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lope why??

This is a discussion on lope why?? within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

     
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        11-27-2008, 03:44 PM
      #21
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WesternPleasure27    
    Because there is a market and competitive venue for them ;)
    I had noticed I'm just having a hard time to understand why, but really it's ok that there's a horse sport out there that I don't feel an urge to do at all. To each their own and all that and there's plenty of space for everyone.
         
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        11-27-2008, 03:52 PM
      #22
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Siggav    
    I had noticed I'm just having a hard time to understand why, but really it's ok that there's a horse sport out there that I don't feel an urge to do at all. To each their own and all that and there's plenty of space for everyone.
    Oh, I agree
    There are some disciplines I'll probably never "dip my toes" into but I think it's important to learn and be exposed to all of them.
    I used to be in the same mindset as a lot of people about pleasure until I tried it. Now I love it.

    I know it's not everyone's cup of tea and I'm glad to see you are flat out admitting you don't understand instead of bashing. That's something I can respect.
         
        11-28-2008, 08:58 AM
      #23
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Siggav    
    I think the main reason I have a hard time getting my head 'round the Western Pleasure mindset is that for me the main 'pleasure' I get from horse riding is from feeling the power and drive in a spirited horse, going fast, having the wind in my face from the motion and my arms full of mane.

    It's that feeling on sitting on a tame volcano, so to speak. You feel the horse alert and awake, wanting to run and always wanting to go faster but they keep that in check just because you ask them to and you're a team and then regularily, when the ground is good and it's safe, you allow them to go as fast as they want (without breaking up into gallop, although sometimes that too) and yeah, the bliss..

    I understand travelling for hours. I've done multiple day (my longest one was around 8 days) horse treks with between 7-10 hours in the saddle per day. That was on Icelandics and I really 'get' why you'd want gaited horses for travelling, 'cos that's a smooth ride in a full range of speeds.

    But yeah I don't get why anyone would want to breed such low headset, slow moving horses. It just doesn't look like much pleasure (to me! NB) to ride at all. Maybe I'm just a speed and power junkie. Heh..

    Also from seeing Western Pleasure shows it looks too slow from a travelling point of view. It'd take aages getting anywhere moving at those speeds. I don't think even herds of cows move that slow.

    Having said all that though, I've never tried it so I don't know what it feels like.
    To me, the feeling of sitting on a tamed volcano scares the crap out of me. I'd rather know exactly what my horse is going to do, and when he's going to do it. I don't want to feel the wind rushing through my hair. I like the rythmic pattern of the jog and lope. I like the consistency of being in control of my horse.

    Some people like roller coasters, others stick with the merry go round.
         
        11-28-2008, 11:04 AM
      #24
    Foal
    I have never competed in or judged a western pleasure event, I'm a lowly trail rider. But if I had to take a guess of why a controlled slow lope would be judged. It would be "collection" more than speed.
    Collection, or bending at the pole with a lower headset rounds the back and tightens the horses stomach muscles, enabling the horse to carry more weight at longer distance than a horse with a high headset and hollow back. Collection is the key to long term soundness. Practicing collection will help develop the muscle line along your horses spine and neck which means less muscle strain or chances of becoming swaybacked with age.

    "Collection is nothing more than the re-balancing of the moving horse. The horse naturally carries 60-70% of his weight on the forehand. This becomes obvious when you consider the fact that the head and neck are in front of the front legs. The collected horse is taught and conditioned to be able to shift some of this weight off of the forehand by bending at the poll, lowering the head and engaging the hind quarters to be able to step more fully under the horse’s mass in order to carry the additional weight of the rider more efficiently. Collection is a process; it cannot be achieved overnight. It takes time to condition the neck, back and abdominal muscles that the horse uses to elevate his back and bring his hind end up underneath him."

    A collected horse with a rounded back also makes better contact with the bars of your saddle. When a horse lifts its head and hollows its back you lose contact with the saddle, this can cause saddle sores and an uncomfortable horse.
    We ride gaited horses where collection is even more important.. You not only get a smoother more comfortable ride when your gaited horse is collected but a sounder (less chance of going swaybacked), less pacey, and over the life of the horse a stronger, more healthy, and happier animal.
    So maybe what they are judging is not so much the horse, but the rider and the desire we all have to keep our horses sound.
         
        12-01-2008, 02:15 PM
      #25
    Foal
    Western pleasure, at a competitive level, is a challenge for any horse not created for that event. Our pleasure horses are all bred to do just that, but even those horses are all not ultimately suited for the event. The event is so competitive, that if we try to make a pleasure horse, instead of breed him, it ultimately shows in the arena. Sure, we can eventually get any horse to lope slow, but it'll look completely different than when he's made for the event, and he won't be as happy with ears up and eager to go at those gates, and when compared side by side, the natural pleasure horse will win most of the time.

    The same goes for reining. When you can look out in the pasture, and see a reining/working cow bred horse just chase a little steer down the fence, just for fun, it's wonderful. When you see an elegant pleasure yearling, slowly loping or jogging in the pasture, with his head level and balanced, just for fun, that's just as great. They key is to be a talented enough trainer that you can ascertain which event the horse loves and is naturally talented at, and then develop them without getting in their way.

    Though we love the experience of riding reiners, the magic of a natural, slow lope or jog, that you could ride for hours is just as magical, though in a different way. While I don't ride all events, the most enjoyable horses are those who do well at what they like to do. I'm not a barrel racer, but to see a horse that's gifted and enjoying that event, is just as nice.

