Best horse for dressage...

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Best horse for dressage...

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  • Best horse breeds for dressage
  • Top 5 horse breeds that are good for dressage

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    02-15-2011, 01:18 PM
Talking Best horse for dressage...

Hi guys,

Just wondering what horses you think would be best for dressage....
Let me know

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    02-15-2011, 01:56 PM
Warmbloods, I believe, are very successful in dressage (based on horses in the higher levels of dressage). However, andulusians, freisans, lippizans, etc have amazing athletic ability in the sport of dressage.

Honestly, many horses have the ability to be amazing dressage horses. They just need the right attitude, willingness, and physical ability to do so.
    02-15-2011, 06:18 PM
Warmbloods are used a lot, andalusians, lippizzaners....I disagree on the draft thing. Draft horses are NOT built for dressage...they are used for it sometimes, but it generally is very hard on them and they just are not made for that. This is why, even though somebody made it "cool" to use drafts, most dressage people are moving away from that idea.
    02-15-2011, 07:01 PM
I don't recall recommending drafts? ....
    02-15-2011, 07:54 PM
I think some European-type Warmbloods (including the very demanding licensing/inspection process), some Lusitanos, some Lipizanners, and then just exceptional individuals of many breeds.

Too, what succeeds at the top levels of sport vs at the local/family horse level...that can vary a lot.

"I didn't mention..."

No, but draft breeds are often held up as great dressage horses.

There are different types of 'draft horses'. There are the extremely heavy giants built for slow work, about the farthest from a riding or dressage type. People often defend draft breeds for dressage by arguing that they are part Arab, or that they were used by knights for jousting(the knights did not use giant heavy drafts for jousting)...I can't follow the logic of any of it.

Personally I think it's cruel to take an animal built for a very different use and make him do something so far from what it's made for. The animal may try its heart out - that doesn't make it right.

Draft crosses are another, tougher area, and they aren't new - I used to see one Georgia breeder's crosses in dressage classes in the mid 1970's. Half drafts often run rather heavy and may not tend toward a sport horse build or gaits. Quite a few of the ones I see, are surprisingly heavy, and even look full draft despite a Thoroughbred parent. Over the years, it seems to me a good many of them have been in eventing and dressage, and they have a lot of trouble coping physically if they are really heavy animals. I've seen a fair amount of stringhalt and hock problems in the really heavy specimens if they were put into fast or strenuou riding work. I believe a heavier animal strains all joints more, and just based on engineering and physics, would expect to see more leg problems in them.

The trouble with the heavy pulling horses, is that they tend to have a very earthbound gait, kind of a grand shuffle. Even if they are 'hitchy' and bring the knees up way high, they don't have suspension (time with all 4 feet off ground).

The 1/4 draft cross, now that's a little different. That can make a nice horse for many different uses, and be fine for lower level dressage. Still, one that's going to excell at the top of dressage, that's unusual.
    02-15-2011, 08:19 PM
Originally Posted by JumpersRule    
I don't recall recommending drafts? ....
I think she was referring to your friesian recommendation. Another thread on this forum discussed if they were good for dressage or not and as I recall the consensus was that they do not make an ideal dressage horse even though there are a handful who have made it far.
    02-15-2011, 08:32 PM
Ehh...things are changing with Friesians. Breeders have been working on developing a more sporting type. There actually has been 1-2 that really did very well internationally.

A lot? Nope.

I don't think of them as a 'draft horse', more as a heavier type of carriage horse. They have a lot of traits of heavier horses, such as issues with getting them fit, heat tolerance.

The main thing with Friesians that is needed, is not a debate on how they do as dressage horses, but how to avoid having them colic, through some additional care that is needed for the breed.
    02-15-2011, 11:05 PM
I was both referring to your mention of friesians and just the fact that a lot of people try to use drafts to be different or because it looks pretty. I do admit that they are creating some crosses now that may change some of that and that the breeding of a particular horse obviously does play in. I thought more of the traditional, heavier friesians when I read your post.

IMHO, if you have to breed things out of a breed and work really hard breeding the standard out in order to make them ideal for a sport, then that sport is not what they're made for anyway...
    02-15-2011, 11:18 PM
Keep in mind that draft horses can do just as good as lighter horses at lower levels. My guy has no issues doing lower level anything. He is a bit lighter than some draft horses though and not as tall either. The OP didn't mention what level of dressage they would be good at.
I agree that other horses would be more suitable, but there have been examples of heavier horses that do great in dressage.

Also, around in my part, a draft horse or half draft doing low level dressage etc is not uncommon or different.

But to answer the OP question- any horse can do lower level dressage. An upper level dressage horse would most likely be a warmblood or some sort of light horse.
    02-16-2011, 09:04 AM
Well, and it's obvious that the heavier draft horses are in no way suitable for dressage - their just not bred for it. However, any one horse may have the potential to do dressage, but their are certain breeds that excel greatly in the sport.

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