western pleasure question - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-15-2008, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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western pleasure question

Since I've started riding Sonny in a western I'm totally stuck on western...I can't switch back to english due to I feel strange in an english saddle.

So I want to show Sonny in western shows not just because I'm now more comfortable in a western, but also he's a great western horse.

I was thinking of maybe showing in western pleasure, but I don't like alot of things in the shows....
1) how low the neck is...I don't know if it would matter if Sonny did that or not in a show, but it just looks wrong
2) the slow gaits...Sonny can go slow...but only if he's really tired
3) the weird lope (or canter as the english people are familiar with)

Now to me, watching western "pleasure" videos or shows it does not look like "pleasure" for the horse (and isn't that what its supposed to be?)

Could someone carify exactly what western "pleasure" shows are? Thanks
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-15-2008, 02:09 PM
tim
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First of all, you have to find the right horse for it to be pleasurable for the horse. But that's not really the idea. Playing in a field is pleasurable for a horse. The term pleasure is meant to be applied to the rider.

If you dislike the western pleasure frame then I'm not sure you would enjoy showing western pleasure. But bear in mind a lot of the "rank and file" pleasure exhibitors really don't have the firmest grasp of modern western pleasure and are prone to exaggerate things like the low headset and slow speed, taking the lazy look a little too far. Make sure you're watching good videos and shows. Try the AQHA World Show videos on youtube if you haven't already.

It would take a long time to clarify exactly "what WP is," there is a lot to it for such a simple looking discipline, and the best riders make it look very easy (but then that's the whole point though isn't it...). Its mostly about the horse, and the judges do take head position and speed into consideration, but they also evaluate movement, transitions, expression, and conformation. Everything basically -- and it all has to be just right. I'd recommend you request a copy of the AQHA handbook if you want to learn everything there is to know, but unfortunately I don't think they offer free copies to non-AQHA members, so if you're not a member you would have to ask someone that is to get you a copy. Otherwise the USEF rules are very similar (only I find them even more strict) and if you're prepared to print a gazillion pages, you can download them totally free here.

Any questions?
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post #3 of 14 Old 04-15-2008, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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why exactly do they like to low head? I never understood that...it looks really bad...or at least most do (in my opinion)
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post #4 of 14 Old 04-15-2008, 06:25 PM
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It just sort-of happens when you collect a horse (properly) that their topline levels out. Their backs rise up and they collect their legs beneath them, which causes the while topline to relax and even out. Personally I think a nice level topline makes them look much calmer and more relaxed, as well as focused, but some people think it's not very natural looking or something. Like I said some people take it too far and the left-over stereotype from the '90's is that their noses are six inches from the ground. It's not supposed to be that low. The acceptable range is eartips to withers at the lowest and eyes to withers at the highest.
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post #5 of 14 Old 04-16-2008, 07:28 PM
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sonny - Maybe you would enjoy reining???? Why not look into it a little on youtube and you will see that the heads are often held higher, the pace is more what you would be used to and it is also a lot of fun. Go along to a few NRHA shows or take a look at this website for more information http://www.nrha.com/

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post #6 of 14 Old 04-16-2008, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I Love Lane
sonny - Maybe you would enjoy reining???? Why not look into it a little on youtube and you will see that the heads are often held higher, the pace is more what you would be used to and it is also a lot of fun. Go along to a few NRHA shows or take a look at this website for more information http://www.nrha.com/
I was thinking of reining, but I don't particually want to do something hard on Sonny's legs and from what I've heard reining is hard on the joints and ligaments.

I want to do something western....my balance is 200% better in a western and my riding posture is alot better in a western.

What other western stuff can I do for shows?
I know there's western pleasure, barrel racing, reining....but anything else I'm missing?
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-16-2008, 10:35 PM
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cowhorse, cutting, heading and healing (roping), Trail, horsemanship.......

Plenty of options for you :) how old is your horse?? I don't really think that when done CORRECTLY reining is any worse on leg, joints etc then any other show event :) JMO though and I am not a vet so I could be wrong.......

On the eigth day God created the Quarter Horse..... on the ninth day, he painted the best ones........
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-16-2008, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I Love Lane
cowhorse, cutting, heading and healing (roping), Trail, horsemanship.......

Plenty of options for you :) how old is your horse?? I don't really think that when done CORRECTLY reining is any worse on leg, joints etc then any other show event :) JMO though and I am not a vet so I could be wrong.......
well cowhorse is a no cause there's no cows...I know there are trail classes, but Sonny is spooky so I doubt he'd do that great....but he can back through a set of cones great

He's 9 at the moment, but will be 10 in 2 months.

What do you mean when done "correctly"?
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post #9 of 14 Old 04-16-2008, 11:42 PM
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I mean that the horse is trained to stop, spin etc and not just expected to know what to do :) It takes a great deal of time to train a reining horse but at 9 yo Sonny would be fine - he is fully matured and could haddle the pressure on his bones, joints, muscles...... have a look at a few shows and see what takes your fancy, you know what they say - horses for courses :)

On the eigth day God created the Quarter Horse..... on the ninth day, he painted the best ones........
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-17-2008, 06:48 AM
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Team penning. That's a real fun! :)
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