PDA

View Full Version : Choosing the event prospect: Fancy movement or jumping ability more important?



slp2
Oct. 4, 2009, 03:57 PM
If you were looking for an event prospect for the lower levels (training / prelim) would you be more inclined to buy a horse that had fabulous gaits and so-so jumping ability? Or favor a horse that had a natural, fantastic jumping ability (and willingness) but just average gaits?

All things being equal of course (temperament, bravery, willingness to work, soundness, etc.). I'd like to hear your thoughts.

I am in this dilemna now. My current event mare is in her teens and I am looking for my next youngster to bring along. My mare is one that is super brave, fun to ride, and has the floaty nice gaits that can get good dressage scores. But her jumping technique does not match her willingness to jump. She has improved over the years, but is still sloppy with her front end and at more than one event, we have watched our placings drop as the stadium rails drop. ;)

I found this nice 3 yo that I have had a trial for a week now. She has been absolutely good as gold since I have had her. Today she went on her first trail ride (of her entire life) and she was brave and unflappable. She trudged through puddles in the outdoor too. She also has fabulous jumping form--great technique wherever she is put to the fence. And she is very willing--haven't jumped her much--but she hasn't been phased by fillers, bigger, wider jumps--just calculates how more she needs to pick up. But, she isn't a fancy mover. Just average. However she is willing to take contact and already has started reaching for the bit, very steady and obedient (especially for her age).

Some would say that the dressage is more important to being competitive at the lower levels. At the same time, I have seen some very average movers clean up in the dressage because they did dead-on obedient tests. I also know that *I* want a safe jumper. I don't want to worry about my horse hanging it's legs over something solid. That's probably more important to an ammy adult rider than a dressage score in the 20's.

Obviously, it would be nice to have both movement and jumping ability, but I only have so much moola to spend on a 2nd horse. So, what do you think is more important when choosing your event horse?

GotSpots
Oct. 4, 2009, 04:02 PM
Jumping ability. Not even close.

Don't get me wrong - I love a gorgeous, floaty mover as much as the next guy. But particularly as an amateur, I want a horse with enough scope to fix it if I miss, and I want it catty and clever enough to find a fifth leg if need be. You can fix (or tolerate) alot of dressage mistakes with a correct, obedient ride. But, at the end of the day, a 44 in the dressage isn't going to get anything hurt but your ego, unlike riding one that doesn't want to stay out of its own way.

Janet
Oct. 4, 2009, 04:05 PM
First is brain/attitude

Then jumping ability

Then dressage movement.

If you were planning to spend the horse's entire career at BN and N, it might be different.

But the heart of eventing is jumping.

Geeka
Oct. 4, 2009, 04:21 PM
Jumping ability.

For everything GotSpots said.

subk
Oct. 4, 2009, 05:39 PM
I never failed to forgive my fabulous jumping horse for his lousy dressage score once XC was over!

There is so much more to a good dressage score than fancy gaits. At least there should be...

RunForIt
Oct. 4, 2009, 05:46 PM
I never failed to forgive my fabulous jumping horse for his lousy dressage score once XC was over!

There is so much more to a good dressage score than fancy gaits. At least there should be...

IF you are an eventer...and want an EVENT HORSE! :cool:

luise
Oct. 4, 2009, 06:03 PM
I would go for the horse with better jumping ability. I don't care how fancy he is if he is going to be chicken jumping and either drop rails, refuse jumps, and/or get me eliminated (or hurt!).

Equine Studies
Oct. 4, 2009, 06:26 PM
Jumping for sure. Her movement will improve some with training and riding. Safety for me is key as well.

Gry2Yng
Oct. 4, 2009, 06:48 PM
Duh! What PPs' said. 2/3 of the sport is jumping. Seen more heartbreak and injury over the purchase of the fancy mover than I could ever begin to retell.

retreadeventer
Oct. 4, 2009, 06:54 PM
Can't put too much emphasis on temperament. With a good horse, anything is possible.

lizathenag
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:00 PM
what are your goals?

if you want ribbons, then get a dressage horse that can jump.

if you want to have to pick the bugs out of your teeth because you have been smiling all around the cross country course, then get the jumper!

