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meaty ogre
Jul. 19, 2011, 01:12 PM
If a person wanted to be successful in the dressage ring on an Arab, say at 3rd level tops, what are some things to look for? Feel free to suggest bloodlines to look into or avoid, conformation traits, etc. If you're looking at arabs that have done mostly breed shows, is there a certain type that makes an easier transition to the dressage ring? (I.e., is a hunter type horse going to make the switch easier than a country english pleasure type?)

IdahoRider
Jul. 19, 2011, 01:33 PM
I am far from an expert! But I do own an Arab and we are involved with dressage, so I can share what little I know with you.

It is my understanding that the Polish lines have the conformation that makes them the most suitable for dressage (when looking at all the different Arabian lines). I often have people tell me that my gelding can't be a PB Arab because he looks more like a mini-Warmblood than he does the "typical" Arabian. Even horse people are surprised that an Arabian doesn't have to look or act like a jacked up halter horse. But, unfortunately, that is the image that many horse folks have of Arabians.

Look for a horse that can lower the head and lift the back. Rounding and reaching down for the bit seems to be a bit of a struggle for many of the Arabs I have seen in dressage. I know that my own horse would often rather travel with a higher head and an inverted back, although that has more to do with my lack of skill as a rider and less to do with his mechanics.
Sheilah

ETA: I *think* a hunter type would have an easier transition than an English Country Pleasure horse, simply because of the movement. Those ECP horses have a ton of knee and hock action. Of course, a lot of that action is coming from training gadgets that force that upright movement and padded and weighted shoes. But have you ever seen photos of weanling ECP prospects? That high action is naturally present in some of them.

lbw25
Jul. 19, 2011, 01:35 PM
Not an expert by any means, but I can tell you about my experience...

I have an Arab now; will be making her show debut at 2nd level next month (that's the plan at least!). She is definitely capable of at least 3rd!

She's of older Polish lines, "stockier" isn't the right word, but she's definitely not as dainty as a lot of the breed-show-ring-types. Conformationally, she's put together very well. About 15 hh and very compact. If I'd change something about her conformation, it'd be her neck. I'd stay away from an Arab with a very "upside-down" muscled neck. She was like that when we started, and it's been REALLY DIFFICULT to get it muscled correctly. She just was never used to carrying herself round like that. Her original training was to be an Arab racer, but she never made it to the track.

She's awesome at collection & very forward. Sometimes I think she prefers lateral work than going straight. Smart as a whip too. Lenthenings & extensions are not as good... and definitely never as flashy.

If I wanted to put her in a discipline where she'd win every time, she should've been an endurance horse. But she tries really hard to please, & we've come a long way! And I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for Arabs... she's taught me SO much!

arabiansrock
Jul. 19, 2011, 01:50 PM
I second the polish. I have a spanish bred mare and a polish bred. the spanish mare works her butt off, but is naturally built more for wp. My polish mare has talent up the yazoo, but we are working on developing her work ethic. She is built up hill and has a terrific canter. However, as ibw25 said, when looking keep an eye on the neck shape and natural head carriage. My mare came with the upside down neck. Now after two years, it is looking really good, but her default avoidance is to lift her head and put her ears in your nostrils, and she can do it very quickly! But when she is through, it is georgeous.

I personally would avoid the egyptian lines for serious dressage.

mp
Jul. 19, 2011, 01:58 PM
I'm not an expert, either. But ... I do have Arabians and ride dressage. My horses are also from Polish lines. They're not particularly tall -- all ~14.3-15h -- but they're all correct and fairly stocky.

The horse in my profile pic is a pretty good representation of what the others look like -- short-coupled, nice hip (esp. for an Arab) and balanced conformation. I show him in dressage and hunter pleasure at Class A breed shows.

I *think* a HP horse would be a better bet than a CP or EP horse because the mechanics of the saddleseat discipline are different. But I don't have any experience to base that on. Most judges these days in HP aren't pinning the horses that are all rolled up front with the prancy trot, like they used to. They'll pin a correctly moving horse (as long as there is one in the ring ;)). To be honest, I use a different saddle in HP, but I don't ride my horse any differently in the HP classes than I do in dressage and we do well.

As far as specific bloodlines, I've heard Bey Shah grandget do well in sporthorse and dressage. Odd, I know because that horse used to be poster child for crappy feet and crazy halter horses. But apparently someone must have gotten the nick right.

The horse in my profile is by Monogramm out of an imported Polish mare. Monogramm also has some nice, athletic get out there, doing all sorts of things. BTW -- my horse was a regional halter champion in a previous life. So don't discount halter or ones that have halter horse in their bloodlines. Some of them, when they're not being asked to jump around, are very nice.

Sandy M
Jul. 19, 2011, 02:04 PM
Is Heather Mason the BNT who has shown a lot of Arabians? Anyway, I THINK it was she who said in an article that in choosing an Arabian for dressage, you should pick the same type you would pick to do stock horse/reining work, as opposed to the more "elongated" "extreme" types. Locally, the most distinguished dressage Arabian (FEI levels) is a 14.3 Crabbet line Arabian.

meaty ogre
Jul. 19, 2011, 02:21 PM
thanks guys, this is all great and helpful info.

for someone who knows nada about arab bloodlines, how can I tell if I'm looking at a polish/egyptian/other horse?

I took my first lessons on an arab, and have ridden them in between but never owned one. I do appreciate that their gaits are (IMO) much easier to sit and their pricetags much easier to swallow than their warmblood counterparts. I've been kicking around the idea of leasing a horse, and I happen to live very close to two big arabian show barns who do have lease horses available, but I'm not really keen on only doing the breed shows. I don't know about both barns, but one of them starts their horses very correctly, does a lot of long-lining and I am pretty sure any lease horse they'd have would be a quick study in the dressage ring. Neither of them does the sport-horse types, but I'm hoping if I can get some good pointers here, I may be in a better position to see if one of their show horses could work out to be a dressage partner for me. Thanks again for all the helpful info and keep it coming!

mjhco
Jul. 19, 2011, 02:33 PM
You need to evaluate the HORSE. What the HORSE's gaits are. What the HORSE's attitude is. What the HORSE's conformation is.

