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Kyzteke
Dec. 5, 2007, 08:58 PM
Last spring I sent a mare I was prepping for sale off for "90 Days" of training with a young professional who I both trust and admire for her patience with "young" horses.

This mare of mine was 5 1/2 at the time, but she had received NO u/s training, NO lunging. She'd worn a bridle 3 times -- all at inspections or shows. I'd put an English saddle on her once. I'd handled her alot and she was/is a pretty mellow gal, but she certainly hadn't gotten any "dressage" training.

So obviously, she was very, VERY green.

The trainer, per my instructions (and her own inclination) took her time with this mare. She was "worked" 5 days a week, but one of those days was a trail ride at a walk and one was a session in a free-jumping chute. So the mare was only worked in an arena 3 days a week.

Horses being horses, the mare also chose this time to whack a front leg on a gate, so she got another week off with stall rest (she was slightly gimpy).

So all in all, she got a TOTAL of about 35-40 actual TRAINING rides in the arena. This UTube video was taken on the last day (it's edited down ALOT).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmGztGTKZzM

I was very pleased with what the mare was doing -- W/T/C quietly in both directions, took her leads correctly, was starting to reach towards the contact. She was working quietly, with no fuss, no spook, no silliness.

But I've shown this video (the extended version) to two people who know "dressage" better than I do (or at least they claim to). One is the owner of a Grand Prix stallion (and rides at a lower level herself), the other is an amateur rider who has ridden up to 2nd Level.

Both made comments which implied the mare should be farther along -- stuff like "well, she's obviously on the forehand."

Well, where else should she be after only 35 rides? I mean, you couldn't even build up the muscles to BE collected in that short a time. Isn't that correct?

NOT interested in a critique of the rider. IMHO she's very good and I really liked the way she works.

But I'm interested in the comments of riders/trainers/owners who have seen plenty of green "dressage" horses started. I usually sell mine as weanlings or yearlings, or get them started by "cowboys" so my experience in this area is minimal.

So tell me folks: after such a brief period of training, is this mare where you would expect her to be?

As an aside, I brought her home and took her out on the trail twice (walk, alittle trot) and she was a jewel...no silliness at all. Personally, I was more thrilled with that than I was disappointed in the fact she wasn't doing tempis yet ,<g>.

I am selling her as a dressage horse (because that's how she's bred), but to me that reasonable attitude OUTSIDE the ring is worth alot!

PMs are fine if you feel you simply MUST say something snarky about either the horse OR the rider. But what I am honestly looking for a wider view than my experience I can offer.

angel
Dec. 5, 2007, 09:04 PM
I have not even opened the video because I can tell you that less than 90 days under saddle does not begin to scratch the surface of getting the horse working like a dressage horse. Tell the Grand Prix owner to start a few of her own before she makes these uneducated remarks.

kkj
Dec. 5, 2007, 09:08 PM
For a horse with 35 to 40 rides, I think she is going fine. For a mare coming 6, yes I agree she is behind. Not that I have a problem with starting them later, but it may not be seen as a positive with a lot of potential buyers.

dutchmike
Dec. 5, 2007, 09:20 PM
I agree with Angel. 45 rides is nothing

J-Lu
Dec. 5, 2007, 09:20 PM
Personally, I think it is impossible to answer your question without knowing how the mare was before training and, actually, riding the mare to see what her tendencies are.

Given your info, these are my personal, what-do-I-know thoughts: I think that after only 90 days of training, this mare is on the right track. She is mostly rhythmic and she's forward. She is using her back to the extent that she can right now, and I would NOT say she's much on her forehand given her level of experience. I do see her trying to bear down on the reins, though, and try to BE on her forehand, and I see the rider very tactfully not allowing this without making a big deal of it.

In the canter transitions, your mare raises her head and braces her back. Again, I commend the rider for not making a big deal of this. It'll go away as she gets stronger and mentally gets with the program. Many a trainer would try to correct this and end up stifling the mare's desire to go forward in the transition.

Anyone who says this mare should be further along, or who thinks this mare needs more aggressive training is nuts, IMO. And I would like to know one good reason why you should err on the side of pushing her rather than on the side of providing her with a solid foundation. The kind and sensitive and patient riding she gets now sets the foundation for her attitude about the work for the rest of her life. I think she looks great, and I think the rider is giving her a quiet, patient ride - exactly what ANY inexperienced horse needs! And I'm thrilled to see that she's gently jumped and ridden on trails.

BTW, if you are selling a 5 1/2 year old dressage prospect who is a big greenie, I guarantee you will do better if she's greener with fewer issues than slightly more advanced with resistance issues.

my two cents,
IMO,
J.

Kyzteke
Dec. 5, 2007, 09:25 PM
For a horse with 35 to 40 rides, I think she is going fine. For a mare coming 6, yes I agree she is behind. Not that I have a problem with starting them later, but it may not be seen as a positive with a lot of potential buyers.

Well, actually I never intended to sell her. She was the first WB I ever bred and she is very dear to me. I planned to ride her myself in dressage and breed her some. In fact, she's had two foals, both of which scored nicely. Her '06 colt by Sempatico was 15th in the NATION o/o the 600-some foals inspected by RPSI.

But Life takes funny turns sometimes...I am shutting down my breeding program, and this mare is honestly wasted on me in terms of riding dressage. I do SOME dressage, but my focus has turned more towards endurance. So I have an Arab/WB mare that will suit me for both those sports. And the mare in the video is sound AND seems to really crave far more attention than a broodmare usually gets.

So, although she has great babies & is a good mom, I think she'd rather be a working gal <g>.

I don't care if her buyer has big-time dressage goals or not...I'm not so sure the horses that belong to those people are always the happiest. I just think this mare would like to do something other than stand in a field and pop out foals.

Kyzteke
Dec. 5, 2007, 09:29 PM
Anyone who says this mare should be further along, or who thinks this mare needs more aggressive training is nuts, IMO. And I would like to know one good reason why you should err on the side of pushing her rather than on the side of providing her with a solid foundation. The kind and sensitive and patient riding she gets now sets the foundation for her attitude about the work for the rest of her life. I think she looks great, and I think the rider is giving her a quiet, patient ride - exactly what ANY inexperienced horse needs! And I'm thrilled to see that she's gently jumped and ridden on trails.


Thank you SO much for this answer! It's pretty much what I was thinking -- like, what's the frigging RUSH here?!?! I wanted the whole experience to be a happy one for the mare, because she has such an honest heart.

But, like you, I was thinking "what do I know...?"

Check this out if you want to see what a wild gal she is...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UdD_TFISwo

Daydream Believer
Dec. 5, 2007, 09:30 PM
I think she is doing very well for her level of training. She is forward, in an appropriate frame for a green horse and I like very much that the rider is not trying to crank her in at this point and letting her go in a relaxed manner.

You may think it is odd but I am training two ex-PMU mares for client. One is 14 years old and I rode her for the first time a couple weeks ago. The other is 10 or so. A horse is never too old to be trained as long as it's sound. Both mares are great students and are doing very well.

wildREDhorse
Dec. 5, 2007, 09:36 PM
I've started/backed, etc a handful of babies and olders... Looks good to me for 90 days U/S. I wouldn't worry about what the other people said... Probably don't actually know where a horse should be after that much training.

