What do you look for in a dressage horse?

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What do you look for in a dressage horse?

This is a discussion on What do you look for in a dressage horse? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
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    10-19-2012, 01:48 PM
Green Broke
What do you look for in a dressage horse?

I am looking into leasing a horse, preferably one that could do dressage and play around with jumping. The best option I don't think is going to happen due to distance issues. I went and looked at one horse last night, and have three more lined up to look at this weekend. However, I am not honestly sure what I am looking for besides something that is safe and sane. I obviously don't want something built downhill, but when it comes to everything else I am a bit lost. I am not looking to go grand prix either, but I would like to at least work up to 1st level.
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    10-19-2012, 01:57 PM
Super Moderator
We've got a Dutch warmblood x TB. She has the paces and power in her impulsion/elevation to do dressage but also showing a really good attitude and liking for jumping. She's lighter in build than some of the warmbloods so for an all round horse that suits me better
We used a Trakhener stallion one year on our TB and TB xwelsh/arab mare when we were breeding and the results were beautiful, we kept them till they were 4yr olds, they were both super smart and easy to break. One went for eventing and the other into dressage though she could have gone into jumping easily as she had the talent for either
    10-19-2012, 03:21 PM
"Any sound horse can do second level" is what I have always been told. If you are looking for something to learn on, I would try to find a horse that has some experience in dressage. Aside from that, I look first for no conformation faults that would adversely effect soundness. Next I want a willing temperament. A horse that is overly reactive is a turn off for me, but they do need to be responsive and willing to "have the conversation." Beyond those basics, I look for talent.
    10-19-2012, 05:32 PM
I always look at training. A horse with natural talent but absolutely crazy with little to no training is not what I'd look for...a horse who has sound gaits but not as much pizzaz yet good correct training would always be my choice :)
    10-20-2012, 11:02 PM
Conformation is a big factor to me. Good angled shoulder and pastern, strong hooves, uphill build, perportionate hip and shoulder, strong back that's not too long or to short, perportionate from neck to withers to croup, straight legs etc...

After that, a forward thinking mind that's easy off the leg. Even just leading he/she would be walking alittle briskly and energetic. The horse goes in and out of pastures, stall, arenas and is happy to do so.

Coats, conditioning and lack of training is less important to me. I can improve the horse in these areas.

Good luck!
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