Ritazza
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:05 PM
And don't forget, you can somewhat improve the gaits of a so-so mover with some good training ;) A good judge will reward the dead-on test from the so-so mover over the not-so-accurate test from the super flashy mover. Big flashy movement = inefficient on XC.

yellowbritches
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:15 PM
Jumping ability, jumping ability, jumping ability. Hands down.

My young horse is a great example of this. When we tried him as a 3 yr. old, he had zero trot (but he DID have a great canter), but he was willing and nice over the little fences he was pointed out. Now, two years later he is a jumping freak (though, don't look at his sj scores right now...we're sorting stuff out), and his trot gets better on a weekly basis. You can always make the movement better, and my horse is a great example of that. :yes:

Jleegriffith
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:16 PM
Jumping any day of the week for me. You can improve a horse on the flat and oftentimes the really steady and relaxed test will win over a fancy horse who may be a bit tense. If they have taken so nicely to the things you introduced it really sounds like a really nice horse worth putting time into.

Snapdragon
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:19 PM
First is brain/attitude

Then jumping ability

Then dressage movement.

If you were planning to spend the horse's entire career at BN and N, it might be different.

But the heart of eventing is jumping.

Definitely agree with this. Unfortunately, with a young one, you don't know whether the brain/attitude is there. They can have all the talent in the world, but if they don't have that "Go get 'em" mindset, it can be tough.
Ask me how I know. However, choosing between dressage and jumping, definitely jumping.

Bobthehorse
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:23 PM
Jumping ability. Not even close.

Don't get me wrong - I love a gorgeous, floaty mover as much as the next guy. But particularly as an amateur, I want a horse with enough scope to fix it if I miss, and I want it catty and clever enough to find a fifth leg if need be. You can fix (or tolerate) alot of dressage mistakes with a correct, obedient ride. But, at the end of the day, a 44 in the dressage isn't going to get anything hurt but your ego, unlike riding one that doesn't want to stay out of its own way.

Agree. By the time you get past Novice, your day is not won on your dressage test anyway. My Training superhorse that I upgraded to Prelim this year, he is an average mover, but a wicked jumper. At Training, we almost always finished in the top 3 after dressage, movement is just not that important to most judges in the mid levels if the horse is correct and the test is accurate. Even at Prelim, a mediocre test for us would put us in the top 5.

Lincoln
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:30 PM
Like everyone else said...

You really can do an awful lot with training to improve horses' gaits for dressage. That's what you'll spend your time and bucks on, and then you get to go have some fun... (and KNOW you'll have fun jumping rather than hope!) All that dressage work will give you better adjustability for the jumping, so that's a good deal.

Trots are relatively easy to improve. Since so much of the lower level tests are trot-based, you can be assured of improving whatever score you think your horses is capable of now with more strength and swing in your baby's back. The canter is harder to improve, especially if it isn't pure (tending to be lateral or four beat), but you can and will need to work to improve it to move up in stadium, so that's an investment with dual payoffs as well.

chestnutwithchrome
Oct. 4, 2009, 08:04 PM
Jumping ability. Not even close.

Don't get me wrong - I love a gorgeous, floaty mover as much as the next guy. But particularly as an amateur, I want a horse with enough scope to fix it if I miss, and I want it catty and clever enough to find a fifth leg if need be. You can fix (or tolerate) alot of dressage mistakes with a correct, obedient ride. But, at the end of the day, a 44 in the dressage isn't going to get anything hurt but your ego, unlike riding one that doesn't want to stay out of its own way.




100% This!

Kairoshorses
Oct. 4, 2009, 08:06 PM
First is brain/attitude

Then jumping ability

Then dressage movement.

If you were planning to spend the horse's entire career at BN and N, it might be different.

But the heart of eventing is jumping.

