* HELP* I need some quick input, Who do I invest in?? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 39 Old 07-10-2012, 12:09 PM
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What are your dressage goals, and where are you starting from? You mention not being sure how far Ben will be able to go, and that Willow will take you a long way. Can you put that in context?
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post #22 of 39 Old 07-10-2012, 12:13 PM
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I vote for Ben, the mares are both very pretty but something about Ben just strikes me. He would probably benefit from the training the most and I agree that what you learn with him you can transfer to the other.
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post #23 of 39 Old 07-10-2012, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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My goals, well living up here in the wilds of Sask, and coming to this as an older person, I have no great ambitions of glory. As ever it is just to take them as far as they can go.

I can see Ben struggling early on he is big and I don't know how balanced he will be, so not sure how far he will go.

Willow, her physical ability is there, it will be how far her head will take her.
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post #24 of 39 Old 07-10-2012, 12:33 PM
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GH, I agree with DraftXDressage here: you don't know and can't tell how far Ben go, but personally I really like him and his movement. IF your goal to get to the 4th level then I'd consider all horses very carefully. However I don't see a reason why Ben can't take you far enough. I'm kinda surprised on what your trainer was saying.

Also, I remember your struggle getting Ben and how happy you were when he became yours. Are you ready to give up already?

I have to say I really like the mare too, so in the end it'll be your decision anyway, but I just don't see your reasons as valid enough to make a choice.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #25 of 39 Old 07-10-2012, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kitten_Val View Post

Also, I remember your struggle getting Ben and how happy you were when he became yours. Are you ready to give up already?
No, heart always comes back to Ben, head sometimes says WHY, but then you look at that face and go "Oh yeah, that's why"
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post #26 of 39 Old 07-10-2012, 02:12 PM
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I know several people who are riding drafts in Dressage and have tested fabulously for their first levels on them. It's almost like, in my area, the big boned horses that are light on their feet are a real trend. They are really great at Impulsion and Submission portions - even the lightness on the forehand. Been looks like he engages and drives from behind very well. He also looks like he goes very straight.

I tested on a Belgium that is 18.3 and one of those tall carriage horse types. She's got a to-die for Piaffe that comes from her days showing cart one-up.. it took very little adjustment to get that tiny forward moving high parade trot to settle into place. And there's nothing that prevents the bigger horses from doing flying lead changes but our own ability to communicate what we want to them.

If you doubt him, your not going to succeed. But if you take one look at him, put some time and effort into him, he'll take you fabulous places. The beauty of dressage that most people forget is that its a molding and art between two living things comprised of communication and skill. Any horse can be a dressage horse. I loved hearing about the woman who competed on a pony for a while. I was routinely frustrated by a woman who competed in some SCA games (yea jousting, quintaine, rings, sarasin heads - think gymkhana ). The rest of us had these big warhorses - drafts or part drafts - and she'd show up and unload her little pony skiddles (while we moaned in displeasure) and we'd all get the tar beat out of us because skiddles was a tiny pony with a big attitude who love love loved to compete. And when she started she knew nothing either.

My draft knew nothing either as well. All it took was time and patience. We learned together. You can too!
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post #27 of 39 Old 07-10-2012, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Centaurheart View Post
...............a tiny pony with a big attitude who love love loved to compete. ..............
You see this is the difference, G Man was a big solid dependable capable guy, with no interest in showing off, or actually putting effort into anything, you spent a lot of time trying to breathe energy into him.

Willow has a HUGE attitude, she is a diva, sorry D I V A with a touch of ADD about her, such a difference, and such fun trying to softly contain and store all that energy into something useful.

It is possible that Ben will be a great compromise, and maybe I need to stick to plan A and get some hours put on him.

Willow and Emmy are at least broke, so I can work with my trainer with them while Ben is out. If he is out for 2 months he will be coming home around the time that I am ready to start again post surgery.

Maybe then I can keep them all until next spring and see who is showing the most potential, or is the most fun, and who fits the 2013 body shape best
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post #28 of 39 Old 07-10-2012, 02:50 PM
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1. they are all roughly the same age;
2. papers/breed/bloodlines matter less in Canada right now when compared to the US horse market;
3. Mares have a slightly larger market because of their ability to produce offspring.

