If Western Pleasure Horses Moved Like This, Would People Still Complain?

Every time we publish anything regarding western pleasure it seems like we get a flood of negative comments regarding the sport. Unfortunately there are good parts and bad parts of all disciplines.

Is This How You Would Like To See Western Pleasure Horses Moving?

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This video was taken at the AQHA World Championship show in the western riding class. The horse is flawlessly performing lead changes and his ears are forward with a happy expression. Is this what you would like to see in the western pleasure class? Is it still too slow? We would love to hear your thoughts.

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189 Responses

    • Jl

      It is an improvement. Still too slow. Would like the head higher and don’t like the fake tail banging on the back legs.

      Reply
      • Holly Dardine

        Fake tail
        s are horrible and still to slow really a horse does not move natually that way

      • lk

        Its called education. Advanced dressage horses and hacks should be as collected, balanced and slow/purposeful with each stride (Incase you didn’t realise collection is not about head position it comes from the body rounding and balancing its self ready for things like flying changes, turns, advanced movements). In fact this is far more natural than dressage carriage is for this type of horse. Western riding is about the horse knowing its job so well the rider can just sit back and ride with minimal effort on a loose rein and enjoy the ride.

      • Rissa

        Head still too low, and ditch the fake tails! They look.. Well… FAKE, & gotta be uncomfortable for poor horse!

      • Kinsey

        I am curious how low headsets in pleasure is different than dressage long and low? Not trying to start a fight.

      • Abby

        Yes! Everyone is just like well he’s moving faster. The head is to low. There is nothing natural about his movement or his head position. The pole is supposed to be the highest point on a horse.

    • Terry

      The head is carried much too low. The poll is well below the withers. The lope is no faster than the jog. The reins are ridiculously long. I am sure this is a lovely horse β€” it’s the training. And what’s with the fake tails being used these days? Isn’t a horse’s own natural tail okay anymore?

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Agree with the above. Fine for ring work, but does not look like a pleasure to ride.

      • CW

        Really do you know anything about professional showing ?

      • Anonymous

        Tip of the ear to the top of the withers is the proper head carriage

    • Lindsey

      Apparently you need a brain!! Nothing makes retards that have nothing to do with industry happy get a life and a hobby other than being critical of something you know NOTHING about!!

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Dont use the word retard, its extremelly offensive. Thanks.

      • Jan

        Do you really need to be insulting to make your point?

      • Anonymous

        Retards? You are an arrogant nitwit. Just because the current fad calls for this doesn’t make this artificial headset and gait anymore attractive than the artificially high gait of Tennessee Walkers who have been sored. What a shame it is to see otherwise beautiful animals crabbing around with their muzzle in the dirt.

    • Paula

      I agree it’s still too slow. As an equine photographer, what I see as the main ‘issue’ with Western Pleasure showing is that not all horses are able to move very slowly and still maintain three beats to the lope as this horse is doing. Many (most?) horses cannot (due to conformation, training, disposition, rider skill, etc.). When these horses are slowed to the current Western Pleasure speed, the lope becomes a 4 beat gait, which is, to me, painful to watch. My brain labels this gait a “jope” because it isn’t a jog and it isn’t a lope. The purity of the beats, and therefore the naturalness of the gait is lost. And since such horses win, there is ZERO incentive for any type of change.

      As for this video, when I’m watching, I can appreciate what’s going on, and yet I’m experiencing anxiety, not pleasure. I’m sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for the lope to deteriorate to the more typical 4-beat ‘shuffle’.

      Reply
      • Amy Ellen Friedman

        I kinda agree that at least it should be a 3 beat gait and it barely makes it. a horse can canter in place but still maintain the 3 beat. This new kind of pleasure riding isn’t really natural and is too exaggerated that it doesn’t look natural.

    • Anonymous

      Sooo agree with you. These horses look like bloodhounds searching for they’re quarry. If the pioneers rode horses like this we’d still be heading west!

      Reply
    • T

      Yes this is much nicer! Way more natural. Freed up lope love it πŸ™‚

      Reply
    • Kathy Dusart

      What breed to you show? Can you post a video? This is a QUARTER HORSE being shown in Western Riding. He exhibits self carriage, collection and forward movement. Can your horse switch leads as smoothly and effortlessly? If you’re not familiar with the breed and the class, don’t be making judgments.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Yea human screwing up again trying to create something that we assume is greatness even though it’s not natural to the animal. We would never do anything like that (sarcasm) even if it affects soundness

    • Ingrid

      I agree that it’s still too slow, but much better. The lead changes are beautiful, even in slow motion πŸ™‚ Tail extensions are way overdone – they look like some kind of weird mop. I’ve seen extensions that are done well. They look good, not like they’re going to get in the way of performance. Beautiful animal BTW.

      Reply
      • Marilyn Lee

        I agree, Ingrid….but it bothers me a little that there isn’t even so much as a “flick” of the tail when the horse is cued to change leads. I know he’s obviously very well trained, but how does a trainer get them to keep their tails so still? Will a weighted tail help with that? Or something else…..

      • Marilyn Lee

        Well, I just scrolled down and read a lot of interesting comments…thanks everyone for the info!

      • Abby

        Marilyn Lee some people cut the tails so they can’t flick the tails to show their irritation.

    • Bob Lange

      Bad news if this is the new Western Pleasure. Too Robot-like referring to both horse and rider. Slow and unnatural not to mention the lack of progress. Maybe ok if you just want to go in circles all day. Boring after awhile!!! Every thing is too over-done. Loose rein is really over-done. Overall, it ruins the class of what Pleasure was met to be.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        did you watch a western pleasure class from 5 years ago. This would be a much needed improvement from that. Not perfect but better.

  1. Tams

    It is a move in the right direction; however, those fake tails need to go. They are a distraction and hide confirmation of the horse.

    Reply
    • Kirsten Johnson

      I completely agree movement is a improvement but not only is the tail fake but it’s also injected with alcohol to not move, really talk about heads in the sand !

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Injecting a horse’s tail with alcohol so it doesn’t move results in the horses registrations being pulled. We shall with weighted tails and not all of our horses use their tails. This horse has great forward movement, very pleasant look on his face and is comfortable so why would wihip its tail around? You don’t know who this horses tails has been alcohol blocked.

      • Brth

        Actually that’s illegal. And then horse would forfeit any rewards. They are trained to keep their tails quiet.

