Western Pleasure - Heads Too Low? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 03-15-2009, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Question Western Pleasure - Heads Too Low?

Ok, so I have nearly zero experience with western pleasure, but I was watching a few videos and they just seemed highly unnatural that a horse would want to hold his head that low. I mean, in the paddocks I rarely see any horses have their head that low without stuffing food in. Except Misty or Larry, but their heads are already quite low to the ground.
So I checked it out, came upon this article Western Perception It got me thinking, am I right, are the heads too low or do you think there's nothing wrong with how it all is?
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-15-2009, 09:03 PM
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There are a few threads on this already if you search for it.
It's such a touchy subject that I figure you may as well go read what has already been said without starting the whole thing over again :P
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-15-2009, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Oh really? I had no idea. Sorry. I will search for other threads then.
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-15-2009, 10:37 PM
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Not a problem :)
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-19-2009, 03:31 PM
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Horses now are bred to carry there heads like that. It is natural for them. Some horses do have their heads too low, which can be a problem but in a lot of cases that is just how they are bred.

Brittany
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-19-2009, 05:42 PM
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my horse if you give him the reins he keeps his head abought wither level or a little below the withers. Its his breeding. But he will lift it up for jumping when you tighten up your reins.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-19-2009, 06:12 PM
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There are a lot of things about pleasure that are unnatural for the horse. (no offense anyone) The pace is very unnatural and lots of pleasure horses come up with navicular because of the unnatural way that they are trained to perform. Some horses naturally hold their heads lower because of their conformation, but just as many are trained to keep their heads lowered. That is why training forks and draw reins became so popular.
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-19-2009, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bilyeuamber View Post
There are a lot of things about pleasure that are unnatural for the horse. (no offense anyone) The pace is very unnatural and lots of pleasure horses come up with navicular because of the unnatural way that they are trained to perform. Some horses naturally hold their heads lower because of their conformation, but just as many are trained to keep their heads lowered. That is why training forks and draw reins became so popular.
you may be surprised at how slow some pleasure horses lope naturally.

Brittany
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-19-2009, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bilyeuamber View Post
There are a lot of things about pleasure that are unnatural for the horse. (no offense anyone) The pace is very unnatural and lots of pleasure horses come up with navicular because of the unnatural way that they are trained to perform. Some horses naturally hold their heads lower because of their conformation, but just as many are trained to keep their heads lowered. That is why training forks and draw reins became so popular.
There are a few things I would have to dissagree with here. Don't get me wrong, I personally would like to see a more forward jog and lope...but I have to point out a couple things that you said. The navicular topic... I've never come across that sort of accusation. Its completely innacurate.

Training forks (martingales) and draw reins pre-dated the pleasure craze. They have been used in every dicipline from hunter/jumpers and dressage to reining and,yes, barrel racing. These aides gain bad reputations based on the incapable riders who handle them. Riders who don't understand the proper way to use them.

Just figured I'd share...
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-20-2009, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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I have read another post which was closed shortly after I posted. I hope this one can stay civil, this is an interesting topic to me.
After reading all responses, I do believe that there are horses who just have low set heads in their blood. I then looked at a few pictures of horses I know and they have that low head set. So yes, it is in those horses blood.
BUT, I also know that in any competative sport people who are just not that great will do not so great things to try to get ahead. This could include training a horse to hold his head lower then he would normally, or walk far slower then he would prefer. I think if you're going to compete in WP make sure your horses is uited. If he's not, do something he is suited to. Don't force him. It's not fair.
So that's where I am on WP head sets currently, but I always love to hear more.

BTW, isn't it :"Horses for courses" :P
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