Another dressage prospect... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 07-17-2013, 01:10 PM
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The things that limit the horse are not so much her long back as her flat Arab croup and straight hind leg. The back is long but she has a very strong coupling which makes the horse a bit stiff in that area. Coupled with a very flat croup and a straight hind leg she doesn't have the over all reach behind which also impacts the reach in front.

I see a 3rd level horse.. some 4th but that is about it.

Nice enough horse.. but a challenge to go to the higher levels.

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post #12 of 17 Old 07-17-2013, 01:16 PM
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For fear of sounding "breedist" I haven't posted.
Keep in mind I learned how to ride on an Arab!!

In general for dressage there are breeds who (in general) are not really going to excel, and this mare is an example of why arabs aren't generally seen in upper level dressage.
Not to mention the fact that she is 10 and can't trot in a circle with any semblance of balance or rhythm, the back and croup are weak. Weak to the point of her canter is not even close to "good" for what we would want for dressage. There is no sit or power from behind, she shuffles a lot of the time.
Yes, she moves pretty, she flicks her toes and bends her hocks and arches her neck. Which will do you great at training level, but as soon as you need her to actually work, I fear that it's going to end up in a battle. You versus her, you versus her conformation and her versus her conformation. Even if she ends up being the world's most willing horse, the talent for 4th is lacking and I don't think she would be happy and I don't think you would be happy.

IMO you would be better off to head to the track and find a TB who needs a new home. A well conformed TB can do a respectable PSG without issue. I have a student with an OTTB with a talent for the passage, he is a great horse.

Here is an example of a warmblood horse who I would say has the talent for 4th level, and potentially a PSG:
For reference, her price tag is $20,000.

IMO it comes down to what the horse is bred for and what is fair to ask of the horse. It's like asking a basketball player to live in a house with 6' ceilings. There comes a point when it is unfair to the point of having to get after the horse so much that no one is enjoying themselves, and truly my advice comes from a place of wanting the best for you and for the horse.

Good luck!
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They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
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post #13 of 17 Old 07-17-2013, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for that post anabel. I think that I get wrapped up in breed ideas sometimes, and I have had such a positive experience with my first arab that perhaps I've had a little tunnel vision. I posted this thread because I had a feeling I'd need a reality check before going to see this horse and accidentally falling for some aspect of her personality (instead of her capability).

I think that I am going to keep looking. :) Thanks everyone!
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post #14 of 17 Old 07-17-2013, 02:54 PM
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Not any more difficult than a purebred, except possibly more stubborn (at least the one's I've worked with and have known). Normally it's people who've only dealt with full blooded warmbloods and think the arab cross mix is "cute" that run into problems. The crosses seem to get the Arab mentality (curious, playful, bored easily) and the warmblood hard headedness about some things. It's really no worse than any other horse, it's just that people who buy them usually aren't familiar with the Arab breed at all and then they get frustrated because the horse got their number on day one.

For 5-7k I'd buy her (if she's as sane as they claim). I really like how her back ties in to the hip.


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Originally Posted by existentialpony View Post
Core, do you find arab crosses to be that much trickier than purebred arabs? I have been working on dressage basics with my gelding (from negative-square-one... he was a "western pleasure" horse when I bought him) and while he can be a challenge, our successes are that much more rewarding and wonderful. When he lifted his back to stretch his topline in our free walk at our first dressage show this weekend I almost cried! haha!
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post #15 of 17 Old 07-17-2013, 05:08 PM
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Anebel - Is the lack of balance, lack of rhythm, etc. mainly a product of her training though? Personally, the toe flicking, head carriage, lack of movement in the back, balance, etc is mostly due to training. I wouldn't call that horse relaxed in that video. It looked ready to bolt in a couple of places. I've helped train a couple of Arabs that started out that way, and after a few months of correct dressage training actually had some seriously good movement. It's so easy to hype up an Arab to the point that they become braced, tense, and resort to moving like ticky-tacky horses. To me it looks like training issues are the biggest issues. I see the shallow croup, but the loin ties in well, the hocks articulate well, the sacroiliac joint articulates in the few points of the video where the horse seems to relax some. I think with the right rider, correct training, that the horse's gaits would improve dramatically.

