Conformation on Friesian Mare? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 212 Old 11-07-2015, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Conformation on Friesian Mare?

I'm thinking about going out to take a look at this one. These pics were sent by the owner, so may not be ideal for judging conformation, but hoping some more knowledgeable people can tell me what they see. She's 18, been shown up to Training level 3 and extensively trail ridden. Was also ridden by a 7 yr old so advertised as super safe and completely sound. The asking price is fantastic and she's not too far that I can't drive to see her. I'm looking for something for lower level dressage and pleasure. Thoughts?







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post #2 of 212 Old 11-07-2015, 04:49 PM
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She's gorgeous!! I have a soft spot for "older" mares, so I love her!

I don't have any personal experience with Friesians, but, from being on this forum for a long time, I've always heard that they do not make ideal dressage mounts. I've always heard that they are popular for dressage due to their flashy movement, but that it's not easy to get them to do correct dressage.
They were originally bred to be light draft carriage horses, and that doesn't always translate well undersaddle.

My main concern is that you will end up running into many of the same problems you're having with Sydney.
With this mare's age, it's only going to get harder for her to move "correctly." Also, at her age, selling her on -if she ended up not working out- is going to get harder and harder every year.

My first horse that I owned was sold to me as being 21 - turned out she was 24. I owned her for 5 years before she passed away at the age of 29. She was the best thing. I had lots of extravagant plans of things the two of us were going to do...but she ended up not being up for most of them. It was ok though - she taught me a lot more about who I am, who I should be, how to enjoy life, etc, than I probably ever would have learned if all my competitive goals had worked out.
I'm definitely pro-older horses, but they have a shorter "let's do all these activities and then let's go to ten shows!" tolerance than a young horse might. You kind of have to go at their pace and understand that competition may or may not be in the cards.
Are you ok with having a big pet/trail ride horse in a couple years, for longer than you had a dressage horse?


I'm all for older/senior horses and I feel like everyone should own at least one of them. When you're new to the ownership gambit, it's sure nice to have an experienced horse that doesn't get overly worried about details!

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

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post #3 of 212 Old 11-07-2015, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wallaby View Post
She's gorgeous!! I have a soft spot for "older" mares, so I love her!

I don't have any personal experience with Friesians, but, from being on this forum for a long time, I've always heard that they do not make ideal dressage mounts. I've always heard that they are popular for dressage due to their flashy movement, but that it's not easy to get them to do correct dressage.
They were originally bred to be light draft carriage horses, and that doesn't always translate well undersaddle.

My main concern is that you will end up running into many of the same problems you're having with Sydney.
With this mare's age, it's only going to get harder for her to move "correctly." Also, at her age, selling her on -if she ended up not working out- is going to get harder and harder every year.

My first horse that I owned was sold to me as being 21 - turned out she was 24. I owned her for 5 years before she passed away at the age of 29. She was the best thing. I had lots of extravagant plans of things the two of us were going to do...but she ended up not being up for most of them. It was ok though - she taught me a lot more about who I am, who I should be, how to enjoy life, etc, than I probably ever would have learned if all my competitive goals had worked out.
I'm definitely pro-older horses, but they have a shorter "let's do all these activities and then let's go to ten shows!" tolerance than a young horse might. You kind of have to go at their pace and understand that competition may or may not be in the cards.
Are you ok with having a big pet/trail ride horse in a couple years, for longer than you had a dressage horse?


I'm all for older/senior horses and I feel like everyone should own at least one of them. When you're new to the ownership gambit, it's sure nice to have an experienced horse that doesn't get overly worried about details!
Lol, I feel like you read my mind! All the same thoughts I've had. At the same time, I think about several horses at my barn who are in their mid to upper 20s, still riding several days a week with minimal maintenance. I would, of course, have a PPE done with my vet. I haven't even done my first show yet, and at my age and being brand spanking new to dressage, I can't see myself every being a serious competitor. I think if I could get a safe horse to take me up to 1st level, I would be happy.

