Lets take this blog to the next level

If you have a photo of crappy show riding, know of a jerkwad trainer or judge, or someone in the show world that is an abusive piece of shit then send the info to me. This blog is not anti-showing, it's anti-abuse. So there is no truth to the claims from the TWH, ASB, western pleasure and dressage zombies that I'm trying to shut showing down. Instead I'm trying to make showing more honest and to get abusive practices out of the showring! Email me at shameinthehorseshowring@gmail.com



I have a request for my readers: If you have successfully rehabbed a show horse, or gotten a rescue and taken it on to a show career then let me know, I'd love to feature you here!





Monday, August 17, 2009

Reichert Celebration...er Free For All

Let’s talk a bit about Western Pleasure, again. When I was starting out WP was a class you did to get your young horses acclimated to the arena and noise at a show. WP was always the start of a career that included cattle, reining or speed events. No one really took it seriously and BNTs didn’t exist for that particular event. In fact it was considered kind of “girly” for the guys to go in a pleasure class.

That’s all changed now. WP is a huge industry. It has purses that beckon like tales of lost gold mines. The horses are priced in the upper levels and the accoutrements will mean a second or third mortgage on your house. A simple class with three gaits and no pattern or interaction with cows has now become the top draw at the stock horse shows. Why? I have a few theories about this phenomenon.

1)It doesn’t take as much time, training, or work to produce a WP horse as it does a reiner/barrel horse/cattle horse. Say what you like but all stock horses can walk/jog/canter naturally. It’s the artificial shit that has to be created through endless circling and canting.

2)Trainers can turn out a WP prospect pretty quick and even manage to make their “mid life crisis” client look good at a slow jog. Trainers dislike having to train the horse and the client at the same time, because criticizing the one that writes the checks is not a good idea.

3)Trainers can get a bigger name faster with WP than they can with events that require real training and skill.

4)People are naturally attracted to sparkly things. Face it, add some silver and sequins and we all end up drooling and speaking in one-syllable words.

5)Trainers perversely enjoy screwing up what nature created. There is nothing natural about the gaits used in WP. Nature created the perfect biomechanical machine and BNTs weren’t happy so they altered the natural gaits in such a way as to make the horses look crippled.

6)It keeps the veterinary pharmaceutical industry flourishing. Those hock injections for two year olds aren’t cheap. Neither are the anti-psychotic drugs and syringes.

7)It keeps the tack industry going. Face it, without all the new fangled training gadgets getting pimped by some BNT there would be no reason for Myler to produce the same bit with 15 mouthpieces. There would be no need for head setters, draw reins, ball spurs and all the other torture equipment that real horsemen did without for centuries.

8)There is no better way to bring up the next generation of riders than to subject them to silver, sequins, riding horses too young, with equipment that is too harsh, and teach them horrible sportsmanship.


Case in point:

The Reichert Celebration is one of the biggest Western Pleasure shows in the world. It brings in stock horses from all over and offers purses that equal major horse races. It’s had its share of criticism for offering classes that promote the abuse of young horses, but on the whole I think the idea was founded with good intent. They do drug test, they do ban blocked tails and they don’t tolerate abuse. Unfortunately they don’t ban stupidity or poor sportsmanship.

This is a tale of two trainers, one of which allowed something to happen that no self-respecting horseman would ever allow to occur.

Meet Keith Whistle and Ty Hornik. Both were showing in a Western Pleasure class at this year’s Reichert. Well really not A WP class, they were showing in THE Western Pleasure Class; Reichert’s $250,000 Challenge 2 Year Old Western Pleasure Class Both were riding horses that were nice examples of the discipline. Both had made a name for themselves within the Western Pleasure industry. Now they’ve made a name for themselves in the Poor Sportsman Hall of Shame.

Ty’s horse, a young stallion, decided that Keith’s horse, a young filly, was quite the fetching thing and mounted her while they were going around the rail. Say what? Yep, evidently all that training to create unnatural gaits didn’t override the natural urges of a young stallion. Testosterone poisoning kicked in and during a pass the stallion jumped on the filly. The rider of the filly had to deal with a horny stallion in his back and his mount (no pun intended) suddenly acting like a Mesquite Rodeo bronc. She bucked off the stud and then bucked out her fake tail. Guess what the judges saw? Her bucking AFTER the stud was down. So guess who gets marked down? The filly that was just minding her business until she found Mr. Horny Hoofs on her back. A few things should have happened at that point.

1)Mr. Horny Hoofs should have had his ass beat until his penis retreated inside and would not come out again until he was at least 5 years old. I don’t advocate horse abuse, but a stallion acting that way in the ring is UNACCEPTABLE in any situation.

2)Mr. Hornik should have recused himself to the center of the ring and thereby taken the option of placing him out of the judges’ hands. A true sportsman would acknowledge his major screw up and make a public display of remorse. Instead Mr. Hornik accepts his 11th place award and acts like nothing happened.

3)One of the judges should have seen it. With four judges in the ring, as well as ring stewards, SOMEONE should have seen this horse mount another horse. It’s a fricking show ring. There is only so much space that has to be eyeballed at any given time. The filly should have been given a pass on bucking because of the attack by the stallion. Instead the stallion places in the class. WTF? So Steve Lackey, Beckey Schooler, John Tuckey and Chris Jones I hold you responsible for not seeing this crap. If you’re so blinded by sequins and silver, or trying to decide which BNT will benefit the most from your inattention to the class then you don’t need to be judging. There were 22 horses in the ring, that means that you all had to watch 4.5 horses at any given time. It is not that big a chore.

None of these things happened so the saddle soap opera gets worse.

After leaving the ring Mr. Hornik encounters a disgruntled spectator, the owner of the filly, and gets popped upside the head. Not very sportsmanlike, but understandable because the guy was pissed that his filly might have been hurt and she blew the class after Mr. Horny Hoofs jumped her. Then a brawl happens and everyone is pissed and yelling, police and some EMTs were called. The mother of one of the trainers thinks she’s having a heart attack and a big fistfight ensues. Come on people; is this the image you want the horse loving public to see? Do we need to change it to WWF Western Pleasure? Who the hell does this shit?

I grew up around the Arabian industry in southern Arizona. I cannot recall a single instance of a stallion mounting a mare in an under saddle class, and this includes the classes where kids were showing stallions. It may have happened, but I never saw or heard about it. Brawling? Are you kidding me? Even after years of rodeo, both adult and high school, I’ve only ever seen and heard of a few brawls, and most of them had copious amounts of alcohol in the mix. Western Pleasure brawling? It sounds like a cat fight at the Radio City Music Hall amongst the sequin covered Rockettes.

What has become of this industry? A discipline that encourages low and slow has spawned more high-end drama. A sport with three gaits and no pattern skills has turned into something where even basic manners aren’t put on a stallion so he can show safely.

Here’s what would have happened had it been my mare. I would have pulled her off the rail and immediately ridden to a steward and reported severe interference, meaning he would have had to request the class be stopped. I would have requested the removal of the stallion and the replacement of my horse’s tail. Any decent set of judges would comply. This wasn’t an “oh these things happen” sort of occurrence like throwing a shoe, or a number coming off. This was a physical attack by another horse. Stop the fricking class!

Then later I’d have found the stallion’s rider at the barn and beat the shit out of him with a lead lined tail bag, just because no one that irresponsible needs to be in the show ring. I hope some good comes out of this fiasco. I hope NSBA, AQHA, APHA and ApHC will learn a lesson from this and require more training and more skills from their BNT trainers. I hope they will crack down on the back scratching, drugging, abuse and poor sportsmanship. I hope it, but I doubt they will do it.

Western Pleasure, bring your draw reins, and your boxing gloves.

262 comments:

1 – 200 of 262   Newer›   Newest»
SFTS said...

I read about this elsewhere a couple of days ago...amazing, just amazing. *shakes head*

Cut-N-Jump said...

Wow!

Like the idiot riding the stallion couldn't 'feel' him being stoopid? Anyone with any talent can feel these things, long before something like this happens.

What ever happened to doing a few circles to put distance between you and another horse? Particularly a horse yours is not getting along with, for whatever reasons.

I think the BNT riding the Studly Don't Do Right, should have justifiably gotten his ass kicked as well as being suspended from showing. Maybe even a permanent ban.

Certainly not a ribbon. Not of any color.

JohnieRotten said...

So, did Keith Whistle stagger out of the arena sayin 'Fuck Me!'

sorry couldn't resist.

I showed a Arab WP stallion in a summer curcuit back in 1989. It was his first time in a show and he thought be was the King of the ring. When I got him in the line up he started to masturbate because there was a mare parked next to to us. (yes it was an open class). He just stood there masturbating and everytime he arched his back he would grunt. It was quite embarassing actually The stewed who was a friend of mine looked at me and and asked me
if I wanted to do something about it. I said yes and took my Rommel rein swung it under the studs belly and hit him right in the pecker with the quirt on the end of my reins. That ended that.

Wp really used to be a supplement class when I was growing up. The stallions that we showed were well disciplined. Not abused, but disciplined. I have watched the Arab stallion falter classes and seen the stallions break their puney little halters get loose and attack the other stallions in the class.

Ok the fine dry Arizona heat has gotten to me and I forgot where I was going to go with this. I hate when that happens.

GoLightly said...

seriously tragicomic..

great post!

WiltedZebra said...

I know I'm going to get flamed, but I have done western pleasure for years, however, I have also used the same horse for dressage (intro and training levels I &II only), western riding and HUS (another sore spot for many people)and horsemanship. He travels slightly faster and with lift in his shoulders and neck, not below his withers, not level with his withers. He does not hold his head behind the vertical and is not over canted. He has always shown well, almost always somewhere in the ribbons. The most frequent response I get to his way of going is that he is a lovely mover and if I would just get his head down more or into a better frame I would get placed higher. I can't figure out why anyone judging can't see that if I force his head down and in, I lose the lovely movement. I no longer show, but horse is being ridden by a young lady in my barn who is having a good bit success with him. I hope that I live to see the day when as a reasonable horse person, I no longer have to be ashamed of my discipline.

Horserider said...

From someone who's actually tried to train a WP horse, it's not as easy as you think it is. Some horses DO actually carry their heads naturally in a WP position and these make the best WP horses.

The entire industry is not what you say it is. It's the few that ARE that give the rest a bad name.

Truthseeker said...

A good friend of mine saw the incident as it took place in the arena. My friend said the stallion did not attempt to mount the filly, that he was merely passing her, and she kicked at him.

horsndogluvr said...

Horserider, I have to disagree with you.

First, it wouldn't be hard to train a WP horse that is broke to ride - IF you weren't trying to make the gaits and head carriage unnatural.

Second, the WP industry gives itself a bad name. (Abusive trainers just put the cherry on top.) What wins in the ring sets the fashion. When a depressed-looking, foot-dragging, very slow moving horse wins, everybody imitates it.

Lazy trainers use short cuts. Most short cuts are abusive.

What I see in the WP ring is ugly, unnatural, and not a pleasure at all.
If that awful, depressed-looking head carriage is actually being bred for, it's just another example of harming the breed to get a certain look.

AQHA shows have done more to harm the breed than any stupid BYB. I can't wait til our blog's author covers AQHA halter classes. Another example of breeding cripples to win.

Why do people want their horses to look like this? Defeated, worn out, and sore.

Sadly, Ruthie

Wannabe said...

Although I agree with most of the post I must disagree that it is easy to train a western pleasure horse. Sure it is easier if you cut corners & use harsh methods like sleezy trainers do, but if you are just a normal rider who is training your western pleasure horse it is diffucult to train a correct moving WP horse.

The western pleasure communities of APHA, AQHA, & the like should be ashamed of how they allow the WP horse to be portrayed. You cannot tell me that the movement demonstrated in the WP ring is natural. No wild horse moves like that. No horse naturally moves with its head at its knees & traveling at .5 mph. It is disappointing that they continue to award this type of movement & training.

Wouldn't it be nice to go to Congress one day & see real western pleasure horses, not these robot horses they have created.

WiltedZebra said...

Horsndogluvr,
You are absolutely right, the pleasure horse industry has given itself a bad name.

It is also true that the winning horses right now and the popular breeding horses have been selectively bred to carry their heads low and to move with slow stilted strides with limited or no flex in the joints. They do make the most competetive WP horses, not saying its right or that I like it, but they are the ones doing the majority of the winning.

At least in a lot of the young horses, you wouldn't have to do much to create the look that people desire, it has been bred right into them. Natural if that is how they go on their own and a lot of them do. What is unnatural is the tinkering to produce a horse with such a limited scope of ability. To me the only next step for them to take is breeding horses with three legs, that'll slow them down and force them to hobble around even more. I guess that is what they are striving for.

I say all of this because I appreciate your comments and feel similarly. I also have a well rounded, atypical WP horse. Please do not feel as though I have tried to attack you.

cattypex said...

" it is diffucult to train a correct moving WP horse"

Key word: CORRECT.

I have not seen ANY correctly-moving winning WP horses for a loooong time. The art of true collection is the only way you can achieve the slow, graceful, CORRECT gaits that should be winning in AQHA WP, and used to be winning in Arab WP.

But it takes a long time and a real commitment to the process to achieve that, and BNTs just want to fill the barn & churn 'em out.

I was always taught to circle and/or cut across the arena when my long-striding (hunter) horse was faster. Now it's like some kind of mark of shame to do that.

I do NOT understand why people get so excited and pay big bucks for these poor straight-legged short-strided tail-blocked nerved lame and beaten down creatures.

Sorry, all you WP enthusiasts who think that English stuff like... oh... EVENTING.... are for pantywaists, but any discipline that requires its winners to be exhausted, spiritless, sore, and anemically slow, well, THAT is for pussies.

cattypex said...

(Seriously, folks, what's wimpier:

Riding a 4' course on a hot OTTB who wants to RUN, or trit trotting around an arena on a zombie?)

I had a friend who countered my "I hate WP" with "Oh, but it takes so much TRAINING to get them that way!" I was like, well then, go do dressage!

GoLightly said...

Any video links?
Surprised there isn't one to be found, through my admittedly brief cursory investigation.
Proof is in the video, isn't it?

It is, and has been, bred for, HNDL. The straight joints are the icing.

I know..
weird.

Tapir builds.
Not even being facetious here, but do they have extraordinary big chestnuts? Growing those extra toes back?
What about their ergots? Are they Big suckers?
I am NOT being facetious.
Evolution fascinates me.
Question is, is improvement in this "breed" happening? Apparently not.

GoLightly said...

eeek!
14th..

Tuffy Horse said...

It's not that hard to train a good WP horse. If the horse has the mental and physical aptitude most of them fall right into it.
Just likes it's not hard to train a good polo pony, or jumper or barrel racer.