Janet is wise. The only thing I'd add for ME is experience!

slp2
Oct. 4, 2009, 08:17 PM
Thanks for your input. I should clarify that my current mare isn't going anywhere. I am looking for my 2nd horse so that my girl can eventually get her well deserved retirement. :D I'm just trying to decide whether I should "pass" on the current 3 yo prospect because she doesn't have the gaits I am used to.

I used my current horse as an example because she is the "nice mover that likes to jump but doesn't really do it that well" style of event horse. It's nice when you go up to check your dressage score, but not as nice when the rails come down in stadium (or you get your x-c photos and you see the dangling knees).

The 3 yo seems to have a great mind so far, her jumping is lovely, but I am hoping that we can improve the gaits. One thing we identified in her PPE is that she is quite footsore and needs shoes (she has never had shoes before). I think that may help her be much more comfortable--plus 2 more years of growing along with progressive dressage work. But I'm just wondering if I should I keep looking for something that has the "full package" that is within my price range (if I can find one).

denny
Oct. 4, 2009, 08:37 PM
These days, to have any decent shot at being in the ribbons, you need BOTH.

If the movement is poor to just average, you`ll be hard pressed to be in the top 10 after dressage. You can`t jump cleaner than clean, so how will you catch up?

Keep looking until you find a horse that you can afford with both good jumping ability and good to special movement.

Once you sign that check, you`ll start to make excuses!! At least most of us do.

So wait, keep hunting, be discriminating.

ThirdCharm
Oct. 4, 2009, 08:41 PM
Jumping ability. An "average" mover can still win the dressage if the test is obedient and accurate--I have a TB mare who is 15.3, good but not great mover, regularly gets high 20s/low 30s, evented through Intermediate. Fabulous jumper.

Jennifer

NeverTime
Oct. 5, 2009, 06:41 AM
These days, to have any decent shot at being in the ribbons, you need BOTH.

If the movement is poor to just average, you`ll be hard pressed to be in the top 10 after dressage. You can`t jump cleaner than clean, so how will you catch up?

Keep looking until you find a horse that you can afford with both good jumping ability and good to special movement.

Once you sign that check, you`ll start to make excuses!! At least most of us do.

So wait, keep hunting, be discriminating.

Denny, I *still* remember us hacking along and talking about exactly this.
But I have to second Janet and retread: Don't compromise on the brain either. It's the very best asset they can have.

Fred
Oct. 5, 2009, 07:50 AM
Like everyone else said...

You really can do an awful lot with training to improve horses' gaits for dressage. That's what you'll spend your time and bucks on, and then you get to go have some fun... (and KNOW you'll have fun jumping rather than hope!) All that dressage work will give you better adjustability for the jumping, so that's a good deal.

Trots are relatively easy to improve. Since so much of the lower level tests are trot-based, you can be assured of improving whatever score you think your horses is capable of now with more strength and swing in your baby's back. The canter is harder to improve, especially if it isn't pure (tending to be lateral or four beat), but you can and will need to work to improve it to move up in stadium, so that's an investment with dual payoffs as well.

Agree 100% with Lincoln. Trots are relatively easy to improve.
And I agree with all the other posters who have put jumping ability ahead of fancy mover.
And of course a brave, willing attitude is vital.
This filly sounds lovely, with the all important great mind - and at only 3 she is still just a baby and still growing into herself, and her movement should improve with strength and balance.
You mentioned that she has tender feet. This would definitely affect the movement she is showing you now. Once she is more comfortable, she should improve immediately.
good luck in your search.

yellowbritches
Oct. 5, 2009, 08:51 AM
One thing we identified in her PPE is that she is quite footsore and needs shoes (she has never had shoes before).This was actually what caused a lot of Vernon's issues with his trot when we tried him (except he was still poorly shod in racing plates). It took several months, a lot of it spent just hanging out being fuzzy, fat, and cute, but his feet started to turn around and his trot started to get better. But, age, growth, and STRENGTH have been the biggest help in improving his trot (and the fact that he has a fabulous brain between his ears :yes: He can DEAL with working on the flat to get strong). He's never going to move like a dressage bred warmblood, but between three quality gaits (if not spectacular) and the brain that allows me to ride him accurately, I think he'll hold his own in the long run.

