Questions about various disciplines and breeds
So I am hoping I can word this without anyone jumping down my throat. It is not a judgement thread, but rather one where questions can be asked of people who ride disciplines or work breeds of horses that one might not know a lot about.
For many years (while growing up) I was mostly in breed specific show barns. Then years later I went to a multi discipline show barn but it was very separate. In other words, English horses, mostly Arabs, Saddlebreds, Morgans, Andalusians etc... were on one side of the barn. On the other side, were the Quarterhorses, Apps etc... In the middle was 2 very large indoor arenas. Oddly enough, people tended to stay in "their areas" in the arena too.
It was as if, stock type horses were Oil and English type horses were water and they couldn't mix. I always thought that strange but, it was just how it was. I am a yappy person and will talk to just about anyone. One day I was standing there watching the barrel racing gals do their thing in the arena and I thought "that looks like fun" so I asked if I could join in.
I know that most of them thought I was nuts with my snorting Saddlebred and my flat saddle but the "big dog" the one that was sort of looked up to by the others said "yeah, give it a go." I ran around the barrels with my snorting horse and though it wasn't pretty the first time, the barrel lady gave me some pointers and I went again. This time, it was better. Not easy to spin around barrels with a flat saddle I might add. ha ha
Anyway, I gained an appreciation for "other disciplines" and though My Park horse friends though me nuts, I really enjoyed that barrel experience. I have tried a few other things of course over the years. Dressage, Enlish horse western and jumping ( I loved that)
I do not however know a lot about some disciplines and have always wondered. I have leaned in my old age to "never say never" as what I thought I would never be interested in, I now am. I never thought I would want a Quarterhorse but I have seen several as of late that I would like very much. At least, I think I would. I am concerned about the downhill build of many of the Quarterhorses.
So Why are so many Quarter horses down hill? What is the purpose of that conformation? In Western Pleasure classes the heads of the horses are carried so low, is there a practical reason for that? Same goes for HUS classes. This is where I think I might like to give it a go.
I love all the Western outfits too but it seems the styles change so frequently and the tack alone can be very very expenisive.
So, if you show in Western or HUS would you mind talking a little about it? What do you love about it? What is the biggest challenge? What would you like others to know about it?
I think the downhill build of the QH helps in rapid acceleration. Think of the Jack rabbit; much larger hind legs than front. And in working cows, the horse has his head down low to kind of "drive" the cows, and his front legs out in front, and uses the powereful back legs to swing right or left abruptly , as the cow dodges right or left.
I think that originally the headset was supposed to be a natural level, just like what you'd see if the horse was just ambling along on his own across the pasture, head and neck at the angle that creates the least muslce tension and allows for medium distance vision. but over time, I think it has become distorted to an overly low head set, and the head brought back so that any distance vision is impossible. Horse only sees right in front of itself on the ground.
When you think about it, the old hunter horse of England and the old cowboy horse had similar needs: be able to range across open country for hours, keep your footing on rough terrain and dont' tire easily.
Downhill build does NOT help a horse in western pleasure and we absolutely don't breed for a downhill build. It's more for cow horses. A downhill build on a western pleasure horse will force him onto the forehand and give him that ugly "putzy" gait.
I show both western pleasure and HUS - on the same horse! It can be done! The heads are carried low because it is natural to the horse. Trust me, these ponies have no problem sticking their noses to the ground if they wanted to. I actually had to train my last gelding how to hold his head UP!
Trust me, the trends don't change as much as they are stereotyped to. I've had the same tack for ten years and my judge friends really could care less.
It's all about collection, cadence, balance, and speed control. The biggest challenge is getting that perfect "gait". You want the stretchy front leg, collection through the withers and back, and fluid movements. All with very complex, subtle leg cues and practically no direct contact with the mouth. It's quite a fun challenge in my opinion and is a lot harder than it looks!
I have recently been very attracted to the idea of HUS showing. I keep seeing horses that make me turn my head, which is a big change as I never used to look twice at any Quarterhorse. I love some of the BIG HUS horses. I would love a 17 hand Buckskin HUS horse. I found one for sale but moved too slow. That is alright, I am also a believer in fate and there is a reason I didn't get that horse. I am not actively looking just once in awhile something peeks my interest more then others.
I do love some of the outfits that they wear during the Western classes. All the glittery tops etc... As much as I love Saddleseat, I have never been excited about most of the day suits. Love the formal wear of the 3 gaited classes though.
I have on many occasions said "I don't care for Grey horses" but then I see someone like this and my head snaps back to look closer. I am not a fan of the fake tail thing though.
Not sure I could get used to the low heads. After years of looking through ears it would be strange to have all the widde open space in front of me. ha ha
As I have always said, I'll take a 17hh AQHA/APHA and do a hunter course any day of the week over a Warmblood or TB. But, I like to go "slow and pretty". You either love it, or you don't. Which is fine, you can be perfectly happy showing a TB in rated hunter-jumper shows with a completely different style of going. It's all personal preference.
And you'll learn to love the fake tail >D Even my yearling has a fake tail now, mwahahaha, I'm so cruel!
I don't think a fake tail is neccessarily cruel. I just think it looks.... fake. I am not yet to the point of liking a Quarterhorse over a warmblood. I have had several warmbloods over the years and the uphill build suited me.
It is strange how my tastes or needs are changing as I get older though. I never used to like Buckskins or Grey's and now I do. I never used to like Quarterhorses at all and now I do like some. Still don't care for the ones that are downhill or unbalanced but that is for every horse.
I do love a Saddlebred doing western but I know that isn't how the Quarterhorse Western pleasure people see WP.
That looks scary to me xD But I know nothing about Saddleseat, so it's nothing I can complain about other than the fact that I'm not used to seeing/riding a horse with that type of movement.
Ha Ha These remind me of the old westerns. Some of the horses rode with their heads up higher, like that.
What is the "in color" of saddles in the Western Pleasure classes now?
Anyone here ride barrels? complete in them?
Just like in regular fashion, there are "trends" and there are "classics". Classics will last forever, while trends may only last a little while.
Classics - semi-light oil, dark oil. Collared, button-up shirt. Fringe chaps. Felt hat. Navajo pads.
Trends - super light oil, black oil. Fringe on shirts, airbrush designs, matchy-matchy head-to-toe, hats with rhinestones on brim, pads with leather, rhinestones, etc.
Here's a picture of my tack. It's cheaper tack, classic color. It will probably never go out of style. Had it for about 10 years. I've asked my judge-friends, and they think it's perfectly fine. Ridden in it up to Congress level and did not feel "out of place". At this particular breed show dressed like this, I won All-around Horse for the entire weekend and placed 1st in every western class.
It's a Circle Y set.
I like your saddle. I have always been a fan of dark leather but on some horses, I think the lighter color really pops. I just know of a few people who show western that are forever changing tack because the "fashion changes" and lord knows most folks can't afford that.
Pretty horse. I love the shirt too. I have to admit, I love seeing all the different outfits. Some people match their horses so well. ha ha I have very little experience in Western Saddles. To me, they make me feel a little claustrophobic. That said, I did use a Circle Y saddle in the past that was pretty comfy. Many long years ago, on a whim, I showed my friends Arabian in Western and placed well. I have thought about doing Saddlebred Western Pleasure as well. It is a big investment to just try it out.
Do you have any video of you showing in HUS classes? Have you noticed the horses getting taller and taller in HUS classes?
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