It's when you try to train something into the horse that he doesn't have a natural affinity for that it gets hard. This is usually when the gadgets come out and the abuse takes place.
I've had nice WP horses and they were naturals. I've also had clients that want me to make WP horses out of animals that cleary aren't suitable. No amount of argument will sway the owner that their darling Blaze isn't the next WP champion.
Training a horse suited for the job is EASY. All it takes is knowing more than the horse. Training an unsuited horse for a job is HARD because you've got to go against the natural grain of the horse.

This is the point people are missing when they get all fired up about saying that training a good WP horse is easy.

Easy is relative to the fact that we all know horses are hard work. They take physical and mental interaction and take as much oversight as a room full of toddlers with a ream of dynamite. But once you get used to this then horses are easy.

Tracy M

Trojan Mouse said...

I love it how the PHF is now saying I got the info for the blog from them, which is a joke. I have way more info than they posted including some eye witness accounts.

And I love how they are now defending Mr. Hornik as having done nothing wrong. He did do something wrong. He let his horse screw another exhibitor's ride and he didn't recuse himself to the judges. That is the height of poor sportsmanship.


T Jean Maus

katphoti said...

TJM said: "One of the judges should have seen it."

I'm sure they did, TJM. They just chose NOT to acknowledge it. I see it happen all the time. The judge clearly sees a mistake, then ties the horse anyway, citing nope, I didn't see it. I imagine some bling under the table helped them not see it.

katphoti said...

WiltedZebra,

How can we flame you when you're doing it right? :) You rock for keeping your horse moving the right way, not listing to the advice, and for setting an example.

"I hope that I live to see the day when as a reasonable horse person, I no longer have to be ashamed of my discipline."

Me too, my friend, me too. I have TWHs, and that f'ing big lick still plagues us. I can see it in their eyes when I say I show TWHs--oh, you're one of THOSE. I have to end it with but I only show sound and do not agree with the big lick. Perhaps one day I won't ever have to say that again...I can only hope.

sandmarc said...

Supposedly none of the judges saw it because they were marking their cards because the class was almost over and they were placing it.

Cut-N-Jump said...

I do know someone who knows one of the parties involved. I will wait for the firsthand relay of information.

I am suprised it isn't already on YouTube. What with everyone armed with a digital video camera or a cell phone. Dammit, what's taking you all so long?

What about filing protests within the show comittee rules? Exhibitors are entitled...

Personally, had I been riding the filly- EVERYONE would know about it and would have seen it as it happened. A serious ass whooping in the ring would have commenced and the horses would be the least of anyones worries. Thinking several other posters here may have done the same.

Golden Girl said...

Let me take a stab at this...

When the stallion got excited and aroused, he raised his head and got some serious impulsion (that sounds right) Then to rider of the stallion just didn't have a clue how to ride an animal that actually moved other then in a completely sedated way of going.

As I've always suspected, it take NO skill at all to ride western pleasure. It is nothing more than a tacky binged-out beauty pageant/parade, and the horses are the floats!

Hahahahahahahahahahaha HA!!!!!

katphoti said...

Golden Girl, that is hilarious! I love it!

katphoti said...

"Supposedly none of the judges saw it because they were marking their cards because the class was almost over and they were placing it."

But I think we can agree that no one can tell us that they didn't HEAR it. The stallion grumbling, the mare squealing... Plus, if they heard the mare squeal, there has got to be something that caused it, and I imagine if they took the time to look they would see a stallion with his winky down.

Overall, poor riders, ignorance by the judges, and stupid spectators really made this situation bad for the WP world overall.

horsndogluvr said...

WiltedZebra, How could I feel attacked, when we are in agreement? (grin)

I wish money would rain from the sky so that we who want a correctly moving horse could flood the WP classes with horses that are really a pleasure to ride Western! ... or buy our way onto the judging committees.

Someone asked for video. here's one .

I think those horses, at the canter, look just as crippled as a Big Lick Walker.

WiltedZebra said...

I ventured over to the PHF to have a look see what was going on over there and it is interesting.

There are a handful of people who are furious about the whole situation. Some others who are only distressed about the fist fight outside of the pen and still others who have this strange "horses will be horses and boys will be boys" attitude. Disturbing.

I may be the only one who feels this way, but I also think that the individual riding/handling the animal is responsible for that animal and it's behavior. Just like dog owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs when they bite or menace people. I bring this up because it was noted on the PHF that the studly do wrong in question had been hauled around and was known to be overly amorous. If someone knew he was prone to behaving badly, why was he entered at all. Wouldn't you think that he would, at the very least, be too distracted to perform well? Not to mention the fact that in the ultra competetive arena of breeding, with so many laid back WP stallions, that this sort of public display would not be good for his future breeding career. JMO.

There are also several comments about TJM getting her information word for word from that very thread. I don't see why they would care if that were even true, anyone involved in horses already knows about the debacle that occured. If they are unhappy about the release of this information, they can clean up their industry, manners and image. Goodness knows that there are enough of them to get the job done if they wanted to do it.

It is no wonder that WP has become the laughing stock of the horse world.

Cut-N-Jump said...

HNDL-
I wish money would rain from the sky so that we who want a correctly moving horse could flood the WP classes with horses that are really a pleasure to ride Western! ... or buy our way onto the judging committees.


That is sorta what my new post is about on the grooming blog. Getting people involved so we can all discuss the problems within the ring and outside of it, so that hopefully we can all see some changes.

There are a hell of a lot more of us then there are of the BNT's like the Bogg's (Arabs) and the Cleve Wells' (QH) and others who bring such shame and disgrace with them. What we all collectively pay in entry fees and memberships- greatly outweighs what they do. It's time we speak up and take back the showring.


Thanks for the link but I meant one showing the debacle in the class involving this whole mess. Surely someone out there caught it on video... Why haven't they posted it yet?

NewHorseMommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NewHorseMommy said...

Had to fix a typo...

So I'm a newbie, just got my first horse a few months ago, and if the "deed" was on the video I missed it...

I watched about 6 minutes. This is the longest clip of WP I've ever watched.

I'm sure this will piss someone off, but those horses look crippled and suicidal. Horses do not move like that.

The "faster" gait. Is that what is called the lope? Are there long-term health effects that result from making a horse move like that without using its head or tail?

I am stunned.

My horse is not a fancy horse, and I am glad of it.

Trojan Mouse said...

Wilted Zebra,
**There are also several comments about TJM getting her information word for word from that very thread

I laughed at that. I got my info from emails, calls and TQH. I also checked the Reichert page to get the name spelling and 11th place award of one of the trainers, as well as the judges' names.

Looks like the biggest bitcher has been the girl that is also a member of my App Politics list. She's a *former* groom and worked as a dog trainer at Petsmart after she couldn't get another horse job. That makes her an expert on shoveling shit and hanging out with bitches. I guess being a groom at one barn makes you an expert in the discussion of showing. It sure didn't make her an expert in house keeping, I've seen the results firsthand.

I love it how the PHF always claims that anyone that isn't one of the clique is a wannabe or doesn't know anyone. Who would want to be part of a group that condones the crap crippling around in the arena today? Just want pills are they taking that makes them telepathic so they know every single person I've ever spoken to? (I'm thinking something that begins with L and ends in SD)

Or are they too dense to realize that some of their "friends" send me crap hoping it will get posted, since the sender can't say anything publicly without ramifications? I also think that this the case.

I wish Washington Bay would get her forum's shit straight so I could pull her forum off the list and add the PHF.

T Jean Maus

EveryoneThinksThey'reGoodDrivers said...

Wow, what a circus. I don't understand why the trainer on the stallion allowed him to get so far gone.

Too boot, look what the horses learned. I wouldn't be surprised if the filly takes issue with horses passing close by and I wouldn't be super surprised if the stud trys it again.

BehindTheBarn said...

Good grief. It's hard to even root for anyone here, because everyone is a loser.

The horses are losers, because they have been diminished to hop-and-crawl robots of themselves, at a mere two years of age. (Natural movement, my ass. If so, every video of a prospect loose in the pasture would be traveling with their head canted toward the nearest fence, bobbing its head up and down, while the hind end hopped forward to keep up.)

The trainers are losers because they purposely ride and train them like this, despite all the reported cleanup and rule enforcement within the discipline (same shit, different year).

The audience are losers because, like watching cockfighting, they support and perpetuate this hop-and-crawl bullshit 100%, but the experience was ruined for them with poor showmanship and/or sportsmanship. Nobody likes it when their favorite event turns all Jerry Springer. Unless, of course, you're watching Jerry Springer, and you dig on-screen domestic violence.

In the end, it's hard to give a flying fuck about a'one of them, but the horses have my sympathy. After all, this is all they have to look forward to under saddle for the rest of their miserable, hoppy-crawly, bobbing-up-and-down, jerked-and-snatched lives.

Damn the enablers and pity the horses.

cattypex said...

Agreed 5000000000000000infinity%.

Western Pleasure is almost as grotesque to watch as Big Lick.

Sorry, I have VERY strong feelings about modern Western "Pleasure." How newbies get suckered into it really annoys me. Then again, we've all bemoaned the current lack of horsemanship and education.

SFTS said...

NHM wrote:
I'm sure this will piss someone off, but those horses look crippled and suicidal. Horses do not move like that.
- - - - - - - -

Agreed.

Now, while Western Pleasure in my world (Arabians) is not perfect, we don't reward that "crippled shuffle" so common with the stock breeds. In this video shot by a friend, there is still far too much behind the vertical for my liking, and a whole lot of unnecessary bumping, but the difference between the Arabian WP horses and the typical stock breed WP is night and day.

cattypex said...

Pfft.

All this focus on the head, neck and nose!

Instead of proper self-carriage, relaxed smooth gaits and ready-for-anything impulsion.

I like what George Morris said about how we've become so obsessed with where the damn nose goes, we've made a bunch of rubbernecked horses who can't properly use their bodies.

cattypex said...

Also, if your horse has had epic "training" and you still feel the need to seesaw, bump and overcorrect in the showring....

UR DOIN IT RONG.

WiltedZebra said...

Sadly, I have noticed this cropping up in reining too. There is a much larger focus on where the horses head and neck are vs what the body is doing.

I have actually been told by a gentleman, in the course of a conversation that I thought was complimentary to his horse, that his horse would look better if he could get her head down more. I have seen a good number of reining horses being plucked and jerked on until they stuff their head and neck down/in. Maybe I just don't understand, can anyone explain this to me? I would love to understand.

cattypex said...

WZ... It all goes back to a growing ignorance and overwhelming desire to "train 'em real quick!"

Go look up Reiner Klimke's ride on the great Ahlerich at the 1984 Olympics. That is so refreshingly beautiful, elegant, precise, and thoughtfully accomplished over years of careful work.

YEARS.

SFTS said...

cattypex wrote:
All this focus on the head, neck and nose! Instead of proper self-carriage, relaxed smooth gaits and ready-for-anything impulsion.
- - - - - - - -

"Proper self carriage" is in many ways a misnomer, because your opinion of it will largely depend on your background and preferred discipline. What is "proper" for a Jumper is not going to be proper for a Dressage horse. What is "proper" for a Dressage horse is not going to be proper for a Western Pleasure horse. What is "proper" for a Western Pleasure horse is not going to be proper for a Hunter. And so on. Similarly, what's considered "proper" carriage in a gaited horse (for instance) is vastly different than most pleasure horses of other breeds in the show ring. IMO, there is no one way to achieve proper self carriage. That largely depends on the individual horse and his job.

Also, if your horse has had epic "training" and you still feel the need to seesaw, bump and overcorrect in the showring....UR DOIN IT RONG.
- - - - - - - -

I agree wholeheartedly with you there. The problem with that is, most 'upper level' pleasure horses, even those trained ostensibly for amateurs, have had all sorts of shortcuts in their training in order to get them into the ring as fast as possible. It's all about ROI ~ Return On Investment. How fast can you get some titles on that horse so you can turn around and sell him for the big bucks? That's why those horses have to remain in the trainer's barn indefinitely and aren't allowed to go home, because the owner won't be able to ride the horse, at least not well enough (or like the trainer enough) to win in the show ring.

SFTS said...

WiltedZebra wrote:
Sadly, I have noticed this cropping up in reining too. There is a much larger focus on where the horses head and neck are vs what the body is doing.
- - - - - - - -

This all really just goes back to the shortcuts, and the desire to "win!" no matter what. A huge portion of the responsibility belongs to the judges. In any discipline. While they can only place what is in front of them, and in non-scored classes like pleasure it's tougher still, if they refuse to place correct horses when they exist in the classes alongside the "cooler", flashier, more extreme horses (and this is across discipline and breed lines), we have a major problem. It will not be corrected until a stand is taken against poor judging.

cattypex wrote:
Go look up Reiner Klimke's ride on the great Ahlerich at the 1984 Olympics. That is so refreshingly beautiful, elegant, precise, and thoughtfully accomplished over years of careful work.
- - - - - - - -

I was there. The Dressage portion of the Games in '84 was held at Santa Anita racetrack and we were in attendance each day through the final round. But even that ride, often held to be one of the greatest in modern Dressage, is loaded with things I personally don't like, such as heaviness on the forehand during some of the ride, and you could clearly see an unhappy horse at times, as he constantly exhibited annoyed behavior such as tail swishing/ringing (which I frequently see in Dressage horses from so much spurring). Was it a beautiful ride as Dressage rides go? Indeed yes it was, and a pleasure to watch. But no moreso IMO than a good, beautiful. balanced Western Pleasure horse.

horsndogluvr said...

I like the term “self-carriage,” because it contains the word “self.” To me, that means more freedom than “frame” or “headset.” Of course it will mean different things to different breeds! A properly-conformed Saddlebred will carry his neck more uprightly, and his head much higher, than a stock horse.

Anyone who has seen a stallion, of any breed, doing the “huh-huh-huh” thing to flirt with mares, has seen proper self-carriage.


And I disagree that tail-swishing in a ridden horse is always a sign of discontent. It's predictable that a high-energy horse will swish his tail when held to a slow gait. It's just a way to blow off the excess energy - and, in a way, signals obedience!

Lazy today, Ruthie

Cut-N-Jump said...

CP- you know how I agree with you on Mr. Morris and his views. Still oggling that grey horse he is riding in the pic you presented...

hndl- self carriage is as you describe- the horse is carrying themselves and us riders- as comfortably as they can. Plenty of freedom to behold when riding a horse who moves in proper self carriage. It's quite the feeling.

-------------

It is us, people, that have assigned disciplines to the different ways horses carry themselves. Which essentially stems from how we have also perceived they are, somewhat naturally, built.

It is people, who have also assigned a varying level of importance to different traits within each breed and decided which ones to try to maintain and which ones to try to do away with.

