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oharabear
Dec. 8, 2009, 01:13 PM
Just curious about everyone's opinion- I'm not horse-shopping or anything, just for my own education!

When shopping for a new eventing prospect, would you be more likely to look at horses with a strong background in dressage with a little bit of jumping, or a strong background in jumping with a little dressage?

I guess what I'm asking is, all other things being equal (such as talent, temperament, natural jumping ability, etc), you you rather pull a possible eventing prospect out of a h/j barn or a dressage barn?

Why?

Beam Me Up
Dec. 8, 2009, 01:31 PM
For me jumping, just because it would allow me to better assess scope/bravery etc. which are so important to eventing potential, and hopefully see it jump over eventing level heights.

Dressage, at eventing levels, I think is within the reach of almost any horse, so while a dressage background is a great headstart, it doesn't necessarily predict overall eventing potential as well.

r.matey
Dec. 8, 2009, 02:50 PM
When shopping for a new eventing prospect, would you be more likely to look at horses with a strong background in dressage with a little bit of jumping, or a strong background in jumping with a little dressage?

I'd look at both!

That said, I'm almost two months into a horse search and have sat on 23(!) so far, so I'm getting the idea that maybe I'm not being particular enough before I go to look...

I'm shopping with a modest budget for a youngish prospect to go Training, max. If the horse has done at least a little jumping I can make a pretty good guess if it'll be able to go Training or not -- someone looking for an Advanced horse will obviously have different requirements.

I've been more partial to the horses with better dressage -- they're just nicer to ride, IMO. I tried a few hunters and I felt they'd be tougher to retrain -- they did not like any type of feel on their mouth at all. I tried a jumper who'd been drilled on short approaches, etc, and had essentially been taught to tip-toe toward the fence, then one or two strides out bolt and hurl himself over. I don't mean to imply that's the norm with jumpers -- that was just my experience with a more trained jumper.

Also, I don't mind putting the jumping work on them -- I have easy access to lots of cross-country stuff, and can do gymnastics all winter. All of it is easier if there's a great dressage base, IMO.

Zephyr
Dec. 8, 2009, 04:24 PM
r.matey, what patience you have!

I looked at one horse in May, loved it, vetted it, failed vet.

Back on the hunt in October, I tried out 3 horses, loved 2 of them. My first choice vetted so I bought him, but would have been just as thrilled with the 2nd choice.

Mostly I was looking for green-ish TB eventing prospects that were fairly cheap, and luckily I found one that already had some eventing mileage (BN/N) under his belt.

I wouldn't expect any of the horses I select from an ad to have specific "dressage" training, but I like to see that they've at least been started over cross-rail/2' type jumps so I can get a rough idea of how they go.

ThirdCharm
Dec. 8, 2009, 04:46 PM
Define "strong background" in either discipline.... if for instance you mean REAL jumping not yahooing around at 2'9" and careening into the corners to get lead changes, a horse with a 'strong' jumping background should have more than adequate basic dressage training for an eventer, and the jumping would be readily assessable. Whereas a horse with a strong dressage background might be a bit overtrained for the needs of the average amateur adult event rider (considering Prelim is just touching on 2nd level work).

If you mean correct basics, hard to put correct basic jumping on a horse without correct basic dressage, so.....

Jennifer

fatorangehorse
Dec. 8, 2009, 04:46 PM
Depends on your goals. If you want to win consistently - particularly on a national / international stage, strong dressage is needed. I you just want to get out and get going quickly, the more jumping experience the better.

goeslikestink
Dec. 8, 2009, 06:02 PM
how far do you want to go if you want something decent then they not cheap
and i would tend to look at there back ground ie parantage as most top horses are related and still on the international circuit

so if i wanted something top notch then i would look at there proven background of the parents see howmany points they won and what they won
and see if any other top notch riders have any off springs whereby i could get an idea of what the outcome would be

obviously it depends on the dosh

this is my daughter new babies daddy

http://www.cellehof.co.za/Zenturio.htm

Bogie
Dec. 8, 2009, 06:39 PM
Jumping.

I want to see a horse that is safe (no hanging knees), no stop, and calm over fences. I'd really like to see a horse that has done some XC. I once bought a horse that would jump anything in a ring (former low jumper) but was a complete chicken out XC. I've also bought horses that turned out to have no real aptitude for jumping.

