Calling Arab folks for advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-29-2014, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Calling Arab folks for advice

Hello I am new to the forum. I own and run a small hunter barn. I have a new student who has a little Arab and I am kinda in between a rock and a hard place with her. I showed in Arab breed shows as a junior many moons ago and showed in the hunter classes there. I just show in the USHJA shows now. She came from a Arab barn and they went to the Arab shows, so she wants to continue.
At first I thought this was a good idea as the judges in the hunter classes are pretty prejudiced against Arabs.

Since it has been so long since I have been to or done anything in the Arab world I went online and looked at some youtube videos of the hunter flat classes. Well the long and short of it is I am not training her to go like that. Most (including winners) were in really short tight frames, and well behind the bit. They also had way too much knee action then I would consider acceptable in a hunter. I was thinking maybe the Arabian Sport Horse classes would be more accepting of a correct hunter frame. What do you think? Should I try and just have her try the open shows, knowing that she may not place well through no fault of her own? When she gets ready to show over fences it will not be as big of a deal, as the Arab over fences horses go more correct.
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-29-2014, 11:20 AM
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I'd gently tell the rider your concerns, but offer the same level of support the rest of your team receives if she does wish to show. After a season, the rider will either realize it's not for her or realize she loves it - then decide if she wishes to continue on her Arab for the extra challenge, or switch to a horse that may better further her in your Hunter world.

I had a grade part Arab when I decided I wanted to show. My riding instructor did the best she could with us on the local show circuit, which was primarily stock horses. I adored the show experience, and purchased a Paint for the next show season, which was better suited to my new goals.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-29-2014, 12:00 PM
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I gave up on buying an arab to show in the US because I couldn't get my head around the false frame and high knee action (not like that in UK Arabian show classes) but the new Sport Horse classes do seem to be asking for a different way of going - making the Arabian look like a useful riding horse which is what they should be and can be so I would take a look at them as well as dressage classes for arabians
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-29-2014, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I just looked at some videos of the Sport Horse under saddle classes and I like the look of that a lot more. I will have to see if she would be interested in switching divisions. I think she would do good in those classes.

I really like the Arabs. I even own one I use as a babysitter for other horses. He is so kind and never beats anyone up. If I have a horse that has a hard time socially I put them out with him.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-29-2014, 06:26 PM
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I went and looked at an Arab over the summer when I was horse shopping, she had been trained for the Arab hunters and was one of the weirdest horses I have ever ridden. She was so sucked back, and held that tight little frame even when I had my hands on the buckle and was really trying to push her forward. I really loved her personality, and she was such a cute horse, I came super, super close to buying her too. However, after talking it over with my trainer and others I decided against her as I wanted her as a dressage horse and I was worred about her never getting untrained from that false frame.

I agree that that is not something I would want to encourage in a young rider, let her learn how to ride correctly and if she wants to persue that type of riding as an adult that's her choice. I love watching the dressage Arabs, they are all so stunning. I would see if you could get her interested in the Sport Horse stuff, and explain to her your concerns about showing at the hunter shows (though I think its silly for the judges to hold the breed of a horse against the rider).

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post #6 of 12 Old 01-29-2014, 09:58 PM
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Why not let her continue. It's not fair to her that you should state your concerns. Encourage her and let her make her own observations. The judge may just take a liking to how her horse moves.
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-29-2014, 10:54 PM
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That hunter frame messed with my Arabian. He was very scared of being ridden because of how he was forced into that frame. Ugh! Never will I show that circuit.
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Proud owner of Aurelius (PB Arab) and Oinky (Arab/Paint).
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-29-2014, 11:02 PM
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Unfortunately, most Main Ring Hunters are failed Country English Pleasure horses. They have ridiculous shoeing packages on to make that silly knee action and they ride them all bridled up like they're in a full bridle to go CEP or Park. If her horse has really been trained that way, it can be next to impossible to get the horse out of the frame. If you can get the horse to let down and have a truer hunter way of going, it could work out, otherwise she needs to stick with breed shows. Even in sport horse under saddle classes, we're starting to see shoeing packages and more sucked up way of going.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-30-2014, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Saddlebag, why would I not be honest with a student? If I think she is going into something that may not be good for her horse and the goals she has with the horse.
Also, if I am her trainer then anything she does at a show reflects on me as well.

Regardless, I did talk to her at her lesson yesterday and I think we are going to go with the sport horse classes. Also she and her horse had a really good break through yesterday despite the cold temps, wind, and redneck neighbors 4 wheeling in the wood next to the arena. :)
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-30-2014, 04:21 PM
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Glad to hear your student is making progress. (:

I definitely think honesty is the best policy... especially considering how expensive shows can be. If a student doesn't have much of a chance of winning due to prejudices, I feel she should know.
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