Again it is people, who have decided what each discipline does, has or should 'look like' when in action. This too varies by degree within each breed and/or discipline organiztion and their governing bodies.

People have also either encouraged proper movement or effectively destroyed it and determined it's placing in the show ring.


Considering everything we have done to promote or perpetuate the horses we all love, it is also people who are going to ultimately destroy them in our greed and absolutely determined efforts to 'improve' or perfect them.

JohnieRotten said...

Watching that western pleasure class was about as exciting as watching snails mate!

WZ

Yes sadly we have seen this kind of crap show up in the reiners. Everyone loves to see a horses head down and behind the verticle. I was at a show, actaully it was at the Scottsdale show and the arab reiners had this infatuation with the pretty horsies little head. Yet when they would ask the horse to spin the horses could not plant a pivot foot to save their lives. And to top it all off, the majority of the horses had to almost jump into the stop. It was a horrible thing to watch. When I learned how to ride reiners as a kid we were always taught to ask the horse to carry his head where he was comfortable so that it was easy for them to flatten out in the spin and easier for them to give us that mice stop.
____________________
CP

I totally agree with what George Morris said. I do like my horses soft and supple both laterally and vertically. But I have always believed that when your horse is truly supple, then when you ask the horse to turn he should turn his nose slightly into the direction that he is turning and his body should follow, and I should only have to ask him to turn and I should be able to let the horse finish the turn on his own. (Sorry, really long sentence there)
______________

SFTS

I have seen your world and yes the horses are all too far behind the vertical which can cause one of two things....1) the horse is going right through the bit, or, 2) The horse becomes strung out behind, which causes them to become heavy on the forehand and then they start to shuffle along!

And all of that is caused by peole taking shortcuts by using a lot of superfluous tack i.e draw reins, martingales etc. I have also seen the bits that are used in your world, and they look more like torture devices. In your world they use weighted Rommel reins and 3lb snaffles to get the horse to get his head down. Seems the trainers go more on gimmicks than on talent!

I know, I am pissin ya off, but when I see that shit, I tend to lash out. Sorry TJM!

By the way SFTS, I know you will have something to say about this, but do not C&P me as everything I wrote is copyrighted!

NewHorseMommy said...

SFTS,

It's an improvement over the other video, but it still looks artificial to me. Definitely better though, at least some expression is allowed. What happens if the horse steps on that tail though?

I guess I'm destined not to show!

My guy is 1/2 standardbred and gaited. I supposed it differs with breeds, but he likes to ride with his head up for the most part. I could not define "behind the vertical" to save my life, but I figure if the horse wants his head up, it's for a reason. He is never resistant, and I assume he is "on the bit" because his mouth foams up instantly (again, I'm a newbie and during lessons I'm just happy if I ride with decent hands and don't thrash my legs around too much). My boy is very forgiving!

The only time I ask him to drop his head is when I need to get his attention back on me because he is looking WAY too hard at the horse-eating wheelbarrow or some other nonsense.

I don't imagine I'll be showing anytime soon, although my barn is planning a schooling show this fall. I believe the entry fee will be around $4. My guy and a TWH mare will comprise the gaited class. It should be a toss-up. A really experienced rider on a HOT mare, or me, holding back a panic attack, on my angel gelding!!!

cattypex said...

I noticed Ahlerich's tail movement, but interpreted it as an extension of his body, used for balance. Note how he moves it in time with his gait? That doesn't say "wringing" to me! That says "rudder." Angry horses swish their tails differently.

I think that so much crap is happening with blocked tails, and the weight of extremely long or even false tails, that people are beginning to lose sight of what a real horse tail does when the horse is feeling neutral, happy or... not.

Like fake boobs on models & actresses. Young men of the future are going to have the most screwed up views on women's bodies!!

Different breeds, different horses, will carry themselves differently. It's EXACTLY that self-carriage that determines what discipline a horse is best suited to!

A skilled judge should look at each horse, and see if that horse is living up to his individual style of, and capacity for, self-carriage, while still responding well to the rider.

Heh... this has been quoted to death (by me, sometimes) but...
"A horse 'held in shape' by his rider is only posturing in a seemingly correct form, usually for the benefit of inexperienced observers."

~Charles de Kunffy

SFTS said...

Gee, another mature, professional reply from JohnieRotten. How quaint. *eyeroll*

I don't have time right now, however I will be back later on. ;)

JohnieRotten said...

Immature?

How the hell do you figure me stating a fact is immature?

Immature would be saying those nasty poopy faced trainers are meanie weanies.

JohnieRotten said...

Immature is shitting in coffee cans and not finding a stable environment for your child. Stability does not mean you put more bricks behind the wheels so your house does not roll down the hill.

Stability means a roof over your head and food on the table.

Being mature means giving up your dreams so that you can allow your child to fulfill theirs. It means tenting an apartment and getting a job so you can provide for your child. When you do whatever it takes to move forward and improve your life and the life of your family, then and only then will I entertain any thoughts you may have on this matter.

I do not dislike you SFTS, I just don't respect you. I do not want to hear how your clients love you. I want hear that you have made changes in your life that are positive for your own self dignity and the dignity of your kid.

WAKE UP!

Dena said...

Well Holy Shit!!! No pun intended.
I am back.

I promised I would get the firsthand info for CnJ.
My goodness I do rub elbows in some mighty lofty circles don't I???ROFLMAO

And then, I got busy and forgot. I am going that way tomorrow.
And I will share.
My gut is it is one of those half and half things.
Otherwise, it is almost impossible for me to believe that KW would not have done more to protect his clients interests.
Don't know so I will ask.

I did watch the Arab Western Pleasure video.
Ewwwwww...Just as grotesque in its own way as what the AQHA is doing.
Like I said CnJ I could smell the ginger from here.
Where's the jog, where's the jog???
That is not a jog.
And they were so busy circling the judges that they never stayed on the rail. Well except when cueing for leads.
Limp, hop, scramble behind, drag, and then do it all over again.

This is not what real trainers do. I don't care what anyone says.
This is what trendsetting fuck the horse and get the money whores do.
Please excuse my language.

And I am speaking about all disciplines where people have placed the horses welfare at the end of the equation rather than the beginning in their quest for a blue.

SFTS said...

horsndogluvr wrote:
I like the term “self-carriage,” because it contains the word “self.” To me, that means more freedom than “frame” or “headset.” Of course it will mean different things to different breeds! A properly-conformed Saddlebred will carry his neck more uprightly, and his head much higher, than a stock horse.
- - - - - - - -

Agreed, very well said.

When people dislike a discipline, or even a breed of horse, they tend to lack objectivity and often will exhibit that in their responses.

I do not agree about the tail swishing...my horses don't do that, because they are happy doing their jobs. Frequently the tail swishing is accompanied by pinned ears and gnashing teeth, as seen with spur stop trained horses. We'll have to agree to disagree. :)

cattypex wrote:
I think that so much crap is happening with blocked tails, and the weight of extremely long or even false tails, that people are beginning to lose sight of what a real horse tail does when the horse is feeling neutral, happy or... not.
- - - - - - - -

This may be the case with Quarter Horses and Paints, but we don't have either going on in the Arabian breed, and our horses don't swish their tails unless unhappy. Just saying. ;)

SFTS said...

Wow. Just, wow. But anymore, I simply expected as much from you, JR. Sad, really.

>>> "I have seen your world and yes the horses are all too far behind the vertical", etc <<<

Wrong.

In fact, there are several things about your ass-umptions that are wrong, such as incorrect, broad brush statements about bits folks use and weighted reins (for the record, I don't use ultra heavy or 'torture device' bits, and I don't use weighted romal reins).

Since you *used to* train them, however, one must wonder if that's how you rode and trained them "back in the day" and the equipment you used, when you rode Western Pleasure horses because "that's where the money was".

That's one thing I have NEVER done, sacrificed my own beliefs, values and morals just for the money.

No one is forcing you to like Western Pleasure horses. To each his own.

As for the rest of your drivel? I don't have one shred of respect for you any longer, either. Not since the little woman became bosom buddies with Dena Rodacker, because that's when you began to change.

GoLightly said...

Oh, crap. There goes the neighbourhood.

Sorry, all.

I've been reading/enjoying and commenting on this blog, for a long time.

I know who has been commenting on it, for a long time.

There's a new PITA here.
I won't be back, until it's not quite so stanky.

And correct is correct, with any horse.
ANY discipline. That's just plain dumb to say otherwise.
Form begats function, ya know.
i think I've said that before.
Oh, and "self-carriage"?
Yeah, I've heard of it. I said it, MANY times.
many, many.
I love being invisible.

Just for educational purposes, sounds like some may need it.

Yeah, let's cut up Reiner! Ahlerich was SO badly broke.
Pretty sure he didn't sand his horse's hooves, at least. But, oh, his tail swished! OMG, shoot him.

Unreal.
Gawd, it's really stanky in here, sorry.
Gotta go vomit.

GoLightly on your horses.
You know who you are.
Go away.

SFTS said...

NewHorseMommy wrote:
What happens if the horse steps on that tail though?

You're welcome, NHM. :)

About the tails, personally I don't like it when they drag the ground, because they can have a real tendency to step on them!! When that happens, some horses will then have a fear of backing. I do keep my horses' tails done up, and yes they grow long, but they're always trimmed at ground level before being let down for a class, because of that very reason.

What I have seen in the gaited horses, and I am no expert by any means, is that they do tend to carry themselves higher as well as many of them (the TWH's for instance) have that "head nod" which is considered desirable. It would not be so desirable in another breed! But again, I don't know much about gaited horses.

Have fun with your schooling show! :) :) You will do fine!!

cattypex said...

Ah, but some horses DO move their tails expressively when they're NOT unhappy.

Nautical, the subject of the documentary "The Horse with the Flying Tail," is a very famous example.

Using its tail (which is after all an extension of the spine) will of course cause it to move. This is very different from "wringing," as different as a dog's baring its teeth in a smile is from a snarl. I've seen footage of other horses' moving their tails in time with their movement, and some horses just have happy tail. Look at a horse's body language. If a horse is "wringing" its tail in annoyance or anger, there's a whole tightening of the back end, like gearing up for a kick. Or the ears will be pinned (as opposed to lazily flopping down - actually some horses stick their ears back some when they are merely concentrating, like when people frown while solving a math problem. But not in anger.), and other signs of pissedness will be evident.

I like "happy tail" and think it's cute. Pissy wringing tail, well, gotta find out what's wrong.

Tail blocking occurs because horses' tails move, and not everyone can discern the differences.

SFTS said...

That's something we can agree to disagree on, CP. :)

Horses, if you watch them in a normal, herd environment don't "swish their tails happily" for no reason other than simply being "happy", they use it either to exhibit being unhappy (as with aggression toward another horse) or to chase away flies.

I agree with you on the tail blocking, though. A few years back I had a former client call me with what she termed a moral dilemma. I had recommended they take their gelding to a Paint trainer, because I did not have the time to compete on the APHA circuit, and that's where the daughter wanted to show. This trainer began pressuring them to block his tail not long after he came into her barn, because he tended to have an "active" tail. In fact, they had bought an EIGHT POUND fake tail (!!!) to encourage him in keeping his tail quiet, and when that didn't work, out with the drugs. :( At least she brought it up to them first (hopefully), instead of just blocking him and handing them the vet bill. Sigh.

GoLightly said...

Some more light reading..
For Hooves sakes

GoLightly said...

Yup, still stinky, too bad.

It was a good blog.

WiltedZebra said...

Coming from the QH world I can say that I would much prefer a wringing tail or a happy swishy tail to the lumps of deadened hair covered flesh that I see.

My horse uses his tail, I'm not afraid for anyone to see him doing so. He lifts it a little while moving and I do nothing to discourage that. That silly old tail even swings a little side to side when he is changing leads. When he extends his gaits it swings side to side just a bit too. Not pissy like, just swingy. I'm okay with that, his jaw and ears are relaxed and flop a bit, maybe not so pretty for the judge, but I find it endearing.

I have also owned a tail extension since I bought him ten years ago. I never put it in except to learn how. I figure that I would rather be judged for exactly what we are than to give someone else a false impression of me or my horse. His tail is good enough for me, he seems happy with it too.

The tail extension gets plenty of use though. My niece and daughter have a wonderful time playing with it. It often gets pinned to the bottom of a girl pretending to be a horse. I don't think horse minds one bit.

horsndogluvr said...

I'm grumbly this morning. If I sound snarky, please don't take it personally.

"This is what trendsetting f*** the horse and get the money whores do. ...people have placed the horses welfare at the end of the equation rather than the beginning in their quest for a blue." – Dena

Dena, I agree with this completely.

STFS, just like people, some horses are more expressive than others. A horse's primary means of expression are its ears and tail. A still tail can mean a quiet horse, yes, but it can also mean a depressed and/or terribly tired horse. A swishing tail can mean anger, or exuberance, or concentration, or just plain discomfort.

As for head nodding, every horse that walks will nod its head. The faster the walk, the deeper the nod. The TWH's famous gait is the "running walk." 'Nuff said.

Achily, Ruthie

Dena said...

SFTS did you mistake my remarks as being directed towards you?

I assure you they were not. I was specificallly referring to the BNT set.

I do not really concern myself with local club shows. Other than, the opportunity to have some fun from time to time.

S. Lauren said...

Wow I can't believe the stallion won that class. That is stupid. I agree with you, I would've gone to the judges and said something about the misbehavior of the stud.
I've never been one to show in Western Pleasure, it always seemed boring to me and the horses just have to look good, and I agree with you that the horses look unnatural and crippled as well. One lady that used to show in WP told me that some trainers/riders/ppl would tie their horses head up high over night so that the horse would want to keep their head down low for their class. How retarded is that? I'm not much into the English/Western Pleasure classes cause it does seem fake to me and I don't understand why people think putting rope on their horse and forcing a frame is the way to go.

SFTS said...

WiltedZebra wrote:
My horse uses his tail, I'm not afraid for anyone to see him doing so. He lifts it a little while moving and I do nothing to discourage that. That silly old tail even swings a little side to side when he is changing leads. When he extends his gaits it swings side to side just a bit too. Not pissy like, just swingy.
- - - - - - - -

See, that's something I have no problem with ~ the tail "naturally swinging". All horses will do that, and it's so much better than the dead, nerved tails. I hate hate hate that look. If you have ever watched Arabian Western horses, yep, they do use their tails in an expressive, happy way. :) That generally does not include swishing or lashing!

horsndogluvr wrote:
STFS, just like people, some horses are more expressive than others.
- - - - - - - -

Oh, absolutely! My point is, I see a vast difference between an expressive horse and a ticked off horse. After four decades around horses, I've seen plenty who were happily expressive. :)

Dena........why do you think it's always all about you? I actually give you precious little thought. You're just not worth thinking about. Srsly.