I've heard the same thing about friesians as far as being competitive in dressage as well. I can't help it, I love the breed! Lol. If I was intending to go upper levels, then this would likely not be an option for me. I think my trainer would be better than me at assessing her ability so I forwarded the short video clip I got.
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post #4 of 212 Old 11-07-2015, 05:57 PM
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Good thoughts by Wallaby. I think she's worth taking a look at. Honestly, though (and recognizing that the pics tell little), I would not consider her as a serious contender for competitive dressage but if you are indeed serious about pleasure riding and the occasional low level dressage show she could well be perfect for you. Let us know how it works out.
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post #5 of 212 Old 11-07-2015, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Really short vid. I emailed asking for additional but haven't heard back yet, but this is her daughter riding her. I liked how responsive she is to such tiny legs.

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post #6 of 212 Old 11-07-2015, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Just heard back from my trainer. She thinks the mare is lovely, but is worried about her age and if I would be able to continue going up in the levels with her. She sees me competing at 2nd level in a couple years and the mare would be 20 by then. Her owner swears she's NEVER had a health issue in the 5 years she's had her and is in great health. Personally, I don't think I'll ever be a serious competitor and would be happy just continuing to learn and enjoy riding. I'm only learning Intro right now and still trying to maneuver a decent 20m circle, lol. Thoughts on competing on a horse this age?
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post #7 of 212 Old 11-07-2015, 11:26 PM
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Another thing to keep in mind is that Friesians are a whole new ball game movement-wise. Whilst a good rider should be able to ride anything, Friesians really are in a world of their own, or so I've found. Of all the different horses I've ridden, Friesians are without a doubt the strangest and, dare I say, most uncomfortable. Their movement is so exaggerated (or is in the case of the one I rode) that it's very difficult to get used to.

She's a very pretty mare, though. I would consider her as a pleasure mount, but not sure about as a dressage mount :/
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post #8 of 212 Old 11-07-2015, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Another thing to keep in mind is that Friesians are a whole new ball game movement-wise. Whilst a good rider should be able to ride anything, Friesians really are in a world of their own, or so I've found. Of all the different horses I've ridden, Friesians are without a doubt the strangest and, dare I say, most uncomfortable. Their movement is so exaggerated (or is in the case of the one I rode) that it's very difficult to get used to.

She's a very pretty mare, though. I would consider her as a pleasure mount, but not sure about as a dressage mount :/
I've heard this as well, both arguments. People seem to either love em or hate em. Natasha Althoff is a Grand Prix rider I follow on Youtube and her main GP horse is a friesian, but doesn't seem to have the exaggerated movement either. I've never ridden one, but I can't wait to try it out! Because of scheduling conflicts, we are shooting for the weekend following Thanksgiving. She's a few hours from me and we both have the next couple weekends tied up. I am going to do my best and go into this with my head and not my heart. If she is not a fit, then I will move on.
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post #9 of 212 Old 11-08-2015, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tihannah View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracer View Post
Another thing to keep in mind is that Friesians are a whole new ball game movement-wise. Whilst a good rider should be able to ride anything, Friesians really are in a world of their own, or so I've found. Of all the different horses I've ridden, Friesians are without a doubt the strangest and, dare I say, most uncomfortable. Their movement is so exaggerated (or is in the case of the one I rode) that it's very difficult to get used to.

She's a very pretty mare, though. I would consider her as a pleasure mount, but not sure about as a dressage mount :/
I've heard this as well, both arguments. People seem to either love em or hate em. Natasha Althoff is a Grand Prix rider I follow on Youtube and her main GP horse is a friesian, but doesn't seem to have the exaggerated movement either. I've never ridden one, but I can't wait to try it out! Because of scheduling conflicts, we are shooting for the weekend following Thanksgiving. She's a few hours from me and we both have the next couple weekends tied up. I am going to do my best and go into this with my head and not my heart. If she is not a fit, then I will move on.
Unrelated but I love Natasha Altoff <3
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post #10 of 212 Old 11-08-2015, 11:37 AM
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I will say I had an arabian mare that I got as a teenager. The mare was 19 when I got her and I rode her through high school. I free leased her to a family friend after I graduated, the family friend was looking for a kind old school master to teach young students on. She loved to jump, had a bit of arthritis but we managed with an oral cosequin. She slowed down at around 29 and passed away at 30. The day she died, she had been groomed by a young girl, ridden walk and trot, went over a few (small) cross rails, had been bathed and cooled out and brushed again. Than that evening she collapsed during feeding and died in the barn owners arms. Don't discount her for age. In addition, one of the feistiest horses I ever rode as a 27 year old wrangle horse who lived ( I mean LIVED) to chase other horses on the morning wrangle.
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