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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I found this great dressage prospect horse.

Here are the stats:

Arab/Dutch Harness
Location: Illinois
Foaled in 2005
Spirit Scale: 3
Experience: Has been shown in dressage, has been used as lesson horse
Height: 14.3 - 15.0
Price: $2800- $3200

I found her listed in different places with slightly different stats (see range in height and price).

Do you think she would be a good first dressage horse for an adult amateur of intermediate riding ability? I should add that I'm 5'4 so I should fit on a 14'3 horse.





I've been in contact with the owner - she seems legit; runs a boarding/riding facility. She has been used a lesson horse; is an easy keeper and has great ground manners.

Anyway, any input is greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here is her description from the horse classified ads:

" MD Ive Got Clout - Fergie is a 7yo, 2006 Arab/Dutch, mare. Bred by Rooker Arabians. Raised and trained by DezRey Arabians until age 4. Solid LEVEL 1 dressage. The videos tell it all! -VIDEO 2: Show/Lessons: is a record of 3 years, of class A show clips with 3 of 4 riders competing at their very first class A show. VIDEO 1: Nov 2013.The video at home is with a 13yo rider. We (RockyBranchStables. con) have had Fergie for 3+ years (sorry about the typeO on the title page of the videos listing her as born in 05, correct is 2006). Never had a vet call. No scars. Never had a vice. Solid. Sound. Loves kids, nickers to you when youre just holding her lead rope. Sweet. Kind. Patient. Great on the trails. Fergie has always been the perfect mare iturned out with other horses."
 

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I like this mare! She's willing and has a lot of try in her, and has a good rythmic trot and though she's a bit downhill in build and is often running along on her forehand, this is more because of the rider than due to a lack on her part. I think she puts up with a lot of face pulling and bobbles in balance, and boring relentless circles. At the canter, she was a bit crabby, but that's becuase the rider's hands were not steady and she was being bopped in the mouth.

This one is definitely worth a second look and a trial ride, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like this mare! She's willing and has a lot of try in her, and has a good rythmic trot and though she's a bit downhill in build and is often running along on her forehand, this is more because of the rider than due to a lack on her part. I think she puts up with a lot of face pulling and bobbles in balance, and boring relentless circles. At the canter, she was a bit crabby, but that's becuase the rider's hands were not steady and she was being bopped in the mouth.

This one is definitely worth a second look and a trial ride, IMO.
Thanks for the critique! I think it's a good attribute that she is able to tolerate a variety of riders.
 

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I'm seeing a horse that isn't engaging it's hindquarters and this is a prime requisite to be a dressage horse. It can be achieved. As she become more accomplished, her withers will lift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm seeing a horse that isn't engaging it's hindquarters and this is a prime requisite to be a dressage horse. It can be achieved. As she become more accomplished, her withers will lift.
Good point. I'm not looking to go GP or anything but I'm willing to put in the effort and time to do lower level shows.

I figured with a younger horse I have time on my side. I'm mostly screening for disposition, health and aptitude.
 

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This is not a good horse for a beginning, or intermediate, dressage rider to buy. This horse has been trained with a false headset. retraining this horse to carry itself correctly for dressage is going to take a very skilled, higher level rider. That is one of the hardest bad training issues I've ever had to fix, and I will never buy another horse trained like that again. if the horse were younger, less time being forced into a false frame then my opinion might be different.<br />

How can a barn state the horse is a solid Level 1? They don't even know the levels proper names. And that horse isn't solid Training level. Nothing about thise videos showed any semblence to what is considered solid dressage basics. The horse is not using it's back, it is not in level balance, and it is not showing good bend and suppleness. It travels very heavy in it's forehand with a braced head and neck. There's no swinging through the back either.

Cute horse. The current trainers don't have the first clue about dressage and it shows.

Also, I worked with an Arab, Dutc harness horse cross before. They are very forward, nimble, and energetic. If you're not a very confident rider, if you don't have a strong core and seat, then this may not be a good match for you.<br />
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Get a pre purchase done too. Something kind of weird looking with how the left hind travels. May be nothing, but make sure a vet checks it before you buy the horse.<br />
<font size="1"><i>Posted via Mobile Device</i></font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is not a good horse for a beginning, or intermediate, dressage rider to buy. This horse has been trained with a false headset. retraining this horse to carry itself correctly for dressage is going to take a very skilled, higher level rider. That is one of the hardest bad training issues I've ever had to fix, and I will never buy another horse trained like that again. if the horse were younger, less time being forced into a false frame then my opinion might be different.<br />

How can a barn state the horse is a solid Level 1? They don't even know the levels proper names. And that horse isn't solid Training level. Nothing about thise videos showed any semblence to what is considered solid dressage basics. The horse is not using it's back, it is not in level balance, and it is not showing good bend and suppleness. It travels very heavy in it's forehand with a braced head and neck. There's no swinging through the back either.