Sigh. I just KNEW she wouldn't keep her word and stay away. She never does.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

That is a funny damn story. I would have paid money to all that. WWF-WP-hilarious!

SFTS-What the hell is your problem? Everywhere I see your name there is nastiness. NO ONE was talking to you or about you and you start going off on people? Geez-get a freaking life.

Aren't you like the copy and paste queen who took over the fugly blog comment section?

Dude, seriously-start your own blog or something.

SFTS said...

BrownEyedCowgirls, go fuck yourself.

Sorry, that wasn't nice. But then again, it wasn't meant to be.

My problem? Your buddy Dena Rodacker and her few internet friends stalking and harassing me. Very simple.

"NO ONE" was talking about me? Really now? I guess reading comprehension isn't your strong suit.

Btw? I have my own blog, and last time I checked, I am not a 'dude'.

cattypex said...

Actually, I call everybody "DUDE" regardless of gender..... call it generational....

ANYway, I think you're saying "swishy" tail, I'm saying "Expressive" tail, and we mean the same thing?

Not the same as wringing or lashing tail.

And I, too, would've been evilly entertained at that show, and probably been tempted to write a letter to the organizers, which they promptly and emphatically wouldn't read....

SFTS said...

LMAO CP, my seventeen year old daughter calls everyone (including me) "Dude", all the time. It's her favorite word these days. ;P What I wrote ^ about the "Dude" thing is really more of an inside family joke around here. Her dad says that constantly to her whenever she calls me "Dude". ROTFL here!!

SFTS said...

Also........CP, it was noticed that you mentioned the Ammy Army on CnJ's grooming blog, and her answer to you is not entirely correct.

While that group was begun to help inspire folks who are interested in getting involved in the Arabian show ring, it is most certainly NOT only limited to Arabians.

I have had recent discussions with the founder of the Army in regard to folks utilizing the concept in other breeds (amateurs banding together to help each other out at shows) and he is entirely open to that.

To your question "Are they really making a big dent in things?" ~ yes, they are. At Scottsdale they brought home an armload of Top Ten ribbons, among others, and a lifetime of memories with new friendships formed. In Las Vegas last April at the Arabian Breeders World Cup they brought home a number of high Top Five placings, including a couple of World Reserve Championships.

GREAT people who are doing GREAT things in the Arabian breed.

That is why I have been such a huge supporter of this concept and of the Army itself since early 2008, and am considered a "Military Advisor" (the honorary title bestowed upon professional trainers who offer assistance to the Ammy Army members) on their website and forum. :)

Dena said...

The only thing TJM left out in the retelling of this is the fact that the stud nipped the filly in the rear twice before mounting her.

And the judges did not bother to turn around and see what was happening until after the filly had bucked off her uninvited and unanticipated rider off.

When I asked why there was not a complaint lodged I was told what would have been the point?
I think I know what that means but I will not share my opinion on that based on my presumption.

So there you go and there you have it.

I have this overwhelming urge to ask TJM whre Jimmy Hoffa is buried.

Dena said...

As I was actually "invited" to post here I am going to ignore the nastiness of one.

BEC you are funny... Accurate and entertaining.

Cattypex I never really dealt with a happy tail/rudder tail until this most recent OTTB.
She uses it like a metronome.
And she has a sense of humor about wrapping it around me for fun when I am on her.
No anxiety, pain, or anger, expressed.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

SFTS-Whatever you are, you sure as hell aren't a LADY. I'm pretty sure with that mouth and attitude you are usually pegged for exactly what you are...low, rent, trailer trash.

And from what I've gleaned a piss poor trainer too. My comprehension skills are pretty good when it comes to that. But your right-JR did reference you. With very valid issues within "YOUR" area of purported expertise(hardly an attack against you personally). And rather than address the issues....that we ALL know are prevalent, YOU make an assinine remark.

How about a taste of your own copy and paste BS...
"Now, while Western Pleasure in my world (Arabians) is not perfect, we don't reward that "crippled shuffle" so common with the stock breeds."

What a load of crap! The last time I went to the Scottsdale show, which granted was 3 years ago. I had to actually do a double take to make sure I was actually AT an ARABIAN show. What happened to the vibrancy and the animation that used to belong to the Arabian? GONE! They all looked like a bunch of stock horses with ewe necks. Heads down. Traveling very flat kneed for an Arabian and just shuffling along. It was SICKENING!

Of course, I doubt you are aware of what the horses at that level are doing, since after 30 years of training(snort), you are still stuck at the open horse show level.

Soooo...since the only place I "talk" to Dena is on her blog. I guess that means you are a regular reader there...Ummm, I mean stalker! Whoops you showed your hand on that one!

SFTS said...

LOL...that coming from a barrel horse rider who competes at local yokel rodeos and takes horses to 4H shows...wow.

Sorry, snark got the better of me.

MY mouth?!?!?!?! After Dena has called me every four letter word in her albeit limited vocabulary, along with a few choice other words, well, maybe you should re-examine who you chat with (even if you do so only on her blog).

>>>"The last time I went to the Scottsdale show, which granted was 3 years ago. I had to actually do a double take to make sure I was actually AT an ARABIAN show. What happened to the vibrancy and the animation that used to belong to the Arabian? GONE! They all looked like a bunch of stock horses with ewe necks. Heads down. Traveling very flat kneed for an Arabian and just shuffling along. It was SICKENING!" <<<

If horses competing at Scottsdale on whole all looked to you like "stock horses with ewe necks", my suggestion to you would be to get a new glasses prescription. Sounds like you need it.

Still "stuck" at the open show level...LMAO! Uh huh, that's why I have a client who's two time National Champion and several time US and Canadian National Top Ten Stallion won a Top Five at Scottsdale this year in the Freestyle Liberty class? Or why I was at the Region 3 Championships last year lending a hand to the owner of a Top Ten Colt? Or why I have a Regional Champion and Regional Reserve Champion Sport Horse In Hand gelding (honors garnered within the last few years)?

Riiight.

Next.

Dothehappydance said...

SFTS

I seem to remember you have been suspended. Or is USEF lying?

And that great stallion is 14 years old. Kind of late to be starting a career under saddle.

No matter where you go SFTS you are a walking controversy.

hoops4eva244 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
iluvmygiraffe said...

Hahah wow.

I have to say... the road goes two ways with WP. If you ride incorrectly, then your horse looks like crap. You ride correctly, your horse does not look like crap. It's a simple concept that people cannot seem to grasp.

There is a 19 year old wp top ten Congress whatever blah blah blah at my barn and he is SOUND and moves lovely. He still wins. Not at congress but at the quarter horse and open shows the owner rides at. He is not crippled because she rides him CORRECTLY.

I agree with you STFS =] a good western pleasure horse is refreshing to watch. I love watching this particular horse go because of his ability to do so well and still move beautifully and freely.

katphoti said...

STFS,

"I do not agree about the tail swishing...my horses don't do that, because they are happy doing their jobs. Frequently the tail swishing is accompanied by pinned ears and gnashing teeth, as seen with spur stop trained horses. We'll have to agree to disagree. :)"

Um, what planet are you on? If a dressage horse is NOT swishing his tail when performing piaffes and other complex movements, then he won't be balanced. When ridden using classical training methods, our TWHs will naturally carry their tails lifted to help balance themselves correctly. Horses and most other four-legged land creatures have a tail for a reason, and it's for balance.

So by your definition, does that mean that a horse swishing his tail at flies is mad or mean? It sounds to me that if you've got a lot of swishing tails that accompany gnashing teeth and pinned ears, then you are doing something wrong with your horses. There's a difference between swishing and wringing--you might want to learn that as well.

katphoti said...

STFS,

"What I have seen in the gaited horses, and I am no expert by any means, is that they do tend to carry themselves higher as well as many of them (the TWH's for instance) have that "head nod" which is considered desirable. It would not be so desirable in another breed! But again, I don't know much about gaited horses."

Obviously. Please do the gaited horse world a favor and don't comment on something you don't know anything about. Gaited horses only carry their heads high for two reasons: 1) the rider is in their mouth and is forcing the gait into them, or 2) they naturally have a higher neck and head placement. But it is not normal nor is it natural for them to carry their heads high. In fact, "long and low" is the first step to teaching a gaited horse to use his back muscles and carry his rider better, which in turn develops proper gait.

The head nod is not "desirable"--it is REQUIRED for the TWH to perform a correct flat walk. They cannot phsically be performing the flat walk if their head is not nodding. It has to do with their body structure and it is part of the balance for them to perform a perfect, four-beat square gait.

Again, don't comment on things you admittedly don't know anything about. You just confirmed several myths about gaited horses that many of us are working our asses off to change.

fernvalley01 said...

Haven't got through all the comments yet ,
JR , thanks ,I drink too much coffee anyway ,it is far better for me sprayed all over my monitor!

fernvalley01 said...

It just gets better and better. One thing I wonder is for the most part anyone I chat/talk with I have asked is against the "peanut roller /navicular gaits" that do so well in the show ring. So why can we no affect change . My horse is a joy to ride , on the bit ,travels freely and is sound . He would be laughed out of a WP class because tha silly bugger is looking where he is going. seriously WTF?

JohnieRotten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JohnieRotten said...

SFTS

As for the rest of your drivel? I don't have one shred of respect for you any longer, either.
---------------------------------

Bummer!

SFTS said...

Dothehappydance wrote:
And that great stallion is 14 years old. Kind of late to be starting a career under saddle.
- - - - - - - -

LOL...is that because you're one of those lovely folks who believe that a performance horse's career should be started as a Two Year Old?

My USEF situation has been explained in several places ~ it's very, very old news. Try to stir shit in another way, or elsewhere. It's not workin' for you here.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

SFTS-I could get into a bragging match with you....but why? My accomplishments and my failures have been put on my blog for over a year now for all to see. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I have the same hopes and dreams of many other people. They used to be bigger and better before I had my daughter.

Once my daughter got old enough to compete I was completely okay with sidelining MY aspirations. It has, in reality been the most rewarding thing I could have ever done.

Those 4-H shows you seem to distain ARE what I take my daughter too. As well as the available open horse shows. That is what she was limited too because her show horse-the one SHE spent time training and turning into an incredible little show horse is a grade paint, that I picked up from a local horse trader. He was a mess when we got him. Nothing in this world will ever give me as much pride as watching my little girl learn how to be an amazing horsewoman on that horse. Everything they have accomplished, they have accomplished together. And I got to be part of it.

Just two years ago, she decided she wanted to get back into barrel racing. So she grabbed a gelding out of our herd-he might not have been my pick of the bunch, but that's the one she liked. She has done all of the work on him herself. He is now a nice, solid barrel horse, a nice pole horse and a damn fine reining horse.

HER accomplishments this year were placing Top 10 in Trail(on her paint) and Top 4 in Reining(her first year of showing in this class) at the STATE 4-H Horse Show. Which has around 400 participants.

If I never accomplish anything else on a horse again in my life. I feel like I have still accomplished more in this life, by being there for my daughter and sharing these experiences with her, than any single accomplishment I could ever have done on my own.

I don't need buckles or saddles or ribbons anymore. I have a living, breathing embodiment of my success as a parent and a horsewoman. If that has cost me a few awards of my own along the way...I can live with that.

SFTS said...

iluvmygiraffe wrote:
I agree with you SFTS =] a good western pleasure horse is refreshing to watch.
- - - - - - - -

They can be a thing of beauty, that's for sure! :)

cattypex said...

Thank you Katphoti! You said it in much fewer words than I did!

FV, I have NO idea why the peanut roller/artificial gait/incorrect riding haters can't get any traction in the WP or HUS world.

I suspect, though, that it has something to do with the brotherhood of upper-level judges, who are also trainers with rich clients, and then the lower-level judges follow their lead.

Which is really one of the main reasons this blog exists, inn't it? because we hate that!!!!!

SFTS said...

katphoti wrote:
Um, what planet are you on? If a dressage horse is NOT swishing his tail when performing piaffes and other complex movements, then he won't be balanced.
- - - - - - - -

Er, this would be Earth. How about you?

My 3rd Level horse does not swish his tail, he's a happy horse. My old Intermediare 1 gelding never swished his tail during pirouettes, he was a happy horse.

Carrying a "lifted" tail does not compare to what we were discussing. I ride predominantly Arabian horses, a breed characteristic is high tail carriage...

Personally, I'd venture to guess a horse that's got to swish their tail at flies might just be mad.

It sounds to me that if you've got a lot of swishing tails that accompany gnashing teeth and pinned ears, then you are doing something wrong with your horses.
- - - - - - - -

Then it's a damn good thing my horses don't gnash their teeth, pin their ears or wring their tails, huh? *eyeroll*

SFTS said...

katphoti wrote:
Please do the gaited horse world a favor and don't comment on something you don't know anything about.
- - - - - - - -

I prefaced my comments with my level of experience in gaited horses/TWH's. Admittedly it is not a great deal, though I have a number of friends involved in the industry as trainers and breeders, I've been at the shows and I have had some of them (and SSH's) in training before.

Oh, okay, I get it. Other folks can comment all they like on things they don't know anything about, but I am prohibited from doing so. Double standard anyone?

Confirmed several myths???? WTH planet are you from?

cattypex said...

SFTS.... just because none of YOUR horses use their tails in "concentration mode" doesn't mean that NO horse does. *sigh*

A poco rato.....

I still think that WP horses of 25 years ago were better, and had better lives and training - QH or Arab.

SFTS said...

I didn't say you had anything to be ashamed of, BEC...it was sarcasm. Did you miss that part?

>>> "Those 4-H shows you seem to distain ARE what I take my daughter too. <<<

Why in the world would I be disdainful regarding 4H shows? I am a 4H leader...I love the program, and I've said that many times, in many places. Apparently the sarcasm did fly right over your head.

>>> "Nothing in this world will ever give me as much pride as watching my little girl learn how to be an amazing horsewoman on that horse." <<<

It is an amazing feeling, isn't it? I have had those very feelings, as I too have an amazing daughter (mine is 17 this year) and having watched her grow up into an incredible horsewoman has been phenomenal.

Having watched and helped her along to her victories, from her first (of dozens) blue ribbon, to her first (of many) High Point award, to her first Year End High Point Championship, to her first Class "A" Reserve Championship and so forth...makes all the sacrifices I have made for her worthwhile. You know what I mean?

Congratulations on how well your daughter has done. Sounds like you have done a wonderful and amazing job with her as a parent, too.

SFTS said...

CP, I did not say "NO" horse uses it's tail when concentrating. My take on it is simply different than yours. My horses "use" their tails, just as they wear their ears, they're happy.

