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Country versus English Pleasure


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#1 SunlitFarmTraining

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 01:00 PM

Well, folks finally got brave and began posting in the Hunter Pleasure forum, but everyone seems to be too chicken to walk into this hornet's nest, so I'll jump...

...suggestions on what needs to be done to bring back some sanity to the CEP ring? Anyone?

#2 jaycyrewin

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 02:28 PM

:) ;) :: claps :: I hadn't gotten here to post it yet! Yeahhhh!

So perhaps we should state what everyone THINKS a CEP horse is?

I'll go first (since I opened a small can of worms in the HP section)

I want a ... nice moving, well behaved, responsive, saddleseat horse. They should NOT jig, not jack their knees to their chin. And they should be a nice, pleasurable ride. Also the "long rein, walk off" requirement should be for 1/2 the ring!!!:)

What I don't want to see is a high action-ed, white-eyed, covered in sweat, panicky looking horse that jigs at the walk, can barely meet the "long rein, walk off requirement" for more then 2 strides.

AR125
It is imperative that the horse give the distince appearance of being a pleasure to ride. A **quite, responsive mouth is paramount .... To me this means that the horse should NOT have it's lips pulled back to its chin, and the rider should not be hanging on for dear life!....

AR125.. under Walk, Normal Trot, Strong trot, and canter: HIGH ACTION MUST BE PENALIZED!!!

What I can't tell you, is how to get this back! It falls into the same catergory as what is going on in the HP world. Judges are not judging for what is required in the rule book, and they are not penalizing for what should be....If we can get judges to place more emphasis on manners and penalize high action? But HOW? I can't tell you.

So.. I've said my two cents.. back to lurking... Thank you for opening the can of worms!
~*A Enter working trot rising! X Halt, salute. Proceed at working trot!*~

#3 Gogetter

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 02:51 PM

What I don't want to see is a high action-ed, white-eyed, covered in sweat, panicky looking horse that jigs at the walk, can barely meet the "long rein, walk off requirement" for more then 2 strides.


I must say I don't think I've ever seen a horse as you've described above in CEP, and certainly not one that hasn't gotten the gate. In fact, I can't recall ever seeing one like that in recent times. In fact, I really haven't seen those in EP or park, either, with the exception of the occasional hot-head. I HAVE seen horses being pushed too hard and out of their frame and balance, but again, very rarely in CEP.

My biggest peeve with the english divisions in general is the over-emphasis on bridling which can lend to horses being really tight through their backs and bodies (and therefore gates) as a result. The focus on hingy horses also has taken away from horses with great motors behind (meaning great hind end drive and balance.)

Two of my favorite country horses as of late are DA Tripolli and Romeo Afire.

A AM intrigued by the idea of a no-pads CEP division. I would support it if it was offered.

Amy Johnson Proud owner of Carangi+/ (Versace X Giavanna)

2013 Region 2 UNANIMOUS Champ PB Hunter Pl AAOTR; Region 1 Champ PB Hunter Pl AAOTR; Youth National Top Ten PB Hunter Pleasure JTR 14-18
2012 U.S. National Top Ten PB Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 36-54; Region 2 Champ Hunter Pl. AATR 40+ and Hunter Pl. Open, Res Champ PB Hunter Pl. AAOTR; Region 1 Champion PB Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 40 and over, Reserve Champion PB Hunter Pleasure AATR 40 and over 2011 U.S. National Top Ten (third!) PB Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 36-54, Region 1 Champ PB Hunter AAOTR 40 and Over, Region 2 Reserve Champ PB Hunter AATR


#4 SunlitFarmTraining

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 06:14 AM

:wub: :bigemo_harabe_net-104: :: claps :: I hadn't gotten here to post it yet! Yeahhhh!

So perhaps we should state what everyone THINKS a CEP horse is?

I'll go first (since I opened a small can of worms in the HP section)

I want a ... nice moving, well behaved, responsive, saddleseat horse. They should NOT jig, not jack their knees to their chin. And they should be a nice, pleasurable ride. Also the "long rein, walk off" requirement should be for 1/2 the ring!!!:)

What I don't want to see is a high action-ed, white-eyed, covered in sweat, panicky looking horse that jigs at the walk, can barely meet the "long rein, walk off requirement" for more then 2 strides.

AR125
It is imperative that the horse give the distince appearance of being a pleasure to ride. A **quite, responsive mouth is paramount .... To me this means that the horse should NOT have it's lips pulled back to its chin, and the rider should not be hanging on for dear life!....

