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Western Pleasure lesson barns are the bane of my existence as a youth riders' instructor...

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  • #21
    Don't hate me, but western pleasure is my background and I do love it even if I hate the current show trend, I started riding and a place that did lessons and trail rides and the showing I did was wp with some hus stock type.

    These horses are bred to move this way, I adore Zip Chocolate Chip and wish we would go back to when he is shown in the video below, start at around 1 min in to see him moving at liberty and then under saddle.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...ature=emb_logo

    Moving on, ask these kids if they only want to sit on a finished horse or if they ever want to ride a greener horse that doesn't have all the buttons, because if they want to learn the skills to ride a variety of horses then they will learn that on your ponies that are trained, but just in a different skill set then they are use to. A good rider can adjust to a variety of horses and styles and try to get them to understand that.

    There are plenty of people from different riding styles that have a hard time changing up disciplines, especially if they have been riding horses that a monkey could ride.

    Group lessons mixed in and doing drill team exercises is a great idea and should help building camaraderie as long as you encourage everyone to be positive and point out the good in all your students and don't overly pick on one group over another.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Kirikou View Post
      Thanks S1969! I theoretically like this idea of sitting more beats (and will be using that with other students). The thing is none of them can post the trot (despite riding between 3 to 5 years). So if they stick around (which seems to be the parents' preference but not the kids'), we'll do loads of walking (which they'll claim to be bored with) and 2-point (which they aren't quite strong enough for yet - but "baby steps"...).
      Thanks everyone for weighing in!
      Oh well, that's the problem then. I don't blame them for not loving "English" riding if they are bouncing around until their teeth are rattling.

      Once they figure out how to post they will be so much better.

      If they are not very young, and have some experience with horses, they may learn to post faster if you demonstrate for them. Sometimes different colored polo wraps on the diagonal legs can help. Even if they are on the wrong diagonal it will be better than just bouncing. I think watching it can help those that are visual learners.

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      • #23
        They also might not be use to riding with contact, my default is little to no pressure ideally with a bit of rein droop. I'll go full rein droop on a horse I know is in the work mode vs just booping around and that I know has the buttons for speed adjustment and moving off seat and legs.

        I have been told before to stop throwing away my horse because I would give some once they were going how I wanted instead of keeping light contact, poor guy was getting confused about what I was asking

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Burbank View Post
          Don't hate me, but western pleasure is my background and I do love it even if I hate the current show trend, I started riding and a place that did lessons and trail rides and the showing I did was wp with some hus stock type.

          These horses are bred to move this way, I adore Zip Chocolate Chip and wish we would go back to when he is shown in the video below, start at around 1 min in to see him moving at liberty and then under saddle.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...ature=emb_logo

          we had Morgans that were western pleasure and none were ever head down

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          • #25
            Morgans aren't WP bred stock horses like Zips chocolate chips.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by TMares View Post
              Morgans aren't WP bred stock horses like Zips chocolate chips.
              Clanter has been around - he knows that Morgan WP is not what is being discussed....

              As well as maybe Zips CC - he is not present day WP. He does the eggshell trot but he correctly 3 beats the lope. with forward movement. deep sighs.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by babecakes View Post

                Clanter has been around - he knows that Morgan WP is not what is being discussed....

                As well as maybe Zips CC - he is not present day WP. He does the eggshell trot but he correctly 3 beats the lope. with forward movement. deep sighs.
                So why did he bring them up? Ask him.

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                • #28
                  Any rider who is rigidly trying to hold their upper body still and straight is going to get bounced around badly at higher energy level gaits. What seems odd to me is that if any riders have the absorbtive 'loosey goosey' lower back seat down, it should be WP riders because they always sit.

                  That said, I have seen many many Western riders posting the trot. The thing is they do it from the stirrups, not the leg.
                  No matter where you go, there you are

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                  • #29
                    So, I feel your pain, but, I "read" that you're saying all your ex-WP students are maybe entitled? All of them? I think you need to be careful to not place all the riders of one discipline into one basket. And then you have to figure out what works for each individual rider. I grew up riding WP at a lesson barn, then switched to "English", and I don't recall ever being of the mind that I wanted better horses, etc. That all being said, how about getting some of your really advanced riders to ride during the WP kids' lesson time while mounted on one of the smaller ponies and have that rider exude confidence and the spirit of having fun. Kids can be like lemmings.
                    My hopeful road to the 2021 RRP TB Makeover: https://paradoxfarm.blog/

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                    • #30
                      Western pleasure uses the same type of tack as other western types of riding, but the similarity pretty much ends there. I'd wager that anyone who has only ridden show style western pleasure from the first time they ever sat on a horse is going to struggle to do other disciplines, including other western events.
                      "Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them."
                      -Richard S. Bach

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                      • #31
                        Clanter, you are correct in that Morgans, Arabians and Saddlebreds show western pleasure in a different style than the stock breeds, since stock breeds are more common I was going on the assumption that we were discussing them.

