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Dressage Breeds

This is a discussion on Dressage Breeds within the Horse Breeds forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • Saddlebred horses trained for dressage
  • Lendon grey seldom seen long and low

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    11-28-2012, 08:43 AM
  #51
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebird    
Well I have seen some fabulous Clydesdales doing excellent dressage, especially in Scotland. We'll wait and see who has the last laugh. As I said, they haven't been doing it for too long on a competitive level but all it takes is the right horse and the right rider. Too many people are far too quick to label horses they know absolutely nothing about.
I might have actually snorted some drink out my nose at this. Did you seriously say that?

Anyway. Clydesdales as a general rule don't have the conformation to excel at dressage. This doesn't mean that the "right horse and right rider" couldn't succeed to a high level - no one is saying that. What Kayty and Faye are saying is that there are breeds that are more suited to dressage, where it doesn't take the "right horse/rider" combination every time for the horse to be competitive at higher levels of dressage, because, as they say, most of the dressage bred warmbloods are already predisposed for dressage. The time the Clydesdale riders spend overcoming their horse's conformational difficulties, the warmblood rider has used to further their horse's dressage training.
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    11-28-2012, 08:52 AM
  #52
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBrandy    
How about the American Saddlebred for dressage? Anybody doing dressage with their AS? :)
There are a few. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRpjVbiUIAA

I think another thing to consider when talking about "which breed for dressage" is what is the riders ultimate goal? How many riders that ride dressage go all the way? Often, it isn't the horse that holds them back, it is the rider. Many riders do not wish to commit the time, patience, money to going to the top. Many riders are thrilled to do first or second level and many breeds are more then capable of doing that.

I have witnessed so many extrordinary horses that are being ridden by people that hold the horse back and then riders that do not have the horse to take them as far as they could go. Sad that we couldn't just do a bit of horse swapping.

I personally think there are tons of Saddlebreds that could climb through the levels easily enough but few people think of them as the "breed for the job" many see them as a park horse and that is the totality of their ability. People who have tried them in other disciplines are often shocked and happy with the actual diversity these horses are capable of.

Thoroughbreds can be great horses too. There are some that are competing successfully at higher levels and some that would struggle in the lower levels. Chosing the right horse for what you want is the key and being honest with your own abilities and limitations. Why have a $40,000 + horse if you will never go beyond the lower levels. I mean, if you like that particular horse, and can afford it, go for it but it takes a team to truly compete at the higher levels, the horse can't do it all by itself.

This is a Thoroughbred off the track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx8IFlknNIU Silva Martin wanted to show people how these horses CAN be retrained to do other things. Playing the "call to post" in the beginning to show that the horse doesn't fly off the handle just from old memories. I love that horse too.

I tend to be a "root for the underdog" type person. I love seeing people who are willing to put in the work and take up the challenge of the less common breeds in a discipline and still succeed.


I wanted to add this quote from someone else, mostly as I agree 100% with it. Ha ha
Quote:
Dr. Deb Bennett, PhD., analyzed the American Saddlebred in her Applied Conformation series (in Equus 225)
"For more than 100 years, American Saddlebreds have been produced for the purpose of carrying a riders weight comfortably and efficientlyI have never seen any Saddlebred horse - even a part bred - who did not readily perform the passage Most have incredibly comfortable and coordinated canters as well I think they are the most neglected of all breeds suitable for dressage."
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    11-28-2012, 09:50 AM
  #53
Started
I agree with Inga! She said what I think a lot of us have been thinking but unable to put into words well. It all depends on the riders goals. An owner should select WHY they want a horse. If you want a horse to win the olympics with then select a horse to do that. If you want a nice horse to work and train to the training level and enjoy on the weekends than get a horse YOU like and is compatible with you. Whats more important the disciple or the horse?