There are excellent examples of dressage horses of Crabbet, of Russian, of Polish, of Egyptian, of Spanish, of American lines.

It depends on the INDIVIDUAL. Kind of like saying I want a GERMAN horse. But only the HANOVERIANS are any good. Or any of the Westphalens are any good.

I have had success with converting a very uphill, high moving PARK horse to dressage. I have had success moving a hunter pleasure type to dressage. A reiner to dressage.

Again it depends on the horse and what they are willing to do.

meaty ogre
Jul. 19, 2011, 02:53 PM
You need to evaluate the HORSE. What the HORSE's gaits are. What the HORSE's attitude is. What the HORSE's conformation is.


Totally agree and understand, but I'm very much appreciative of any experiences others want to share that could make this an easier selection for me. As an ammy, temperament is always the #1 criteria. I'll have to bypass any arab that is too good at that teleport trick! :lol: (you know, the one where they're under you then poof! they're on the other side of the ring!)

Sonesta
Jul. 19, 2011, 02:57 PM
For what it's worth based on years of showing Arabians and then dressage with both warmbloods and Arabians:

I'd look for an Arabian that was bred for and is showing under saddle in the sporthorse classes instead of the ring classes. Reason is that MANY of the ring class horses have been trained with gadgets to "set the head" without regard to using the back and hind end. And it can be very difficult to change that up later. Not impossible, but difficult.

Or even better - buy one that has not been started yet. You'll get a better price and can spend that money saved on CORRECT dressage training for the horse.

As to the "variety" or bloodlines, I think you'll find good ones in Polish, Crabbet and Russian lines. Look for those whom, at liberty, push off from behind without getting strung out behind. Those are the ones that use their rear ends, hocks and backs. If they travel naturally with their head straight up in the air with a upside down back and legs way out behind, you will have problems with them for dressage. These are what some call "leg movers" and they can do well in the ring classes, but stink at dressage.

AS to knowing which type (Polish, Egyptian, etc) an Arabian is - it takes a long time to learn enough about the bloodlines to recognize them by pedigree. But most for sale have their type advertised. If they don't, ask the seller.

meaty ogre
Jul. 19, 2011, 03:06 PM
As to the "variety" or bloodlines, I think you'll find good ones in Polish, Crabbet and Russian lines. Look for those whom, at liberty, push off from behind without getting strung out behind. Those are the ones that use their rear ends, hocks and backs. If they travel naturally with their head straight up in the air with a upside down back and legs way out behind, you will have problems with them for dressage. These are what some call "leg movers" and they can do well in the ring classes, but stink at dressage.



Ah, yes, one of the biggest complaints I hear is the "trailing hocks" though I think your description above is much better.

I wish I had the time and knowlege to get one and start it specifically for dressage but that's the main reason I'm looking for a lease...don't have the time to get one going and keep it going with my job and kids. It's a shame because I'm sure that all those polish arabs that were siezed in my neck of the woods will be flooding the market sometime in the future, but I'm looking for something I can hop on and go with now.

On a good note, if the dressage types are not what gets ribbons in the ring, maybe those are the ones I could finagle a cheaper lease on to get them out of the show barn!

mp
Jul. 19, 2011, 03:08 PM
thanks guys, this is all great and helpful info.

for someone who knows nada about arab bloodlines, how can I tell if I'm looking at a polish/egyptian/other horse?

Unless you're breeding, I wouldn't worry too much about bloodlines. As mjhco said, look at the horse. I mentioned bloodlines and disciplines because you asked about them. They can hint at what you might expect, but they're not an absolute.

And I also mentioned halter horses because so many people dismiss them as unsuited for anything else. Yes, some are the longer and leggy, the kind of frame Sandy mentioned. But many of them are quite nice and correct.

ETA re: Sonesta's point -- I retrained my WP mare in dressage. And I started out with my gelding as an HP horse. What I've found is that when they're allowed to go forward unrestricted to the bit, they're quite happy to do so. But my horses were never in a show barn -- as in, part of a program that cranks out horses for rail classes. A horse that's been doing the rail thing for years may not be so easy to reprogram.

mp
Jul. 19, 2011, 03:28 PM
On a good note, if the dressage types are not what gets ribbons in the ring, maybe those are the ones I could finagle a cheaper lease on to get them out of the show barn!

It's not that they don't win because they're 'dressage types.' It's more like they were never trained to lift their backs and use their hindquarters correctly. If they've got the conformation, they can do it. It's a question of whether they're amenable to learning a new trick. Both of mine were. The biggest obstacle has been me -- I had to learn new tricks, too. ;)

Isabeau Z Solace
Jul. 19, 2011, 03:42 PM
Totally agree and understand, but I'm very much appreciative of any experiences others want to share that could make this an easier selection for me. As an ammy, temperament is always the #1 criteria. I'll have to bypass any arab that is too good at that teleport trick! :lol: (you know, the one where they're under you then poof! they're on the other side of the ring!)

Where are you located ? I know a rider with two 4th level Arabian dressage horses. One she paid $800 for on an online auction out of a farm in CA (we are in NJ.) She knows the bloodlines so well she can pick a good one just by pedigree.

I will pm you with her centerlinescores report.

hrsmstr
Jul. 19, 2011, 04:31 PM
I wonder how Gladys Brown Edwards would have answered this question.

