Why is Western Pleasure so hated on?

Many people hate on Western Pleasure, but is it because it really is a bad discipline, or do they just not know that much about it?


it's just nowadays so exaggerated. Back in my day, in the 70's, the peanut rolling was becoming vogue. It was supposed to be at the horizontal, not dragging along the ground. The gaits were natural, collected and flowing. Now you don't even know WHAT gait the horse is in. Just ridiculous. It's supposed to be how much of a pleasure is this horse to ride. If you consider this new WP a horse that would be a pleasure to ride, I'd say just shoot the horse, saddle it up and take your ride as the horse is slowly dying. This horse won high point as a 2, 3 and 4 year old. Lost her to bastard strangles at 5 1/2. I was about to go pro reining where they can at least have natural gait. Kind of. But this picture was taken in 1999. Things have changed. Edit: oh yeah, I hated having her head set be even this low, hence the martingale. LOL, she won high point THAT day too, even with the martingale. She was that good. See her tail? she just had a natural free flowing gait that the judges loved. Even that collected. This horse was such a pleasure to ride, the people at my stable didn't want to ride their horses, They wanted to ride HER. I was very generous in letting them enjoy her too. She was true greatness and I've never been the same after losing her so tragically Got out. Now I just have my Dobermans.


I work at a show barn and all my boss does is coach western pleasure. I suppose I wouldnt mind learning how to do it myself one day but I would never go all in and be techniqual about it. Honestly to me all the horses just look unnatural, they lope so slow it almost looks painful for some of those horses! Someone once told me they think it is only so popular because it's an easier discipline and people love the praise they get from winning ribbions.


I know a lot about it, and I don't like it. I could cite any number of reasons, from artificial training methods, weighted bits and reins, to the travesty of peanut rollers and 4 beat canters, and the emphasis on bling and looks over substance, but my biggest problem is this: The horses all look bored. And I'm bored.

Judy and the Beast

Personally I'm not a fan of the artificial smiles, gobs of makeup, sequins, and unnatural gaits they ask of the horses. I would rather ride than do that stuff. I don't hate it. It's just not my cup of tea.


It's because it's really not a pleasure to ride a horse that doesn't go anywhere when it jogs and has a 4 beat lope. No to mention having their heads so low. Their poll isn't supposed to be lower than their withers, but you see it in classes all the time. It's a very different class than it was 40 years ago.


1) There are lots of snobby horse people out there. 2) Every discipline has it's pros/cons and controversies. 3) Not everyone is interested in western stuff like saddle horns, spurs, fringe, sequins, gaudy belt buckles, ten gallon hats, chaps and all the other trimmings. 4) There are many ways to build a relationship with a horse. People generally develop a preference for one discipline over the others.


I don't really like any of the disciplines because I find when money or winning ribbons comes into play people start forgetting at their horse. I've seen terrible riding at local shows from girl's I know who normally ride quite well. I don't think it's something the horses, given a choice would want to do. I think they'd rather hang out with their horses friends all day than spend all day at a show but they have little choice. Humans are selfish.


"Hating on" things is almost a distinguishing characteristic of enthusiast groups, including Horse Fanciers. You will find people in such groups hold passionate and illogical dislikes (of no-matter-what) because they feel their disapproval demonstrates their expertise and worldliness. This is an old and well-established behaviour among humans in general and you can see it everywhere, (especially in places like Facebook). Gatherings of Horse People are notorious for it. People look down upon people and things, even if they know nothing about them, simply to suggest to everyone that they are somehow SUPERIOR to the people or things at issue, (or even superior to the person that mentions the people or things to them). This judgement is almost always accompanied with a derisive or dismissive tone and a raising of the snoot or a turning of the back. When you have seen it as a result of mentioning Western Pleasure, be assured that it has nothing to do with Western Pleasure itself, or with you. It has everything to do with how the other party wants everyone to think of THEM.