Colorado Western Pleasure

Western Pleasure

Western Horse Training

Western Pleasure is a western style competition at horse shows that evaluates horses on their relaxed but collected gait. These types of competitions include nearly all breeds. However, breed restrictions apply in the highest levels of competition. Western pleasure classes are a big part of most open circuit horse shows in the state of Colorado. However, this does not mean that the Western horse training discipline is any easier than the others. Judges of Western Pleasure shows look for a plethora of skills. The two skills that beginners should start with is horsemanship and technical skills.

Just like other skilled performance sports, Western Pleasure is hard to judge. The riders compete as a group at the same time, traveling around the outer edge of the arena. Then, each horse and rider team performs three gaits going one direction in the arena. When the riders reverse direction, they will do the same three gaits the other way. If the performers aren’t tripped up by the direction change, they will also be required to back up. The three gaits are the walk, jog, and lope. This may sound easy to do at first, but that is not the case. The act of being judged can be a stressful thing to endure. That stress only goes away with practice and increased professionalism. 

Western pleasure is one of the most technical performance sports in the world today. Many riders compete in Western pleasure and never truly understand what the judge looks for when selecting a winner. In a pleasure class, the judgement occurs to the horse’s performance rather than the rider’s. Riders are judged in horsemanship and equitation classes. Knowing that you’ll be judged separately means that you and your horse must be at the top of their game. For help in finding Colorado horse property for sale, contact one of our horse-person realtors today at

Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash.

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