The problem of finding an Arabian suitable for dressage will also entail finding one that has withers and enough hindquarters to get underneath. The show breeders went all out in getting that ''table top croup", something I abhorred. That is going to prove an issue, it's going to make it hard to find a decently conformed horse. If you don't have enough of the hip to tie muscle to, you aren't going to get a horse that lifts his back. Also, many Arabs are mutton withered. I can tell you right now, finding a dressage saddle that will fit the typical Arab is going to be difficult. (I'm looking right now!)
Lets not forget that most Arabs are barrel ribbed. My little fleabit grey, Crabbet/Egyptian, could NOT keep a saddle in place. He was bowling pin shaped!

But don't be dissuaded. My current Arab has a croup AND withers, and while he is hard to fit in ANY saddle, he is very amenable to dressage. He's a Bask son (Bask was Polish, and raced two or three years before his importation.)

The best thing, I think, of Arabs, is how quickly they catch on. I would introduce something new and my Arabs would 'get it' after two or three goes. I don't know about other breeds, but the two Quarter Horses I owned would need ten or so tries before they finally understood what was wanted.
Good luck!

netg
Jul. 19, 2011, 05:10 PM
Don't be fooled by the croup when looking at build - it's the hip that matters, and where most breeds have a croup which follows the hip, Arabians typically don't. If you get Equus look back at the conformation clinics over the last few months - that topic was covered.

I think with an Arabian personality is the #1 thing on my list. A good-minded Arabian can be amazing, but a flighty one would be very difficult for dressage. You can teach a horse who is naturally trailing his/her hocks to bring the hind end under, though of course it's easier if they already bring their hocks under! Beyond that, you want to look at the same things as any other dressage prospect - overall build, are the uphill or do they carry themselves uphill naturally, how will the horse fit you, and what does the natural movement look like? Many hunter-types just absolutely float across the ground using their back end naturally, but chances are if you see that it'll be one they want to keep showing!

Good luck - Arabians can be very fun if you find the right one for your personality and wishes!

cellistontheroof
Jul. 19, 2011, 05:17 PM
I have to second hrsmstr there. It is paramount that you find an Arab with a strong hip, which can be tricky at times. A decent wither will also make your (and the horse's) job easier. As far as types, just has been stressed you need to be looking at the individual horse, not it's bloodlines. Your biggest obstacle will likely be the more common upright and hollow headset.

For what it's worth, in my profile is a pic of my Arab who has only just begun dressage training. He is middle-aged with something akin to PTSD so I'm only really doing this to give him a job which will engage his mind and keep him fit...and to improve my own skills. However, had I got my hands on him much earlier I think he would have been a decent local competitor. He's got that smooth floaty HUS movement but the trainer doesn't think he'd do well in a huge class simply due to the excitement of it all. Which I'm cool with. Said trainer's 18 year-old purebred Arab who has been showing well 3rd level has extremely similar confo.
My own horse pictured there is by GS Khochise out of a Polish saddleseat mare, and was mostly a western trail horse before I knew him.

meaty ogre
Jul. 19, 2011, 05:33 PM
The horse in my profile is by Monogramm out of an imported Polish mare.

mp, I just checked out your profile pic, what a lovely horse. As an aside, are you riding in an A/P saddle? On smaller horses I like to shorten my stirrup so I don't have to lift my heel so much to find their sides, but then my knee is often painfully over the block on the dressage saddle. An AP saddle would help solve that problem, and yours looks like the flap is not so forward that it would impair your position at all.

oldernewbie
Jul. 19, 2011, 05:58 PM
I bought my Arab from Craigslist. He has a little bit of everything on his pedigree, but his most important quality is his disposition (sterling) and his good legs and nice gaits. He was as ugly as a mud fence when I bought him but has grown into himself (15.3!!) and matured into a very very nice horse. I was lucky.

My current coach likes Arabs, but says that they can be difficult in the beginning because being round, relaxed in the topline, and just not gaping at everything can be hard for them. Once they have learned to round up and relax, he says they can do just fine.

So, I concur with the others that say look at the horse, not the pedigree. But, the pedigree can be helpful so just for some background info, the August/September 2010 issue of Modern Arabian Horse had an article about the top 25 dressage sires, 1960 to the present. I know that this study has a lot of flaws, but it's the best we've got so far, so... here goes. Am giving this to you so if you see these names on a pedigree, you'll have some idea of what's what. Parenthetical comments are mine, and are mostly broad statements (not a pedigree expert)

1. Khemosabi (Crabbet/domestic)
2. Desperado V (Varian, basically Polish)
3. Ivanhoe Tsultan (domestic)
4. Bey Shah (Varian/Polish)
5. Aladdinn (Polish)
6. Huckleberry Bey (Varian/Polish)
7. Huckbey Berry (Varian/Polish)
8. Bask Flame (Polish)
9. Perkee Rhoyal Gem (domestic?)
10. Fame VF (Polish/domestic)
11. GS Khochise (Khemo/domestic)
12. Padron (Russian)
13. Abi-Sha Polka (Polish)
14. GG Jabask (Polish)
15. Novator (Russian)
16. Cytosk (Polish)
17. Negatraz (Polish)
18. Monogramm (Polish/Russian)
19. Napitok (Russian)
20. Percussion (Polish/domestic)
21. Out of cyte (Polish)
22. BA Bey Elation (Varian/Polish)
23. Safire (Bask/Polish/maybe domestic?)
24. Le Fire (Bask/Polish)
25. 8-way tie for 25th place between Afire Bey V (Varian/Polish), Promotion (Polish), Barbary (Polish), El Kasaka (Mostly Russian?), Oran Van Bandy (Crabbet), Muscat (Russian), Bey Oro (Polish?), Al Marah Canadius (Crabbet)

There are people who purpose breed Arabian sport horses, both purebred and partbred. There is a sport horse section on Arabian Breeders Network, so ask your question there and see what people have to say. There is also a group for Arabians in sport (IASA? can't remember exactly) who would also be a big help.

