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I also prefer a larger bodied horse - Friesian, Warmblood, Andalusian. I'm 5'8 and don't like feeling like an amazon woman on my horse. :)
Not to push for Arabians [although they are my breed of choice...haha], but I think you would truly be surprised at how some of them take up your leg.
Sure, there are those spindly-legged halter horses that are narrower than a fence rail, BUT that's only one variety.
I prefer Polish-bred Arabians. As a group, they are known for being some of the bigger bodied Arabians.

My last mare was 14.1 on a tall day and I'm 5'7", yet I never looked [or felt] overly big on her. Looking back, I think I *looked* a little big just because my upper half seems to be looming over her...but no one ever commented and neither of us was ever uncomfortable:
[this was taken during a costume day at a summer camp we worked at...we were twins for the day. haha]



My current gelding is narrower than my mare was, but he's 15.2ish and Polish/Crabbet bred.
Again, he takes up my leg quite nicely:




My mare DID move like a little horse. She had shorter strides, quicker turns, she was definitely little. You asked her to do something and practically before you got all the words out, she was doing what you asked.

My gelding, on the other hand, moves like a horse much bigger than he is. Perhaps it's because he has unnaturally large feet [I have never seen such big hooves on a "normal" sized horse!], perhaps it's because he has unnaturally long legs, but he moves like a big horse.
I've measured him out and, if it weren't for those legs of his, he'd be basically the same size as my 14.1 mare. He weighs the same as she always did, same blanket size..but he's over a hand taller.
At the same time, I have no idea how he is as athletic as he is. He changes leads out in the pasture, and there's this terrifying, but daily, event:


How does he avoid running smack into that fence? Magic?? I honestly don't know.




I get that you aren't into Arabians and I totally understand that - they aren't everyone's cup of tea!
All I'm trying to say is that you don't have to have a warmblood to get that solid build, or that nice movement, or that "big horse feel."
It's ok if you absolutely prefer warmbloods, totally ok, but don't limit yourself unnecessarily. :)

For all that, a friend of mine [tall friend, she's taller than me, at least 5'8"] participated heavily in OHSET [Oregon High School Equestrian Team] as a teenager and got some of the best fourth level scores OHSET had seen. What was she riding?
A Paint gelding with unremarkable bloodlines.


Anyway, I'll stop beating a dead horse now... haha *slinks off*
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I'm not in a hurry to buy, and Dante, you know I still have my trainer's lease option. I have just always been a fan of friesians and came across this one while browsing sale ads and she's not too far that I can't drive to see her. I may change my mind after I ride and see what everyone's talking about. Lol. My trainer thinks she's lovely, but worried about the age. The owner said they were working on flying lead changes before they got her new horse, so they stopped working with her. The daughter now has a gypsy vanner.
 

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Friesians are my favorite breed. She looks amazing in general, and even for her age! I haven't read all three pages of this thread but what have you decided to do?
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Friesians are my favorite breed. She looks amazing in general, and even for her age! I haven't read all three pages of this thread but what have you decided to do?
I haven't gone to see her yet. Was just getting some opinions on her as far as age and conformation. I'm supposed to go out the weekend after Thanksgiving.

@Wallaby - I definitely don't limit myself as far as breed goes. DanteDressageNerd can tell you, I've sent her a TON of prospects - all different breeds, and one of our top contenders was actually an arabian cross. I can't help it though, despite the breed, there is definitely a "look" that I'm drawn to. I like the bigger bodies and thicker necks, but Dante has a better eye than me for spotting features on a horse that would make it a better candidate for dressage (strong hind ends, movement, etc.).
 
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Discussion Starter #25
This is one of the first horses I went to look at back in May. He was droolworthy. Dutch Harness - they said 18hh, but I'm not sure he was THAT big, but he was big. Competing 1st level, training 2nd level. I could have had him for $4k, but he didn't like other horses or dogs, so my barn wouldn't take him. But THIS is the look I want in something that is safe and sound. I can't help it. I still think about this guy and wish he was mine.





He felt AMAZING to sit on! Look at that shoulder! Lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
She sent a ton more pics. Her daughter has shown her A LOT. I like her. QUICK, someone jab a stake in my heart, it's taking over! Lol. :-(



She said whenever her daughter would salute the judges, the horse would too! <3






 

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I think we all get to a point where we have to decide what our goal is in horse ownership/riding. It seems that you get to choose either to "become a great/competitive rider" or "become a horse owner". You either get the horse that will challenge you and when/if you out grow them you sell them or you get a horse that you like and may outgrow but will keep. I ride standardbreds and my current gelding challenged me immensely he is forward and need courage. Its taken about three years of riding (one year of really consistent riding) to get to the point where it is hand in glove. I hate ground work and I am not the type to go and just brush my horse at the barn, Harry my horse is also not a fan of these things. When Harry is too old to be ridden heavily or arthritic to go on a ride as often as I want than we will learn together to like ground work and the joys of a solid grooming session. I have realized that with Harry I am in this for the journey and our destination is not the winners circle and their are no blue ribbons. That is okay, just like the blue rosette is also okay.

