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View Full Version : Any Western Pleasure People? Update w/ pics #30!



OveroHunter
Oct. 11, 2011, 12:58 PM
Sorry, kind of long.

I am probably going to take my hunter to a western show this weekend and show in a WP class. Why you ask? Because I am extrememly competitive and the last show for this saddle club only had one person in the adult WP classes so my boyfriend (who actually rides WP and has a WP trained horse) and I want to both enter and see who wins! We figure it will be the two of us and maybe one or two other adults. My hunter is really my all around horse who totally goes with the flow. He is one of those who searches for the bit and listens to your body position for speed, so when I sit on my butt and lean back with long reins, he slows down and lowers his head - Perfect jog!

Anyway, because we are competitive and want to beat each other, he refuses to help me! I have never shown WP and my horse is a hunter, but after a couple of weeks, my little paint has been jogging super slow and keeping his head down on a loose rein. In fact, I think his jog is better than my boyfriend's mare's jog.

The question is how do I hold my hands? Lance (boyfriend) rides his mare in a shank, so I know how to do that, but I want to ride my hunter in a snaffle and I think you are supposed to go two handed... I am used to the straight line from bit to elbow, which of course isn't possible with long reins, but can I keep my hands in the same position I would if I were riding hunters with super long reins?

Next question, I don't own a cowboy hat and those things are freaking expensive. Do you think I could get away with wearing a helmet? Should I do my hunter hair?

TIA, I may be slightly overcompetitive, but I hope I kick my boyfriend's butt!

BoomerButt
Oct. 11, 2011, 01:13 PM
My first question is how old is your horse. If the horse is over 5 years old, it needs to be in a shank bit. If your horse is under 5, a snaffle is fine and riding two handed is normal as a snaffle is a two handed bit.

As far as your hands and arms, relaxed. Thumbs up, slight bend in the elbow, shoulders back.

Depending on the type of show, you may be able to get away with a cheapy western hat, but normally, for the local 4H shows helmets are fine. I always did my hair pulled back in a bun with a bow at the base of my neck.

Good Luck!! PICTURES!!!

BB

smokygirl
Oct. 11, 2011, 01:14 PM
How old is your horse? Most shows have pretty strict rules regarding bits.. so make sure yours is legal. You will need to neck rein.. i can't think of any non-junior WP class where they allow 2 hands on the reins.

OveroHunter
Oct. 11, 2011, 02:18 PM
Yeah... He's 7. This is a little country show. We sell some cheapo cowboy hats in our gift shop so maybe I'll grab one of them.

As far as the bit, I read the rules (http://www.kel-mac.org/resources/2011+SHOW++RULES.pdf) and it makes no mention of bits for western classes. They do have a class called "Dressage On the Rail" that would make a real Dressage rider cringe, but it is the only class in the rules that requires a specific bit. So I don't think I"ll be breaking any rule if I show him in a snaffle.

sahqueen
Oct. 11, 2011, 03:12 PM
You probably want to check with show management on the bit...senior horses (6 and over) show in a shanked bit as the industry standard. The show might consider it one of those rules that everyone knows and not state it specifically in the prize list. Kind of like no martingales in a flat class for hunters...everyone should know but not always in the prize list.

If it were an AQHA sanctioned show you could show any aged horse in a snaffle in the Green class, but that is not the norm for the western/stock breed world.

If you are able to ride in a snaffle, make sure your reins are 'bridged' (crossed over the withers and hold both reins in each hand, not one rein in each hand like riding huntseat), with light contact. You don't show a western horse in a snaffle on a drape like in a curb. You should have a chin strap on your bit attached below the reins.

OveroHunter
Oct. 11, 2011, 03:15 PM
You probably want to check with show management on the bit...senior horses (6 and over) show in a shanked bit as the industry standard. The show might consider it one of those rules that everyone knows and not state it specifically in the prize list. If it were an AQHA sanctioned show you could show any aged horse in a snaffle in the Green class, but that is not the norm for the western/stock breed world.

If you are able to ride in a snaffle, make sure your reins are 'bridged' (crossed over the withers and hold both reins in each hand, not one rein in each hand like riding huntseat), with light contact. You don't show a western horse in a snaffle on a drape like in a curb. You should have a chin strap on your bit attached below the reins.