Good luck, have fun looking, and don't be afraid to look at horses that have flunked the main ring or who might be diamonds in the rough. Consider going to Sport Horse Nationals (at the KY horse park this year) and looking for a horse there, or making contact with folks who might have a horse at home that would suit you.

cuatx55
Jul. 19, 2011, 06:16 PM
Agree with everything said here----need a deep set hip, low croup. Horse that moves in his or her whole body....And GOOD pasterns. Ringbone and club feet are VERY common!!! Get X-rays of the pasterns for sure in the PPE, and also the hocks.

Love the Polish, Russian, and CMK horses! Polish--Aladdin type-- horses are awesome but the ones I have ridden have been HOT buggers.

The biggest issue I have with my mare is tension especially in the back. Mental and physical "plyability/letting go" is my biggest challenge.

Regarding breed shows, I think they tend to try horses in all the diciplines (to a point) so I wouldn't get too hung up on that. My mare was started WP but can really move out if asked. Personally I would not look at any horses ridden in gadgets. With the tendency of arabs to natually go deep/BTV and not step into the contact this would be quite the challenge when this habit has been encouraged....

Check out ex-endurance and pleasure trail horses. They are often very sound, have seen things, and ready to go. Not as many bad habits either from poor training--show training wise, anyways.

Tamara in TN
Jul. 19, 2011, 06:19 PM
A free truck and trailer to go with him??
:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
I am just KIDDING by the way!!


Tamara

meaty ogre
Jul. 19, 2011, 07:26 PM
:lol: wouldn't you know I just found a craigslist ad for an appy that comes with his own trailer?! Looked like I would need a tetanus booster just to view the ad though! :lol:

And oldernewbie, thanks for that list, that was very helpful!

mp
Jul. 19, 2011, 10:04 PM
mp, I just checked out your profile pic, what a lovely horse. As an aside, are you riding in an A/P saddle? On smaller horses I like to shorten my stirrup so I don't have to lift my heel so much to find their sides, but then my knee is often painfully over the block on the dressage saddle. An AP saddle would help solve that problem, and yours looks like the flap is not so forward that it would impair your position at all.

Awww, thanks. He's quite the personality and way too smart for his own good. But a very handy horse and so much fun to ride.

It's an AP saddle, I guess. It was made by Richard Castelow -- I trialed a used one from Trumbull Mtn. made by him that was too wide for my horse, but I loved it. So I had him make me one. It's basically a dressage tree with forward flaps and pencil knee rolls. This was ~7 years ago, before I got bitten by the dressage bug.

After my last show (that pic was taken there), I decided I was fighting my position some in it, so now I'm riding in a dressage saddle. I think if I had a better seat, I'd do fine in that saddle. But in the meantime ...

I've never had any problems with cueing the sides. I'm only 5'5" but my legs are pretty long. That horse has a big barrel and he takes up my leg pretty well.

Hampton Bay
Jul. 19, 2011, 10:04 PM
Look at them like you would any other horse. There are good and "bad" for dressage in any bloodline. I've seen some awesome Egyptians, but some of them wouldn't be able to cut it at training. Same is true of most of the other types. I do prefer the Polish and the Crabbet (which were mostly of Polish descent anyway I think).

I like the ones that are more race-bred, they tend to be a bit bigger with a better canter stride. The canter is generally the weakest gait on arabs, and also avoid ones who move wide behind. Of course, the ones that carry themselves upside-down will be harder to work with, but I have one who is actually very very nice, and not terribly hard to ride. Once he knows what I want, he stretches down very nicely, and he moves through from behind very very well. He is more likely to move correctly than to fake moving correctly. But, he's also built uphill with a nicely-built hind end, and a good-length neck. The rest of him works well enough that he can easily overcome the upside-down tendency. He's very flexible too.

Don't go with one shown in saddleseat classes. It's very very difficult to get them moving more naturally once they have been trained to snap the knees up.

Eggplant_Dressing
Jul. 20, 2011, 01:43 AM
Am I the only one that is suprised not to have seen 'reach' as an answer? Confirmation meets Performance!!

I'd look for 'reach' in the walk and trot. Just see what the horse can do naturally in the round-pen, and then go for personality!!

There should be a natural overreach of the hind foot over the foot print of the front foot by 6-9 inches in the foot print, even in a 14-16 hand horse. That's what I'd go for, regardless of the breed.

That is dressage confirmation breeding IMO. Ask your trainer to help too. The rest is training.

MelanieC
Jul. 20, 2011, 04:05 AM
I can tell you what I was looking for when I got my Arab. I wanted a small, inexpensive horse, who would be my first horse, with an awesome personality and amateur-friendly temperament that would essentially be a giant pet I could do lower-level dressage with. I wouldn't kick an Arab that could go higher than third level out of the barn, but realistically, given my time and lifestyle constraints and commitment to being competitive (or lack thereof) I don't expect to be an upper level rider. I was interested in Arabs because I wanted a lively, interactive horse with a good work ethic, and because Arabs are cheap and plentiful around here. And hey, it doesn't hurt that they are easy on the eyes either.

The thing that sold me on my horse was his personality, which is that of an enthusiastic and very large puppy, but I wouldn't have bought him if his temperament wasn't awesome, which it is. He is very alert, kind of like my Border Collies, and he notices everything, but he is extremely sane. The second time I test rode him before buying him we were almost run down on a gravel road by a semi and he managed to keep his wits together just fine, so I was sold. He was very successful as a hunter pleasure horse but appears to have forgotten whatever gadgets they used on him as he is more likely to poke his nose out (or up) than ever go BTV. In fact he seems very green to the aids altogether (go, stop, reins to steer, that's about it), so we are learning at the same time -- I'm learning how to train and he's learning about dressage. Because he is so willing, this is less of a disaster than it might otherwise be. The biggest problem I have with him is that he tends to (in dog-training parlance) throw a lot of behaviors while working and my timing has to be impeccable (which is often isn't) to let him know which are the right ones. When I get it right he learns instantly. When I am not on the ball it can get frustrating. I don't think this would be an issue if I had more help working with him, but my budget right now doesn't allow for lots of lessons. He is so fun to work with, though, that I don't mind muddling along, at least for now.

