Starting in western pleasure
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > Western Riding > Western Pleasure

Starting in western pleasure

This is a discussion on Starting in western pleasure within the Western Pleasure forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Starting out riding western pleasure
  • How to train a horse for western pleasure

Like Tree7Likes
  • 3 Post By oh vair oh
  • 2 Post By Palomine
  • 2 Post By GotaDunQH

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    04-24-2012, 08:36 PM
  #1
Foal
Exclamation Starting in western pleasure

Im new to the show world and I want to do western pleasure to start off and I need tips on how to train my horse and myself for it
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    04-24-2012, 09:01 PM
  #2
Started
I have decided to take what I know about training western pleasure and compile it into a directory of exercises annotated by a star (*) degree of difficulty (*- easiest, **** hardest). I will not explain how to do certain exercises in detail, that research is readily available for you to find. This is widely APHA style, and I do not assume that I know everything. Here is simply my opinions and strategies on creating a western pleasure horse, and other people are free to add their opinions as well, as I will probably forget things. But simply, here are some things to consider when entering into the world of western pleasure.

1. The horse.

To do well in western pleasure, it is optimal to have a western pleasure bred horse. They are bred to be naturally slow, with a low headset, and a flat kneed gait. Not every horse is physically cut out to be a western pleasure horse, and it is best to moderate your exercises to make sure that they fit the type of horse you ride in order to avoid an artificial gait.

An "artificial gait" can be considered many things, from forcing a horse to drop its head unnaturally low to "trot-loping" where the horse is four-beating at the canter. You must be forgiving of your horse's natural flaws in order to succeed, for it is better to be slightly faster than to be moving unnaturally. The goal of the western pleasure horse is to move with excellent cadence and ease, and without the use of direct rein contact is optimal.

Horses under the age of 6 may be shown in a two-handed snaffle bit or a bosal. Horses over the age of 6 must be shown one-handed in a curb bit.

2. Core Ground Work

Whether it's a yearling lungeline candidate, or an aged horse, groundwork is important to guiding the horse into learning the exercises later in the saddle. Here are some exercises that help build a solid foundation.

A. Join-up. **
I come from a partially natural horsemanship background, but I find that the natural techniques are also imperative for a good show horse. Free lunging your horse in a round pen is an excellent way to learn horse communication, learn to read your horse, teach your horse to respect you, and bond with your horse. A horse that trusts his herd leader will be less likely to take advantage of the rider. This also teaches the core fundamentals of pressure and release.

B. Lunging. *
Lunging is not a technique that should be used to "wear down" your horse. However, teaching a horse to lunge respectfully without pulling on the rope is imperative to a good show horse. It is only fair to allow the horse to spend a few minutes adjusting his spine, and the horse should be allowed to buck as long as he is mindful of the lead rope and does not stop or turn the other direction. At a show, it is important to lunge a horse in a strange environment so he can be more comfortable and blow off excess nervous energy. Remember to direct your horse, but do not nag your horse. Speak only when you want direct action.

C. Casual circles. **
Casual circles are the natural horsemanship equivalent of lunging, usually done on the lead rope or on the bridle with the saddle on or off. Teaching your horse to respect your space and listen to your cues is essential for being able to control the horse in a stressful situation. Casual circles should involve sending the horse around you and changing directions. The horse should be focusing on you alone as the herd leader.

D. Hip disengagements. *
To control a horse's hip is the foundation of respect, safety, and performance. Teaching a horse to disengage his hip on the ground will translate later into disengaging his hip in the saddle. The horse should quickly relinquish its hindquarters when you apply energy, and face you with respect. It is a good way to get your horse's attention and focus back in a stressful situation.

E. Lateral flexion. *
One of the utmost important fundamentals of a pleasure horse is using pressure and release when the horse softens his head to either side. The horse should be able to bend and soften his neck with the lightest of pressure. This will be very important later on, and there is no limit to the number of times it should be practiced. A pinky amount of strength is ideal.

F. The pivot. *
The horse should yield its shoulder to you on the ground and circle around its hindquarters. The horse should move out of your imposing space with respect.

G. The sidepass.**
Much the same as the pivot, only the horse should relinquish its whole body away from your pressure. With a firm hand, the horse should not move forward or back, but aiming your pressure towards his stomach, the horse should move sideways and cross his feet. The horse yields respectfully.

H. Backing up. *
The horse should back out of your personal space from pressure, and should back straight and quickly. The horse should be able to be backed from direct contact with the halter, and from the energy sent down the leadrope at a distance.


*** Will post the rest later.
     
    04-24-2012, 09:15 PM
  #3
Green Broke
To me, and I work at a WP training barn so am speaking from that. I think the easiest way is to find a trainer, and either let them train your horse and you for money, or find one that you can work for, and watch them and then try to duplicate it with your horse at home. Or you could trade work for training?

But it is not something that I think is readily taught by someone that is not well versed in it already, to an untrained horse. Even if you had a well trained horse, you would still need to know the cues to get the horse to do right.

Is there a trainer near you that you could maybe work for?
GotaDunQH and rob like this.
     
    04-24-2012, 09:26 PM
  #4
Started
Lol, yeah, finding a trainer is going to be much better than me detailing every aspect of western pleasure training xD unless you have something specific you want to know.
     
    04-25-2012, 08:04 AM
  #5
Yearling
Agree with Palomine....finding a trainer or getting lessons on a finished WP and also your horse will help greatly. One thing to remember is...not all horses have the aptitude or conformation to be a great WP horse.
rob and kate114 like this.
     
    04-27-2012, 12:44 AM
  #6
Weanling
Please go to a reputable trainer.
     

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
starting in western pleasure rednecklove Western Pleasure 0 04-24-2012 10:19 AM
Starting Western Pleasure Training MiaSweetVersion Horse Training 2 03-31-2012 04:48 PM
Halter, Western Pleasure, Western Horsemanship kaykat31 Horse Showmanship 6 09-01-2011 05:54 PM
Western pleasure bit? tank Horse Training 2 04-24-2011 05:53 PM
Western Pleasure girl_on_black_pony Western Riding 0 08-09-2008 06:48 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0