Thanks! I was actually wondering how I should lay the reins if I got to ride in the snaffle!

I may just go ahead and put a shank on him since he neck reins pretty well. I'll try one tonight and see how he does.

propspony
Oct. 11, 2011, 03:33 PM
I did this a few years ago when my mare was recovering from an injury. We both had a BLAST. Small local show so no real stress. I board with mostly western pleasure peeps, so they had the fun of dressing us.

I think we even got a ribbon. ;-p

HAVE FUN!!! Western pleasure is WAY more fun than I'd ever imagined!

Grataan
Oct. 11, 2011, 08:43 PM
Wear a helmet, sans hunter-hair and you will be fine. I show on the breed circuit in a helmet and low bun/folded braid.

I would use a shanked bit, reins held in the left hand and bight of reins in right or hanging (in which case I'd gave my right hand down at my side or at the level of my belt buckle) or use two hands on the snaffle, good advice above on rein position. Most important is to not change rein and hand position during the class (no switching back and forth)

Renae
Oct. 11, 2011, 11:13 PM
More technical details on rein hold. You may put 1 finger between the reins. If you do the bight of the reins must fall on the SAME side of the horse has your reining hand, they may not be held on the non-reining hand. If you put no fingers between the reins then the bight should fall to the opposite side of the reining hand and may be held in the non-reining hand. http://www.rainbowag.com/eraldi_38.html

MunchkinsMom
Oct. 12, 2011, 01:20 AM
More technical details on rein hold. You may put 1 finger between the reins. If you do the bight of the reins must fall on the SAME side of the horse has your reining hand, they may not be held on the non-reining hand. If you put no fingers between the reins then the bight should fall to the opposite side of the reining hand and may be held in the non-reining hand. http://www.rainbowag.com/eraldi_38.html

The tail may be held in the non-rein hand if you are using rommel (sp?) reins in lieu of split reins (many of the AQHA trail folks, and arab WP folks use them). If using split reins, then the non-rein hand is not to touch the reins at all (penalties).

mypaintwattie
Oct. 12, 2011, 02:52 AM
both the NSBA and AQHA rulebooks have information on holding the reins. If they do follow the bit rules your horse would be considered a senior and ridden one handed in a curb like the others have said. If so try a tom thumb or low port curb, and see which your horse prefers. As far as a helmet go right ahead and wear one, and put your hair in a bun or in a ponytail. Good luck and have fun!

bluemooncowgirl
Oct. 12, 2011, 09:03 AM
All good advice.... We definitely need pictures! Have fun and try not to gloat when you whoop him!

OveroHunter
Oct. 12, 2011, 01:27 PM
I will definitely post some pics. I'm going to Horse Town tonight and may buy a blingy shirt and belt and a cowboy hat if I can afford it!

I have been going back and forth on the bit, but I think I will just call the show manager and if they let me ride in a snaffle, I will, if not, I have a BEAUTIFUL show shank with silver laced split reins that I have never been able to use because I don't show western... Of course, my horse will have roughly 3 days to get used to it :no:

Grataan
Oct. 12, 2011, 03:25 PM
I show the circuit in this (http://www.rods.com/Masters-Ride-Blouse-WhiteandBlack,24271.html) shirt (not at regionals mind you but it's nice enough for A shows)

OveroHunter
Oct. 12, 2011, 04:52 PM
What is the industry standard rule on bosals? I know you can show in them, but does you horse have to be 5 or under?

Burbank
Oct. 12, 2011, 05:25 PM
yes, only junior horses can show in a bosal or snaffle

OveroHunter
Oct. 13, 2011, 09:43 AM
Thanks Burbank, that's what I figured, but it was worth a shot.

So I bought a cowboy hat last night! I didn't get a bling-tastic show shirt because they were all too short for my long torso, so I think I'll just go to Tractor Supply and get a western shirt. It's not like we're going to the APHA Congress... This is a tiny show down the road from the ranch.... But I want to (quite literally) SPARKLE! You never get to wear bling in hunters :no: :lol:.

