Spanish horses vs Warmbloods for dressage: which do you prefer?
Obviously this is theoretical, since it depends on the individual horse. I'm talking about as a whole, which type of horse do you prefer for dressage?
I find that the Spanish horse's compact build can often make bringing their hind under themselves a lot easier, and they dominate in the airs above ground. I don't see Spanish horses often in the WEG or Olympics (if at all, I am not a close follower), however seeing riders such as Oliveira and Phillipe use them is enough for me. Warmbloods, however, have more length in the gait and are typically easier/more common to find than a Spanish horse. They tend to be more flashy with their movement, but the leggier ones are harder to collect. They are much more prevalent in the competition ring.
If I had to choose blindly, I'd say Spanish horses, since they seem to master the higher levels of dressage (airs above ground) more frequently than Warmbloods. I own a Warmblood however because a) they are much easier to find than a Spanish horse, at least in my area. And b) I also want to do a bit of jumping, and Warmbloods are certainly better jumpers.
hmm.. Interesting! I've never really thought about it before, but they are really different! I like both, and really like how the baroque style horses are so compact and have so much power that they can do the complicated "airs above ground?" If I had to choose though, I think I like warmbloods better just because their huge strides, extension and also b/c of how flashy they are(as you said).
Oh oops! I was trying to edit my post, on the last part.
Reason c) I like my horse's bigger movement, and I find him to be a fun ride.
You bring up a good point... I have noticed only one or two Spanish horses that had competed in the WEG/Olympics. I think we don't see them as often because for one thing their necks are usually a lot thicker, sometimes so thick that they can't go completely "on the bit" or verticle. I know they were talking about possible changing how they marked Spanish horses head position due to the fact that it isn't even possible for them to have their heads completely verticle.
For looks ..Iberian
i like warmbloods :D ive never owned or ridden a spanish horse, but i dont really like their knee movements that much... and i like to jump and i love speed, mwahaha. but i like warmbloods because they are so beautiful and athletic, and spanish horses tend to look a little heavier to me. haha and theres not many spanish horses in my area...... but they both are beautiful!
Spanish horses are great for riding around - not so great for competition.
Warmbloods in general are bred for more elastic and ground covering gaits. For dressage - they create a more harmonious picture and are better able to maintain a "soft" rhythm with loftier movement than a Spanish horse.
Part of the goal of dressage is to increase the amount of suspension in the gaits (ie. the trot) - if you watch most Spanish horses they can't get the loftiness and ease of movements.
Yes they perform highly collected movements much easier, but in competitive dressage, you have a 20mx60m ring to get around. You need the loft and the power that the warmbloods have.
There is a lady in my area that bought a lovely Spanish horse from Paul Belasik. It's lovely, does everything, but just not my type of horse.
Warmblood, hands down.
At my previous barn I've seen plenty of both Iberian horses and warmbloods, and I feel that warmbloods are far more athletic than Iberians. I also think that warmbloods out-dressage Friesians as well.
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