Dixon
Dec. 5, 2007, 09:44 PM
Showing a sale horse video to anyone invites negative comments, because in case they or someone they represent might subsequently want to buy the horse, they'd want to negotiate the price DOWN. If you just want flowery praise, show the video to your non-horsey friends and family. But if you show it to dressage people, expect some criticism.

melodiousaphony
Dec. 5, 2007, 09:53 PM
I second whoever said a greenie with no resistant issues is better than a horse with more training and issues.

I'd be PERFECTLY happy to have a horse that went around w/t/c without having learned to resist the bit, go behind contact, etc., especially after two months. I'm not a young horse expert at all, but I can tell you from my experience trying to break bad habits in trained horses, it's a HECK of a lot easier to put good miles on than redo bad ones.
So I think she seems just fine.

I'm also a big fan of starting the bigger/heavy horses later. Despite my love for OTTBs, I don't like that they are started so early [with respect to racing, not that they go to off the track careers soon after "retirement"].

Kyzteke
Dec. 5, 2007, 09:55 PM
Showing a sale horse video to anyone invites negative comments, because in case they or someone they represent might subsequently want to buy the horse, they'd want to negotiate the price DOWN. If you just want flowery praise, show the video to your non-horsey friends and family. But if you show it to dressage people, expect some criticism.

Actually, neither of these people who made comments were "shoppers". I can't really say what their relationship was to me or the mare without getting too personal.

And,as far as I'm concerned, any BUYER who doesn't like where she's at in her training isn't the kind of person I want to sell her to in the first place.

Again, I'm not looking for wild praise of her ability -- I strongly suspect she isn't going to make this year's Olympic team -- I just wanted a reference check on what one can honestly expect from this amount of training...that's all.

Jim Knopf
Dec. 5, 2007, 10:01 PM
I have been watching the progress of a six year old, just started u/s mare. She has 60 days under saddle now, and is walking and trotting (cantering when offered but hasn't been asked yet). Her owner would LOVE to see her going as well as your mare is. I think you have a great "greenie" getting the appropriate amount of forward and training.

Not sure what the "dressage" people you showed the video are thinking. I very much think you are on the right track!

DukesMom
Dec. 5, 2007, 10:02 PM
She is right on track and a lovely girl. I have several young horses right now, some younger some older, and she looks to be going very nicely. I think the girl riding her has done a great job! DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS! Also, 3 days of arena work and a trail ride and free jump is EXACTLY the way to do it. You do not want young horses to get board with the same old same old. You want the "What are we gonna do today!" Actually, I am hoping to show my horse GP next year and that is pretty much how I work him, minus the jumping 'cause he doesn't have any talent. I don't want him to resent the work. Best of luck with her!

Alpha Mare
Dec. 5, 2007, 10:02 PM
from my very limited experience helping a few breeders/friends on occasion with their young ones I can say that the experience of marketing a dressage prospect is daunting until the horse gets enough mileage to have at least schooling show scores that substantiate it's quality.

There are a some really, really nice dressage prospects I didn't have the resources at the time to buy that are now really rhythmic hunters - in one case the mare HAS nice scores at First level but was sold as an equitation mount. And she'd never jumped 3'6" either. Somehow the hunter buyers have more confidence in their assessment of the animal.

Agree with the others that you're on the right track. Good luck with the mare.

A Horse of Course
Dec. 5, 2007, 10:15 PM
Your mare is going VERY well for a couple months under saddle. I would be really happy with the progress at this point.
Not to be rude, but I would consider your "friends" ignorant on this matter.

mazymind
Dec. 5, 2007, 10:37 PM
Your "friends" should shut up unless they actually have some knowledge to impart. Which in this case, they don't.

Your mare is going fabulously well for the short time she is under saddle- I think she is lovely, and am not surprised she has bred such lovely foals either.

Even with her slightly advanced age, I would have no qualms about buying her as an FEI prospect with the work she is showing here after a couple of months.

I really like the video of her in the tent! That was halarious!

Find nicer and better friends. and don't ask these for any more opinions about your mare. She's a jewel.

Kyzteke
Dec. 5, 2007, 11:09 PM
I really like the video of her in the tent! That was halarious!

Find nicer and better friends. and don't ask these for any more opinions about your mare. She's a jewel.

Actually, it was a plastic hay tarp...a REALLY BIG tarp! Like 20x30 ft. I wanted to do something to show how easy going this mare is, so I had footage of me opening an umbrella over her head, walking her back & forth across the tarp, wrapping a sheet around her head -- and the grand finale was wrapping her whole body in that big, plastic tarp and walking her around.

Honest to goodness, I had never tried that before! I had rubbed her with a tarp once or twice and of course she's had a blanket on, but I just figured if it didn't work I would just have footage of me being trampled as she stampeded off.

But she didn't care. I had treats, so she suffered through the humiliation of being wrapped up like a pound of ground round....

What I think is so funny is the "gallery" behind her. All the yearlings gathered to watch the show...I have wire fencing that you can't really see in the video, so it looks like all those other horses are just loose.

We had alot of fun shooting that -- I bet DQs all over America are having a heart attack (or looking down their nose at me BEFORE they have their heart attack) over covering a VALUABLE dressage horse up in a hay tarp...

Too bad the footage is so badly lit. Unfortunately an unexperienced friend was doing the camera work and she kept pointing the shutter too high, so the camera was judging the "light" by the sky behind us.

As for the "friends" who made these comments -- what can I say? Both of them win ALOT in the dressage ring (one as a rider, the other as an owner). Both have been to Germany many times, watched top riders & top horses and the one with the GP horse obviously has seen "the best of the best" ride & compete.

But again, this is why I'm going towards endurance and away from dressage. No one who has read any of my posts has any question about how I feel about what is (often) seen in the competitive dressage arena these days. Honestly, if this mare wasn't 16.1 and a WB, I'd keep her for endurance....'cause you're right, she IS a jewel.

perpetual_novice
Dec. 5, 2007, 11:42 PM
....

But again, this is why I'm going towards endurance and away from dressage. No one who has read any of my posts has any question about how I feel about what is (often) seen in the competitive dressage arena these days. Honestly, if this mare wasn't 16.1 and a WB, I'd keep her for endurance....'cause you're right, she IS a jewel.

I feel it's a bit of a shame that you are moving away from dressage and selling this mare. She is a jewel, but you also seem to be the type of rider that she deserves; tactful and committed to not pushing through the basics plus you have a sense of humour! You sound like you're not going to keep her bubble wrapped because she's a dressage horse but will get her out to have some fun.

You are a very compatible match.

flshgordon
Dec. 5, 2007, 11:44 PM
Perhaps the comments were more directed at her age, not how many rides she has on her? I would say yes--ideally for 5 1/2 years old she's behind if she's just getting started under saddle but for so few rides I think she looks just fine.

I just wonder if that's what they are referring to. Personally if I see a horse at 5 1/2 or 6yo that isn't already going under saddle, I wonder what's wrong with it.

beeblebrox
Dec. 5, 2007, 11:47 PM
I think the people who think she should be further along have not worked with a lot of young green horses.

The mare looks fine for a horse only in real training for 90-days

She looks happy and forward and asking for much more than that is where these "so called pro's and busy bodies" get a horse sore, sullen and god only knows what else!