Cute horse. The current trainers don't have the first clue about dressage and it shows.

Also, I worked with an Arab, Dutc harness horse cross before. They are very forward, nimble, and energetic. If you're not a very confident rider, if you don't have a strong core and seat, then this may not be a good match for you.<br />
<br />
Get a pre purchase done too. Something kind of weird looking with how the left hind travels. May be nothing, but make sure a vet checks it before you buy the horse.<br />
<font size="1"><i>Posted via Mobile Device</i></font>
Good eye. I was wondering about the Dutch Harness horse part too, as I have no experience with that breed at all. I do have experience with full and half arabs though and really enjoy them.
 

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Agree with Core - she's been trained in the typical Arabian show ring way - probably in a training martingale and tight side reins to get a false head set because she's very much on the forehand and pulling herself forwards with her front legs rather that pushing herself 'long and low' from behind
You would be able to correct this over time with proper schooling if you felt it was worth it but she generally speaking doesn't look powerful enough in her build to go above lower level dressage
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Agree with Core - she's been trained in the typical Arabian show ring way - probably in a training martingale and tight side reins to get a false head set because she's very much on the forehand and pulling herself forwards with her front legs rather that pushing herself 'long and low' from behind
You would be able to correct this over time with proper schooling if you felt it was worth it but she generally speaking doesn't look powerful enough in her build to go above lower level dressage
I guess this is why they say Arabians are not the best suited horse for Dressage. They sure are cute though. Thanks Jaydee.
 

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Last comment. It concerns me that the owners don't know the exact age or height of the horse. Nor can they decide on a price. Be careful if you do purchase the horse. Check the registration matches the horse, and that the details are correct for what they say the horse is (that it really is 7, and not 18 or something).
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Last comment. It concerns me that the owners don't know the exact age or height of the horse. Nor can they decide on a price. Be careful if you do purchase the horse. Check the registration matches the horse, and that the details are correct for what they say the horse is (that it really is 7, and not 18 or something).
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Will do. Thanks.
 

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I really, really liked the Arab/Dutch harness horse cross. It was like riding a Ferrari!

Maybe check out a few different horses with the same breeding. There was a farm full of this cross in IL. I was very tempted to buy a green one for dressage (if i'd had the money I would've). I just don't thibk this particular one is a good candidate for learning dressage on, or working up the levels with.
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i agree that the horse is a bit "whizzy". And, the build of the arab makes it hard for the to look like a typical dressage horse, since they have a short, high croup and their legs tend to be run out further behind. more pushing than lifting.

However, I think that the rider, in every one of those videos, is perching forward and balancing on the reins, and that can be changed. Personally, I'd put a western saddle on her, some nice mecate reins and ride her on trails in as long a rein as you could get a way with for a bit. Do a ton of walking and even try some sitting trot, to slow her down. ride her up and down hills and initially, let her figure out where to put her head. Canter her and ask her to hand gallop , with no thought to headset. Do lots and lots of transitions.

her forwardness will be a blessing, and her tolerance too.
 

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A lot of the action you get from them if they've been aimed at the Arabian show ring in the US is down to the fact that they are so obsessed with this high knee action - shoeing them to accentuate it, putting them in a sharp bit that they don't want to make contact with so having the horse move upwards rather than forwards adds to that outline which they seem to like
You can school it out of them though. It was a problem I had with Looby when I first got her - sitting trot was like riding a pneumatic drill but that's all gone now and she's really smooth
Lots and lots of trail riding worked for her
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I guess it's always a gamble when you buy a "used" horse because you don't know how the horse was trained/what was done to it. You can only make assumptions based on what you see and based on how the horse reacts as you expose it to different situations.

Compared the $10,000 dressage horse, no, she is not a good candidate. But considering that she's only $2,800, can be ridden and handled by competent teenagers, is tolerant of riding errors - it still seems like a good deal for somebody. I don't know if I'll drive out to see her - still thinking about it.

Thanks for all the feedback though.
 

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I always think that going out and taking a look is the best way to go - costs you the price of the gas
You might find that the horse goes differently for you anyway - a rider can have a big effect on a horse and also having a good willing nature is a huge bonus when it comes to retraining
This horse is only doing what its been conditioned to do - you can change that if the potential is there
 
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