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Thinking about doing Western Pleasure...

This is a discussion on Thinking about doing Western Pleasure... within the Western Pleasure forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • How do they get western pleasure horses to go so slow
  • Frustrated with western pleasure

 
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    05-22-2011, 11:56 PM
  #11
Weanling
There are some really good training video out there put out buy AQHA, Robert C. Milkie and my favorite Richard Shrake. They are not that expensive and will help you.
     
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    05-28-2011, 12:27 AM
  #12
Foal
Maybe you can offer me some advice. I'm training to show in Western pleasure and when it comes to the lope, my horse just wants to go fast. I've tried slowing her down with my legs, but I can't seem to get that slooww rythym. Lol It almost seems unnatural. But she is bred to do this type of riding. I'm just frustrated. But who cares...I love her no matter. She is my first horse! She's 9.
     
    05-28-2011, 12:33 AM
  #13
Green Broke
Just because a horse is bred to do something doesn't guarantee they will be good at it. Don't force your horse into unnatural movement. Go the speed that looks and works best for your horse. Western pleasure is about movement not speed.
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    05-28-2011, 06:25 AM
  #14
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by .Delete.    
Common misconceptions of western pleasure right there.

When a judge is judging a class (depending on the number of horses in the class) they are only able to watch you so much, they don't stare at you and only you. They have other horses to watch, I recently had a conversation with an AQHA judge who told me that when he judges a class he gets to watch every horse for a maximum of 30 seconds in a class. So no, you don't have to be perfect. Perfection would be nice ofcourse, but the majority of judges understand that during a class you will have to pick up on your horse and correct them. Most judges will give you an area in the arena they will not look at so you can correct your horse.

Going slow is not the name of the game. Quality of movement is far more important then speed. Most people think that the slower you go the better you do in western pleasure, and unfortunately (due to some bad judging) that was the style for quite some time. The problem that this idea created is people took horses that were not physically able to go slow were forced, yanked, pulled, spurred into going slow which creates that ugly robotic crippled look you mentioned. Yes a western pleasure horse is supposed to go at a slow-er more relaxed pace. But a horse that is a little faster but a better mover then the slowest horse in the class should place front of the slower horse. If your horse isnt built to go slow then maybe western pleasure isnt for you but that's ok there are alot of other great styles of riding out there thatll work better.

Another thing mentioned in the quote above is to watch the winners and try to adjust to whos placing first. No no no no. This is my biggest pet peeve, this is why we have the crippled horses out there. Inexperienced people think horses are winning just because they are slow, so they take a horse that is just a decent mover and pull it back into the ground till its loping slower then most horses walk and it moves like fido. IMO if your having a good ride then don't fix something that's not broke. Its just not your day, the judge likes another horse better then yours which is ok. Who cares if your not placing first, there will always be another show and another judge. Its not all about winning, if you don't enjoy showing without winning then you shouldnt be showing at all.

Smiling, unless your truly having a great time and want to smile. Don't. 9 times out of 10 smiling becomes forced and fake looking. Its really tacky looking and most judges I have talked to say it doesnt sway how they place at all. Plus when your in 9+ classes you get tired and miserable after forcing a smile for hours.

If you want to try western pleasure, more power to you I think its a great idea. But make sure you get with a trainer who has experince with western pleasure.

End rant.
I definitely disagree with the smiling thing. I've always been told it adds a nice touch because you want to look as if you're having fun. And thank for tearing apart my gentel advice. I'm not inexperienced by any means. The slower horses that move off the hind end generally place higher. Which you just backed up my point by saying that if your horse isn't made to go slow then it's not for you. I just find your post very offending. If you disagree, that's fine it's you're right to do so. But please don't tear apart my posts and my advice.
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    05-28-2011, 12:45 PM
  #15
Green Broke
Smiling often times ends up looking forced because 9 times out of 10 it is. Like I said forcing a smile after so many classes just makes you miserable. Smiling isn't going to help you win, or atleast it shouldn't. Western please is about the horse not how pretty your smile is. Sure it might add to the over all picture of the horse, but if you have a poor moving horse it doesn't matter wether your smiling or not.

Western pleasure Is supposed to be shown at a relaxed comfortable pace which in simple terms slow. But quality of movement at a relaxed comfortable pace is far more important. If the slowest horse in the class is a terrible mover it probably and shouldn't place all that high.

I'm sorry if my post offended you that was not my intention.
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    05-29-2011, 12:31 AM
  #16
Foal
Thumbs up

Thank you for the replies! Today it all came together. My ride today was really great and I have a lesson tomorrow, so I really hope we both do well again!
     
    06-08-2011, 02:25 PM
  #17
Foal
Glad to hear your ride went well!

Though I do not ride WP, I have good friends who do. The judge is basically looking for a relaxed, happy, pretty picture in a nutshell. To be more exact, they want relaxed gaits and good moving, NOT necessarily slow.

My instructor who primarily teaches western (but is fully qualified to teach English FYI) is always saying how the creepy slow horses should not win, and when she used to be a judge she always placed a faster, better mover over a slower, wonkier horse.

Overall, just get a good trainer. WP has a bad rap because of ignorant people who think crippling their horses is the right thing to do, but it isn't. Slow - yes - Painfully slow - no.

I hope you enjoy your WP experiences in the near future!
     
    06-14-2011, 08:51 AM
  #18
Weanling
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 don't 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.
     
    07-10-2011, 05:38 PM
  #19
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blazer1484    
Maybe you can offer me some advice. I'm training to show in Western pleasure and when it comes to the lope, my horse just wants to go fast. I've tried slowing her down with my legs, but I can't seem to get that slooww rythym. Lol It almost seems unnatural. But she is bred to do this type of riding. I'm just frustrated. But who cares...I love her no matter. She is my first horse! She's 9.
horses don't always excel in what they were bred to do. I know a horse that was bred for cutting, out of a 14 hh mare and came out a 16 hh tank that could jump anything but couldn't cut to save his life. You just have to find what you both love to do.

If your horse can't go slow it might be because you are collecting and engaging her hindquarters, also, when you are first teaching the lope, its going to be a little fast (unless your horse is crazy natural talented), it takes time for them to get comfortable and build the muscle it take to hold frame while going slow, so don't give up!! A good trainer could really help you on this.


On the smiling subject- it doesn't matter at all. I haven't smiled in a single class all year long except showmanship and I win stuff all the time. Judges are usually also trainers or riders, and they know that you are concentrating on having a clean, nice go and factoring in a smile doesn't usually cross your mind. Also, posture doesn't play a huge part either, usually they want you to lean back a little, and have a relaxed body position, don't look stiff like you would when you are showing horsemanship.

Hope this helps people!!
     
    07-24-2011, 07:31 PM
  #20
Foal
I do western pleasure and here are some tips
-Try not to move your hand
-Have slow and smooth gaits you don't want to bounce
-If you want to win the judge has to see you don't get in to large groups
-When the judge calls a comand count 1 1000 2 1000 3 1000 the cue you horse hope I helped
     

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