Transitions. Hmm.

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Transitions. Hmm.

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  • Smooth transitions between gaits for horses
  • How to making smooth gait transitions in horses

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    11-04-2011, 04:16 PM
Transitions. Hmm.

Alright, So my friend started taking lessons from a local trainer in our area who is preparing her to start showing. This trainer has a huge clientel and her main focus is western/reining/performance horse, ect. The trainer told her that a judge in a WP class doesn't care what the horses gaits look like. All a judge is looking for is a smooth transition between gaits....(?)

Ok, So most of my training is in dressage and english. I have shown western and there is so much more to it than just having good transitions....right? Why wouldn't a judge consider a horse's gait?
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    11-04-2011, 06:19 PM
I work for hours on my gaits! It depends on the judge actually but, she should at least work on her gaits a little bit. A judge does still look for smooth transitions and it is a big part of it. Hope I helped!
    11-07-2011, 06:52 PM
I agree that smooth transitions are a big part, but the gait certainly should matter. I don't know how these judges think though. I regularly think they're beyond loony by how they place people sometimes.

Honestly, if I were judging, I would be watching for the transitions, but the value of gait would be your make it or break it factor, not just transitions alone.
    11-09-2011, 01:54 AM
Its the big picture that counts, gaits and transitions are just a part of that picture. If you look at a judges score card that might help to understand all that they are taking into consideration.
    11-12-2011, 10:30 AM
Your trainer's friend is not wrong in saying that a smooth transition is a part of a good western pleasure horse. BUT, saying that that's all that matters is completely erroneous. First off, the whole point of the western pleasure class is to have a horse that looks like an enjoyable ride, as well as one that has good movement. A horse that has great transitions, but is a complete puke when it comes to movement will never come to the top of the pen in a western pleasure class; the only exception being if every other horse in the pen is a complete run off and not broke. The main thing is to have a broke horse, one that performs maneuvers asked of it with fluidity and ease. This would include performing smooth transitions, but also performing each gait to the best of it's ability. It is about the whole picture, not just a particular item. I would encourage your friend to ask her trainer to clarify that statement she made, because any trainer who is successful should know basic knowledge such as that. Hopefully your friend does well as she starts showing. Good luck!
    11-18-2011, 12:17 PM
Doesnt matter how huge the clientel is for a trainer. It doesnt make them great trainers.
Western Pleasure is a tough class to get right, you will be penalized for excessive fast, excessive slow, uneven gaits, tail swishing, head bobbing, flat ears, poor transitions, and the list goes on.
It is more likely that the trainer has told your friend that her horse is consistent at the walk, jog, lope but needs work smoothing out her transitions. A horse that has a great consistent walk, jog and lope but sloppy transitions will be penalized. If that is not the case then the trainer is not a good as the number of students she/he is teaching.

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