My guy is a nice floaty mover and tracks up naturally. He doesn't have the sexy warmblood panther walk or sooooper lofty trot or anything, but he didn't cost $65,000 either. He is quite a bit larger than I originally wanted at 15.3 hh (honest stick measurement) given that I am 5'1" but I am fairly leggy for my height so we are a good match. I assumed that the height in the ad was exaggerated, otherwise I probably wouldn't have gone to look at him in the first place, but I'm glad I did. He does have a tendency to do a giraffe impersonation if he is feeling particularly lively or is distracted, and his natural frame is more "perky" than one would desire for dressage, but he has only been ridden regularly since April and only by me, so I am not expecting miracles. This is his "ooh, what's that?" look:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/soloriver/5696915166

Conformation-wise he is never going to make any BNT get hot and bothered. He has withers, and his overall conformation is quite good but he is low in the back and a tad straight in the hind legs. The back is just how he is built and does not appear to cause any mechanical problems (and I don't weigh anything anyway). He is half Spanish and half Egyptian, and is quite substantial for his breed as he's built more like his Spanish mom, but his personality and temperament are straight from dad, who is really exceptional in those respects. My horse is way fun to hang out with. He plays with toys, comes running when I call him in the pasture, and leads to the gate with me without having to put a halter on. I just love him to death.

If I were you I'd look for a horse you genuinely like and as long as there isn't anything so terrible about him/her that would make him/her incapable of doing basic dressage you should do just fine.

CFFarm
Jul. 20, 2011, 10:04 AM
You should contact Greta Wrigley. She got her Bronze, Silver and Gold all on Arabs. :yes:
http://www.gretawrigleytraining.com/

silvia
Jul. 20, 2011, 10:43 AM
My best suggestion to you comes from an old time Arabian breeder aficionado - be cautious of Huck lines, they reproduce very strongly in weak hindquarters, they win park classes by being raced along to hide the weakness but it's there.

From my own Saddlebred knowledge, you want hindquarters that are big and strong, low set hocks, a nice looking beast overall. My Saddlebred x Arabian gelding was a 'pepe le peu' canterer as a child but work improved it no end, he has a beautiful canter now, so don't be too critical so long as everything else is there.

meaty ogre
Jul. 20, 2011, 12:06 PM
You should contact Greta Wrigley. She got her Bronze, Silver and Gold all on Arabs. :yes:
http://www.gretawrigleytraining.com/

How neat! There is another trainer in NJ who did the same, and I think by a pretty young age. Samantha Hodgson I think is her name.

Though there are plenty of faults to look out for (most of which are also easily found in other breeds) one thing I am finding is that they are everywhere and seem to be fairly affordable. Coupled with gaits that most ammies can actually sit, whats not to love? :)

ambar
Jul. 20, 2011, 12:24 PM
The CMK horses, the older American lines, are based on Crabbet (English) plus direct imports to the USA (the largest of which was the Davenport importation), and have largely avoided being caught up in the kind of fad breeding which loses riding quality.

Some general links:

http://davenporthorses.org/photos/page/search/under+saddle/2

http://www.arieana.com/wald0422.html

http://cmkarabians.com/

I'll PM you some more specific suggestions --

ETA:
[...] have the sexy warmblood panther walk[...]

Here's a largely Crabbet CMK stallion who has just that. (Not my horse, not my breeding group, not mine. Well, you can blame the videography on me. :) )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqT5PBFJ8i0

bort84
Jul. 20, 2011, 12:25 PM
I grew up with arabs, and my grandmother trained them for years and years to all levels (everything from reining to saddle seat).

It sounds like you are looking to lease from a show barn, correct? If that's the case, these would be my tips for that situation.

I would definitely look for one that hasn't been campaigned too hard in the breed show ring. Western pleasure or hunter horses are probably a better bet, even though they can have their own set of issues too. Saddle seat is a very hard retrain for most people (especially in a lease situation where you might not want to put in a lot of time retraining). Still, many of those that go to breed shows are trained with a lot of gadgets and a focus on "head set" no matter the division.

As with any breed, a good mind is very important. Arabs come in all flavors. Some of them are total spooks who seem to never grow out of it (sort of workable in the breed show ring, but very challenging for dressage, haha). Others are smart and sensitive but mostly bombproof.

Others have mentioned this, but I'll second some flaws to watch out for:

- The super elongated saddle seat types. Those necks are darn near impossible to put in an attractive frame in dressage.
- The short upside down neck - again, very challenging to get right for dressage
- The completely flat croup with matching weak hip. There is usually an insanely high tail carriage that goes along with this that looks pretty silly outside of the halter ring.
- Bad feet. Some will argue this, but I have never seen more bad feet in one place than when we had a barn full of arabs. My grandma trained them for years and said the feet just kept getting worse as they bred for dished heads instead of soundness. You'll see club feet, dished feet and often some matching wonky legs. Avoid avoid avoid. Your checkbook and your farrier will thank you = )
- trailing hind end: these can be worked with in the saddle seat ring (even though I haaate to see it), but they are hard for dressage.
- canter: most arabs can develop a nice canter, but a pepe le peu canter can be a frustrating thing to work with
- the "pea shooter" trot: this is an extreme flat kneed toe flipping trot - the horse has very little knee bend and then flips its feet at the end of the stride. It can be a frustrating type of stride to work with.

