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Posts tagged ‘western pleasure’

22
Aug

Horse Training – The Basics of Showing in Western Pleasure

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Author: Lynn Baber

Western Pleasure classes are included in most breed and open circuit horse shows. Horse owners looking for ways to have more fun with their horses often pick the pleasure class as the first attempt in their new show career. Because the class routine itself is not very complicated new exhibitors are frequently confused and disappointed by their lack of early success. Here are the basics of Western Pleasure competition and the qualities the judge looks for in a winner.

Western Pleasure Is Not As Simple As Many Think

Horsemanship is similar to other sports like dancing and gymnastics. Unless you have dedicated a considerable amount of time and study to them, you won’t have a clue about how to evaluate differences among couples on the dance floor or gymnasts performing their floor exercises. Judging a ‘simple’ class like Western Pleasure is really quite complicated.

In a Western Pleasure competition, each horse and rider team performs three gaits going one way in the arena, then reverse and do the same three gaits the other way. At some point they will also be required to back up. The three gaits are walk, jog and lope. How difficult could that be to score?

Western Pleasure is actually quite technical regardless of how simple it seems. Many riders compete in Western Pleasure and never truly understand what the judge looks for when selecting the winners and placing the riders from first to last. In a pleasure class only the horse’s performance is judged, not the rider’s. Riders are judged in horsemanship and equitation classes. Read more »

27
Apr

Types of Horseback Riding – A Beginners Guide to Choosing a Horse Riding Style

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Before you buy or lease a horse, or even take lessons, you need to determine which discipline you are interested in. Each of these disciplines includes different types of tack (riding equipment like saddles and bridles) and the rider also assumes different riding positions in the saddle. For example, in saddle seat, the rider sits further back on the horse’s back.

Your choice of riding style is a personal one. You should choose a discipline that appeals to you. Some of the most common disciplines include Hunt Seat, Dressage, Western and Saddle Seat.

Hunt Seat

The English discipline of hunt seat originated from the British sport of fox hunting. Hunt Seat is probably one of the most popular disciplines in the world. If you are interested in jumping, then this could be the discipline for you. It is not uncommon for those who do hunt seat to go on to do show jumping, which is a timed sport involving higher jumps. Many people who participate in hunt seat also participate in horse shows where horse and rider are judged over fences (jumping) and on the flat (at the walk, trot and canter). Although many people who ride hunt seat ride Thoroughbred horses, this is changing and we are seeing more Warmbloods.

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