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Dressage Potential?

This is a discussion on Dressage Potential? within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        04-06-2012, 11:29 AM
      #11
    Weanling
    He seems like a gorgeous, sweet boy that would be a great all around mount.
         
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        04-06-2012, 12:09 PM
      #12
    Started
    I think the two of you can have fun with the retraining part of this project and training/first level stuff he could do. Although I must agree with katy (?) with his conformation he won't be able to do much higher work with any degree of ease.

    Also, I don't mean to offend, but has anyone ever taught you to lunge?
         
        04-06-2012, 04:26 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    I don't agree with the others, about him not being a dressage horse.

    You can do dressage with any type of horse.

    Though, The horse needs loads of potential to become a Grand Prix horse.
    But for the lower levels? Any horse can do it. You might not win all the time, but you should be able to ride
    (shoulder in, half passes, lead changes, extended and collected gaits) and get nice % with any horse.

    I don't know what movements 2nd level is.

    But, any horse can do shoulder in, lead changes, half passes, medium and extended trot and so on.
    Some horses are more talented than others, sure. But any horse can do it, it just might take a little longer, because they need more training.

    Heck, I've done it with my little pony and got 72%.

    Iv'e seen far less talented horses doing great as dressage horses, on a lower level - with shoulder in, half passes, lead changes, extended trot and so on.

    A horse don't need amazing gaits for things like half passes, lead changes or shoulder in, it's just basic work that any horse can do.

    And sure, you can get nice % on competitions as well, even if your horse don't have great movements.
    If the horse doing what it's told, is "on the bit", and has a nice rider guiding it through the dressage program, you should be able to get nice scores from the judges.

    Not everything is about gaits.

    Around here we have ponies at 140 cm winning over warmblood dressage horses at 170 cm.
    Because they do it better, they are doing exactly what their rider tells them to do. They are on the bit and the rider and horse looks like a team working together.


    For an exampel, this mare, my pony, she got really nice at doing dressage with training.

    The previous owners bought from a riding school, she was mean, refused to do anything. Her gaits where boring and so on.

         
        04-06-2012, 08:31 PM
      #14
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by StellaIW    
    I don't agree with the others, about him not being a dressage horse.

    You can do dressage with any type of horse.

    Though, The horse needs loads of potential to become a Grand Prix horse.
    But for the lower levels? Any horse can do it. You might not win all the time, but you should be able to ride
    (shoulder in, half passes, lead changes, extended and collected gaits) and get nice % with any horse.

    I don't know what movements 2nd level is.

    But, any horse can do shoulder in, lead changes, half passes, medium and extended trot and so on.
    Some horses are more talented than others, sure. But any horse can do it, it just might take a little longer, because they need more training.

    Heck, I've done it with my little pony and got 72%.

    Iv'e seen far less talented horses doing great as dressage horses, on a lower level - with shoulder in, half passes, lead changes, extended trot and so on.

    A horse don't need amazing gaits for things like half passes, lead changes or shoulder in, it's just basic work that any horse can do.

    And sure, you can get nice % on competitions as well, even if your horse don't have great movements.
    If the horse doing what it's told, is "on the bit", and has a nice rider guiding it through the dressage program, you should be able to get nice scores from the judges.

    Not everything is about gaits.

    Around here we have ponies at 140 cm winning over warmblood dressage horses at 170 cm.
    Because they do it better, they are doing exactly what their rider tells them to do. They are on the bit and the rider and horse looks like a team working together.


    For an exampel, this mare, my pony, she got really nice at doing dressage with training.

    The previous owners bought from a riding school, she was mean, refused to do anything. Her gaits where boring and so on.
    You're right that it's not about the gaits as such - but they will pick you up extra collective marks at the end of a test and make a judge more inclined to give you a 7 rather than a 6 if the horse has a lovely, swinging gait vs a horse running around with a pogo stick trot.
    It's about the conformation. The OP's horse might have alright paces, but the conformation will make it very difficult to do much collected work. Sure, it can learn to extend it's gaits, it could do a shoulder in or half pass, but the quality of the work is not going to be very good, and the horse will be struggling. If a horse is built entirely wrong for dressage, it WILL struggle unless it has something else in its conformation to compensate. Some Grand Prix horses have a bit of a higher set tail and weak hind end, but they have a huge amount of bend and carrying capacity in their hocks, so they compensate. The OP's horse, has a very high set tail, a long back, straight hind end and very little bend in the hocks. The truth is that collection is going to be difficult, coupled with his age, there's a good chance of him breaking down if he is forced to work in collection for any period of time. He is going to have to work hugely harder than a well built horse.

    Your pony is built very nicely, good strong hind end, lovely shoulder, good bending hocks that can sit and carry. She is built entirely different to the OP's horse
    Jumper12 likes this.
         
        04-06-2012, 08:58 PM
      #15
    Weanling
    Dressage is for horses, not the other way around. You can always ride dressage on a horse - because dressage is not supposed to be about chasing high scores in an arena.