We should all be able to enjoy laughing with (at) me when I post pics this weekend :D

Burbank
Oct. 13, 2011, 10:02 AM
good luck and have fun, who knows you may start showing wp along with hus, besides you can sparkle with your tack to :)

myvanya
Oct. 13, 2011, 11:03 AM
When I or my 4-her show my older gelding western he is required to be in a shank bit since he is (most definitely) older than 5. Even at a small saddle club show. That being said there are many western bits that can be quite gentle. I show my horse in a junior cow horse bit with a very low port (essentially just extra tongue clearance) or a bit that looks much like a tom thumb but with a copper roller in the middle. Both bits have short shanks and work fabulously for my semi retired jumper horse.

Good luck and can't wait to see the pictures!

HydroPHILE
Oct. 13, 2011, 11:14 AM
So I bought a cowboy hat last night! I didn't get a bling-tastic show shirt because they were all too short for my long torso, so I think I'll just go to Tractor Supply and get a western shirt. It's not like we're going to the APHA Congress... This is a tiny show down the road from the ranch.... But I want to (quite literally) SPARKLE! You never get to wear bling in hunters :no: :lol:.



At a charity show I went to one year, they had six entries in the adult WP class. Five were women wearing blinged-out blouses, blinged chaps, sparkly things on their hats, sparkly buckles, rhinestones on the horses' headstalls and saddles...it was like Real Housewives of New Jersey meets Hey Dude.

The sixth entry (the one that claimed the blue ribbon) was a guy that wore a white dress shirt, a pair of clean blue jeans and plain smooth brown leather chaps, and a standard grey/white cowboy hat. His very gorgeous and non-flashy sorrel gelding had a plain brown leather western saddle, a plain headstall, and absolutely zero bling. He was also the only one that looked like he was enjoying his ride, and his horse seemed to read his mind. Although the horse and rider were well-groomed, clean, and shiny (horse - not rider!) it looked as though he just decided to stop rounding up cattle and head over to the ring.

The women all forced fake smiles and looked like they were being paid to ride.

I wish I had a picture of the guy that one. He looked like Sam Elliot and was more than happy to chit chat with folks after his win.

allicolls Aefvue Farms Deep South
Oct. 13, 2011, 01:43 PM
I see you got a hat already, but I was going to suggest just picking up a straw hat with a good shape. They're much less expensive than felt, and you can probably reasonably get away with it in October.

Use a shank bit on your senior horse. Hold the reins in your left (or non-dominant) hand with one finger between the reins. Put your right (or dominant) hand down at your side. My trick for holding the free hand still: grab a couple pieces of chap fringe.

Make sure you know some of the common conventions of the WP show pen: pass on the inside (toward the center), NEVER circle like the hunters often do, and be prepared for reversing at the walk or jog, and being asked to back on the rail.

Have fun!

OveroHunter
Oct. 13, 2011, 03:12 PM
Never circle? Thanks for telling me, I totally would have made that mistake!

I got a straw hat with a "Quarter Horse bend"... at least I think that is what he called it.

ETA: This is probably why people take lessons when they try new disciplines :lol:

allicolls Aefvue Farms Deep South
Oct. 13, 2011, 03:34 PM
Quarter Horse bend, or crease, sounds like it should be right! As long as the brim is well-shaped and not flat as a pancake or squished up like a taco (what I call the "Toby Keith fake cowboy hat") you shouldn't look terribly out of place!

OveroHunter
Oct. 13, 2011, 05:47 PM
Jimmy (a man of many words) is the Show Chairman and he is fine with it.


Jimmy to me


Should be fine.






Megan wrote:

Hello,



I was looking at the rules and saw nothing regarding bits for Western Pleasure classes. I know the standard is green horses and 5 years old and under wear snaffles/bosals and 6 and over wear shanks, but this was not mentioned. I have a green 7 year old that will be competing in this first ever WP class this weekend and would like to ride him in a snaffle. Is this permitted?

--
Megan

Luckydonkey
Oct. 13, 2011, 07:32 PM
Practice riding in the shanked bit for the next couple of days and take it wiht you just in case... it would suck to not be allowed to place because of the wrong bit.

