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Showing Clydesdales in non-driving sports
I have always loved Clydesdales. My boyfriend and I would like to adopt/buy a Clydesdale, but driving is neither of our interests. I like English competitions, but I realise that a Clydesdale's conformation won't allow it to excel in jumping. A rare Clydesdale may excel in Dressage, but it's not likely.
Aside from Driving and Halter shows, where could a Clydesdale excel in? It must be something I can ride it in. I'd love to have a Clydesdale for just a pleasure mount, but I also enjoy showing, and don't want to come in dead last everytime (I don't care if I don't get first everytime though).
I think your best bet would to get a clyde cross. Draft crosses are usually pretty good at lower level jumping and dressage.
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I have a friend who owns Clydesdales. She rides English and competes in the Clydesdale section in shows both in hand (halter I guess is what you call it) and in the ridden sections. She jumps, takes dressage lessons, goes out hacking and just generally enjoys herself on the back of her heavies. She's dedicated to the breed though and has done her research and has many years of knowledge and experience with them.
A clydie cross is a good option for someone like yourself who wants to excel in pursuits that aren't just confined to one ring... They make great mounts for things like dressage and jumping and over here in New Zealand, it's quite common to see the cross doing many other sports too. I'm not sure if they're as common as they are here worldwide so I can't answer for others :)
Hope this helps.
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go for a clydie cross! I knew one in new zealand (I think she was TB cross) who was a successful cross country jumper. She was bay with the high white socks, blaze, and even quite a bit of feathering (not nearly as much as a purebred though)
I wouldn't be keen on jumping a full draft, it just isn't at all what their bodies were meant to do. That said, I have seen a number of Clydes do it well - and many Clyde crosses that are excellent jumpers. Personally, I would be concerned about their joints over time, while they are often proportionate for bone-body mass they are a lot of mass.
I do ride my Clydesdale mare, we work on dressage, and we work according to what SHE can do. Nothing at all wrong with that, and yes, it is very possible to find full Clydesdales that do very well in dressage - it's about looking for the conformation traits that give ability in that kind of work (Clydes and Shires seem to have numerous individuals that are more "sporty" and why their outcrosses tend to be very popular).
I haven't had my mare out to shows yet, but she has done a few clinics, the coaches all quite admired her way of going, and loved her willingness to try, nobody watching actually came out and said the words "elephant in a tutu" either :lol: . ... And while she is not one of those Clydesdales that will move onto higher levels of dressage work, I don't need nor expect her to... We can still spend a lifetime getting the "little stuff" right.
(Just for information, I have also done some harness work with her... She just isn't a big fan. I'll likely not ever take up driving as a full time venture, with any horse, but it is kind of a neat thing to learn too - and it definitely seems to be one of those things most horses can benefit from)
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