AKB
Dec. 5, 2007, 11:59 PM
My 4 1/2 year old has been under saddle since May so he has had about as many rides as your mare. We are also doing his training very slowly. He is further along with his trot work, but not as far along in his canter work. My boy is about to go to a trainer for 3 weeks, and then will have the rest of the winter off before he goes into regular work in the spring.

Your mare is lovely and is doing really well for the amount of work she has had. Now, it is time for you to keep her in regular work so she can progress rapidly and you can find her a good new owner. Few people want to buy a totally green 6 year old. With a little more work, she will be less green and ready to market to a large number of prospective owners.

Dianna
Dec. 6, 2007, 12:01 AM
I suspect your friends are merely "horsie owners" and have no idea what goes into the initial breaking and schooling of any horse. If they are feeling due to her age she is behind HORSE HOCKEY ... the average owner is in a hurry to get their horses started ...not for any benefit to their horse, but for their own financial benefit .... yep, concussion does wonders for building stronger bones (that is what articles in The Blood Horse will say) but the concussion they are taking about isn't meaning starting horses young and working them.....

I think your mare will be with you for a long time (or should you sell her, to the person lucky enough to find her) and her education will come and she obviously is willing to participate eagerly ....


So, don't ask again... your friends may be competent riders, but, as far as trainers ... I don't think so .... go hug your mare and the girl working her ....

Kyzteke
Dec. 6, 2007, 12:13 AM
I feel it's a bit of a shame that you are moving away from dressage and selling this mare. She is a jewel, but you also seem to be the type of rider that she deserves; tactful and committed to not pushing through the basics plus you have a sense of humour! You sound like you're not going to keep her bubble wrapped because she's a dressage horse but will get her out to have some fun.

You are a very compatible match.

Oh, gosh, that's not ME riding her. I WISH! That's the pro I sent her to.

I'm about 25+ yrs older and ...well, nevermind that part...let's just say more than afew pounds heavier!

I'm the chunky middle-aged one in the second video wrapping her in a tarp <G>!

FancyFree
Dec. 6, 2007, 12:17 AM
I am so impressed with your horse and that tarp! That is awesome. This comes from an owner of a three year old who sees lions and tigers and bears absolutely everywhere. So good on you and your lovely horse.

I have Sunday riders at my stables who say "When are yew gonna ride that horse?!?" When she's ready. So I guess not everyone's timetable is the same. My worry is that when I do put her into training next year that he might push her more than I'd like. I'm very much an advocate of going slow. IMO, your horse is lovely and going beautifully. What's the rush?. You've done a great job. :) She's lovely.

Carol Ames
Dec. 6, 2007, 12:28 AM
:yes:i have no problem with the way she is going;:no: Her attitude is lovely; :yes: she appears quite ;)willing; Iknow it is difficult but, try to tune out the others; I agree that down the road when others are dealing withresistance and evasions,:mad: your mare will be working happily :yes:; Is it possible to work her in a dressage arena>also?

Kyzteke
Dec. 6, 2007, 12:29 AM
I am so impressed with your horse and that tarp! That is awesome. . You've done a great job. :) She's lovely.

Well, thank you!!

If "Tarp Wrapping" was an Olympic sport we'd be headed for the Gold!!

Let's see Anky try THAT! (JOKE, guys!)

Seriously, Ruby (the mare) is just a good girl most of the time -- she's always been that way. I doubt if I've had too much to do with it...other than to constantly take advantage of her good nature....

PiaffePlease
Dec. 6, 2007, 01:27 AM
I think she looks great for as many rides as she has had!!

MEP
Dec. 6, 2007, 01:54 AM
Perhaps the comments were more directed at her age, not how many rides she has on her? I would say yes--ideally for 5 1/2 years old she's behind if she's just getting started under saddle but for so few rides I think she looks just fine.

I just wonder if that's what they are referring to. Personally if I see a horse at 5 1/2 or 6yo that isn't already going under saddle, I wonder what's wrong with it.

Actually, the information that she's been a broodmare should reassure anyone why she was a little older when started u/s. It wouldn't bother me at all.

I must say, I thought she was lovely under saddle, but when I saw her accepting the tarp my thought was, "Can I have her?" She just cracked me up when she turned around and looked at it, then walked calmly out from under it.

Lovely mare - you shouldn't have any trouble finding her a new home!

1derful
Dec. 6, 2007, 02:17 AM
One of the persons making the comment that Ruby looked green was probably me. However, the context was on her price. Being Ruby's grand mama, of course I hope she could fetch a good sales price. I felt the asking price was a bit low knowing how great her natural movements were like when she was running free at age two; one could probably ask for the same price at that time. After viewing the video, I commented she looked green under saddle, so the price was fair. Her age is going against her from the buyer's standpoint. She produced two nice foals that fetched good prices, so she has already made up the difference for her price. ;-)

I did mention that she was going quietly, so I liked how the trainer rode her too. I hope we have a young horse trainer like her in our neighborhood. With Ruby's super mind, willingness to work, and showing intelligence by learning the lessons quickly under tarp or saddle, I do hope she finds a good dressage rider who has the skills and patience to enjoy her and bring her along like a 3-year-old.

WB Mom
Dec. 6, 2007, 07:04 AM
First off, I did not look at the video, but wouldn't it be nice if more horses were started later in life? I personally focus more on the 'big picture' of a horse and it's total life. I see nothing wrong with any horse being green at that age, or even older, of course depending on the circumstances.
My guy was backed at 3 and a half. I bought him at 5 with him being ridden lightly and 1 show under his belt. I am a re-rider, so we both went back to the beginning. Now he is 6 and we are doing cross rails, but you know, so what?
Also, I have never started a horse, or have any personal experience in the initial backing and first months under saddle. SO, if anyone were to ask me what you are, I would first say that I have no 'right' to make any judgement. If the horse is progressing forward, being relaxed and having fun, then I think 'It's all good!"

perpetual_novice
Dec. 6, 2007, 07:17 AM
Originally Posted by perpetual_novice
I feel it's a bit of a shame that you are moving away from dressage and selling this mare.


Oh, gosh, that's not ME riding her. I WISH! That's the pro I sent her to.

I'm about 25+ yrs older and ...well, nevermind that part...let's just say more than afew pounds heavier!

I'm the chunky middle-aged one in the second video wrapping her in a tarp <G>!

Ooops, that's what comes of posting when it's past one's bedtime. One does not read too goodly. :o

I still think she's a keeper though. She moves well, she's sane and she has had babies that from what has been posted, are never going to show up on the FUGLY site. And you like her, have her best interests at heart and have fun with her.

That clip with the tarp is cute. She obviously thrusts her mom.

The fact that she's been a broodmare goes a long way to mitigating her "late" start. Although I am middle aged enough to remember a time when her amount of experience wouldn't be considered too far off the mark.

Rusty Stirrup
Dec. 6, 2007, 07:40 AM
You know you can't win. You are either pushing too hard or not hard enough. Opinions are usually worth what you pay for them.

kkj
Dec. 6, 2007, 07:59 AM
I don't care if her buyer has big-time dressage goals or not...I'm not so sure the horses that belong to those people are always the happiest. I just think this mare would like to do something other than stand in a field and pop out foals.