      • Anonymous

        This tail has not been nerved. A nerved tail is easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for. My roan mare holds her tail exactly like this horse and she’s not nerved. When a horse is happy with its job and the way it’s being ridden and has a relaxed tail to begin with, you get a tail that hangs relaxed in the show pen like this one does. When has it become acceptable for horses to be ringing their tails? It’s the horse’s way of complaining about something, whether it be physical or mental discomfort or they being childish and immature thinking they can play. I have many different types of tails in my barn and the ones who hold them out are hollow in their backs and more difficult to get to round and move correctly. The ones that hold them down are generally easier to round. Even once the horses with the “bad” tails are put together correctly, the tail goes down and stays there until the roundness is lost. An outwardly held tail gives away the lack of collection on a quarter horse type. As far as the movement of this horse, western pleasure bred horses move like this from birth. There’s a yearling in my barn right now that moves like this and hasn’t had an ounce of training put into her to alter any movement. I do think the jog of this horse could be slightly more forward but the lope is just fine the way it is. Western horses are supposed to be slow. If it went any faster it would be hunt seat in western tack. The slow gaits are supposed to be smooth and easy to ride for someone to be on the range all day. Generally speaking, the more forward a horse goes, the more movement under the rider there is, therefore it is less comfortable. Also, if you put a western pleasure horse into a lope next to a cantering high level dressage horse, they should be the same speed (in relation to size of course). What is wrong with western pleasure is not the horses or the training. It’s the education of the public. If they knew how we derived this class from its roots and exactly what goes into these horses, there wouldn’t be so much backlash. All most people hear about are the bad things like nerving the tails and whatnot. They see through the lense of a totally different world where a horse doesn’t naturally move this way. I would be horrified if a TB moved like this, but they are very different than QHs. These horses have been selectively bred to achieve a slow legged movement and for their necks to be held lower. If you look at them at a microscopic level, their muscle fibers are even different. I wish all of the critics could spend some time with some of the good western trainers to get a good education on what’s good and what’s not.

      • Robert Lange

        Former AHSA Judge: Too Slow – Would be more collected with a normal pace. Reins – Extremely TOO long. Rider needs to gather reins when backing. Possibility of a dirty muzzle when loping if a misstep occurs. Excellent horse. Over-done training!!! Not normal! Really not fun to watch!

      • Chris

        you need to read a rule book, that was brought in as illegal years ago. Take your head out of the sand and get your facts straight before you make that kind of a comment. They test for it at most of the shows.

    • Anonymous

      Since you can’t spell conformation you argument is invalid. Get a clue, fake tails don’t bother them at all.

      Reply
  2. Deb

    It’s not about too slow so much as the horse is on the forehand. Head should never be below the withers. Just let the horse move like a horse.

    Reply
    • Michelle

      I agree. Everything I learned on horse judging, this horse should be docked for poll below the withers. The hind end at the trot OS not even engaged. The diagonal feet should come up into the other foot, almost clipping but not actually touching. I agree this is better, but still a ways from natural.

      Reply
      • KT

        I have had many western pleasure horses, some bred to be pleasure horses and some not. I couldn’t make them track up to the point of almost touching if I had a fire breathing dragon chasing them around. Not all horses will meet their diagonal pairs to the point of almost touching, under saddle or just out in a field. Especially a horse who is jogging correctly. It doesn’t always mean it is unnatural, what is natural for some may not be natural for others, hence some horses do western riding and some jump Grand Prix.

      • Anonymous

        Only in America! I had a champion Western Riding horse! In the 70’s. He was an athlete and I will tell you he did not move Like this! He also was a jumper. Enough said.

    • Buzz oliphant

      do away with the fake tail, level the head, get the spur out of his side and that will help to keep him with his tail.

      Reply
    • broke horses

      Where do you get the idea that a dressage horse is moving like a horse…..We could hang around the pasture for a hundred years and never see a horse do a half pass or side pass …it seems that a developed athlete pisses you off…hell yeah they are all out in pasture doing flying lead change after flying lead change….very natural to watch them jump over 15 fences in a row too

      Reply
      • Horse

        You’ve never seen horses do a half pass in the pasture? Have you watched many horse herd playing in the pasture? They do all of the dressage movements in the pasture, at liberty, whether they’re ‘dressage’ horses or not.

    • Anonymous

      If the horse was on the forehand he wouln’t be able to do these beautiful lead changes.

      Reply
  3. Susan

    We all know, ‘styles’ with anything, come and go. Hopefully, this ‘style’ of nose on the ground, with a loose reign, will soon depart, and a more natural head-set with a collected gait, will improve the entire look and ride. Most likely the horse will be happier too.

    Reply
    • klj5294

      This has been the “trend” for over 20 years…I don’t see it leaving any time soon.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Unfortunately you are correct. Possibly the Ranch horses events they have now might go in a more natural frame. Those tails are absolutely hideous, distract the whole work, maybe that’s intentional

    • Hale

      The loose rein shows a higher level of difficulty and this is based on how well the horse performs the maneuvers and works with its riders. some horses have a natural low headset, my horse does and always holds it low on the lunge and under saddle. this “style” wont leave, as this horse is collected. people are always complaining about the pleasure, but what about dressage where they hold their faces in and ride like that? just because the pleasures moves differently doesnt mean everyone should attack it. every discipline has its faults just as the pleasure does and people are obviously working on fixing this.

      Reply
      • Jess

        Thank you God someone who is actually intelligent. ..

    • Sally S

      If you call yourself a horse person and don’t know the proper spelling of the word “rein” then I’m sorry but I can’t take you seriously. This would be a much more constructive discussion if we took all the wanna-be armchair horse trainers out of it. People love to critique what they can’t understand.

      Reply
  4. Jo

    Better but still not good, the horse looks like he will fall on his face any minute, there seems to be no self carriage at all. The “pleasure” has been lost both for the horse and the spectator.

    Reply
    • Amelie

      If there were no self-carriage the horse would not change lead on loose reins like he does.

      Reply
  5. Anonymous

    Foreward movement is much better and horse looks happy. Have to get ride of those tail extensions

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    I’d like to see the head raised more. The gait movement is a definite move in the right direction. Get rid of the fake tail! It is too distracting.

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Not a fan of the fake tail, but I see it in a lot of different disciplines (and used one on my Appy..but she literally had no tail. The one we used was made from multiple horses and wasn’t cut straight across, it had a more natural look with various lengths).
    I didn’t like the butt pointing toward the center and head pointing toward the rail at the lope. I love loose reins, but that’s me. We don’t know what this horse moves like all the time, so maybe this is his natural lope without much needed training? I had a pleasure horse that ran hell for leather in the field, but when I rode him I had to push him to not be a “limping-lope” horse…pretty sure he moved about as slow as this guy, and nope, I did not force him to be that way. Lol. He was just naturally a pleasure horse under saddle (and a true pleasure to ride…just a nice personality. I miss him )

    Reply
  8. Bob Setliff

    It’s still a totally unnatural look! And that fake tail looks stupid!