As for dressage? With some training you can usually coax an accurate and pleasant test out of a horse that doesn't have outstanding gaits and still do well. There's a lot you can do to improve a horse on the flat that doesn't involve bravery.

fatorangehorse
Dec. 8, 2009, 08:45 PM
agree with Bogie - but you really need both if you want to be competitive on the big stage.

eventingismylife
Dec. 8, 2009, 11:32 PM
I mainly look for a horse that is built for jumping, not matter how much they have done. As for dressage I look for the same things, are they nice movers and do the have to potential to be a nice dressage mount in eventing. This is a key concept in my opinion, because what you ideally want a horse that you can get a nice low dressage score on and hopefully go clean on cross country and stadium. But if you still knock down a rail or have a refusal or two you will probably still be pretty well of as far as placing goes.

lizajane09
Dec. 8, 2009, 11:42 PM
But if you still knock down a rail or have a refusal or two you will probably still be pretty well of as far as placing goes.

I'll agree with you about the rail, but a refusal or two cross-country? No way. 20-60 penalties is going to knock you pretty far down no matter how nice your dressage is, not to mention one usually incurs time faults while correcting refusals.

As per the OP's question, I can't really answer from experience because my mare was green in EVERYTHING when I bought her :lol:. I can say though that her boldness and her enthusiasm for jumping were probably more important to me than her potential aptitude for dressage, although of course I wanted something that could move decently.

faluut42
Dec. 8, 2009, 11:58 PM
i prefer a horse with a strong jumping backround. Most of the horses with strong dressage backround dont think for themselves and are a bit clumsy (what i mean by strong dressage is a confirmed dressage horse, like already showing 1st with respectable scores).

Ajierene
Dec. 9, 2009, 09:11 AM
I think all three phases are important, but in looking at a horse, I would evaluate jumping as primary. Two of the phases are jumping, so there is one reason. A brave jumper is also important because those cross country jumps do not fall down!

Dressage can be improved through training. Ability to jump cannot. Bravery can be increased to a certain extent, but only so much.

Some of the criteria depends on the level as well. If the rider is a perpetual Novice level rider, then dressage abilities gets a bump up in terms of importance, but the horse still has to be willing to jump anything put infront of it. At Prelim and above, dressage would take more of a backseat.

asterix
Dec. 9, 2009, 09:31 AM
Honestly, I think it depends a LOT on the horse, the rider, and your goals.

First horse, I was an inexperienced eventer, bought an ex-foxhunter from Ireland. That horse would have jumped a Sherman tank, with or without me. Absolutely NOTHING phased him. Super confidence builder. Plenty of ability to do dressage but was a tough ride for me in that regard -- as one dressage judge said "lots of enthusiasm, but it doesn't seem to be for dressage."

Second horse, again I wanted a brave jumping horse. I got a German dressage horse who had JUST started jumping, at age 9.:lol: He has fabulous jumpers in his pedigree (yes, he has papers -- what can I say, he was a dressage refugee!!) and is super scopey, but brave he was not. I learned a TON on this horse, and when we finally went Prelim (took me probably a year or more longer than it would have on the first horse), we had really earned it. I think he would have been a disaster as my first horse but as a second horse he has been wonderful.

Green horse, here I would look for three good gaits, natural jumping ability, forward thinking mind. worked out so far for me.:D

I will say this; for all that we eventers think that dressage can be taught and jumping is natural, and to some extent this is true, moving my "dressage" horse up the levels, as it were, over fences was made VASTLY more successful because he was so uphill, so balanced, and so able to use himself correctly.

GotSpots
Dec. 9, 2009, 10:01 AM
For your average amateur, I still believe jumping ability is first/foremost. The only thing likely to get hurt in the dressage ring is your ego; the same isn't true XC. Thus, I look for youngsters who naturally want not only to jump the jumps, but want to look out for themselves - that self-sufficient ability to find an extra leg or to keep themselves out of trouble is irreplaceable. The dressage might not be perfect, but accurate and obedient are very teachable and will get you pretty far - I won/placed quite a few events at Training on my dressage score with a horse who has been widely described as "great jumper, god-awful on the flat". Doesn't always work at Preliminary, though we're still often in the ribbons, but being able to finish on your dsg score will always get you pretty far, plus you'll be safe and have fun.

Catalina
Dec. 9, 2009, 10:59 AM
My first eventer was a dressage horse that I trained to jump. He was great in stadium but a chicken s&*% on XC and it got really frustrating to do well in dressage and then get the ineviatable 20 XC jump penalties. I also had a Holsteiner that was a beautiful mover and who was indifferent to XC.

I sold both of them and for my next horse I looked for one that had a solid XC record and lousy dressage. I found not one, but two that fit the bill and I have done well on both of them (Novice/Training). I have found that even a dressage score that puts you at the bottom of the pack can lead to a big move up if the jumping phases are double clean.

