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Video: AQHA Western Pleasure Judging

What makes a correct walk, jog and lope for a western pleasure horse?

June 2011 Extra

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Learn what western pleasure judges are looking for and see some of the common faults of gait that you should avoid with your western pleasure horse.


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Western Perception
American Quarter Horse Association


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Video: AQHA Western Pleasure Judging

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Dale Rudin    Nolensville, TN

7/22/2015 6:37:11 PM

I love this video too and agree that that's not what we always see in the show pen. However, if we all commit to training our horses to move properly we can set the trend. Horses deserve to move comfortably and with balance. I implore all WP riders to train for the horse's sake and not for what will win them points on any particular day.

Judy    Green Bay, WI

3/30/2015 10:07:53 AM

This is a good article BUT when one watches the present videos on Western Pleasure event at Congress or most high end shows the horses look terrible. The jog is too slow, their ears are to be level with their withers and they are far from it; at the lope their heads are not to bobble yet they must because they are moving at such an artificial gate. The gaits look ridiculous and far from natural movements. The rule book says what the gates should be like yet these same judges are picking horses that are traveling far from normal and natural gaits. About time they revert back to normal head position and leg movements. AQHA Western Pleasure is the laughing stock event!

Tammy    Bend, OR

3/3/2015 7:18:22 PM

This is a very good video; most importantly it is coming from AQHA judges. However, I still do not understand why we go to the Western Pleasure videos and shows and are still consistently seeing horses barely walking, jogging with their noses sticking out and loping like they are crippled and going sidesway down the rail. The horses themselves have no roundness and above all, no expression. They look dull and lifeless. When is this all going to change back to wanting to see the horse at his true gates? I thought this video is saying just that? The "trainers" are not listening and the judges are still rewarding this ugliness.

Laura    Findlay, OH

2/7/2015 8:41:18 AM

This is a great video. I love western pleasure, but it can be ugly sometimes. My horse has much more natural gaits than some wp horses. I hope that this comes back. When looking at the older clips shown in this video, it is much more pleasing to watch. The horse's movements are more natural. Western Pleasure needs to go back to its roots.

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