Some interesting ideas on here and good advice about western pleasure. For instance it is an excellent idea to watch the classes before your horse if you want to know what the judge is looking for. Asking your horse to go slightly slower or slightly faster does not put your horses health at risk. It should have been part of your training program.The crippled horses on the circuit well..they just arent out there anymore. Some judges are much more forgiving than other judges. We stay in a barn that is owned by an APHA judge and have a few friends who are judges and I have never heard one of them ever say they have a spot in the pen that they dont look at so you have a place to correct your horse. In fact your horse is supposed to go in the pen prepared enough to not have to be corrected while in the pen and you will loose points if you get caught correcting your horse in the pen. If you want to show to win be prepared. Make sure your horse is ready to show and wont need correction in the pen. Fact is if you have a clean ride, and your horse is consistent you will do well. Judges look for your horse to have a free flowing stride in keeping with his conformation. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so remember that a horse who goes out there that is honest, willing, bright eyed, cadenced, and appears to be a pleasure to ride, will have a better chance than the horse that goes 2 slow, set too low or high, and is unhappy or lethargic looking. Western Pleasure is evolving and getting better, and better.