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Discussion Starter #1
When I first started in horses, seems like a life time ago, the head position on a western horse was level with it's body, not higher and not lower.

Why has this changed? Why? Why???
It looks so unnatural, to have the horses head so low. It reminds me of those ( bad, bad) peoples horses who had their poor heads tied up for the entire morning until their western class came up and the poor horse had no choice but to have his head so low it' nose was draggin the ground like a blood hound.

Now that is all I see, that lower than top-line headset, it looks like the horse is sick or tired or maybe just sickn'tired, don't know but can someone please,please tell me the rationale behind this?

Maybe if I were to understand the reasoning, I would have an " aw-ha" moment and not be so obsessed. LOL.
 

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I wish I could tell you. -sigh-

I've been dying to finish Jester's ROM's but I can't because his head set is level wit hhis body and you won't get anything good unless your horses nose leaves tracks in the dirt.

I mean, really. I took him to a trail class last summer. EVERY SINGLE HORSE spooked at the tarp, wouldn't open the gate, and only two people crossed the bridge. Hmph! Some trail horses.

So I took Jester in and I made him look at all the obstacles, but he just went along over everything. Danced all over the tarp, sidepassed to open the gate, and without even a moments hesitation her went right over the bridges. His haunch turns were perfect (Reining horse :D ) and he went through every obstacle with no problem. Even the rubber carwash thing he didn't even flick his ears.

And we got last place. Judge's reasoning: His head was up too far. W T F? Those horses all had their nose buried in the dirt but they spooked and wouldn't cross abstacles, the most anyone ever did was half the course. We even did it in a respectable time.

What is this world coming to?
 

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Its not all western. I don't have their head as ow, as I don't do WP. I just trail ride a gymkhana.

I rode a WP horse one time with a WP instructor, while my mare was on stall rest with a splint bone. Needless to say, key word is once. never did that again. It's not even very pleasure-ful. their lope is all weird and funny, and you have to concentrate so much at home when you practise to keep them going at a good pace and their heads low and such. I don't see the "pleasure" in that. Plus the position the rider has to be in all the time is uncomfy, at least for me. The horse and rider both usually look stiff/rigid. Just MHO.

I find my western pleasure as "western fun". Its just hopping on and riding for fun. lol. I mean, I think its the AQHA/APHA WP thats so messed. Compare AQHA WP:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3579/3407682266_c8bd30a5e1.jpg

with this:
http://www.ladyluckranch.com/horses/roxie/roxie600.jpg

its amazing. Which one looks more beautiful and pleasure-ful?

Plus, it just doesn't look comfy for the horse. Now, it may be entirely different, but that what it looks like, even if its not true.
EDIT
Look at the first 2 min of this vid:
The lope on this morgan looks UGLY:

I guess the point is to be slow, but I guess it doesn't have to be pretty.....
 

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Here we go again.
 

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I personally think that whoever came up with the head position for a horse in WP had a screw loose. It looks unnatural, and the whole look of the horse reminds me of one of those exhausted horses in the war memorials.

It also can bring on a lot of nasty training methods: I know a trainer who's trying to get an Arab to get his head down for WP. This particular Arab loves holding his head way up high, so the garbage that trainer is pulling on him to get his head down...
 

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I think what happened was someone had a great horse that carried his head slightly lower then the rest. people mimiced. Another great horse came along that carried his head even lower... people followed, then... another great horse came along.....and so on and so forth...


I've seen horses tied like that at shows. They pin in EVERY class, bring home the big wins. Their eyes are dull and they look like they've gone deep inside themselves, they have little personality and I think it's how they survive the miserable place they are in. I wonder if that's how they live their life, at home, tied all the time.

I want to win big, I want to pin high. I just love my horses personality so much and I want to go in the ring and know that I won because I'm that good. Or because my horse is that good. Not because my trainer knows all of the tricks in the book. My trainer actually knows the tricks because when I see something and I ask why, she can tell me, she just chooses not to use all those tricks.....
 

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My trainer actually knows the tricks because when I see something and I ask why, she can tell me, she just chooses not to use all those tricks.....
Or perhaps she doesn't, and she's being ignorant like most of the people who are bashing the same thing over and over and over and over again.

Horses never look like they're enjoying themselves in dressage either, yet no one dares to bash the cranked nose band, double bridle, tail swishing discipline.

Why was this thread even started? TO bash. That's why. Just like so many others, and honestly I'm sick of it.
 

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Regardless of what you see, this is what you are SUPPOSED to be seeing, as decreed by the AQHA;

nose is carried behind the vertical consistently.
464. WESTERN PLEASURE
(a) A good pleasure horse has a free-flowing stride of reasonable
length in keeping with his conformation. He should cover a reasonable
amount of ground with little effort. Ideally, he should have a
balanced, flowing motion, while exhibiting correct gaits that are of
the proper cadence.
The quality of the movement and the consistency
of the gaits is a major consideration. He should carry his head and
neck 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. His head should be level
with his nose slightly in front of the vertical, having a bright expression
with his ears alert. He should be shown on a reasonably loose
rein, but with light contact and control. He should be responsive, yet
smooth, in transitions when called for. When asked to extend, he
should move out with the same flowing motion. Maximum credit
should be given to the flowing, balanced and willing horse that gives
the appearance of being fit and a pleasure to ride.
(b) A show may have up to three western

Unfortunately, judges are......?????
 

