Retraining a saddle seat horse? - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-31-2012, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Retraining a saddle seat horse?

I have been discussing with a group of friends about retraining saddle seat horses. Saddle seat is not a well-known thing here in Finland so I thought I should ask a few questions here. (Sorry about possibly funny sentences in advance, I'm not a native english speaker. )


We have had big disagreements about retraining saddle seat horses. I have been trying to find info from the internet, but most of the conversations are about saddlebreds. We have been talking about other breeds too, like friesians and arabians.

Is it possible to retrain for example a friesian who has been competing in saddle seat, to a dressage horse? Also is it possible for the horse to be trained to compete in upper-level classes? Easier levels probably would be possible but one of my friends says that it is possible to retrain a saddle seat friesian to compete in high level dressage classes.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-01-2012, 10:35 AM
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Listen to the discussions on Saddlebreds when you find them. They are the breed most associated with the dicipline and despite the assumption that they are all gaited, the majority are no different than Friesians in gaits. Walk trot canter. (Friesians are very popular among the Saddlebred crowd here in the US btw.) When it comes down to it, you will be training a horse, not a breed, so I would go back and read what you found on Saddlebreds.

I do Saddleseat, though I do not do dressage, so I couldn't tell you the first thing about transitioning a former saddleseat horse, though I know a few who have. I will see what I can find for you.
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-01-2012, 11:12 AM
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I believe you could. It will just take time to retrain them!

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post #4 of 7 Old 04-01-2012, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Katsu View Post
I have been discussing with a group of friends about retraining saddle seat horses. Saddle seat is not a well-known thing here in Finland so I thought I should ask a few questions here. (Sorry about possibly funny sentences in advance, I'm not a native english speaker. )


We have had big disagreements about retraining saddle seat horses. I have been trying to find info from the internet, but most of the conversations are about saddlebreds. We have been talking about other breeds too, like friesians and arabians.

Is it possible to retrain for example a friesian who has been competing in saddle seat, to a dressage horse? Also is it possible for the horse to be trained to compete in upper-level classes? Easier levels probably would be possible but one of my friends says that it is possible to retrain a saddle seat friesian to compete in high level dressage classes.
Part would depend if the horse has the ability and comfirmation to be a high level dressage horse as many are not. I talked to a lady who had a saddle seat Freisian and they said it took over a year to get him to carry his head lower.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-01-2012, 11:52 AM
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The horse's conformation can limit how far it goes in dressage, not so much previous training. It takes several years of almost daily riding to redevelop the muscles when changing disciplines.
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-01-2012, 02:39 PM
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Saddleseat has nothing to do with whether or not horse could be trained for anything else. It has to do with individual horse, no matter the breed, and how talented the trainer is.

Conformation, mindset, intelligence and willingness to learn all are important, far more so than style horse was originally trained as.

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post #7 of 7 Old 04-02-2012, 06:03 PM
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I can't tell you how exactly you'd go about turning a saddleseat horse into a dressage horse, but it's definitely possible. At my barn (Arabian/half Arabian saddleseat barn) we've changed a few horses from English (saddleseat) horses to hunters. One actually just got back from Scottsdale last month and did quite well as a hunter, after being a reserve national champion country English horse in the past.
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