Hey that is totally cool. I myself would rather buy one very green than one that has been pushed or has training issues. I have bought a super green 7 year old before. I meant my comment more to the price you will be able to get for her. If she was further along at 6, she would fetch more. That was all. I have a coming 6 year old that will do third next season. The horse was started at 31/2 and brought a long slowly. There was no pushing or forcing involved but now after a couple of years under saddle, she is doing very good changes, is strong enough, confident enough etc. This horse is also just naturally very talented, able to sit, up hill, sensitive, forward, adjustable etc. She looked better than yours does after 30 rides. Still I think your horse is a perfectly nice mare that is at an appropriate place for how many rides she has had.

Also, since your mare has the very valid excuse of being a mom, most people will understand where she is at. If she was just sitting in a pasture until she was 51/2 people might be more suspicious that she had a physical problem or something.

I do take a little issue that the best owners out there are those who would think this horse is at an appropriate level for coming 6. I keep my horses for life. No expense is spared on them. I don't force, crank or spank. I ride third in a snaffle. Yet I still don't think it is horrible to take a talented horse, start it at 31/2 and move on from there. On the flip side, I have seen a lot of people who buy a horse at training level, never progress above training level, don't realize the horse has back problems, hock problems, whatever, don't get a saddle that fits, don't ever ask too much of the horse, never improve in any measurable way in their riding, and their horses seems less content and worse off than mine whom I expect more of but treat better. My horse whinnies to me every time she sees me. She is happy to go to work.

Sister Margarita
Dec. 6, 2007, 08:33 AM
I guess with age comes perspective(s), lots of them, so here is mine from the many hats I have gotten to wear FWIW:

1. I judge, so: I would be rather pleased with this horse if it came down the centerline in a training level test. It shows overall nice acceptance of the aids, seems to work nicely for this good rider. That is so important in the beginning of a horse's career. Could it be more balanced? Perhaps, but I would prefer this than a horse tense and up, not using the back, which at this point she would not have the strength for most likely.

2. I have trained from 2.5 year olds through FEI, so: This is what I would like my young horse to look like in a month or two to build the solid basics/training scale, goodwill and confidence it will take later on. I have seen lots of more energized, uphill types, and they can be nice too, but some go with tension at this point, rather than the natural, soft energy your mare shows. At this time, the slower way is the correct way for her.

3. I breed, so: I would be happy if my babies would look like this in the beginning.

There is chronological age and training age, and just because she is 5.5 years old, does not mean she should look "like anything". She may be timewise a little behind a horse that was started at 3 or 4, but the time to grow and mature may have been an asset, and I would think she could catch up in the next 2 or 3 years with consistent training. I see lots of early-started horses that are maxed out at 8 or 9. I have a mare that had a nice start at 4, but stood for nearly 4 years. She is going strong at 14, learned so much when I got her in her 8- and 9-year-old years because she had a great heart and attitude.

From a marketing standpoint, a little more education and at six, she could be a very desireable horse.

I like your trainer's style, riding the horses forward, soft and out to the bit. I am sure she will address the balance as the horse feels ready for that.

flshgordon
Dec. 6, 2007, 11:18 AM
I do take a little issue that the best owners out there are those who would think this horse is at an appropriate level for coming 6. I keep my horses for life. No expense is spared on them. I don't force, crank or spank. I ride third in a snaffle. Yet I still don't think it is horrible to take a talented horse, start it at 31/2 and move on from there. On the flip side, I have seen a lot of people who buy a horse at training level, never progress above training level, don't realize the horse has back problems, hock problems, whatever, don't get a saddle that fits, don't ever ask too much of the horse, never improve in any measurable way in their riding, and their horses seems less content and worse off than mine whom I expect more of but treat better. My horse whinnies to me every time she sees me. She is happy to go to work.

I think you just described me perfectly (with the exception of riding 3rd level). Just because my horse was started by me at age 3, went into "worK" a few times a week at 3 1/2 and showed 5 times as a 4yo doesn't warrant pushing a horse too fast. My horses (including the 4.5yo) also whinny to me when I enter the barn so I'm not worried that they are shying away from a life of "working" (and I use that term loosely) for a living.

The horse being a broodmare to me is irrelevant. That may be the reason she wasn't started until 5 1/2yo so to me that just changes the question...why was she a broodmare before being put under saddle? Was she not manageable enough at 3 1/2 or 4yo to put under saddle?

I think the horse is lovely and my comments are NO direct reflection on her. I think she will be just fine and for that many rides looks great. But I just think there's a line so to speak of people labeling everything up to 10yo as a "prospect". At 6yo, the horse should be under saddle unless there's a reason. That reason could be money, time, whatever but there's still a reason. (and yes folks, sometimes the reason is because the horse is unmanageable) And I think expecting to pay the same amount for an unbroke 6yo as an unbroke 3yo is unrealistic. I'd pay more for the 3yo than the 6yo because one has had longer to get set in his/her own ways and it's more likely they have baggage. There are always exceptions to that rule but I think it's a good place to start.

SandyUHC
Dec. 6, 2007, 11:30 AM
I'd be quite pleased to see my greenie buzzing along so happily after such little training! Seems like lately all the three-year-olds being shown off are really cranked in and your critiquers think that is the way it is supposed to be done? (As if studying their knees as they mince along will further their training somehow?)

All I would want for Christmas would be for my youngster to come back from training quietly forward and reaching as yours is. Going outside is definitely the icing on the sugar cookie! I think your faith in your trainer is more than justified.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 6, 2007, 11:30 AM
The expectations for 5 year olds under the FEI tests are high in my view.

http://www.horsesport.org/PDFS/D/05_02/young_horses/YHP5_E.pdf

but that's where we are today, and the horses that can meet those expectations command very high price tags.

After 90 days, I find that most horses have pretty much adjusted to my weight and can sorta w/t/c on a circle or large oval. But no more than that.

Kyzteke
Dec. 6, 2007, 11:42 AM
Since I've gotten so many nice compliments about the rider on my mare, I do want to give her credit. The rider/trainer is Jessica Wisdom -- http://www.eqequestrian.com/ She's in the Seattle area -- at least that's the biggest nearby city.

One of the reasons I didn't get Ruby (my mare) started earlier is that I just wasn't that happy with so many of the local dressage trainers (not that we have very many...this is North Idaho, after all...).

I did NOT want her rushed, I did NOT want any crank/spank or other BS done with/to her.

So I was delighted when someone recommended Jessica, and I've been very pleased with what she has done. Apparently, from the other posts here, I was correct with my evaluation.

Jessica is very much a free-thinker in terms of dressage -- doesn't always "go with the crowd", which I am delighted with, 'cause I think sometimes "The Crowd" is not going in the right direction these days. Right now her main mount is a Welsh Cob stallion that she has taken pretty much from ground zero to (I believe) 4th Level starting this year.

I would love to see more young horse trainers who work like this.

FlashGordon
Dec. 6, 2007, 11:50 AM
Man, she's AWFUL! Send her to me. I'll fix her. :D

Really, she is a lovely mare. I'm not a dressage rider myself so cannot comment too much in that regard, but as someone who has spent a lot of time the last 8 years fixing horses that were started poorly, I think she has a really good foundation and whoever broke her did a nice job. She looks willing, happy, and relatively balanced for a green horse.