My first thought would be to put 30 days of training into the horse that currently has the least amount of training. To me, this would provide a larger increase in "value" from a sales standpoint. Smallest investment for greatest return. So unless one of the mares will improve a bunch, I would say send Ben.
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post #29 of 39 Old 07-10-2012, 02:56 PM
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You and I should get into a 'who can get the weight off the most' and motivate our horses the best contest. I swear I see a lot of you in me which is why I keep posting to this thread. I read some of your back threads and we have very similar backgrounds too.

I had an very 'dull' horse once that I moved on and kicked myself every day for doing so. I moved her on because I didn't have time to put the effort into her (she was a friesian cross) and she wasn't looking like she'd grow big enough to be a great horse for me. At five, a year and a half after I sold her, she suddenly put on a ton of size and at seven is almost 17 hh. She switched on as soon as she figured out what all the riding was about, and suddenly got confidence and is winning everything in her area (Dressage) with her new owner - though not sure what she's doing now this was about five years ago.

I also made the mistake of riding a smaller horse and I really ended up screwing up her back when I was younger and just getting back into horses. My trainer kept saying 'oh you look great... you aren't too small... you'll loose weight'... and I used this lovely horse (a saddlebred named Love btw) to learn how to trot, canter, and do some gaited divisions in saddleseat (which is really hard to ride btw but great training). I started riding her solid for 30 days once I won a few ribbons and trophies in saddleseat and when she came up incredibly sore the guilt almost ate me alive. That's why I suggested you ride willow every day for an hour for thirty days and see how shes' doing after that. I felt I was a bit too big.. not too much too big just a bit too big mind you... But my trainer really pushed me to keep on her and I was too dumb to listen to that inner voice that said 'too big too big'... and she had to rest for almost three months before the soreness disappeared. I ended up giving her to someone who was a lot lighter and just wanted her for pleasure riding. My trainer said it was a fluke. I still don't think so, and I honestly thought she liked my lesson money more than she liked what was best for the horses because she tried to get me turned on to another horse similar to Love's size and I wouldn't do it. I replaced my trainer after that and the new eventing girl got me into drafts and draft crosses and we did fabulous. Part of that training, though, was learning how to compensate for a drafty's and big horses' dull attitude. If you do natural horsemanship you have a desensitization phase with the programs both Parelli and Lyons teach then you have a re-sensitization portion. With most level headed drafties and bigger horses, you skip or breeze right through the desensitization phase and move into making them more sensitive and alert. Its a really winning process and once you teach them - and you can - to be motivated and willing to move that energy forward etc... its rewarding as all hell. We just have to do things a bit different than say arab people do. I think your Ben can learn to be turned on by his rides etc.. he just needs to know what hes doing and gain confidence.

So I don't want you to make the same mistake. Willow might be fine, but these two horses (willow and love) could have been identical and have very similar situations.

I have a feeling though that Ben once he knows what hes doing and gets the 'oh this is what this riding thing is all about' will turn on some effort. A lot of dull in horses can be attributed to them not really understanding the point of whats happening. If you were to say to take a dull one to a really good weekend clinic where the horse succeeded I've often seen the switch turn on and they really start getting it, building confidence, then really loving what they are doing instead of being dull hesitant and uncertain.

I have a warmblood whom I rode in the SCA games. She was terrible her first few times, but when I went to qualify it was like a light blub snapped on and when we went to do the sarisin head test.. its kinda like pole bending but you knock mannequin heads off the poles with a sword as you weave through... my horse suddenly 'got it' and started beheading the poles herself just for the fun of it. The last one, coming around the turn before we raced back to the finish she stomped for a good measure, cow hopped and broke a timer record across the finish. I was laughing so hard I almost fell off and the judges were stumped that my placid warmblood suddenly turned into a killin machine. We were disqualified because they said the only way she could have knocked them off herself is if she held the sword (no kidding - the rules read the heads had to be knocked off with a weapon - isn't a horse a weapon?) in her mouth... but it was so worth it to see the lightblub finally come on. Best memory of Sunny ever, worst scratch score ever. :P

Anyhow, best of luck. I'll bow out of the thread now.
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post #30 of 39 Old 07-10-2012, 03:02 PM
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I'm going to be the odd one out here. After seeing the video clip of Willow,she is bigger than I thought & not your real fine arab. I think she has no trouble with your weight & would show more ring presence & agility in her movement.Even if you don't loose all the weight you are wanting as long as you have a quiet confident way of riding her I don't think you would look out of place on her,no more than Ben.....So I guess it is willow that gets my vote
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