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What is considered a good mover in a western horse?

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  • What is considered a good mover in a western horse?

    What is considered a good mover in a western horse (western pleasure and horsemanship type) ?

    Now, do I correctly call a western equitation class a horsemanship class?

    Tx.

  • #2
    What type of western horse? AQHA/APHA? Arab? Morgan? Fresian? All have very different answers.

    And yes, horsemanship is where the rider is judged. Although, I do know that other people have different opinions on it. In reference to AQHA/APHA, it is horsemanship.
    Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks Bugs ! A western QH, lets say.

      Comment


      • #4
        A Certain Vino is the reigning Senior WP Champion and his accomplishments speak for themselves. http://aqha.com/Showing/World-Show/C...-Pleasure.aspx

        One Lazy Investment also has quite the show record behind him: http://aqha.com/Showing/World-Show/C...-Pleasure.aspx

        I'm also a fan of this stallion, and can say from personal experience that he is pretty cool to ride: http://nodoubtimlazy.net/videos.html

        Lindsey McMullen and Huntin For Money had a GREAT horsemanship go last year to win at Youth Worlds: http://aqha.com/Showing/Youth-World/...semanship.aspx

        Carey Nowacek and Certify This Chex also had an amazing go at the 2010 Youth Worlds: http://gohorseshow.com/article/AQHA/...Champion/30250
        Note: Lindsey McMullen won third this year as well.

        Hope this helps.
        Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks, Bugs.

          Great links & gorgeous horses !!

          Is a flatter knee, moves from the shoulder, toe pointer, preferred - as they are in hunters?

          Comment


          • #6
            Asking about "western horses" is pretty broad. WP? (and if WP, what breed?) Reiners? Eq horses?

            I would think purity of gaits is a key thing. Frankly, I do not see much of that in many WP horses.

            Of course, I am entering this conversation from an appreciation of the vaquero-style western horse (think Rose bowl parade), western dressage (as conceived, not as often seen on youtube), and traditional dressage. Not necessarily what the western horse has become under the influence of showing (thinking QH-type shows) over the last 30 years or so.

            What you like/appreciate might be different.

            L

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by bugsynskeeter View Post
              A Certain Vino is the reigning Senior WP Champion and his accomplishments speak for themselves. http://aqha.com/Showing/World-Show/C...-Pleasure.aspx

              One Lazy Investment also has quite the show record behind him: http://aqha.com/Showing/World-Show/C...-Pleasure.aspx

              I'm also a fan of this stallion, and can say from personal experience that he is pretty cool to ride: http://nodoubtimlazy.net/videos.html

              Lindsey McMullen and Huntin For Money had a GREAT horsemanship go last year to win at Youth Worlds: http://aqha.com/Showing/Youth-World/...semanship.aspx

              Carey Nowacek and Certify This Chex also had an amazing go at the 2010 Youth Worlds: http://gohorseshow.com/article/AQHA/...Champion/30250
              Note: Lindsey McMullen won third this year as well.

              Hope this helps.
              Wow...just wow. Peanut-rolling head positions, pseudo-collection (face vertical but weight on the forehand with no rear quarter engagement), shuffling gaits. Not what I'd call good movers, but then I'm old enough to remember when quarter horses didn't shuffle around like zombies in pleasure (and other) classes. Makes me sad to see what's been done to them and I keep hoping it will change. If you want to see some good moving quarter horses (albeit not western pleasure/horsemanship), take a look at reining horses or cutting horses.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yep. /\ /\ /\ this.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by zipperfoot View Post
                  Wow...just wow. Peanut-rolling head positions, pseudo-collection (face vertical but weight on the forehand with no rear quarter engagement), shuffling gaits. Not what I'd call good movers, but then I'm old enough to remember when quarter horses didn't shuffle around like zombies in pleasure (and other) classes. Makes me sad to see what's been done to them and I keep hoping it will change. If you want to see some good moving quarter horses (albeit not western pleasure/horsemanship), take a look at reining horses or cutting horses.
                  Oh brother - do I agree 100% with you!!!! When I saw this thread, the first thing that sprang to mind was "peanut rollers" & that bizarre "always on the forehand" & pseudo-collection stuff. Western - ahem - "equitation/pleasure/horsemanship" horses & classes are nothing but sad, sad jokes.

                  Edited to add: I'll never forget the time I took my husband to a Western indoor show being held at the horse center in Lexington, VA. First thing he asked me was why the horses in the ring were dragging their noses in the dirt, & if they were supposed to be doing that. LOL!!!!!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
                    Oh brother - do I agree 100% with you!!!! When I saw this thread, the first thing that sprang to mind was "peanut rollers" & that bizarre "always on the forehand" & pseudo-collection stuff. Western - ahem - "equitation/pleasure/horsemanship" horses & classes are nothing but sad, sad jokes.

