Western Pleasure vs Ranch Riding

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Western Pleasure vs Ranch Riding

This is a discussion on Western Pleasure vs Ranch Riding within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • ranch horse pleasure vs. ranch riding
  • Western pleasure vs ranch riding

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  • 1 Post By Cynical25

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    06-18-2013, 03:45 PM
Western Pleasure vs Ranch Riding

Hello everyone, there is an upcoming local show at our county fair (so very low key, and not exactly the most strict type of competition. No rules are posted beforehand which is very frustrating because itís hard to prepare.) Iíve only showed once ever, and never in either of these disciplines but I kind of want to. I was just wondering what the main differences are between the two. Both are open classes (but as I said, with no rules listed), so please help me out if you can. :) Thanks!
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    06-18-2013, 04:53 PM
I know you said it was an Open show, but the AQHA handbook will give you a good overview of what each class is generally looking for. Your governing association may have slightly different ideas.
AQHA Handbook

In a nutshell: Western Pleasure horses are bred & trained for a specific long, low & slow movement which will be shown as a rail class. There will likely be extensions of the gaits, but the focus is on presenting a horse who is cadenced, balanced, responsive & consistent. These are show horses and there will likely be some glitz & glamour, as presentation is part of the game.

Ranch Riding is for ranch bred type horses who may have a more forward gait, and they will do some sort of pattern with gait changes, poles to cross, spins/turns, and lead changes. The idea seems to be to showcase a working horses' ability to respond to typical maneuvers asked while working the ranch land. Tack and attire is more simple and work-oriented then WP classes, but still clean and put together. It is still a show class and your horse should be presented in as good a light as possible.

Have fun and good luck!
stevenson likes this.
    06-19-2013, 07:39 AM
Hello I've never rode in Western style because I live in Europe, I really like to try but I can't find a place to do it...
    06-21-2013, 09:34 AM
Cynical25 thank you for the advice and for the link. I understand the differences a lot better now. I think my QH will do a lot better in the ranch class than the Western Pleasure one to be honest.

Gabinija, You should definitely give it a try. Western riding is a lot of fun, so I hope you can find a place to try it. :)

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