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Western Pleasure
#1
I made a trip to QH Congress yesterday, mostly to spend time with friends who live in Columbus. I missed the reining and cutting, which ended last weekend, because of conflicting schedules of friends who were supposed to go with me and the friends I was meeting. Speed events don't start til Monday, so I was stuck with my all time least favorite discipline, western pleasure. It is anything but a pleasure. We have officially dubbed it the Lame Horse Rehab Class. I thought they were supposed to be making reforms in QH WP but obviously not. I could only take one class, then I looked at the group and asked if they'd seen enough. The jog looks like a walk with a tiny bit of up and down motion. When can a four beat gait EVER be considered a jog? Maybe that's why they don't call it a trot. And when they canter, aka lope, they canter in front and trot behind. It's so slow they actually look horribly lame. And the walk--more like a slow crawl. One guy's horse actually tried to act up a very little bit in the line up, as in backing up and moving to the side a little, and he got off. No wonder they ride those ridiculous gaits. They can't ride a real horse. I know it's been going on forever and I should be used to it but I will never get used to it, especially after taking dressage lessons and really learning what pure gaits look and feel like. More than one of my friends said how sad they looked. As long as the judges pin that garbage they will continue to train them that way. But when that's the only thing in the class what can they do? I know what I'd do. I'd excuse the whole class and tell them when they can properly train and ride they can come back. I'm showing my age when I say I remember when it was not like this. When and why did it start?
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#2
You have all my sympathy. I am retired and have been paying for my own horses for 53 years.

If I had to lay the blame on someone, I'd lay it on the breeders of every breed who decided to breed for what the lunatic judges want to see, depending which breed is being discussed[Sad!]

I have Walking Horses and one senior Arab. I don't even know where to start where these two breeds are concerned, in the show ring.

I am caring for my second set of Keeper Horses.

My Arab/Saddlebred and Arab/Morgan made it to ages 29 & 27 with nothing more than a few sniffles and stiches. I raised the Arab/Saddlebred from birth and we did some real "Calgary Stampede" style rough riding when were young. I laid him to rest from cancer, not from anything related to all that rough riding; he was tougher than a ten-penny nail.

MY current four horses are registered. THree TWH's and one Arab. Ranging in age from 18 - 27. Being older models they are less prone to health issues but STILL all of them are frought with issues I never heard of when I had my first two horses.

I have spent more on one of them than I paid for him.

I am 66, these four are my last but if they weren't, I would never again buy purebred. i'd be looking for another ARAb/cross and hope for the best.
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#3
I lost both my old Arabs two years ago within two and a half weeks of each other. My mare was 30 and the gelding was 25. The old pinto, who was my first horse, was a mix of possibly Tennessee Walker and pony and lived to 38. I only put him down because his arthritis was so bad he couldn't get up if he got down. I had to help him up more times than I could count. My current horse is a registered QH, but looks nothing like those WP horses. She came from Idaho if I remember correctly and was likely bred to be a ranch horse. I wasn't looking for anything specific when I found her. I'm with you-- and Arab cross would be an ideal horse. I'm just sad for those poor horses that have to travel in that ridiculous frame because people don't know and don't care to learn how to ride a horse that might move under them once in awhile. And I won't get into some of the other breed shows. I guess people just don't like natural movement anymore. They have to have something they have created, which is so much more inferior than the natural movement.
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#4
I'm so sympathetic, Dani... I don't think I'd stand more than one class either. We've got a new trainer at the boarding barn who is a WP guy, and it just makes me cringe watching him. He doesn't do anything overtly cruel, but seeing these poor horses get corrected when they show the least little bit of spunk (like, say, raising their heads above their knees) is just depressing. I wonder what Pepper makes of it, when we're riding in the arena together, and her smart clipped trot takes her around our circle three times to their once. Every now and then I need to remind someone that not all QH's were made for "Western Pleasure".

'plash
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#5
I can't stand WP classes either. They seem anything but a pleasure. Those artificial gaits do make them look lame and some probably are after being forced to do them. I feel sorry for the horses that are forced to perform like that. I wonder if they test the horses for sedatives and tranqs? If not, they should!
Karen ~ Trails  
  &
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN

"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."
[Image: th_horse-galloping.gif]  

~~~~~~
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