Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
Deal breakers for me(some I'm repeating from above posters);
-sound. With great feet.
-sane, not prone to falling apart under pressure. Can't stress this enough.
-not overly spooky. Stopping halfway up a steep grade and sliding backwards, nearly flipping, because the rock looks funny, is not fun(yes I've done it).
- a great trail horse. Being able to cross obstacles calmly is very important, as is the ability to stop and take breaks when needed(and not be pacing around anxiously) and take new situations in stride. A horse that's so high strung that every new thing sets them off kilter is best kept in an arena.
-and of course, endurance.
-rides very well alone.
-ties well for long periods of time
- forward, but not too forward, trying to hold a horse back the whole ride is nearly as exhausting as trying to push one forward
Nice to have;
-on the short side
A couple experiences, I knew an arab mare, crazy well bred, that could go forever. Super sound, no buck, rear, bolt or fight in her. Stands tied for hours and smooth as silk. She was so insanely spooky a 10 mile ride was a marathon. We would do an imitation of Olympic jumping over a hub cap we could have walked around. River crossings involved an initial leap that would have done a cross country course proud. Trotting along in a grassy field with nothing interesting around would result in you leaping randomly sideways every 10 feet. Wind in the grass resulted in a sliding stop and reining spin. In the arena kids could ride her bareback with a string around her neck, bareback. Never, ever compete on a truly spooky horse.
Second is a thoroughbred my BO picked up. His feet weren't the best, so keeping shoes on were a pain. He adjusted to our training trails alright, but he was still a bit of a reactive diva. Went on a ride with him, and the trails turned out to be quite challenging. He was a monster. He was excessively forward, and never walked an obstacle he could leap. He bounded over rocks, mud puddles, creeks, sticks, mounds, shadows and holes. He reverted to wanting to go full speed constantly, down steep grades, through poor footing, etc. he did not think things through at any point, and jigged the whole ride. Funny thing is, the BO and this crazy horse got the best scores out of everyone, by a decent margin. Passed vet checks with flying colors, and he easily could have gone much, much further.