Has the Western Pleasure Class Regressed?

Source: Gohorseshow.com


Check out this great article below on Gohorseshow.com.  They interviewed a bunch of judges to see what they thought and the results are all over the board.  The video below is from the 2011 AQHA congress.  What do you think?  Are the horses over cated?

Great Article:


27 Responses

    • Mike Semchison

      That is one of the most pathetic examples of a western “pleasure?” class I have seen. In over 50 years of being in the industry and with wins in this class at State,Regional, National and World Championships in the past this is not a class showing true gaits, comfort and balance to the horses and a natural way of moving. Some travel like they are hurting and quite likely they are. Canted into the rail used to be an automatic loss of a placing, now nearly everyone is doing it. What happened to the show ring and who ever allowed this to get to this stage. My sympathies for every one of those horses who had a human subject them to this form of training.

      • Anonymous

        Mike, I agree with you but have a question. Everyone seems to think WP should go back to the free flowing days, but no one does. Who is in charge of making the changes? AQHA rules stipulates the change but they still hire the judges who pin the winners. Are the judges being influenced by big money and friends? Why aren’t the trainers making the changes? It seems to me those who should be making the changes are so knee deep in the money game that it will never change. If we can get one Congress winner that adheres to the rules then we might see a trend start again. Ps. I am a horse mom, nothing more and even I can figure out someone needs to take the reins and begin the fight to adhere to the rules. Thanks.

  1. Dusty

    I’ve ridden horses for 50 years and I can tell you this, no normal person really rides like this. Not in everyday real life anyway. This video… well, it was so depressing I couldn’t even watch it all the way through. Seeing those horses forced into moving in such an un natural way deserves to be condemned.
    The judges, trainers and even the riders that allow, foster and condone this farce are no better than than the big lick walking horse people. You know, the ones that EVERYONE condemns because of the un natural way they force their horses to travel. Seems to me a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black.
    No horse on the planet was meant to move like this. It needs to stop.
    Those of you who allow this type of training/showing should not dare call yourselves ” horsemen “.


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