OveroHunter
Oct. 14, 2011, 09:40 AM
Practice riding in the shanked bit for the next couple of days and take it wiht you just in case... it would suck to not be allowed to place because of the wrong bit.

When I very happily showed that email to my boyfriend he said the exact same thing :(

HydroPHILE
Oct. 14, 2011, 10:33 AM
I look forward to your super big gloating smile holding a blue ribbon next to Lance's forced half-arse smile that you won ;)

dsedler
Oct. 14, 2011, 11:22 AM
This sounds like a fairly small local show, right? I highly doubt they are going to be asking for a copy of your horses papers to verify the age if you show in a snaffle. Ride in the snaffle, you will be fine. I've done it before at a small local show with a green mare who didn't neck rein very well yet.

allicolls Aefvue Farms Deep South
Oct. 14, 2011, 01:22 PM
I second the advice to be prepared to show in the shank, just in case. The show management might allow it, but the judge might think differently. Even if he's overruled, you'll be automatically on his bad side if you go against his opinion. May as well give yourself the best possible shot!

OveroHunter
Oct. 17, 2011, 09:30 AM
So RH and I (https://www.facebook.com////#!/photo.php?fbid=10100764758993690&set=a.10100764758045590.3002562.4923850&type=3&theater) were ambassadors to the WP world for natural gaits (https://www.facebook.com////#!/photo.php?fbid=10100764793409720&set=a.10100764758045590.3002562.4923850&type=3&theater) and natural head sets (https://www.facebook.com////#!/photo.php?fbid=10100764768354930&set=a.10100764758045590.3002562.4923850&type=3&theater); however, I was saddened (https://www.facebook.com////#!/photo.php?fbid=10100764783140300&set=a.10100764758045590.3002562.4923850&type=3&theater) because our free flowing (https://www.facebook.com////#!/photo.php?fbid=10100764762486690&set=a.10100764758045590.3002562.4923850&type=3&theater) movement was not appreciated. I sat in the line up anxious (https://www.facebook.com////#!/photo.php?fbid=10100764788788980&set=a.10100764758045590.3002562.4923850&type=3&theater) to hear my number called, but alas, it was never called. (https://www.facebook.com////#!/photo.php?fbid=10100764788918720&set=a.10100764758045590.3002562.4923850&type=3&theater) While stoic (https://www.facebook.com////#!/photo.php?fbid=10100764788594370&set=a.10100764758045590.3002562.4923850&type=3&theater) in the arena, the winner (https://www.facebook.com////#!/photo.php?fbid=10100764791124300&set=a.10100764758045590.3002562.4923850&type=3&theater)was all too happy to brag (https://www.facebook.com////#!/photo.php?fbid=10100764790884780&set=a.10100764758045590.3002562.4923850&type=3&theater) once out of the ring. But that is okay, RH and I will keep our heads held high (https://www.facebook.com////#!/photo.php?fbid=10100764762890880&set=a.10100764758045590.3002562.4923850&type=3&theater) and stay where (http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/2785124360043029495lrTBFo)we belong. (http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/2315209310043029495UvcaYi)

Burbank
Oct. 17, 2011, 10:20 AM
so did you have fun? you guys look cute and I bet you could dable more in wp if you want to, he just needs a tad more practice.

GypsyQ
Oct. 17, 2011, 10:28 AM
You two looked great:D. I hope you had fun.

OveroHunter
Oct. 17, 2011, 10:32 AM
We had a blast! I just enjoyed getting to wear the clothes! Plus, I co-own with my boyfriend the mare he was riding, so I'm glad he was the one to beat me. Plus, we got a third! Who cares if it was out of 3 ;)

Luckydonkey
Oct. 17, 2011, 10:52 AM
I think you should try it again in a shanked bit and see what happens. You guys are cute, and your horse is a doll.

dsedler
Oct. 17, 2011, 11:28 AM
I LOVE your horse!!!! I bet with some practice, you guys actually could do pretty darn good. Glad you had fun, it's always good to try something different every now and then:)

amm2cd
Oct. 17, 2011, 11:34 AM
Obviously you didnt have enough glitter.

