact they performed the stop with a "spur stop" that gets taken off, it is the horse's overall look that gets taken off. Maybe these people do it wrong, but the whole concept just isn't good "practice" in my opinion. case in point this person with a horse who can't go into a lope because he keeps stopping. (now that I've read the post)

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Horses should not be treated as people. They should be respected for who they are and what they are capable of doing!

Born Free Now Expensive

Posts: 4337 | From: Texas | Registered: Oct 2003
Dawn
Member
Member # 14

posted April 04, 2004 03:54 PM        
Okay, I read it like *other disciplines do not realize the importance of smooth transitions*. I jsut don't see how riding another discipline would make you think wp horses didn't need good transitions?

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Heard in the midst of a handwriting exam ~ "And to think, we could've been bio-chem majors."

Posts: 6885 | From: Tennessee | Registered: Nov 2002
QHGirl
Member
Member # 493

posted April 04, 2004 05:09 PM        
Oh... the famous spur stop... hard to master, fun when you actually learn it. My guy does it, was hard to transition to my paint mare because she didn't do it... few times I screwed up because I would squeeze... SO she would lunge at the lope [Wink] Man talk about mixed signals..

Could be wrong, but think about it like this, in English you have DIRECT contact with the bit and keeping them "on it"... NOW with WP you have constant FRAME of overall horse moving off of a draped rein. If you pull to stop with an english horse, there is less movement to stop because you have direct contact... NOW with WP, you NOTICE that you are stopping... Slack in the reins tighten and your hand moves...

SO that might be where that concept is coming from... what does everyone else think...

STILL jealous of your show horse atkhorses [Wink]

Posts: 1350 | From: Indianapolis | Registered: Jul 2003
PaintShowin
Member
Member # 681

posted April 04, 2004 05:51 PM        
Dawn,

This is what Belle said:
"I don't think a lot of people that ride in other disciplines understand the importance of transitions to a western show horse. The execution, timing, balance, and feel all have to be in order to get walk, walk, lope. It is every bit as important to a pleasure person to get perfect transitions as it is for a jumper to get the right number of strides down a line."

It is true that WP is different than any English event, or any pattern event, western or English. This wasn't an attack on anyone, so please stop digging up trouble where there is none. It was said in an earlier post that in WP you ride with completely drooped, loose reins, unlike any pattern event, and totally unlike any English event where you ride with contact with the mouth. If I'm on a hunter, and I want my horse to collect or stop, etc., I can merely move my index finger (if my horse is soft--how they should be) but on a western pleasure horse, you should NEVER see a change in the position of the reins. I think that is what Belle was mostly getting at, that the transitions of a Western Pleasure horse are so very different than in other disciplines, that naturally, if you don't ride Western Pleasure you aren't going to understand the transitions completely. It's ALL seat and leg, not just seat and leg combined with bit contact. It was not an attack...seriously, maybe you could be a little more positive and give people the benefit of the doubt rather than being accusatory.

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Rita Olsen
San Antonio, TX
www.olsenperformancehorses.com

Posts: 92 | From: San Antonio, Texas | Registered: Sep 2003
Dawn
Member
Member # 14

posted April 04, 2004 07:54 PM        
I was not digging up trouble nor anything of the sort. If you'd read my post, you'd know that. I just stated what I had read it as and tried to clarify why I was confused.

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Heard in the midst of a handwriting exam ~ "And to think, we could've been bio-chem majors."

Posts: 6885 | From: Tennessee | Registered: Nov 2002
Blistering Winds
Member
Member # 843

posted April 05, 2004 04:40 AM        
The way I train for a pretty stop, is I squeeze with my legs for forward momentum, then totally let go and sit back, which brings their hind end up under them for a nice pretty stop. (A reining stop, without the sliding)

I don't know, maybe personal preference to NOT train for a spur stop. In my opinion, just the idea of stopping on a "forward momentum" cue just isn't good practice. AGAIN, My opinion.

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Horses should not be treated as people. They should be respected for who they are and what they are capable of doing!

Born Free Now Expensive

Posts: 4337 | From: Texas | Registered: Oct 2003
belle4
Member
Member # 864

posted April 05, 2004 05:01 AM        
My horses and horses that I have trained don't have a spur stop. However, Whoa means something to them. If I am loping along, I have active energy from my ears to my toes. I am looking up, driving forward and have a destination in mind. My hand is in front of the saddle horn and reins are draped. When I want to stop, I sit back, drop my eyes, think stop, quit riding and say whoa. My hand does not move. My horses will lope for 3 strides and stop or make 3 trips around the arena and stop all on a loose rein with no movement in my hand for the whoa. When I say stop, I mean lope and then stop, period. No trot steps, no falling in, no dragging their butts, no change in their head position, and no rein contact. A stop is usually followed by a 180 turn towards the rail or backing and then lope again. If the horse does not give a 100% stop and trots into it or gets heavy on the front and slams down hard, he will get backed up, fast and hard. Same thing for asking to lope. Eyes up, sitting tall, kiss and cue and my horses should lope--right now. No change in their head, driving from behind, slow and consistent from the very first stride. If they trot into the lope they are shut down fast and hard, backed up fast and hard, then quietly, on a loose rein asked to lope again. I think transitions, turns, patterns all become a whole new thing because it is ridden on a LOOSE rein, ONE handed.

Transitions are very important in every discipline, but really scrutinized in the western show world. I think more so than in other disciplines because it is ridden one handed, on a loose rein. Judges are looking to see if the horse can maintain frame through the transitions.

Two handed, riding with contact in a snaffle helps the horse maintain frame and position through the transitions. Western riders do not have that luxery. I wasn't making light of any other riding style, just making a little comment about what I have observed in the western show world.

[ April 05, 2004, 05:09 AM: Message edited by: belle4 ]

Posts: 1075 | From: michigan | Registered: Oct 2003
QHGirl
Member
Member # 493

posted April 05, 2004 07:38 AM        
quote:
Originally posted by Blistering Winds:
The way I train for a pretty stop, is I squeeze with my legs for forward momentum, then totally let go and sit back, which brings their hind end up under them for a nice pretty stop. (A reining stop, without the sliding)

I don't know, maybe personal preference to NOT train for a spur stop. In my opinion, just the idea of stopping on a "forward momentum" cue just isn't good practice. AGAIN, My opinion.

BW.. am I reading this wrong, it is monday morning... didn't you say you did squeeze using forward momentum in the top then in the bottom paragraph say the opposite? Not starting, cause I really don't care just think maybe you had a typo... or MAYBE I am just not awake enough to comprehend what you are saying... (blonde moment) [Wink]

Well Said Belle4 and Paintshowin!!! [Smile]

Posts: 1350 | From: Indianapolis | Registered: Jul 2003


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