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- - Can any horse just about do pleasure? (http://www.horseforum.com/western-pleasure/can-any-horse-just-about-do-360217/)
Can any horse just about do pleasure?
I'm doing 4h this summer:) yay.. Anyways, I don't want to do barrels and gymkhana for 4h. I am doing showmanship in hand( halter classes) and I want to do the pleasure class...
Sunny has slown down soooo incredibly much since the last time I have been on here. I can trot him( NICE AND RELAXED for the most part) on a loose rein:D:D:D!!!
I know that he may never place in world shows. duh.. but can any horse be taught that slow jog and lope? honestly, I don't really want that SLLLOOWWW of a lope and jog but can it be taught to just about any horse?
Does a horse have to be built perfect for that?
Sorry if that sounds so stupid to ask. I just dont know much about this:) thanks for the help in advance:)
No, there is a lot of breeding/genetics that goes into trying to get the "ideal" pleasure horse. They have to be able to handle a super amount of collection and slow suspension in their stride. You want a deep hock, powerful hindquarters, strong top line, super flat front leg movement, a balanced neck, and a natural inclination to go slow-legged and steady.
There is a difference between going "slow", but going lazy hollowed out with lots of knee action and a quick choppy stride vs. going slow with collection, cadence, and a deep hock with a swinging flat front leg. They could probably keep pace with each other speed-wise, but the second is definitely the prettier picture. Commonly horses who are forced to go too slow for their conformation will four-beat, which is not desired.
That doesn't mean you can't have fun with your horse, every horse can go their version of slow and collected, but if you try to imitate the "image" of another type of horse (square peg, round hole), you will probably get poorly moving results, or have to resort to some unsavory training tactics to force a horse into that position. :)
Well for a 4h class it will be okay? not to be the perfect conformed horse correct?
(me and my already here 4H jitters;) )
4H is fine for that, it's all about learning. :) I would just do what's good for your horse's current conformation, even if that means going a little faster. True gaits and cadence are better than just slow speed.
Can any horse do WP? Nope, not if you want to do it right.
If your goal is to simply have fun at a local level small show, then yes, any horse can do WP.
Everyone has different goals.
Now it is true that not all horses are capable of achieving that slow western pleasure jog and well-collected lope. Just like not everyone can be an NFL starting quarterback, not every horse is capable of world-show-quality gaits. If you horse can't do them, do not force them because it won't look good.
I agree with ohvairoh that you need to find the rhythm and cadence that works the best for your particular horse. No, he may not be world-show quality, but you should be able to teach him to travel on a loose and relaxed rein and use him for 4H shows.
I agree with Beau, at the lower levels like the OP is talking about, 4h and fun show type stuff, then yes any horse can do WP and have a chance at winning if their training is good enough.
At lower levels like that, good training is more important than natural ability. If you can find a horse with both, then you've got it made in the shade, but most folks have to get by with what they've got, even if it isn't "ideal".
Sure, you can show any horse in western pleasure. But is it for any horse? Nope.
Before I converted Rusty to English, we did a lot of local western things. He was too slow and not agile enough for barrels and poles. I tried WP...what a disaster. Rusty has these huge strides that do not collect like WP horses. He also needs contact and not the loose rein.
So...I switched him to hunters in the English side of the world. Big strides are wanted, contact with a looser rein is good, and did I mention he loves to jump?
Who said it would be acceptable to "long trot and canter quick on a tight rein" for a western pleasure class?
From the 4H rulebook (since we are talking about 4H):
A good pleasure equine has a stride of reasonable length in keeping with his conformation. He has enough cushion to his pastern to give the rider a pleasant, smooth ride. He carries his head in a natural position, not high
and over flexed at the poll or low with the nose out. The equine should be relaxed but alert and ready to respond to the rider's commands without excessive cueing. When asked to extend the jog, he moves out with the same smooth way of going.
-Emphasis in this class will be placed on the equine's suitability
as a pleasure mount as evidenced by both the performance in the class and
its general type, conformation, and soundness. Scoring will be based on
performance and on conformation.
1)The walk is a natural, flat-footed four-beat gait. The equine must move straight and true at the walk. The walk must be alert, with a stride of reasonable length in keeping with the size of the equine.
2)The jog is a smooth ground-covering two-beat diagonalgait. The equine works from one pair of diagonals to the other pair. The jog should be square, balanced and with as straight, forward movement of the feet. Equines walking with their back feet and trotting on the front are not considered performing the required gait.
3)The lope is an easy, rhythmical three-beat gait. Equines moving to the left should lope on the left lead. Equines moving to the right should lope on the right lead. Equines traveling at a four-beat gait are not considered to be performing at a proper lope. The equine should lope with a natural stride and appear relaxed and smooth. He should be ridden at a speed that is natural in way of going.
b) All equines will enter the ring in a counterclockwise direction at the walk until they are otherwise directed by the judge. They will then go at least once around the entire ring at each of the three gaits - walk, jog and lope. All equines will then be asked to reverse
and work the same way in that direction. The reverse shall be done by turning away from the rail.
c) After all equines have been worked, the judge may then excuse
equines not to be considered further in the class.
d)The judge may ask for additional work from any of the remaining
e) All equines being considered for an award shall be asked to back in a straight line a minimum of 3 steps.
f)Only one hand is to be used for reining. The hand chosen (either right or left) shall not be changed during the class. If a rope is carried on the saddle, it must be attached to the side opposite the reining hand. One finger is allowed between the reins except when romal reins are used. The rider may hold the romal or ends of the split reins provided it is held at least 16" from the reining hand.
If you want to get nit-picky about descriptions in rule books, the 4H rules say nothing about how fast or slow each gait should be. But only that the gaits needs to be natural and smooth for the individual horse, and in a stride length that is suitable for the horse. I'd much rather see a horse traveling a little faster at the lope and have it look natural and smooth and a pleasure to ride, than see a horse be forced into a lope that is too slow for them to physically carry and it looks hideous and uncomfortable.
By that definition, why can't ANY horse be taught to travel straight, relaxed, smooth, and on a loose rein, and do well at a small local show like 4H? Why is that doing it wrong?
Anyway, I'm glad to hear that I've been doing western pleasure WRONG all these years just because I don't have a horse that is capable of doing this:
And on that thought, any show that is low-level local (and for fun) is doing all their events WRONG because the horse's aren't world-caliber and "doing it right" as you call it. :? :?
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