Another point on the "show hack" division: breed show people often think this is similar to dressage (hey, they wear a shadbelly and top hats, right?) It has evolved into a very english pleasure type of class though. Just a word of warning because some trainers might think this would be a good prospect for dressage, and it's probably not much better than an english pleasure horse in that regard = )

Again, since it sounds like you're looking to lease, not buy, I would avoid looking at "potential" that's going to require a lot of work, unless you're really interested in learning about that training process. It can be very frustrating to put that sort of time in, and then a year later as you're finally hitting your sweet spot, the owner wants to sell or take the horse back. I would take a little less talent and flash for one that's already closer to what you're going to want.

Good luck! Arabs are neat horses if you get one with the right mind. Beware of the ones that are smarter than you are!

meaty ogre
Jul. 20, 2011, 01:25 PM
It sounds like you are looking to lease from a show barn, correct? If that's the case, these would be my tips for that situation.


Yes, that is exactly what I'm looking at right now, and thank you so much for the specific tips. It would certainly make more sense to lease a dressage horse from a dressage barn, but there are not many around here, and though there is one excellent local one, the horses are upper level with pricetags to match. Since there are several arab barns nearby, I thought about turning over some rocks there as well.

I have taken lessons from the one arab barn and can say they use very sound training principles. Though they don't do sport horse/dressage stuff, they have a lesson horse that does piaffe. A LESSON HORSE THAT DOES PIAFFE! He's got all the conoformational faults that would send anyone running (loooong back, loooong pasterns, downhill, weak looking behind) but somebody put some serious training into him and he can package up nicely. Looks like a totally different horse under tack. Unfortunately, he's quite advanced in age and is relegated to mostly beginner lessons, and they don't really have anything else in suitable for a lease right now. They are pretty much a training barn for good reason - they do a good job. There is another large arab barn also close by, but I don't know as much about them. I have a pretty strong suspicion they use a lot more gadgets and ride/train in a manner more typical of the arab show barns. But, you never quite know what you'll find unless you look. And now thanks to you guys I have some leads and a much better idea of what to look for.

Arizona DQ
Jul. 20, 2011, 01:32 PM
Am I the only one that is suprised not to have seen 'reach' as an answer? Confirmation meets Performance!!

I'd look for 'reach' in the walk and trot. Just see what the horse can do naturally in the round-pen, and then go for personality!!

There should be a natural overreach of the hind foot over the foot print of the front foot by 6-9 inches in the foot print, even in a 14-16 hand horse. That's what I'd go for, regardless of the breed.

That is dressage confirmation breeding IMO. Ask your trainer to help too. The rest is training.

ConFORMation not confirmation......;)

"Form follows function".....the horse has to be built correctly to be able to perform the task it is being asked.

cuatx55
Jul. 20, 2011, 02:06 PM
The canter is generally the weakest gait on arabs, and also avoid ones who move wide behind.

Going wide behind seems to be a strength thing and eventually goes away in most horses. My opinion/experience only of course. The canter definitely can be the weak gait in many arabs

kinnip
Jul. 20, 2011, 02:15 PM
Don't discount all the guys with flat croups. I have a half Arab with a short, flat croup, and sickle hocks. Looking at him on a leadline, he's easy to dismiss, but he is a freak mover. Every time I swing a leg over, I feel damned lucky to have such an amazing horse. He's smart and talented, and at 18 y.o., is sound as can be. His extensions are his best movement, believe it or not. We hit that big stride and I have an inkling of how my dad felt all those years being catapulted off a ship.

mizchalmers
Jul. 20, 2011, 02:26 PM
My Crabbet Arabian did well in dressage in his twenties, after successful careers in hacking and endurance. He had a wither and a weak canter, but his trot was a thing to behold.

Michael Bowling in Davis, CA has bred some very very nice old-school Crabbet horses. Al-Marah has produced some FEI horses from similar lines, including Al-Marah Quebec:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arabsporthorsepics/2001053042/

That's where I'd go shopping :) One day! (When I'm over jumping.) (This may not be soon :)

netg
Jul. 20, 2011, 02:55 PM
Al-Marah has produced some FEI horses from similar lines, including Al-Marah Quebec:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arabsporthorsepics/2001053042/

That's where I'd go shopping :) One day! (When I'm over jumping.) (This may not be soon :)

It's easier to say since I live here, but if I were shopping for an Arabian, Al-Marah would definitely be somewhere I'd look!

(And hey! There are arabs who jump well! Not necessarily hunter-types or grand prix, so it depends what you want...)

meaty ogre
Jul. 20, 2011, 03:13 PM
(And hey! There are arabs who jump well! Not necessarily hunter-types or grand prix, so it depends what you want...)

I love the way arabs jump....nice and flat for us ammies who don't appreciate the back-cracking bascule. The few I've jumped haven't exactly pulled their knees up to their eyeballs, but they don't hang their legs either so it was all good. And they tend to be handy in the turns. Great lower level jumping (and all-around) partners! I'm headed over to google to find out more about Al-Marah now. You guys are full of such great info!

in_the_zone
Jul. 20, 2011, 06:02 PM
You may end up spending more on a custom dressage saddle to fit said inexpensive Arabian!

ambar
Jul. 20, 2011, 06:16 PM
Michael Bowling in Davis, CA has bred some very very nice old-school Crabbet horses.

Michael's website photos still need sorting, but you can find the text here: http://cmkarabians.com/newalbion/

oldernewbie
Jul. 20, 2011, 07:48 PM
Another place to look - Polish bloodlines, heavy emphasis on performance, and some really really nice horses. They had an online sale recently and the horses went for reasonable prices. I think I read that they are considering doing it again, but even if they don't try the online thing again, I'm sure that if you wanted to go to the farm, they would welcome you. They seem to be nice people online.

http://www.toskhara.com/

Full disclosure: I do not know the people who own these horses, wouldn't recognize them on the street. Have just been impressed with the marketing blasts I get from them.

ETA: I just checked their sale pages and they seem to have a lot of horses marked as sold. Don't be put off by that - rumor has it that they have nearly 300 horses, so I'm sure they still have some left!!

