Weird questions from a faraway country
 
 

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Weird questions from a faraway country

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    06-20-2010, 06:00 PM
  #1
Yearling
Red face Weird questions from a faraway country

Hello

I've been reading this forum for a while and finally decided to come out :)
I'm from Romania, I do not own a horse but I lease for mountain trail rides + almost weekly lessons.

Western riding is close to non existent here;we have quite a few dressage, races, show jumping competitions, but I doubt I'll ever see a barrel race for example. So for me all the info I can gather is from all over the internet.
I have a few questions, perhaps you could answer:

1. I noticed in a few videos that western breed horses that were shown were keeping their head very very low. In here we are by contrary advised to pick up the reins shorter and raise the horse's head. Why do the western discipline horses keep their heads low, and how does that help the rider / the horse?

2. I hope this does not sound offending in any sort of way but I noticed that no matter how fast a horse is in a barrel race, still gets whipped / kicked a LOT by the rider. I understand the aim is to obtain the shortest time possible, but it looks so .....don't know..eh. Do they HAVE to kick / smack the living guts out of that horse?

3. I am always advised (actually roared at) to keep the reins short, to "feel the horse's mouth in your hand" (approximate quote from a trainer) I tend to let them however a bit elastic, especially if I ride a horse that seems a bit more sensitive and uncomfortable
I've been told 1000 times that letting a rein loose means no control over the horse and a big accident potential in case the horse spooks.
However I noticed most western riding is done with a very loose rein. The horse seems free to move his head and neck wherever he wants to. This shatters a bit the "mouth n hand" theory. How do western riders control the horse then? Only from the legs / seat?

5. The horses over there are surprisingly cheap lately. I think a plane ticket from Romania to US would be around..3 horses .
I've been watching a lot of youtube clips of a lady Fallon Taylor. Apparently she is a retired barrel racer and now trains and sells horses. Around 1 year ago the prices were around 12k, 15k, now they ended up on 2.5k, 800$ even, and so on.
Is it the credit crunch?

Thanks a lot for reading!
     
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    06-20-2010, 06:54 PM
  #2
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by inaclick    


1. I noticed in a few videos that western breed horses that were shown were keeping their head very very low. In here we are by contrary advised to pick up the reins shorter and raise the horse's head. Why do the western discipline horses keep their heads low, and how does that help the rider / the horse?

Horses that are shown in Western Pleasure are trained to move very slowly and keep thier head low but many other disiplines focus on more on how the horse moves and performs. All of my horses work for a living and I want there heads at or slightly above wither height.

2. I hope this does not sound offending in any sort of way but I noticed that no matter how fast a horse is in a barrel race, still gets whipped / kicked a LOT by the rider. I understand the aim is to obtain the shortest time possible, but it looks so .....don't know..eh. Do they HAVE to kick / smack the living guts out of that horse?

If you ever figure this out let me know!! I think the excessive force is a symptom of inexperience and poor horsemanship. Something like an inexperienced jumper not giving a good release during the jump.

3. I am always advised (actually roared at) to keep the reins short, to "feel the horse's mouth in your hand" (approximate quote from a trainer) I tend to let them however a bit elastic, especially if I ride a horse that seems a bit more sensitive and uncomfortable
I've been told 1000 times that letting a rein loose means no control over the horse and a big accident potential in case the horse spooks.
However I noticed most western riding is done with a very loose rein. The horse seems free to move his head and neck wherever he wants to. This shatters a bit the "mouth n hand" theory. How do western riders control the horse then? Only from the legs / seat?

Alot of the control of western horses is through the legs and seat but certainly not all. I think it boils down to just a difference in the uses of horses and the culture that predates it. I am not riding my horses over 5 foot fences and you are not roping a cow and pulling it with your horse. If your horse goes out of control on a loose rein it's likely only a matter of time before it's out of control with contact.


My response is bold in red.
     
    06-20-2010, 07:16 PM
  #3
Showing
Western and English evolved so differently, it's hard to compare the two. The western loose rein shows training and respect for the rider. If a horse takes off, you pull back on the reins and the slack is lost. Out bits aren't designed to accomodate being able to feel every change in a horse's mouth. In English you can feel everything, in Western, we teach horses to neck rein. A curb bit accomodates pressure in the right places by laying a rein against the horse's neck, not through direct contact with the horse's mouth.

As for barrel racing....well, let's just say every discipline has it's nuts, the riders that are determined your horse will not go faster unless you kick the crap out of him and jerk the reins incessantly.

Hope I answered your questions
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    06-21-2010, 11:47 AM
  #4
Yearling
Hello

Thanks, that clarifies things a bit.
Yes indeed, there are nutcases in every discipline. I am sort of relieved to find out that it's not a general rule the behavior that I noticed.