And, if we're really talking prelim and below AND are talking an amateur's horse, I don't believe you need the :eek: movement to be very happy and successful. They need to be obedient and well ridden and relaxed in the dressage, but they don't have to be world beaters. If you have that trifecta, you'd be surprised how well an ammy can do in rider and ammy divisions. We have at least 2 ammy owned and ridden horses in our barn that always get decent to great scores despite not being classy movers. One is an average moving TB, the other is a big, heavy draft cross who, while surprisingly nice, is still not a remarkable mover. Both horses, when well ridden by their owners, are almost always in the hunt after dressage. :yes: We have a spectacular moving ammy horse who often does not score as well as he could because he's a jackass 75% of the time in the ring :lol: He puts his stablemates to shame in the movement department, but THEY put him to shame in being classy, well mannered citizens who put their heads down and do their jobs. When it comes to ammies, it isn't necessarily about movement, but riding a good, relaxed test, and I see it all the time.

If we're talking upper levels, well, now, that's a different story (but I'd still take an average moving youngster with a good brain and a good jump).

deltawave
Oct. 5, 2009, 12:33 PM
A good judge will reward the dead-on test from the so-so mover over the not-so-accurate test from the super flashy mover.

Maybe. :)

I agree with everyone else--give me the jumping ability every single time. :yes: Add a good brain --> BONUS. I, however, am used to mediocre dressage scores and don't even think twice about that. ;) If I want nice dressage scores, I go to a dressage show where my horse can get the first silly, anxious test over with and then settle down and do pretty tests. :p

Larbear
Oct. 5, 2009, 12:37 PM
I never failed to forgive my fabulous jumping horse for his lousy dressage score once XC was over!


Me too! I figure the flat work is 'installed' in there somewhere if the jumping is good...just doesn't always show in the dressage ring.

gold2012
Oct. 5, 2009, 11:56 PM
Whatever, after you get to Prelim, maybe jumping takes over. I saw an absolutely gorgeous training horse go into dressage, and pull off a very nice, very rhytmical test. He wasn't fancy, he wasn't super long strided, but he sure nailed the test. His stop was fantastic. He was moving through his body, swinging his hips, and had saliva nearly to his knee's. He came in last. I dunno about the judges anymore....they want that high head, uptight look, and flicking.

Great thing about the other horse, he could jump. So he ended up coming in a bit higher then last. But it saddens me when horses like that are looked over for something flashier, but not really relaxed.

But go for the jump....especially at higher levels.

vali
Oct. 6, 2009, 12:36 AM
I always go for the honest safe jumpers, but then I don't win the dressage so I'm not sure I'm the best person to ask. But I think that for an amateur or young rider a good safe jumper should always be the priority, although if you can spend enough money you can probably get both. Of course there are other variables as well, including soundness, age, and how much maintenance the horse will require. But I can't see buying a horse that doesn't have both a natural desire to jump and a little extra scope to bail me out if necessary.

LisaB
Oct. 6, 2009, 08:58 AM
Ain't it sad that this question is even being asked.
No offense, I hear ya with today's 'modern' eventing. But it's sad nonetheless.

Gry2Yng
Oct. 6, 2009, 09:05 AM
FWIW, I know of a lovely TB who was an adequate mover until the owner put back shoes on him. Now he uses himself and has developed a gorgeous topline and big tush. His training has progressed, of course, but he is now able to use his hind legs. He displayed no indication of being footsore, but what a difference. He was in the top 15 at novice at AEC's, got a 7 on gaits and put in a very obedient accurate test.

Catalina
Oct. 6, 2009, 10:02 AM
I had the super good mover that did well in dressage and bombed on XC. So not fun at all.