Rest of this is not directed specifically at Anebel:
My horse definitely does not have the conformation for dressage at all... I bought the mare as an 8 year old that couldn't canter at all, no balance. It was a train wreck. I've had two trainers that were short listed for the Olympics tell me this year that she'd have no problems going to 4th, possibly PSG. Dressage is not all about having the perfect conformation. Good conformation would make it a lot easier training wise, but I think we sell our horses short way too soon. Long before the horse has even suggested can't do what we want, we've already determined that it isn't built like the 20+k warmblood and we either quit trying, or we go buy that two year old warmblood that we can put all our hopes and dreams into.

Heck, most of us will never make it out of Second and it'll never have a darn thing to do with our horse's conformation. Most of us could go buy a Totalis and we'll still be dinking around doing poorly ridden Second level tests... I know it's a big jump from Second to Third, and it's easier when the horse is built for collection... but does it really have to be that great of conformation in order to train through Third. Once you have clean changes, what's after that in Third? Half-pass? And from Third to Fourth what's the biggest hurdle? Even if you don't have a brilliant moving horse you could still train the horse to develop gymnastically, collect, and perform at Third level accurately even without the best conformation, couldn't you? I guess it depends on the goal... Competing at International shows successfully would be out of the question, but maybe rated shows/local shows wouldn't be.

I'm just railing against the injustice of the economic disparity of dressage. Those that have the money can progress. Those that do not, cannot. Even to get a quality TB with good confo is going to cost you an arm and a leg. Well, from my perspective it's an arm and a leg. I guess when 20k isn't a big deal, then those TBs would be considered cheap.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
For fear of sounding "breedist" I haven't posted.
Keep in mind I learned how to ride on an Arab!!

In general for dressage there are breeds who (in general) are not really going to excel, and this mare is an example of why arabs aren't generally seen in upper level dressage.
Not to mention the fact that she is 10 and can't trot in a circle with any semblance of balance or rhythm, the back and croup are weak. Weak to the point of her canter is not even close to "good" for what we would want for dressage. There is no sit or power from behind, she shuffles a lot of the time.
Yes, she moves pretty, she flicks her toes and bends her hocks and arches her neck. Which will do you great at training level, but as soon as you need her to actually work, I fear that it's going to end up in a battle. You versus her, you versus her conformation and her versus her conformation. Even if she ends up being the world's most willing horse, the talent for 4th is lacking and I don't think she would be happy and I don't think you would be happy.

IMO you would be better off to head to the track and find a TB who needs a new home. A well conformed TB can do a respectable PSG without issue. I have a student with an OTTB with a talent for the passage, he is a great horse.

Here is an example of a warmblood horse who I would say has the talent for 4th level, and potentially a PSG:
Level 2 test 3 002 - YouTube
For reference, her price tag is $20,000.

IMO it comes down to what the horse is bred for and what is fair to ask of the horse. It's like asking a basketball player to live in a house with 6' ceilings. There comes a point when it is unfair to the point of having to get after the horse so much that no one is enjoying themselves, and truly my advice comes from a place of wanting the best for you and for the horse.

Good luck!
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post #16 of 17 Old 07-17-2013, 05:39 PM
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The arab x warmbloods are really getting popular in the part Arabian show rings and I would think she was schooled for that - holding her head in frame rather than making her work from behind and push forwards which is why I think she looks rather 'jerky' and unbalanced instead of flowing forwards smoothly - because she has the length of stride to do that
Her quarters would build up and look better if she was worked properly and made to use them and I don't think she'd look so long in the back then
The thing with arabs (and some part arabs) is that if they enjoy doing something and want to do it they will give you 150% but if they don't then they will act up like a disruptive bored child
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post #17 of 17 Old 07-17-2013, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by core View Post
Anebel - Is the lack of balance, lack of rhythm, etc. mainly a product of her training though? Personally, the toe flicking, head carriage, lack of movement in the back, balance, etc is mostly due to training. I wouldn't call that horse relaxed in that video. It looked ready to bolt in a couple of places. I've helped train a couple of Arabs that started out that way, and after a few months of correct dressage training actually had some seriously good movement. It's so easy to hype up an Arab to the point that they become braced, tense, and resort to moving like ticky-tacky horses. To me it looks like training issues are the biggest issues. I see the shallow croup, but the loin ties in well, the hocks articulate well, the sacroiliac joint articulates in the few points of the video where the horse seems to relax some. I think with the right rider, correct training, that the horse's gaits would improve dramatically.