    It's supposed to be something good for the horse, a training method to help the horse become stronger and well muscled. If a horse is so
    Wrongly built that you can't do the movements it normally do outside in the pasture, the horse should not be ridden at all. I acutally don't
    See the problem, the horse sure has it's flaws - if you're looking for the perfect dressage horse.

    But come on. We're not talking about the owner expecting the horse to be the next Totilas.

    I've googled around. 2nd level is just simple and basic stuff! You don't need to pressure a horse in to extreme(Not even a lot of) collection to do those
    Things. We are not talking about grand prix collection here or grand prix horses at all, we are talking about putting a horse in a normal "working frame".

    I was told the same thing about my horse.

    I was told, "It must be boring for you, having a horse that's not good enough."

    I told them, that any horse, with right training, can do the basic work and get 70% in an arena. You just have to listen to the horse and work with it slow.

    If you pressure a horse into doing something it's not ready for, sure it will break. But that's not what's dressage is about. It's about working
    With your horse, to become the best you can. It takes time, lots and lots and lots of time. But if you work with the horse, and listen to it. I
    Don't see why the horse should not be able to do simple and basic work.

    Dressage is supposed to be good for the horse, if you break a horse training dressage, you're doing it wrong.

    I used to ride a horse, that had no dressage schooling until the owners bought him when he was 14. Now he's 28 years old, still going strong.
    He won his last national championship at the age of 25.


    Perhaps the quality of the work will not be as good, if you did the same training with a horse that is bred to compete in dressage.
    But I don't agree that the horse will struggle and suffer. If it does. I repeat. You're doing it wrong.
         
        04-06-2012, 09:15 PM
      #16
    Weanling
    Here we have a standardbred stallion. He is bred for trotting away as fast as he can. He has the wrong conformation for any type of collection, he's not even bred to be able to canter.

    He's not even bred to be ridden at all. With his conformation, he's supposed to be a driving horse.

    But the owner worked with him, and he looks pretty happy doing dressage.



    He might look like a "dressage horse", but it's because the rider rode him in dressage.
    He got the right muscles to do collected work, even though his bloodlines and conformation said otherwise.
    Allison Finch likes this.
         
        04-07-2012, 05:54 AM
      #17
    Trained
    I'm not trying to be offensive in any way shape or form. I did say that basics, yes, any horse can do it. Look at any other post I've made on this forum and you'll see that. I have taken various breeds that were not built for dressage, into the dressage arena and done well, even placing at state championships and getting onto the squads. All I am trying to point out is that with conformation that will work against the horse, it is going to find it a hell of a lot harder than a horse built for the job. I have never had a horse break down due to any work that I've done with it, my last horse was an off the track thoroughbred that unfortunately I had to put to sleep, due to ongoing injuries on his time on the track, nothing to do with his work in my hands. BUT when a horse's conformation is going totally against what we ask it to do, eventually it's going to break down in some way, shape or form. If a warmblood bred in the purple for dressage needs a huge amount of care to keep it sound in the upper levels, it is pure anatomy and physics that dictate that a horse with its body working against its training is going to have problems, before a horse who's body supports it's training. You can build muscles in the right places, create a topline etc. but muscles do not change the basic conformation of the horse.
    thesilverspear and Jumper12 like this.
         
        04-07-2012, 11:23 AM
      #18
    Trained
    That standie does NOT look happy. Look at that tail, it's swishing around all over the place. He's irritated or hurting. He's also not performing the movements correctly (those canter pirouettes are among the loosest I have ever seen) and actually looks lame to me. Is that just me or is someone else seeing that as well?

    The pony on the other hand looks willing and relaxed, and LOOKS like a dressage pony conformationally.

    The OP's horse, I wouldn't consider to be a good upper-level prospect. I think he would struggle at second level. First level I think he could do, but I'd be surprised if it did well in competition, unless OP can get those hind legs really working and driving him forward. What he is doing now is running around using his front legs to propel himself, and keeping up with his hinds.

    MY horse is not made for dressage, he is trained up to around Novice level as far as I'm aware (some events at the level he used to compete do use Novice tests for the dressage) and he has some seriously awesome lengthen trot on him but he doesn't collect and sit on his hindquarter properly, either through not knowing how or not being able to, so he doesn't extend his trot, he just lengthens it. Same with canter. They need to be able to collect correctly and REALLY sit most of their weight into their hindquarter to be able to extend correctly, because the horse is using itself in a very similar way for collection and extension, it just takes longer steps in the extended trot.
         
        04-07-2012, 11:29 AM
      #19
    Yearling
    I agree, the standie looked uneven in the transitions. He looked sound otherwise, just grumpy with the wildly swishing tail.

    Pony was nice, though.
         
        04-07-2012, 11:51 AM
      #20
    Super Moderator
    I am also of the opinion that second level (U.S.A. Second level) is not too demanding for this horse. It will be more of a struggle than a horse with better dressage conformation, but it is not impossible for the horse to ride competently at that level. I find this more a matter of heart than anything else. Higher levels than that will demand much more collection which really will be pretty hard for this guy. Second level....sure, why not.

    If you want to go that direction, do it. The horse's muscling will change a lot as the muscling it has now is not what he will need for this work. So, take it very slowly and methodically.
         

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