                    Edited to add: I'll never forget the time I took my husband to a Western indoor show being held at the horse center in Lexington, VA. First thing he asked me was why the horses in the ring were dragging their noses in the dirt, & if they were supposed to be doing that. LOL!!!!!!!
                    Sorry, I can't agree. I watched all the videos thinking I had missed something. With the pro riders I saw extremely well balanced horses with their weight very much on their haunches, neck softly moving, hind legs reaching under well, and back lifted to support their movement - much like a ballet dancer. With the youth I saw some hurried decisions about transitions, but still excellent horses.
                    Peanut rollers have their noses really close to the ground and as a result the ears are at a level much below the withers. I don't think these horses could even roll beach balls!
                    I will say that last week while getting some instruction on slowing down my horse at the jog (stretching down from the inside leg to outside rein then collecting from outside leg and hand to inside rein, back and forth), he started getting his butt under him, back up, soft. As a test, I was able to continue to give while he kept his balance and dropped his head almost to the ground. Too low for sure, but it was a strange feeling to ride a round horse lifting under you and no head and neck in front. He kept it for about 10 strides. Amazing.
                    Never argue with a fool. Noone can tell who is who.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by potteryshop View Post
                      Sorry, I can't agree. I watched all the videos thinking I had missed something. With the pro riders I saw extremely well balanced horses with their weight very much on their haunches, neck softly moving, hind legs reaching under well, and back lifted to support their movement - much like a ballet dancer. With the youth I saw some hurried decisions about transitions, but still excellent horses.
                      Peanut rollers have their noses really close to the ground and as a result the ears are at a level much below the withers. I don't think these horses could even roll beach balls!
                      I will say that last week while getting some instruction on slowing down my horse at the jog (stretching down from the inside leg to outside rein then collecting from outside leg and hand to inside rein, back and forth), he started getting his butt under him, back up, soft. As a test, I was able to continue to give while he kept his balance and dropped his head almost to the ground. Too low for sure, but it was a strange feeling to ride a round horse lifting under you and no head and neck in front. He kept it for about 10 strides. Amazing.
                      Glad that's "amazing" for you. Unfortunately, not everyone who trains peanut-rollers is sensitive & amazing. You're just one of the "lucky" ones.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I personally ride reiners, but the OP asked for what are considered good moving WP/Horsemanship horses. When my reining mare is properly engaged behind and running her large fast circles, she does drop her head quite below her withers. Its how she is built and how she is comfortable loping large fast. In her small slows, she bring her poll just slightly above the level of her withers.

                        In today's world, the horses I listed are considered some of the tops. Vino isn't one of my personal favorites out there, but it is hard to deny his accomplishments.

                        Glad that's "amazing" for you. Unfortunately, not everyone who trains peanut-rollers is sensitive & amazing. You're just one of the "lucky" ones.
                        Neither is everyone who trains reiners, cutters, hunters, dressage, etc...why bring it up every time someone asks about pleasure horses?? I know pleasure isn't everyone cup of tea, but I don't slam other disciplines because it isn't my preference. Pleasure has its bad points and its bad apples, but it is a vast difference from what the 90s pleasure was like. At least you aren't having to worry about clogged drains at shows because of all the blood letting that was going on.

                        Appreciate the horses for what they are - the top of the discipline they are bred to do.
                        Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wow...just wow. Peanut-rolling head positions, pseudo-collection (face vertical but weight on the forehand with no rear quarter engagement), shuffling gaits. Not what I'd call good movers, but then I'm old enough to remember when quarter horses didn't shuffle around like zombies in pleasure (and other) classes. Makes me sad to see what's been done to them and I keep hoping it will change. If you want to see some good moving quarter horses (albeit not western pleasure/horsemanship), take a look at reining horses or cutting horses.
                          THAT^^^^
                          Modern western pleasure and even AQHA and APHA hunt seat is disgusting, they move like freaks and cripples. Watch a great reined cow horse if you want to see a good mover . Or a video of a western pleasure horse from way back in the 1950' or 1960's if you can find one. something in today's desired WP movement has to change for the sake of the horses. It is inhumane the way it is, THEM HAVING TO LAND SHORT and toe first like that. The short, toe first western pleasure crawl movement causes stresses inside the foot that are a direct cause of navicular syndrome.
                          Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
                          Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
                          www.hoofcareonline.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            According to AQHA rules, it's a fault for the horse to carry its head with the poll lower than the withers.

                            From the AQHA rule book:
                            (Western Pleasure). "...should carry head and neck in a relaxed, natural position, with his poll level with or slightly above the level of the withers. He should not carry his head behind the vertical, giving the appearance of intimidation, or be excessively nosed out, giving a resistant appearance. His head should be level with his nose slightly in front of the vertical, having a bright expression with his ears alert."

                            (Gaits). "The jog is a smooth, ground-covering two-beat diagonal gait."

