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Western Clique: Finally! AQHA rule changes for WP, looking for more forward motion!

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  • Western Clique: Finally! AQHA rule changes for WP, looking for more forward motion!

    Check out the news here, make sure you watch the before and after video clips. Those horses in those sloooooow lopes look completely lame, even though they're not...



    "If you can smile when things go wrong then you have someone in mind to blame."
    You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?
  • Original Poster

    Check out the news here, make sure you watch the before and after video clips. Those horses in those sloooooow lopes look completely lame, even though they're not...



    "If you can smile when things go wrong then you have someone in mind to blame."
    You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?


    • #3

      Quote from the article:

      "Now, the Executive Committee has placed the authority, and with it, the responsibility of improving the class in the hands of the judges."

      "... in the hands of the judges." I wonder if a group of judges might not have fought hard for this change. Whose responsibility was it before? No one's?

      Thank you, whoever you are, for bringing about this very important first step in getting those Western Pleasure horses back to something that looks like a pleasurable horse.

      The videos are VERY revealing. Even when asked for "slightly increased forward motion" I have to wince at how unnatural these horses look. BUT it is a START!!!

      Thanks, Adelita, for sharing this with us.

      "I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship."
      -Louisa May Alcott

      [This message was edited by hitchinmygetalong on Jul. 24, 2003 at 07:35 AM.]
      "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton


      • #4
        Here is a copy of the letter sent to all AQHA judges (along with a copy of the tape). There's been quite the discussion about this on the Pleasure Horse Forum for about a week not. Some interesting reading there!


        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
        Dear QH judge:

        In the past, as an approved judge, you have attended various workshops, seminars, and other educational venues in which the judging of the western pleasure class has been discussed. In this series of Judges Workshops, this class is again one of the topics being discussed.

        Those of you who have already attended a workshop have had an opportunity to view the excellent videotape prepared by Alex Ross and Dale Livingston. This tape has now been enhanced to include "voice overs" of the various demonstrations included in the tape to permit further examination and explanation.

        A copy of the tape is enclosed for your personal use. One is being furnished to each AQHA approved judge. Please take the time to review this tape in detail. It plainly demonstrates the three distinct gaits that we, the Executive committee, believe are appropriate for this class. While you may not agree, we believe the majority of AQHA's membership and many of your fellow judges are in aggrement with our analysis of the western pleasure class.

        Therefore, effective immediately, the lope described as "slightly increasing forward motion" will become the only gait recognized as a lope in AQHA approved competition. We suggest that in making your gait calls while judging, you call for the lope in this manner, "Lope with a slight increase in forward motion."

        Additionally, the current rules provide that any of the gaits may be extended. Effective immediately, it is mandatory that the jog be extended in at least one direction. An extended jog is a definite two beat lengthening of stride and is an increased pace resulting in lengthening of stride and covering more ground. Cadenced and balanced with smoothness is more essential than speed. This applies to all AQHA approved western pleasure classes with the exception of Novice classes, Youth 11 and under, and Youth 13 and under. In these classes the extension of the jog remains optional.

        We hope that you believe these changes are for the betterment of the western pleasure class. We do!

        The executive Committee is committed to seeing these changes adopted and enforced. If you are not in agreement with these matters, we suggest you consider whether you want to remain an AQHA approved judge. These directives will be enforced.

        Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Please let us know if we can be of assistance in this important matter.

        signed: RH Stevens (Pres) Frank Scoop Vessels III, Frank Howell, Frank Merrill, Walt Fletcher.

        ....the judges had to sign the letter and return to AQHA


        ~~Some days are a total waste of makeup.~~
        ~~Some days are a total waste of makeup.~~


        • #5
          WOW!!!! Its a great step in the right direction! No more "may the most crippled horse win"!
          Can you stress-fracture your brain?


          • #6
            I totally agree. Infact all of the gaits should be natural to the horses and not make him/her look like a cripple.

            " I must not forget to thank the difficult horses, who made my life miserable, but who were better teachers than the well-behaved school horses who raised no problems." Alois Podhaisky, director of the Spanish Riding School 1939


            • #7
              A step in the right direction!!

              Interestingly, I was talking to a carded judge several months ago, discussing the "ear rule" (requiring penalties for a horse who's ears are below his withers for more than 4(?) strides). He said that judges violating this rule would have their card taken away after 2 or 3 (can't remember, sorry)offenses, which could be documented by a videotape and complaint from someone at the show.

              I think that WP is FINALLY becoming about true pleasure horses again!! Yippee, I don't show WP, but I had a tough time watching it!