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    This is not a Western Pleasure Class . This is a Western Riding Class . In Order to make the flying lead changes correctly, there must be forward movement and impulsion. This horse has plenty .

    Reply
  10. theenglishrider

    Still needs a tad more speed, but mainly the head is still too low.

    I know it’s cosmetic, but those fake tails look so silly yo my eyes.

    Reply
  11. pete Carlisle

    what the heck has a false tail got to do with the way a horse moves. is that all the criticisms you can make ? The horse has an even three beat cadence, is changing leads correctly, which shows he has enough impulsion and lift in his movement to do so. Head position , he’s carrying it where he is comfortable and he looks perfectly happy to me

    Reply
    • Erin Inman

      Thank you!! I was just going to comment on the biggest critique seems to be about the tail- which obviously has nothing to do with the posters question on movement!

      It is obvious that majority of the people commenting on this have never seen a QH foal lope across the field. They come out with that slower lope. It’s the way they are bred to go. Much like your paso fino’s, warm bloods, Standardbreds, etc. all different breeds with different natural way of movement. And some breeds aren’t for everyone- and that’s OK. But let’s stop with just singling out the QH breed/show circuit. It’s getting a bit old!

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Absolutely! Because the general public isn’t looking into the pleasure prospect, they’re not seeing the babies jog or lope around on their own. We are always looking for that young, naturally slow legged and quiet mover so we aren’t forcing a quicker one to go slow. I show and train WP horses now but I was brought up Hunter/jumper and still own an eventer right now (she’s a bit out of place in my herd right now but it’s fun). I ride them to what they were born to do. I bought my appy to be my next hunter but he couldn’t get down the lines so we made him into a pleasure horse. The bottom line is you need to do what your horse’s abilities and conformation are geared towards.

    • Sue Thompson

      Indeed. This is a whole lot better than what the WP classes have been judged on and consequently encouraged to pursue.

      Reply
  12. Anonymous

    I agree with pete. I think this horse is phenomenal! Not forced, very forward moving. It’s slow, but it’s not forced! And those lead chages!!!! Aaahhh!!! Can I have him!?! So smooth! He makes it look effortless! And who cares about the tail. Thats opinion. And has nothing to do with this horse. I think this is an awesome ride!

    Reply
  13. DianaJ

    Head too low. Jog is TERRIBLE – not cadenced, too much knee.
    Tail obviously “done.”
    Nice lead changes, OK lope. (Does not have the flat-kneed, sweepy look I prefer, but the speed is good.) Good hock split.
    Pleasant demeanor.
    Looks like mediocre wp horse assigned to another job that he’s better at.

    Reply
    • Charlie

      this horses tail is 100% natural. He gets turned out all time and swats guys like all the other horses in the pasture. I don’t mind constructive criticism but making up complete lies and accusations is wrong. Get yourself some facts before you spew your hate. I don’t look at a pretty persons face and say ” it’s obviously done ” I say ” what a pretty face “.

      Reply
      • Sherri

        Loved the ride and the expression of the horse!! I don’t know how this ride could have been any prettier!! To many idiots that have NO idea what the heck they are talking about!!

      • HWS

        Unfortunately I think the comments to this post just prove that the industry needs to stop trying to please those that are not involved in it. Anyone involved looks at this horse and sees a phenomenal mover, a relaxed disposition, and stunning lead changes that show true self carriage and impulsion. Charlie, you know you and your horses are the absolute best! Don’t let the peanut gallery get you down. Most of us could only dream to ride a horse like Kramer. πŸ˜‰ If people want to watch horses running around out in a field, that’s exactly where they should go to watch them. There would be no point in having a horse show if we couldn’t show off what we are able to teach our horses to do.

    • Anonymous

      This look you prefer, does your horse have it? Just curious. Because in my opinion, and my experience in AQHA, this horse is absolutely phenomenal. Please show me a horse that is better at its job than this guy. And also a horse that enjoys his job better. Please enlighten me if you can show me something better.

      Reply
      • Dale Livingston

        Thank You For Your Comment!!! Finally A Logical and Positive Comment!!!..The old saying still rings true!…There Are Those Who Do Things In The Attempt To Be Better!!…
        AND Then You Have Those Who Do Little To Be Better Or Make Things Better!!!..But They Know How To Criticize Those Who Are Doing Or Trying To Do!!!!…Thanks Again

  14. Marie Nater

    I have the same gripes that most of the other commenters have. I have never seen a horse (of any breed) carry their head that low, unless they were inspecting the surface of the water in an unfamiliar stream. I don’t even bother to watch any classes unless the horses are jumping, herding or going over teeter-totter bridges. Won’t see any nose dragging/shuffling jogs in those classes.

    Reply
    • Sally S

      Have you ever watched a cutting class? The horse’s heads are just as low. They are bred to carry themselves this way

      Reply
    • SilverCharm

      Obviously many of you have never seen a true western pleasure bred horse loping on their own in the pasture whether is a foal or a full grown horse. They start out this way naturally and you want to make them move unnaturally with their head up in the air and galloping like an Arab. Only time my mare or my gelding has their head up in the air is when they are too fresh, spooked or in pain.

      Reply
    • Denise

      Reining QH’s are much more a pleasure to watch. Natural head and neck position. Anyway this vid.. Not that much better than the extreme peanut rollers of the past, but an improvement. Like some said here, still hard to watch.

      Reply
    • Donna E

      Since you only watch horses that are “jumping, herding or going over teeter-totter bridges” you obviously don’t know anything about stock breed pleasure horses. I am so tired of all the comments made by the ignorant people. Yes, there are horses that move naturally just like this one. Yes, there are horses that have big tails that carry them low (I have one). A horse should be ridden with the legs and guided with the hands, just as this horse is. I don’t want to hear any more crap about those “terrible loose reins.” Let’s see you ride YOUR horse on a loose rein with leg contact only and see what happens. Riding a horse like this, when you are skilled enough to ride with your legs, is an incredible feeling. They are soft and quiet, and this horse is moving forward. Don’t compare him to a dressage horse. And while we’re on the topic of dressage, I read a scientific study that the average high level dressage horse requires 5 pounds of pull per rein. Do you know what would happen if you took ahold of this horse with 5 pounds pressure?? He’d run backwards and probably roll right over on you. You don’t take ahold of these horses’s faces like that. I wish all the commenters you are referring to would stick to comments on things they actually know something about. Nice ride, Charlie.

