Huh. At the beginning of this thread, my brain was shouting REINERSREINERSREINERS, as I just watched the WEG reining competition and fell in love with the sport and the calm obedience.
Then I went to read on and saw fox hunters and polo ponies. I agree with these entirely.
Over the summer I went roading with a fox hunting group. Their horses, despite being hot at home, were some of the most calm and obedient horses I have ever seen. They would do anything for their riders. As soon as they left the gate, they immediately knew what their job was and acted the part. A horse that was going roading with all of us started bucking and rearing out of control and they didn't bat an eyelid. In fact, they actively IGNORED the horse after that. Amazing horses.
Polo ponies is more iffy for me, but that's probably because my barn is half polo, and the polo riders are awful to their horses sometimes. Not all the time, mind you, but sometimes. Despite the bad trainers, the horses are incredibly willing to learn and adapt. If you're ever looking for a high level dressage horse, look for a good polo pony. These horses listen to your seat like its all they have. They learn things quickly and usually have very adjustable gaits. "My" horse is an ex polo pony, who was in polo as a key horse...Until they stopped desensitizing her to the mallet, and she leaped every time it moved. I can easily make her walk faster and slower with just my seat, and go from canter to trot, trot to walk, and walk to halt with just seat and a little leg about 90% of the time. She won't pick up a lead if I'm leaning to the inside, and has once or twice tripped on purpose because she didn't like that I was on the wrong diagonal. (True story!) Those horses can be amazing.
If you can't tell, polos have a little soft spot in my heart. <3
"The wise man thinks he knows nothing.
The fool thinks he knows everything."