One of my horses that I have now is an eh mover, but he is an absolute jumping machine and I have 100 times more fun showing him then my previous fancy moving horse. And, with lots of dressage work, we have lowered our scores to the mid-30s. Now, he will probably never be a low 20s horse, but he will almost always leave the rails up and go clean XC.

I have seen many superb movers go from 1st to way down in the ribbons because of jumping issues. So I say, go for the jump and brains :D.

QHEventr
Oct. 6, 2009, 10:03 AM
Give me a fabulous jumper any day!

Now, I must say, that of the three horses I have run up to or past prelim, the first was a 15.1 hh QH gelding that is long back, down hill, and NOT made to do the flat work! However, he was obedient as the day is long, and was very accurate on the flat. We were happy to score in the 40's. Now, He is a superb jumper, perfect with his front end, although a bit flat, I think he only had 4 rails his entire career with me. I learned so much about XC riding on him.

The second is my retired advanced horse, my OTTB, Diamond, who I would say had a "to-die-for" canter, an OK trot that got better with age, and a good walk. I would not call him a "10" mover, but maybe an "8". He had HORRID jumping form when we bought him, but he would jump anything you pointed him at. We worked long and hard to improve his form and it worked. By the time he was running prelim, he was great over fences. By the time he was running Advanced, his jumping form was textbook. His movement also improved, and we were typically in the top 5 after dressage, although we NEVER won the flat. He would always jump clean/clear XC and could produce a stellar SJ round. He was a top placing advanced/CCI** horse

The third was an ISH gelding who was HUGE, and disliked the flatwork with a passion (i hear that ran in his family) But I've never sat on a better jumping horse! We were almost always playing catch up on XC, but we almost always did jump clean./clear and SJ clean. I would be so dissapointed after the dressage, because he had it in him, we just couldn't get it out. I would head out on XC and come home smiling and crying tears of joy that I actually got to ride him XC! He was an absolute pleasure to jump!

Of course BOTH is ideal, but I have to say, give me the jumping machine anyday, and the good movement is simply a bonus to me.

I'm not in this sport to win, I'm in it to improve my riding, my horemanship, and my horses set of skills. Bringing home a ribbon is wonderfull, but I'm not going to compromise on jumping skills to win on the flat.

Johanna

Shrunk "N" Da Wash
Oct. 6, 2009, 10:39 AM
I find good movement and jumping ability are usually found together in an athletic horse. I have never seen a horrid mover have a great jump. Or a lovely mover have a horrid jump. A well bred athletic horse usually has both.

Attitude though is a whole different story.

I'm one to sacrifice attitude for athleticism. So far it has paid off :yes:
Not saying it is the right thing to do though just my choice.

inquisitive
Oct. 6, 2009, 10:43 AM
I never failed to forgive my fabulous jumping horse for his lousy dressage score once XC was over!

Totally agree :yes: I always come off grinning :D

flash1
Oct. 6, 2009, 10:44 AM
For Training /Prelim - jumping ability...For lower levels....movement....I started my TB in lower levels...he could jump the moon...but couldnt manage a decent dressage test to save his soul....

scubed
Oct. 6, 2009, 10:47 AM
I've had a couple that were super movers and would jump anything. Of course, they had no interest whatsoever in actually *doing* dressage so we were routinely DFL after dressage, but often moved up into the ribbons on clean jumping. The current youngster is a cute, but not fancy mover, but has a really great brain and I think is going to do better in the long run (assuming he continues to figure out where his feet are). I'd vote for jumping everytime (especially as an amateur who is routinely bailed out by my green horses)

eventrider
Oct. 6, 2009, 10:52 AM
I have to agree with Shrunks last post. When we are buying prospects for resale, we never get to see them jump. We buy on how the horse uses himself, especially the hind end and the forearms. If a horse is an athlete, they will usually be an athlete all-around. And I have never had one that was a good mover and NOT a good jumper. So we buy on movement, or potential for the movement that we know is in there, and teach them to jump correctly. The form always comes together with the right education, and they are always brave, quiet jumpers. I think a lot more of it has to do with what you start with and what you teach them. That said, I TOTALLY agree with Denny. It is not hard to find a fab mover and jumper with a good brain. You just have to be a little patient and know where to look.

