Morgans and Arabs with a low headset? - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-13-2011, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Morgans and Arabs with a low headset?

Just have a question about horses with higher headsets for western riding... I love the breed, however I am not familiar with such I high headset. If I took a Morgan or Arab in a schooling show and they had a more quarter horsey look would that be bad? I'm not sure how to train for that high arch, but I can get them lower and broken at the pole. Is that okay?

Thanks.

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post #2 of 9 Old 06-13-2011, 07:36 PM
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Morgans naturally carry their heads higher than a quarter horse. You should collect the horse, not force a low, QH-y headset that is not natural. If the judge is a good judge (judges a horse on how each breed should be presented, even with several different breeds in the ring), yes, you could very well be knocked down quite a ways. Another thing is that we as a breed (Morgan) use more contact than QH people, and that is what our horses are used to.. perhaps you could buy an already trained western horse? Another thing is that in terms of selling later on down the road, most Morgan or Arab people will not want to buy a horse who has been forced into an unnatural (for the breed! The lower neck/headset is natural in stock breeds, of course!) frame. As I've said above, you just want to collect the horse. A Morgan or Arab will have a higher collected frame than a QH.. unless it is forced otherwise.
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-13-2011, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by aneternalflame View Post
Morgans naturally carry their heads higher than a quarter horse. You should collect the horse, not force a low, QH-y headset that is not natural. If the judge is a good judge (judges a horse on how each breed should be presented, even with several different breeds in the ring), yes, you could very well be knocked down quite a ways. Another thing is that we as a breed (Morgan) use more contact than QH people, and that is what our horses are used to.. perhaps you could buy an already trained western horse? Another thing is that in terms of selling later on down the road, most Morgan or Arab people will not want to buy a horse who has been forced into an unnatural (for the breed! The lower neck/headset is natural in stock breeds, of course!) frame. As I've said above, you just want to collect the horse. A Morgan or Arab will have a higher collected frame than a QH.. unless it is forced otherwise.
Exactly, and very well said!

If you're properly collecting the horse for the discipline, riding from the back front, creating energy from the haunches and capturing/recycling that energy through proper use of the bit and reins, then the head and neck will come into the natural collected position for the individual's conformation. For a stock type breed, that's a straighter, lower neck with the head hanging down from the poll. For a Morgan or an Arab, with the typically higher neck tie-in and arch to the throatlatch, it's that higher, stretching arch of the neck. No matter what, the neck should be allowed to be carried as it naturally falls when the hindquarters are engaged, the back is rounded and accepting of the rider and tack, etc.

A good judge knows the difference between a Morgan and a QH, and knows how a well trained WP representative of each breed travels, and will pin the class accordingly.

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post #4 of 9 Old 06-14-2011, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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okay - makes sense.

But, (not to disagree or argue, but to understand) to be that looks more like an english headset.... The level topline we want in western pleasure goes away for the breed?


See, too me the horse at 1:09 and 1:44 even look to be the most "western" and there morgans. More a long and low type look than an english look.

I'm thinking for more schooling shows and all around, VS. Breed shows.

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post #5 of 9 Old 06-14-2011, 01:55 AM
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If the horse isn't comfortable naturally carrying their head up, even if they are a Morgan or Arab, that doesn't mean that you need to train them for it. IMHO, you should encourage them to have their head wherever is most comfortable for them, excluding peanut roller and head-in-lap. For an open show, no, there is nothing wrong with them having a more stock horse-y type look so long as they are comfortable, relaxed, and correct.

As for the difference in head carriage, that is just due to the different standards of the breed, not necessarily an 'english' or 'western' thing. Arabs and Morgans usually have a higher natural headset than stock type horses and that is one of the reasons for the higher collected headset as well.

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post #6 of 9 Old 06-14-2011, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Paint Mom View Post
okay - makes sense.

But, (not to disagree or argue, but to understand) to be that looks more like an english headset.... The level topline we want in western pleasure goes away for the breed?

YouTube - ‪What Can A Morgan Do‬‏

See, too me the horse at 1:09 and 1:44 even look to be the most "western" and there morgans. More a long and low type look than an english look.

