Originally Posted by DancingArabian
I pose this question with sincere curiosity and no snark.
But what WP horse isn't -- and this is okay? Why would people encourage whatever it is about WP that causes horses to shut down and think its good?
(I don't get the allure of WP. I don't understand it and don't see the skill of the rider. It looks looe the rhinstone bedazzled riders try to sit very stretched and still while the horse shuffles along. Someone explain the parts that I don't see due to a lack of knowledge of WP? Explain the collection and abilities the rider needs and all that? I'm an English rider so my way of going is clearly different)
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No, it was kind of a snarky comment about most western pleasure horses are a little "shut-down", which means the person training them just went a little above and beyond what they should have. I don't think a shut down horse is good, because they loose the beauty of that front leg. I really like to have a more extended front leg that is flat in the knee, but a horse that is shut down will typically short-stride instead of really sinking into his gait while still going slower.
The skill is - I challenge you to create a perfectly balanced horse. One who collects up through the withers and ribcage, and one who has perfect cadence - which means they keep the same rhythm throughout. Now I challenge you to take that horse and slow it down without loosing any of the aforementioned qualities. Now I challenge you to create cues that nobody else can see, that are so small and subtle but your horse is still responsive to them. To have complete control over shoulder, ribcage, and hindquarters without barely moving a spur. Now do it all on a completely draped rein, where you have no direct contact with the horses mouth except for the lightest amount of pressure.
There is a lot that goes into it - I can hardly scratch the surface! And the reason the riders look so stiff is because their trainers drill equitation into their minds! Try riding with your spur straps balanced on the tips of your toes next time you ride, and you'll stretch up a lot too! Haha.