Ajierene
Oct. 6, 2009, 11:14 AM
I find good movement and jumping ability are usually found together in an athletic horse. I have never seen a horrid mover have a great jump. Or a lovely mover have a horrid jump. A well bred athletic horse usually has both.

Attitude though is a whole different story.

I'm one to sacrifice attitude for athleticism. So far it has paid off :yes:
Not saying it is the right thing to do though just my choice.

I would agree with this, though I would add that while a horse may be a superb mover, they need to have a good brain - bravery over jumps. My mare is an OK mover, but did not start out brave over jumps. She loves it now, as long as I am on board with it, but will still refuse if I am not riding correctly.

The fact that your horse is fine with fillers in jumps is great. If you can take her for a cross country school, just to see how she reacts to solid jumps, that would be even better.

I would have a knowledgeable set of eyes take a look at her. Even if my mare was the most brave horse, her OK dressage movement (we always get comments about moving out more, but are consistent enough in dressage to be in the mid-30s at almost every show) matches her abilities over jumps and my trainer advised to never take her past Training level. She *can* jump 3'7", but because she is not as athletic, she will not be as able to save us if something happens in a cross country course, at a combination that does not fall down. (I have jumped her 3'6" in a stadium course). My mare also had feet issues - flat footed and needed front shoes. Once we put front shoes on her, she started immediately striding out a LOT more.

Her jumping ability may exceed her dressage movement, but have someone you trust help you make that decision and see if you want to buy her.

yellowbritches
Oct. 6, 2009, 11:23 AM
So, here's the next question. When evaluating a young horse's movement (especially a young horse you won't get to see over fences), what do gait to you consider the most? In my book it will always be the canter, then the gallop, and last of all, the trot. If they have a good, well balanced, powerful canter, they should be able to jump well and in decent form. The quality of the walk is often a clue to the quality of the canter. Trot is the least of my concern, as a trot can always be improved.

I also have know plenty of horses (often WBs, no offense to WB people) who have weak canters but mind blowing trots. They may prove to jump well, but I always rather have less trot and more canter, considering an event horse will spend the majority of their life cantering and galloping. Actually, Paco was a good example of this. Is trot was ridiculously good, his canter was always his weak link, and while he was quite scopey and athletic, he had no concept of a proper gallop and was nearly impossible to TEACH to gallop. While, Vernon, who's trot was "weak" but canter was there from the beginning (and is equal in talent over fences), has a naturally wonderful, powerful gallop that is effortless...and I haven't had to teach him anything, I've just let him go :yes:.

So, for me, I'd always always choose a young horse with a nice canter but weak trot over a young horse with a fabo trot but not so much canter (all other things being equal). And yes, in a perfect world you'll find a young horse with three mind blowing gaits, a gallop that is easy and lightening fast, jumps like Shutterfly over the show jumps, and attacks the xc like Windsome Adante, and the mind to give you full access to all of it, all for a realitively small price tag....but since this world isn't perfect, and some of us have to bargain shop, we have to pick our priorities. ;) Mine are a good canter, a good brain, and a decent jump.

yellowbritches
Oct. 6, 2009, 11:24 AM
PS- As fantastic as Paco's trot was, I couldn't sit it to save my life...I sit Vernon's very well! :lol:

grayarabpony
Oct. 6, 2009, 11:40 AM
I find good movement and jumping ability are usually found together in an athletic horse. I have never seen a horrid mover have a great jump. Or a lovely mover have a horrid jump. A well bred athletic horse usually has both.

Attitude though is a whole different story.

I'm one to sacrifice attitude for athleticism. So far it has paid off :yes:
Not saying it is the right thing to do though just my choice.

I guess you've never seen Jacob Two Two? lol His trot hurt my eyes.

It's true there's a lot of horses who have good movement that is ruined in the dressage test by tension. Happens to a lot of TBs.