>>> "I still think that WP horses of 25 years ago were better, and had better lives and training - QH or Arab." <<<

I disagree that WP horses of 25 years ago were better, at least not in Arabian circles. Today we are breeding for better Western horses, that are better suited for the division and not simply failures as English Pleasure horses. Better self carriage, better movement, easier to train into becoming good Western horses.

Better lives? No one can argue my WP horses have a less than fabulous life or would have been better off living years in the past. Well, one of them was foaled almost 25 years ago........ ;)

cattypex said...

Wait.... I keep forgetting that it's not 2000 anymore...

I think I would have to say - just from looking at pictures, videos and the regionally competitive horses that I knew at the time - that the WP Arabians pre-80s bubble had more correctness than today's. Just like QHs.

Arabs in WP today are still less messed up than QHs, though. But Arabs appear to be moving in that direction, unfortunately. As an outsider with intermittent glimpses into this, the changes for the worse always shock me.

Like the music on commercial radio, the popular stuff is mostly dreck, but fortunately sometimes you get a Coldplay or Gnarls Barkley.

JohnieRotten said...

Cp

I agree with you that the WP horses 25 to 30 years ago were better than they are now. And that is in all breeds.

Trojan Mouse said...

Dena,

>I have this overwhelming urge to ask TJM whre Jimmy Hoffa is buried.

I'll never tell!

Maybe the PHF will reveal it, since they know everything.





T Jean Maus

cattypex said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

TJM, do you purposefully and artfully craft topics that will make us go on the wackiest tangents??

WiltedZebra said...

I don't think WP in any breed arena is good right now. No excuses, no "it is better than QH" or "its better than paint or appy". WP right now is not pretty, not correct and not good for the horses. Even a little bit better than the absolute worst is still really bad. Bad movement, bad riding, bad attitudes, bad, bad, bad. The my horse looks less afraid of his bit and my horse looks less crippled defense is not adequate.

No offense meant to anyone. I just wanted to make it clear that even if what your breed association is accepting is better, it still isn't good enough for the horses we are responsible for.

SFTS said...

While I respect your opinion WZ, I disagree with you. :)

cattypex said...

WZ: *claps*

well said

CharlesCityCat said...

"LOL...that coming from a barrel horse rider who competes at local yokel rodeos and takes horses to 4H shows...wow."

Fraid that ain't cutting it SFTS, that is just a plain, outright derogatory statement directed to BEC. Very telling about your viewpoint, and especially sad since you claim to be a 4H leader.

Oh btw, would love to see pics of your 3rd level dressage horse with you up.

SFTS said...

Why must you butt into practically every single conversation I have with anyone, CCC? I mean, really now.

Btw, I offer pictures to my friends. You ain't that.

Dena said...

WZ you did express it beautifully.
I no longer even contemplate show pleasure prospects.

Remember when it was supposed to exemplify cowboy Sunday best?
Can you imagine any self-respecting cowboy wanting to ride that *cough*choke*cough* sorry excuse for a walk, jog, or canter to town?

Hey Shorty what is wrong with your hoss? He looks like a hound dog tracking a raccoon.
Well Stump, yers looks plumb crippled whaddaya call that thing yer doing?
Whaddaya mean whadda I call it?
It is a lope you peanut rolling city slicker!
Stump what kind a hoss is that anyhow?
This be a purebred Araby hoss. What is that jugheaded chunk yer sitting on Shorty?
This be a purebred 1/4 mile hoss.
Ya know what Stump? What Shorty?
I think we both got took.
I think ya maybe right Shorty now shut up and try to look dignified were coming into town.

Dena said...

Awww Crap...I meant to title that
"The Original Trendsetters."

Is it copyrighted? Because I did make it up.
Straight off the top of my head.

Forgive me. Sometimes I get this idea that I am funny.
And, as long as, I am cracking myself up I am pretty sure I'm right.SLOL

WiltedZebra said...

SFTS, I'm okay with disagreement too.

Catty, I appreciate the support. It is what it is.

Dena, my current horse will be my last and my daughter's first. I can't imagine looking at a prospect right now and thinking it could, one day, measure up to him. He is that good a guy.

cattypex said...

Dena,

That is hi-frickin-larioooos!

CharlesCityCat said...

Well SFTS, given that this isn't your blog, nor are any of the others I post on, it really isn't your call now is it?

I believe it is the nature of blogging that commentors freely express their views on the comments posted by others. Of course, that doesn't apply to blogs where the comments are moderated, but I am under the impression that this blog is not moderated. If I am incorrect in this perception, I am sure the blog owner will advise me of this. If that doesn't happen, I guess you, SFTS, are SOL.


You don't consider me to be a friend that you would share pics with:

1) Whew, thank the powers that be.

2) If you had them and they were any good, they would have already been on your website.

JohnieRotten said...

Sfts

do you really believe half the shit you say. Or are the voices in you head that convincing?

There again wake up!

cattypex said...

SFTS... you HAVE suffered from a distinct loss of excellentness over the past couple months.

DUDE! Reclaim it!

Horsefeathrs said...

Very well written. I like someone who can sound intelligent online(thought that was an oxymoron). Helped hammer your point home(sorry Im a nerd but I appreciate witty writing).

Dena said...

CCC CnJ and I have only one right of passage into our new bosom buddy club.

You must be able to wear a full size horse fly mask Madonna style.
As CnJ designs and manufactures said fly masks she is willing to sew the appropriate size label in for those we like.
It goes without saying that many of you will be receiving your's in the mail soon.
It goes wihtout saying that your's was done up in pink camo.
They are required to enter into the sooper seekrit clubhouse.

cattypex said...

This is an ugly website (complete with Comic Sans!!! ACK!!!!!!) but scroll down to the gray horse:
http://www.freewebs.com/ellesmerepark/specialhorsespastand.htm

Disregard the rider's dumb hat and the ginormous breastplate.

I like how he is moving. I'd like to see a video.

He's got Self Carriage.

Whaddya think?

cattypex said...

Oh. THey are in Australia.

Nuff Said.

sunshinenorcas said...

Wow, and you guys wonder how all this nastiness could happen in the horse show world?
This isn't about who won more ribbons or whose more correct about showmanship or who can be the snarkiest. What does it say when another reader has to scroll through comment after comment of your bitchiness to each other to get to the point of this post? I don't think I'm the only one who frankly does not care about your cat-fights. Tout your ribbons over an email or message board so that innocent bystanders don't have to to shift through your fights to get to material relevant to the topic.
Come on ladies (and gentleman?), we're adults here :) Isn't drama supposed to stay in high school?

(Note; I realize I'm a lurker and a nobody, I just had to say my piece. Fact is, I'm sure I'm not the only reader who gets frustrated trying to read comments only to find catfight after catfight.)


On topic; did anyone ever find a video? Or another eyewitness account?

JohnieRotten said...

Sunshine

The arguments here have nothing to do with ribbons.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Wow! The stuck up condescending qween of std's has lost all respect for me? Took ya long enough.

Bosom buddies? Lovely way you constantly throw or rather drag third parties into everything. I have no question Dena can hold her own. She has proven herself more than capable, several times over.

So tell me stuck up, I went to the ammy army website before posting what I did. No mention of venturing out to other breeds or disciplines... In fact the first sentence states it is an Arabian breed based group.

But I did rather get the inflection of the same overly condescending tone there, that you so profusely exude everywhere you post. Seems sleeping with tugboat tommy didn't get you any special consideration. There's a snaffle bit futurity coming up in either Vegas or Reno. Maybe you should go. You can either relive the night or walk the streets and hope to end up on memory lane.

As far as tail swishing goes- obviously you have no experience with mules. Might I suggest you ride one once? Sorry, my apologies in advance to the mules. Or at least the one ms. perfect is mounted on.

See a lot of mules swish their tails incessantly. No pinned ears or gnashing teeth, just a steady constantly swishing tail. Not considered a flaw or a fault. Maybe not even necessarily for balance. Just because.

Reading over the posts I have to wonder... Stuck up, if we are all so ignorant and incredibly dumb- suffering from repetitive comprehension fail as you readily point out, and NONE of us seem capable of training a horse out of a wet paper sack, why do all of us seem to agree with each
other- with of course the exception of you? How can you stand it? Why do you stay?

Seems pretty obvious who the 'real' people in this group are.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Well, I guess that answers my question about SFTS's phony downplay of her original derogatory comment.

CCC-Thank You for bluntly stating the obvious.

sunshine-this is what happens when one person tries to negate anything and everything other people have to say.

If your looking for a blog to read that you don't have to wade through the comments...head on over to SFTS's. No fear of running into any comments there.

Dena said...

BEC if CCC ever missed anything I don't know what it would be.

I think it is awesome what you do for your's.
You know our boy owns all of our best stock too.

Say you wouldn't be in the market for a copper palomino gelding would you?
Frenchmans Guy/Driftwood.
5yr old 15.1 and ready to hit it.
He was bred in your neck of the woods.

Cut-N-Jump said...

BEC- ya know, I can relate. Back when I had my little girl, the one who is now a teenager, I sold my horse. I had him for several years and loved him dearly, but I gave him up so that he might have everything he needed, but more importantly so I could spend any and all my free time with my daughter.

When it came time to go horse shopping- we went in search of a pony. A ride & drive prospect so we could enjoy the horse together.

I guess that's the difference between us and some others. Some people have their priorities straight!

SFTS said...

JohnieRotten wrote:
do you really believe half the shit you say. Or are the voices in you head that convincing?
- - - - - - - -

Yep, mature and professional again. *eyeroll*

Cut-N-Jump wrote:
condescending qween of std's
- - - - - - - -

Like husband, like wife. What a pair. Neither has one shred of class or decency.

I went to the ammy army website before posting what I did. No mention of venturing out to other breeds or disciplines... In fact the first sentence states it is an Arabian breed based group.
- - - - - - - -

How about this idea ~ you contact them yourself and inquire about the addition to other breeds into the Ammy Army? Oh, that's right, you would have to eat your own absurd words, or lie (shocking, I know) if you didn't get the answer you were looking for.

Btw, ALL disciplines are covered by the Ammy Army. What, CnJ talking out of her ass again? *another eyeroll*

But I did rather get the inflection of the same overly condescending tone there, that you so profusely exude everywhere you post.
- - - - - - - -

LMAO...seeing as how there are presently no posts there made by me, that statement is nothing short of amazing.

True colors showing. And I wouldn't know if you or hubby could train your way out of a paper sack. I've seen no proof of any of it. Merely obnoxious, overly condescending comments on a few blogs.

SFTS said...

BrownEyed Cowgirls wrote:
Well, I guess that answers my question about SFTS's phony downplay of her original derogatory comment.

Phony downplay...LOL, whatever. I tried to be nice. This is what happens with Dena and her little band of buddies.

Because, you know, I am "evil" like Cathy/FHOTD and we are the devil incarnate.

SFTS said...

cattypex wrote:
This is an ugly website (complete with Comic Sans!!! ACK!!!!!!) but scroll down to the gray horse
- - - - - - - -

While the horse himself looks like he might be a nice guy, he's hollow backed in that photo and I entirely dislike the way he's sucked his neck back into his shoulder which has caused him to pull his head up, though that seems to be because his rider is hauling on his mouth ~ note how far back the bit is rotated in his mouth and how his lips are pursed, as if to show how he's leaning against the bit.

SFTS... you HAVE suffered from a distinct loss of excellentness over the past couple months.
- - - - - - - -

This is the funny part CP, nothing whatsoever has changed about the way I post. In looking back at all my comments from the FHOTD blog, there is no difference whatsoever. Besides, I've never been worried about sounding "excellent". I am who I am. ;)

sunshinenorcas wrote:
Wow, and you guys wonder how all this nastiness could happen in the horse show world? Come on ladies (and gentleman?), we're adults here :) Isn't drama supposed to stay in high school? Fact is, I'm sure I'm not the only reader who gets frustrated trying to read comments only to find catfight after catfight.
- - - - - - - -

I agree with you wholeheartedly. This is the same small group (the ones carrying over the nastiness) from the FHOTD blog who are the clique of JohnieRotten groupies that congregate on his blogs. Not a nice bunch.

WiltedZebra wrote:
SFTS, I'm okay with disagreement too.
- - - - - - - -

See, agreeing to disagree doesn't mean you have to get obnoxious or nasty with each other. :)

GoLightly said...

No other explanations necessary

Cut-N-Jump said...

Yes GL, because we all know the very best trainers among us put up blurry pictures of our clients horses. That's so hopefully you don't notice they are underweight, dumped on the forehand or wearing tack that doesn't fit. Especially when it is obviously at a show.

I won't elaborate on the conformation of the horses as it is not the owners fault, rather the breeders.

But if I were the owners and my 'trainer' posted pics showing my horse in a not so flattering manner, well it would just go without saying, my horse would be in another barn pretty damn quick.

JohnieRotten said...

SFTS

All I have to say to you anymore is......

"I just came in for a late bite of lunch, my wonderful assistant is tied up outside and the horse is hosing her off. I read through the comments and it is true Fairy God mother,everyone wants to be me!"

Copy paste

*eyeroll,sigh*

Copy paste, copy paste

*headesk, headesk, eyeroll*

Copy paste copy paste

*sigh, headesk, eyeroll*

Copy paste copy paste copy paste

*eyeroll, sigh*

Copy paste

*eyeroll..........sigh*

--------------------

Ok SFTS, now that was immature of me!

cattypex said...

Dang.

OK.... back to the gray horse...

I'm not so sure he's hollow-backed - it might just be where he is in his stride, or actually he might be in transition or dropping his inside shoulder ever so slightly (tsk tsk) because it looks like his rider might be looking to turn ....

That's why I'd love a video, or better photos.

I don't think his neck/head is sucked back AT ALL -- I think it's just in a natural, "old-fashioned" position.

I don't think she's hauling on hi mouth either.

Looks like a mild bit on a horse used to contact.

*shrug*

JohnieRotten said...

CP

I cant get on to that website to see the horse!

Nosnikta said...

Wow.

I personally can't even watch the four-beat dragging and crippled WP QHs. I find myself standing on the sidelines and actually trying to cue them into moving out more. It's a very strange feeling... so I turn away.

It pains me to see those types place in a 4-H setting as well. You KNOW the kids aren't doing the work on that. How does that fit in?

And what message are we sending to our kids with that? "Winning" does NOT make for a better horseperson.

I am one of the local yokels who has given up my ride time in order to watch my 12yo daughter grow as a horsewoman. She is even helping bring colts along in a nice even-keeled way.

That means a heck of a lot more to me than puttin' on the bling and sitting through a class that takes HOURS to make one lap around the arena just in order to get a trophy or some points.

Omg, and the entry fees for those shows? OW!

Snark away, but I'm happy with our style and if I can ride my pleasure horse down the road or move some cows with it AND have a nice ride in an open pleasure class, that's more fun for me! :-)

SFTS said...