Dressage is a lot easier to fix then a lack of desire to jump XC and/or go clean stadium. Just my 2 cents, but I would go for the solid jumping any day.

yellowbritches
Dec. 9, 2009, 11:25 AM
uhh, neither! :lol: Honestly, for ME, if I'm looking at prospects I rather it be barely broke or not broke at all (or fresh off the track, depending on the case). I've ridden "prospects" out of both types of barns (h/j barns and dressage barns) and have worked on making them eventing material. Tell ya what, they all come with baggage that I then have to deal with. I've learned now from experience that the only bags I want a horse of mine to carry are the bags I give him!!! (For the record, while some have been right pieces of poo, they haven't ALL been horrible, just none have come along as nicely as the ones that are nice and truly green).

But, I guess if I had to choose, I'd go with jumping.

Horsegal984
Dec. 9, 2009, 01:42 PM
For me a strong jumper would be better, because I have more confidence on the flat but need a horse that can 'take care of me' over fences. I've ridden some horses that were really bad to fences and they have destroyed my confidence. I would rather know I'm going to have to improve the flat work where I have to confidence(if not the knowledge) to work on issues.

I would want a horse that is brave and honest, but I really want one with a sense of self-preservation as well. I want a horse that won't look at everything on course and isn't timid about the apperance of fences, but I do want one that will stop before taking a jump it was presented to dangerously. Same as I don't want one that would hang legs, I want a horse that has a good mind to take care of itself. Rather have a refusal than a fall anyday.

Merle
Dec. 9, 2009, 02:15 PM
uhh, neither! :lol: Honestly, for ME, if I'm looking at prospects I rather it be barely broke or not broke at all (or fresh off the track, depending on the case). I've ridden "prospects" out of both types of barns (h/j barns and dressage barns) and have worked on making them eventing material. Tell ya what, they all come with baggage that I then have to deal with. I've learned now from experience that the only bags I want a horse of mine to carry are the bags I give him!!! (For the record, while some have been right pieces of poo, they haven't ALL been horrible, just none have come along as nicely as the ones that are nice and truly green).

Same here. I tried out about 15 horses this spring before I ended up with my unstarted 2 year old. She turned 3 at the end of June and has been so much fun and she is very very brave. I love her to pieces! I saw her on a lunge line and that's about it. I tried out one horse (her owner/trainer was a H/J person and also foxhunted a little) who was 3 months under saddle and the horse already had some training I would have to undo.

RAyers
Dec. 9, 2009, 02:55 PM
I've learned now from experience that the only bags I want a horse of mine to carry are the bags I give him!!!



This goes for men as well.

Reed

Janet
Dec. 9, 2009, 03:08 PM
uhh, neither! :lol: Honestly, for ME, if I'm looking at prospects I rather it be barely broke or not broke at all (or fresh off the track, depending on the case).
Same here.

asterix
Dec. 9, 2009, 10:01 PM
This goes for men as well.

Reed

Ah, Reed, you are killing me. HOW is a girl to find such an "OTTM" when she herself is no longer 20?

(this is rhetorical, since there is a mr. asterix -- longer in the tooth than I am and chok full of baggage, but I took him anyway, taught him to ride, drive the trailer, and put studs in. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.... :lol:)

JER
Dec. 9, 2009, 10:25 PM
My preference: (1) foxhunting, (2) jumping and (3) dressage. You can event a horse who doesn't like dressage but you can't event a horse who doesn't like to jump. And unlike many jumpers, a foxhunter will like to go forward.


( there is a mr. asterix -- longer in the tooth than I am and chok full of baggage, but I took him anyway, taught him to ride, drive the trailer, and put studs in.)

This is an incredible accomplishment. Especially the part about the studs -- that's so useful it's almost inspirational. You should write a book or at least a how-to guide (manual?).

My SO doesn't know how many horses I have, what their names are or where they live -- and this includes the four that live with us.

asterix
Dec. 9, 2009, 11:27 PM
:lol::lol::lol:
I can't really explain it; it's been successful beyond my wildest dreams.
Weather/footing willing, he's going foxhunting before New Year's (ENTIRELY his idea) on his horse (aka my young horse), and he is planning our second riding vacation for next year (again, ENTIRELY his idea).

It is very, very cool. Worth some baggage, believe me ;)

eventingismylife
Dec. 10, 2009, 02:50 AM
I'll agree with you about the rail, but a refusal or two cross-country? No way. 20-60 penalties is going to knock you pretty far down no matter how nice your dressage is, not to mention one usually incurs time faults while correcting refusals.

