WP horse shopping tips

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WP horse shopping tips

This is a discussion on WP horse shopping tips within the Western Pleasure forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Shopping tips for a new horse
  • no topline muscle horse

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  • 2 Post By oh vair oh

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    05-06-2012, 01:34 PM
Smile WP horse shopping tips

What does everyone look for when test riding/shopping for a WP horse? I understand the basics but what are some things people like to look for personally? Are there anythings that turn you away from the horse?
Any misc advice/ tips for test riding/shopping?
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    05-06-2012, 02:16 PM
The first thing you want to look for is natural movement and conformation. You want a horse with a short back, well built hindquarters, muscular topline, naturally level neck, thin neck, and an attractive head.

You want a flat kneed gait. What that means is, when the horse jogs or lopes, you want as little knee action as possible. The legs should swing out as straight as possible.

The next thing to look for is natural ability. On the lungeline, without contraptions on, can the horse jog slow? Can it lope slow and rounded? A well-bred pleasure horse should be able to go naturally slow and balanced.

Breeding comes into a huge part of my western pleasure horse. I want bloodlines in the immediate dam or sire side. You'll have to do some research to see which bloodlines are "trendy" right now. I only know APHA.

And finally, you don't want a horse that's been "shut down" terribly. Personally, I don't want a horse who has been rode to death in draw-reins. Stay away from the four-beat lope unless you are willing to train it out of them. Always do a vet check to make sure the horse is actually sound.

As far as the test ride goes, I want the horse to be incredibly supple. If you're going for an expensive, upper-level horse, he needs to drive from behind, and go on a loose rein. I want to be able to put those hindquarters wherever I feel like it - and definitely two-track. No four-beating. The horse should carry himself very collected. Spur-stop training is based on personal preference. I don't do it, but some people like it and that's fine too. Show experience, whether he has won anything, etc.
waresbear and paintedpastures like this.
    05-06-2012, 02:23 PM
Thank you so much, that's what I was looking for!=)
    05-06-2012, 11:29 PM
If you are new to showing and new to pleasure horses, I would ask your trainer to help you find a horse.

There are a lot of horses that aren't "on the market" but are sold through professionals who know what horses are out there and have connections. A professional will help a lot. You should expect to pay for a professional that is helping you. If you are planning on breed shows, I would certainly consider investing in a pro to help you.

Your budget is going to determine the quality of the horse you end up with. Obviously, the more you can pay the nicer horse you are going to get. If you have a budget, don't look at horses over it. It's just wasting everyone's time and gives you unrealistic goals.

I don't really pay attention a horse on a longeline unless it's not started under saddle. Frankly, I don't care how it moves on the longeline if it's a broke and going horse. One of my peeves in shopping is looking at videos for horses that are supposed to be ready to show and they are just longeing. Who cares?!

Ideally, you should be looking for the horse that is most like the ideal pleasure horse and is in your price range.

Take your spurs when you go to ride. Ask the seller to ride the horse first and then you can ride it. Do whatever you would do with it if you already owned it. If you are planning on showing it in horsemanship, ride it through a pattern or two. Ask the seller about the horse's medical history and maintenance. Find out how the horse goes at shows. Some horses are fab at home and suck at shows. You should be able to find out about a horse's reputation by asking around about it.

If the horse has shown at breed shows, then pull its record. You will be able to see where it placed and how many horses it beat.
    05-23-2012, 06:37 PM
^ I got my boy for 1800. He went for over 6k a year ago. Lol. Just depends on where you're looking and very good luck.
    06-01-2012, 01:28 PM
When I was looking for a WP horse, I'd looked at:

1) Conformation
2) Way of moving
3) Temperament
4) Show experience

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