      Reply
  15. Dr Patti

    Better, but I agree with everyone above. Still unbalanced at the canter, on the forehand. Working ranch horses don’t move anything like this .

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      You’re right this horse is not a ranch horse, so no he doesn’t move like one.

      Reply
    • Donna E

      Unbalanced at the canter? An unbalanced horse would NEVER be able to make fluid lead changes like this.

      Reply
  16. Anonymous

    This is beautiful, Horse is beautiful, if the horse is comfortable and moving natural like that with the loose reins. WOW! Amazing! Good job!!! Lots of repetition, Lots of work, Lots of love to create a team like this.

    Reply
  17. SJ

    I love horses, love watching them move in the pasture, , etc., own and show horses. If I saw this in the pasture, I would call the vet! Horse looks like it needs to be put out of it’s misery, poor baby. Head and shoulders are too low and it can’t see where it is going. Laborious gait, so bad that I strain to help it. Ears are below what rules require…but that seems to be the standard in shows and people, especially trainers, perpetuate it. Sloppy reins do make for good contact, nor do they indicate good training. Again, the latest fad. These horses are supposed to look like they are a pleasure to ride. This one, like so many in the show ring, makes me tired and sad just looking at him!

    Reply
    • Sally S

      I think it’s definitely an indication of good training when the horse is so responsive to his legs and seat that he doesn’t even need contact with his mouth…also I’m pretty sure the horse can see where it’s going, or else it just wouldn’t go…

      Reply
    • Donna E

      Another commenter who has no clue what they’re talking about. What type of horses do you own and show? If they’re QHs then you have really bad horses if you think this one needs to be euthanized. The shoulders are lifting up with each stride and the horse is driving from behind. His back is round, and his head carriage is NATURAL for this horse. Sloppy reins? Latest fad? Then you sure don’t know anything about stock breed pleasure horses. People have been breeding for naturally slow and low horses for generations. These horses are moving naturally. Go to a farm that produces good quality WP horses, and you’ll see a whole field of babies that move just like this one. I will bet my paycheck that this horse is a LOT nicer and more pleasurable than any of yours. I’ll bet you ride with all hands and no legs. You’d never be able to ride this horse. Do you realize that this horse is so trained off the leg that you could ride him without a bridle and still do this?? I want to watch you try that.

      Reply
  18. Anonymous

    still too slow and unnatural looking. Like a robot trying to get each piece to work together but not quite there. The horse’s head is still TOO LOW which is part of the reason looks like this. His muzzle is still below his knee too often and the poll still below point of withers, exceedingly so when the horse is at the walk and jog. The rule state clearly “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.” The horse is not loping straight but continually lopes at an angle, so quality of gait and flowing not words I would use. Why have rules that are not enforced? How is this QH versatile as intended of the breed? While not the worst I have seen, no where close to what used to be and the more natural gaits we see over in the reining side. Sad so many think this is okay

    Reply
    • PriorwesternpleasureROMowner

      This style of “going” won’t change because the judges reward it; and most of the judges are also breeders and trainers…so the cycle continues. It’s AQHA I blame for this broken/lame style of going. They are the ones who need to stop this nonsense. I don’t have to show WP anymore (and won’t because of this “style”) to tell you, no horse moves this way naturally. I applaud the ranch classes for staying true to the natural movement of the horse and it’s popularity shows the great divide within the AQHA ranks. It also shows the wonderful nature of the quarter horse for putting up with it! I suppose one could find this “versatile”. As for the tail business…who cares! It’s as personal a style as the clothes and tack the rider chooses and likes!

      Reply
    • Darcy

      The problem with your argument is how you refuse to accept the versatility of horses. All horses are bred for different specialties much like dogs. I don’t have a problem with the reigners inability to pick up a distinct gate, in fact I find the beauty in their sport. However, asking a reining bred horse to do something like this is silly. This horse holds his head where he is comfortable. You will notice a major difference between a horse like this who is comfortable with his carriage, compared to a horse forced to hold it there. You bring up what the rule states but it also states how it needs to be held at a comfortable level. Any skilled horseman would be able to tell how comfortable this horse is with his self carriage. Also, the horse lopes like that because it’s in his breeding. They are comfortable with a swing in their hip and it shows from the day they come out of the womb. To someone educated in this industry, this ride is perfect and the horse is phenomenal. To someone in a different specialty, it might look silly. There is no wrong or right specialty, just preferences. So before you go criticizing other events that you don’t understand, think of what people might think of the style of your choosing. I for one am not a fan of the unkept look of a long main and scraggly tail, but I respect your right to choose

      Reply
  19. Kathy Harris

    Looks like the previous comments answered the question: No, people will never agree or stop complaining. Railbird critics must realize that there is a variety of ‘types’ of horses and disciplines, we all have our personal preferences. Mr. Cole’s ride is certainly an improvement over most of the pleasure horses seen in the show ring. What I appreciate most is the work and talent that went into making this mare a pleasure to ride (which she certainly looks like a nice ride for me). And, I also appreciate the careful breeding that produced this fine animal. Congratulations, Charlie Cole and Ima Petite Classic!

    Reply
  20. Anonymous

    That is not natural movement I thought that’s what AQHA was all about and that fake tail plz

    Reply
    • Donna E

      Your ignorance is showing. One, that horse is moving quite naturally. And, once and for all, THAT IS THE HORSE’S REAL TAIL.

      Reply
  21. NO room to ride

    This class draws a lot of fire. Why do the participants insist on longing ( what is the correct spelling?) their horses in the show pen and warm up arena so that the rest of the contestants do not have room. Not only are they tying up the warm up arena longing but when they do ride, the rider has 1-4 people standing in the arena with them all with their heads cocked side ways trying to figure out the gait. AQHA and show managers need to clean this mess up.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Are you kidding me? Is us lunging in show arenas BEFORE the show even relevant?!? NO. And seriously, who gives a rats ass if you have people with you to help and watch to give pointers? Holy shit, find something pettier to comment about. Jesus Christ. If it does not effect you, don’t comment on it. Keep your mouth shut.

      Reply
    • Donna E

      Please, stick to the subject. And the correct spelling is “longeing.”

      Reply
  22. Angela

    I hate ignorant people that especially have never thrown a leg over a real horse. Why don’t they post their perfect video. Yeah, I didn’t think so. I remember Ima Petite Classic in the barn in 2003. He was a great horse, just a very bad trainer. I was so happy when the horse was sold to a real owner and trainer! Continued success!

