I move to Alberta, Canada in August of this year with my family, and I will be horse-shopping as soon as I get there (okay, I've already started internet window shopping :) ). In recognition of everything I've given up over here my husband is accepting (even dare I say supportive..!) of me spending a bit of money on a horse and so I'm going to spend happily and I hope wisely.
I am of course familiar with all the breeds in the UK, but the North American market is slightly different, so I would value your input.
I am principally a Happy Hacker - or rather, I will be a Happy Trail Rider.
I also hunt in the UK, and will sorely miss that in Alberta.
I have enjoyed low level Endurance Riding in the past and I enjoy low level show jumping and cross-country, but I will not be competing in any discipline to any great level because my family takes priority in my time at the weekends.
I enjoy dressage schooling, principally for the benefits it gives to a horses overall carriage, mobility and fitness.
I like a big horse with plenty of bone, that is athletic, bold, brave and sensible.
My previous horses were a 16.2 Suffolk Punch x TB Mare, and a 16.1 Irish Draught x TB gelding. Both were bought because they were the right stamp for the right price, rather than a particular drive for a TB cross, but I must say that I like what you get when you cross a TB with a heavier type.
My prejudices which I am happy for you to trash are:-
'all warmbloods are foolish'
'all TB's have poor feet and no shoulder'
And I just don't really fall for the looks of feathered coloureds (paints).
In the Canadian market, in particular I am curious about -
Why are Percherons so plentiful and popular in North America?
What is the Canadian Horse like to ride?
Are Canadian Warmbloods as foolish (see above prejudice) as European ones?
What do you all expect when you read 'Sport Horse'?
Thank you all for reading, and having opinions.