The Modern Western Pleasure Horse – Stop Complaining And Start Riding!

Western Pleasure is a discipline that is definitely under a microscope. People have called the discipline, the horses and the riders some atrocious things. The big complaints are that the horses are too slow, their heads are too low, and the movement is unnatural. The complaints get far more detailed and more cruel, but I’ll just leave it at that. Below is a video of the western pleasure class from the 2015 AQHA World Show.

Western pleasure is a discipline that horses are trained in. Just like horses are trained to do dressage, trained to do the jumpers and trained to barrel race. Unless you are getting on an unbroke horse without a bridle or a saddle, some training is involved. Now, I used the word “unbroke” and I’m sure someone will complain that horses aren’t “broke” they are “started”. Same thing – horses are trained!

For those of you that say you love western pleasure, you just don’t like what people are doing with it now. I have a solution for you!

This video was taken at the 2016 Arabian US Open Horse Show in Central Park. The horses are forward, collected, balanced and they have their polls higher than the quarter horses. So if you’d like to show western pleasure, but the AQHA style isn’t your favorite then maybe it’s time to switch to showing Arabians.

Regardless, it’s time to start complaining and start riding. Share this on Facebook if you agree!

4 Responses

  1. Jo Johnson

    I find it highly offensive that this writer assumes people who are complaining about this “sport” aren’t riders. A lot of people do ride but wont show because the judging is bias towards crab crawling, ugly combinations. To simply change breeds rather than working to improve the sport is going to be detrimental to Quarter horses.

  2. Alex Williams

    Sorry, but they don’t look like a pleasure to ride to me. I like a natural moving horse. IMO they look as bad as ‘big lick’ TWH. Why does everything with show horses & show dogs have to be overdone.


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