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I have a quarter horse mare that I am right now training to do eventing, but we are mostly working on dressage at the moment. Her background is of cutting and reining horses and her foundation training is western. Her grandfather is Doc O'lena. I was interested in training and showing her in western pleasure classes this summer. I was wondering if anyone could give me information on what goes on in these classes. Also What are the different levels. Obviously I'm going to have to train my horse in this new discipline and I want to be informed on what I may need to do. Thanks so much!
 

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A good western pleasure horse is a slow collected horse with 3 steady gaits a relaxed dispostion basiclally the horse should appeal as a pleasure to ride.
There isnt really levels theres age groups. I would start at local shows and if you do well move up.
 

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Actually, there are levels.
Small Local Shows
Open Shows
AQHA Green Shows
AQHA Novice Shows
AQHA Amateur Shows
AQHA Open

But there's also NSBA...

While each is essentially looking for the same thing, who your being judged against dictates the level of competition that your at.

I would assume that your looking at local shows rather than registry shows, as your main dicipline focus is eventing?

If you go in there correct in your topline, easy gaits...and just a calm quiet horse, you oughta do fine.
Work on lead departures and transitions. You want them both clean and flawless.
 

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Ok thats what levels ment I thought she was asking if in one show there is x amount of levels to chose from. Sorry!
 

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A judge is looking for a horse on a loose rein, the bigger the loop the better trained the horse. The poll should be at least 4" below the whithers and the nose on or a little in front of the vertical. In QH and a lot of open shows, unfortunately for Arab type horses, they like the entire neck low and relaxed without an arch. They like free moving gaits, albeit slow and collected. The horse should give the appearance they are happy and could maintain the gait all day. Cues should be almost invisible and the horse should respond without a dramatic change in frame. It should appear as if rider and horse are one and that the horse responds off the riders thoughts.

As for the class, they usually ask for the walk, jog, and lope. They may ask for a change in direction at the present gait or just a reverse where it is good to have a pivot on your horse. Be ready for a back up either on the rail or at the center line up. Again, they want a willing movement with slight aids and little change in frame. It is classy to have a horse that stops and stands square as well.

Some will get as picky as to watch you corner as well. Some judges will mark you down if you cut corners or if they feel your horse is 'stuck' on the rail, using it instead of the reins for direction.

The tougher the class the smaller things the judge has to use to separate the class, so this is just some things you can work on.
 
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