Shrunk "N" Da Wash
Oct. 6, 2009, 11:59 AM
I guess you've never seen Jacob Two Two? lol His trot hurt my eyes.

It's true there's a lot of horses who have good movement that is ruined in the dressage test by tension. Happens to a lot of TBs.

I wasn't saying it is the case for every horse on the planet... But most horses that have a correct and athletic jump have correct and nice movement. Usually horses with a nice canter have a nice jump but the trot can vary more.

Lincoln
Oct. 6, 2009, 01:55 PM
All of us would like the best possible combination... right?

My guess is that many of the "athletic horses with three decent gaits and nice jumps" that we might think of as being good eventing candidates don't have the elasticity and expression to be competitive in the Dressage world or probably now in the big time eventing world.

Those big elastic juicy movers don't show up routinely in the OTTB's, draft- and warmblood-crosses that populate much of the lower level eventing world. And, as others have pointed out, there are a LOT of dressage-bred warmbloods that really can't jump, or jump-bred warmbloods that shouldn't jump anywhere without perfect footing and no distractions. And then there's the guts factor...

As others have noted, lots of horses are missing pieces - they've got the brain but not the springs, the springs but not the form, the trot but not the canter, the canter but a tight trot, the gaits and the jump but not the guts, or all of the above but they're not sound.

So we make do ... and hope the match is close enough to the right one to have a good working relationship with over the long term... (rather like spouses...) But for this sport, as opposed to dressage, it sounds like most folks would rather err on the side of something that's going to be safe xc, and "give" a little on the factors that would otherwise make the horse worth $150,000 in the hunter, dressage or show jumping arenas.

seeuatx
Oct. 6, 2009, 02:28 PM
Now that I have had the experience of a horse that just hated the jumping, despite his textbook style and ability, I will always go for a horse that leaves you smiling at the end of the XC course... picking bugs is way better than fighting off tears of frustration. I will say at least with G he was a good mover that liked the big white box, so he had an outlet when eventing didn't work out for us. I guess he was just an arena horse :(.

While I'd love to have a horse that could has both, I have to say that it will be jumping ability and heart for me.

grayarabpony
Oct. 6, 2009, 02:35 PM
I wasn't saying it is the case for every horse on the planet... But most horses that have a correct and athletic jump have correct and nice movement. Usually horses with a nice canter have a nice jump but the trot can vary more.

And I guess I could make a blanket statement and say it's true, but that wouldn't make it true.

There are plenty of horses who look relatively sucky in the dressage ring but are fabulous jumpers. The emphasis in dressage is on 3 really good gaits, not one or two. It's true that a good canter and good jumping go hand in hand, but it doesn't mean that horse would calmly and willingly do canter half-pass and changes, or pirouettes unless it wasn't on purpose. Would anyone have picked Theodore O'Connor for a dressage horse? I don't think so.

wanderlust
Oct. 6, 2009, 03:05 PM
I'm with Denny. If you want to be competitive at any level, even at the lower levels where there aren't a lot of issues XC or showjumping, you need a good mover. You can only improve gaits so much on a horse that isn't a good mover. There is some very good dressage and really nice horses even in the amateur ranks at N/T these days that do all three phases.

The whole package is out there if you are patient enough to wait for it. There are lots of very nice young horses on the market right now.

wanderlust
Oct. 6, 2009, 03:07 PM
And I guess I could make a blanket statement and say it's true, but that wouldn't make it true.

There are plenty of horses who look relatively sucky in the dressage ring but are fabulous jumpers. The emphasis in dressage is on 3 really good gaits, not one or two. It's true that a good canter and good jumping go hand in hand, but it doesn't mean that horse would calmly and willingly do canter half-pass and changes, or pirouettes unless it wasn't on purpose. Would anyone have picked Theodore O'Connor for a dressage horse? I don't think so. Agreed. Jumping ability is in no way indicative of quality of movement. Some of the best jumpers you see have unbelievable amounts of up/down knee action.