AR125.. under Walk, Normal Trot, Strong trot, and canter: HIGH ACTION MUST BE PENALIZED!!!

What I can't tell you, is how to get this back! It falls into the same catergory as what is going on in the HP world. Judges are not judging for what is required in the rule book, and they are not penalizing for what should be....If we can get judges to place more emphasis on manners and penalize high action? But HOW? I can't tell you.

So.. I've said my two cents.. back to lurking... Thank you for opening the can of worms!


What I look for in a CEP horse, both when judging and to train and/or show:

Aside from the *usual*, as in a pretty, quality horse, I want to see a horse that sets up pretty yet easy in the bridle (less of this ultra tight bridled stuff), which allows a lower and more natural Arabian headset (as opposed to the Saddlebred-type headsets we see on today's EP horses); I want to see a horse that can do the job as a flat saddle horse and look the part of a flat saddle horse without excessive high motion (..perhaps back to gauging what is suitable for Country by the height of the knee and fold of the hock...even though there ARE a whole LOT of other criteria...); I want to see a horse that would be suitable horse for a lady or child to ride to the park and have a relaxed, easy ride (this is where the "walk off on a loose rein" thing comes in...and I mean EASYGOING FLAT FOOTED WALK rather than jig) without having to keep hold of them. This is a MAJOR peeve of mine, those horses that a rider can barely let out a couple of inches of rein and only for a few strides -- we see this ALL THE TIME. Or riders being taught by their trainers (or even worse, the trainers themselves, and we DO see this) to simply push their hands lower and forward in order to show that "loose rein".

I could go on, but I'll refrain for now... ;)

How is this going to be changed? For one, start holding judges accountable for the way they place classes (and this goes for all divisions and disciplines). Oral reasons (like we have the kids do in Youth Judging) would go a long way toward helping in this area, especially with a Q & A session for exhibitors, moderated by the USEF Steward or members of the Show Committees.

There are a ton of resolutions I'd love to bring forward to Convention once our new local AHA affiliate gets approval from AHA... :D

#5 SunlitFarmTraining

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 06:34 AM

I must say I don't think I've ever seen a horse as you've described above in CEP, and certainly not one that hasn't gotten the gate. In fact, I can't recall ever seeing one like that in recent times. In fact, I really haven't seen those in EP or park, either, with the exception of the occasional hot-head. I HAVE seen horses being pushed too hard and out of their frame and balance, but again, very rarely in CEP.

My biggest peeve with the english divisions in general is the over-emphasis on bridling which can lend to horses being really tight through their backs and bodies (and therefore gates) as a result. The focus on hingy horses also has taken away from horses with great motors behind (meaning great hind end drive and balance.)

Two of my favorite country horses as of late are DA Tripolli and Romeo Afire.

A AM intrigued by the idea of a no-pads CEP division. I would support it if it was offered.


Actually, I have seen (and no, perhaps not in "recent times", though I suppose it all depends on what "recent" is...there were some horses similar, though not to the extreme, to what she posted above at the Whittier Lions Club show in So Calif this past January, of 2008, that were NOT in any way suitable for the Country division) similar horses to what the above poster has seen. The worst offense, IMO, is the fact that it seems to get worse with every passing year rather than better. And I've been showing and training CEP horses since the CEP rule was implemented.

What I have a problem with is judges overlooking correct horses in favor of horses that should be in the English Pleasure division.

Lets look at just a couple of things that have been brought up in recent months (and over the years) by those defending putting too fancy horses in the CEP division:

1) CEP horses are supposed to be "mannerly", as opposed to EP horses.

My answer, in a nutshell, to that? Since when are EP horses (or any of the "Pleasure" disciplines) NOT supposed to be well mannered? Pretty much everything asked for by judges today in CEP is something REQUIRED also by the EP rules, with very few exceptions.

and...

2) It's not "how high" a CEP horse trots, it's about their attitude, how smooth they are and how pretty they look".

My answer? HUH??? ANY "Pleasure" horse is supposed to display a good attitude and be smooth, correct and straight on the rail! Pretty?! These are Arabian horses, they are SUPPOSED to be PRETTY! :bigemo_harabe_net-104:

That said, about the idea of a "no pads" rule for CEP horses? I honestly don't have a problem with a "single pad" rule for CEP, and Lord knows we have a lot of HP and even WP horses wearing unbelieveable shoes and even stacked pads these days. Let the CEP horses have a 14 oz. shoe and a single pad, allow MAYBE the same for HP horses, and perhaps a thinner pad and 12 oz. maximum shoes for WP horses. Let the EP and Park horses have their new shoeing guidelines.

