For Sale

Forums

Photos

Politics
Login to PonyBox!               Create Account
Western Pleasure
 By Fantasy Farms   •   17th Aug 2010   •   6,336 views   •   3 comments
One of the more popular western classes is western pleasure. Western pleasure is a class where your horse is being judged. Your horse is going to be judged on how it moves and its manners. Your horse should look like itís a pleasure to ride. You want your horse to be going at a relatively slow gate with its head in a position that is suitable for its breed.


An example is paints should go with their heads down and arabians should go with their heads higher and more round. If you ride a horse where his or her head is supposed to be down, make sure you donít get their head below the vertical. Imagine there is an invisible line that goes from your horses withers and continues straight. You want your horseís head to be in line with that invisible line. If your horseís head goes below that line, itís called below the vertical. If your horseís head goes above that line, itís called above the vertical. Your horse should be moving at a slow gate that is natural for your horse. If your horse is going so slow that it looks un-natural, itís not going to be a pleasure to watch. If your horse gets moving too slow, they could start four beating at the lope, jogging in front and walking in back, be pinning and swishing their tails and moving with their nose behind the vertical. The lope is a three beat gait. Four beating is when a horse adds that fourth beat. You want your horse to be soft in the face. What that means is when you ask your horse to put his head down he will do so without flipping his head or resisting. When your horse flips his head, it takes away from the overall picture. You youíre your horse to go on a loose rein. You donít want to have a death grip on your reins, but at the same time you donít want your reins to be swaying and be droopy. Western pleasure is a class where your horse needs to have decent manners. Your horse should not be pinning his ears when another horse passes him or trying to bite or kick other horses. A pleasure class is judged on your horse, not the rider. A horse with rough gaits, bad manners and is hard to control is obviously not a pleasure to ride.

Western PleasureIn a western pleasure class you are going to be asked to walk, jog and lope your horse in both directions. When you are asked to reverse, turn your horse towards the middle and then continue on the opposite direction. Some western pleasure classes will ask you to back your horses too, so be prepared to do so. After the rail work is done, the announcer will ask you to line your horses up. When lining up you want to be facing your ring steward. If no ring steward is present, line up facing the grandstands. All of the horses should be parallel to each other and be standing straight. Some judges will come up to competitors in the line up and ask your horse to back. Your horse is expected to back as long as the judge is still looking at you. After backing then walk back up to where you were standing before backing. Sometimes when you are on the rail, the announcer will ask you to extend your jog. When you extend your jog your horse should be going faster than what his or her jog is. The extended jog shouldnít be as fast as an English trot though. You can either sit or slightly close your body forward when extending the jog. Its more impressive if you can sit the extended jog though.

Western PleasureWhat does the judge want to see in particular? A horse that is relaxed and happy, that carries his neck and head relaxed, has a true rhythm to his strides, and that never appears like you have to hold it back. The judge wants to see a flat, natural, ground-covering walk, a flat, natural, ground-covering, two-beat jog, and a smooth, relaxed, clean three-beat lope. The horse is supposed to stay at the relaxed speed natural for it, never wanting to go any faster, never on the brink of breaking gait. Your reins should have a bit of slack. You should be sitting comfortably in the saddle, no cues necessary that an observer could detect, and whenever a transition is called for, you make it happen promptly, smoothly, without the horse losing its over-all composure, without the horse flipping its head, or leaning on the bit, or any other unpleasing habit.

Now that you know how to do western pleasure, there are some things you need to do before you show. You want to first clip your horse to the appropriate breed. Clipping your horse will make your horse have a clean appearance. You will also need to bathe your horse like any other show. If your horse is a paint, quarter horse, or appaloosa, itís a good idea to band your horses mane and forelock. If your horse is an arabian or morgan, long, un-banded manes are acceptable and proper. Fake tails are acceptable depending on the breed. They are fine for quarter horses and paints where they are illegal for arabians and morgans. You want your tack to be clean too before you show. You donít need to have a saddle loaded with silver. As long as your tack is clean and in proper working condition, you are fine. Remember that nosebands are not allowed in western pleasure. Your outfit needs to be clean and match. Your outfit should match the color of your saddle pad, boots and hat. If you donít have a cowboy hat to wear, a helmet is fine. A long sleeve shirt is required. Chaps, gloves and spurs are optional.

