Does this horse have some dressage potential? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-22-2012, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Does this horse have some dressage potential?

I continue my search for the right fit for me... I am not looking for a competitive FEI-level horse, but one that I can enjoy the training process with and that has potential for mid-level dressage (4th or PSG perhaps) and could possibly do some upper level movements with enough training.

Here is a link to one that I will see this week:

I think he looks quite cute! I would like to see how he goes 'long and low' (deep), which they don't show in the video.

Your observations and comments are welcome! Do you see any flaws or potential issues that I should look for?

Also, any general recommendations for trying out a horse? How do you tell if they have the temperament/mind for moving along in dressage?

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post #2 of 15 Old 07-22-2012, 10:30 PM
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Do you have a coach or a trainer who can go with you? Knowledgeable eyes on the ground (who know both what they would be looking for in a prospect, and have a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses as a rider) are invaluable in the horse search process.

He looks like a nice enough chap. I didn't watch the video the whole way through, but he looks to have some athletic potential. I am not crazy with how compressed they have him through the neck at this point, but he didn't look to be ducking behind in the bits I watched, so that shouldn't be the hugest thing to fix. Wasn't crazy about the trot-canter transition I saw, either (started in the front, rather than behind). How old is he and what are they claiming as his level of training?
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-23-2012, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for watching

He is 11 but hasn't been worked much so only at training level and some first.

I agree, he is compressed so I'd like to see what he does ridden differently. They said he does go around with his nose in the air the first few minutes of a training session. He really hasn't been in training much lately so I'm not expecting much in that regard... more just looking for potential.

I'm going to go back and watch that canter transition.

Oh, and yes, I have a trainer, but I don't want to drag her around to a lot of horses, just the ones I'm really interested in, so I go out by myself first.

Thanks so much!
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-23-2012, 12:47 AM
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I was going to ask if there's any conformation pictures, but I recognized the background (a horse I was interested in was from the same trainer). Took a look at her website, doesn't look like she has any... might have to email for them.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-23-2012, 01:07 AM
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I liked this horse a lot. He is very consistent in his rythm and his push. He went forward willingly at every stride, and rider had neither spurs nor whip. He did not fuss with the bit at all, he had an even bend in his body. All legs reached forward with pretty equal degree. He seemed supple, balanced and relaxed.

Yes, he might benefit from being decompressed a bit.

I like him a lot.
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-23-2012, 01:19 AM
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I would also like to see him allowed to move forward. His movement, unfortunately, is OK but not great. He doesn't have the free shoulder that I would expect for a horse going much over 2nd level. It will really show in his lateral work.

He is lovely for the lower levels and, with some work allowing him more freedom, his movement might improve quite a bit.

I'm not sure if I would consider him upper level event prospect with the jumping they showed in the video. He was a bit sloppy with his knees over the larger jump every time. But, that can be improved with grid work and your flat work.

Overall, I like what I see. I would think about him as a solid training through 2nd level prospect. Beyond that will depend on how his movement improves with better training than he has had.
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-23-2012, 07:02 PM
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Hard to tell - he's 11 and going training level. Seems to have decent jump in canter and some spring in trot. I like him but unsure if he could make 4th level. If you do purchase him start with about 6 months of long and low BUT asked to carry himeself. Then work on longer rein and allow his head carriage to come up as he develops more carrying muscle. He may have potential we can't easily see since rider is restricting him with reins. If the price was right I might take the chance on him - why did they wait so long before putting some miles on him? Injury?

Dressage is for Trainers!
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-23-2012, 07:27 PM
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Dressage people put the most hilarious stuff in their sale videos - at the beginning "look he walks down the driveway with a closed gate and doesn't kill his rider!" haha. And of course - no confo picture.

Anyways, he is very straight behind, this can be both a blessing and a curse if you want something that's not going to ever crack 60% at PSG. He's probably going to be pretty sound in the hocks because he'll never really be able to take much weight with them, but at the same time he'll never really be able to collect a whole bunch - leading to a string of 55% scores.
So if you want a really mediocre PSG horse in 6-8 years, he's your guy. Keep in mind by the time you get him strong and conditioned enough to do some things, he'll be 17-19 and ready for a slower career.

A more talented horse is going to go up the levels faster, easier and be more fun to ride sooner. But the price tag will be more than his guy.

I'd agree with the others, if you want to do a mediocre dressage test over about 1st or 2nd level I'm sure the price is right. IMO he would be more trouble and time to train than he's worth.

They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-23-2012, 08:45 PM
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I didn't see the price on this horse, and I don't know what your price range is, but I don't think he's a realistic prospect to reach 4th/PSG.

He's 11, not been in consisent work and has some holes in his foundation work. He's a realistic 1st/2nd level prospect. With good training and maintenence, maybe 3rd, but as anabel pointed out, you'll be fighting a battle of attrition with age and miles by the time you get him there. And I also agree with anabel that he'll struggle with the collected work based on his confo.

I liked him, though - seems like a good guy and a willing worker. If the price is right, and you'd be happy with something that would top out at lower than PSG, he still might be worth a look. I would be asking lots of probing questions about why he hasn't progressed further in his training by his age, though.
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-23-2012, 08:57 PM
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Maura, I didn't see a price tag either but I'm assuming he's under 3,000. At least I wouldn't have him priced at any higher!
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dressage potential , horse buying , video

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