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I've been debating with myself about posting this here because I know there are stong feelings both ways about western pleasure. I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment cuz here goes!

I fully admit that we are not perfect yet. There are still issues that I am working on. There is a progression of earlier videos so you can take a look back to see where we started from. This is just another video to document our training progress.


All comments are welcome (but I'm pretty good at ignoring the unnecessary bashing of WP).
 

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I think the head is too low. The horse seems a little stiff on your circles. I didn't realize WP was with such a loose rein.
 

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The head is too low.

Here are the AQHA rules regarding head carriage;
453. WESTERN RIDING
(a)​
Western Riding is an event where the horse is judged on
quality of gaits, lead changes at the lope, response to the rider, manners
and disposition. The horse should perform with reasonable
speed, and be sensible, well-mannered, free and easy moving.

(b)​
Credit shall be given for and emphasis placed on smoothness,
even cadence of gaits (i.e., starting and finishing pattern with the same
cadence), and the horse’s ability to change leads precisely, easily and
simultaneously both hind and front at the center point between markers.
In order to have balance, with quality lead changes, the horse’s
head and neck should be in a relaxed, natural position, with his poll
level with or slightly above the level of the withers. He should not
carry his head behind the vertical, giving the appearance of
intimidation, or be excessively nosed out, giving a resistant
appearance.The horse should have a relaxed head carriage
showing response to the rider’s hands, with a moderate flexion at the
poll. Horses may be ridden with light contact or on a reasonably loose
rein. The horse should cross the log both at the jog and the lope without
breaking gait or radically changing stride.

(c)​
The judge will select one of the four patterns to be performed.

The judge is responsible for the pattern being correctly set.
 

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I agree with the others about his head carriage, but i love how he is moving. He's a cute dude! How old? I think that his lope is nice, his head gets a little bobby at times, but I think thats when you're spurring him from what I can tell. His jog is a *little* slow for me, but that's all just personal preference! :)

Oh and it looks like you need to work a little more on neck reining before you go for such a loose rein, at one point you reach WAY over to get his attention, which we've all done, but just mentioning for critiquing purposes :)
 

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His reins look so loose that he could get caught in them... :shock: Maybe I am just not used to WP horses though :lol:

Pretty guy. His lope looks really nice.
 

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I think you've done a great job!!! IMHO, he does seem a bit "stiff" in his trot...but his lope was very nice. I think he's a lovely little thing! Congrats in your training. I hope you'll post more videos as you progress.

Believe me..even if his head carriage is low now, at a show, where there is so much going on, his head carriage will automatically be higher, which is why some folks try to go lower during practice.

Ps. For those talking about how low his head is, or the head bobbing, or even the loose rein: Here is a video of a 2008 wp class. You will see heads as low as this this guy and you will see their heads bob, and plenty of loose reins as well.

 

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I thought they had changed the rules about heads being so low (like posted above), do they just not really enforce that?

Why is there so much bobbing of the head at the canter? The horse looks uncomfortable at that gait.
 

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Looks like he is coming along very well. His right lead looks very natural but he fights his left lead. It looks like he doesn't quite get the shoulder lift he needs so he throws his head to get the lift.
Nice looking horse !!
 

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At the beginning as has been said, his head is pretty low, but not too bad. After the ground poles at about 1:20, it gets much better and his frame rounds much better with a more level topline. I actually like your lope, it looks much more energized than I am used to seeing on a Wp horse, Kudos. He is pretty heavy on the forehand at the lope, but a little work will fix that. Overall not bad at all.

So in summary
-get his topline a little more close to level
-get him off the forehand(which is why most wp horses :"bob", they are very heavy on the fore and have to force their front ends up to get the slow lope by jerking their heads up and down, kinda like what a BL horse does ***and no I am not comparing a WP to a BL that is just trying to illustrate what I mean...)
-get him under him self, and you guys will be great!(All 3 of these will help each other, his topline will improve and he will become lighter and less choppy once you get him more underhimself... so I would say that is what you need to work on the most)

Cant wait to see how you guys progress!
 

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I admire your courage GottaRide. The WP bashing gets tiring on here.
 

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I do not agree that his head is too low - I think it looks pretty natural for a horse built like him. a majority of the WP/western headset bashers are not from the discipline, or are even english riders, so I would take the opinions lightly. That being said, his nose could tip in a tiny bit more at the jog. His lope looks very natural, but hlacks cadence and impulsion at the jog. Cadence is so very tricky, isn't it?
Maybe do some stop/rollback/jog off exercises when he looses tempo? I think he's super cute - you guys should be doing well by show season! I also athink you are brave to post your video - the WP bashing is nauseating!
 