    Reply
  23. Keltie

    Do not know the pleasure sport one bit. Have never even been to watch a higher level class. I have a mare that’s worked a flag a bit and has been used her whole career for sorting and cattle penning (hopefully working cow horse, I know most are rolling eyes at this point thinking I have no hope) when I warm flame up and I drop my reins after asking her to bend and soften both sides for me she goes to this low carriage of her head. No fancy training on her, just plain is more comfortable. Bridleless to a ported shank bit she is the same horse, I can ask her for a gallop on our 80 acre hay field and she prefers her head just like this horse.
    The changes are incredible, as I said I am no expert but one day when I can accomplish just one change this flawless I have really tapped into learning quality ridding/training.

    Reply
  24. Cris

    This is crazy talk. This horse is awesome. Move like a horse! Pashaw! When my horses are playing they sometimes jog around with their nose inches from the dirt. Head goes in The air to SEE threats. When a horse is being ridden, its the riders job to see where they are going the horse can relax. “Move like a horse” people get animals like hunter/jumpers that wont even stand still.

    Reply
  25. Jo

    Why are the people who support this so insulting and calling people names? To assume that the people who want to see a more natural movement are non-riders and not involved in the sport is just ignorant.

    Reply
  26. Caprice

    I’ll bite. As a non-stock breed person I’m fine with the speed – and that was the original question. However (haha) the too-low head and dead looking tail are still what stands out on this lovely horse.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      If you are a non-stock breed person, are you even qualified to comment on a stock horse’s head carriage? Didn’t think so. Stick to your arabs and dressage horses asshole.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        No one said you have to be a stock horse person to comment and calling someone a vulgarity for expressing their opinion, which was invited, shows your lack of maturity. I have ridden and shown many breeds – stock, Arab and gaited. I don’t agree with the fake tails, but they are a trend just like makeup on an Arab to accentuate the face. Do I agree? No. So I just stay out of it. I do not however anonymously call someone a name because I disagree with them. I think the lope is very nice – 3 beat with lovely changes. The jog is still too slow for me. I would like to see a longer clip of it to see if it is truly 2 beat or not. I do believe the horse should track up a bit more but that may be a conformational limitation as I see many stock horses are bred very straight legged in the back. This lope is a significant improvement over what I have seen in many stock show horses recently and the horse looks like a pleasure to ride.

  27. Anonymous

    I ride and compete in Western Pleasure and all I have to say is that was an amazing pattern by an amazing horse and rider!!! The lope was beautiful and fluent the horse carried it’s head where it was comfortable it’s near impossible to get the poll alignment perfect with the withers, yes the jog is short strided but I garantee nearly every horse that goes in the ring it’s hind legs with not reach the take off point from the front legs. Beautifully ridden pattern!!

    Reply
  28. Gracefully Hot

    Great ride. He took something that’s a challenge to do and made it look easy… REALLY EASY!
    Its okay haters, don’t feel bad, we can’t all have that much talent or have such a nice mount like this one. Lol ;’D

    Reply
  29. Anonymous

    The western riding horses do have a little more speed to their lope. If this was a western pleasure class and he was loping like that on the rail, I would say yeah it’s an improvement was his head a little too low at times, yeah. But this horse was steady, broke, and consistent. It was nice to watch, that’s for sure.

    Reply
  30. Jed

    The western riding horses do have a little more speed to their lope. If this was a western pleasure class and he was loping like that on the rail, I would say yeah it’s an improvement was his head a little too low at times, yeah. But this horse was steady, broke, and consistent. It was nice to watch, that’s for sure.

    Reply
  31. Anonymous

    Y’all are fucking idiots. stop being so pissed because you can’t afford a horse that moves that good. Also, that horse has a nice canter. not the best jogger because SOME HORSES ARENT GOOD AT EVERYTHING. wow imagine that. so why don’t you stop hiding behind your petty little blog and set all your horses free into the wild or give PETA a call or some shit

    Reply
  32. Darcy

    As the owner and rider of this horse I would like to make a few things clear.
    This horse is the most spoiled, loved horse you will ever meet. I would do absolutely anything to make sure he is comfortable and happy. Yes he has a fake tail is, but his real tail is extremely full and luscious and the only purpose his fake tail serves is for an even length. It by no means is pulling his real tail down. Furthermore, while I can’t speak for his previous owner, I can assure that in the 10+ years I have owned him, not a thing has been injected into his tail bone to hold it down. Even without a fake tail, he holds his tail down like that naturally. In this discipline horses a bred to be comfortable with their head at that level. I often find myself trying to pull it up while riding him, but he is comfortable with it being low, and it’s apparent by his positioning while in his stall, or turned out. It just is naturally low out of his shoulders so that’s where he is comfortable holding it.
    Also, “Kramer is one of the best looters in the industry. He rivals the best of the best pleasure horses so his pace is impeccable, but admiring him for his pace by no means guarantees any other horse would look that great sped up to that pace.

    Reply
  33. Darcy

    As the owner and rider of this horse I would like to make a few things clear.
    This horse is the most spoiled, loved horse you will ever meet. I would do absolutely anything to make sure he is comfortable and happy. Yes he has a fake tail, but his real tail is extremely full and luscious and the only purpose his fake tail serves is for an even length. It by no means is pulling his real tail down. Furthermore, while I can’t speak for his previous owner, I can assure that in the 10+ years I have owned him, not a thing has been injected into his tail bone to hold it down. Even without a fake tail, he holds his tail down like that naturally. In this discipline horses are bred to be comfortable with their head at that level. I often find myself trying to pull it up while riding him, but he is comfortable with it being low, and it’s apparent by his positioning while in his stall, or turned out. It just is naturally low out of his shoulders so that’s where he is comfortable holding it.
    Also, Kramer is one of the best lopers in the industry. He rivals the best of the best pleasure horses so at this pace he is impeccable, but admiring him for his pace by no means guarantees any other horse would look that great sped up to that pace.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Darcy, would you please just sue this stupid website and have it taken down. I’m so sick of this forum for hatred.

      Reply
    • Kim Christopher

      This horse is just beautiful and amazing! I really enjoyed watching his performance! As to all the people who think he is unnatural and his head should be carried higher, they have no idea what a western pleasure horse is supposed to look like or travel like. As an instructor, and a mother of a 10 year old horse crazy girl, Kramer is the horse I would buy without hesitation. I warn customers all the time about a horse with a high head carriage. Any horse that carries his head at a low, relaxed height is completely comfortable with his surroundings and his job. That is a horse I can count on to safely carry my child. The tail extension is beautiful. I wish my hair looked that good. Anyway, you’ve got a beautiful horse and I really enjoy watching him. Great job!

