At the risk of beating a dead horse to death, I will reply to this post one last time.
The showring is an exhibition of training and ability, so has nothing to do as to how a horse moves out across the pasture
At one time, yes, western pleasure was not specialized, so that it was an entry level riding class for any horse, including reiners and working cowhorses. Quality of movement was not a factor
Halter at that time was also an entry level class to demonstrate future athletic ability. Halter also has become specialized, so that those top halter horses at upper end often never see a saddle. The concept of true 'form to function' is gone
Whether you like the movement of today's upper end western pleasure horse is really not a factor ,esp if you are outside of the discipline, riding gymkana horses, other breeds or what have you
The point remains that every discipline at upper end has become toughter. I've given the example of winning reiners from the past, as compared to the reiners of today,in regards to finesse
THe Appaloosa, Impassible, is performing a western riding pattern, so there is no valid comparison to western pleasure. He is agreat lead changer, and I have used that video before in illustrating flying changes
Many western pleasure horses go on to also do western riding, and one has to move them out a tad more in order to facilitate flying changes
It is an different event, so sort of like comparing apples to oranges. When Impassible is in a western pleasure class, his speed is rated more
If you get nothing else out of this post, realize and accept that it is much more difficult for a horse to perform true gaits moving slow. At upper end, all the horses can walk, jog, lope, have good transititions, so there has to be a criteria to separate the average horse from the great ones, by upping the degree of difficulity
Now, let's not go into all of the poor unethical training methods some trainers used to try and achieve this way of going on horses without th eability or mind, as I don't want to have to go into other disciplines again and point out methods used there by less that steller trainers. Believe me they exist in every discipline
AGAIN, nobody is saying that top level WP is easy. Simply that it isn't practical for an actual using horse. I still don't get why you are so quick to jump to preaching all the wrongs in other disciplines either. Yes, we know it happens, but this thread is about WP, not rollkur in dressage or pads in TWH.
Western pleasure is a show ring exhibition of ability, and has nothing to do with getting from point a to point b
Counter cantering, long trotting, are all used in helping to build strength in a western pleasure horse
Any well trained horse can perform all three gaits, and be pretty steady.
Not all horses can move flat kneed, slow legged, rate speed and collection off of leg and seat alone, yet perform true gaits
Those that think upper end western pleasure horses look like they are lame, have no idea how to judge correct movement when it is slowed
In fact, if confronted, I found many didn't even have an idea of the correct beats and footfalls, esp at the lope
Accept the fact that the showring needs a method of upping the degree of difficulity at upper end, and in westen pleasure it is the ability to move slow, yet correct, without rein support. You don't have to like it, any more than I like watching a gymkana horse whipped and spurred around an obstacle, but if truly a horseman, you try and educate yourself by going to clinics or talking to judges that judge World level pleasure classes. You just might learn something!
I'm done. The horse is dead. Want to come and trail ride with my pleasure horse? Might get a different idea between show ring , and how these horses can catch a cow like any other horse, should the need arise!
Why other disciplines-well because people from other disciplines conveniently are blind to any faults in their discipline, and it is people outside of western pleasure that seem to find a need to critique a discipline they are not even involved in, or truly understand.
The showring has nothing to do with demonstrating a 'using horse".Accept that
The show ring is a place to demonstrate ability and training
It's kinda rude to naturally assume that just because I don't like WP that I am uneducated about how a horse should move and what looks "good". I know what it takes to get a winning horse and how much training goes into it. My Dad has trained several world champion WP horses over the years so I may not be quite as uneducated as you want to believe. In the world where I live, the actual working world where horses are my job and my income, a horse that lopes at 5 mph is completely impractical and ridiculous. The way I see things, if it doesn't serve a practical purpose, then there is no reason for it. The problem with the way that they look is that when that correct movement is slowed to that extreme, then it is no longer correct. You said yourself that WP horses do not travel like that in the pasture and you have to speed them up to do anything else with them, so what is so wrong about having an actual flowy horse that is comfortable and natural looking? It doesn't look natural because it isn't. A naturally moving horse should not have to bob their head and neck to pick up their shoulders for the lope. From the saddle, a lope shouldn't feel like a stutter-step, it should be a sweeping motion. If horses were meant to travel that way, then they would travel that way all the time and not require years of intensive training to "create" those gaits.
There is one thing that you are right about though. This is just beating a dead horse.
The old wooden door to the Forum Lodge slammed against the wall with a loud bang as Farmpony entered the room in a rage.
"I hate you all!" she screamed at the top of her longs, not a high pitched scream but a deep guttoral ominous one. She growled as she looked for something to fling against the walls. She grabbed an umbrella and raised it above her head. In the mirror she could see the outline of an animal. A blue animal, with a pink ribbon on it's tail. She took a breath as she set the umbrella down. There was no way she could slam Eeyore against the wall. No ever.
"Western pleasure is MY sport!" It came out in an evil whispered growl.
"I ride western pleasure!"
Where was I going with that? OH YEAH.......
I blew my classes this weekend at state fair for a couple reasons. One of the biggest ones is that I had been focusing on my speed for about 2 weeks before the show. As we all know, western pleasure horses are SLOW. My jog is pretty great, he has a natural comfortable happy little jog, he'd love to do it all day long.
His lope is not there yet. What I should have been doing is not focusing on his speed but focusing on impulsion and forward movement. Without that, you have a broken down trope looking thing, it's slow, but it's ugly and as many pointed out, it's miserable to sit. I had the speed as the rest of the horses and I used my little Frankenstein hands to "set" his little head so we looked like we knew what we were doing. But we didn't, because we were flat, strung out, and forced. I think this is the argument that the non-western pleasure meanieheads (I just through in meanieheads because it made me feel better! Teehee) are trying to say.
A well trained, well ridden WP horse still looks forced and fake to someone that rides hunt or ranch-style. A dressage rider will looked at a well trained, well ridden WP horse and see the correct gaits. HOWEVER because it is so hard to get to that goal, there are way more mediocre horses out there then not.
I've decided to drop my western lope for now. I have the jog, so my focus is on a proper english canter. When I get that and can hold that, then we'll worry about the speed. That comes last. With many many western pleasure horses the focus is on the head and the speed rather then what matters.
So this is not a bash the quarter horse, or a bash the WP horse thread, it's a... What is it?
"I hate you all!" she screamed at the top of her longs, not a high pitched scream but a deep guttoral, ominous one. She growled as she looked for something to fling against the walls. She grabbed an umbrella and raised it above her head. In the mirror she could see the outline of an animal. A blue animal, with a pink ribbon on it's (no apostrophe) tail. She took a breath as she set the umbrella down. There was no way she could slam Eeyore against the wall. Not ever.
And the editor and me points at the screen and screams, "TYPOS!! TYPOS!!"
Sorry, Farmpony. ROTFL. I know you're a good egg and can take my ribbing. (You really should FINISH THAT BOOK!!!)
Smrobs, I love her, too. :) In a smiling, non-lesbian way.