Can any horse just about do pleasure? - Page 4
 
 

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Can any horse just about do pleasure?

This is a discussion on Can any horse just about do pleasure? within the Western Pleasure forums, part of the Western Riding category

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        03-01-2014, 12:22 PM
      #31
    Trained
    At the higher levels, WP horses don't actually canter or trot. From a 2010 study on horse motion:



    Also:
    "However, had the extended lopes completely conformed to the three-beat requirement for the lope, the smoothness of the gait would have been lost; the lack of suspension and inclusion of diagonal couplets means there is no “bounce” in the stride and allows for a smooth, comfortable ride. Correct performance of a three-beat gait includes suspension, which creates “bounce and therefore roughness during the ride. Losing the smoothness of the stride would be contradictory to stock horse breed association guidelines. Horses performing the collected and extended lopes did not indicate proper head carriage or a level topline and did not conform to guidelines for gait performance. Therefore, it would be prudent of major stock breed association’s to take into consideration the way in which the lope is currently being performed and either adapt current western pleasure gait definitions to more closely match what is being performed or to fully enforce the gait definitions as written."
    So all horses are not bred to work well at the higher levels of WP, but any horse should be able to do a slower, relaxed trot (jog) or a relaxed, modest, fun-to-ride canter (lope). As long at the OP's goal is to have fun and work on relaxed, comfortable paces, WP might be fine.

    Mia is far from an acceptable trail horse, but spending time on trails is teaching her to be a much more enjoyable horse all the rest of the time. A horse who learns relaxed, easy, smooth paces would be more fun to ride at any time, even if the horse is often ridden in fast sports. Training to expand a horse's horizons is wonderful. Expecting a horse to be competitive regardless of conformation is not. I suspect we're all largely in agreement and could settle our thoughts quickly over a steak and some wine...so if any of you expect to be in southern Arizona later today...
    Chevaux likes this.
         
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        03-01-2014, 04:23 PM
      #32
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    At the higher levels, WP horses don't actually canter or trot. From a 2010 study on horse motion:



    Also:
    "However, had the extended lopes completely conformed to the three-beat requirement for the lope, the smoothness of the gait would have been lost; the lack of suspension and inclusion of diagonal couplets means there is no “bounce” in the stride and allows for a smooth, comfortable ride. Correct performance of a three-beat gait includes suspension, which creates “bounce and therefore roughness during the ride. Losing the smoothness of the stride would be contradictory to stock horse breed association guidelines. Horses performing the collected and extended lopes did not indicate proper head carriage or a level topline and did not conform to guidelines for gait performance. Therefore, it would be prudent of major stock breed association’s to take into consideration the way in which the lope is currently being performed and either adapt current western pleasure gait definitions to more closely match what is being performed or to fully enforce the gait definitions as written."
    So all horses are not bred to work well at the higher levels of WP, but any horse should be able to do a slower, relaxed trot (jog) or a relaxed, modest, fun-to-ride canter (lope). As long at the OP's goal is to have fun and work on relaxed, comfortable paces, WP might be fine.

    Mia is far from an acceptable trail horse, but spending time on trails is teaching her to be a much more enjoyable horse all the rest of the time. A horse who learns relaxed, easy, smooth paces would be more fun to ride at any time, even if the horse is often ridden in fast sports. Training to expand a horse's horizons is wonderful. Expecting a horse to be competitive regardless of conformation is not. I suspect we're all largely in agreement and could settle our thoughts quickly over a steak and some wine...so if any of you expect to be in southern Arizona later today...
    Hi BSMS! Can you give me a link to who conducted this study? What they failed to mention is that a jog and a lope, the legs move MUCH slower, and there actually is some suspension....because you have some hang time in the air with a great loper. That's why in the WP biz, the talk of "slow legged" comes up all the time.
         
        03-01-2014, 05:01 PM
      #33
    Trained
    ^^ Sure! Here:

    http://etd.auburn.edu/etd/bitstream/...pdf?sequence=2

    Kinematic Analysis of the Collected and Extended Jog and Lope of the Stock Breed Western Pleasure Horse (2010)

    Pg 82: "As expected, there was no period of suspension found in the collected jog."

