Western Pleasure Training

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ladybug0009

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Nov 14, 2001
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I have a five year old Quarter Horse that is trained in hunt seat and starting dressage. This fall he had surgery and is just starting to be ridden again. Due to the nature of the surgery (he's club footed) he has to have rocker shoes on and the way they are made it has him having an even shorter stride than he already did, making it very hard to post. The prognosis is light use for him so i was considering western pleasure.

My question is, is it possible to train him to do western pleasure even though he doesn't naturally move slow. He's not a big mover, nor too fast he's just very choppy looking. Any information would be helpful.
 

Outrider

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Dec 15, 2000
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I'm not sure what you mean by "choppy looking". Yes, you should be able to train him to Western Pleasure, but with a club foot, that may work against him in the show ring on looks. I would suggest Western Trail. The work is lighter and the judges don't look at what the horse looks like as much if at all. Happy Trails!
 
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hunters4ever

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It does not sound as though your horse would be a good candidate for western pleasure. Not only is his injury unsightly, but he does not move naturally. Western pleasure, if done correctly, is actually very strenuous for horses. They need to move with a long, flowing stride, but also be able to do it slowly. Everything should be smooth, definately not choppy. Head carriage should be level and gaits should be slow, but these things should not be forced. Horses forced to carry their heads low, often get in front of the contact, and horses forced to move unnaturally slow usually end up four-beating at the lope. The QH world is changing, so that these things are no longer acceptable. We even had to extend the jog at Congress. Like Outrider said, trail might be better for you.
 

Anja

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Oct 7, 2001
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I have a western qeustion does it matter what breed your horse is to do wetsern riding because I have a anglo arab mare in the paddock (( she is my mothers)) and she is broken into western (( and english)) we got told that she is a good barrel racer and I was thinking about getting a wetsern saddle and starting to get her back into shape would she be able to do any events in western??
 
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hunters4ever

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Maybe

Any type of horse can do Western, it just depends on the training. I even have a Thoroughbred who regularly places in the top three in Pleasure and riding, admittidly, she looks and moves a lot like a QH. The problem with Arabians is that they tend to carry their heads higher and step up with their legs more than out. Since your horse is an Anglo-Arab, this may not be a problem. You can definately do things like trail, horsemanship, and barrel racing like you mentioned. You could also try pleasure and western riding, but how well you do depends a lot on how your horse moves.
 
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hunters4ever

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Go For it

My advive would be to try it and see how you do. Some shows have different classes for horses and ponies, but most are divided by age. Still size should not be a problem. A lot of western horses are QH, and they are growing, but size does not play that big of a part in judging. If the judge is torn between two horses doing exactly as well as one another, the large horse will usually get it, though. Just go out and have fun, western pleasure, when done right, is the most comfortable thing ever.
 
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