Rest of this is not directed specifically at Anebel:
My horse definitely does not have the conformation for dressage at all... I bought the mare as an 8 year old that couldn't canter at all, no balance. It was a train wreck. I've had two trainers that were short listed for the Olympics tell me this year that she'd have no problems going to 4th, possibly PSG. Dressage is not all about having the perfect conformation. Good conformation would make it a lot easier training wise, but I think we sell our horses short way too soon. Long before the horse has even suggested can't do what we want, we've already determined that it isn't built like the 20+k warmblood and we either quit trying, or we go buy that two year old warmblood that we can put all our hopes and dreams into.

Heck, most of us will never make it out of Second and it'll never have a darn thing to do with our horse's conformation. Most of us could go buy a Totalis and we'll still be dinking around doing poorly ridden Second level tests... I know it's a big jump from Second to Third, and it's easier when the horse is built for collection... but does it really have to be that great of conformation in order to train through Third. Once you have clean changes, what's after that in Third? Half-pass? And from Third to Fourth what's the biggest hurdle? Even if you don't have a brilliant moving horse you could still train the horse to develop gymnastically, collect, and perform at Third level accurately even without the best conformation, couldn't you? I guess it depends on the goal... Competing at International shows successfully would be out of the question, but maybe rated shows/local shows wouldn't be.

I'm just railing against the injustice of the economic disparity of dressage. Those that have the money can progress. Those that do not, cannot. Even to get a quality TB with good confo is going to cost you an arm and a leg. Well, from my perspective it's an arm and a leg. I guess when 20k isn't a big deal, then those TBs would be considered cheap.

What training??
In all honesty no. The mare has had nothing taught to her w.r.t. way of going. That is all her and the nervousness comes every time pressure is put on her - which is not an attribute of a good dressage horse.
It's not about articulation of the hocks. The mare over articulates, and out behind her. Try to get her to sit on those hocks - at the very least you will get resistance and worst case scenario you blow her hocks before she is 12. Her croup is not designed for carrying either, putting further stress on the hocks.
Like I say, basketball player and 6' ceilings. The mare was not put on this earth to do 4th level dressage.
On one hand, yeah you could probably whack and smack her underneath herself and condition the crap out of her to build the muscles needed to do a 4th level. But why? There are lots of horses put on this earth that are a lot more gifted for dressage than this horse. And not all are $20,000. Although having that as a minimum budget makes horse shopping a lot easier, but that is dressage. We don't have the horses over here. In Europe, a decent 4th level prospect that is broke, going, and 5 might cost you 5000 Euro. Just like a nice QH over there is a pile of $$, but in NA they are dime a dozen.

In all honesty there is not a large jump from first to second, or second to third, or third to fourth, if you have a decent enough horse and are training it correctly. If something is really difficult and it's beyond your first, or second horse, then something's got to give. For most people the most realistic situation is to buy a nicer horse because it becomes a lot easier, and yes, most people wont know how to train a horse to second level and beyond. But to buy one doing upper level stuff and ride the training off of it is easy. To learn to train is difficult to do, difficult to teach, and in itself costs a lot more than a horse, and also requires a good horse or 4.
But I digress.

IMO from what I see is there a lot of riders out there who have horses who are not fit for their goals and they see their horses through rose colored glasses. Then they get the trainer to whack and smack the horse to whatever level and ride around for their 55% and still want more. In the end, it is the horse that suffers. With lameness issues, or they get sour, or at some point they just stop and don't move again. It's not worth it to push horses past what they are capable of and with this mare I just don't see the "I can" in her. Yes there are horses who are less than ideally conformed who do well in dressage, I ride one, but they make up for it in other things. Attitude, personality, movement, rhythm, schwung, etc..
But at some point we have to be realistic about the horse and draw the line in the sand. Maybe the horse could do a decent second level, but then why do we have to push the horse on to fourth? It is human nature and ultimately breaks down these horses for what - selfishness? To dominate an animal? To prove that we can take a square peg and put it in a round hole? It's not worth it to me.

They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
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