What attributes of a dressage prospect can be improved and which can't

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > English Riding > Dressage

What attributes of a dressage prospect can be improved and which can't

This is a discussion on What attributes of a dressage prospect can be improved and which can't within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

LinkBack Thread Tools
    09-08-2012, 11:43 PM
Smile What attributes of a dressage prospect can be improved and which can't

Okay, someone in another thread says that some conformation and movement 'faults' cannot be improved with dressage training, so that started me thinking:

Which conformation/movement 'faults' can you live with or improve with training and which are just beyond the ability of anyone to improve enough for the horse to be useable as a dressage mount?

For instance, I just considered a horse that has a slightly low-set neck. However, he hadn't been doing much work so wasn't muscled over the topline. He also was very well balanced and uphill when he moved in all three gaits. My thinking (wishful perhaps?) was that the neck could be improved with work and wasn't holding him back from moving uphill. (He also had strong hind quarters and a wonderful temperament).

Anyone want to give their opinion and experiences on this topic?
Sponsored Links
    09-09-2012, 12:18 AM
How long is a piece of string?
It is very dependent on how far you are intending to go in dressage, and in that level, do you want to be competitive.
I know some successful Grand Prix horses with questionable conformation. My youngster's sire has quite an 'interesting' hind end, yet is one of our countries top performing Grand Prix stallions, and has progeny competing successfully on the international stage at Grand Prix. I have yet to see any of his progeny that has inherited the weak hind end.
What this stallion has, to compensate for the weak quarters, is that he has phenomenal bend through the hocks. He passes this trait onto his progeny - Fish could piaffe till the cows came home with those hocks.

If a horse has a weakness in their body, but is able to compensate for that weakness with another great strength, then it is worth looking at.
Another example is my current horse. He's only 15.2hh, has a long neck and quite short front legs. Looking at him on the ground, he certainly doesn't have classic dressage horse conformation.
But he has a great talent for collection, he can bend all of the joints through his hind legs, opens his shoulders, swings and carries his back and can come very uphill. It does take some work on the rider's part to keep him up there, but he's got the hind legs to compensate for the short front legs.

Now, things that I wouldn't look over in a Dressage prospect, is a horse that just does not swing through its back. I've had enough of those to bother with anymore. Its just too much hard work to get the basics. You spend so many months of your training just developing some swing in the back, when you could be progressing much more rapidly on a horse who naturally swings.
A horse that cannot bend its hocks I will also go past. If it cannot bend through the hock and stifle, it is of no/very little use to me as a Dressage rider, wanting to work towards collection which requires extreme use and bend through the hind limbs. Straight hind legs will put excess pressure and stress on the horse, and it will more than likely break down very quickly compared to a horse who has natural bend through the hind limbs.
I don't like a straight shoulders, sometimes you'll get the diamond in the rough, the 'freak' that can open its shoulder despite it being straight, but this is very rare. In a Dressage horse we want the shoulders to open, particularly when you look at the extended gaits, passage and canter work.

I guess this brings me back to my original question - How long is a piece of string?
    09-09-2012, 12:33 AM
Green Broke
Kayty, when I have my ducks in a row, you are coming shopping with me for Sarah's dream horse...since you won't give me billy.
Posted via Mobile Device
    09-09-2012, 12:39 AM
Cakemom, Billy is definitely not going anywhere ;) He came up the paddock this morning for breakfast, in passage Even bum high, scruffy as all heck losing his winter coat, he still looks super. And the most fantastic, FANTASTIC temperament!!!! Wouldn't give him up for anything!
    09-09-2012, 12:49 AM
For you, cakemom - Billy would like to say hi

    09-09-2012, 01:57 AM
Green Broke
Awe!! I just smooched my phone!!
Posted via Mobile Device
    09-09-2012, 03:04 AM
He does love smooches!

conformation, dressage, movement, prospect

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Possible Dressage Prospect? Strange Dressage 7 09-08-2012 11:46 PM
Dressage Prospect??? italiandressage Horse Riding Critique 3 08-29-2010 10:14 PM
Dressage Prospect??? Mehtala09 Dressage 28 03-23-2010 02:30 PM
Dressage Prospect? TheRoughrider21 Dressage 8 03-01-2010 12:01 AM
Possible dressage prospect? KatieStanley Horse Riding Critique 9 11-02-2008 09:59 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:51 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0