    And never think that a western pleasure horse doesn't have to be EXTREMELY athletic, and built naturally to move that way, because it's an extraodinary feat for a horse to naturally lift his withers and bring the hind legs underneath him in a collected, balanced way. We've had 'bred' pleasure horses that just had to work too hard to do that, and for them, it was unpleasant and too much work.

    But for some of us, the slow, balanced gaits of a true pleasure horse are hard to beat. :)
         
        12-01-2008, 07:01 PM
      #26
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GottaRide    
    To me, the feeling of sitting on a tamed volcano scares the crap out of me. I'd rather know exactly what my horse is going to do, and when he's going to do it. I don't want to feel the wind rushing through my hair. I like the rythmic pattern of the jog and lope. I like the consistency of being in control of my horse.

    Some people like roller coasters, others stick with the merry go round.

    I completly agree with this. I have been around horses my whole life at my barn while helping bring horses in I tell the farm hand I don't do crazy! Lol most of these are very level headed horses andbut some are a little nutty!but I do give a lot of credit to those who do deal with and put up with the more spirited horses. My QH has plenty of spirit as she tries to eat everything in sight and that's about all I can take! When you know what is going to happen underneath you is a great feeling even with my young horses they are so smooth if they buck sometimes I can't even tell and will look at whoever I am riding with and ask " what are they doing"
         
        12-01-2008, 07:38 PM
      #27
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WesternPleasure27    
    Today's WP horses are bred for the arena, not for working cattle or going out on trails (otherwise they'd be, well, working cow horses or trail horses).

    They are also not made to be
    "always wanting to go faster but they keep that in check just because you ask them to and you're a team and then regularily, when the ground is good and it's safe, you allow them to go as fast as they want"
    I guarantee if you get on a NATURALLY bred WP horse and ask them to go as fast as they want, you won't get much
    The thrill and adrenline us WP riders get is going out in a huge class and making a cut or winning the class- there is no better feeling than seeing your TEAM WORK pay off. We have bonds with our horses and if we don't get along, it's obvious.

    Also, WP horses aren't dead, expressionless horses who have no personality.
    They run, they buck, they snort, and have a good time out in the pasture although I must say my guys look like wusses trying to "run' with my gamer and trail horse...they couldn't keep up if they tried (because they are NATURALLY slow legged).
    My gelding (who will be an all-around pleasure horse) follows me EVERYWHERE, he sees me and nickers, stands at the fence and watches me walk away...obviously he is a happy horse that shares a great bond with me.
    I couldnt agree with you more. Being in perfect sinc with your horse and nailing a class can almost have a magical feeling to it. These horses are bred to be this way, they are not forced to. The majority of pleasure horses ENJOY there jobs. They love taking it easy and just going as fast as they have to. I have an all-around AQHA show gelding that I took in barrels to fill a class once. It was almost impossible to make him go fast. I kept pushing him and you could tell he was like a winy little kid saying 'do I have to? I really don't want to!' Altough pleasure horses may be laid back, and 'dead' as some of you may say they do have a TON of personality. I refer to my horse as a giant puppy. He follows you everywhere and when he does sometyhing he knows he is not soposed to do he just puts his ears up and gives you this look to die for. He also loves zippers. If you say you don't know why you would want a horse to be bred this way then that's your opinion. I don't understand why people wouldnt want a horse like that.
         
        12-01-2008, 08:55 PM
      #28
    Foal
    I think the slower the legged and more 'dead headed' the horse the more versatile the horse. If your horse can go in a western pleasure or HUS class and come out winning your horse can do more than a horse that is more spirited or flighty. Quieter horses are easier to work with than horses whose attention it harder to get . My mare is WP all the way I have to use so much leg and seat to just get her to move w/o troping that its ridiculous! Now she was never dogtracked or pulled back to hard she is just lazy, but I can take that horse in a WP class come out jump her or go in barrels and win every class! When I used to go in a barrel class just as a filler for some extra points everyone would woop and tell me not to set my horses head that it was barrels and I was supposed to go fast . Well my all around and high points were so close with another person that barrels would make or break Champ and reserve so I started pushing my horse and I would take like 2nd's and 3rd's in barrels but the minute we were done I would pick up tice on my reins and lope on out ! It drove all the barrel people crazy that I was beating them and loping on out of the ring!lol she does look a little funny when I open her up she not used to running! This right here proves how much more versatile a quiet horse is than a high spirited horse . The fact that a horse would try so hard in every discipline shows how much personality and love they have for their owner.
         
        12-08-2008, 02:17 PM
      #29
    Showing
    I have nothing against people who ride pleasure or the horses themselves. I just don't like the way that they look. With the extreme low head carriage and slow legs with very little joint action, it can look like a deadheaded horse to a casual observer. I am all for a calm horse with a level topline and perfectly controlled gaits, that is how I train mine. But for what I do, most WP bred horses are not suitable because I do work cattle and at times, I end up having to go from 0 to 60 almost instantly and most of those horses are just not built for that because of their naturally slow gaits. I love to have a calm broke horse with that phenomenal explosive power ready anytime that I ask for it. Also, I understand how much training it takes to get a horse to where they will win the WP classes. I just prefer a horse with long ground covering gaits to the short strides of WP.
         
        12-08-2008, 08:46 PM
      #30
    Weanling
    Would now be a good time to point out that the official horse of the Pro Rodeo Association is the Quarter Horse - I hate to say it but there is plenty of QH's Paints and Appys out there that are WORLD CHAMPION working horses. Just because they have been refined down one side to be perfect pleasure horse - it has also happened on the other end of the scale for reiners, ropers and cutters. Being a QH does not make an animal incapable of a "that phenomenal explosive power ready anytime".........
         

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