      Reply
  34. Anonymous

    Lol at this entire thing…. and humans ain’t suppose to dye their hair and wear clothes cuz that ain’t natural either but hey whatever right?

    Reply
  35. Anonymous

    Moving in the correct direction for sure. I would like to see the neck stay more level but some horses do have a natural low carriage and this horse looked pretty comfortable as is. A little heavy on the front end but that could possibly change with a bit more speed, not much just enough that the changes don’t look like it is effort to lift the front end to do so. I personally liked the over all look of the horse. The stop would be nicer if it was not so heavy to the front as well, no need to sit them down by any means but they should be stopping on the hind quarters rather than the front. Looked like a pleasurable ride to me over all. There is no perfect to suit everyone’s likes or dislikes but I would much rather see this than loose rein rather than constant contact as I have seen in other disciplines.

    Reply
  36. Sandy

    I believe people are voting yes due to the fact that this is a bit better. But, it is still unnatural. Stop with the fake tails already.

    Reply
  37. Kelly

    I haven’t been in the industry for a while. I quit due to the horses getting lower and slower. I don’t mind the slow, although in real outside pleasure riding, I have never seen a horse ridden that way, it is a nice easy gait. They are still shuffling too much. I keep waiting for the horse to trip. This shows an improvement, but still the horse’s head is to low. Especially at the trot. The tail is a distraction and not natural. Of course, if you are a horse person you quickly get past it and watch the horse and rider. The horse performed flawlessly. The Rider was calm and minimal movement.

    Reply
  38. Anonymous

    Find something pettier than fake tails to comment on. Good lord. Get a life.

    Reply
  39. Anonymous

    Horseaholic, who are you? What is your name? Why isn’t the author of this article listed? Why can’t I find any information on ownership of this website? What is your motivation? Seems to me your business plan is to cause drama and hits on your website so you can sell advertising? You sit there in the shadows and post things to icite hate. Shame on you!

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      As a follow up to my comment above. I have spent at least an hour trying to find any ownership information for this website. The only thing I found is that it was created with GoDaddy and they paid to have there information private. Who are you? I’m so sick of the haters.

      Reply
      • Jo

        No-one is forcing you to read the comments, if you can’t handle an open discussion walk away.

      • Anonymous

        Jo, I can handle an open discussion. What is wrong is singling out one person without their permission and bullying them openly. It is not fair and in my opinion it is not legal. Are you the owner of this website? Why do they feel the need to be invisible yet so freely offer up other people’s likeness without permission? That is my point. I’m not interested in the back and forth bickering.

      • Anonymous

        So please, Jo, if you find this fair and the comments are empathetic and come from a place of pure constructive criticism. Load up a video of yourself on your horse and let’s see how it makes you feel.

      • Jo

        No I am not the owner and I actually see your point, it is unfair to single out one person. I hope if the person who is in the video wants it removed it is. I do feel a civil and constructive discussion would be useful but the internet is probably not the place it’s going to happen.

  40. Thereasa

    The lope is still slower than what is natural, but this is a HUGE improvement from where WP was. Keep up the good work, and with the continued progression WP horses will hopefully be back to moving naturally in less than 5 years.

    Reply
  41. Savannah

    It is amazing how many people who know absolutely nothing about Quarter Horses, western pleasure, basic conformation, movement, cadence, skill, and straight up hard work are commenting on this post. Whoever wrote this article I hope this answered your question. We don’t need to be asking complete morons what a good show horse should like we need to ask our show horses. This is a happy horse with an even top line and great movement. This is what our horses should be. This is what real show people are proud of and aspire to be.

    Reply
  42. Mark Miller

    Horseaholic you ought to be ashamed of yourself BAITING this conversation using this young ladies fine horse. This horse and rider are at the top of there game. If you don’t like this horse who effing cares..

    Reply
  43. Tom D

    At this point it’s not about the speed. These horses are forced to carry their heads too low. They can’t be “collected” because they’re unbalanced. So the question, “Too fast or too slow?” is immaterial because they’ve lost their balance. I remember in the 70’s the western division horses moved slower than most of the other divisions, but they were COLLECTED. Head and neck up and balanced and natural. This is unnatural for a horse to carry their head this low. It’s awful. So until you start asking the right questions, like “Is this horse balanced and collected?” then you’re going to get the wrong answer to the wrong question. I’ve been out of the biz for ages, and when I recently took in a Western Pleasure horse class…. I was shocked. The horses looked horrible and lame and so STILTED that…. I was shocked. It’s a shame. Go back and look at what they moved like in the 70’s! Slow, but still natural. This is UN-natural!!

    Reply
  44. Linda

    This is a bunch of BS, just more stupid humans doing inhumane crap to horses for their perverse “pleasure”. Take the word “west” out if it, there’s nothing “western” about this monstrosity. What what has that ass wipe done to that horses tail? Horses don’t carry their tails like that.

    Reply
    • Apparently The worst horse owner in the world

      Thanks for your input, Linda. As the owner and exhibitor of this horse I take everything you say to heart and will immediately change my ways. because of you, i will make sure to do something inhumane to his tail to make sure it looks like you think it should “just naturally” and will never take pleasure in riding my horse again… again because you think his natural gate is a “monstrosity.” Please tell me more about how my extremely spoiled and happy horse should be treated, and what other horrible, very unnatural, things I should do to him to make him look “natural” in your eyes…

      Reply
      • Brittany

        Hahaha, oh Darcy you crack me up..people here are ridiculous!

    • Anonymous

      Your comment is completely out of hand. Do you own a dog? Do you make him/her sit? HOW DARE YOU? That is not a natural movement for that animal! You monster.

      Please educate yourself. And if you are so confident in your opinion, prove it. Give me proof of what a good, natural horse should look like.

      Reply
    • Donna E

      What the heck are you talking about? Talk about flying your ignorance flag!! Nothing “inhumane” was done to this horse — you can see by the expression on his face that he is happy as can be. And yes, many horses DO carry their tails like that. I think you’re the “ass wipe” for making some very inflammatory false accusations.

      Reply
  45. Steph

    It is better and the horse does beautiful lead changes. I like the little more forward motion but the head is still so unnaturally low with such long reins you might as well not have any. When the rider asks the horse to back, his hand holding the reins is up past his shoulder! I think it would be better to have light contact with the horse’s mouth, have horse’s head in a more natural carriage and have more length to his stride.

    Reply
  46. Grumpyoldman

    So much bad mouthing from people who don’t compete. Not one single person has posted a link to a video that shows the way they believe a Quarter Horse should move. Haters gonna hate.