I'm thinking for more schooling shows and all around, VS. Breed shows.
The level topline you want is based on the natural conformation of your horses. Our horses have a naturally higher head carriage and thus, when collected, have a higher headset. It has nothing to do with 'english' or 'western' looking. It has to do with the conformation of the horses and their appearance when collected, as has been said before. And I know you said open shows. A Morgan will naturally have a higher headset than a stock horse. A good judge will know how each breed is supposed to be presented and judge them based on that standard. A Morgan forced into a level headset is not natural, and the judge could very well knock you out of the placings for that.
The level topline you want in stock horses is not at all present in horses who are not conformed like stock horses. Horses with a naturally high headset (ASBs, Morgans, Arabs, Friesians, TWHs, etc) all have a higher collected frame for western pleasure, because that is how they are conformed. While you could FORCE one of these breeds into a level frame, they will not be comfortable, they will not perform well. The frames for different breeds of horses are the way they are because of the natural conformation of the breed. A stock horse has a naturally (fairly) level topline. A Morgan has a naturally high headset. Thus the difference in frames.
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-14-2011, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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How can that work for one breed, but not the other...

You can't tell me this QH is built like a Morgan or Arab... it's the dressage headset and collection


VS the western pleasure look.

BOTH are AQHA's


WHY IS IT DIFFERENT FOR A MORGAN???

TWO different looks for TWO different disciplines, but the SAME breed.

I just don't understand

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Last edited by Paint Mom; 06-14-2011 at 01:02 PM.
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-14-2011, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Paint Mom View Post
How can that work for one breed, but not the other...

You can't tell me this QH is built like a Morgan or Arab... it's the dressage headset and collection

VS the western pleasure look.

BOTH are AQHA's

WHY IS IT DIFFERENT FOR A MORGAN???

TWO different looks for TWO different disciplines, but the SAME breed.

I just don't understand
Might be the same breed, but, going by the videos, two very different representatives. It's hard to say without a confo shot or work at liberty, but I would say that the "dancing quarter horse" is much more of the old-style cowhorse build, with a slightly higher neck tie-in, shorter legs, and all around more compact frame.

There is some form following function going on as well. Dressage asks for a different degree of collection than WP, no matter what the breed. That difference in degree means that muscles will be conditioned differently, resulting in a different "look" in the horse. Even so, if the second horse were conditioned as a dressage horse, he would still probably have a lower head/neck carriage than the blue roan.

By contrast, the pleasure horse is a much different type of quarter horse - leggier, longer bodied, with a lower neck tie-in. Different types, different bloodlines and breeding, two horses intended for two different functions.

~~~~

There are different types of Morgans, too, usually characterized as "old" and "new" types. The old type is more of an all-around build, suitable for just about anything discipline-wise. The new type typically looks more like a Saddlebred or other gaited/park type breed, and is bred to excel in saddle seat classes. However, both of these types still have that higher natural carriage, and trying to bring it down to that level topline that comes naturally to the second QH is only going to be uncomfortable for the Morgan or the Arab.

It isn't even a breed-by-breed issue: it's a horse-by-horse issue. Any horse, properly collected from the haunches forward, will carry himself in the way that allows his individual conformation to bear the weight of the rider and execute the movement asked for with the degree of collection called for by the rider. What the individual silhouette looks like depends on the individual animal's conformation. Two differently-shaped horses in the same degree of collection will look different, not the same.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-14-2011, 04:19 PM
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My uncle breeds and trains arabians primarily in reining, but also in Country English Pleasure, Western Pleasure, and English Pleasure. Their horses' headsets are considerably different from the AQHA standard horses, because Arabs are built with a higher head carriage. They only show in AHA circuits, and do very well based off of these standards.

Look at the difference between these two horses.

An arabian with a naturally high, upright head carriage:

Welcome to Arabian Horses.org - Photo Gallery

A QH with a low-set neck:

http://www.parkerfarms.com/images/av...on/profile.jpg

If either of these horses had to conform to the other's standards in collection, the overall picture would not be as pretty.
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