This is actually something I'd need to give more thought to and do more study on before I come up with what I think would be acceptable. But taking away the pads altogether for any division is going a bit too far...unless we have just a new plain old "flat shod" division all the way around.

Going to put some more thought into this...

#6 arabsRgreat

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 04:51 AM

I think all of the english divisions are too extreme. Just like HP; too extreme.

#7 AccentoArabians

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 09:32 AM

I agree,

They are becoming to Extreme. That is why you have 200 horses in Hunter and then then through the other divisions are left with 2 in park. :lol: I personally would like to show my mare which was bred for CEP in CEP, but she won't make the cut. She can make a nice hunter though. So can 200 other horses.

Does anyone have good pics of which you think each should be?
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#8 SunlitFarmTraining

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 12:46 PM

I agree,

They are becoming to Extreme. That is why you have 200 horses in Hunter and then then through the other divisions are left with 2 in park. :) I personally would like to show my mare which was bred for CEP in CEP, but she won't make the cut. She can make a nice hunter though. So can 200 other horses.

Does anyone have good pics of which you think each should be?


I can round up some pics, but it will probably not be until late tonight or early in the morning...maybe a discussion of why a horse is not suited versus why a horse is suited?

The problem is, when captured in that "one second in time" framework, you can get a horse looking VERY fancy that may not have appeared to be that way in the class.

#9 jaycyrewin

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 05:30 PM

So just got back from the NCAHA show in Raleigh NC today :) (Don't ask how I did. And yes, it was that bad :) But we survived to ride another day)

The CEP horses were a mixed bag. There were actually quite a few in the AAOTR, AATR, ATR classes that were high headed, nice moving, relaxed saddleseat horses. :) When you got to the open class, you had the more EP kind of horses. Which, the judge did not place! Yeah! i heard one of the trainers complaining that the judge told him that his horse was "stepping too high" and needed to be an EP horse :) Teehee. I find that funny. So maybe there is hope? **EDIT TO ADD** Also, the judge made the CEP horses WALK around the ring... oh.. almost a whole lap on a loose rein!!! It was fun to watch the horses who never had had to walk that far!!! Trainers were mmmaddddd. :) I was sooo hhappppy!!!!!! **

The HP classes were mainly the over tucked horses (not mine, we ran around... literally.. with our head in the air!). However there were some nice, well balanced horses there. And... the judge asked us to back in line up. We were the ONLY one who actually could back... are trainers not teaching this anymore??

The park class looked like saddlebreds. Holy H*** my mare was SOOO freaked out by the sounds of those over padded hoofs hitting the ground!

Ah well tomorrow will be a day of rest before cleaning off the red clay off everything I own.. then back to the open shows this weekend!
~*A Enter working trot rising! X Halt, salute. Proceed at working trot!*~

#10 SunlitFarmTraining

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 07:29 AM

So just got back from the NCAHA show in Raleigh NC today :) (Don't ask how I did. And yes, it was that bad :) But we survived to ride another day)

The CEP horses were a mixed bag. There were actually quite a few in the AAOTR, AATR, ATR classes that were high headed, nice moving, relaxed saddleseat horses. :) When you got to the open class, you had the more EP kind of horses. Which, the judge did not place! Yeah! i heard one of the trainers complaining that the judge told him that his horse was "stepping too high" and needed to be an EP horse :) Teehee. I find that funny. So maybe there is hope? **EDIT TO ADD** Also, the judge made the CEP horses WALK around the ring... oh.. almost a whole lap on a loose rein!!! It was fun to watch the horses who never had had to walk that far!!! Trainers were mmmaddddd. :) I was sooo hhappppy!!!!!! **

The HP classes were mainly the over tucked horses (not mine, we ran around... literally.. with our head in the air!). However there were some nice, well balanced horses there. And... the judge asked us to back in line up. We were the ONLY one who actually could back... are trainers not teaching this anymore??

The park class looked like saddlebreds. Holy H*** my mare was SOOO freaked out by the sounds of those over padded hoofs hitting the ground!

Ah well tomorrow will be a day of rest before cleaning off the red clay off everything I own.. then back to the open shows this weekend!


That sounds like good judges in the English division, mind telling us who they were? :)

It is surprising that judges will actually do something that ticks some of us trainers off, LOL, I wish it would happen more often!

About the backing -- that does seem to be something that is not often judged (most judges seem to have already signed off on their cards before the back is asked for), so often trainers and riders know this and don't worry too much about how well their horses back. I'd like to see that changed.