I also think that when people are selecting a dressage horse they tend to discount certain breeds because they are not the stereotype dressage horse. So, you get an under-representation of certain breeds because people don't think the horse can do it. I remember reading an article about a FEI level trainer ( I don't remember her name I think she was in New Jersey or North Carolina) who was known for "taking on non-traditional horses" what they meant was that she rides thoroughbreds and had taken taken another (I want to say connamara, but I am sure its wrong) to the higher levels. I think there is an element of selection that takes place that has nothing to do with the horse and everything to do with the expectation. In the end, when you look at math and physics bumblebees are not supposed to be able to fly, but they do. Dan Patch had a crooked leg and needed special shoes and a special (extra wide) cart to accommodate his leg, yet he was still the first horse to race set the race mile of 1:55 and became a national celebrity for it. I am not saying that clydes or unconventional horses are going to be represented in the numbers of warm bloods for dressage (there is selective breeding); however, I don't think they should be discounted as entire breeds. There are individuals who perhaps could go to the higher levels but won't because people who could train them to those levels would never look at them as dressage horses. I am not saying that's all the time, but maybe once and a while it happens.
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    11-28-2012, 01:31 PM
  #54
Yearling
If you want a horse for a certain job and a demanding one at that, buy a horse who's bred to do that job. Simple. If I wanted ride the upper level collected movements, I could look at a million Clydesdales, searching for the one who might hold up to that work, or I could buy an Iberian or Warmblood who is bred to the nines for that very work. Why do the former? Unless I was desperate to prove a point about "dressage breeds." I'd rather have a horse who's happy and comfortable in his work myself.

That Clydesdale in the above video didn't sell the idea of Clydes as upper level horses. It looked like it was struggling with the harder movements. If that were my horse and I fancied it staying sound, I wouldn't push it any harder.

I have a horse now who is not built for upper level collection and I'm not pushing the point with her. Why bother? For the next horse, I will have to decide if that's something I want to seriously pursue, in which case I'll look at Iberians, or if I'm happy to potter at low levels and trail ride, in which case I'll look at Highlands. Horses for courses. Nothing snobbish about it. You just have to be realistic.

Lendon Grey took her Connemara, Seldom Seen, to Grand Prix. He's the exception rather than the rule. If Connies as a rule were consistently doing well at that level, you'd see more of them. And GP Connies are, well, seldom seen.
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    11-28-2012, 01:58 PM
  #55
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by faye    
Some people are far to quick to train horses for things that they are just not suitable for and then wonder why they don't get good results or the horse breaks down on them.

You wouldnt expect a shetland pony to do well at BSJA showjumping, or a highland pony in a flat race! Yes you will always get the exception to the rule, but in general those exceptions are not good examples of the breed in the first place.

Bluebird, have you ever owned connies or warmbloods or TB's or Quarter horses? By your own logic if you've never owned one then you have no right to comment on anything even the training of those breeds.

You've already prooven your ignorance of dressage might be time to stop digging that hole.
I think you need to learn some manners young lady. You are becoming very personal. You have no idea about me or what my experience with horses is. I am certain I have been around a lot longer than you and as long as my horses are happy, healthy and doing ok at dressage, endurance riding, jumping I couldn't give one hoot about the finer points of dressage. I have a professional rider who takes Patrick to competitions for me. He wins against your sports horses and 'proper' dressage horses, I like that, I don't give a hoot about the finer points of the competition or the 'proper' language or terminology to use. I have in my care: 2 retired TB racehorses Bobby nad Harry, 1 28yr old Arabian called Chuckie, 1 Connemara called Mylo, 1 QH called Raven, 2 Hunters Donnegan and Findlay, 2 Hanovarians Rodney and Dave, 1 Shire (rescued) called Major, a retired top class showjumper called Eddy who makes even me look like a good rider! This is in addition to my two precious Clydesdales one of whom does dressage Kinclune Patrick and the other Glennane Majestic Clyde (Saxon), is going to be trained to ride Western when he is old enough. I live less than 6 miles from Epsom and have contact with world class jockeys and horse trainers. I have met some of the most famous racehorses in the world - Red Rum, Mill Reef (way before your time) I also go over to Richmond Park with my farrier and help with the Shires who pull a pleasure carriage and they belong to HM The Queen whom I have also met and spoken to about horses on many occasions. Now then, go get yourself some manners!
     
    11-28-2012, 02:08 PM
  #56
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesilverspear    
If you want a horse for a certain job and a demanding one at that, buy a horse who's bred to do that job. Simple. If I wanted ride the upper level collected movements, I could look at a million Clydesdales, searching for the one who might hold up to that work, or I could buy an Iberian or Warmblood who is bred to the nines for that very work. Why do the former? Unless I was desperate to prove a point about "dressage breeds." I'd rather have a horse who's happy and comfortable in his work myself.