Just for fun...

My Arab when I bought him:

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p168/bicyclewoman/03-09-09_1653.jpg

My Arab last summer:

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p168/bicyclewoman/Montyextend.jpg

We are having fun!!!

ETA: One more hint: If the horse you like is being ridden dressage, buy the saddle with the horse. Buying a new saddle for many Arabs is not for the faint of heart or wallet, altho FedEx loves to make money from all the shipping back and forth!

mp
Jul. 21, 2011, 10:26 AM
Another place to look - Polish bloodlines, heavy emphasis on performance, and some really really nice horses. They had an online sale recently and the horses went for reasonable prices. I think I read that they are considering doing it again, but even if they don't try the online thing again, I'm sure that if you wanted to go to the farm, they would welcome you. They seem to be nice people online.

http://www.toskhara.com/

Don't know them either, but I've always liked their horses. Their main stallion is a Monogramm son (as is my gelding) that competed as a reiner.




My Arab when I bought him:

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p168/bicyclewoman/03-09-09_1653.jpg

My Arab last summer:

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p168/bicyclewoman/Montyextend.jpg

We are having fun!!!

Cute! He reminds me of a friend's Al-Marah bred gelding -- personality plus and will do anything for you.


ETA: One more hint: If the horse you like is being ridden dressage, buy the saddle with the horse. Buying a new saddle for many Arabs is not for the faint of heart or wallet, altho FedEx loves to make money from all the shipping back and forth!

I went custom for my first saddle, after trying over 25 saddles (didn't ship them all, thank heavens. About half were borrowed or trialed from local shops). That was 7+ years ago. And then I found out about hoop-shaped trees. They are your friend. :yes:

HappyTalk
Jul. 21, 2011, 11:29 AM
I have also seen nice sport horse types at competitive trail rides. Lovely Anglos and fulllbloods that would not be out of place at any dressage show.

Hi'ilawe
Jul. 21, 2011, 01:34 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erQJI6DCFL8

sschuessler
Jul. 21, 2011, 02:26 PM
No expert but been around/shown arabs all my life. I took my mare (Khemosabi line) into 1st level shows with no problems and was schooling 2nd level before medical conditions got in the way and she was retired early. I think she could have gone at least to being competitive in 3rd level, but we will never know. She has an up-hill build to her but a very broad back and narrow hip (if that makes sense). She had a huge problem of trailering with her hocks, but we corrected that through training and LOTS of hill workouts.

Another girl at the barn has a straight egyptian arab that does well, but he works to do dressage. It is just not natural for him. But, I completely agree that it depends on the individual horse.

Happy Shopping!

smokygirl
Jul. 21, 2011, 02:38 PM
(these are just my opinons).

1. Look to the polish and Park bred horses, as well as the CMK and Spanish lines. Arabians are incredibly versatile, and alot of what they show in, can be trained/harnessed into being wonderful dressage mounts. I would avoid Bey Shah and Huckleberry Bey bred horses. Bey Shah had a lot of his offspring pop up with leg/feet issues. Huckleberry Bey horses are not known for using there motor. They bridle well, but no ass to speak of. (IMO ofcourse). Stay away from the halter lines in general.

Some of the better performance breeders (looking past the disciplines, because what you most importantly need is athletic horses..).

www.toskhara.com
www.pegasuspark.com (they are redoing the website though)
www.arabsporthorse.com
www.al-marah.com
www.faeriecourtfarm.com
www.stanleyrancharabians.com

Depending on the prospect you want (started, very young, or going well already) those are some places to check that I like. Stanley Ranch has some really great horses, but they do tend more to h/j. Both stallions, while breeding and jumping, have also shown in Dressage too though.

smokygirl
Jul. 21, 2011, 02:40 PM
Look at them like you would any other horse. There are good and "bad" for dressage in any bloodline. I've seen some awesome Egyptians, but some of them wouldn't be able to cut it at training. Same is true of most of the other types. I do prefer the Polish and the Crabbet (which were mostly of Polish descent anyway I think).

I like the ones that are more race-bred, they tend to be a bit bigger with a better canter stride. The canter is generally the weakest gait on arabs, and also avoid ones who move wide behind. Of course, the ones that carry themselves upside-down will be harder to work with, but I have one who is actually very very nice, and not terribly hard to ride. Once he knows what I want, he stretches down very nicely, and he moves through from behind very very well. He is more likely to move correctly than to fake moving correctly. But, he's also built uphill with a nicely-built hind end, and a good-length neck. The rest of him works well enough that he can easily overcome the upside-down tendency. He's very flexible too.

Don't go with one shown in saddleseat classes. It's very very difficult to get them moving more naturally once they have been trained to snap the knees up.

Actually, the Polish and Crabbet are among the least closely related. Poland very rarely introduced the lines into there breeding program, and though Skowronek did have that, few of the mares at Crabbet did. But they cross really well with each other (crabbet crosses well with everything though lol) and both are very very athletic usually.

smokygirl
Jul. 21, 2011, 02:47 PM
http://www.oakwerth.com/okw_entrigue.asp Here is a good example of what you can get out of some nice Park horse breeding :) (Polish breeding). Toskhara has some young klutep youngstock that I am drooling over too though. So many horses, so little bank account.

cuatx55
Jul. 21, 2011, 02:48 PM
I thought CMK horses came from Poland originally? Hmmmm.....

cuatx55
Jul. 21, 2011, 02:48 PM
Check out arabian breeders net for info on pedigrees, breeders, etc. Not a ton of dressage people but many do sport horse, hunt, etc.

mp
Jul. 21, 2011, 03:08 PM
I thought CMK horses came from Poland originally? Hmmmm.....