    Reply
  47. Anonymous

    in dressage they have their chin touching their chest! why don’t all of y’all stop bashing on western pleasure, and go rant and rave about the event with the true horse abuse!

    Reply
  48. DianaJ

    No one needs to “bash” wp. Or worry about how the horses are moving, or the direction the class is taking. It is imploding on its own with lower entry numbers with every passing year.

    People are OVER the equine robots and have voted with their feet. It will be classes of 3-5 (and combined Jr and Sr wp) at all but the biggest shows. It’s on its way to the horse show dinosaur equivalent of the Halter classes – just a few diehards duking it out with no one watching.

    At my last show, they relegated the wp to near the end of the show. It went off at 8:30, in the dark, in the outside ring, with no spectators other than people associated with the handful of people in the class. Glory days gone.

    It’s very clear what the people want – just go to any AQHA show and see where the numbers are now. It’s the Ranch Division. 20, 30 – and more! – in Amateur and Open.

    The horse featured is a nice horse, and it was a good ride, but the class still has too much of that unnatural appearance that people are wanting to move away from. People are walking away in disgust from the classes that showcase the level of specialization we’ve ended up with.

    It’s SO symptomatic of the problems within the industry when people automatically assume that anyone who is critical is uneducated or not involved at the upper levels. That attitude and the refusal to address problems and effect change are exactly why wp is dying on the vine, and will continue to do so.

    Back to the topic of the video… The refusal to see that this type of movement is outside the norm and has damaged our industry to the point people are leaving in droves means that trend will continue.

    Is it a nice horse that has been extremely successful within the AQHA microcosm? Irrefutably.

    Is it the way we should be training and presenting our horses? No.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Trail and western riding are way bigger at every show
      Than ranch horse.

      Reply
    • Rachael

      Not sure where you are, but I show all over the southeast and can’t remember the last time my WP class had less than 12 entries. Typically more like 20 at the 4-judge or larger shows. My hunter classes, however, have dismal numbers.

      Reply
  49. Shelbie

    This is actually impeccable movement for this discipline. The fake tail is there to complete the look, it gives a well rounded proportionate appearance for the judge as it emphasizes the horse curling his butt underneath himself to push off from the hind. People bitch edabout the 4 beat and 3 beat lope but no one says aanything about extended trot, piaffes, collected canter or any other unnatural gate in the world of equestrian sports. I don’tcare I think this looks great., I know it does. Lovely ride!

    Reply
  50. Steve

    This horse should not be competeing. He’s lame on the left foreleg, probably in the shoulder. His head dips at the jog and really dips on the left lead change. Compare head movement on right lead and when he changes at the lope. That’s what I see as a vet. I see and uncomfortable horse.

    Reply
    • DianaJ

      People – especially owners and trainers and groupies – only see what they want to see.

      Who wants to tell the owner of a six-figure valued horse that it’s flat out lame?

      Reply
  51. Pleasant Advice

    It amazes me the amount of negative comments. The reality any discipline nothing will make you critics happy. If you would like to see more natural forward movement I suggest join a trail group πŸ™‚ this way your not alone in your ranting & you can see all the natural movement you want.

    Reply
  52. Leneka

    I’m not sure about a lot of these other comments, I think a ton of them are just know-it-alls who actually have no idea what they’re talking about. Just the type who see evil and wrong doing behind every corner.

    However that all being said, this is better than some videos I have seen, but it’s still not natural. I’ve seen a lot of horses moved collected both in the field and under saddle. All I have to say, is that if I saw a horse moving like this out in my pasture, I’d be calling the vet assuming something is wrong with it.
    I know this is the aimed for gate, but the horse almost looks like it’s limping and it just does not appear natural to the eye, and that is what many people have issue with. There is a difference between unnatural movement in a “dancing” sense a unnatural in a “hurt” or “forced” sense and I think that most people when viewing this don’t see this as any form of betterment such as a “dancing” sense would give. It looks forced, and it almost looks painful.

    Reply
  53. Anonymous

    horse has probably had tail and ear de-nerving hence why they don’t move. I’m sick of seeing pleasure horses cant (or try and do some weird looking canter sidepass movement) into the inside in the lope, if riders can’t get a slow lope without having to twist their horse’s into unnatural movement then IT’S TOO SLOW. peanut rolling, the head is way below the wither and horse has no option but to travel on the forehand. THIS is why I moved away from ‘pleasure’ (it’s not a pleasure to watch, ride or train) and have moved into western dressage. at least in that discipline you can hope to expect a bit better movement, cadence, rhythm and self carriage. But as long as pleasure judges keep pinning these moving horses, ain’t nothin’ gonna change.

    Reply
  54. Anon

    Speed has nothing to do with whether or not this is correct. I’m looking at the impulsion and suspension of the horse. A natural trot has impulsion (push from the hindquarters) and a moment of suspension as the horse switches diagonal pairs- it’s not always obvious to see but it is there. The modern western pleasure horse is a travesty- not because they move slow but because they are totally 100% flat footed. It’s no longer a trot (or jog) it’s the horse stepping forward in diagonal pairs. No impulsion no suspension. Same for the canter- there is slightly more but almost no impulsion or suspension. The horse merely steps forward in a one-two-three pattern. As for collection- what a laugh. Most WP horses do not collect. True collection occurs when the angle of the lumbrosacral joint decreases, the hindquarters tuck in or ‘drop,’ the hind feet move closer to the front feet and more weight is transferred to the hind quarters without a loss of impulsion. In essence the horse ‘sits’ as it continues to move forward. Most WP horses have their hind legs strung way out behind them as they move. I model my training after the highest form of riding in the world- the Spanish Riding School where everything is done for the good of the horse. Ask yourself why do so many 9 and 10 year old WP horses need their hocks injected to stay sound while horses at the Spanish Riding School are continuing to perform at high levels at the age of 25?

    Reply
    • Patience Miller

      Well though out comment. I have seen abuses in dressage as well however. Ask yourself why so many human athletes suffer from physical issues as they age? The same reasons horses do, because they are often pushed too hard for human ego.

      Reply
  55. SusyEh

    Lovely horse but zero energy. The poor horse has checked out yesterday. No impulsion, drags its feet, head is too far down — body way too long and disconnected. No tracking up at walk or trot, just kicking up sand each step in all gaits. That should not be. As someone above said, “overtrained”. Not enjoying this at all.

    Reply
    • SusyEh

      Oh and to add, horse travels very crooked at the canter (haunches are in), kind of a diagonal movement. Very incorrect.