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Or perhaps she doesn't, and she's being ignorant like most of the people who are bashing the same thing over and over and over and over again.

Horses never look like they're enjoying themselves in dressage either, yet no one dares to bash the cranked nose band, double bridle, tail swishing discipline.

Why was this thread even started? TO bash. That's why. Just like so many others, and honestly I'm sick of it.
1. She said she can point it out, not that she is bashing anything. And SO WHAT if anyone is bashing anyone over and over, as long as people see a problem they will talk about it. I highly doubt some one is ignorant(ya know as in unknowng, what that word means) just because you think the point is moot, don't read it of you don't like it. If the only way people on here could post is if it was a new topic every time, I am positive the forum would die, everything at this point is pretty much cliche.

2. Yes, they do. People bash them just as much.

3. So, what is your problem? Don't read the thread if you don't like it. Let them have their little bashing party if they want you, noone said a thing about you here, no need to defend something that has nothing to do with you personally.
 

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Or perhaps she doesn't, and she's being ignorant like most of the people who are bashing the same thing over and over and over and over again.

Horses never look like they're enjoying themselves in dressage either, yet no one dares to bash the cranked nose band, double bridle, tail swishing discipline.

Why was this thread even started? TO bash. That's why. Just like so many others, and honestly I'm sick of it.
LOL! Really? You've NEVER seen dressage bashing? Heard of Rollkur?
 

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Oh ya. You can see the "smoothness" in this lope*eye roll*

This is a real peanut-roller:

No offence to those WP riders on this forum that love what they do, but serious WP(IMHO) is all about "The Lower, The Slower".
 

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Western pleasure should be about having a pleasureable ride. The horses nowadays have been broke to death and they have bad methods. I mean, I'm all for having a nice, calm, well-broke horse but only if that horse is happy.
 

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Western pleasure should be about having a pleasureable ride. The horses nowadays have been broke to death and they have bad methods. I mean, I'm all for having a nice, calm, well-broke horse but only if that horse is happy.
Yep! Exactly!
And as a side note: At least most people think dressage looks pretty! WP doesn't, IMHO. It gives western riding a bad name. AGain, just MY opinion. You don't have to like it. :)
 

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Trainers train for what wins. Riders ride what wins breeders breed what wins. Judges can only judge what is put in front of them. So if you do not like what is out there then put something different in front of the judges and hope that it is what the judges want to see.
 

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I was told they've gotten away from the ditch diggers, that now QH's are back to level with the back and thats how we were training - level
 

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^^That is the movement yes, but it is not 100%, or even close for that matter. They seem to be working on it though. And I agree with SorrelHorse too, BTW. Don't whine because you don't place by doing the right thing, just be patient, respect your horse,continue to follow the rules and ask for proper movement, and hope the right thing comes back into vogue.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Or perhaps she doesn't, and she's being ignorant like most of the people who are bashing the same thing over and over and over and over again.

Horses never look like they're enjoying themselves in dressage either, yet no one dares to bash the cranked nose band, double bridle, tail swishing discipline.

Why was this thread even started? TO bash. That's why. Just like so many others, and honestly I'm sick of it.
Possilby you need to go back and read my post. I never bashed anyone or anything. I simply was asking WHY it is that way and WHY people like it, or think it is the " proper" way a horse should go. I asked to HELP me to understand the rationale behind it. If you think we are all bashing it, please educate me on WHY it is like that, and don't give me that " because it is" line.
What makes you think I would bash western and not dressage? " yet no one dares" you don't know me that well. So please, without being nasty or rude, please help me to understand your rationale for the low western headset.
 

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Peetz, there really is no rationale other than people do it to win. as has been said, somewhere down the line someone with a good deal of sway probably decided that was right and others followed, thus the peanut roller epidemic began. Now even though some are trying to change things, others will defend it to the end and become rude and unwilling to even try to explain why. That is just what happens...

The same with all other odd horse shower practices like keeping a grazing animal stalled 24 hours a day and fed only a concentrated diet,, purposefully "jet lagging" a horse by keeping it under lights 24 hours a day to keep it form taking part in the natural shedding cycle, keeping them wrapped from head to tail to prevent the ANIMAL from getting dirty or blemished heaven forbid, physically altering a horses body to make it move unnaturally or to prevent it from showing discomfort, bleeding a horse out to make it more docile, using irritants and chemicals to alter how a horse moves, ect.... It is all about the ribbon.
 

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Like I stated in my post earlier. If that is all that is being presented to the judges then that is what they have to work with and place. SO it is what ends up winning. Then what wins it was is bred for what is trained for and what is shown. It comes down to a vicious circle.

WP is not like Dressage or Reining or cutting or reined cow horse. The judge has to place a horse first second third and so on. There is no way to judge past that if what is winning is correct or would win in other company. Where with the other disciplines I listed you can. Each horse is give a score so even if a horse wins they can easily be compared to a horse from a different show. You know who good that horse really is compared to the standard. With WP and some other events you can not.

So until some one enters a horse that is correct with good movement that is well trained nothing can change. If the horse is not there the judge can only place what is presented to him. It is that simple.
 
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