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Lope-over dos and don'ts

By Cynthia McFarland | Horse Illustrated
November 2006

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  • Practice developing an even, cadenced lope away from the poles.
  • Make sure your cues are clear and your horse is listening before working on lope-overs.
  • Practice over poles and away from them.
  • Keep an even, motivated pace throughout the course.
  • Keep your focus ahead on where you want to go next.
  • Walk the course beforehand whenever the show allows.


  • Don’t allow yourself to get thrown forward in the saddle over elevated poles.
  • Don’t get too slow—momentum is necessary for the horse to make the distance between poles.
  • Don’t look down at the ground.
  • Don’t look at the poles themselves as you’re negotiating the lope-over.
  • Don’t speed up or slow down as you approach a lope-over.

Back to Trail Class Challenge: Better Lope-Overs >>

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