      Reply
  56. Patience Miller

    Are you kidding me? Has anyone ever seen a horse move like that when out in a large pasture? The amount of strength to do that is huge and the strain on the tendons and muscles can cause injury later in life.
    I see too many former show horses dumped at young ages because of injuries. And these horses also need to have better legs and feet. Why do they keep breeding them for tiny hooves?

    Reply
  57. Debbie

    This is disturbing. I showed horses in the 70’s (4H and a few others). I had a Morgan, which was my preference, when everyone was headed towards the quarter horses, and probably next favorite was Arabian. I think all horses are beautiful works of God and there has never been a horse I didn’t love. My preference was the majestic neck, high tail, and proud strut of a Morgan. I looked at what they were doing with quarter horses and didn’t understand it then – I don’t understand it now. To be honest I have been out of the horse world for 30 years, but this video really makes me feel like all these gorgeous animals are being made to gait abnormally. How awful that must be for them. Then while I am reading through they inject alcohol in their tails? Use fake tails? The most we ever did was put shoe polish on their hooves with a clear overcoat made by Amway!! I can only imagine the other cruel things people have come up with. Animal abuse perhaps? This is sad. Just so very sad.

    Reply
  58. Carol

    Fake tail? Who cares. Headset just shows where the balance of the body is. It’s all on the forehand. I only read a few comments but am shocked that I didn’t see anything about the fact that the horse doesn’t even come close to tracking up – there is no impulsion at all and no reach. Toe-first landings. This movement is all detrimental to the horse’s body – it’s sometimes referred to as the “navicular shuffle”. Beautiful horse, but there’s no beauty in the movement.

    Reply
  59. Yeah Right

    It doesn’t matter what Western Pleasure horses do… As long as there’s a forum for people with a keyboard and an opinion, they are going to make rude and inconsiderate remarks. I have asked repeatedly for these people to post their horses doing western pleasure and I have NEVER seen a video. I have asked dressage people to drop their reins and take away bit contact and see if their horses will stay collected…LOL!!! I did visit a few of these people’s FB pages and saw 1. people who don’t even have or show horses, 2. people who have strung out, uncollected horses or 3. people who do not own anywhere near this caliber horse 4. Rollkur / hyperflexion examples that made my skin crawl. By the way, this is a Western Riding class, not Western Pleasure. The horses require more forward motion to change leads. I want to come back in my next life as one of my Western Pleasure horses. They have received the best care and loving environment possible. Show your horses the way you want and stay to hell out of other people’s business.

    Reply
  60. Kay

    What I think is funny is. This topic was about MOVEMENT and some of you are stuck on the tail!

    Do not even tell me Dressage is natural. Been there done that. There is NO horse alive that moves that way running across a pasture. Let’s not even go there.

    Honestly the way the modern western pleasure horse is bred. YES folks they would lope across the pasture this way. And yes with there head at that level.
    Study Their conformation, it allows just that.

    This horse is loping along and seems to be enjoying his job. Quiet. Alert. Ears forward, just moving right along. Nice over all picture. IMO.

    If your not a western pleasure person why would you comment????

    If it’s not your thing then your on here just being a hater any way.

    Since I do show it…. I like the forward motion, the stress free pleasant look. But I’d like to see his hocks more under him in a perfect world. But I’d love to own this horse. How pretty are those lead changes!!! . Green with jealousy here!!!

    Reply
  61. Janis

    I saw Zips Chocolate Chip at the Congress. He had a slow moving but balanced way of going. A lovely moving western pleasure horse..There is a good video of him moving at a walk, trot, lope on YouTube. Watch that and you will see a natural slow moving pleasure horse. The horses of today are nowhere near where he was. Now the whole concept is if slow is good .. crippled looking slow is better….sad

    Reply
  62. Sabine de Jong

    It’s slightly better.. but still.. SLIGHTLY. Everyone that knows ANYTHING about horse movement notices the dip behind the saddle which indicated that this horse is not moving over it’s back. His first strides in canter were okay, you can see that the entire core is working but once in the canter he falls apart completely and becomes hollow.

    This horse def needs to have more basic training so he can get strong enough to keep himself together. I like how steady he is in the lead changes and the canter is not as crappy as I see all the time nowadays. But, it’s not even close to how I would like to see my horses move.

    Reply
  63. Theresa Allen

    I think this is a beautiful performance from this team yes team, yes team.. There’s no way he ride this horse on a loose rein like that if they were not a team. I think the run was beautiful with forward motion all the way.Those flying lead changes are excellent. The head position is perfect for that horse and very natural. I think compared to other disciplines to some it may seem low however you have to know what your judging this a western pleasure type class and this looks awesome compared to other years when yes things did get out of control with silly slow dog style movement and peanut pushing heads. Do your homework before judging someone. When I watch a jumper or dressage I’m often wondering what there doing too but I would never comment till I educated myself and still would not comment.. As for the tails really come on we all want to present our horses to the best way we know how whether its a fake tail main or even forelock we have to right to do so. Gosh even women use items to make ourselves look and feel better. Now that’s getting really peti if your complaining about how you turn a horse out. All I can say is this was an awesome performance executed beautifully for today’s arena. Please people stop bashing and get educated!

    Reply
  64. Laurie

    Love it, they are so nice to ride when they move this way, tail is way to thick and distracts from over all picture

    Reply
  65. Anonymous

    My complaint is that the horse falling too far on the forehand still. It looks a lot better than the current trends, but still…

    Otherwise the horse looks alright.

    Reply
  66. Rebecca

    CW Just because it is the “professional” way to ride doesn’t make it right or good for the horse. I agree with the “get rid of the fake tails” – frankly they look stupid. And the head below level still looks very unnatural and makes my neck and back hurt for the horse.

    Reply
  67. RM

    I would get rid of the fake tail for sure. The gait is more natural, as you can clearly see the difference in the jog and lope, not like the limp trot or “skipping” that normally goes on. While still slow, the gait is a slight improvement. Still, I would like to see the head level with the withers, but this horse’s is at least above the knee. All in all, it’s definitely an improvement but still not entirely natural.

    Reply
  68. Karen Waters

    Western Pleasure in the US? Of course they look unnatural (stilted and ugly) and the subject of much debate as we have seen Pleasure horses taken to the extreme to the point where they are clearly shut down and look dog lame, but happily things are improving, as clearly demonstrated by this video.
    If they moved like the horse in this video, I for one would have nothing to complain about. I see a beautifully balanced, highly trained horse moving with purpose whilst still being super comfortable for the rider.
    After all the appalling examples of Pleasure show classes in recent years, you would think people would welcome a change in the right direction, instead of trolling behind the safety of their keyboards condemning this example of a correctly trained Western Pleasure horse!

    Reply

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