It's Not All John Wayne And Keep 'Em Rolling!
most people think of Western horsemanship, images of John Wayne
and the lonesome cowboy on the endless plain spring to mind. But
according to Western horsemanship expert David Lloyd, nothing could
be further from the truth. And in order to put us all right on the
matter, he will be giving riding demonstrations at the Midlands
Equine Fair taking place at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern,
on 8 and 9 March.
is not about Hollywood stars in chaps, but rather schooling horses
to move under weight transference and away from leg pressure. The
result is an animal that is supple throughout its head, shoulders,
ribs and hips and that can be ridden one handed - it will still
perform correctly and work with its rider as an harmonious team.
training of a Western horse is based on the combination of leg pressure
and the rider moving his or her weight to put the horse in the correct
position to carry out a manoeuvre. In effect, the rifer is allowing
the horse to work out what is required for itself.
the horse learns that it only meets resistance when it does something
wrong and that the resistance stops when this is corrected. This
is the basis of the Western riding philosophy, which is to make
the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult and to always
reward the slightest attempt by the horse to act correctly.
time and with patience the trainer will achieve a 'willingly guided'
horse, and the rider will be rewarded with a horse that responds
to the lightest rein contact and the smallest levels of control
for any direction, speed or manoeuvre.
show classes for Western riding consist of six elements:
is the only halter class in which the horse is a prop. Most of the
points are gained from leading the horse, posing it for inspection
and the manner in which the handler presents the horse to the judge.
are judged on seat position and their ability to show the horse
good pleasure horse has a flowing stride that must be natural and
neither too fast or too slow. The horse should be shown on a loose
rein and should be responsive and smooth in transitions from one
manoeuvre to another. It should also be balanced in it walk and
back-ups. The winner is quite literally the horse that is the most
pleasure to ride.
are required to ride one of five patterns as set out in the rulebook,
which are selected by the judge. The class is designed to show the
calm, easy paces of the horse and its ability to change leads at
the exact place in the pattern.
is an obstacle course that must be negotiated with ease and attitude.
It includes a gate, side pass, backing, a walk, jog or lope over
poles into a five or six foot box, followed by a 360 degree turn.
the horse and rider must ride on of eleven patterns chosen by the
judges. Competitors are required to perform at the lope only and
show speed control in fast and slow circles, flying changes, rolls
backs (which require a stop followed by a 180 degree turn) and lope
off, spinning on the spot to the left and right, and back ups. The
judges look for and reward horses that are willingly guided.
for the Midlands Equine Fair are available in advance from Contour
Exhibitions & Events by calling 08700 115007 and advance booking
discounts are available. Further information and leaflets are available
by calling 01884 841644, or by logging on at www.contour.uk.net.