There are controversies in western pleasure as any other sport. Some include:

Tail Deadening: Tail deadening is illegal. It is the process of nerving the horses tail to prevent a horse from swishing his or her tail. A horse that is bored and irritable will swish their tail. Excessive tail swishing is penalized, so some exhibitors have cut the nerves in their horses tail to prevent them from swishing their tails. Injecting alcohol into the horses upper tail also numbs the nerves. The bad part about this abusive practice is that a horse canít swish its tails at flyís and biting insects that can leave open sores. Some of the methods used to numb a horses nerves in their tail leaves no scars, so itís hard to notice it. Of methods leave white scars on the horse over time.

Peanut Rollers: A peanut roller is a horse that carries his head in an extremely low head position. This is a problem because when a horse carries their head that low and goes really slow, it shifts the weight from the hindquarters to the forehand. Over periods of time, this un-natural movement for a horse can cause soundness issues.

Spur Stop: The spur stop is a training method used to ask a horse to slow down, halt and back. The spur stop is also known as ďriding the brakeĒ. When your spur a horse, the horse should slow down instead of the traditional speeding up. It takes lots of time to teach a horse self-carriage and slowing down by only using your seat and sometimes voice. An unconventional method came along called the spur stop. The spur stop is frowned upon by several major organizations including AQHA. In 2003, AQHA put out a series of videos on correct and incorrect style and way of going for western pleasure horses, showing a "hit list" of undesirable traits not to be rewarded in the show ring, with the spur stop leading the list. In the video horses were asked to be ridden with the spur stop and then again without the spur stop. When the horses were being ridden without the spur stop, their movement was a lot smoother. A well-known and professional trainer is Bob Avila. Bob Avila talked about the spur stop and said, ďThe spur stop is the worst thing ever invented. If I were to get a horse in for training that had a spur stop on him, I could do one event on him, period: Western pleasure.Ē Overall horses that were not trainer with the spur stop method moved nicer and their riders rode their horses better.

Overall, western pleasure is a great class! Its fun and competitive. It takes a lot of work to win a western pleasure class, but when you do you will know all of your hard work was worth it!
Western Pleasure
Western Pleasure
Western Pleasure
Western Pleasure
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Fantasy Farms
Dreamer100  
I used to like Western Pleasure and my horse used to be good at it, but after a while she got bored and wanted to race instead. I actually think she hates it now, but I am not against other people doing it. My advice would be, not to do it too much though.
  Aug 17, 2010  •  2,566 views
 
ImaCoolCowgirl  
WOW!! I never new that about the neck and head!! I have been worried that my pleasure gelding wont win anything cause he caries his head at his withers! Now I know better!! Thanks so much!!
  Aug 17, 2010  •  2,541 views
 
Dark Star   
My horse is really an all round horse. He knows how to slow lope, gallop, slow trot, fast trot, then a regular walk. I use him in barrel racing and western pleasure. He won novice western pleasure, and got 2nd in reg. western pleasure. He also got 2nd in barrels, and 1st in poles. It keeps them from getting bored with just doing 1 thing. My horse does NOT know the spur stop. To him, spurs mean speed, i use them while barrel racing and pole bending. Great artical too!!
  Aug 18, 2010  •  2,538 views
 More News by Fantasy Farms
Pole Bending Basics   1st Feb 2011   •   7692 views
Pole Bending Basics To start, you should look where you want to go. Look straight down to the end of the wall. Stay a good distance away from the poles when you are running down. I have seen so many people get too close to the poles and their horse will start to weave before they turn the first pole. As you turn your first pole, your eyes should be looking at the last pole. . . .
 
Equine Uveitis   19th Nov 2010   •   4639 views
Equine Uveitis One of the most common eye problems in horses is uveitis or moon blindness. The real name for Uveitis is Equine Recurrent Uveitis or ERU for short. Uveitis is a disease that comes and goes. Uveitis refers to the inflammation of the middle layer of the eye. It can be very painful for the horse. Permanent blindness has been known to occur as a result of uveiti . . .
 
Cool Horse and Equestrian Products   15th Oct 2010   •   2945 views
Cool Horse and Equestrian Products These are by far my favorite bell boots. I love the fact that they wonít turn around when they are on your horse. They have knobs on the inside of the bell boot to prevent them from turning. They are stain and water-resistant. I have had my pair of these bell boots for over a year and they are just now starting to wear out. The color will start to fade after . . .
 