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I do not agree that his head is too low - I think it looks pretty natural for a horse built like him. a majority of the WP/western headset bashers are not from the discipline, or are even english riders, so I would take the opinions lightly. That being said, his nose could tip in a tiny bit more at the jog. His lope looks very natural, but hlacks cadence and impulsion at the jog. Cadence is so very tricky, isn't it?
Maybe do some stop/rollback/jog off exercises when he looses tempo? I think he's super cute - you guys should be doing well by show season! I also athink you are brave to post your video - the WP bashing is nauseating!


That! That was so well said, I am speechless! 8D
 

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I don't think they enforce the rules, but hey, its better than those old peanut rollers! In thtat AQHA video somone posted, those lope look soooooooooo weird. I always think it looks like their back legs hurt,lol. It never looks very pleasureful, and I've ridden pleasure horses before. I like my trail/fun horses better, but I'm not going to "off" your disipline. I would take the advise that the others have said, and I hope you have a good show season!
 

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I thought they had changed the rules about heads being so low (like posted above), do they just not really enforce that?

Why is there so much bobbing of the head at the canter? The horse looks uncomfortable at that gait.[/QUOTE]


Its because the horse is driving, they have so much impulsion it would be even harder for them not to "bob" their heads.

To the OP lovely horse and you are definatly on the right track!! I dont see much wrong maybe a little more fine tuning but I think he looks awesome. I ride western pleasure and I am soo tired of hearing the bashes its unnecessary.

Good Luck!:D
 

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I do not agree that his head is too low - I think it looks pretty natural for a horse built like him. a majority of the WP/western headset bashers are not from the discipline, or are even english riders[/B], so I would take the opinions lightly. That being said, his nose could tip in a tiny bit more at the jog. His lope looks very natural, but hlacks cadence and impulsion at the jog. Cadence is so very tricky, isn't it?
Maybe do some stop/rollback/jog off exercises when he looses tempo? I think he's super cute - you guys should be doing well by show season! I also athink you are brave to post your video - the WP bashing is nauseating!


I saw THAT one coming. That is why I posted a quote on the standards right out of the AQHA rule book. It is not just my opinion....it is the rule! It's just too bad the rules are being consistently ignored. BTW, I have spent a fair amount of my life in a western saddle, too.

I do like that horse and think he has potential.
 

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First thing that pops out at me is that he seems a bit off in the right front at the trot. I like him for the most part. He is a little heavy on the forehand and in the trot and walk, his head seems just a touch lower than where it should be. I think he would look a bit smoother and more relaxed with his head a touch higher (like poll level with withers higher). I absolutely adore how he lopes from 1:50 to 2:00. He is level and moving out. That being said, he is very uncomfortable on the left lead. I think some more impulsion would help that immensely. He really drops on his forehand on the left and I think that getting him going a little faster with his butt under him would help because then he wouldn't be picking up his hind end with his neck/head (hence the severe head bobbing on the left). He would be pushing with his hind end instead of pulling everything along with his neck and shoulders. He also needs a bit of work on the haunch turn so that he isn't fighting the bit so much, but that will come with more training. All in all, he is a nice horse with some real potential and really does look more pleasurable to ride than most.
 

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I posted a quote on the standards right out of the AQHA rule book. It is not just my opinion....it is the rule!


It's also a rule from WESTERN RIDING, which is a pattern class, not a rail class. Spending time in a certain type of saddle by no means makes one any more relevant in it. I've spent a lot of time in an English saddle, but that doesn't mean I can give super awesome advice to a jumper or someone who rides dressage, because I simply don't train for that, as I'm sure you don't train western pleasure show horses.

And also, that's not an AQHA horse. It's an APHA horse ;) Similar association, but they are different.


From the APHA 2010 Rule Book;
I. HEAD SET. The head should be carried at an angle that is natural and
suitable to the horse’s conformation at all gaits. Ideally, a horse should
carry its head no lower than level and its nose should be in front of vertical.
______________________
K. FAULTS. To be scored according to severity:
1. Wrong lead.
2. Bolting.
3. Bucking.
4. Excessive speed.
5. Breaking gait.
6. Failure to Take Gait. Horses which fail to take the gait when called
for. (During transitions, excessive delay will be penalized.)
7. Head Position. Head carried such that the point of the ear is consistently
lower than the withers
, carried too high, or excessive nosing out.
Maters ear was rarely below his withers, and that is thus according the American Paint Horse Association, the proper association that GR's horse will be shown under. (assuming she'll be showing him breed shows XD, and I bet she will)
 

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I think your doing an amazing job on him!

There are points others pointed out that need a little more tweeking, but your well on your way!

I would be pleased to ride that horse anyday. :wink:
 
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