                        I had the wonderful opportunity to show an excellent wp Arabian mare and qualified for regionals with her back in the early 2000s, judging by your pics I would guess that they are from late 80s to early 90s looking at what they are wearing, the current Morgan trend is more like the Arabians their head carriage is higher but still very broken at the poll in the California style, in Arabians the movement has been getting slower and there is becoming more emphasis on the draped rein with an arched neck and the middle of the neck being the highest point, face on the vertical and head level with withers.

                        All breeds and riding disciplines go through changes, as a person who does enjoy wp I do wish that they stock horses would go back to looking like Zip CC in 1988 and that the Arabians would be more like when I showed, the mare I showed was very well trained and moved very collected, relaxed and slow but she was not a machine.

                        And some of these horses really do move this way kinda naturally, I remember riding a little paint gelding who on his first ride when asked to jog that first time did a perfect little slow easy relaxed jog with relaxed rein pressure as we were on a lounge line, he also learned to have a nice moving forward trot but could easily jog.

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                        • #32
                          Do you have any sort of vaulting surcingle? Maybe have a "fun day/stay late" with a couple of kids on a mellow horse in vaulting tack ... they can do:
                          - around-the-world (mill)
                          - practice sitting backwards at trot and letting go of one arm or the other (extend to the side)
                          - stand at halt or walk (w/sidewalker)
                          - canter (not tiny lope) while letting go of one handle after the other then extend both arms to side
                          etc.
                          - post/count the trot w/help from handles (up-down-up-down-up-up-down-down) w/o worrying about horse's mouth

                          This will generate some "good" adrenalin in a super safe environment and may help the kids be OK with moving a bit more forward. Plus, they'll have a blast and maybe if you do it in groups of 3 or so they will feed off each other to do more "exercises" and see how much they can work towards with no hands at all!

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Burbank View Post
                            judging by your pics I would guess that they are from late 80s to early 90s .
                            mid 1990s, but we showed that horse until nearly 2010. The mare was an old style Morgan which many judges thought was not in style. But we were never the stylish ones anyway, we wanted safe stock for our kids.

                            as a side note that horse was to have been our kid's English Pleasure horse.... we bought her as long yearling at a farm back east where everything was English Pleasure... the farm had about sixty head in training...every one was English.

                            Left horse there in training only to find her in Western tack which surprised me... but it was best for that horse as she turned out to be very good as Western Pleasure horse

                            but our kids learned saddle seat anyway.our youngest daughter could properly handle a double bridle at age four
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                            • #34
                              Nice clanter, I know someone who had a half arab gelding that was a failed country pleasure horse who went on to show huntseat, western pleasure and native costume, I love a good minded all around type horse. I'm a fan on taking show horses trail riding, it is nice to get out and about some

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                              • #35
                                chai These games sound amazing! The kids in your programs are lucky to have you!

                                goodhors and M'al Great ideas on the bareback/vaulting. Ando so good to develop an independent seat in any case!

                                Thanks everyone for sharing!

                                ​​​

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Burbank View Post
                                  Nice clanter, I know someone who had a half arab gelding that was a failed country pleasure horse who went on to show huntseat, western pleasure and native costume, I love a good minded all around type horse. I'm a fan on taking show horses trail riding, it is nice to get out and about some
                                  our champion western pleasure horse went from the show ring on to be a national champion competitive trail horse

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                                  • #37
                                    One of the worst lessons I ever had was a dressage instructor insisting I sit the trot on a horse that was ramming my spine up through my head. My horse that was supposed to be in training and my horse that she didn’t ride to show me what she had taught her. And she wondered out loud why her students with dressage capable horses didn’t want to do dressage.
                                    Do Shetlands have sittable trots? I recommend making your lessons more fun while continuing to progress your students. I currently show Western and done correctly, it is amazingly difficult and dependent on a well trained horse. With English riding, I have a lot more input with reins and legs making it a lot easier. Show that to your students.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by TMares View Post
                                      Morgans aren't WP bred stock horses like Zips chocolate chips.
                                      But -- QHs and other stock breeds have Morgans in their background, admittedly way back now, but there is a reason that the "working Western" Morgans often look a lot like "Foundation" QHs. A Brunk-bred stallion, Jubilee King, was sent to a big ranch in Texas as a breeding horse in the 1940s, and he's far from the only Morgan stallion who ran with ranch mares.

                                      My little mare, who is working Western and Brunk/Jubilee King bred on her dam's side, has a lovely soft slow jog, as well as a very sporty trot. She's not as upheaded as many Morgans but still moreso than any stock breed WP horse!
                                      You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                      1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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