Western Critique! O.O
Yup, I will be showing western this season, and I really want some critique so I know what to work on. But be nice please, Bear and I are both english trained, so we arent the best at western. As far as I know, this was Bears first ever western ride, and I thought he did pretty good. =]
By the way, we will be switching him into the short shank tom-thumb once he gets used to the whole western thing. As I said, he is english trained, so western is a bit different for him.
I do have a western trainer that will be helping us out too. =]
He seems a bit heavy on his forehand but it could just be that one pic. You might try letting the reins go a little bit. Most western horses (especially in shows) are ridden on loose or even droopy reins.
Just wondering, which picture are you talking about? Yeah, I agree that I need to work on that. We did do a bit of loose rein work at mainly the walk, and he needs work on neck reining, but we will get there! I am going to take him into a green horse class, just two gait, until I feel ready that he is ready to move up to 3 gate green horse. Once he is in the tom=thumb my reins will be looser, as I hate seeing shank bits with tight reins, hehe.
Anyone else? =]
I would recommend relaxing your leg a bit. Your horse is supposed to look like a "pleasure" to ride. The less a judge can see you asking for things, the better.
I know that he's just transitioning but I would try to give him as much rein as possible. Also - no need to switch to a shanked bit just yet. Work him on a loose rein with a snaffle bit. Once he's got the neck reining and light cues down pat, try a shanked bit with even less cueing.
I would really postpone switching bits for as long as possible. I ride my guy in a snaffle on a very loose western-rein and he does just fine. I do, of course, show him in a shanked bit.
I was talking about that third picture. The one where you are jogging to the left.
Here are two examples of loose rein with a snaffle bit. He's in a D-ring snaffle. That way, I can direct rein him if need be. In a tom thumb you can't direct rein.
So, with a snaffle you can still teach light contact and neck reining, but you also have the ability to collect your horse back up, shift his weight or direct rein. :)
Pink shirt is me riding, green shirt is my BFF who is VERY novice riding. Notice how he drops his head with a bit more rein (green rider) and picks up a bit more as I collect (pink shirt)?
Oh trust me, I am putting it off as long as possible! He really does perfer his snaffles, hehe. I am going to do the same thing that you do with your horses, after doing what you advised (I hope that made sense). I perfer snaffles myself, so he will school in that at home after he gets used to the tom-thumb when I move him onto that.
Just wanted to add two things... One, yeah, he is on the forehand pretty bad normally, that is one of the mane things we will be working on once im riding him again. Two, I am so, so in love. =,]
So I should really just drop my reins and work on getting him to drop his head and be lighter. He is pretty lazy, so I normally wear spurs, but I dont want to use western spurs. I am trying to wean him off of spurs, and he is doing a little better, that way if I need them at shows and stuff, it will give him a little extra energy. Does that sound okay?
He's really contracting his neck muscles in a few photos, probably bracing. Thats probably the thing you want to work on the most. No judge wants to see a tense horse.
Question: why cant you direct rein with a tom thumb? ive boarded with people who used them for english, of course they do use two reins though.
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