I think the OP has to go and ride this horse and than decide what they want to do. If you want to have a really good time on a horse you like (breed, personality, comfort to ride, able to meet your current challenges and help you achieve goals etc) and you are content with maybe out skilling this horse in 5 years and not being able to resell due to age than buy her. If you want to be competitive in the show scene than this may not be the right horse. Would I spend 6 grand on a horse maybe may be not. Is 6 grand a bargain for a Friesian, yes in many circles it is. I would make sure she had a good PPE done because that is a really good price for a breed where unproven yearlings go for 10 grand.

Price is highly relative. My horse was "free" in that I did not pay for him. He was expensive in that my family paid the stud fee, the training fees for the racing career that ultimately Harry decided he did not want to have. The point is that every horse is worth a lot until they are not worth much. Its not my place to judge what you spend on purchase price. There are great bargains to be found for 125 dollars and terrible dangers to be found for 200,000. Its all about what you want with your horse.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I think we all get to a point where we have to decide what our goal is in horse ownership/riding. It seems that you get to choose either to "become a great/competitive rider" or "become a horse owner". You either get the horse that will challenge you and when/if you out grow them you sell them or you get a horse that you like and may outgrow but will keep. I ride standardbreds and my current gelding challenged me immensely he is forward and need courage. Its taken about three years of riding (one year of really consistent riding) to get to the point where it is hand in glove. I hate ground work and I am not the type to go and just brush my horse at the barn, Harry my horse is also not a fan of these things. When Harry is too old to be ridden heavily or arthritic to go on a ride as often as I want than we will learn together to like ground work and the joys of a solid grooming session. I have realized that with Harry I am in this for the journey and our destination is not the winners circle and their are no blue ribbons. That is okay, just like the blue rosette is also okay.

I think the OP has to go and ride this horse and than decide what they want to do. If you want to have a really good time on a horse you like (breed, personality, comfort to ride, able to meet your current challenges and help you achieve goals etc) and you are content with maybe out skilling this horse in 5 years and not being able to resell due to age than buy her. If you want to be competitive in the show scene than this may not be the right horse. Would I spend 6 grand on a horse maybe may be not. Is 6 grand a bargain for a Friesian, yes in many circles it is. I would make sure she had a good PPE done because that is a really good price for a breed where unproven yearlings go for 10 grand.

Price is highly relative. My horse was "free" in that I did not pay for him. He was expensive in that my family paid the stud fee, the training fees for the racing career that ultimately Harry decided he did not want to have. The point is that every horse is worth a lot until they are not worth much. Its not my place to judge what you spend on purchase price. There are great bargains to be found for 125 dollars and terrible dangers to be found for 200,000. Its all about what you want with your horse.
^^This is perfect and really sums up my thoughts. It's hard for me to explain to people that actively compete (like my trainer), that this is not my end goal. I will go to the barn, spend 30-45 min riding, and 2 hours grooming and bathing my lease horse. I enjoy this time - breathing that horse smell and getting dirty making them look good. I enjoy hand grazing and just sitting in their presence. I enjoy the bond on the ground just as much as the one in the saddle.

I will go and see her. If she is what the owner is saying and I feel comfortable in the saddle, then I will have my vet do a PPE. If she passes all, then maybe I will bring her home. If not, no big deal. I will keep looking or just go forward with leasing my trainer's mare.
 

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Be mindful too that you're not changing your goals or aspirations to fit a horse because you want that horse to fit the bill. It never hurts to look but if you do fall in love sleep on it before making a decision and make sure it's from a rational place. It's like when you're starting a new relationship, gotta pin yourself down before you build up so many hopes and dreams based on potential, rather than reality that you don't end up where you want to be. Don't make adjustments just because you saw something you liked and wanted to make it work. Older horses are great but even sound ones will need maintenance, especially as they get older and work more. You're going to have many more years of riding and you may be better off saving this money for down the road after the next lease runs out, so you have more money for a potential dream horse and have a better idea of exactly what you want but it's entirely up to you and your goals and what you want out of the experience.

She looks really sweet and very kind. My heart melts when I see gentle horses with kids.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Be mindful too that you're not changing your goals or aspirations to fit a horse because you want that horse to fit the bill. It never hurts to look but if you do fall in love sleep on it before making a decision and make sure it's from a rational place. It's like when you're starting a new relationship, gotta pin yourself down before you build up so many hopes and dreams based on potential, rather than reality that you don't end up where you want to be. Don't make adjustments just because you saw something you liked and wanted to make it work. Older horses are great but even sound ones will need maintenance, especially as they get older and work more. You're going to have many more years of riding and you may be better off saving this money for down the road after the next lease runs out, so you have more money for a potential dream horse but it's entirely up to you and your goals and what you want out of the experience.

