Question on western pleasure bred horses
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > Western Riding

Question on western pleasure bred horses

This is a discussion on Question on western pleasure bred horses within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Western pleasure horse breeding forum
  • Western pleasure bred

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    09-22-2009, 10:55 PM
  #1
Weanling
Question on western pleasure bred horses

I am a dog person, but I am having to become horse educated because my daughter has the bug. I have a questions about horses that are bred for western pleasure. (first off, my understanding of western pleasure is minimal, but that's easier for me to research than my real questions)

I am wondering why the horses are bred to have their neck stretched out rather than holding their head high? My daughter's lesson horse does this and the other two lesson horses hold their head so high and look so flashy, but the instructor said that my daughter's lesson horse is extremely well bred for western pleasure. In labradors, the build of the dog, and the conformation of the bones is critical to the dog being able to perform well in the field. I am guessing that it goes back to the original purpose and the structure is critical for the job, but I'm wondering about the history of the structure? Does that make any sense. I don't want to know that it's just for showing, because I'm sure that it wasn't just for showing, but there was a more historical purpose.
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    09-23-2009, 12:56 AM
  #2
Weanling
It's not necessarily the breed, it's the training. They are taught to have a low head set.

IMHO it looks very unnatural and I am not a fan of western pleasure today because of how absurdly slow they make these horses work.

I agree, for a horse to use his body correctly when moving, his head needs to be up, not on the ground!

Anyway, I guess you're a labrador person ;) Me too. I have three of them and do agility with them.
     
    09-23-2009, 01:09 AM
  #3
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Ponies    
It's not necessarily the breed, it's the training. They are taught to have a low head set.

IMHO it looks very unnatural and I am not a fan of western pleasure today because of how absurdly slow they make these horses work.

I agree, for a horse to use his body correctly when moving, his head needs to be up, not on the ground!

Anyway, I guess you're a labrador person ;) Me too. I have three of them and do agility with them.
I am a labrador person. I currently have 2 males that we use for hunting and AKC hunt tests. My next one will be a female, and I'll train her for field trials.

I guess as a mommy, I kind of like the slowness of western pleasure. It makes me feel better to see my daughter moving slowly on the horse
     
    09-23-2009, 01:13 AM
  #4
Started
Pleasure Horses, yes, are trained to carry their heads that way, but many of them also simply have a natural low headset bred into them.

Western riding is very very different from English. In English riding, you'll see a rider keep fairly constant contact with a horse's mouth. In Western riding, you'll see much more slack in the reins, the horse takes a lower headset, and very minimal contact with the mouth.

It's just one of the structures of Western riding.

But to answer your question, yes, many WP horses are bred with the conformation that lends itself to the low head carriage.
     
    09-23-2009, 01:19 AM
  #5
Weanling
I've not done hunt tests. One of my boys has his Working Certificate, but that's all the bird work I did with him because we have Alligators here and I just can't bear to have him in the water!!! Scares the crap out of me ;)

Is your daughter getting a horse?
     
    09-23-2009, 09:03 AM
  #6
Showing
Most successful WP horses these days are bred with the conformation and mentality of having a low headset and slow motions. These 2 attributes are accentuated by training to what you see in the WP show ring. I am with you 7ponies, I don't much care for it either but that is off topic. Some horses also just naturally have a very low headset and that is pretty popular in all western disciplines. I prefer to have my horses carry themselves pretty close to level with the withers but some horses are just bred to carry thier heads very high and others to carry theirs very low. I have a QH that regardless of the training, he is not comfortable carrying his head level or below level. He is built to carry it up so that's what he does. On the other hand, my brother has a 4 year old filly that he just started this summer (she has no WP breeding) that very seldom raises her head above her withers. We don't train for a particular headset and just prefer to let the horses have them where it is comfortable for them (excluding peanut roller and head-in-lap, we train those away right quick).

