Dressage Conformation? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 21 Old 07-13-2012, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Dressage Conformation?

I'm going to be graduating in a year so as a gift to myself I'm thinking about buying a "true dressage horse" to train (with some help; starting to branch out on my own). I was wondering what the perfect dressage horse would look like conformation wise. I know a little about conformation, but not for specific disciplines. Pictures would be helpful.

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post #2 of 21 Old 07-13-2012, 10:20 PM
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Oh, yes, tricky indeed! When I get home, I'll pass along some documents that have helped me begin to develop an eye.

But in the end, for the dressage horse, the back end is the most important. You want a strong hip for the power needed, and a good loin to transfer that power. All horses can do lower levels, but what begins to separate those in the upper levels is the ability to 'sit.'
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post #3 of 21 Old 07-13-2012, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamfire View Post
Oh, yes, tricky indeed! When I get home, I'll pass along some documents that have helped me begin to develop an eye.

But in the end, for the dressage horse, the back end is the most important. You want a strong hip for the power needed, and a good loin to transfer that power. All horses can do lower levels, but what begins to separate those in the upper levels is the ability to 'sit.'
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Ok, thanks! I'm trying to do my research so I know what I'm looking for when I get the money to buy one.

Don't you want an uphill build too? And something about the pastern angles.. maybe?

Yeah, right now I have a flowy Appendix filly that will hopefully at least compete up to second/third level and an OK conformed sweet Morab pony mare that I'm riding until the filly is older.

I want to really start getting into dressage more so I'm going to spoil myself a little. I'm thinking Oldenburg or Dutch WB possibly Zangersheide if I can find one in the New England area. I know they're mostly jumpers but I really like them. Lol.

It's something you need almost like air or water. ♥

Last edited by SRCM16; 07-13-2012 at 11:09 PM.
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post #4 of 21 Old 07-13-2012, 11:18 PM
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If you post possibilities on here, the Dressage gurus (not me but I do participate) will let you know if they are a good candidate or not.

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post #5 of 21 Old 07-14-2012, 12:29 AM
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Yes, you definitely want something that can sit. A good slope to the shoulder, strong hindquarters with strong angles in the hind limbs - you want the hinds legs to 'fold', with a good strong, bending hock.

Uphill build is ideal, with a neck that comes up and out of the wither. You don't want something too long in the back - this makes it very difficult to put the horse together. The longer the back is, the harder it is to get it swinging and more work on your part to encourage that 'sit' behind.


Just be mindful, that if you're looking at a very well conformed, big moving warmblood to train - it will set you back a substantial amount of money. To breed a quality warmblood foal is very expensive especially if it is a frozen semen foal. So if you want something with quality, that is sound and has not got any nasty vices, be prepared for a large financial outlay.
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-14-2012, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I was thinking doing that, but right now I'd probably pick horrible ones. Lol!

I guess it would help though so they can pick the horses apart, and point out what is good and bad. Not a bad idea now that I think of it!

Here are a few I'd be interested in; not looking at price just conformation as I'm not actually buying a horse right now. Please keep in mind I know nothing about dressage horse conformation, so be kind when telling the horses below aren't really what you want in a dressage horse. :P

Dressage Horse Also Driven in Harness
I'm not liking this ones shoulder/neck tie; opinions? - Beautiful, Kind and Willing 2009 Dutch Warmblood Mare
Elegant, Powerful Warmblood
Lovely Yearling Warmblood Filly
Look at that trot! PING! Lol. - Don De Marco by Donnerwetter (donnerhalls Sire)
Her position makes me laugh. :P He doesn't look that big boned, does he? - Big Boned TB Calm and Quiet, Jumps and has Been Shown
www.equinenow.com/horse-ad-592036
Lovely Sinatra Song Gelding for Dressage or Hunters

It's something you need almost like air or water. ♥
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-14-2012, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kayty View Post
Yes, you definitely want something that can sit. A good slope to the shoulder, strong hindquarters with strong angles in the hind limbs - you want the hinds legs to 'fold', with a good strong, bending hock.