As per the OP's question, I can't really answer from experience because my mare was green in EVERYTHING when I bought her :lol:. I can say though that her boldness and her enthusiasm for jumping were probably more important to me than her potential aptitude for dressage, although of course I wanted something that could move decently.

Woops, should have been more specific there. Haha. I meant sj.

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Dec. 10, 2009, 08:30 AM
My SO doesn't know how many horses I have, what their names are or where they live -- and this includes the four that live with us.

Sometimes it's best this way, esp if they don't notice the difference between 4 and 5 in the yard... Mine notices, evaluates their conformation, and when she hops on one occasionally, she hands it back with an assessment of the holes in it's training. But then she bushhogs, and has learned to put studs in, so I generally discuss bringing new ones in before I actually do...

Catalina
Dec. 10, 2009, 10:00 AM
My SO doesn't know how many horses I have, what their names are or where they live -- and this includes the four that live with us.

Mine either :lol:. And I like it that way ;).

JER
Dec. 10, 2009, 12:15 PM
Maybe we need to do a spin-off on what to look for in an eventing SO prospect...

fooler
Dec. 10, 2009, 12:16 PM
For your average amateur, I still believe jumping ability is first/foremost. The only thing likely to get hurt in the dressage ring is your ego; the same isn't true XC. Thus, I look for youngsters who naturally want not only to jump the jumps, but want to look out for themselves - that self-sufficient ability to find an extra leg or to keep themselves out of trouble is irreplaceable. The dressage might not be perfect, but accurate and obedient are very teachable and will get you pretty far - I won/placed quite a few events at Training on my dressage score with a horse who has been widely described as "great jumper, god-awful on the flat". Doesn't always work at Preliminary, though we're still often in the ribbons, but being able to finish on your dsg score will always get you pretty far, plus you'll be safe and have fun.

Agree completely!

SPF10
Dec. 10, 2009, 01:11 PM
Daughters "new" horse was a money winning reining horse. Doing training level, dressage came easy and went through the basics of learning how to jump quickly, couldn't be more pleased with her. They have done well not only in eventing but at straight dressage shows and jumper shows (locals in the winter to stay tuned up). Their personalities really mesh which I think is important too. so don't limit your self in looking only at dressage or jumpers the soundness/confirmation of the horse and well as it's "trainablility" are important too. Happy hunting.

purplnurpl
Dec. 10, 2009, 01:34 PM
Just curious about everyone's opinion- I'm not horse-shopping or anything, just for my own education!

When shopping for a new eventing prospect, would you be more likely to look at horses with a strong background in dressage with a little bit of jumping, or a strong background in jumping with a little dressage?

I guess what I'm asking is, all other things being equal (such as talent, temperament, natural jumping ability, etc), you you rather pull a possible eventing prospect out of a h/j barn or a dressage barn?

Why?
I prefer to start from scratch.
but if I have to choose:
out of a HUNTER barn.
That way I know he/she hasn't been crammed into the fake dressage frame that people pose with these days. Giraffe syndrome and starting kids off too soon with over collection. garb like that. drives me crazy.

Atigirl
Dec. 10, 2009, 02:38 PM
I have owned 3 horses and have evented for the past 30 yrs.

First horse was a great jumper who hated dressage. Actually tried to lie down during a dressage test:eek: We were usually near last place after dressage phase, but would easily move up if the course was challenging. Never had a jump or time penaly with him. But the dressage phase was always challenging and frustrating. Just wanted to call the organizer and say just put me in last place can I skip the dressage test!

Second horse OTTB. Really a closet dressage horse. Could blow away the competition and be in first place after dressage. Jumping was the challenge. Very talented, but no self confidence. I did a lot of hand holding, cajoling and baby sitting with him to get around the courses. Lots of jumping penalties and always moved out of first place. Frustrating because his heart was never in it when we jumped. I never competed him above novice for my safety. I retired him and just did dressage. Lovely wonderful dressage horse!!

Third horse is a complete package. Talented enough to do well in dressage and loves to jump. She is very smart and clever. If I ride well and do my part then we place and do very well at shows.

Since I have experienced the extreme spectrums, I have to say I like the balanced complete horse the best. I might not blow everyone away with my dressage, but can hold my own. I might occasionally hang a rail or have a stop. But usually that is because I wasn't riding right:lol:

JWB
Dec. 10, 2009, 03:15 PM
From a slightly different perspective, last year I went shopping for a 2-yr-old event horse prospect to bring up for eventing. I looked at a ton of horses and it came down in then end to a Dutch Warmblood that was a beautiful mover, would win in dressage all day long, but was a bit on the heavy side and an unknown factor for jumping, or a more modern Belgian Warmblood who is a clean mover, but not fancy, but who comes from a line of fantastic jumpers, and who showed amazing style through a jump chute.....

