Originally Posted by ocalagirl
My horse started western when he was 6 after being a strictly hunter horse, and I really see a difference in his ability to perform basic tasks.
You know, there was a thread about the western lope and how horrible it was and how the horses all look crippled. I almost replied--almost
--that a western lope, when done correctly, is more like a dressage collected canter than people might think. I even looked up Youtube videos of one of my friend's horses (a world champion) and compared it side-by-side to a Grand Prix level collected canter. Guess what? They shared the same cadence and length of step. Yes, the dressage horse moved differently, but if you were just looking at legs, and you took away the difference in movement, it was the EXACT same footfalls.
These days I have a whole new respect for western riding. It's hard to get a horse to do a good lope. And, yeegads, they do it on a loose rein!