She looks really sweet and very kind. My heart melts when I see gentle horses with kids.
You're right, and I will definitely keep this in mind when I go to visit her. My trainer says I am one of her favorite students because I am like a sponge and just soak everything up and catch on really quick. She thinks I have the potential to be doing 2nd level in 2 years. I tell her its only because I love it so much. But for that reason, she too, thinks I should pass on this horse due to age. THIS is why I'm scared to buy!! Lol. Does any greenie REALLY know what they want??
 

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I agree with your trainer, especially if you want to ride 2nd level or above. Even if you don't show there is still more and more training you're going to want to do.

My theory is no one ever really knows what they want but you can get pretty dang close. A year ago I didn't think I'd end up buying an arabian cross, I didn't dislike arabians but they weren't my thing and then I went to an arab barn with a friend and she told the trainer I was horse shopping and asked if she had anything in my price range. So she showed me a horse I had no intention of buying but I felt rude saying no. I saw him go and thought he has potential, though pretty downhill and on the forehand in canter but good regularity and I thought that can be fixed. He was basically broke, so he didn't steer well and it was an exhausting ride but he felt like he had a lot of potential and he does. He was what I didn't know I wanted. Sometimes the exact thing you need is the thing you don't want lol.
 

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That Dutch Harness horse is STUNNING.

I'm interested to hear how this mare is when you see her, and what you think of her movement. Like I said before, she'd probably make a great pleasure horse especially with how she is with that little girl, and it's up to you whether you think she'll make it as a dressage horse.
 

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For me, it seems like a hell of a lot of money for the age and training. I had a school master who I sold in to semi retirement at age 21, and he passed of a brain issue at 24. No one knew he had it, it was just one of those darn unlucky things.

I have ridden the big WBs with the huge, scopey movement. I've ridden crosses, and even a tinker. But I cannot sit or stand friesian horses under saddle. They are built and bred to pull a carriage and they're good at it.

So you get this horse, you ride till she's 20 and then want something more because she can't take you further (as with your current horse). Will she become a leased out horse whilst you find something else?

Young doesn't equal bad. Something between 7-16 would, IMO, suit you better. I am all for buying older horses, but you're already itching to move up with your training and I think you'd hit end game too soon with a horse at this age and level of training.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
So you get this horse, you ride till she's 20 and then want something more because she can't take you further (as with your current horse). Will she become a leased out horse whilst you find something else?

Young doesn't equal bad. Something between 7-16 would, IMO, suit you better. I am all for buying older horses, but you're already itching to move up with your training and I think you'd hit end game too soon with a horse at this age and level of training.
It's not necessarily the moving up that has caused me to start looking for another horse. It's her ability. My current horse cannot even canter on a left lead. At 15, she's never been asked to get on the bit or round and has no clue what you're asking of her. She's heavy on the forehand and unbalanced. So essentially, I can't even improve on basic riding with her.

I never said I didn't want a younger horse. Ideally, I would like a horse between 8-12. My issue with this has been price and location. I've been able to find them in my budget, but I would have to fly to California, or New York, or Canada to see them. There's a ton of em in my budget in Canada! I live in Mississippi and this is western country, so horses here and the surrounding states trained well in Dressage or Eventing or H/J come with a hefty price tag. There's currently a TB for sale at my barn who can't go past Novice Eventing and his sale price is $10K. I've ridden him and he's NOT an easy ride and takes a lot of work to get collected. I think she's crazy, lol, but someone will buy him.

Like I said, I've never ridden a friesian, soI don't know if this horse is the one. The age is definitely a worry, but I still think she's worth going to take a look at.
 

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If the mare was younger and you liked her I wouldn't see the price tag as a problem but once any horse reaches her age the risks start to pile up which is why they more often get loaned or leased out as schoolmasters than they get sold
The Friesians are an impressive looking horse but unless they do something to earn a value they're just an expensive ornament.
I'd be wondering why this horse hadn't gone any higher through the levels at her age
As for the Gypsy Cobs - well before some Americans got hold of them they sold for peanuts in the UK, mostly to riding schools and trekking centres or for meat. The same stamp of horse that people were paying $1000's for plus the cost of shipping them here are now being abandoned in the UK and Eire because no one wants them.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
She didn't go higher because she was purchased for a 7yr old. The girl is now 10 and has gotten more serious about dressage, but now only rides the vanner. Owner says they have too many horses and this one needs a job.
 
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Discussion Starter #39
Believe it or not, I just stumbled across another friesian also in Alabama. Gelding, same age, same price (negotiable), but shown to 3rd and 4th level. I sent a message. No pics or video on the ad. Not sure how close they are to each other, but it would be nice to have 2 to look at.
 

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She didn't go higher because she was purchased for a 7yr old. The girl is now 10 and has gotten more serious about dressage, but now only rides the vanner. Owner says they have too many horses and this one needs a job.
I don't know.......................
Dressage is so much about leg cues, I wouldn't buy a horse that size for a 7 year old to do dressage on because she wouldn't have the length of leg on it to be really effective
Tread carefully!!!
 
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