Non traditional breeds in dressage.
This subject comes up frequently in dressage discussions on almost every forum.
Even with a poor economy WBs (good ones) can be out of reach for many so many AA's are turning to the poor mans WB the draft cross (but they are NOT WBs) and other non traditional breeds and crosses.
So with the variation of types entered do you think WBs will be left for just the elite or more well off owners/riders?
That has always been the way here. Australia being an island, importing horses is not an easy process and to get these nice warmbloods in is a rather costly process and hence only professional riders and farms are doing it. The stud fees are crazy expensive and the owners of the studs are usually very particular who gets a foal from them. They have reputations to keep.
We have ALOT of TB's here and they are very common place in dressage, that is the Aussie poor mans dressage horse of choice. I guess it is also up to the individual rider and what they see in the potential of each horse as to where they go with that. I personally haven't seen very many draft crosses in dressage here. I don't see alot anywhere really in general. Something I do see a lot of in lower levels is arab crosses.
I think there is a certain snobbery in warmbloods for dressage.
I have had a thoroughbred mare and daughter an Aust Stock Horse, both of whom have been mistaken for warmbloods. In fact, had to reel off the Stock Horses pedigree to be believed. They have both done well in dressage (not high up dressage admittedly) but I wonder if the marks they got would still be awarded if the truth about their parentage was widely known.
I'm definitely one of the opinion that you could adopt a mustang that would make a darn good dressage horse if you were careful about looking at the conformation.
There are several breeds that can do quite well in dressage, but the big WBs have definitely become the standard... and they are very good at dressage generally.
When I bought Wiski the mustang they showed me how he knew some dressage.. but I have no idea how to do it, so it's a skill he knows and I don't. Anyways.. what I meant was... He's a mustang that does dressage, I don't see why he shouldn't.
Keep in mind, this is my opinion.
Any breed can do low level dressage - any discipline in the Equestrian World - but when we get to 3rd and higher, I do firmly believe that conformation plays a big factor in how well your horse can do the movements asked, and remain healthy and sound while doing these movements.
That is when the Warmblood comes into factor....
1) I cannot stand it when people call their draft crosses Warmbloods. THEY ARE NOT! That is an insult to those who meticulously breed Warmblood lines to keep their specific breed clean, improved.
Yes - the origions of the WB are from the Draft - but you must look into the YEEEAARSS spent by breeders who made the breed of what we see today.
I have friends who breed Zangersheide's. Dutch Warmbloods and Holsteiners. Their stock are meticulously inspected, Certified and Approved. They put allot of time, money, work into their lines - to have someone come along with a Draft X QH and say "hey I have a warmblood" - that's insulting.
Now, there are a few breeders out there who do breed educatedly, who are there to improve the stock they have and put allot of time, knowledge, money into their breeding program to make a beautifully well put together Draft X - but, again...the Draft in them still effects how much they can do in compareson to a Pedigree'd WB.
2) When you are at a Dressage Competition, and you are in a lower level class - it doesn't bother me what-so-ever with whom I am up against. For me, it is about how well my horse and I do, how well my horse and I execute the movements given. It is about compeating against myself.
But when you get to 3rd and higher, allot more is put into the comps you invest your time and money into. When you enter into a comp at those levels, and are on an Appaloosa, and are up against some Warmbloods - the Appaloosa's conformation is not compareable to the WB - and the movements you do more than likely, wont be scored as well as the breed that was made for this sport.
Now yes - there are horses out there who were bred well, who are not WB's - and can do just as well as the WB's at their own sport. But those are rare and few between.
Look at Teddy O'Connor - he shone strong, but he was a rare occurance. I do see QH's at Mid to Upper Level Dressage Comps - but again, their breeding and conformation was well put together to beable to stand up against the WB's.
And again - yes, not every WB is well bred. We have allot of Ignoramus's out there who think they can breed and pop out babies left, right and center - who are not representing their breeds to the best of their abillities, who are not out there to improve the lines, to improve the horse - so we see crap WB's as well.
That is why I am sick and tired of backyard, uneducated breeders.
So - yes, I think non-traditional breeds can do mid to upper level dressage movements....ONLY IF they are bred correctly conformation wise - to stand up against the WB's who were carefully bred for this sport.
That is why we see so many WB's - because the well bred one's are tough to compeate against - so people say "I'll get a WB too so I can remain competative at these mid to upper level movements"
i get alot of snobbery against my TB mare in dressage. She's not the best looking but she gets the job done. although, she gets more crap in the hunter ring than in the dressage ring for the way she looks. haha
I also get alot of snobbery against my other mare who is 3/4 TB 1/4 Shire. I get the "draft X's cant do dressage" "they are too clunky" "they aren't going to take you anywhere" stuff even though clearly my mare is NOT a chunk and she's not clunky. if she were heavier than 1/4 Shire, i wouldn't have bought her. My draft cross came from a respectable breeder who specializes in 3/4 and 7/8 Tb crosses. the breeder has TB mares that she crosses with her approved 1/2 TB 1/2 Shire stallion. many people mistake my horse for DWB or a Holsteiner and no one has ever guessed that she was anything but a WB. I see my mare as a very correct representation of her breeding and I hope that she will continue to change people's minds as she has in the past.
but, it doesn't really matter to me what cross she is, "traditional" or not, she's a great dressage horse and people usually change their minds when they see her do her thing in the arena
However Lendon Gray’s spunky little Connamera/TB cross, Seldom Seen managed very well.
Yes but Hilda has a ridiculous eye for horses, and that is years ago.
Now, today in dressage it is an elitist sport. In order to do well you have to fork out quite a bit of money. It's the nature of the beast. As soon as there is a competitive sport, the drive to win kicks in and the horses and tack and training methods become geared towards winning, being better and getting those higher scores.
I for one think that the increased ability of these horses that are being bred now is a good thing. Even 5 years ago there were classes being won by scores in the low-mid 60s at national shows, which is not good. Now we are seeing many nice horses with good training achieving scores in the 70s easily. Yes, the sport is becoming more expensive and more elitist but honestly if you love it you're going to do it no matter what horse you have.
Basically my point is - deal with it. Sometimes I think that people in lower level dressage with a horse not bred for dressage whine more than the "dressage princesses".
If not winning really upsets you that much then take out another mortgage on your house because you aren't going to find a gem in the middle of the wild that will beat all the well bred WBs in the dressage ring. Basically I agree with MI as well.
yes, Spyder. And I didn't refer to her as an AWB you notice!
I know that not alot of Draft X's do upper levels but I have been told by many BNT's in eventing and dressage alike that she has the potential to do at least Intermediate if not Advanced. BUT- things could definitely happen between now and then. She doesn't have many major conformation flaws although her hocks are set a bit more underneath her than is ideal. It gives her a beautiful, floaty trot but it also makes her hind end harder to muscle up.
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