I am not bashing WP as a whole. Only the trainers and riders who use harsh methods to win. And you're right there were definitely people at this open fun show with their $10k-$20k horses. There were some that were moving nicely and looked happy and other horses looked down right miserable (including the horses having their mouths yanked off). There were also a lot of people on their every day horses just having fun. I just wish it were judged on the horse's natural movement, manners, if it is a pleasure to ride, and cooperation with the rider. The way I thought it was supposed to be judged with the headset is it doesn't matter how low or high the horse's head is, as long as the head stays at the same level at all gaits. Last year at this same show series I actually watched it all and the $10-$20 thousand dollar horses were being placed at the top of the class. I am not so sure about this year though. Different judge. Last year's judge was an AQHA/APHA judge. WhichI don't understand if its supposed to be an OPEN ALL BREED SHOW. Is she judging based on QH standards only? Because there were arabs out there too. But it is true that there are bad people in every discipline. Its sad that people refer to short cuts in training. I imagine they are trying to get a "show ready" horse in a short amount of time, therefore they will do anything it takes to get the horses head low and make it slow down. I am very thankful for all the people who do take the time to keep their horse friends happy and train them correctly. I just wish judges could see "behind the scenes"
The judges don't care. My BF REFUSES to show if its a judged event as he dose not trust them, and after seeing what they are doing to breeds, I don't ether. I Like western pleasure horses that move at an even smooth clip, not fast, but not drugged slow. I want to see a horse with a level NATURAL low head set, not dragging its nose on the ground.
Why does anyone who's had a passing glance at WP feel obligated to criticize the entire discipline, while simultaneously ignoring the thoughts and experiences of those who regularly follow, participate and enjoy the sport in question? So discouraging.
It's the same as anyone who's had a passing glance at Dressage. What we ask of our horses must be unnatural and disgusting. Everyone must rollkur their horses to achieve what they do. I'm sure if you head over to the Dressage section you'll find this exact same conversation. Or over to the Gaited sections - there's a ton of hate towards people who do certain things in that discipline that even if they DON'T conform to the harsh training gets lumped into one "crap sack."
Every discipline has people who don't like it & people who do. Not everyone is going to conform to an idea that it has to be okay because somewhere there's actually people who do it right. When all you have experience with is your small local hub of classes - it's going to create a biased mindset. You just kinda have to be content to know that YOU don't do it, even if everyone & their mother does, you are NOT part of that group.
Anyway. That being said - I personally don't like WP. Not my cup of tea. Exactly like how HoF or Dressage isn't yours. Everyone has different interests. Can you admit there are things in Dressage and looks of certain horses you don't like? Yes. I'm sure there is/are. Just like I don't like the unnatural slow jerky movements & peanut rolling some people still do in WP. Does that mean I think everyone in WP does it? No. I've seen well ridden WP horses that looked natural and enjoyed how they were being ridden.
Don't want you to feel like I'm jumping all over you >.> But WP isn't the "only discipline" getting attacked. Every discipline is going to be nitpicked when you throw bad eggs in the bunch. I'm pretty sure Roping was getting picked on awhile back somewhere.
And yes, I've owned a pleasure bred horse who liked to carry his head naturally low. That was his comfort zone. I nurtured that and allowed him to move where he felt comfortable. I think that's the biggest thing to remember in any discipline. The horse's natural conformation and asking them to do what's comfortable.
I'm sure where his head is doesn't look "low," but it was lower than all my girls chose. That was his spot where he was collected best, happiest, and working well. I think he looks awesome. Just like I think a happy WP horse looks awesome, or a happy Dressage horse. I loved that Cowboy Dressage video someone posted elsewhere. That horse held his head where he liked it, moved naturally, and just looked like a happy horse. Whew anyway think I kinda started rambling...
I must say I think I've seen more mouth man handling at barrel/gymkhana shows then at any western show I've attended. Posted via Mobile Device
This too. Mainly play days. It seems pretty rampant in the speed events :/. I mean there are some people who really do a good job but yeah a lot of people at play days are hard on the mouth. Posted via Mobile Device
I still don't understand why people think breed show people are not allowed at local fun shows. What's wrong with going to practice on a $10k horse? Seems like a lot of people are just plain jealous. Usually the 5 figure horses will be placed at the top of the class because it's not cheap to breed and train pleasure horses! Sorry! Showing is not a pity contest. The judge doesn't see who "deserves" it more than the other person. All they see is what is in front of them right there. How can you honestly say someone else does not deserve to win because they spent more money than you? Can you really judge a person because they have a nice horse? Have you even talked to them?
Good grief. If you were really there for fun you would be thankful that these people showed up to support and give money to your club to put on more shows. I am just appalled at the lack of sportsmanship by all people. Just because someone has a more expensive horse than you doesn't mean they don't work just as hard and don't deserve to be there. If you think someone is being out of line then tell your show organizers.
Oh Vair Oh, I don't disagree, but it can be difficult to attract more into the sport when there is just no chance in heck you will ever place in a class. When you have a $25,000 finished show horse with a world title competing against a $1,000 school horse used for lessons...there is a big difference. Kids DO need to learn how to win and lose gracefully, but they also grow discouraged and quit something they love when they are constantly losing due to an obvious lack of resources.
I wish there was a show circuit more suited to those just starting out and wanting to have fun. But I haven't found it yet. 4H is supposed to be that way, but the competitive nature of many parents/riders has encroached on that venue as well. I'm hoping that the new leveling program with AQHA may help even things up.
As I've stated, our goals are not to take Acey to Congrss or World. We show so that my daughter can learn about competition, sportsmanship, working as a team with her horse and trainer, and to see how her riding is progressing. We have found that showmanship and equitation classes work best for us, because it is supposed to be judged on the handler/rider and not all about the horse. We have beaten the finished show horses in those classes because my daughter is a good little rider and improving every day. :). That makes me proud and I hope it helps give Kitten the incentive to keep with the sport. Posted via Mobile Device