Western horse head position.
When I first started in horses, seems like a life time ago, the head position on a western horse was level with it's body, not higher and not lower.
Why has this changed? Why? Why???
It looks so unnatural, to have the horses head so low. It reminds me of those ( bad, bad) peoples horses who had their poor heads tied up for the entire morning until their western class came up and the poor horse had no choice but to have his head so low it' nose was draggin the ground like a blood hound.
Now that is all I see, that lower than top-line headset, it looks like the horse is sick or tired or maybe just sickn'tired, don't know but can someone please,please tell me the rationale behind this?
Maybe if I were to understand the reasoning, I would have an " aw-ha" moment and not be so obsessed. LOL.
I wish I could tell you. -sigh-
I've been dying to finish Jester's ROM's but I can't because his head set is level wit hhis body and you won't get anything good unless your horses nose leaves tracks in the dirt.
I mean, really. I took him to a trail class last summer. EVERY SINGLE HORSE spooked at the tarp, wouldn't open the gate, and only two people crossed the bridge. Hmph! Some trail horses.
So I took Jester in and I made him look at all the obstacles, but he just went along over everything. Danced all over the tarp, sidepassed to open the gate, and without even a moments hesitation her went right over the bridges. His haunch turns were perfect (Reining horse :D ) and he went through every obstacle with no problem. Even the rubber carwash thing he didn't even flick his ears.
And we got last place. Judge's reasoning: His head was up too far. W T F? Those horses all had their nose buried in the dirt but they spooked and wouldn't cross abstacles, the most anyone ever did was half the course. We even did it in a respectable time.
What is this world coming to?
Its not all western. I don't have their head as ow, as I don't do WP. I just trail ride a gymkhana.
I rode a WP horse one time with a WP instructor, while my mare was on stall rest with a splint bone. Needless to say, key word is [B]once[B]. never did that again. It's not even very pleasure-ful. their lope is all weird and funny, and you have to concentrate so much at home when you practise to keep them going at a good pace and their heads low and such. I don't see the "pleasure" in that. Plus the position the rider has to be in all the time is uncomfy, at least for me. The horse and rider both usually look stiff/rigid. Just MHO.
I find [B]my western pleasure as "western fun". Its just hopping on and riding for fun. lol. I mean, I think its the AQHA/APHA WP thats so messed. Compare AQHA WP:
its amazing. Which one looks more beautiful and pleasure-ful?
Plus, it just doesn't look comfy for the horse. Now, it may be entirely different, but that what it looks like, even if its not true.
Look at the first 2 min of this vid:
I guess the point is to be slow, but I guess it doesn't have to be pretty.....
Here we go again.
I personally think that whoever came up with the head position for a horse in WP had a screw loose. It looks unnatural, and the whole look of the horse reminds me of one of those exhausted horses in the war memorials.
It also can bring on a lot of nasty training methods: I know a trainer who's trying to get an Arab to get his head down for WP. This particular Arab loves holding his head way up high, so the garbage that trainer is pulling on him to get his head down...
I think what happened was someone had a great horse that carried his head slightly lower then the rest. people mimiced. Another great horse came along that carried his head even lower... people followed, then... another great horse came along.....and so on and so forth...
I've seen horses tied like that at shows. They pin in EVERY class, bring home the big wins. Their eyes are dull and they look like they've gone deep inside themselves, they have little personality and I think it's how they survive the miserable place they are in. I wonder if that's how they live their life, at home, tied all the time.
I want to win big, I want to pin high. I just love my horses personality so much and I want to go in the ring and know that I won because I'm that good. Or because my horse is that good. Not because my trainer knows all of the tricks in the book. My trainer actually knows the tricks because when I see something and I ask why, she can tell me, she just chooses not to use all those tricks.....
Horses never look like they're enjoying themselves in dressage either, yet no one dares to bash the cranked nose band, double bridle, tail swishing discipline.
Why was this thread even started? TO bash. That's why. Just like so many others, and honestly I'm sick of it.
Regardless of what you see, this is what you are SUPPOSED to be seeing, as decreed by the AQHA;
nose is carried behind the vertical consistently.
464. WESTERN PLEASURE
(a) A good pleasure horse has a free-flowing stride of reasonable
length in keeping with his conformation. He should cover a reasonable
amount of ground with little effort. Ideally, he should have a
balanced, flowing motion, while exhibiting correct gaits that are of
the proper cadence. The quality of the movement and the consistency
of the gaits is a major consideration. He should carry his head and
neck in a relaxed, natural position, with his poll level with or slightly
above the level of the withers. He should not carry his head behind
the vertical, giving the appearance of intimidation, or be excessively
nosed out, giving a resistant appearance. His head should be level
with his nose slightly in front of the vertical, having a bright expression
with his ears alert. He should be shown on a reasonably loose
rein, but with light contact and control. He should be responsive, yet
smooth, in transitions when called for. When asked to extend, he
should move out with the same flowing motion. Maximum credit
should be given to the flowing, balanced and willing horse that gives
the appearance of being fit and a pleasure to ride.
(b) A show may have up to three western
Unfortunately, judges are......?????
2. Yes, they do. People bash them just as much.
3. So, what is your problem? Don't read the thread if you don't like it. Let them have their little bashing party if they want you, noone said a thing about you here, no need to defend something that has nothing to do with you personally.
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