                            (Gaits). "The horse should lope with a natural stride and appear relaxed and smooth. It should be ridden at a speed that is a natural way of going. The head should be carried at an angle which is natural and suitable to the horse's conformation at all gaits."

                            IMHO, none of the so-called "good movers" were performing according to AQHA rules. This just says to me that the judges don't follow the rules when pinning horses, even at the highest levels. The trend toward crummy moving zombie horses will continue as long as the judges refuse to follow the rules and AQHA allows it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by zipperfoot View Post
                              IMHO, none of the so-called "good movers" were performing according to AQHA rules. This just says to me that the judges don't follow the rules when pinning horses, even at the highest levels. The trend toward crummy moving zombie horses will continue as long as the judges refuse to follow the rules and AQHA allows it.
                              I agree with this last statement. Further more, as long as a vast majority of AQHA judges are trainers, it won't change.

                              And in reference to the poll lower than withers, it is for 5 consecutive strides.
                              Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I used to think of western horses much like some posters here - why would anyone want to ride a peanut-pushing crab-crawler which goes slower than any horse should have a right to.

                                Then I rode a nice western horse. Not the crud you see in some youtube videos and at shows - a really nice horse. Going slow is really hard - it takes a very strong back and a driving hind end to get the job done properly.

                                Another thing: stock breed horses such as the quarter horse, paint, or appaloosa (the show type, not ranch type) are conformationally built to carry their heads low. NOT at the level of their knees, but poll level with the withers. It's comfortable for them, and once the hind end is engaged and the back is working properly, the head naturally falls into place on many horses.

                                This is not to say that all WP horses are naturally slow, heads dragging, etc. and that all riders properly engage their horses' hind ends and slow their horses properly, because they don't. Just go to a few open shows and watch the warmup rings. But there are horses and riders out there who get things done properly, and it can be beautiful.

                                Many riders follow fads - if the judges only place slooooow horses or tropers, the riders try to get their horses to do what will get them a win. I know some riders who train their horses to trope and lope, because some judges won't place a horse with a more forward, natural lope. That is what is the problem - "ideal" is relative, based on the differing opinions of many different people. The "ideal" horse is very difficult to decipher.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by bugsynskeeter View Post
                                  And in reference to the poll lower than withers, it is for 5 consecutive strides.
                                  Where does the AQHA rule book talk about that? I just searched it and couldn't find anything about 5 consecutive strides.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My apologies, as I went and double checked my most recent edition of the rule book. The 5 strides rule was in previous editions, but must have had the wording removed either this edition or last years.
                                    Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by bugsynskeeter View Post

                                      In today's world, the horses I listed are considered some of the tops. Vino isn't one of my personal favorites out there, but it is hard to deny his accomplishments.

                                      I know pleasure isn't everyone cup of tea, but I don't slam other disciplines because it isn't my preference. Pleasure has its bad points and its bad apples, but it is a vast difference from what the 90s pleasure was like.

                                      Appreciate the horses for what they are - the top of the discipline they are bred to do.
                                      '90s? As one who showed pleasure and reining and other disciplines in the 60s and 70s, have to say, I agree with Zipperfoot's assessment- but it isn't a new thing, been coming for decades. Not meant to be a 'slam' but 'constructive criticism' is not something AQHA seems to welcome. The 'accomplishments' of Vino and others winning out there are, sadly, accomplishments based on a horse's ability to be tweaked to freakish horse show fads- really, truly, no basis there in real horsemanship, or in what really is 'a pleasure' to ride.

                                      I can tell you a funny story- I entered, and won, the hunter hack at an AQHA show at the Utah State Fair back in the 90s- somewhere around '95 or '96. I was showing my qh gelding that I foxhunted on before (and after, actually) moving from Virginia, and wearing a blue coat I occasionally used during cubhunting on hot days back east. I was approached by, I don't know, AQHA 'reps' or technical delegates or some such after the class who chided and lectured me as to just how lucky I was that the judge didn't disqualify me because my blue coat did NOT meet the requirements as per the rule book. When I was done laughing, I said, let me get this straight...in a HUNTER hack class, you'd dq a FOXHUNTING horse because the coat his owner uses for FOXHUNTING doesn't meet AQHA HUNTER rules? These officials were not amused. But I haven't bothered to go to a quarter horse show since. Life is too short for such a high BS factor. Particularly agents for the breed registry who are absolutely clueless about, say, hunters, other than what they read in the rule book.

                                      But whenever I want entertaining reading, being still a member of the AQHA, I can always read the rule book and laugh- I mean, really, halter becoming such a freakish disconnect from the reality of correct conformation for a RIDING horse- they had to go with 'performance halter?'

                                      Sorry, digressing, I'll quit now....

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        wearing a blue coat

                                        Do you mean navy or a lighter blue? Just wondering.

                                        What color coat is normally seen in AQHA hunter hack?

                                        Silly indeed.

                                        Congrats on your huge win. Your horse sounds fantastic.

                                        Comment

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