wittelsbuerger.com - Europas erste Adresse für den Westernreitsport
Today´s W. Pleasure Horse 
Show - Informationen
Besucher online
Unsere Foren: Informieren Sie sich und diskutieren Sie mit!
Diese Seite ausdrucken
Diese Seite
zu den Favoriten
Diese Seite
als Startseite
Kontakt & Feedback
Kontakt &

Sitemap & Suchfunktion
Sitemap &

International Visitors

zur Startseite

zurück zur

Answer by Steve Heckaman

QUESTION/STATEMENT: I was at the JR Reichert Pleasure Celebration show last weekend... It was amazing to watch how the horses moved. But it also brought up several questions.

My first question is about how the horses were tracking. I understand that you want their hind end shifted in a bit, but some of these horses were two-tracking so severely that their outside hind was traveling more to the inside of the arena than their inside front! I realize that I'm very new to the world of WP, but I do have classical and formal dressage training. I honestly do understand the principals of balance, drive, and collection. What I saw as a way of going does NOT create natural balance.

No wonder these horses need chiropractors! My vision is for a horse to be bent around the rider's leg in a natural way...more bent on the corners and more straight with just the nose slightly tipped in on the straight-aways. I also understand the benefit of the two-tracking during training sessions in order to help build muscles and help to get the horse to come further up underneath themself, but in the showring???

It really frightened me that these were the horses that were consistently placing. I have no rider/horse names to give, but these were just general observations. Can someone please explain to me WHY this way of going (especially in the showring) is GOOD? It just seems like a terribly artificial way of moving...I thought the goal was for a more natural mover that would be a "pleasure" to ride.

My second question is about how the horses are so overly collected (yes, there is such a thing as too much collection) that at the lope, they seem to hesitate in mid-air. They bring their hind end so high up under them to get that elevation and suspension that it really isn't terribly pleasureable to ride. There are certain "high school" movements in dressage that require this type of movement, but I simply don't understand its place in the wp world. Again, I can understand its benefit in the training arena, but to have it so exaggerated in the show ring??? It just doesn't seem to build on that natural, pleasure movement.

Please understand that I'm not criticizing, I simply don't understand why these two exaggerations are desireable? I know how to ride a collected horse and one with impulsion. Believe me, if you ever get a chance, get on a well trained dressage horse and you will have a new respect for the meaning of impulsion! The peanut-rollers of yester-year were terribly out of balance...if a wind came up, it could tip the horse right on over onto its nose! Fortunately, those days are behind us, but I'm not sure that we haven't jumped from the frying pan right into the fire with the current way of moving.

(donning my asbestos suit! but really wanting a world with NATURALLY moving pleasure horses in the show ring!)

Answer / Training Tip, by Steve Heckaman"

Point well taken! It seems that to a lot of people, that if a little is good then a lot must be better.

The appearance of having the hip pushed over so much that, for example, say loping to the left, the right rear hits parallel or to the outside of the left front, is an exaggerated form of the exercise to encourage the horse to engage behind.

When the hip is constantly ridden over in this arc, that creates this look. When done over a long period of time, this becomes a habit. The result of over doing this exercise is for the off rear leg to cover less distance or become shorter, as the inside rear leg gets deeper or longer. the shorter distance of that back foot, and the longer distance of the opposite inside back foot creates a longer gap between beat 1 and beat 2 of the lope. The horse must compensate for this difference by hopping off his off front leg in order to keep his balance or equal the distance between beat 2 and beat 3 that was created between beat 1 and 2.

Probably more than you really wanted to know, but I think thats it in a nutshell, to me anyway.


Steve Heckaman Quarter Horses is located near Pilot Point, Texas. The photo above is taken from there in August 1999, by HomePage Productions This original article was printed with permission from Mr. Heckaman. Thanks Steve!



Impressum © 2003 by wittelsbuerger.com Disclaimer
Bücher zum Thema