Whoever said she should be doing more, carrying herself better, etc is CRAZY.

Nice mare, don't think it will be hard to find a nice ammie who will truly enjoy her...

Kyzteke
Dec. 6, 2007, 11:56 AM
The horse being a broodmare to me is irrelevant. That may be the reason she wasn't started until 5 1/2yo so to me that just changes the question...why was she a broodmare before being put under saddle? Was she not manageable enough at 3 1/2 or 4yo to put under saddle?
And I think expecting to pay the same amount for an unbroke 6yo as an unbroke 3yo is unrealistic. I'd pay more for the 3yo than the 6yo because one has had longer to get set in his/her own ways and it's more likely they have baggage. There are always exceptions to that rule but I think it's a good place to start.

You bring up some good points -- that's why I did the "Tarp Trick" -- obviously any horse who allows themselves to be wrapped in a giant plastic tarp is NOT in the "unmanageable" category.

And, as Violet pointed out (she owns Ruby's sire, Rubino Bellisimo), I priced Ruby only slightly more than the current asking price of many yearlings with her identical breeding. I did that because 1) Ruby has done her 'bit' for making $$ for me by producing those two foals...I don't need to get greedy 2) it gives me some great leeway in selecting the owner that I want for her and it doesn't have to be all about who has the fattest checkbook and 3) just as you mention, I anticipated that, in this day and age, people are going to look askance at a 6 yr. old with only 90 days training.

In fact, it was kind of funny -- I had one gal ask (and yes, this WAS a buyer) if I would come down in price because she would have to send Ruby to a trainer for at least six months. But this woman is "shopping" because her Third Level horse, who she has competed off of for the last few years, is now unsound.

Well, DAMN -- if you are riding Third Level can't you train a horse? I really don't get this at all...isn't that suppose to BE THE POINT of dressage? TRAINING?

How the heck does one get to Third Level without learning how to train a horse from Training Level TO 3rd Level? Duh?

I mean, what is the point otherwise? Just the scores and the ribbons, I guess...makes ZERO sense to me...

Forte
Dec. 6, 2007, 12:03 PM
Lovely mare and doing great for the amount of training she has. The rider really looks like she knows how to work with young horses. I do understand why people might say she is behind for her age. If I hadn't been told that she has been a broodmare for a few years I would also think she was behind. I did the same thing with my mare, who was a broodmare and then didn't end up showing Training Level until she was 6. She'll be 8 in the spring and is now schooling Third.

MySparrow
Dec. 6, 2007, 12:12 PM
I think she's fine and your friends are ... well, who knows what they're thinking. She looks like she's happy and forward under saddle, her gaits are nice and springy, she's learning about balance and is, more importantly, willing to learn. I would be very happy with this mare even if she'd had double the number of training days.

Watching her work, and then watching her with the tarp, I think she might be a great driving prospect for CDE!

Thanks for sharing.

CaffeineAddict
Dec. 6, 2007, 12:27 PM
Others have mentioned this, but I'll add my two cents. For 30-40 days under saddle she looks quite good. But she is 5 1/2. If I was looking for or advising a client on horses, a 5 1/2 year old should be at least first level if not second. Thus, my first question would be what is wrong with this horse. Basically, assuming nothing is physically or mentally wrong with her, she is just very behind the game, which does unfortunately make her less valuable to many people. But she is nice, good luck!

CAJumper
Dec. 6, 2007, 12:43 PM
As most everyone already said, the horse is lovely and looks like she's progressed wonderfully for her level of training. I really like Sister Margarita's idea of training age vs. chronological age - I think I will be borrowing this concept in the future. :)

I just have to ask however, are you really free jumping her once a week? Or did I misunderstand that? If so...why? :confused:

Zevida
Dec. 6, 2007, 01:15 PM
She looks great for 90 days of training to me. Quiet, relaxed, forward, confident. She looks like she's been started very correctly. I think you should be pleased.

BEARCAT
Dec. 6, 2007, 02:41 PM
Coming from a European background, I see nothing wrong with starting a horse later (I actually prefer it that way), so a lovely 6 year old looking like yours under saddle would interest me a lot more than a 3 year old with extensive riding/showing...

Dixon
Dec. 6, 2007, 02:55 PM
Well, DAMN -- if you are riding Third Level can't you train a horse? I really don't get this at all...isn't that suppose to BE THE POINT of dressage? TRAINING?

If that were the case, there would be no third-level horses for sale, because the only way to ride at 4th level would be to stick with the same horse one trained up through 3d level. Many riders ride at 3d level on horses already trained up to that level (and usually higher).


How the heck does one get to Third Level without learning how to train a horse from Training Level TO 3rd Level? Duh?.

Riding at any particular level has nothing to do with horse training skills. All a rider need to do at a given level is give aids to a horse that knows how to execute the movements. Do you think that all the kids who jump 3' courses know how to train a horse to jump? Or even that all the pros who compete at GP level know how to break a horse?

shade
Dec. 6, 2007, 03:07 PM
I really like the video of her in the tent! That was halarious!


that was hysterical..the look on your mares face was priceless..mom this sheet really is a little big for me..I don't think I'm going to grow into it...

Kyzteke
Dec. 6, 2007, 03:24 PM
As most everyone already said, the horse is lovely and looks like she's progressed wonderfully for her level of training. I really like Sister Margarita's idea of training age vs. chronological age - I think I will be borrowing this concept in the future. :)

I just have to ask however, are you really free jumping her once a week? Or did I misunderstand that? If so...why? :confused:

The trainer was free jumping her once a week.

Why is that a problem? It breaks up the training schedule, the horse was certainly old enough at 5+yrs of age, and most WBs should be able to jump alittle. It teaches them balance, coordination & timing. IMHO its' a GOOD thing.

And speaking for Ruby, she seemed to enjoy it quite a bit. She wasn't Rolex material, but she liked it enough to make me think she'd be fine at lower level eventing.

Why wouldn't you do something like this?

Kyzteke
Dec. 6, 2007, 03:29 PM
If that were the case, there would be no third-level horses for sale, because the only way to ride at 4th level would be to stick with the same horse one trained up through 3d level. Many riders ride at 3d level on horses already trained up to that level (and usually higher).

Riding at any particular level has nothing to do with horse training skills. All a rider need to do at a given level is give aids to a horse that knows how to execute the movements. Do you think that all the kids who jump 3' courses know how to train a horse to jump? Or even that all the pros who compete at GP level know how to break a horse?

Kids are different. But if a pro who competes at GP doesn't know how to take a horse from Training Level TO GP then they have missed a BIG piece of the process.

And, if a horse stalls out at Third Level but the rider wants to go on, then those horses would be for sale.

I'm sorry, but I do believe you shouldn't be riding at a certain level if you don't know how to train a horse to GET to that level. That is the entire concept of dressage! The tests are suppose to test the TRAINING of your horse.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 6, 2007, 03:36 PM
Kids are different. But if a pro who competes at GP doesn't know how to take a horse from Training Level TO GP then they have missed a BIG piece of the process.

And, if a horse stalls out at Third Level but the rider wants to go on, then those horses would be for sale.

I'm sorry, but I do believe you shouldn't be riding at a certain level if you don't know how to train a horse to GET to that level. That is the entire concept of dressage! The tests are suppose to test the TRAINING of your horse.

