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Proper Western Pleasure leg position?


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#1 Palogal

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:29 PM

Parelli's dumb

Nah just kidding but I figured it was an attention grabbing title.

Here's my question....

I did Western Pleasure many moons ago when I was probably 10 or 11. I've been reprogrammed Dressage for the last..*cough* few years. The leg position for dressage is heel under hip. Where does your leg go for Western Pleasure? I have a great lesson horse that's a pro WP mount and I can't figure out where to put my feet. The dressage position feels...awkward.

Edited by WashingtonBay, 09 December 2008 - 11:02 PM.


#2 shewasmyshadow

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:36 PM

It might be your saddle making it feel awkward. Most new (or newer) western saddles are STIFF and make you want to stretch you heels/leg out in front of you. Maybe your feeling resistant due to that?
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#3 WashingtonBay

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:39 PM

~sigh~ (at thread title)

Well, google "western pleasure" and choose images and you'll see a lot of examples if you've never seen one...

Heel under hip, probably a little longer stirrup than you'd have in dressage.

Edited by WashingtonBay, 09 December 2008 - 11:02 PM.


#4 quest

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:41 PM

The leg position as far as alignment goes from WP to dressage is generally the same since you should have a longer leg in dressage than some of the other english disciplines. Though of course, pleasure is judged on your horse so its not AS big a deal as say a western horsemanship class where equitation is everything...

#5 Palogal

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:45 PM

It might be your saddle making it feel awkward. Most new (or newer) western saddles are STIFF and make you want to stretch you heels/leg out in front of you. Maybe your feeling resistant due to that?


IDK, it's an ancient western lesson saddle. I feel like when I ride in in it dressage position I'm pushing myself out of the saddle.

Do you sit on your tail bone? You don't for dressage so maybe I'm just sitting wrong.

#6 Palogal

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:46 PM

~sigh~

Well, google "western pleasure" and choose images and you'll see a lot of examples if you've never seen one...

Heel under hip, probably a little longer stirrup than you'd have in dressage.



Good idea..I did that and it looks like the heel is farther forward, not directly under the hip and the stirrups are definitely longer.

#7 WashingtonBay

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:51 PM

Well, in a pleasure class, position is not directly judged. Perfect equitation would be more in line. If you were in a lesson, the instructor would probably tell you to have your heel further back than those who are too far forward.

Now... can I change your dumb title?:)

#8 Equine_Woman

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:59 PM

Please do WB I came to see the fire and there is none. Not even a good popcorn eating post.

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#9 quest

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 11:21 PM

Ok, you want the vertical line from shoulder, hip, heel. You want a long leg and you want to sit deep in the saddle and feel your seatbone(not leaning back or forward) and engage the bare down system. Although it isnt judged on your equitation, when you look pretty and comfortable, it generally makes your horse look more of a "pleasure" to ride.

Sounds like the problem to me is that you are bracing on the stirrups. I would lengthen them a little bit or do some work without the stirrups. Dont push your heel down in the stirrups, this pushes you up. Just relax your leg completely.

Edited by quest, 09 December 2008 - 11:25 PM.


#10 mypaintpony

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 11:59 PM

Something like this except look up and ahead.

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#11 TLC97

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 08:28 AM

The pic. mypaint posted is correct expect this rider needs to have her head looking up and that would bring her shoulders up more to where they should be. WP is judged on the horse, but the better the rider looks the better the horse will look.

#12 Joey A

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 09:17 AM

Unless I'm in the first couple months of training, (or posting) my stirrups are largely vestigial. Mostly used to hike me up into the saddle since I'm too lazy to swing up. (especially on a western)

Edit to add my real point, yeah, it sounds like your stirrups are just too short or set too far forward. IMO, most westerns have the stirrups too far forward. My fav saddle is a 14.5 and I should be in a 15.5-16 because of the stirrup placement.

Edited by Joey A, 10 December 2008 - 09:19 AM.


#13 Palogal

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 10:31 AM

I'm starting to think it's the saddle. I have pretty narrow hips and those big western saddles are hard for me to sit in comfortably. I will try the longer stirrups though, sounds like it could make it easier.

#14 PatriotsDreamer

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 11:04 PM

Maybe its the seat size thats too big for you?

#15 Palogal

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 09:09 AM

Also possible. I have no idea what size the western saddle is that I use. The adult Western riders ride in it so I did too. It's just very uncomfortable and I feel like i can't sit down in it like I can my Dressage/ Jumping saddles. My English saddles are all 17 in.

#16 Palogal

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 10:16 AM

Now... can I change your dumb title?:)



U are no fun. I was just playin':p

#17 quest

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 07:22 PM

If you haven't ridden western in a long time it could just take some used to getting used to the seat and everything, but having a saddle that fits you definetely helps




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