    Pg 111: "Disuniting of the diagonal pair gave the lope a four beat rhythm, which does not conform to the breed standard for gait performance."

    Pg 158: "In the current study, both the collected and extended jogs were scientifically determined to be symmetrical four-beat stepping gaits with lateral footfall sequences and no period of suspension."
         
        03-01-2014, 05:20 PM
      #34
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    ^^ Sure! Here:

    http://etd.auburn.edu/etd/bitstream/...pdf?sequence=2

    Kinematic Analysis of the Collected and Extended Jog and Lope of the Stock Breed Western Pleasure Horse (2010)

    Pg 82: "As expected, there was no period of suspension found in the collected jog."

    Pg 111: "Disuniting of the diagonal pair gave the lope a four beat rhythm, which does not conform to the breed standard for gait performance."

    Pg 158: "In the current study, both the collected and extended jogs were scientifically determined to be symmetrical four-beat stepping gaits with lateral footfall sequences and no period of suspension."
    Thanks for posting that! Now, I see it was a paper written by a student going for a PhD. So what I have to wonder is.....what horses did they use as "test" subjects. I mean, obviously they chose a study group of horses to get their findings. You can take a crappy mover with a rider that doesn't know how to ride to get a horse to use it's body. OR you can use a top performance with a rider that knows what to do, and you'll get different findings.
         
        03-01-2014, 06:43 PM
      #35
    Trained
    I don't see any sign that it was a poorly done paper or biased. Skimming thru it - I don't care enough about the issue to read over 200 pages in depth - it seems pretty much everyone who has looked at it empirically has concluded the same thing.
    Pg 42: "In all previously cited studies, horses demonstrated a period of quadrupedal limb support during the jog. The four‐beat rhythm, due to diagonal couplets, and lack of suspension should, by definition, classify the jog as a stepping gait in contrast to the leaping gait classification of the trot (of which the jog is a variation) (Nicodemus and Booker 2007)."
    I spent some time looking, and could not find any study that contradicted this one.
    Page 66: "Horses selected for this study 1) were located at a nationally known stock breed western pleasure trainer’s facility, 2) demonstrated desirable jogging and loping qualities according to what is currently being seen in stock breed western pleasure competition, 3) determined to be “healthy” for the purpose of this research project on data collection day by a licensed veterinarian, 4) are actively training for or competing in stock breed western pleasure competition, and 5) demonstrated visual soundness. The research team included individuals who are actively involved in the equine industry and are qualified to render judgments concerning gait quality and acceptability in stock breed western pleasure as well as soundness."
    I think it also concurs with the opinions of a lot of us who have simply watched videos of high level WP competition and do NOT see suspension. I could easily be accused of missing it. I make no pretense of being an expert on equine locomotion. However, I honestly think the data is heavily on the side of it being a 4-beat gait. I also think empirical motion studies are more reliable than the impression made by a rider's rump. Unless I see data to the contrary, I'll continue to believe that WP is dominated by 4 beat gaits giving a very smooth ride...but not a motion normally bred and trained in stock horses.
         
        03-01-2014, 07:32 PM
      #36
    Yearling
    Yea, I saw over 200 pages and went yikes! I find it intEresting that they call the jog a 4 beat gait, when my horse jogs with a true two beat that is felt in my seat. There is no leaping, as they call it, due to how flat his moves in his limbs particularly his knee and how his moves from his shoulder. Now a 4 beat lope...yep, seen enough of that in my day which is directly related to poor training.

    Thanks again for posting it.
         