Uphill build is ideal, with a neck that comes up and out of the wither. You don't want something too long in the back - this makes it very difficult to put the horse together. The longer the back is, the harder it is to get it swinging and more work on your part to encourage that 'sit' behind.


Just be mindful, that if you're looking at a very well conformed, big moving warmblood to train - it will set you back a substantial amount of money. To breed a quality warmblood foal is very expensive especially if it is a frozen semen foal. So if you want something with quality, that is sound and has not got any nasty vices, be prepared for a large financial outlay.
Yeah, I know. That's why I was thinking mediocre/so-so dressage conformation and OK bloodlines to start out with.

I'll have to get new pictures of my filly (she's exploded again LOL) to post and see what everyone thinks.

It's something you need almost like air or water. ♥

Last edited by SRCM16; 07-14-2012 at 12:51 AM.
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post #8 of 21 Old 07-14-2012, 12:51 AM
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How much do you know about dressage, dressage training, and dressage bloodlines?

If not much... why not start with something a bit cheaper, not necessarily an expensive warmblood, and learn the ropes first?? I didn't get my first warmblood until I'd been competing and training multiple other, very much NOT built for dressage horses, in dressage competition for years.
I think this is a great way to go - every new horse you get, you will make less mistakes with than the last. Start out with a very flashy, nice horse and you'll regret it in a few years when you realise that you didn't do it any justice ;)

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post #9 of 21 Old 07-14-2012, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty View Post
How much do you know about dressage, dressage training, and dressage bloodlines?

If not much... why not start with something a bit cheaper, not necessarily an expensive warmblood, and learn the ropes first?? I didn't get my first warmblood until I'd been competing and training multiple other, very much NOT built for dressage horses, in dressage competition for years.
I think this is a great way to go - every new horse you get, you will make less mistakes with than the last. Start out with a very flashy, nice horse and you'll regret it in a few years when you realise that you didn't do it any justice ;)
I've been taking lessons for a while, and have my instructor's help most of the time.

I plan on getting lessons from a Grand Prix (I think she is, but she is up there I know that much LOL) rider when she comes up from FL every few months as well and clinics and what not from others.

In all honestly I probably won't get a WB until my filly is getting ready to retire. When I say I'm going to do something (even buying a new saddle or something small like that) it always ends up happening a few years down the road. It doesn't hurt to learn the conformation needs though.

It's something you need almost like air or water. ♥
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post #10 of 21 Old 07-14-2012, 01:29 AM
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Ok of the horses you posted I'll rank them as far as what I think would excel in dressage, discounting gender, temperment and size because these are mostly personal preference. So mostly on conformation/ability in my opinion only. (I didn't include the stallion add though)

#1 Dressage Horse Also Driven in Harness
#2 Lovely Yearling Warmblood Filly
#3 Elegant, Powerful Warmblood
#4 Lovely Sinatra Song Gelding for Dressage or Hunters
#5 Very Nice TB Ex-racehorse to Re-train - Ride - Show - E
#6 Beautiful, Kind and Willing 2009 Dutch Warmblood Mare
#7 Big Boned TB Calm and Quiet, Jumps and has Been Shown

Overall in my personal opinion, for someone looking to start out in dressage with a young horse (I would always suggest buying a schoolmaster if finances/situations allow) I would pick #3. He's the steady eddy of the pack and is conformed well enough to do a respectable 2nd/3rd level, and possibly 4th/PSG, but he's not going to "care" if you make mistakes. With the 1st horse, he is talented but appears to be a bit of a hot head, and not a horse you can afford to make mistakes with, the price also makes me think he has behavior issues.

Good luck! If you want full critique on all the horses I can PM you.

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Last edited by ~*~anebel~*~; 07-14-2012 at 01:31 AM.
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