Working at a pleasure barn - never done pleasure. help! - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By HayleeDawn
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-19-2014, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Working at a pleasure barn - never done pleasure. help!

Hi there. I just got the opportunity to help out at a pleasure show barn. I'll be working with one pleasure gelding throughout the summer and getting him back in shape. I've only ever rode a pleasure horse one other time, which was for about 3 minutes! I was so confused, all her cues seemed opposite to what I'm used to. I've never been a fan of pleasure, but I told myself this year I won't turn down any opportunities to ride something new- so I'm not! This gelding spur stops, that's one thing I know about him. It's going to take some getting used to! Anything important I should know? helpful videos? anything?

Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-20-2014, 10:26 AM
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Watch what the trainers do, and ask questions about any horse you are getting on if you have any concerns. If you've been hired, they must have some faith in your ability; if you show interest in learning more about how they do things, you are more likely to secure your employment long term. Have fun!
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-20-2014, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Just found on later last night that the owner said that if I can get this gelding back into shape and show condition that he's mine to show this season!
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-23-2014, 12:52 AM
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What does the owner want?

Spur stops require rider training as well as horse training. Does the rider want to show? What does get this gelding in shape mean? The horse needs more exercise? Or the horse needs more training? Interesting that you say the horse reacts opposite to aids as you know them. What are the possibilities? 1 the horse is trained to act wrongly. 2 Every thing you have been taught is wrong. 3 The horse has learned to get out of work by resisting or ignoring proper aids. Not much different fron 1. 4 you need a better understanding of western pleasure aids.

The difference between stop, go fast and slow is very subtle for a horse solely dependent on seat and leg aids. You don't need spurs or reins to spur stop. You do need to sit the horse aware of your seat and legs communicating intent. If you are not used to riding reigning horses with imperceptibly quiet hands and a rock solid seat training one at that level is unrealistic. Many riders use quiet vocal commands as aids. These are hummed instead of spoken so as to escape the judges detection.

If the owner wants the show and win, depending on the horse and owner's experience. They need to train as a team or the owner should train on a well trained w pleasure horse while the horse is training under some one experienced in w pleasure. If the owner just wants a nice trail horse just get the horse some exercise and experience on the trail while ensuring compliance with proper aids, respect and discipline.

I recommend a candid talk with the owner and barn regarding realistic goals. Well trained horses make an in experienced confident relaxed rider with a good seat look good. Up tight riders with bad aids and a need to prove something can make the best horse look bad.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-23-2014, 01:25 AM
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My bad

Wrote a lot based in first impressions. So intent is for you to show. Look at reigning , stock and w pleasure on utube. Read everything you can on the same topics. Horsehowcentral is a good place to start. To win you should be able to do the routines without reins or saddle. If your past has you dependent on reins to turn and stop; I understand your confusion. A western horse turns like a boat. Push his rear opposite the direction you want him to go. When competing one should look relaxed with great posture, motionless hand and a solid seat. Assuming t.he horse shows and transitions well, The more imperceptible the aids the higher the score. In my opinion there is nothing more fun than a good western horse who can read the rider's mind. If the judges can't see the aids they do not matter.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-23-2014, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by HayleeDawn View Post
Thanks! Just found on later last night that the owner said that if I can get this gelding back into shape and show condition that he's mine to show this season!
All of my horse's have spur stops......the more spur/leg you use the slower and rounder the horse goes. It DOES take some getting used to, but seek the advice from the trainer and I'm sure he/she will be more than happy to help you!
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