I'll do some more net research on the curb bit, not quite sure I understand how that functions.
Overall my first impression about the western riding was that it is much better and with a practical foundation both for rider and horse. The loose rein, the relaxed position of the horse and so on. Even the saddle looks so much friendlier.

However the more I research the more I find that as usually, when people forget what they started from, they exaggerate and do all they can to win. It saddens me deeply to find (from all over the internet, including this forum actually) about certain practices for forcing the horse to exaggerate their natural gaits and such.
Oh well.
Kinda same thing in dressage, just looks different.

Since I started riding quite late and I am also inconsistent in my training (cannot ride daily) I doubt I'll ever compete in anything. However, the more I read and find, the..more I wonder if there even is a discipline that does not force and melt the horse into something very close to abuse when it reaches top competition levels. Anything, racing, barrel racing, western pleasure, Spanish dressage...it starts out as a beautiful idea but seems to finish on a very rotten top.

Sorry, I got sad :)

On a happier note, your horse breeds are among most talented and beautiful I have seen. :)
     
    06-26-2010, 10:09 AM
  #5
Ink
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by inaclick    
1. I noticed in a few videos that western breed horses that were shown were keeping their head very very low. In here we are by contrary advised to pick up the reins shorter and raise the horse's head. Why do the western discipline horses keep their heads low, and how does that help the rider / the horse?

Western pleasure is, as it's name implies, a pleasure class. Meaning that the horse that wins is supposed to be the horse that looks like the most fun to ride. According to AQHA rules (could be wrong, this is what I remember from horse judging) the head and neck technically are not supposed to travel lower than the withers. My theory is some where along the line horses that started winning pleasure classes were slow, collected and traveled with a naturally low head set. Imitators came along and saw that the winners were slow and carried their heads low.

So there you go, I had more to write, but breakfast is ready.
     
    06-26-2010, 11:02 AM
  #6
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
3. I am always advised (actually roared at) to keep the reins short, to "feel the horse's mouth in your hand" (approximate quote from a trainer) I tend to let them however a bit elastic, especially if I ride a horse that seems a bit more sensitive and uncomfortable
I've been told 1000 times that letting a rein loose means no control over the horse and a big accident potential in case the horse spooks.
However I noticed most western riding is done with a very loose rein. The horse seems free to move his head and neck wherever he wants to. This shatters a bit the "mouth n hand" theory. How do western riders control the horse then? Only from the legs / seat?

Alot of the control of western horses is through the legs and seat but certainly not all. I think it boils down to just a difference in the uses of horses and the culture that predates it. I am not riding my horses over 5 foot fences and you are not roping a cow and pulling it with your horse. If your horse goes out of control on a loose rein it's likely only a matter of time before it's out of control with contact.
Perfectly put. An old friend of mine that works cattle (and is obviously biased) once told me that you don't want to 'micromanage' a working horse. You want to teach it the job to be done (e.g. Roping, penning, etc) and then allow them to think, give them their head, and have the freedom to do it. We ride all our mares on a loose rein and have never had one want to bolt or runaway.
     
    06-26-2010, 12:16 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by inaclick    
Hello

Thanks, that clarifies things a bit.
Yes indeed, there are nutcases in every discipline. I am sort of relieved to find out that it's not a general rule the behavior that I noticed.

I'll do some more net research on the curb bit, not quite sure I understand how that functions.
Overall my first impression about the western riding was that it is much better and with a practical foundation both for rider and horse. The loose rein, the relaxed position of the horse and so on. Even the saddle looks so much friendlier.

However the more I research the more I find that as usually, when people forget what they started from, they exaggerate and do all they can to win. It saddens me deeply to find (from all over the internet, including this forum actually) about certain practices for forcing the horse to exaggerate their natural gaits and such.
Oh well.
Kinda same thing in dressage, just looks different.

Since I started riding quite late and I am also inconsistent in my training (cannot ride daily) I doubt I'll ever compete in anything. However, the more I read and find, the..more I wonder if there even is a discipline that does not force and melt the horse into something very close to abuse when it reaches top competition levels. Anything, racing, barrel racing, western pleasure, Spanish dressage...it starts out as a beautiful idea but seems to finish on a very rotten top.

Sorry, I got sad :)

On a happier note, your horse breeds are among most talented and beautiful I have seen. :)
I agree with you, especially the part I put in bold. It seems like when the competition gets tough, it becomes about money and winning and not about enjoying the horse or caring about his health and well being. Sigh!

I ride western, but just on the trails and out in the woods. The saddles are very secure, and if you find the right one, very comfortable for horse and rider. I almost always ride on a loose rein. The only time I usually pick up contact with the mouth is when I go faster than a walk and I want some collection.