Sounds like you're doing it right, Nosnikta!

SFTS said...

I don't like the grey horse's neck, CP. I'll also stand by my earlier comments. But again, we can agree to disagree. :)

Jennifer said...

The people being nasty - you've already cost Fugly her open comments, let's not do it here too, okay?

On western pleasure.

Every time I see or hear about the four beat lope, I flash back to college.

One day I showed up at the barn and there was a new pony. A medium pony, palomino mare, high percentage Welsh at a guess.

Instructor: Okay, don't worry about her canter. She went around Wembley like that.

So, I get on this horse. Nice walk, nice trot. Canter?

The most hideous thing I've ever ridden. That pony gained the nickname 'Camel'.

You guessed it.

She four beated. Lateral. WHY the heck are the WP people trying to promote a gait that is *not* comfortable? Not *remotely*.

SFTS said...

I think the problem with what's allowed, or more accurately what's pinned, in the show ring (four beating at the lope, for instance) is judges not being held to adjudicating by what the division or class rules tell them. We see this all the time in the Arabian show ring, in about every division.

Our WP rules were rewritten a number of years back to make allowances for the trainers who wanted their Western horses to go on that absurdly long draped rein. "Contact" became meaningless, and the only way for some trainers to be able to get their horses through an entire class on that huge drape was to get them so intimidated in the bridle that they would stay there for fear of constantly being jabbed in the mouth.

IIRC the AQHA rewrote their WP rules not long ago with some superfluous wording to explain away what they were really pinning in the show pen, while purporting to encourage "forward motion".

I'm not seeing it...

WiltedZebra said...

AQHA has also had to produce a video for the judges illustration correct vs incorrect. It laughable really.

Umm, where do I place my order for the extra special fly mask previously mentioned? I'm thinking that the husband will appreciate the look on me. I could use some help up top.

CharlesCityCat said...

I did a bit of western pleasure back in the 1970's when I was a kid. The horses did not go like that at all. It is painful to watch and I felt sickened after it was done.

I wonder what would happen if any one of those riders got on a horse that had any kind of impulsion? I am guessing it wouldn't be pretty.

So very sad!


As far as the video of the Arabians, it might be marginally better but still not natural. There is still no impulsion, half the time they look as if they are really only doing an animated walk. I didn't even see a lope, thank god, I might have puked.

The tails are ridiculous and really made me laugh. You know the only way they can grow to that length is obtained by unnatural methods.


To the poor horses, I would like to apologize to the entire equine species for what the human species has done to them.

SFTS said...

WZ, ever since 1990 AHA has mandated that judges go through "Judging School" where they are taught how to judge classes. There is a "Judging Manual", judging videos and judges must go through regular mandatory re-certification in order to maintain their cards. *aghasted*

I have an idea, how about just judging horses correctly based on what's in the rule books and what we as horsemen/horsewomen know about good horses, proper conformation and good movement!

Cut-N-Jump said...

CCC-rest assured, if a third level horse resides in her barn, it is highly unlikely to be:
a) hers
b) trained by her
c) ridden by her
d) shown by her
e) ) all of the above

But I am sure you have figured it out already.Since most people with a horse performing at that level would be proud of that horse and would be happy to produce pictures of that horse and would have on their website.

SFTS said...

[looks out the front window to see the big beautiful black 3rd level horse peacefully munching his lunch ... acquired in January 2009, owned by me, trained by me, ridden by my daughter and I, soon to be shown once again by me and will make his debut in the show ring later this Summer with my daughter ... professional pictures coming in October during his exhibition]

Sigh.

SFTS said...

Also, just to note ~ my website hasn't been updated in quite a long time ... my bad. But thanks anyways for posting it, GL. I always love folks to see my beautiful four legged kids and those owned by my wonderful clients! :)

JohnieRotten said...

So you are saying you bought a horse and went from training level to third level in 8 months. I do not fucking think so.

You should have put that money into bricks to block the wheels of your house.

I know I know not very mature JR.

Cut-N-Jump said...

WZ- drop me an email (in the profile). I'll gladly send you a mask. Just gotta say though they aren't well suited to any dominatrix look some may be aspiring to achieve.

Dena said...

Okay kids I think we need to let it go.
We have evolved so far from where we started.
But now it feels as though we are losing personal ground gained.

None of the remarks about BNT trainers here apply to any of us.
No SFTS not even you qualify.

I think it is hard for any of us to reconcile ourselves to what is happening in our industry.

SFTS I have only addressed 2 remarks to you in the past few days.

This will make 3. Perhaps, you, your horses, and your clients would be better served, if you just got honest about one thing.

Your suspension. It exists. It is real. And the only way you can take your clients, and the horses, anywhere you might need to be, without sneaking on to, the very grounds you have been prohibited from, would be to pay your fines.

Perhaps, your efforts would be better suited towards soliciting your clients to pay your fines.
That you may actually attempt to prove yourself in venues that, as of now, you are not allowed to participate in, or even spectate in person.

Attempting to establish your credibility as exceeding, any other trainer who, is not, nor ever has been, suspended, is a waste of time and the worst sort of "Planning Fail."

And no offense, but here is one other minor point. I have no doubt that your client horses paid for their entry fees. And the privilege of having you transport, prepare, and show them.
So, your excuse about why the check bounceed doesn't really fly either.
It speaks towards poor planning on your part.

A lesson learned from my own past is, that the past is not the past,
until, you have changed the behavior.

CharlesCityCat said...

SFTS:

Congrats to your daughter on the acquisition of her 3rd level horse, I wish her good luck in everything she does. She is a lucky girl to be able to compete with a horse of that caliber.

Do you do anything with your Intermediare 1 horse? Maybe we could see some pics of you competing with him/her?

SFTS said...

CCC, I have already explained to you that I'm not interested in sharing anything with you whatsoever. I am not interested in conversing with you, sending you pictures or posting them for you, etc. Let it go. You're a big girl, I know you can do it.

Dena, the suspension issue is old news. My clients are aware of it. Have been since the beginning. It's also none of your business. It is mine, and my clients' business.

We attend the shows we presently attend because that is where they want to show. I do what my clients wish, if they want to compete for Year End awards against their peers in our community, supporting the local associations dedicated to the horses and to keeping our communities locally horse-friendly, that's what we will do.

You need not worry about us, or what we choose to do, or not do. That is not your place to do so.

JohnieRotten said...

Dena

In order for one to want to change ones behavior, one has to recognize the faults of their past so they can move towards a more positive future.

CharlesCityCat said...

SFTS:

Yes, I am a big girl, that is why I can easily see through the facade that you portray.

I do not believe that you are what you say you are, so many things do not add up.

Anyhoo, that is my opinion that has been formed over the many months that you have been posting on the many blogs that you have posted on. If you will recall, and research, I was someone who was in your corner way back when. It is too bad that your "issues" have turned myself and so many others away. Oh well, apparently, no great loss.

One other thing, if you are such a busy trainer, active with so many championship riders, being a 4-H leader and a consultant with several other programs, how do you have the time to be online on so many blogs at all times of the day 24/7.

I know the trainers I worked with who were big in the show scene didn't have the time to be online that you apparently do.

And just so you know, these weren't "local yokel" trainers, they did the A hunter shows here in the backward part of the USA, ya know, the East Coast.

Trojan Mouse said...

Okay kiddies,

Let's get the comments to a more moderate level. I don't want blogger coming after my ass. If you must bitch at each other come up with a code.

Like:

Gee your avatar looks nice = you're the stupidest fucking bitch on the planet

Or:
It's great to see you posting here = I hope a dump truck unloads 3 tons of horseshit on your stupid ass.


T Jean Maus

Dena said...

TJM well I wouldn't bring the wrath of blogger upon ye.

Nor will I ever comment on how nice your avatar looks.

As it is your blog the other one should be easy not to slip on.

You know air freshener is really great for all of those unanticipated booger smears our monitors suffer from.
Spray a little on and wipe it all away.LMAO

SFTS said...

TJM, LMAO!! Very cute! ;)

And in that spirit...

CCC, I am disinterested in what you have to say, which I've told you before. Your opinion of me holds no value, as you are across the country and involved in an entirely different venue of horsemanship. Besides, wasn't it you who said "FINAL NAIL IN THE COFFIN" in speaking to me some time back? That you were done??

CharlesCityCat said...

Trojan Mouse:

I apologize that my few posts here on your blog have been what they were. Some people, well anyway, I promise never to do so again.

Anyway, how has your weather been?

NewHorseMommy said...

Well...

If we are looking for a change of topic, cat lovers should check out this site:

http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com

Still don't know how to make links!

One of my owns cats is a "kitler." I found him on the side of the interstate two years ago and he weighed 3 pounds. He is now around 20 pounds and living up to his name (Adolfo-"Adolph" was a little too much!).

SFTS said...

"Kitler's"!!! OMG, that is just too precious NHM!!

Great link, thanks!! :)

This one I saw some time last year and it had my daughter practically in stitches: http://www.catsinsinks.com/

Silly and stupid, but if you're in the right mood it can be hilariously funny!! :P

NewHorseMommy said...

Now I want to put my cat in the sink!

Trojan Mouse said...

omg, the cats that look like hitler thing is hysterical!

I will be distracted for hours over this site!


T Jean Maus, confirmed cat lover/hitler hater

cattypex said...

(JR, here's the link:
http://www.freewebs.com/ellesmerepark/specialhorsespastand.htm
sorry I can't get the link thing figured out - scroll down to the gray ... his name is Chardonnay Park Spiderman, and here's another nice photo:
http://www.freewebs.com/chardonnaypark/Carly%20East%20Coast%20No%20White%20edge.jpg

cattypex said...

OOPS. THAT horse is a mare... but one of his get.

I got all click happy.... spent too much time out in the wind today at the State Fair.... but I DID get my Pineapple Whip and honey ice cream!!!!!!!!!!

cattypex said...

I rather like how horses are looking in Australia.

BTW, apparently that stallion was 2005 Arabian of the Year in Australia.

Also apparently a lot of horses get injured and/or die on t hat farm... too bad...

horsndogluvr said...

SFTS said:
“Today we are breeding for better Western horses, that are better suited for the division…”

See, that’s a problem. If what you say is true, the real “all-rounder” Arabian will go the way of the dodo. (From here on, “you” is plural and generic.) To breed for natural ability to carry their heads down by their knees, you’ll have to completely change the way the neck is set into the chest and shoulders, and lose that lovely long, arching neck and high head carriage so typical of Arabians. To get that AQHA shuffle, you’ll have to change from the conformation that gives the Arab that lovely, lively movement, and breed for stiff legs.

Do you really want the AHA to go the way of the AQHA? Post-legged beef steers bred for halter, ugly nose-down shufflers bred for WP, and the real cowhorses and ¼ mile sprinters going to other venues where their “old-fashioned” breed type and qualities are appreciated. I can’t see any of the current high point AQHA halter horses being able to walk up a slight grade, let alone cut a cow. I can’t see taking an AQHA WP horse on a trail; they’d trip over the first root that crossed their path.

For the breed’s sake, don’t create different types for different disciplines. Concentrate on breeding better Arabians! They are a true all-round breed; a good Arab should be able to do *anything.* Keep them that way!

I’m punchy; spent the whole day watching dressage tests in lovely weather, in Estes Park… beautiful. Got a bad sunburn. Should be in bed. Now my foggy brain is fantasizing (or having bad dreams) about a possible future type of AHA halter champion.

Vertical neck curving tightly into a horizontal head. Throatlatch area as big around as your wrist. Wide forehead with big eyes, dish 5 inches deep, tiny muzzle that could fit in a thimble. (Probably achieved by knocking out all but the center incisors.) Tiny ears, just long enough to show the tips pointing at each other. Absolutely level topline, completely straight and horizontal. Tail standing straight up, 20 feet long. For added elegance, small knees and hocks, so the legs appear to taper smoothly from the body to the tiny feet. It makes them unrideable, but winning is way more important. “Fiery” temperament, so when you turn them out at liberty, they run around screaming and trying to attack people. (You have to hire pick-up riders from the local rodeo to catch them afterwards.)

As for the WP horses, they’d look just like that “End of the Trail” horse I linked to earlier, but way more refined. ((snort))

Nighty-night,
Ruthie

cattypex said...

Ruthi, I went to Estes Park for a family reunion this summer. BEAUTIFUL!!!!

So I had to go look up Australian Stock Horse photos, because they don't seem to compromise or pander... and this is really nice to behold:

http://www.keystonestud.com/images/Breffni_Kidman.jpg

THAT type of natural but listening/obedient/in harmony with the rider/quiet businesslike rider carriage should be the ideal - with a FEW breed/discipline variations - across the board. Sure, the WP horses go on a looser rein maybe, or the SS horses show much more animation of course, but you see what I am getting at?

Merridyn said...

wow. what else can I say. I guess ALL of his 2 years of training went to becoming a nice WP horse and NONE of it went to teaching him to keep it in his pants!
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Dumbass on the stallion COULD have pulley reined him to the inside and booted him with the outside foot BEFORE he mounted the filly. Even when he started to mount, he COULD have used a strong opening rein and pulled down onto all fours pointed away from the filly. Anyone who thinks that would make the stallion wipe out should go to halfpassgal's video "first show freakout." besides, if the stallion wipes out, so be it. It would probably be an educational experience for dumbass and dickwad!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

TJM-What is the PHF?

cattypex said...

Merridyn... NICE!

Yet another example of a high-dollar trainer not being a knowledgeable horseman...

Did anyone ever post a video? Did I lose it in the maelstrom?

SFTS said...

I disagree with you on some of your premise, Ruthie. :)

Most (if not all) of the Arabians we see competing in WP, at least on the breed show circuits here and on to the upper levels don't carry themselves long and low like a QH, they are beautifully arched in the neck well set out of the shoulder and have extremely beautiful, true Arabian carriage. I hate the intimidated, btv look some of the leading trainers strive for, with that excessively draped rein, but even when taking that away and retraining them, you get outstanding Western horses. They are also free moving, fluid and don't move stiff and posty like the QH's.

I've found the following examples of what to me are outstanding Arabian WP horses ~not btv, they are bright, pretty, happy, expressive and show correct self carriage for them as individuals:
example one
example two
example three
example four

Half Arabians, as well:
example one
example two

This is one of the leading sires of Arabian Western Pleasure horses today, Khadraj NA

Another of my favorite Arabian WP stallions is Aladafad N Fame, combining the blood of Fame VF and *Aladdinn with the beauty of Fadjur and the athleticism of *Bask through Baske Tu.