        03-01-2014, 07:59 PM
      #37
    Trained
    Mia is not in any sense a WP horse or even a reasonably trained horse. This is the only picture I have of her doing her 'jog' - a relaxed, easy, very comfortable-to-sit trot. It looks to me like her legs are moving in a trot, but her she seems to have 3 feet on the ground at that moment...and my family jokes about this being Mia 'pretending to trot':



    The author of the 2010 WP study argues that movement in horses in a continuum, and that they are capable of a much greater variety of motion than the categories we put them in to. That was the problem faced by one study I read on dressage horses. It tried to define "collection", but it seemed as if horses achieved that balance shift in a variety of ways.
    "The assumptions by riders and trainers of the motion pattern of collection at trot may have arisen from observations made at slower speeds such as walk, piaffe and passage, and may only in part be valid for lower degrees of collection at trot. The rider’s experiences of balance and weight shift can for example be a result of changes in timing between the fore- and hind limb placements and changes in stride frequency and/or stance durations. Holmström et al. (1994) suggested that a large positive diagonal advanced placement indicates good balance and ability to carry weight on the hind limbs and he also showed that good moving horses had higher diagonal advanced placement (Holmström et al. 1994). Highly trained dressage horses have longer stance duration in the hind limbs than in the forelimbs at collected and extended walk (Clayton, 1995), indicating that these horses move in more self carriage which implies lightness of the forehand and greater reliance on the hind limbs for propulsion (Clayton, 2001). The complex concept of collection can not be fully defined in kinematic, kinetic and temporal terms from this thesis, but it is clear that the key lies in combining several parameters characterizing the horse as a whole, rather than focusing on single values."
    http://pub.epsilon.slu.se/1680/1/Rhodin_2008_1.pdf

    Relationship Between the Head and Neck Position, Vertebral Column and Limbs in the Horse at Walk and Trot, by Marie Rhodin"

    This is a graph of how someone displayed the variation back in 1965:



    It seems to me that horses defy our ability to limit them. It certainly highlights the problem judges have, because the motion needs to be judged by far more complexity than the simple rules an Internet poster like myself tries to use. It also reminds me how easy it is for me to train Mia for the wrong thing - to think "X" means she is moving right, when she is really cheating and my uneducated butt won't catch her deception!

    I guess this is why a person can spend a lifetime involved with horses and still have plenty left to learn......particularly those of us who started at 50!
         
        03-01-2014, 10:03 PM
      #38
    Green Broke
    Im going to stay out of the agruments loll..anyways.. I had my friend take a video of Sunny on her phone... now just to figure out how to get it on my computer.
    beau159, GotaDunQH and Cynical25 like this.
         
        03-01-2014, 10:09 PM
      #39
    Showing
    I guess my biggest thing is the same as what Fowl Play said, we're not talking national or world level here, it's a smaller 4H show. While there may be some "specialty" horses there that are actually professionally trained for WP, most of the contestants will be competing on the horses they have, even if it's not "ideal" or, by your definition, "correct".

    Will the horse have the typical WP gait? Probably not, but that is no reason for her not to train and compete. Any and every horse benefits from the training for slower paced disciplines. Whether or not she'll place (or possibly win) will greatly depend on if she can keep the relaxation and cadence on her horse, what other horses are in the class, and what the judge is looking for.

    I've seen plenty of 4H and local level shows like what the OP is considering. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the little girl on her Daddy's ranch horse beat out the horses that were "trained" for WP because the ranch horse was the most relaxed and natural of the entire class and that's what the judge was looking for.

    OP, go for it! Whether you'll be successful or not, only time will tell, but you and your horse will both be better for taking the time to do the training, regardless of where you place in the class.
         
        03-01-2014, 10:56 PM
      #40
    Trained
    I have had many revelations while I have been rebuilding myself from the wreck of last year, and I have finally GOT something



    I would rather enter low level classes on Mr Gibbs, and have fun seeing what he can do, than buy a trained ******* insert your discipline of choice.

    Are we going to win? Well depends what you call win, we may not get a ribbon, but if we both do our best and enjoy the days, then we are winners. So far he is booked up for a Western Dressage Clinic, Reining Clinic. Western Schooling show, where he WILL be doing WP, poles, barrels, reining, and trail.

    We should not box ourselves in, get out there and try things, you never know what you and your horse can do until you have a go.
    smrobs, Fowl Play, beau159 and 2 others like this.
         

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