Bedazzle and try again!

(Isn't the glitter the reason for wp? :) )

bluemooncowgirl
Oct. 17, 2011, 11:47 AM
Great photos!! Thanks for sharing them with us. It looks like you had a good time. I must say you made a beautiful cowgirl and your horse is adorable!

OveroHunter
Oct. 17, 2011, 11:50 AM
Obviously you didnt have enough glitter.

Bedazzle and try again!

(Isn't the glitter the reason for wp? :) )

My thoughts exactly! Next time I will bedazzle EV.ER.Y.THING! I guarantee you I will smack that smile right off SO's face with my blue ribbon!

amm2cd
Oct. 17, 2011, 11:52 AM
Every ribbon looks blue if you have enough glitter behind it.....

OveroHunter
Oct. 17, 2011, 11:57 AM
Great photos!! Thanks for sharing them with us. It looks like you had a good time. I must say you made a beautiful cowgirl and your horse is adorable!

Thanks, he is a very patient and understanding animal :lol: ;) I am very fond of his kill-me-now (https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=10100764766513620&set=a.10100764758045590.3002562.4923850&type=3&theater) face!

smokygirl
Oct. 21, 2011, 10:09 PM
Probably the neck reining. He looked nice, but i think most judges (unless it's a JR horse class) go with the one conforming most to the WP ideals, which include neck reining.

OveroHunter
Oct. 22, 2011, 07:20 AM
I think we lost on a multitude of levels including neck reining, bit, speed, and most importantly bling! ;)

On the bright side he is a great hunter and a 2'6 packer so we will just stick to what we know :)

RougeEmpire
Oct. 22, 2011, 08:28 AM
Dont get to down on yourself! Your little english pony makes a lovely WP horse. But WP is a VERY competative division and its very specialized. Honeslty your little horse has potential. A couple lessons with a GOOD WP trainer (not all of them want peanut rollers and four beaters) and your quickly pull top ribbons from your other half =p

lightlee
Oct. 22, 2011, 10:47 AM
I think you horse is very typey for Western Pleasure too! So I would not pass on WP based on the results of one class. Western Pleasure is a difficult discipline to master.:)

Why don't you try a Tom Thumb snaffle (shanked snaffle) for a couple of weeks and then move to a ported or mild correction bit. Since you horse appears to such a solid citizen, I don't think he will have an issue transitioning to a mild shanked bit. Some horses travel a little better - more collected - in a shanked bit. However, before you change bits continue to work on moving him off your leg in response to rein pressure so that he gets the concept of neck reining. I also ditto the suggestion about getting a few lessons from a trainer. Good luck!! And you have a really nice horse!!

smokygirl
Oct. 22, 2011, 05:49 PM
Dont get to down on yourself! Your little english pony makes a lovely WP horse. But WP is a VERY competative division and its very specialized. Honeslty your little horse has potential. A couple lessons with a GOOD WP trainer (not all of them want peanut rollers and four beaters) and your quickly pull top ribbons from your other half =p

Totally agree :) Just a few tweaks.. and you'll be putting your blues up and consoling him on his reds lol.

ohrebecca
Oct. 22, 2011, 06:34 PM
Looks like you had fun, and you're a great pair! Are you going to try the WP route again?

alterhorse
Oct. 22, 2011, 06:41 PM
I think we lost on a multitude of levels including neck reining, bit, speed, and most importantly bling! ;)

On the bright side he is a great hunter and a 2'6 packer so we will just stick to what we know :)


I agree, bling is probably like 50% of score in a Western pleasure class. :winkgrin:

smokygirl
Oct. 22, 2011, 06:45 PM
I agree, bling is probably like 50% of score in a Western pleasure class. :winkgrin:

it depends. Bling can help make your horse much more memorable to the judge. Depending on your ride.. that can be very good or very bad lol.

OveroHunter
Oct. 22, 2011, 06:55 PM
it depends. Bling can help make your horse much more memorable to the judge. Depending on your ride.. that can be very good or very bad lol.

If we ever show WP again, I plan on having so much bling that I blind the judge so he can't see when we screw up!