Critique a coming 6yr old haflinger? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-26-2011, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Critique a coming 6yr old haflinger?

This is my mare, Lawrita. Before I'm done with her(as in, retiring her), I want to do, well, EVERYTHING with her; from western pleasure to at least schooling 2nd level dressage. My ultimate goal would be to successfully complete a novice 3 day event with her, without killing/maiming myself or her.

So, what do you all think? Will she excel at anything in particular or do her short, upright pasterns spell arthritis if she undergoes a heavy work load? Am I expecting too much out of a mare not physically capable?

Thank you all in advance for your expertise! Oh, and these pictures are pretty shoddy, because A: Lawrita's legs look like sasquatch(hairy!), and B: she's not standing very square and her front legs look wonky. If these don't work, I can take more and I'll dig my showmanship pictures from the summer out of the innermost depths of the computer for a good side view.
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-26-2011, 10:31 PM
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Her pasterns may be short, but I don't consider them very upright. They actually have good angle, they are just, like you said, very short LOL. She does appear to toe out on the front and may have a slight case of calf-knees but with just the one pic from the front and the one pic of the side, I will reserve final judgement on both those things because horses can darn sure stand wonky and make themselves look much worse off than they actually are .

I honestly don't see anything in her conformation that would worry me as far as long-term soundness under heavy work. Whether she has the movement/ability to reach the levels you strive for is an answer I do not know, that is between you and her.

Like with any horse, condition her properly, prepare her properly for the amount and difficulty of the work, and be aware of any moment when she just doesn't feel "right". Pay attention to her, she'll tell you when she has more to give and when she's had enough.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-27-2011, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much! Is Lawrita's calf kneeishness those little lumps of bone that protrude out of the back of her knees? I've always wondered about those, because I've never seen another horse with knees quite like that. Isn't being calf kneed a VERY severe conformational flaw? I've cropped a picture of her leg from this summer, when it wasn't quite so hairy. I'll post it as soon as I can figure out how!
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-27-2011, 10:26 AM
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Up until the last couple of years, I have had almost no experience with haffies. Since then, I have met two haffies that have created total respect for the breed. I would not doubt that a haffie could do well in all you seek to do. While being a bit limited in the drafty type movement many have, they more than make up for it in their tractability and open nature.

This haffie was used for roping when my student got him. He was poorly trained for anything, to say the LEAST. However, within a very short time, he was become a really nice foxhunting horse;



His first time going XC showed a tough and courageous mind;



He is really getting the dressage;



And her young daughter has started vaulting on him.

Hopefully, your haffie will show the same versatility and drive to please. I see no real reason yours couldn't give it all a try.
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-27-2011, 11:45 AM
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Haflingers in general can be very versatile and with their intelligent minds they do best when they are offered a variety of work. They may not excel in some areas, but they usually will give their hearts in trying. They also tend to be very sound and hardy little horses that will provide many long years as a working partner - many into their 30s.

Here are some versatility photos if you haven't seen them yet:
Haflinger Versatility Photos

Like Smrobs has pointed out - your horse's pasterns are short but not upright. You will find many haflingers have short pasterns but are going strong. I'll wait for the other pictures of the legs to comment on those.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #6 of 15 Old 11-27-2011, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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It does look likes she's got kinda funny looking knees, doesn't it?
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-27-2011, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-27-2011, 01:51 PM
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I don't have a bunch of experience with Haffies, but a friend of mine has one that she uses in parades both ridden and driven. I had my first driving lesson with her. Super sweet and TOUGH! Built like a brick wall. If I got into driving more seriously, I would love to get a Haffie.
I don't have a critique for you, but here is a pic of Flurry and I.
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-27-2011, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Haffies are fantastic driving horses, and they look so beautiful in harness! The fancy driving ponies at the big haflinger shows are just breathtaking. My girl is trained to drive, but she's not fancy enough to compete with THOSE horses.

Thank you all for your support and belief in the possible success of me and Lawrita's future goals. I'm not planning on doing all this stuff to win it; I just wanna compete and then shower Lawrita with treats and hugs after it's over. She's such a sweet and willing little mare, I'm sure she'll be mentally able to do anything I ask of her.
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-27-2011, 02:28 PM
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I looked at the versatility photos and most, if not all, did not have their manes braided in disciplines where normally mane is braided. any reason for that?
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