Kyzteke-
I have to disagree. If you think about it, then how would anybody ever learn? We know that green horse/green rider is not optimal. Beginning riders should start on schooled horses and learn how to ride them. Only after a rider has learned how to ride a a well schooled horse at a particular level will she know how something is supposed to feel when it is correct. Once a rider has truly learned to ride at a certain level, only then can she go back and learn to train horses to that level herself. Make sense?

CAJumper
Dec. 6, 2007, 03:55 PM
The trainer was free jumping her once a week.
Why wouldn't you do something like this?

Oh, just a matter of personal preference I suppose. I just think of free jumping as something you do occasionally - not as a regular thing. I think there is a lot of potential for a horse to learn bad habits or scare itself. But that's coming from a person who focuses on hunter/jumpers, so I am certainly more in the mindset of "find out what kind of jump is there and then protect and improve it through work under saddle". I do not think that regular free-jumping really teaches a horse anything, although it certainly is a fun thing to do! Just my opinion; I was curious what the thought was behind doing it on such a regular basis.

mazymind
Dec. 6, 2007, 04:13 PM
wow. I had no idea that 5 year olds were supposed to be competing at 1st level or they're not worth buying!

I dunno about that- I think that it's pretty normal to see 5 year olds at training level, and 6 year olds at training level and even 7 year olds at training level.

Its the very exceptional youngster who's in the ring at 1st at 5- and winning it.

I start my babies at 2 1/2 to lunge a little bit and get the saddle and bridle bit. I might even sit on them a little bit. Then I turn them out and bring them back in spring of the 3rd year old year, and start them under saddle. I am pleased after 3 months if they have offered to canter under saddle! My goal is to have them fit enough by cold weather that they can come in and stand in stalls and be sane with only 45 minutes of work a day. I think that's a reasonable goal, and a realistic one. I don't even work youngsters every day! (Actually I don't work any of my horses every day, but that's another story entirely).

By the spring of the 4 year old year, I expect them to be able to show training level. Maybe test 1 or 2 in some semblance of accuracy as far as steadiness and the geometry. Hopefully they also change gaits at the right spots. I think that is also about all one can expect from a classically and correctly started youngster. They ain't adults yet, they aren't even teenagers yet, they're still babies in mind and body.

Somewhere over the summer, I vastly hope that the horse comes along enough to be able to produce a decent TR 3rd or 4th test- and certainly by the fall I expect that should be in order.

So, we now have a coming 5 year old who is still- a TRAINING level horse!

Normally, that horse by the spring should be able to handle the 1st level tests. Most of my horses (who are extreamely talented) then get a buzz on and zip along 2nd & 3rd levels, even 4th, and I've had a couple that have made it to PSG by 7.

When I have a look at Ruby, what I see is a mare who is already mature, and has a tremendous work ethic. She has inherent lateral and longitudinal elasticity. Good rhythm, already very nice contact. (lovely rider/trainer by the way). And already pretty good balance, much better than I expected for the time under saddle (several folks have commented on that).

So, I figure at her age she should be able to "catch up" to FEI in about 2 years. That's how long it will take for her to build up the muscles that she needs to do the PSG level work. That would make her, lets' see---8. I don't think she's so far behind as all that- lord knows that there are few PSG horses at 8 around. And should she have the talent of her breeding, and the desire to work for it, she could be already trying for the GP movements at 9- and if the work is easy for her, and she enjoys it, she could be ready to do a GP by 10.

Let's see, a GP horse by 10. Gee, that's kind of young! Let's say it takes another year, and I've been too optimistic. That makes her a GP horse by 11. I don't see that as some sort of problem, I'd be happy to have that horse make GP by 12 or 13, or at all!

So, exactly where is the problem with this horse? All she needs is a competant rider/trainer to see how far along she wants to go.

Mozart
Dec. 6, 2007, 04:47 PM
I would be very happy to have a young horse go like that after 90 days training and that had been trail ridden 1x week and free jumped as well. And as an added bonus, she can be tarped! :lol:

I still consider her "young". But I'm funny that way I guess.

siegi b.
Dec. 6, 2007, 04:49 PM
Kyzteke - I think you should send your mare to Mazymind. :-)

Schiffon
Dec. 6, 2007, 05:01 PM
I'll add another vote of confidence for you and your mare. Everything is fine. If your friends are comparing her to youngsters in Europe, they are probably only looking at highly selected and highly pushed auction horses or those in the big shows with the Bundeschampionate. Those horses can push with power almost from the get-go without losing balance or rhythm. Can your mare do that now? Probably not. She does need to eventually push more behind and take bigger strides (she isn't tracked up yet), but she would probably lose balance downhill and rush if the ridered attempted that at this stage. Can you mare do that eventually? Almost surely yes. Developing the horse to the point that such athleticism is possible is what dressage is FOR!

There also is nothing wrong with free jumping a dressage horse for fun, diversion and physical development on a weekly basis. Obviously it can be approached poorly or well, like anything else. It is quite common in Europe. I'm impressed that your trainer is familiar with it and has incorporated it into her horses' routines.

Romany
Dec. 6, 2007, 05:30 PM
BEARCAT said:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Coming from a European background, I see nothing wrong with starting a horse later (I actually prefer it that way), so a lovely 6 year old looking like yours under saddle would interest me a lot more than a 3 year old with extensive riding/showing..."

I couldn't agree more....OTOH, go to some of the big fancy European sales barns and for sure you'll see flashy 3-4-5 year olds spanking along all round and pretty: but - not that there are ever any guarantees when it comes to buying horses, of course - will they be able to stay sound, sane and tarp-proof for another 20 years? Your mare should, with ease, judging by her movement, demeanour and charm thus far!

Gracious, at rising 6 she's not even technically an "adult" yet!

FWIW, I don't think you need to drop the price - sometimes low prices scare people off (ridiculous, I know, but you are getting a lot of feedback here that her greenness for her age is a warning light as well :rolleyes: )

Grintle Sunshine
Dec. 6, 2007, 07:22 PM
I loff her! Her age wouldn't scare me off at all. I don't even agree that she's traveling downhill. That's how they're supposed to look at that stage of training. True, she isn't going in anything remotely collected, but she shouldn't be. She is going very nicely forward, with good rhythm and taking a nice contact with the bit...and on top of that, she's a lovely mover. Keep her happy and preserve those gaits; with a horse like that things will come easily and she will probably "offer" a lot of the advanced movements when she's stronger and ready.

Kyzteke
Dec. 6, 2007, 10:00 PM
Kyzteke-
I have to disagree. If you think about it, then how would anybody ever learn? We know that green horse/green rider is not optimal. Beginning riders should start on schooled horses and learn how to ride them. Only after a rider has learned how to ride a a well schooled horse at a particular level will she know how something is supposed to feel when it is correct. Once a rider has truly learned to ride at a certain level, only then can she go back and learn to train horses to that level herself. Make sense?

Well, we are going to have to agree to disagree. I DO agree that someone such as myself, who is a green dressage rider, should not undertake to train a horse from scratch unless they expect to fumble quite abit. That's one reason Ruby was sent to a (dressage) pro. I could have started her u/s myself earlier because she was always safe & easy, but knowing that someday she would probably have a career as a dressage horse on some level, I thought it better to let a pro do it so I didn't start bad habits.