              Proud member of the ILMD[FN]HP and Bull Snap Haters Cliques


              • #8
                Great - I might be able to actually enter one of those classes now!


                • #9
                  I was so happy to hear this!

                  Although, I truely believe they chose a horrible time to start it (July 1). That gives the World show competitors (esp. the youths) such a short time to retrain their horses to go like this!

                  I haven't shown since this rule has started, but I've heard that many many horses freak out, and just run off. I guess its mostly the horses with a spur stop...lol

                  There is no telling how many miles
                  You'll have to run when chasing a dream
                  \"I\'m looking for a dare to be great situation\"- John Cusack


                  • #10
                    YEAH finally I may be able to show this class again. And I wont be sickend by disgusting slow crippled loping in all the western classes. I will say that last season I showed at a show in Ontario and the judges actually announced that excessive slowness would be penalized and I placed 4th and 5th in senior WP with my 16.2 gelding who lopes slow but not crippled. There is improvement coming.


                    • #11
                      Yes! A friend of mine just returned from an AQHA show. Up until six years ago or so, she and her gelding were always in the ribbons. Then the crippled look came into fashion, and she refused to do that with her horse, which kept her out of the points. As of last weekend they were pinning again very well, and she is thrilled.
                      "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



                      • #12
                        About time!!! That too slow way of moving was always just way to painful to look at! I can get my TB mare to go slow but I refused to make her move in such an unaturally slow gait!

                        "Member of the Western clique"

                        All gave some...And some gave all...God bless the USA
                        "You are under arrest for operating your mouth under the influence of
                        ignorance!" Officer Beck


                        • #13
                          Another step inthe right direction....both APHA & AQHA have added description changes totheir rule books as far as pleasure classes go. We modiifed our pleasure class description to follow suit. I can cut and paste it later...can't spend to much time on the BB while at work


                          "If the world were truly a rational place. men would ride side saddle." Rita Mae Brown

                          The Long Island Horsemen's Society web page
                          ~~Cowgirl Clique~~ ~~Reriders/AKA Fossils On The Flats Clique~~~

                          \"Always saddle your own horse.\" Connie Reeves 1901-2003 Member of the Cowgirl Hall Of Fame


                          • #14
                            Wow, I don't ever get out to QH or western shows and I didn't realize how slow they had them going Even my non-horsey mother looking at the video clip said that they looked "broken"

                            The after clips look much better, though I still think they could step it up a notch. The real good ones really do have self carriage, you can see that they are tracking up (or at least trying). Glad the crippled horse look is going out!


                            • #15
                              That's funny... it's like saying the rules for the Hunter Under Saddle apply. It clearly states how the hunter should move and yet a horse which travels like a peanut roller will win the class. If you open up any of the Quarter horse mags and look at the pictures of the WP horses and the HUS horses they travel EXACTLY the same. What's the point of a rule change if the judges don't follow the rules in the first place?

                              ~~Every year the senseless slaughtering of millions just for their hides. Poor little Nagas.~~

                              "I admitted to myself and to god that I am powerless over COTHBB" - anonymous.
                              Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN


                              • #16
                                Oh thank Goodness!! I got out of QHs and Panits because of this. This isn't going to fix the whole thing, but it is a step in the right direction!

                                Predjudice is a poor substitute for thought.


                                • Original Poster

                                  I know it, I've always wondered about the peanut roller rule too....At the last three AQHA shows I've been to (this year) the horses who pinned in WP ALL had about 90% of their trip with their poll below their withers. HUS was the same way.


                                  "If you can smile when things go wrong then you have someone in mind to blame."
                                  You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?


                                  • #18
                                    this is great personaly i think it is very uncofortable to sit to my gelding was trained to do that slow canter and when i go him he had back problems now after two years i ask him for a lope and hes trying to do that slow canter its driving me crazy i want a nice forward lope and hes trying to do that he has been getting mad at me when i push him forward.


                                    • #19
                                      Totally agreeing with tidy rabbit. The quarter horse world can bring whatever new rules they want to publish to the rulebook, but the reality is what the big names bring to the ring is going to win. Quarter horse people have been saying for years that they discourage the "off looking" unnatural carriage of the WP horses, yet when you get to the ring at the big shows, nothing changes. Half those horses are literally sidepassing down the rail in order to achieve this look.


                                      • #20
                                        Anyone know how I can get the video to play? Nothing happens on my computer. No picture, or play button comes up.

                                        *Gotta Love Those Chestnut Mares With Lots Of Chrome*
                                        *Gotta Love Those Chestnut Mares With Lots Of Chrome*