Bolting has never really been an issue. If one should bolt, I just turn him around in a circle. You could literally sit a horse right back on his haunches if he tried to run off with you in a curb, but I would never want to do that! But that's the control you have over the horse. I would be more afraid of a horse bolting with me in a snaffle, because then you have very little in the form of brakes. The horse respects the bit and you have to use it very little. It's like having power steering and power brakes so to speak. A curb is not meant to have constant contact or the horse would have no relief. He respects it and it's there when you need it. He can't usually run off with you with a curb bit because you have so much more control than in a snaffle.

I like the finesse I get from a curb.
     
    06-26-2010, 09:54 PM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by inaclick    
Hello

I've been reading this forum for a while and finally decided to come out :)
I'm from Romania, I do not own a horse but I lease for mountain trail rides + almost weekly lessons.

Western riding is close to non existent here;we have quite a few dressage, races, show jumping competitions, but I doubt I'll ever see a barrel race for example. So for me all the info I can gather is from all over the internet.
I have a few questions, perhaps you could answer:

1. I noticed in a few videos that western breed horses that were shown were keeping their head very very low. In here we are by contrary advised to pick up the reins shorter and raise the horse's head. Why do the western discipline horses keep their heads low, and how does that help the rider / the horse?

It doesn't. The Western Pleasure horse is trained to have their head low and move at snail pace. Although the standard now says that the WP horses need to have heads level to their body.

2. I hope this does not sound offending in any sort of way but I noticed that no matter how fast a horse is in a barrel race, still gets whipped / kicked a LOT by the rider. I understand the aim is to obtain the shortest time possible, but it looks so .....don't know..eh. Do they HAVE to kick / smack the living guts out of that horse?

I know it. But in a barrel racers mind, if you can get even an ounce of extra speed its worth it. One barrel race I ran at the first and second place finished were a milisecond apart: 16.2 and 16.3 and the winner had spurred her horse into the ground. Granted I don't think its necessary, but some people seem to. Sure, I'll giv emy horses a few wacks ont he butt, however my horses are all lazy ad need something to wake them up.

3. I am always advised (actually roared at) to keep the reins short, to "feel the horse's mouth in your hand" (approximate quote from a trainer) I tend to let them however a bit elastic, especially if I ride a horse that seems a bit more sensitive and uncomfortable
I've been told 1000 times that letting a rein loose means no control over the horse and a big accident potential in case the horse spooks.
However I noticed most western riding is done with a very loose rein. The horse seems free to move his head and neck wherever he wants to. This shatters a bit the "mouth n hand" theory. How do western riders control the horse then? Only from the legs / seat?

The neck rein. You lay the rein across the horses neck and the horse move away fromt he pressure. That's why reiners always ride with only one hand. And in my opinion, every western horse should be able to ride brideless. Or at least every reining horses. If they have enough leg to turn around and change leads they should have enough to be guide with the knees.

5. The horses over there are surprisingly cheap lately. I think a plane ticket from Romania to US would be around..3 horses .
I've been watching a lot of youtube clips of a lady Fallon Taylor. Apparently she is a retired barrel racer and now trains and sells horses. Around 1 year ago the prices were around 12k, 15k, now they ended up on 2.5k, 800$ even, and so on.
Is it the credit crunch?

The market for horses sucks right now. They aren't worth anything unless they are top dollar, and even top dollar horses have decreased. With this failing economy, nobody can afford anything or competition unless they breed and train it themselves, and even that's incredibly expensive.

Thanks a lot for reading!

Answers in bold
     
    06-26-2010, 10:02 PM
  #9
Started
It bothers me to that barrel racers are kick kick kicking even when the horse is giving its all. The riders look like maniacs out there, and how do they expect for the horse to yeild to leg pressure out of the arena when they beat them all the way out?

When I barreled, I used my seat and the squeeze of my legs and I MAY have needed to roll my spurs ONCE to wake the horse up, but other than that I let the horse be responsible for himself.

But, maybe that's why I never won anything big. It's sad, really.
     
    06-27-2010, 03:26 PM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by inaclick    
Hello
....

5. The horses over there are surprisingly cheap lately. I think a plane ticket from Romania to US would be around..3 horses .
I've been watching a lot of youtube clips of a lady Fallon Taylor. Apparently she is a retired barrel racer and now trains and sells horses. Around 1 year ago the prices were around 12k, 15k, now they ended up on 2.5k, 800$ even, and so on.
Is it the credit crunch?

Thanks a lot for reading!
I've been watching that lady too. She has some incredible horses for sale, very well trained from what I saw. The princes there dropped a lot in the last time. But here we have horses that are selling for a big price if you take into consideration their training. A well breed horse sells for 1000 - 2000 but he is not very well trained or not trained at all. But there you can buy a horse from the slaughter, very well trained for 500 - 600 $ or less, or a registered trail horse for 1500 - 2000 $. Here for less than 500 $ you can buy only mixed breed cart horses. So I think that they have cheaper horses that are a better quality than what we have.
     

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