But the person I'm talking about was ALREADY riding at Third Level, competing at 3rd, and (to hear her tell) getting good scores at Third. So how did she get to 3rd, unless she first did Training, First, Second, etc?

So if she already rode Training, doesn't she know how to teach a horse to do the movements of that level? Now, when it came time for she & Ruby to move to 4th or whatever, of course both would need pro help. But up until that time, as long as the horse is safe & sane, I would think she should be capable of "showing the way" to Ruby or any other horse.

Now, I will say, that when I pressed this person and asked point-blank, "well, who trained the horse you've been riding?" she admitted some pro did all the training and she did the riding. Personally, I call that cheating. I know it's practiced in alot of other disciplines (WP comes to mind...), but it shouldn't be in dressage.

Dressage, by it's very nature and intent, is a method of evaluating the TRAINING of the horse you are riding.

But I guess that's another reason I'm moving over to endurance. Win, lose or draw, the horse I end up with will be the horse *I* made.

Kyzteke
Dec. 6, 2007, 10:02 PM
Kyzteke - I think you should send your mare to Mazymind. :-)

Hey, I TOTALLY agree!! She is just the kind of home I'm looking for for my girl. In fact, I want to send her to the Browns so Jane Brown can have a new horse to ride when she goes to get ice cream!

Ruby LOFFS ice cream!

EasyStreet
Dec. 6, 2007, 10:36 PM
I think your horse is doing quite nicely for that short amount of time and the trainer looks quite compotant(sp?). What I love about the tarp clip is that it shows just how much your horse trusts you!! I thought my daughter was the only one who does things like that!! She once worked with a friends "super spooky" appendix and in two round pen sessions had him carrying a inflated baby pool on his back!!(complete with jingle bells and squeeky toys in it!) I like the fact that you really want her to go to a home that will continue to love her as much a you obviously have. Your mare is a jewel and BTW, nice baby. Good luck to you all!!!;)

Kyzteke
Dec. 6, 2007, 11:28 PM
What I love about the tarp clip is that it shows just how much your horse trusts you!! Your mare is a jewel and BTW, nice baby. Good luck to you all!!!;)

Well, there WAS food involved....

I don't know if anyone remembers the "All Creatures Great & Small" books, but in it James Herriott says, "well, maybe I can't do much, but I sure can wrap a cat!"

I'm kind of the same way. Maybe I can't train a horse to piaffe, but damn, I sure can wrap 'em in a tarp!!

mazymind
Dec. 7, 2007, 05:37 PM
Hey, I TOTALLY agree!! She is just the kind of home I'm looking for for my girl. In fact, I want to send her to the Browns so Jane Brown can have a new horse to ride when she goes to get ice cream!

Ruby LOFFS ice cream!


How totally cute! I had a horse who adored ice cream- whenever I took him to a show, we had to stop in the way home for an ice cream. I would buy him a scoop of vanilla in a cup. He was so fun! He would eat anything- jalopino peppers, onions, salami, what a crazy guy!

Well, I am actually not in the market for another horse, but there should be some nice amy or jr. rider out there who should swoon over her. I would keep her in training with this lovely pro you've got her with and just have her sell her for you- in another 60 days this horse will be looking like a star- and you'll get a good home for her and good money too.

Luvmyappy
Dec. 8, 2007, 12:12 AM
No one's commenting on the baby??? OMG!! What a beautiful baby!!!
My jaw dropped! Lucky girl who bought it!!! Who was the stallion?
You mare is also very nice. Working fine at the level she is at. I wouldn't push her either. So many young stars pushed hard and then you never see them again.

Kyzteke
Dec. 8, 2007, 01:52 AM
No one's commenting on the baby??? OMG!! What a beautiful baby!!! My jaw dropped! Lucky girl who bought it!!! Who was the stallion?


He WAS a cutie, wasn't he? Rather baroque looking, super bone and WOW -- what a mover!!

He was Ruby's second foal. He was sired by Sempatico. Probably the best horse I've ever bred -- certainly the best WB I've ever bred. At only 60 days of age he won his very large RPSI inspection with a score of 8.3, which put him in the Top 20 of ALL RPSI foals inspected that year (in the US). A RPSI rep said that would be about 600 +/- foals, so not too shabby.

The woman who bought him (a lady in CA) plans to use him as her future dressage star. He is now a long yearling and still a stallion because he has one retained testicle and we're waiting for the other to drop before doing surgery (she wants a gelding). So we agreed to wait as long as his behavior stayed sane, up to two years old. Well, the last report I got was that he is just as mellow and sweet as could be -- accepts everything without complaint. She even took him on vacation with her!

That's one reason Ruby was taken out of training -- I wanted to breed her one last time. I've figured out what sort of stallions she goes best with, and they are the more short coupled type. She is abit rangey (takes more after her dam, who is a Bolero granddaughter), but when you cross her with a more short-coupled stallion the Rubino Bellisimo/Rubinstein "chunkiness" comes out.

So I bought some Fidertanz semen to try this spring. I LOVE that stallion for alot of reasons (the 3 crosses to Ramzes being one reason), but also because phenotypically he is perfect for Ms. R.

Alas, Ruby declined to participate in my plan...frozen semen...it happens.

I guess that was her way of telling me to get on with her riding career....

MySparrow
Dec. 8, 2007, 08:04 AM
Coming from a European background, I see nothing wrong with starting a horse later (I actually prefer it that way), so a lovely 6 year old looking like yours under saddle would interest me a lot more than a 3 year old with extensive riding/showing...

Very much agree.

MySparrow
Dec. 8, 2007, 08:07 AM
Lovely post, Mazymind!


wow. I had no idea that 5 year olds were supposed to be competing at 1st level or they're not worth buying!

I dunno about that- I think that it's pretty normal to see 5 year olds at training level, and 6 year olds at training level and even 7 year olds at training level.

Its the very exceptional youngster who's in the ring at 1st at 5- and winning it.

I start my babies at 2 1/2 to lunge a little bit and get the saddle and bridle bit. I might even sit on them a little bit. Then I turn them out and bring them back in spring of the 3rd year old year, and start them under saddle. I am pleased after 3 months if they have offered to canter under saddle! My goal is to have them fit enough by cold weather that they can come in and stand in stalls and be sane with only 45 minutes of work a day. I think that's a reasonable goal, and a realistic one. I don't even work youngsters every day! (Actually I don't work any of my horses every day, but that's another story entirely).

By the spring of the 4 year old year, I expect them to be able to show training level. Maybe test 1 or 2 in some semblance of accuracy as far as steadiness and the geometry. Hopefully they also change gaits at the right spots. I think that is also about all one can expect from a classically and correctly started youngster. They ain't adults yet, they aren't even teenagers yet, they're still babies in mind and body.

Somewhere over the summer, I vastly hope that the horse comes along enough to be able to produce a decent TR 3rd or 4th test- and certainly by the fall I expect that should be in order.

So, we now have a coming 5 year old who is still- a TRAINING level horse!

Normally, that horse by the spring should be able to handle the 1st level tests. Most of my horses (who are extreamely talented) then get a buzz on and zip along 2nd & 3rd levels, even 4th, and I've had a couple that have made it to PSG by 7.