What I have seen improvement-wise in what is placing today in the Arabian show ring over much of what was placing in the 80's is a vastly different horse, which encompasses most disciplines. You can find fabulous horses bred for whichever discipline you prefer, from WP to EP to Sport Horses to yes, Halter (though I have a severe distaste for much of what I see in the Halter ring, some of them are much better conformationally than some years back, and there is now an emphasis on movement we never had before).

I've never said we don't have problems, we have a LOT of them. I'm just focused on trying to make a lot of things a whole lot better. :)

SFTS said...

Not TJM, but since I'm here...BEC, that is the Pleasure Horse Forum, a QH WP based message board.

SFTS said...

Link to PHF here. I believe the thread is titled "Who Bucked" or something, it is closed for posting but I'm unsure if the thread has been deleted or not.

utswelshcobs said...

I don't claim to know much about the western disciplines. What I do know is that hock injections in young horses is NOT exclusive to WP. Reiners are notorious for hock injections being considered "routine maintenance". I've been told that by several reining trainers, owners and riders when I cringed over 4 yr olds needing regular hock injections.

cattypex said...

SFTS, out of ALL those horses, the only two I liked were Aladafad and the kid's pinto.

The whole problem isn't even so much the behind the vertical nose issue... it's that they're lowering the natural arch of their necks and perching their heads as if they're looking over bifocals for loose change.

This overflexion has caused the head & neck to be less of a fulcrum, thereby compromising movement.

Refer back to the photo of the Australian Stock Horse. THAT horse's neck is coming out of his shoulder in a natural and helpful, not to mention elegant, manner.

THAT is how I remember Arab WP in days of yore. Like beautiful swans instead of grazing geese.

Enjay said...

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the purpose of a western pleasure class to show the responsiveness, natural gaits, and suitability of the horse to western riding? And the jog was considered a ground covering ride all day gait?
That's how western pleasure was explained in my handbook back when I was showing.
Now I see horses in the money who jog slower than they walk, don't pick up their feet, have broken gaits, and that have to be prodded and prodded for a good quarter of the rail before they finally transition. Is WP now a costume class? What's wrong with having an alert, free moving, responsive horse who carries themselves in a manner that allows them to be ready to do whatever the rider asks?

cattypex said...

Not to mention SOUND.

There was a big paint horse with fancy tack & well-dressed rider at our fair this year who kept winning in Western classes.... and he was DEAD LAME.

Not even "ouchy."

Limpy Gimpy McLame.

cattypex said...

...and now that I've drawn two happy faces on my daughter's tummy that she is proudly and toplessly displaying, it's time to step away from the 'puter for the afternoon.

SFTS said...

CP, that *is* the natural arch of an Arabian horse's neck. :) Not all of them come up straight out of the shoulder like an English horse!

Personally, I didn't like that Australian stock horse at ALL, just not my cup of tea. To each his or her own, but I happen to like the "evolution", if you will, of the Arabian WP horse if not the evolution of the training of them. Like I said, I abhor the btv, way overbent, intimidated excessively draped rein look popular in our WP classes.

But you are right on about lame horses, especially in the stock breed ranks. Judges MUST be instructed not to place horses that are visibly lame.

Dena said...

Gee everyones avatars look so nice including mine.

And it so good to see everyone posting here.

runs away laughing...about how easily entertained my immature self sometimes is.ROFLMAO

You gave us a tool TJM it may take some time for me to acquire the maturity to use it properly.
But thank you so much for the laughter...

On a serious note. I have a 3yr old WP Arabian prospect.
He doesn't look anything like the examples given.

He has a slower and lower to the ground animation in his movement.
Doesn't mean he can't run though.

And while I am okay with his nose being in the vicinity of level with the upper portion of his chest.
I have never believed his nose should be IN his chest.

He jumped the water tank the other day.
Maybe I will reconsider the WP and change it to something else.

He is Sharem El Sheikh and GG Samir bred.

Big jowel, big eye, nice neck, nice topline, and relatively kind.

Catty you would have a ball with him.

He needs a home. And he has an awesome foot. And really only requires the farrier ever 8-10 weeks depending on the season.
I think his tail may be just a little wry.
Because I damn sure don't have any ginger.lol

Happy Sunday Everyone...

SFTS said...

That should be a nice cross, Dena. *El Shaklan crossed on Galero via *Samir (the "Golden Cross" of Spanish and Egyptian) with a little bit of tail female Polish in the German mare. Could be a great thing, I love those lines ~ I've got a *GG Samir grandson who's dam was a Polish/Crabbet mix. No Egyptian, but that might add in the exotic. I fell in love with *ES after seeing him at Nationals back in '83 when he went TT.

Btw, I left you a comment on the Gloves blog...gotta run, a few emails to answer before heading back out to ride a few more horses.

Dena said...

I had to go to his 3rd line to recognize much.
He apparently came out of a show barn to go to the auction.
His name is Eternal Echo and I think he is on Allbreed for those who enjoy or can make sense of the lines.
I paid a whopping $30 for him as a 2yr old.
And he is of course gelded.

horsndogluvr said...

After having spent yesterday in the company of beautiful dressage horses, in beautiful surroundings, I am feeling very mellow today. Except for not wanting to expose my neck/chest area to the sun...

My belief, that dressage is the foundation upon which every other discipline should be built, has been strongly reinforced. And I mean for the horse AND the rider.

Onwards.

SFTS said:
“You can find fabulous [Arabian] horses bred for whichever discipline you prefer, from WP to EP to Sport Horses to yes, Halter…"

See, this is what makes my "alarm" go off. Keep doing this, and eventually, you will have strains of Arabs that *don't look like each other.* That doesn't seem to have happened to Arabs yet, but if you breed separate types for different disciplines, it will. Look at AQHA.

"I've never said we don't have problems, we have a LOT of them. I'm just focused on trying to make a lot of things a whole lot better. :)”

Amen to that!

OK, I’m having a brain fart. What is “BTV” again?


Enjay said,
“Is WP now a costume class?”

ROFLMBO!

and, “What's wrong with having an alert, free moving, responsive horse who carries themselves in a manner that allows them to be ready to do whatever the rider asks?”
Exactly. Precisely. That’s why so many of us hate AQHA WP. None of us wants a horse that moves like that. Ecch.

And that's why I have fallen in love with dressage.

Pleasantly,

Ruthie

katphoti said...

STFS,

OMG, this horse is swishing her tail! I bet she's really mean and is going to bite her owner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKQgTiqhPbw

OMG, so is this one! And Anky is riding it: clearly she is a bad trainer if her horse swishes his tail!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPJGEzI3aIc

Also, just because you prefaced your comment that you don't know anything about gaited horses, you STILL commented about it. That's the key: you commented about a specific breed that you know nothing about.

I don't know anything about the WP world, or Arabs, or showing MFTs for that matter. But I DO know about good horsemanship, good training, and the basics that all horses and riders need. That's where I keep my comments. You should do the same.

CharlesCityCat said...

Ruthie:

You are absolutely right. While I do not chose to have dressage as my main discipline, I think everyone from every discipline would benefit in a major way from some basic dressage training.

I have never taken a lesson and I really regret that. I have worked with a couple of hunter trainers who do have dressage training, so at least I have that.

Kaede said...

Cattypex wrote
"if they're looking over bifocals for loose change."
I just got a new set of bifocals, I know exactly what you mean.

SFTS said...

For crying out loud kaphoti, who peed in your Cheerios? And for the record, some of us don't approve of Anky because of that little rollkur thing.

SFTS said...

BTV ~ behind the vertical

>>> "Keep doing this, and eventually, you will have strains of Arabs that *don't look like each other.* That doesn't seem to have happened to Arabs yet, but if you breed separate types for different disciplines, it will. Look at AQHA." <<<

We have had different types of Arabian horses for a very long time. In fact last year there was a huge debate over what to consider the absolute breed standard when the Arabian Scoring System for Halter classes was put in place, because of all those differences. Polish horses, Egyptian horses, Spanish horses, French horses, Crabbet horses, then you have the "Domestics" (predominantly Crabbet, older Polish and old Egyptian, and the Russians, which are a blending of Polish and Egyptian with French and Crabbet sometimes added in. It's a melting pot, really.

I got myself into a conversation about this too. ;) Out of ten folks, none of us could agree on one "breed standard" stallion. For me, it was Gai Parada+++. For some, it's *Bask++; for others, it's *Muscat, or *El Shaklan, or *Ansata Ibn Halima, or Fadjur, or Khemosabi++++, or Bey Shah+, or *Raffles, or Bay Abi...the list is endless, and none of those horses look the same, other than they have a distinctly "Arabian" look to them.

We have "Halter bred" horses (for instance, the *Marwan Al Shaqab's or the Padrons Psyche's/Magnum Psyche's) which have all but taken over our Halter classes, but a very small percentage of them have made their way into the performance ranks. Now, those Varian horses have carved out a couple of niches ~ Afire Bey V is the leading sire of English horses and Desperado V has become a source for Western horses, and they are half brothers by Huckleberry Bey (who himself was an English Pleasure horse). There are distinct sires to look for if you're looking to breed an English horse, and same with a Western horse. Are they always producing 100% along those lines? No. Look at OKW Entrigue+/, he's a National Champion Dressage horse though bred to be an EP horse (sired by a National Champion Park horse). But the good breeders definitely have a rhyme to their reason.

Okay, I've gone on long enough. It's something I could talk about all day, but alas I'm stepping off that soapbox. LOL!!

WiltedZebra said...

While it is fair to say that WP is a train wreck right now, I think it only fair to say that dressage also has some serious ugly.

I love dressage. I love what it does for me and my horse. Just as I love WP and the opportunity for relaxation it provides. That is why all of the crap going on in the horse world makes me so angry. Because I love it. From the things we do best to the things we will always fight to do correctly, I love them all. And all around me I see people ruining all these animals and disciplines that I love.

Dena said...

Back on topic. I am still completely befuddled by the whole suffer in silence that seems to have taken place in this particular class.
The Reichert WP 2 yr olds to be specific.
There are some of you who know me.
And I just can't imagine not bellowing at a decibel 10 "GETOFFAMEEEEYOUSONOFABITCH!!!"
My sportsmanlike conduct does not hold in the face of being humped without permission.

SFTS said...

That was very moving and well said, WZ. *applause*

I love Dressage. I love Western Pleasure. And a myriad of other disciplines, too. I train and ride my horses correctly and how I like them. I have sent clients packing if they disagree with my philosophy about how to train, ride and show their horses.

I will not forsake my beliefs of how horses should be trained, ridden and shown for a blue ribbon.

If a judge does not like how my horses move, or travel, or their "frame", or anything else, that's fine. It is their opinion. I will take my horses and my clients elsewhere. But I keep a detailed record of every judge we have ever shown under. There are some I simply refuse to show under anymore. Just a few, but they are off my list of "acceptable" judges.

On the Reichert topic, Dena, I am with you. It all gets curiouser and curiouser that there seems to be such a blackout of information and videotaped evidence of what actually did transpire as well as what actions will, or will not, be taken.

cattypex said...

Perhaps there's a lawsuit pending? *shrug*

Dena... I showed with this spitfire little girl, cute as a button, about 11 years old when someone kept riding up on her in the showring. Her gelding was NOT happy, esp. because this other kid was on 'em like stink on shit even when they'd cut across the ring!

Finally cute little Nikki said LOUDLY out of the corner of her mouth "GET OFF MY ASS BITCH!!!"

Heh. I just want horses' necks to come out of their shoulders how they're BUILT to, no higher, no lower. That's why I like the photo of the ASH. Natural, yet very controlled and elegant.

The WP Arabs I keep seeing are snaking their necks out and lowering them, while overflexing at the poll. Very weird angles and arches that don't add up to the horses' shoulder angles IMO.

Whereas AQHA WP horses look like broken triangles, with the riders perched on La-Z-Boys at the apex.

If you can't control your horse, Mr. Stallion Trainer, at least do the classy thing and bring him to the center and ask to be excused. Like we learned in 4H. And then apologize to the mare's owner, maybe offer to hook 'em up with another horrible fake tail if your stallion ruined theirs.

Isn't anyone interested in demonstrating class and good (people) breeding anymore? Cuz that kind of thing really makes business better in the long run.

cattypex said...

(SFTS, what did you NOT like, specifically, about the Australian Stock Horse photo? I thought he looked like a great example of an all-around correct horse, like he could hunt, jump, trail ride, take a few turns around a dressage ring, in a no-fuss but very correct manner. He looks balanced and tracking up nicely behind. Impulsion! gotta love it... But I'm curious what you DON'T like? I thought the rider looked pretty good, too, maybe a slight tiny roach to her back.... I'm a big fan of quiet, workmanlike equitation)

ZR said...

Gotta love modern sportsmanship. One of the biggest problems with childrens sports, all of them, is they all too often, rather than teaching fair play and hard work, they are teaching "If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying." Want proof? Look at all the steroid, testosterone, etc scandals as the kids grow up and turn professional.
Love Blue Hors Matine. Love even more that the commentators never mention her tail. They could care less, she's doing what she should do and doing it with style and controlled energy. Who the hell cares what the horses tail is doing? Are our USA judges so ADD that they can't judge a horse without the distraction of the tail? Hopefully our dressage judges here never take cue from the western. And yes, I've seen a disturbing trend in Reining to start worrying about tails, rather then paying attention to what the horse is actually doing. Perhaps we should just stand the horses in the middle of the arena and judge the horses tails?
Never been a western pleasure fan and laugh at people that say it wasn't always like it is. Mostly because most of the people saying that aren't old enough to have seen western pleasure when it was just that a pleasure class meant for the average horse person to get started or have fun. I'm not old enough either, but I have seen pictures from the way back when it was just a fun thing to do, a good way to get a young horse experience at a show or give the backyard teenager a place to show she/he can ride without spending lots of money. As for the modern western pleasure horse, well look at the horse that won in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stEgqgnbC4M . Especially at around the 2:40 mark, the horse is actually dragging the trailing hind foot. Sorry, but that is not correct movement for any horse, ever. If one of my horses was moving like that I'd be calling my vet in a hurry.
As for dressage and Rolkur the Arabian western pleasure horses may have started that first. I remember going to an Arabian show in Colorado a long time ago (20+years)and loving it. The horses moved freely and happy and the riders were happy too. Saw pictures of the same show last year, the horses were being forced into a 'frame', behind the bit (chin in chest) and no one looked happy.
A lot of this stuff is why I haven't shown in a long time and only think about doing perhaps a combined test or if I got up the time to train properly a novice event for fun. Only have to worry about the subjective stuff one day. ;) But then I tend to change my mind and go on a trail ride instead.
I loved barrel racing for a bit, but the trend of bad riders with big spurs, combination bits and sore horses has kinda put me off that as well. Just go to youtube and you will see what I mean.
Anyway, good to see some of you again and others, sheesh, why don't you start your own forums bashing those that you want to bash and leave the rest of these forums alone?