Horse Training - The Trail Class   24th Sep 2010   •   8314 views
Horse Training - The Trail Class The mailbox is a popular obstacle. Get close enough to the mailbox to reach over to open it. Then reach inside to see if there is a piece of paper or ďmailĒ. Be sure to read it as sometimes there is a message on it. If not then rub it on your horses neck and hindquarter to show that your horse is relaxed and not spooky. Then put the ďmailĒ back inside the ma . . .
 
How To Pick A Prospect Horse   15th Sep 2010   •   1843 views
How To Pick A Prospect Horse Champions tend to be naturals. They have a natural talent. Your job as a trainer or a coach is to find that horse. Even though you canít ride a one or a two year old, you can learn a lot by just watching. An example would be a herd of one year olds running around in a pasture. There is that one horse that is always faster than the others and can just whip ri . . .
 
Free Ad Friday - Dreamhorse.com   26th Aug 2010   •   5168 views
Free Ad Friday - Dreamhorse.com Are you looking to buy or sell a horse? If so, dreamhorse.com is your website! Dreamhorse.com is a website that was created to buy or sell horses. When you first go to dreamhorse.com you will see many buttons. The first thing that stands out is the spotlight ad. The spotlight ad is a special place to advertise your horse. You have to pay extra for it, but mo . . .
 
Different Types of Halters   21st Jul 2010   •   6539 views
Different Types of Halters Every horse has a halter. Halters are used to lead and tie up an animal, in which case Iím talking about a horse. There are many different kinds of halters and halters made from different materials. Halters can be made from nylon, rope, leather, rawhide, polyester and cotton. Leather and rawhide can be flat or rolled. Halters are sewn together to buckles or . . .
 
Likit Horse Treats and Toys   8th Jul 2010   •   8730 views
Likit Horse Treats and Toys Is your horse pacing, weaving, cribbing or kicking? If so, it sounds like your horse is bored. There is many things you can do to make your horse stop doing these habits such as kicking chains and cribbing collars. Have you ever wondered if there was a more natural way to make your horse stop doing these habits and entertain them at the same time? Well now t . . .
 
  View All News by Fantasy Farms
Pelham Ponies - Yay or Neigh At every show, without fail, we will see some tiny kid chucked up on the million dollar showjumping pony that Daddy dearest smashed his piggy bank to buy, and 9 out of ten times, little Sally or Mary-Sue will be sitting . . .
Cyber Bullying - There Are No Consequences We all know how harmful bullying can be in real life. Correct me if Iím wrong, but... Isn't that the reason a whole lot of us are escaping here to the Internet in the first place? Donít look at me like that, you know Iím . . .
Getsu - Chapter One The stallion stalked silently through the night, his pale coat gleaming like an embodiment of the moonlight shining down on his back. Muscles rippled beneath his sleek coat as he strode confidently forward on flint-hard . . .
Not Making This Up - Why I Don't Wear Makeup To The Barn I recently noticed this magnificent article pop up on Ponybox asking whether or not I wear makeup to the barn. I donít see that itís any of the articleís business, but Iím going to answer the question anyway. I do not, a . . .
Crazy Stunts with Olop - Jumping Backwards - Part 3 What was my revolutionary idea, you ask? Well, it came to me one day when I was riding with a friend, without the supervision of either my mother or my instructor, as usual. I decided that if I was going to try riding ba . . .
National Junior Championships Ė Part Five After these fantastic results, we faced our first hint of a problem. I felt a strange choppiness in Finolaís stride, and suddenly placing her became difficult. The stride I saw didnít seem quite as good as before, but Fi . . .
Perfection has its flaws - The story of Polo This is the story of my horse, Polo. Yet it is not only about Polo, because you see her story is my story. In this day and age we often see things that have come to be known as 'fursonas', virtual creatures that Internet . . .
National Junior Championships Ė Part Four It was the day after the cross country, and though the weather had improved slightly, the sky was still smothered with clouds Ė which looked about fit to burst with rain. As usual, we arrived at the show grounds early . . .
Five Very Good Reasons To Learn To Use English I hope all your brains are overflowing with this new knowledge, and that your enlightenment has brought you not only amusement, but motivation to improve your own language usage. Nobody can be perfect, of course. In fact . . .
Escape - Attacked While Riding Alone The man started groping in my pocket than, and I soon found myself screaming hysterically at him that I didnít have anything for him. He motioned for me to be quiet, and though I knew it was useless, I yelled at him to l . . .
 
Terms & Conditions     Privacy     About Us     Contact Us     Moderators
Ponybox LLC  All Rights Reserved 2002 - 2014