When I have a look at Ruby, what I see is a mare who is already mature, and has a tremendous work ethic. She has inherent lateral and longitudinal elasticity. Good rhythm, already very nice contact. (lovely rider/trainer by the way). And already pretty good balance, much better than I expected for the time under saddle (several folks have commented on that).

So, I figure at her age she should be able to "catch up" to FEI in about 2 years. That's how long it will take for her to build up the muscles that she needs to do the PSG level work. That would make her, lets' see---8. I don't think she's so far behind as all that- lord knows that there are few PSG horses at 8 around. And should she have the talent of her breeding, and the desire to work for it, she could be already trying for the GP movements at 9- and if the work is easy for her, and she enjoys it, she could be ready to do a GP by 10.

Let's see, a GP horse by 10. Gee, that's kind of young! Let's say it takes another year, and I've been too optimistic. That makes her a GP horse by 11. I don't see that as some sort of problem, I'd be happy to have that horse make GP by 12 or 13, or at all!

So, exactly where is the problem with this horse? All she needs is a competant rider/trainer to see how far along she wants to go.

Thomas_1
Dec. 8, 2007, 09:13 AM
I'm of the view that it takes as long as it takes. I think your "friends" are talking total twaddle.

I'm not at all surprised to see that a young greenie is just like the video.

Though in truth I think she looks as though she's going quite nicely and you've definitely got your money's worth in such a short time.

Nicely and lightly and sympathetically ridden too and most definitely good material to work with. She's forward going, attentive and looks like she's enjoying her work.

kkj
Dec. 9, 2007, 09:59 AM
Kyzteke,
As you said you have not sold a lot of dressage prospects that were under saddle, I will share a little experience with you. The lady who wanted you to lower he price because she would have to send her out for training, well that is just one of the many pleas that buyers will make in effort to get the owner to lower the price. She may or may not have really sent the horse out for training. Or conversely, she may put any horse she buys even an FEI schoolmaster into training. The training costs may just be a given for her with any horse. Buyers will use a lot of little persuasive untrues to get a good deal. It may very well have just been a bargaining tool. That is what many many buyers will do. If you sell horses, you have to learn to deal with that. A potential buyer may offer you less than asking because the horse does not have as much training as they'd like, is not tall enough, has an old splint, whatever whatever. If you are firm on the price, you just say, "I priced her according to her talent, disposition and training and I think it is a more than fair price". If you are more eager to sell the horse or if you think the person would be a great owner, you may be more willing to bargain. What I have come to learn is take a lot of what potential buyers (and seller's say) for that matter with a grain of salt. I can't tell you how many times over the years someone would say they were going to do this this and that with the horse, keep it here, put it in training with so and so, that their horses are a member of the family and kept for life etc etc and then the horse ends up in a much worse situation than the buyer, who you thought was so ideal, promised for the horse or the horse is sold a year later and put into training with that trainer you just know likes to crank and spank. If you are going to raise them and sell them, you just have to accept that. Even that awesome amateur owner you are looking for who will keep the horse for life and feed it icecream, often only keeps the horse for a couple of years. Not saying that she won't be one of the lucky ones but that is unlikely even for a horse that is so good with tarps. Most horses do not get such great homes. Be careful of who you sell her to but realize that most horses end up in more than just the breeders and one other owner's hands and you cannot control the hand she will fall in after the next owner. I am really not trying to be mean here, I am just giving you the perspective of a lot of years raising and selling horses. You just seem to have this ideal vison of this owner who will come a long and I just wanted to tell you after of many years of selling horses, that are just as sweet and deserving as she, is those owners are really hard to find. A lot of people will say a lot of things to get you to sell them your nice horse for a nice price. Or a lot of nice people lose interest, develop health or $$ problems, move away, decide to move up to something fancier, dump the horse if it gets injured or whatever and the horse moves on. Sometimes the horse moves on to a better situation, sometimes not. Eventually with many horses as they get older, stiffer and not so appealing, they end up in not as good a home. Someone who will not spring for the joint supplements and does not know that they are in pain. Some kid who likes to cowboy them around. Or they could get the best most loving owner who treats them like gold and spend more on them than herself. Or she may end up a broodmare again, or a lesson horse. There are just no guarentees. This is just the reality and something you should keep in mind when you are analyzing the interersted buyers. That lady who offered you less because she was going to put her into training could have been that one in a million treat her like gold and keep her till she dies home or she could have been a total abusive liar. You really don't know. Not saying that some horses don't get the best life out there whether it be with the amateur who feeds them ice cream or the pro who takes them to international competition, but most horses don't. If you have not fully come to terms with that (and I can tell you love this horse and are proud of her) maybe you should just hang on to her. We know she has a great home with you. I doubt she would be very competitive at endurance, but if you don't care about winning and she is good on the trails, why not?

Kyzteke
Dec. 9, 2007, 04:18 PM
Kyzteke,
As you said you have not sold a lot of dressage prospects that were under saddle, I will share a little experience with you. ... We know she has a great home with you. I doubt she would be very competitive at endurance, but if you don't care about winning and she is good on the trails, why not?

Actually, I've been breeding & selling horses for over 10 years now, but as I mentioned in my first post, I usually sell mine as weanlings or yearlings. And most of them have been geared more for endurance rather than dressage. I've only had one other WB I kept long enough to start u/s . I sent him to a "dressage" trainer who cranked on his mouth so much the horse hated contact. That kind of turned me off of the local dressage "pros." Luckily he was purchased as a H/J and is still with that woman today.

Now, however, I'm shutting down my breeding program and, due to the sky-rocketing costs of hay, fuel, etc. cutting down my herd by some 75%. I'll be concentrating more on my riding (endurance). I'm sure Ruby would be fine to just "finish" endurance, but I DO care about winning (eventually).

So why try to fit a round peg in a square hole? Ruby is bred for dressage -- her sire is has been HOY over and over again, her damsire was a Pan Am medal winner -- both were GP horses. From the comments I've gotten on this board, Ruby herself obviously has talent as a dressage horse, so why not let her try to be a good dressage horse rather than a mediocre endurance horse?

Still, I understand what you say about buyers...I've had afew that promised the moon and didn't come through...one only kept the horse for alittle over a year, ruined her feet, then sold her. I still have bad dreams about that...

It IS the bad part of being a breeder (yet another reason for me to stop that as well...). I just have to choose as carefully as I can, then it's up to Fate or whatever/whoever you believe in to insure Ruby has a good home.

And you never can tell how it turns out...I sold one youngster to (what I thought) was a great home. It turned out HORRIBLE! She sold him to this woman who eventually contacted me to get some background...the horse has been with her now for 6 years and she totally adores him.

A good friend of mine told me years ago that ALL creatures, human & otherwise, have "their own road to travel." I think that is so true. You do the best you can, but you simply cannot control every twist of Fate that happens to you, your children, your animals or any other living thing that you love. Bad things happen despite your best efforts...but GOOD things happen, too.

The good part is that horses like Ruby have a better chance of having a good life, because they don't usually present problems. She is a real charmer, and those type of horses often end up "lucky". I call her a "bloom where she's planted" type of gal.

But, believe me, if I can't find the kind of home I want, she will stay with me and produce more babies. And you can bet I will also be having a "buy-back" clause in the sale contract....