Why is this desired in western pleasure? - Page 7 - The Horse Forum
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post #61 of 148 Old 07-03-2012, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by gigem88 View Post
I disagree, I expect my show horses to do dressage and western pleasure! They do and do it well. I train using dressage because it helps in the western pleasure. Heck, I may even take up a little barrel racing for fun (I doubt my Arabs could catch a QH, though!!).
Dressage training and training with the dressage scale only makes a WP even better...so I agree with you!
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post #62 of 148 Old 08-05-2012, 10:40 PM
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I think its just like some people prefer apples over bananas, they are completely different but its all based on personal opinion. I like the slow, collected lope, and the slow jog, its hard to get a horse to stay slow, keeping him collected, not breaking, and staying consistant. :)
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post #63 of 148 Old 09-20-2012, 01:23 PM
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I think it makes the horses look like their walking etc. in their sleep and would trip over their own head if something came up behind them and woke them up.
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post #64 of 148 Old 09-20-2012, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
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.
The school horse I ride for western seat ettiquette was a wp competitor and did very well I am told in the ring. But, he is lame in the left shoulder. The instructor blames it on wp headset and competition. That a wp horse uses too much foreleg because its head is too low and unnatural. That a balanced horse needs its head raised slightly (not stretched up and out mind you) but raised to allow for pulpusion from the rear.

She uses the horse for dressage training now because as soon as you bring the head up, the trot and walk become more pleasant because the horse is engaging more of its rear.

I dunno if she is accurate or not. All I know is at the walk I feel a baby can crawl faster than us and at the trot I feel completely sick to my stomach because of the angonizing and screwy 3-beat limp the horse has at a trot. last lesson she had me bring the head up and drive the horse from the rear and its trot smoothed out enough that I wasn't flying around in the seat.

I wonder if any studies have been done on the likelihood of injury long-term wp competitors sustain from the training?
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post #65 of 148 Old 09-20-2012, 03:10 PM
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While I can appreciate the work that goes into achieving this I could not go that slow. I need a horse to be up in front and have some 'go' in it like its enjoying being alive and powerful
Sorry not for me
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post #66 of 148 Old 09-20-2012, 03:16 PM
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I really like the Novak Equestrian series on Western pleasure. Watch these two videos and compare her horse to the horse that's troping and gimping around in the background towards the end of the video.


I believe trainers like this guy give western pleasure a bad name. No horse should ever move like this, and no one should strive for this.

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post #67 of 148 Old 09-20-2012, 03:26 PM
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That horse looks like he's searching for a dropped contact lens.
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post #68 of 148 Old 09-20-2012, 04:19 PM
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Or sniffing for a place to go.
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post #69 of 148 Old 09-20-2012, 04:53 PM
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well im not sure why but my friends WP horses fastest lope was as fast as my horses walk... we were going a bit faster then a normal walk but it was slow! my Qh was a ranch horse and i found out that i can pull him back into a really slow trot that is pretty much a walk but still trotting i love it when we work he seems to like it too.
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post #70 of 148 Old 09-20-2012, 05:23 PM
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I use to help train and show for a gentleman that showed WP back in my 20's. I loved the slow trot and lope. (I think the really slow walk kinda sucks) But I have a lot of back issues and the slower gaits are so much more easier on my back. I can't even explain how good it feels to ride that smooth, barely moving trot, or that rocking chair lope that a WP horse has.

Once, I used one of the guy's horses to do a playdate. Mostly timed events. Of course I wasn't going to win a single one of them because I could walk faster than my horse could lope, but I was there just for the fun. One of the events was the flag race. You lope down to a barrel, pick up a flag and lope back. Well, my WP horse loped down (5 minutes later) we get to the barrel and I pick up the flag. She didn't like the flag at all and decided to buck. I swear it was the easiest bucking fit I had ever rode. I had the reins in one hand, the flag in the other and she was bucking so slow it was beyond easy to sit. The flag in my hand was going up and down...timed to her bucks. I almost felt llike a professional bronc rider. Sadly, when your in that situation, you never hear the crowd who was actually screaming at me to drop the flag. (never considered it.) So, I did the next best thing...and the only thing I thought of, I stepped out of the stirrup and onto the ground. That's how slow she was bucking. Who knew there was a WP buck.

I have my own horses now...so I'm aiming for those slower gaits that are easier on my back. I learned a lot from the guy I use to ride for. I learned things I liked and things I don't like. While I like the gaits, I didn't approve of his method of training. When training my girls, I still like the lower head set, that smooth sitting trot and rocking chair lope. Even when I'm out checking fence or moving cattle.

Anyways...I couldn't imagine riding dressage or a jumping/eventing horse, so I'm sure there are folks that can't imagine riding a western pleasure horse. Good thing there are many different disciplines you can choose when owning a horse. There is always something for everyone. Like the Paso Fino above...it looks strange to me, but there will be ppl that love it.

"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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