That Clydesdale in the above video didn't sell the idea of Clydes as upper level horses. It looked like it was struggling with the harder movements. If that were my horse and I fancied it staying sound, I wouldn't push it any harder.

I have a horse now who is not built for upper level collection and I'm not pushing the point with her. Why bother? For the next horse, I will have to decide if that's something I want to seriously pursue, in which case I'll look at Iberians, or if I'm happy to potter at low levels and trail ride, in which case I'll look at Highlands. Horses for courses. Nothing snobbish about it. You just have to be realistic.

Lendon Grey took her Connemara, Seldom Seen, to Grand Prix. He's the exception rather than the rule. If Connies as a rule were consistently doing well at that level, you'd see more of them. And GP Connies are, well, seldom seen.
Totally agree with you that if you are looking for a dressage horse, you would not go looking for a Clydesdale. The video of the Clydesdale was to give an example only. It took place in Australia and I agree he was not one of the best but he was still quite nimble for a heavy!. Clydes doing dressage is still quite new and there aren't many or any videos posted of the really good ones and I have never taken a video of my Patrick doing dressage. If I find one, I'll post it. They are really amazing horses. I also know that there is a guy in Israel who rides a magnificent black Shire that does top level dressage. I'll research that one too. Clydesdales and other heavies are only just starting to become popular as riding horses and it is as people try out new things that we are discovering more and more about what these horses are capable of. You really have to be passionate about heavies to take them into the competition world because a lot of people do look down their noses and some of the comments can not only be offensive but downright insulting. Heavies will have a place one day in top competitions just like any other horse. Its just that the majority of genuine 'Heavy Horses' are rare breeds and there aren't that many of them around and neither are there that many people who will look at them as riding horses. Things are moving forwards though and especially in the UK, riding heavies is becoming extremely popular. ALready some competitions are looking into special 'ridden heavy' classes like they do in Scotland. Its only going to be a matter of time. Look at the Para Olympics - there was a major step forward!
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    11-28-2012, 02:20 PM
  #57
Super Moderator
.


Time to simmer down everyone

Let's focus on the Horses and not each other

.
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    11-28-2012, 03:33 PM
  #58
Showing
After removing bunch of personal post, this is 2nd and LAST mod note (next step will be temp time off the forum and closing the thread): PLEASE, CALM DOWN, and lets talk about HORSES!
     
    11-28-2012, 03:53 PM
  #59
Yearling
So.... Back to horses. None of the Warmblood lovers (and I am one of them) commented on the examples that I posted. Whar are your thoughts on Saddlebreds? Have you truly only seen a few Thoroughbreds worthy of high level dressage? Man, I have seen many talented horses but like I said, often they are under handled. If the rider and the horse are not both very talented, you won't go far. I wish more of the truly good riders/trainers would work more with some of the lessor appreciated breeds. Alright, maybe not Shetland ponies but the Thoroughbred, Saddlebred and a few others that can be quite lovely.

The comment about the horses that do make it are usually poor examples of their breed? I have not noticed that at all. I do hear people who look at a Saddlebred with a lower head carriage then some of the high end park horses and automatically think that it is a dressage prospect. I myself would like to see the high end examples of the Saddlebred trained for dressage. This is a breed that can move.
     
    11-28-2012, 03:56 PM
  #60
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inga    
So.... Back to horses. None of the Warmblood lovers (and I am one of them) commented on the examples that I posted. Whar are your thoughts on Saddlebreds? Have you truly only seen a few Thoroughbreds worthy of high level dressage? Man, I have seen many talented horses but like I said, often they are under handled. If the rider and the horse are not both very talented, you won't go far. I wish more of the truly good riders/trainers would work more with some of the lessor appreciated breeds. Alright, maybe not Shetland ponies but the Thoroughbred, Saddlebred and a few others that can be quite lovely.

The comment about the horses that do make it are usually poor examples of their breed? I have not noticed that at all. I do hear people who look at a Saddlebred with a lower head carriage then some of the high end park horses and automatically think that it is a dressage prospect. I myself would like to see the high end examples of the Saddlebred trained for dressage. This is a breed that can move.
I'm not familiar with what a saddlebred is. Can you explain?
     

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