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WP/Horsemanship Lessons vs. Other Disciplines

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  • WP/Horsemanship Lessons vs. Other Disciplines

    I grew up taking lessons and showing in HJ land to a pretty decent level on my old Hanoverian mare, but for the last 7 and a half years since I graduated from high school I haven't competed or lessoned nearly as heavily.

    Well, DH and I majorly lucked out into a freaking nice APHA show horse. He just won Amateur All Around at Dixie Nationals and is just the nicest western horse I have ever sat on and I just do not feel worthy of him! I know I need lessons to really learn WP and Horsemanship and it just seems different that what I'm used to.

    I have noticed that lessons in the WP world are quite different than HJ land. For instance, every trainer we talked to said the horse needed to spend a least a month in full training with them so they could get to know the horse. Not just boarded with them (which would be the norm in HJ land), but in full training for my already very well trained horse that has 74 APHA points to prove it...

    Is this the norm? DH and I have casually shown WP in the past, but we really want to learn all his buttons so we can show APHA with him in 2013. Both of us have a master of all the basics, but want to really hone our skills down for WP and Horsemanship.

    ETA: My bad, he only has 42 APHA points and two ROMs... Anyway, he nice and I need to learn to ride him

    ETA Again: He also has two Certificates of Recognition, but I have no clue what that means... Does anyone here know?

  • #2
    The certificate of recognition is for competitions outside of the Paint shows..they approve certain other activities and you get awards for competing there. Like dressage shows, team penning, horse trials, roping, etc. The APHA has a list of approved organizations and you submit your results to them.

    They're PAC approved..Paint Alternative Competitions, if I remember correctly.

    As for WP and Horsemanship, at the breed level they're pretty different classes. WP is sllloooowwww, HMS not as much. I love HMS, but don't ever show in WP because I refuse to force my horse into that frame and that speed. But if your horse naturally wants to go slow, and you like the class, I say go for it. The outfits are killer! I adore HMS. The patterns are a challenge and if well done I think it's a beautiful class. You'll be a Novica Amateur, I'm assuming. For HMS most patterns give you the choice of a simple or flying lead change.

    My trainer found my horse for me, and I put him in full time training, but it was my choice, not her requirement. I bought him in the winter and didn't want to have to haul him in for lessons three days a week in the snow. I'd actually be hesitant if the trainer said you HAD to do anything. It's my money, my horse, my call.

    Enjoy your new guy. I think a well trained western horse is amazing.


    • #3
      That is ridiculous - you aren't asking them to ride the horse in shows so they don't have any need to know how he rides. Since he's so well trained, you may have a few buttons to figure out with the help of the trainer, but you'll be fine.

      I've taken lessons for 6 years with my trainer (starting with young horses) and she's never said they need to be in full training with her. But I have heard that story about the needing to be in full training to lesson or sell or whatever. Usually from less than great trainers (IMO) looking to drum up some $$$.


      • #4
        Depends on the trainer, and the horse rider combination. Most good trainers will want to watch you ride your horse, maybe even ride it themselves the first lesson before recommending a plan or training.

        I would suggest that you take a couple of lessons first with what ever trainer you pick. Tell them you want to make sure that there teaching style will work for you. Let them know up front that you don't plan on putting the horse in full time training at this point. A good trainer should be willing to work with you, but most will want to chase after a client that will invest money in training + lessons + board + show fees.


        • #5
          I'd be scared it not only meant the trainer was wanting max profit, but likely involved in some of the more cruel WP training methods. I wouldn't trust that scenario.


          • #6
            Originally posted by aqhadreamer View Post
            Depends on the trainer, and the horse rider combination. Most good trainers will want to watch you ride your horse, maybe even ride it themselves the first lesson before recommending a plan or training.

            I would suggest that you take a couple of lessons first with what ever trainer you pick. Tell them you want to make sure that there teaching style will work for you. Let them know up front that you don't plan on putting the horse in full time training at this point. A good trainer should be willing to work with you, but most will want to chase after a client that will invest money in training + lessons + board + show fees.
            Agree! I have never heard of having to put your horse in training before you get lessons. Any trainer around here would watch you ride, and maybe hop on for a ride themselves.


            • #7
              To me that sounds like the trainer trying to milk as much money out of you that he can. Is the trainer going to show the horse? If not and he just wants to know what the horse knows to be able to better give you lessons one or two rides should be enough.
              Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
              The Blog


              • #8
                Also, what do you want to do with the horse? Are you going to continue him in his show career, or do you want him to be *yours*? The answer to that will impact your decision.
                I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


                • #9
                  It sounds to me like you have been riding for a very long time. And it sounds like this boy really knows his stuff and has a talent for what he does.

                  I suggest you just ride him and LISTEN to him. He will tell you how he wants to be ridden.

                  You could also get some books on western equitation so you know how to hold the reins, sit, etc.

                  I'm very much self-taught on almost everything. I think you can do this on your own.
                  Ride like you mean it.


                  • #10
                    You will be playing in a different sandbox,so you really do need some one to help you set the new rules in your head. I would check out a few more trainers. "Full training for a month so they could get to now him" doesn't make them sound too sharp.
                    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                    • #11
                      Another vote for not needing to put the horse into full training for the trainer to get a feel for him.

                      How good is a trainer really if it takes 30 days just to figure out how to ride the horse themselves?! That's BS.

                      Really, riding a good WP horse is just like riding any other well trained horse if they were started properly. Giving to the bridle, collection, being able to travel correctly on a circle without dropping the shoulder or overbending. Good training doesn't just stick the horse on the rail and let them loaf around slow.

                      If you're not used to the light contact, that may take some getting used to.

                      But really, good training is good training, no matter what saddle you slap on the horse.
                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


                      • #12
                        I call shenanigans on the horse needing to be in training for a month -- the horse has already established that it knows how to do the WP thing. The animal that needs the training is you since WP is a bit of a different skill set than H/J.

                        Maybe you need to go generic and find a person who just gives riding lessons, but specializes in Western riding. Explain that you know how to ride, but your experience is English. You've just purchased a lovely Paint and want to learn to ride him as a stock horse. It really sounds to me like you just need someone to help you brush up on your skills and reform them to ride the WP style that your horse knows.


                        • #13
                          I'm going to be the voice of dissent.

                          You said you grew up doing the H/J thing. Western is a totally different ball of wax. And honestly, if he's a typical all-around horse, he has a spur stop and a lot of other buttons that I bet you don't really know about. I DO suggest putting him full time with a trainer and taking lessons. It's really easy to mess up a finished show horse, get him confused, and then you're both frustrated!!!

                          Secondly, 42 points isn't really a ton. That could have been from just one show. How old is he? How many shows has he been to? I'd be more comfortable telling you to take your new horse home and get to know each other if he had a few hundred points on him. At least that way I'd be mroe likely to think that he's super experienced and would be forgiving as you progressed with your knowledge. The ROM is a Register of Merit. That means he has earned 10 points in that event. Again, I'd be more willing to tell you to take him home if he had some Superiors (50 points), which is the same theory of him having more show experience and being a "steady eddie".

                          And last but not least, the APHA circuit is different than the H/J circuit. It's advisable to go with a trainer to your first few shows. I grew up showing the APHA circuit, and made a bunch of good friends that way. I am now bringing up my niece and nephew there, too. But, I also did the H/J shows in college--so I have a basic grasp of where you're coming from. I hope my long-winded post didn't scare you off! I love my paints and want you to get the best experience out of owning one
                          Last edited by painted02; Jan. 7, 2013, 09:27 PM. Reason: posted to soon!