Prices were roughly the same, handling was roughly the same. I bought the Belgian WB filly because I would rather have "good enough" dressage and be confident that the horse could get me around the jumps than win the dressage and have a horse that was not scopey enough or just plain too heavy for the cross country.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 10, 2009, 03:17 PM
I will say this; for all that we eventers think that dressage can be taught and jumping is natural, and to some extent this is true, moving my "dressage" horse up the levels, as it were, over fences was made VASTLY more successful because he was so uphill, so balanced, and so able to use himself correctly.


Yes...but your "dressage" horse also has some of the best jumping instincts around. Careful...thoughtful....he's a really cool boy. He would have been easy to ruin....but don't think for an instint that he isn't a naturally VERY good jumper. Love him :)

For me...it doesn't depend on whether they are in a dressage barn or jumper barn....but it really does depend on WHOSE barn they are in. There are individuals I wouldn't go near...and others I'd take any horse on sight unseen.

But after that...I prefer them unstarted with good natural gaits and good form free jumping. Next, I'll take an OTTB who hasn't been retrained yet. After that I might look at something started...but then again, I'm probably only looking at horses who are in event barns.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 10, 2009, 03:28 PM
Maybe we need to do a spin-off on what to look for in an eventing SO prospect...


I'd take single and straight....after that....in my wildest dreams...has all his teeth and hair and can form complete sentences.:lol:

Janet
Dec. 10, 2009, 03:43 PM
I think there are two (or maybe three) different questions here.

Is jumping or dressage ABILITY more important?

Is jumping or dressage TRAINING BACKGROUND more important?

A related question-
Is it better to look in a jumping or adressage barn?

asterix
Dec. 10, 2009, 06:00 PM
Yes...but your "dressage" horse also has some of the best jumping instincts around. Careful...thoughtful....he's a really cool boy. He would have been easy to ruin....but don't think for an instint that he isn't a naturally VERY good jumper. Love him :)


Wow, bornfree, thanks! That means a LOT! And, he does; his grandsire has some record for most $ won by his get (is that the right world) at GP show jumping....

Janet is quite right as always...plus I do think that what's "best" depends a lot on your goals as an eventer. I think my horse is spectacular for my goals, which max out at prelim. The poster who said she passed on the heavier WB prospect would have run away fast from my guy -- definitely not the build you want for Rolex....

r.matey
Dec. 11, 2009, 10:24 AM
I think there are two (or maybe three) different questions here.

Is jumping or dressage ABILITY more important?

Is jumping or dressage TRAINING BACKGROUND more important?

A related question-
Is it better to look in a jumping or adressage barn?

Yes exactly! I thought the OP was asking about training background -- said assuming the horses had the same talent/temperament/etc.

I would take jumping ability over dressage ability any day -- but, personally, if we're talking theoretically about the exact same horse who has either been started dressage (maybe a tiny bit of jumping) or started jumping (maybe tiny bit of dressage) -- I'll take dressage. (Of course in the ideal world, all hunter/jumpers would have great flatwork before they jump anyhow, but that's not always the case.)

Caveat: I'm not talking super high-level dressage -- someone mentioned earlier how at some point it can take the initiative out of horses.

Carol Ames
Dec. 11, 2009, 12:54 PM
Jumping, no question:no:; it is that area where injuries:cry: to horse and rider occur:sadsmile:!

purplnurpl
Dec. 11, 2009, 11:27 PM
I'd take single and straight....after that....in my wildest dreams...has all his teeth and hair and can form complete sentences.:lol:

oh trust me. you can find single, straight, full set off teeth and a ton of hair , more smarts than manageable but there is one trait that seems to alway be left...that would be honesty.

I'm not sure that is out there.

asterix
Dec. 12, 2009, 09:11 AM
Ouch!
On behalf of the many wonderful men out there, I have to say that you absolutely CAN find honest. Hair. Teeth. Smarts. Perfect? Ah, no.
There are so many ways to be flawed, why limit yourself?:lol:

I will say that it might, um, take a while. Didn't meet mr. asterix until I was in my late 30s. At that point, too, you can't be too hung up on words like divorced.

But, studs, hitching trailer in the rain, fetching mud covered horse in dark field on morning of competition, what is an ex-wife to these??