Why is this desired in western pleasure? - Page 3
 
 

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Why is this desired in western pleasure?

This is a discussion on Why is this desired in western pleasure? within the Western Pleasure forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Conditioning arabian for western pleasure
  • A desirable western pleasure horse

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    07-01-2012, 12:05 PM
  #21
Yearling
Can't stand the lope, they look lame.
     
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    07-01-2012, 12:06 PM
  #22
Trained
They seem to be very nice WP horses.

Different disciplines look for different things though. What's awesome in WP would make some people concerned if their own horses were doing it -- and vice versa! Can you imagine if a WP poneh started trying to move like a Dressage poneh? People would wonder what's wrong! And if a Dressage horse started loping like that, many people would think their horse was lame.

The WP headset makes me nervous, LOL. I don't ride WP horses very often so in the back of my head there's the little warning bells that say WARNING BUCKER WARNING BUCKER
     
    07-01-2012, 12:47 PM
  #23
Trained

I ride Arabian Western Pleasure and I love it. It's is a LOT harder to ride WP than you think just from watching. Getting those horses to round up and push off from behind, not just crawl on their forhehands is hard. I prefer the rounded up neck & headset on the Arabians to the long, low, strung out look on WP horses but I understand why the stock horses carry themselves that way. The QH pleasure horses tend to be built a little bit downhill and their necks are not as long and flexible as the Arabians. But both are superbly trained and conditioned to do the collection and hold the frame required.

None of the horses in the vid I posted are under 6 because there isn't anyone using a bosal, but Arabians use the bosal for the young green horses too, and I see the same spread, high hands in both arenas.

I like the springy-ness of the Arabian trot, it's smooooth as silk with a lot of suspension. The lope is pretty much the same in both breeds, gotta be careful not to pull them down so much you get a 4 beat instead of 3 beat lope.

I think that WP is about as useful as Park, good for showing off on Sunday to impress your friends and that's about it, LOL! I know on trail if my horse couldn't speed up I'd ride a different horse!
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    07-01-2012, 12:49 PM
  #24
Weanling
Do any of the people who are ripping on the horse in the OP think it looks any more pleasant or practical to ride the piaffe or passage?
     
    07-01-2012, 01:08 PM
  #25
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny    
This is the answer I too am looking for... is there purpose in it? Was it better for checking fields or something?
I don't know. But I wouldn't want to go that slow checking fence. I like a horse to move out and cover some country. It would take three days to check a small field...tee he

Quote:
Originally Posted by Copperhead    
Having trained a couple WP horses, I can honestly say that it doesn't take much to ride one. They are push-button, slow, no motion, and when trained well, keep that particular frame themselves.
I had a hard time because I like/used to a horse that moves out and I wanted to kick him into high gear to keep him moving...lol
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    07-01-2012, 01:37 PM
  #26
Yearling
I get all sort of wrong mental images in my head whenever I look at that.
Personally I find it admirable to train but ridiculous to watch. Looks like they're carrying some pacients of a half succesfull neutering operation.
     
    07-01-2012, 01:41 PM
  #27
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftXDressage    
Do any of the people who are ripping on the horse in the OP think it looks any more pleasant or practical to ride the piaffe or passage?
I've never ridden dressage and don't know a lot about that either (though recently I've become very interested and am hoping to start in the fall) but I've always heard that dressage is training and it goes back to when horses were used in military and all the movements were actually used or were building up to something that was useful. It was also teaching the rider to be more effective when they were practising all the different movements.

At least, that's what I've heard, correct me if I'm wrong.

And to be honest, I've ridden horses that are very balanced and not on their forehand while they had that low wp head and gait so I know that low head does not mean unbalanced, but at a glance dressage looks more balanced and it's just easier to see purpose in that training. I love the animated look a well trained dressage horse has when they are super collected, just bursting with energy and forwardness, but totally willing to hold back and go slow. Amazing.

So it is easier to understand dressage. And I think I get what the purpose was to begin with (military training?). That's why I was asking about the purpose for wp. To me if I was actually on a pleasure ride I want the horse to cover a little more ground at the walk especially. But maybe some people don't. So I was wondering if there was something that originally came from.
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    07-01-2012, 02:25 PM
  #28
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by srh1    
I've never ridden dressage and don't know a lot about that either (though recently I've become very interested and am hoping to start in the fall) but I've always heard that dressage is training and it goes back to when horses were used in military and all the movements were actually used or were building up to something that was useful. It was also teaching the rider to be more effective when they were practising all the different movements.

At least, that's what I've heard, correct me if I'm wrong...
OK. You're wrong, although a lot of folks share the misconception. Riding a highly collected horse is not connected to military use. The militaries of both Europe and America rejected it.

For military use, the horse moves too slow, takes too long to train, and the movements expose the horse to enemy attack. A military uses large numbers of horses ridden by large numbers of men, and it cannot afford to spend years training both for upper level dressage.

The movements were used for parades and shows.

In like manner, IMHO, western pleasure has gone well past its roots and now emphasizes a style that isn't very useful for ranch work. That doesn't make it wrong to do any more than dressage is wrong to do. In both cases, if the horses are healthy and the riders happy, who am I to complain? My Arabian mare has a slow trot that is sheer pleasure to ride. Now cantering...she considers that to be just below a full gallop. Her jog would make a WP judge weep for joy (if they ignored her upright head). But her canter would make the same judge reach for a rifle...
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    07-01-2012, 02:32 PM
  #29
Super Moderator
I think part of the headset for western pleasure , or rather the head position, being really low, comes from the horse who is herding cattle. That low position gives good visibility in the close to medium range of distance, and it is the natural position the horse has when he is "moving" another animal with his body.
It is easy on the neck muscles, too, as long as the head is not pulled behind the vertical.
That is one thing I see in the Arabian WP; every single horse has his face behind the vertical. This will restrict their vision somewhat.
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    07-01-2012, 02:47 PM
  #30
Trained
Tiny, that may be an Arabian thing. When my mare is in the lead on the trail, her head is up and looking around. If I hold her back behind another horse, she starts playing with her bit. If I don't let her pass the horse ahead, then she sometimes starts a very slow jog with her neck bent and her head past the vertical - all with no input from me. She just seems to like traveling like that - if we're behind someone. The first time she did it, I freaked out! We were in a rocky spot with cactus all around us, and she was prancing behind our gelding with her head tucked way back. She looked like the horses in the Arabian WP video.

In the lead, it is a whole different story!
     

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