Darcy said...

ok... here is the deal... you were not there to watch this class... nor do you know the tactics of mr Keith Whistle. The owner or the mare who blind sided Ty, thought the stud was a threat, and so did keith. during the class keith cut off ty... if u take a mare and shove its butt into a studs face, then you are just asking for a disaster. yes i do agree that there are a few idiots in the pleasure industry, but there are many that actually work hard and get the prize, take the winner. Even Ty's Wife, Karen, works her butt off to win, clearly after watching her horses through the years. and one more thing, if training pleasure horses is so easy why don't you go out and train one.

JohnieRotten said...

CP

I did like the gray horse. Looks like a hell of a mover.

I finally got onto the Keystone stud and I kind of like some of the horses, but I am not really fond of the Keystone Alliance filly.

cattypex said...

Never said it was easy... but the end goal is WRONG.

Besides, I've seen several well-mannered and trained stallions who do NOT freak when a mare's ass is in their faces.

If your horse is being a rambunctious butt, you should graciously excuse yourselves, or at least cut across the ring to a less volatile place.

God won't smite you, AQHA people, if you pass another horse or move somewhere else in the ring.

cattypex said...

JR, wow... she looks like a moose!

I hope it's just an awkward phase.

She looks like 2 horses put together in the middle.

I didn't like all the Keystone horses either, but I sure like that stallion. A good example of a useful type of horse we need more of, with some universal "correctness" that made me happy.

Dena said...

Cattypex I am roaring...

JohnieRotten said...

Cp

I don't think that is a phase. But I think you are right she does look like a moose.

SFTS said...

cattypex wrote:
SFTS, what did you NOT like, specifically, about the Australian Stock Horse photo?
- - - - - - - -

Specifically? Based only on the photo you linked, to me he has a ewe neck which to me is undesirable, and in that photo I entirely dislike the appearance of his shoulder. I also dislike the hollow at the base of the neck ~ I want to see a well carried arch to the neck (probably the Arab person in me). Additionally, I am not a fan of flat kneed daisy cutter movement, I want a round, bold moving horse. His hind legs, while tracking up do not show any impulsion from the hock to me. He also looked like he is pulling on his rider's hands, which was unappealing to me as well, as it might be what gives his neck the funky appearance.

Just not my cup of tea. :) I have no doubt he could do well in a variety of disciplines, perhaps a jack-of-all trades type of horse, and from his Aussie show record it looks like he has. But he's not the type of horse I would ever be interested in owning. To each his or her own!

SFTS said...

ZR wrote:
Love Blue Hors Matine. Love even more that the commentators never mention her tail. They could care less, she's doing what she should do and doing it with style and controlled energy.
- - - - - - - -

I generally watch equestrian events on television without the sound, as most commentators are either so ill informed, so off base or just plain goofy it drives me up the wall. Yes, sometimes there is an intelligent, knowledgeable horse person in the broadcast booth. Frequently even those end up sounding like morons. ;) Case in point last year's AHA Nationals. The commentators "Railside Report" uses are longtime trainers and judges, most of them. But Lordy some of the things they say just make you want to cringe...

SFTS said...

cattypex wrote:
Besides, I've seen several well-mannered and trained stallions who do NOT freak when a mare's ass is in their faces.
- - - - - - - -

LOL...some years back I was on a client's Hunter stallion outside the warmup ring getting ready for the gate to open on our class, and this poor girl on a very naughty mare swung her hindquarters over right under his nose. She looked positively mortified when her friend pointed out the fact that the horse she had just done that to was a stallion. He was a good boy, and actually looked away, then looked back up at me as if to say, "Help, did you SEE what she DID?!"

Tuffy Horse said...

On the stallion issue:

There is NO fricking excuse for ANY stallion to misbehave around a mare.
When I trained polo horses we hauled Grey Eagle, one of the few stallions playing polo, in the trailer with mares and geldings lined up head to tail with NO gates between them. Never had a single problem.

When I hauled my old stallion Cost I could haul him side by side with a mare in heat and never have any crap happen.

Both of my current stallions haul and show with mares and they know that their equipment better stay packed away.

I showed all my stallions in halter, NO lip chains.
I showed all of them from bosal level to advance, no problem jumping mares.

So this crap is simply poor stallion management.

Tracy M

roanhorse said...

I don't usually agree with you but your column on WP and the wreck at the Reichert hit the nail dead center. There's a lot of collective stupidity out in the pen right now and the worst of it comes from trainers who are CONVINCED that the current crop of WP horses and their stumbling, four beating, overarched hips, snail paced, spur stopping pleasure horses are just the hot ticket and convince their client/owners that what's going on in their WP training and the end product of same is just the thing to have. The shame of it is, of course, that so many ignoramuses buy the entire package; the bullshit, the horses who can no longer move. They're bred to move now...for crying out loud, and then, here comes retarded trainer and gets in their way. The deal is, it is what it is, the poor movement, etc., and denial runs rampant and the rest of us, of course, "don't know what the hell we're talking about" if we express our displeasure at viewing this. I've seen WP go downhill from the '70's; had a AQHA world qualified WP mare who was "tricked" to a degree but still was a great pleasure ride...her neck came straight out of her body...she was a profiler for sure, no punkin' roller there...looked wonderful on the rail and still had some freedom of movement.

The thing with the stud is amazing. Yes, that rider should have been dismissed from the pen; that and the stud for the remainder of the circuit. Now, where would things have been if the rider on the mare had been severely injured by that stud's nonsense;I will say I've shown pleasure for a number of years and have never encountered a wreck as what went on at the Reichert. Maybe I'm just lucky...but I really believe that the studs that I have been around in the show pen "knew" their nuts would have been removed in full view of everyone with a box knife.

The WP industry right now IS CRAP; the longer this bs continues,the rotten movement, the four beaters,etc. the further away from any naturally moving horse we'll get and that is a 'effing tragedy. Kids are beginning to think that those lousy fourbeating, over arched horses are the way a horse is supposed to move in the pen because they've NEVER seen a good movement. You should hear them talk about this...."The horse is moving correctly because it's four beating". Pardon me while I gag. But, it is alarming to hear this talk going on from children no less. I'm beginning to think that half the trainers out there don't know good movement when they see it either. They're clueless.

Don't get me wrong...I have a large group of friends who are trainers and they're also distressed at what they're seeing in the WP pen.

In talks with my trainer buddies, they've been in the business for a LONG time, their worst fear is that I'll want to return to the pleasure pen...and it is because of what is going on out there right now. The rotten movement, exorbitant prices on these horses who cannot move and the naivety of the current crop of owner/exhibitors. I will say, I cannot watch a pen full of these horses move anymore...it's a travesty. I spend my time now with the Working Cow Horses.

The letters to The Quarter Horse Journal from AQHA members expressing their displeasure at this nonsense in the pen are increasing. And the "Suspended Persons" list continues to grow. Unsportsmanlike conduct, illegal drug use which is discovered in a urine test when these horses leave the pen. And any other brand of cheating and lying and abuse of the show manager and staff will bring suspensions.

Please excuse my endless rant and thank your for your blog...you got it right!!!!!

roanhorse said...

I don't usually agree with you but your column on WP and the wreck at the Reichert hit the nail dead center. There's a lot of collective stupidity out in the pen right now and the worst of it comes from trainers who are CONVINCED that the current crop of WP horses and their stumbling, four beating, overarched hips, snail paced, spur stopping pleasure horses are just the hot ticket and convince their client/owners that what's going on in their WP training and the end product of same is just the thing to have. The shame of it is, of course, that so many ignoramuses buy the entire package; the bullshit, the horses who can no longer move. They're bred to move now...for crying out loud, and then, here comes retarded trainer and gets in their way. The deal is, it is what it is, the poor movement, etc., and denial runs rampant and the rest of us, of course, "don't know what the hell we're talking about" if we express our displeasure at viewing this. I've seen WP go downhill from the '70's; had a AQHA world qualified WP mare who was "tricked" to a degree but still was a great pleasure ride...her neck came straight out of her body...she was a profiler for sure, no punkin' roller there...looked wonderful on the rail and still had some freedom of movement.

The thing with the stud is amazing. Yes, that rider should have been dismissed from the pen; that and the stud for the remainder of the circuit. Now, where would things have been if the rider on the mare had been severely injured by that stud's nonsense;I will say I've shown pleasure for a number of years and have never encountered a wreck as what went on at the Reichert. Maybe I'm just lucky...but I really believe that the studs that I have been around in the show pen "knew" their nuts would have been removed in full view of everyone with a box knife.

The WP industry right now IS CRAP; the longer this bs continues,the rotten movement, the four beaters,etc. the further away from any naturally moving horse we'll get and that is a 'effing tragedy. Kids are beginning to think that those lousy fourbeating, over arched horses are the way a horse is supposed to move in the pen because they've NEVER seen a good movement. You should hear them talk about this...."The horse is moving correctly because it's four beating". Pardon me while I gag. But, it is alarming to hear this talk going on from children no less. I'm beginning to think that half the trainers out there don't know good movement when they see it either. They're clueless.

Don't get me wrong...I have a large group of friends who are trainers and they're also distressed at what they're seeing in the WP pen.

In talks with my trainer buddies, they've been in the business for a LONG time, their worst fear is that I'll want to return to the pleasure pen...and it is because of what is going on out there right now. The rotten movement, exorbitant prices on these horses who cannot move and the naivety of the current crop of owner/exhibitors. I will say, I cannot watch a pen full of these horses move anymore...it's a travesty. I spend my time now with the Working Cow Horses.

The letters to The Quarter Horse Journal from AQHA members expressing their displeasure at this nonsense in the pen are increasing. And the "Suspended Persons" list continues to grow. Unsportsmanlike conduct, illegal drug use which is discovered in a urine test when these horses leave the pen. And any other brand of cheating and lying and abuse of the show manager and staff will bring suspensions.

Please excuse my endless rant and thank your for your blog...you got it right!!!!!

cattypex said...

It's amazing how polarizing WP is.

So many people see it for what it is and HATE it, but when they vote with their feet (hooves?) and move to another discipline, there are still plenty of folks as Roanhorse describes who move right on in, because so many have been sold a bill of goods.

The sad thingg is that WP has become an END instead of a MEANS - used to be it demonstrated a nice moving horse that would be a fun animal to ride and mess around with.

Now they're unitasking freaks..... like a low-rider show car that's completely useless as a daily driver.

cattypex said...

SFTS: Interesting, I didn't see a ewe neck... or anything other than regular contact. Or too-low movement...

He doesn't move like an Arab cuz he AIN'T one. ; )

Anyway...

Truthseeker said...

I see a lot of ignorance in comments here about Western Pleasure.

However, I am appalled at how commonplace abuse is at the 'elite' levels of Western Pleasure. Tail blocking is considered necessary even though illegal and dangerous. The event at the 'elite' level tends to attract some high maintenance type personalities and people with too much money.

Most Western Pleasure bred horses are horses that are naturally calm, relaxed, and friendly. They have doglike personalities and want to be with people. They make great horses for kids and beginners and are perfect for general recreational riding.

They have soft jogs that rival a gaited horse for being easy on the rider's back.

Western Pleasure for the show ring has improved and is continuing to improve. The AQHA recently released a new video to bring everyone up to speed on the further-improved standards for showing and judging Western Pleasure.

If you don't like Western Pleasure, then just don't do it. But please stop criticizing it if you're merely displaying your ignorance about it or parroting what some other ignorant person says about it.

cattypex said...

Well... let's just hope AQHA horses are judged better than they were last year.

As for that video, I watched the free part on youtube, and the first part with the horse out in the pasture really gave me hope.

Then the part showing horses in the ring showed the same shuffling gaits.

Yes, many quarter horses are AWESOME sweethearts! And a nice collected jog is a joy to ride.

But until the AQHA judges REALLY get with the program (last year's World winners did NOT impress me on YouTube), and QUIT rewarding that godawful low head (sorry, even poll level with withers is pushing it for most well-built horses), canted-in hindquarters, and incorrect gaits, and crack down on the tailblockers, then I will have to say "NO THANKS."

Tying up a horse's head all night is NOT a training method.

Spur stop is NOT good training.

Yanking on a horse's face because he can only move so long in a forced, mincing, unnatural manner is NOT good horsemanship.

Post legs is NOT good conformation.

Those poor big horses with their cut-down hooves move like Chinese ladies with their feet bound into deformed lumps.

PS - If you breed a 17 hand horse to have a big butt and long legs, why the HELL do you want to curtail that stride? Makes NO sense.

Truthseeker said...

cattypex wrote:
>
even poll level with withers is pushing it for most well-built horses)
>

OK, remember what I said about ignorance? That's a good example of it.

A level topline has always been desired in Western horses of the Stock breeds. THINK! Cowboys don't want the horse's head to get in the way of a thrown rope. Stock breeds have a reputation for being calm horses, and calm horses tend to carry their necks and heads low, relaxed.

Poll carried level with the back is normal and typical for a properly conformed stock breed horse.

I agree with cattypex about the bad training 'methods' that it seems that so many 'elite' Western Pleasure trainers use. However, many very fine trainers do NOT use abusive methods. For example, take Bill and Tina Kaven. They are excellent horsemen, and I think Tina could teach a horse to do almost anything. :)

SFTS said...

Take that photo CP and compare it to a horse with a properly conformed neck. :) Notice the 'bulge' on the underside? Then also look closely at how the horse's mouth seems to be pulled back at the corners. Blow the photo up and it becomes clearly visible.

I also don't like a convex head, or the length from eye to muzzle. Yep, I am an Arabian person through and through. His movement? It does not excite or move me in any way. But remember, I learned to judge within the Arabian ranks and that's where my preferences lie.

Glad you like him. :) I don't.

JohnieRotten said...

Truthseeker

You are correct about a relaxed horse having his head low.

But as far as the western pleasure classes go. I hate seeing the horses strung out behind and laboring in the front end to pick up the lope. That is not correct. Four beating is a man made gate and needs to go away.

And yes, though I am not an arabian trainer, I have seen the same trends in western pleasure there.

That is why I only train cow horses now.

cattypex said...

Truthseeker...

True, long & low is desirable, but I like to see just a hair above level. NOT high-headed necessarily... because you're right about the cowboy/rope idea.

But it seems like just that little bit of elevation in front sometimes helps a horse get its rear end underneath, thereby eliminating that strung-out behind thing.

QH's are today expected to move like living sawhorses, with their necks frozen in front of them.

In the bush league open shows, you used to be able to see some good-quality OLD QH's that had retired to be beginner kid horses. Horses who used to win points in WP at big shows.

Their gaits were nice and smooth, slow but true, collected, natural, with a relaxed head carriage that put the ears up higher than the saddle horn.

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