- Poses are typically required to be in GIF or PNG format. BMP and JPG are usually not allowed.
- Horse must be shown in a halt or gait pose. Any gait is allowed except a gallop or piaffe.
- Editing the pose is OPTIONAL. Horse may wear Western attire:
- Western style saddle & pad
- Western bridle (bitted and hackamores allowed)
- Western breastplate (optional, must be leather, not nylon)
- Boots or leg wraps (optional)
- Riders are allowed. Judges may evalute the rider as part of the pose, so it may help/hurt rankings.
- Editing the actual pose, such as eyes, ears, legs, mane, tail is NOT ALLOWED, including drawn manes and tails.
- Disqualifications include: gallops, piaffes, and any editing of the actual pose.
- Heavy faults include: using the wrong type of saddle/bridle/etc.
Real Western Pleasure is judged based on the horse's ability to be a pleasure to ride. The horse should be calm and quiet and responsive to the rider's cues while being on a loose rein or with light contact. One interesting thing I found is that horses are faulted if the head is carried too low. The tip of the ear must not fall below the withers for more than a couple strides. The main question though, is "does the horse appear as though it is a pleasure to ride?"
To show in Western Pleasure, you're going to need a nice halt or gaiting pose of your horse. Any gait works as long as it's not a piaffe or one of the gallops. The pose can be edited, so adding transparency, shading the horse, adding tack and a rider are acceptable, and encouraged!
Pay special attention to the rules about the tack, some is not acceptable.
Below is the example Western Pleasure pose from the Official Rules.
And another example pose provided by Pollution.
Western Pleasure judges look at the quality of the pose and evaluate the horse's expression and straightness. The horse should appear calm and relaxed and the pose chosen should show off its best features. If tack and rider are included, they will also evalute whether the tack and rider accentute the horse well or not.
In Western Pleasure, looser reins tend to be preferred. It's like saying, look, my horse has the control and yet still listens to me!
Advanced ShowsAfter earning 30+ points in Western Pleasure, a horse is considered a Champion. An owner may then choose to retire from the discipline or continue on by competing in Advanced shows. Advanced shows accept horses that have earned more than 30 points. Once a horse has earned 50 points total, it will earn the Grand Champion title and may retire from the discipline.
To compete in Advanced WP, you must add a second pose. The two poses must consist of a gait (not gallop/piaffe) and a halt or backup.
Editing of this pose is allowed as well and ideally, both of the poses will look similar in regards to the tack and rider.
The backup mentioned in the Advanced WP rules is not the same as the backup for Reining, but using a Reining backup is probably acceptable as long as it's got a calm expression.
The WP backup may be obtained by waving a toy in front of the horse. Once it play bows it will raise up. As it's coming back up, there are a couple frames where its front leg is out so you would want to hold your spacebar down for the play bow or try to time it just right at the end.
Below is the example backup from the Official Rules.
While loose reins look GREAT on halted or slow-moving horses, they should probably be a little tighter in faster gaits. You don't want the reins interfering with the movement or becoming distracting. I usually google pictures/videos of the WP gait to see some realistic rein styles.
The Editing Poses section will help if you want to know how to add transparency, shade the horse, add tack, or even create your own tack.
If you want to see how to get the Reining backup, check out the Specialty Pose Guide, How-To, & Tips.
Disqualifications & Faults
Poses showing a piaffe or gallop will be disqualified. Poses with angry , worried , or surprised expressions may be faulted, depending on the judge. Sleepy expressions tend not to be faulted so much in WP. If you want more details, visit the general Disqualifications & Faults Guide.
Stick to Western saddles and Western bitted bridles or hackamores.
While leather breastplates are acceptable, nylon ones are not.
There is a whole set of Western tack made by Mak in the Downloads section.