View Full Version : western pleasure

29-05-07, 04:04 AM
My daughter and I are thinking of having a go at western pleasure on my gelding. We are only going to do the beginners walk/jog classes to start with. In the AQHA rules it says that horses over 6 years have to have a curb bit and be ridden one handed, is this correct for beginners too? How do you teach a 12 year old dressage horse to neck rein? He does neck rein to a certain extent but not what I would call properly. i.e. you can use the outside rein on his neck to correct falling out on a circle and my daughter can do bending/mug race etc. one handed and I tend to trail ride one handed and use the reins on his neck to guide him, but to actually turn him round using neck reining is hopeless!! being a pommie I have no idea where to start!!

thanks, Mandy

29-05-07, 04:49 AM
I have a done a couple beginner classes, the requirements for these classes is nothing like normal western classes. You can wear basically whatever you like & compete in either western or english attire/tack. The whole point of beginner classes is to learn the ropes and prepare you for the open/amature classes.

The more shows you go to the more you will learn especially by watching what others do, wear and how they ride. Also you do not have to ride one handed in any class if you do not want to - you can be put down for this but safety is paramount.

This is just my experience from a couple of shows I have done a few years ago. It might be best to ring the show organisers and ask them about your queries?

Cheekyspirt 26
29-05-07, 07:15 AM
Hi Mandy

Totally agree with Katey, when you are just starting out you can ride in any gear as long as it is safe.

You do not have to be correctly fitted out or bitted up (western bit) until you start competing at amateur or open level. When in beginner classes this is not required.

A lot of clubs hold beginner days go along have heaps of fun and everyone will be very willing to help you.

good luck and look forward to seeing you around the traps.

29-05-07, 10:01 AM
Interesting....i too own a georgeous QH mare who has been western trained, but i ride english and have no idea about western riding. I have always thought it would be fun to give it a go, but i don't know how to get into it and don't want to look like a fool. I don't have any western gear either, but could maybe borrow some.

what do you have to do in the classes? workout etc and what are the judges looking for?

29-05-07, 10:17 AM
Hi Mairead,

Here is a link that will describe some western disciplines.



29-05-07, 11:05 AM
thanks everyone!! We are actually having a go at this because the horse fractured his pelvis last year and we have just got him back into work and thought this would be a nice gentle way of doing something with him as he loves to go out, and he's not going to be able to do the dressage I was hoping to do with him, dressage is now my pinto mares thing!! We have been practicing the 'jog' which he has taken to like a duck to water, and I think we have definitely found his 'thing'!! He likes to go long and low and slow!!lol!! We went to watch a competition a couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine was competing so we went with her to watch. We were most impressed with how all the horses were so relaxed and looked like you don't have to do too much 'energetic' stuff in the beginners classes, which will suit my daughter too!! We got a bridle last weekend and we are going to borrow my friends spare western saddle so we won't look too out of place, and my daughter is looking forward to wearing jeans and a nice pretty shirt!!lol! I've never ridden in a western saddle so that will be something different. I was thinking of getting him the curb bit as he does tend to lean a bit in a snaffle (years of being a riding school horse before we got him) and I think it might be a bit easier for my daughter, so long as we can ride 2 handed for a while until we have mastered the neck reining!! the hunter under saddle classes look good too, we might eventually be able to do that with him, once he's strong enough to canter again.

we would love to go to a western pleasure clinic if anyone knows of any around the Sydney area, let me know
Cheers, Mandy

29-05-07, 11:21 AM
Hi Mandy,

I'm in Brisbane, but I know some members of this club in Sydney. Someone may be able to help you with clinic and show info.



29-05-07, 11:27 AM
wow thanks vikki!! I'm all excited now, they have a show at cobbity in July that has heaps of classes for me and my daughter!!