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So i stopped showing my horses last year because imo the show ring is getting ridiculous.
i have been seeing these huge 17 hand horses forced to 4-beat and its not natural. in my opinion showing and horsemanship needs to be on the natural movements of the horse. 4-beating and what we cal peanut rolling(heads almost on the ground) is not natural its very uncomfortable and it looks stupid.
they honestly look like robots. they cant pick their feet up, they cant make quick gait changes like that so why are they doig it?

horses should have free movement of their heads. having their heads tucked into their chests is harsh on their necks and they cannot move out like they should. they use their whole bodies for balance and fluidity. if you have them loping in a four beat or headsa tucked to far they have horrible movement and balance.

so i say if they want to stick their face out some then let them.
 

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I watched alot of WP and other western events last year and I didn't see one horse that was peanut rolling. Why does a horse with a low headset look bad? If you ask me a horse that "Sticks his head out" is ugly and shows the lack of control the horse and rider have.
 

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Maybe I'm just lucky, but the QH shows in our area are pretty good. Not a lot of peanut rolling and 4 beating going on. If someone shows a horse that does those things - they get rewarded for it...by not placing. But what is a natural head set for one horse may not be for the next horse. I don't see why some folks think that a WP bred horse whould carry their head like and Arab or a Morgan, as they are built SO differently. Although I have spent time in the show ring, I also did some work for a couple years on ranches and all the horses I rode carried their heads level or below, and it certainly wasn't forced, but maybe it was just those horses. I don't know, I'm must be wrong as every WP thread is about how horrible and cruel a level or below level head set is.
 

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I watched alot of WP and other western events last year and I didn't see one horse that was peanut rolling. Why does a horse with a low headset look bad? If you ask me a horse that "Sticks his head out" is ugly and shows the lack of control the horse and rider have.
haha same here. i think it looks so pretty when their heads are down and they are all nice and slow and collected:)
 

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GottaRide that is a cute video. That horse needed her rider to relax a bit more on it's mouth.

Anyway, the judging in western pleasure is getting better. They are starting to look for more forward motion in the jog and lope to get the horses tracking more naturally. They want more of a lever top line instead of the head so far down. Basically they want to see the way the horse naturally moves to judge based on that and how well they perform.

It is a slow process but it is getting better.
 

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I am glad to hear things are improving. For a while there if the horse had their nose more than a foot above the ground it would not be looked at. And everyone troped instead of loping.

A nice slow lope is not bad. But when the horse is lurching and the rider is pumping (they really have no choice since the horse is lurching so much) it is just not attractive.
 

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Arabian horse in western

I show my arabian gelding western. Arabian horses carry themselves with a more rounded neck with there heads lateral with the grounds. This is very natural since they have a higher natural headset. Stock horses necks come off of their bodies at a lower point there for it is much more natural for them to carry there heads lower. Dont get me wrong I agree 4 beating is not natural but I am also saying you have to understand the different breeds. The only thing that bugs me is when they ride at western speeds and headsets with loose reins in the hunt classes. The purpose of a hunt class is to show forward motion to cover ground and be ready to take a fence at anytime. Sorry I went off the subject LOL :lol:
 

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I've been out of the game for a while, but I know the ApHC added lope with forward motion to the rule book. As far as headset goes, I was taught (on appies mind you) that the poll should be about level with the withers, and the face should be perpendicular to the ground or nose slightly in front. The shows I went to, if your nose was behind the perpendicular, you couldn't win the class.
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I had a lot of hope when AQHA changed the rules for WP, but I quit going to the shows because I saw no difference. Horses with their heads lower than their withers and hardly any forward motion still. I was very disappointed. Recently I went to a friends Paint show & it was the same thing.
 

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As someone who writes for AQHA's flagship magazine, The JQURNAL, I can say with absolute impunity that is has changed. I don't know what shows people are attending, but "level neck" is the name of the game. If what you're seeing is at APHA shows, that would make sense; they typically lag behind AQHA due to the time it takes to breed that natural loper...with color. So don't give up. Subscribe to the JQURNAL. Read about the hammering AQHA judges have been taking to JUDGE PER THE RULE BOOK. I'm seeing a big difference, especially in HUS.

Pamela Britton-Baer
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I wanted to add that if what the OP is seeing is at local open shows, I would not be surprised. Out here on the west coast open show judges stink. Most of them have been judging for 30+ years, have no card, and they've made no effort to keep current. I know why this is. Show managers can't afford carded judges, but this does a huuge disservice to those people looking to move up the showing food chain. Typically these people think that because they've done well while showing to uncarded judges, they'll do well at breed and/or rated shows...and they don't. It's a rude awakening for most. Frankly, I think it scares people away.

Pamela Britton-Baer
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I was just at a horse this past weekend albiet it was a small 4-H show but I was praised by the judge for keeping my horse's western canter a natural canter. I won all of my riding classes but one and that is only becasue I messed up.

 

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Ive often wondered about western pleasure for my horse. It was *my* thing back in the day but he is a speed horse with lots of go. His jog is beautiful to sit and nice and slow but he does have that umph behind it. His lope is a beautiful collected three beats. I dont push him for his headset and though im sure I will not place, i plan on showing him without a lower headset this year. He is not high in the sky....just a normal a bit above the withers set. The gaits are right, the speed is right, the horse looks beautiful but ive been told without getting the nose down, hes not even close to placing.
 

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I would just go in for fun. It all depends on the judge and what other horses are there anyway so you never know...you may place. Good luck and remember it's all for fun anyway :)
 

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AQHA is doing better. I saw a video the other day of a horse called One Hot Krymsun and he looked the best of any of them. Though he was still to slow and low for my particular taste, he looked comfortable and happy and he actually moved out into a natural slow lope.
 

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Yeah, someone was talking about OHK on a different thread a few weeks back. I told Becky, his owner, and she was tickled pink. He's throwing some nice babies, too.

AQHA should--at the very least--rename the class English pleasure, not HUS. But that will never happen dagnabit.

Pam
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