Hunter in Sale Video Seems "off" to Me-Anyone Else? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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Hunter in Sale Video Seems "off" to Me-Anyone Else?

Hi guys!

I was watching some videos of 2012 hunters for sale on You Tube, and I came across this sweet looking boy...he is being sold by an outfit, or a personal person, (not sure) called "Gavinshorses" on You Tube, out of Virginia, based upon the (540) area code listed. Anyhow, this boy is a 2007 Westphalian gelding...I have no idea of his asking price...

The reason I'm posting this here, is that I am really hoping someone with some judging experience regarding hunters can help out with an "evaluation" of what exactly we are looking in reference to the following...I can't quite put my finger on what, if anything "odd", is going on with him...he appears sound, soft and supple to me in terms of his basic physiology as well as his abilities and his willingness to work. He also appears to be a very nice ride.

However, to my eye at least, he definitely jumps "oddly". In addition, he has a sort of lackluster-seeming way of going...Is this 100% just me? Can anyone else see at all what I am referring to? That is the only way which I can describe what it is that I feel I am seeing, other than to say perhaps it is simply that it looks like his heart just isn't in the game...??

Okay, well, see what y'all think! I may just be crazy and he may be an insanely perfect hunter-type gelding! I really hope so, because I actually really like him! I just wonder if there isn't something "going on" with him, ya know? Thanks so much!! p.s.--(he doesn't begin jumping until the latter 1/3 of the video)

"I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener"
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 07:20 AM
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I am not a judge, but will say to me, this horse looks green, as he should be, at his age, over fences. Shoot-he doesn't even look to have a consistent change. If you actually Google the farm, he is advertised as a prospect. Exactly what he looks to be. I personally think he is a really nice one, and this farm is lovely. I live in the same town, and toured is several years ago. Unbelievable facility, and I would guess that you have to qualify financially to even go see one of the horses for sale there. Sort of like a house, and probably priced like one in some areas of the country.

I also think you have to be really careful posting random videos for critique, unless it is a horse you are looking to buy, which I doubt.

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post #3 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 07:33 AM
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SO far to me it looks like a green horse who is getting no help whatsoever from its rider. The rider needs to sit up and learn to keep thier hand still as they are all over the place giving the horse very mixed signals. The horse is often falling on his forehand and/or breaking at the 3rd. On the change of lead at 2.48 the horse genuinely tries but as he is on his forehand and then the rider dumps alll his weight over the shoulders he struggles, it looks like the rider is trying to pick the horses front endd up but that has the opposite action (you need to push it up instead)

the 2 jumps I managed to see (video wont play past 3:49) looked green and certainly not helped by the rider

Overall he looks like a lovely horse who has a lot of potential in the right hands

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #4 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 07:36 AM
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Here's what I see -

he appears to move a little short and stiff behind, never quite tracking up or using himself correctly, and he's what hunter folks call a "leg mover" a none of his motion travels up through his back and top line. It's symmetrical, so not an unsoundness, but not something desirable in an upper level hunter, but tolerated in a lower level horse and sometimes desirable in an eq horse.

That, combined with his headset, makes me believe he's been worked extensively in draw reins, a chambon, German martingale or other head setting device and concentrated on the head and neck, not the hind end or back.

I actually really liked him over fences - he DOES use his back then, and he shows nice form, a good front end and a good attitude.

His flying changes aren't there yet, and the way the rider is schooling them - exaggerating the bend, then exaggerating the change of bend is yucky.(the dressage riders on the board or shaking their heads and tsk, tasking.)

I'm surprised that they showed the changes on the video, but the horse is 5, coming 6, so a buyer would expect to see them. I'm also surprised that the video didn't show the horse jumping a related distance, but only single fences.

That also makes me curious - perhaps the horse has had a correct slow start to his training, or perhaps there's a problem or a hole? the coerced headset makes me lean toward the latter.

Last edited by maura; 01-29-2013 at 07:41 AM.
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 07:38 AM
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post #6 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 08:55 AM
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What I'm seeing is a green horse that needs a litte more schooling and a rider that needs a lot of schooling.
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 09:37 AM
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I disagree about the rider.

I see a very skilled professional that is trying to show a green prospect in the best light for a sale video.

Everything that rider does has a reason - the exaggerating posting at the trot is to encourage suspension and using the back, the exaggerating bend to new bend to ensure the horse gets a clear signal for the change. Not my choice of technique, but pretty common in the hunter world. The rider will back down on the aids as the horse gains confidence and will eventually have an auto change, where a change in direction will cue the change.

I also like how the rider deals quickly and calmly with the horse coming above the bit - a no fuss, prompt correction with an immediate softening as a reward.

It may well be that this horse is at this professional's barn to be RE-trained, and that this rider isn't responsible for the horse's way of going.

If this horse came into my barn, I would first get him some chiro and masage, and do lots of hacking out to rediscover his forward and get him working more freely. If and when I worked in the ring, I'd be on loose rein or working on long and low. I wouldn't pick up contact until I had freely forward again, and I'd be prepared for him regress to chambon head when I did.

However, my approach to training wouldn't make for a good sale video.

Again, I think the video is of a really good professional showing the horse as well as he is able at this stage of training.
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 09:43 AM
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His hands are all over the place, in a couple of moments he has total washing lines and others he socks the horse in the mouth, other moments his hands are by his hips.

trying to pick up the front end is also never going to teach a horse to pick up the change properly
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RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #9 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 10:05 AM
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Honestly watching him, it almost looks like he is riding "sloppy" on purpose. Basically to show how much of a saint this horse can be. I have seen sales videos like that before where the rider wants to show how quiet and honest the horse can be so they ride sloppy.

I love the horse. I wish I had a 6 figure income so I could afford to walk through the doors of the barn lol.

BB ~ 2014 Trakehner Bratty Mare ~ 1993 CSHA Em ~ 2007 Standardbred
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-29-2013, 04:49 PM
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I've never personally done business with Gavin but I do know he has an excellent respectable reputation for being a great rider/trainer, not to mention success in the show ring both with horse and rider. Since we don't know this horse I don't think we can judge too much. I don't see any unsoundness (not sure if that's what you meant by "off") but I do see a green prospect that should one day be a very nice hunter with some quality riding.
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