Anyway, sorry, off topic. When WP competitions first began, they were designed to show off how controlled a horse was at all 3 gaits, how comfortable they were to ride, and how responsive they were to cues (hence the droopy reins). As the decades passed, judges began to judge the horses who carried their heads lower and moved slower as first in the classes because they look more natural and comfortable and relaxed. So people began to breed and train specifically for the low headset and slow legs. Humans that we are, we perverted the natural moving horses into what is referred to as "peanut rollers" which were horses who carried their heads no more than a few inches off the ground and moved so slow it looked like they were on the verge of death (how anyone finds that attractive I'll never know). The WP industry is getting better and moving back toward more natural looking horses but there is still a long way to go. Sorry, letting my opinions leak out again. I guess the moral of my novel is that when it started, a lower head and slower gait = a more relaxed and comfortable looking horse so that is what they started breeding for.
     
    09-23-2009, 10:00 AM
  #7
Weanling
SMRob, thanks, that's what I was looking for--a history lesson! So, it's the same thing as with labs. People have taken a longer legged working dog, and bred for short, squatty, belly dragging dogs, many of which won't retrieve and are scared of water. I guess it happens in all disciplines.

7 Ponies, no, my daughter isn't getting a horse yet. Someday maybe, but for the time being, she has claimed her lesson horse pretty aggressively, and right now she's the only one riding him. We are fortunate to have found an extraordinary farm for her to ride at, and the instructor teaches her all about the horses, and responsibility, not just how to ride. Last week my daughter asked about the way he carried his head, and we were told it was because he was bred for western pleasure, but I needed to know more about it--just because I did.
     
    09-29-2009, 09:58 AM
  #8
dee
Started
Personally, I'll probably never show any horses - most of mine are lowly grades, anyway. I have to say, thought, that I have an extreme dislike of the headset that is so popular today. The horses I used to have would never have made it in any kind of WP classes because they all carried their heads highter than six inches above the ground. I liked the movement they had, with their heads carried slightly higher than their withers, alert and looking around at everything. Nothing surprised, them, that's for sure.

My current mare also has a higher headset. My neighbor (a showhorse snob) recommeded a tie down to force her to carry her head lower. He was NOT happy with my (unrepeatable) reply!
     
    09-30-2009, 12:32 AM
  #9
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by dee    
Personally, I'll probably never show any horses - most of mine are lowly grades, anyway. I have to say, thought, that I have an extreme dislike of the headset that is so popular today. The horses I used to have would never have made it in any kind of WP classes because they all carried their heads highter than six inches above the ground. I liked the movement they had, with their heads carried slightly higher than their withers, alert and looking around at everything. Nothing surprised, them, that's for sure.

My current mare also has a higher headset. My neighbor (a showhorse snob) recommeded a tie down to force her to carry her head lower. He was NOT happy with my (unrepeatable) reply!
And they probably have a real trot and canter and no joint problems. I hate the WP crowd. Reiners are almost as bad. If you want to show with good people and have fun with a well rounded horse I would try reined cowhorse.
     
    09-30-2009, 12:59 AM
  #10
Showing
I saw this vid earlier tonight and really liked how this horse carried himself, it is natural but still level and collected. Though he is going to have some serious hock and stifle trouble when he is older because he doesn't pick up his pivot foot at all during a spin.


But I agree, I love the "ranch pleasure" type carriage and that is what I put on my horses. They are relaxed and in complete control but they can still pick up and MOVE should the need arise.
     

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Which Bit do you like for Western Pleasure? HorseHeart Horse Training 30 04-19-2009 11:19 PM
Mare bred for pleasure, won't slow down? valleychick2121 Horse Training 0 10-14-2008 09:24 PM
Sonny- Sonny D Bar bred-Western Pleasure Horse For Sale WalkTrotCanterGallop Horses for Sale 0 08-29-2008 07:50 PM
3 different horses 1 hunter pleasure, 2 country pleasure thunderboomer Horse Riding Critique 2 07-25-2008 01:13 PM
western pleasure question SonnyWimps Western Riding 13 05-07-2008 02:20 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0