It stands for Crabbet Maynesboro Kellogg -- and it was TM'd by someone (can't remember who). Skowronek (Crabbet) came from Poland and was the sire of Raffles. But some of the Crabbet breeding stock, such as Mesaoud, came from Egypt and others from the Blunts' travels in Arabia. Someone else can fill you in on the M and K part.

IOW, it's a grab bag of specific bloodlines. A very nice bag, however. ;)

smokygirl
Jul. 21, 2011, 03:15 PM
CMK (Crabbet, Maynesboro, Kellogg (of cereal fame) ) were mostly Crabbet and Davenport breeding. Skowronek did come from Poland, but most of the mares that the Blunts used did not. Polish horses were not popular here until after WWII really, and not in huge numbers, until even later. Crabbet horses were imported in the early 1900s and on. Russian got most of there breeding stock from Crabbet and Poland though, and Spain used Crabbet and a small amount of polish stock as well. While Poland hasn't used any of the Spanish lines to great extent, they do use a lot of the russian lines, so there has been some introduction that way.

www.crabbet.com has more information

Shagyas Rock
Jul. 21, 2011, 03:35 PM
This is a lovely discussion. If anyone is interested in seeing a really nice dressage Arabian, consider taking a look at KB Omega Fahim. He is from old Babson lines, I think . . . owned by Elaine Kerrigan of Kerrigan Bloodstock. He won the Arab Sport Horse Nationals Grand Prix and his daughter won the Prix St. Georges. You can find him on Elaine's website www.keriganbloodstock.com or you can google Kerrigan Bloodstock. . .
His tests are on YouTube as well. To find them I just google Youtube and put in KB Omega Fahim and you can see videos of his performances.

Elaine is on the Board of Directors for the North American Shagya Arabian Society and she is crossing "Meg" as she calls him, on Shagya mares with impressive results.
Shagyas make terrific dressage mounts, as they have all the best qualities of the Arabian in a sport horse package. They often look like an Arab in a warmblood suit - lovely bone and nice gaits.

dalpal
Jul. 21, 2011, 05:26 PM
]ConFORMation not confirmation......;) [/B]

"Form follows function".....the horse has to be built correctly to be able to perform the task it is being asked.

LOL...do you know, I was watching the Conrad Schumacher video series on RFD-TV and the title was CONFIRMATION. I had to do a double take.....sure enough it was spelled incorrectly. :lol:

nashfad
Jul. 21, 2011, 05:29 PM
Fadjur breeding www.jacktoneranch.com

netg
Jul. 21, 2011, 06:55 PM
LOL...do you know, I was watching the Conrad Schumacher video series on RFD-TV and the title was CONFIRMATION. I had to do a double take.....sure enough it was spelled incorrectly. :lol:

I haven't been able to force myself to watch because that so irritated me!

JLR1
Jul. 21, 2011, 09:03 PM
I think you have been getting good advice so far, and as much as I love talking about Arabian horse lines, I would not get too caught up in it. As with any dressage prospect you will need 3 good gaits, suitable conformation, and most of all a good work ethic. That being said, yes of course there are certain lines I would avoid due to hot temperament etc. In the Arabian show world dressage horses are considered the rejects of some other discipline i.e. Hunter pleasure, Country etc., so good deals can often been found for these horses that trainers have no idea what to do with. Totally agree with others who have cautioned against going with a horse that was heavily trained in the "show worthy" disciplines. Funky training, funky shoes and the willingness to inject every joint in the horse would have me worried for long term soundness. My current Arab is mostly Polish...lots of crosses to Bask and my trainer is convinced he is an FEI prospect.

EqTrainer
Jul. 21, 2011, 09:20 PM
Look for one with a good attention span and desire to do the work.

smokygirl
Jul. 21, 2011, 11:28 PM
I think you have been getting good advice so far, and as much as I love talking about Arabian horse lines, I would not get too caught up in it. As with any dressage prospect you will need 3 good gaits, suitable conformation, and most of all a good work ethic. That being said, yes of course there are certain lines I would avoid due to hot temperament etc. In the Arabian show world dressage horses are considered the rejects of some other discipline i.e. Hunter pleasure, Country etc., so good deals can often been found for these horses that trainers have no idea what to do with. Totally agree with others who have cautioned against going with a horse that was heavily trained in the "show worthy" disciplines. Funky training, funky shoes and the willingness to inject every joint in the horse would have me worried for long term soundness. My current Arab is mostly Polish...lots of crosses to Bask and my trainer is convinced he is an FEI prospect.

oooh.. park horse breeding :) I looove that :) Great for reining too lol. Athletic Athletic Athletic!

smokygirl
Jul. 21, 2011, 11:30 PM
www.strawberrybanksfarm.com has some nice horses too, but I'd look only at there A Temptation offspring. I'm not a fan of there Hey Hallelujah or Baske Afire get. Okw Entrique's sire, Allience, is a half brother (maternal) to A Temptation.

candysgirl
Jul. 22, 2011, 01:12 AM
http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/comokado This my guy's pedigree. There's no picture of him on there, but he looks EXTREMELY similar to his sire. He's Polish and my dressage trainer LOVES him. Dressage isn't my primary focus - I prefer endurance and foxhunting, but I like dressage for building a more correct way of going for both of us. I think we probably could go pretty far in dressage if I devoted more time to it, but I just don't like it enough for that. I enjoy my lessons and I school it a couple times a week when I don't have time for a long conditioning ride, but I just don't have the desire to school to the level I'd need to in order to really be competitive.

He was bred by the folks at Lapco Arabians in KY. http://www.horseofyourdreams.com/LapcoArabians.html They were fantastic and had a lot of lovely, extremely athletic horses. They breed for the more sport horse-y type Arabs. They've got stocky, athletic bodies and their heads are typey, but not overly so.

smokygirl
Jul. 22, 2011, 03:17 AM
I'm a huge fan of Comoshun :) His sire, Promotion, was an awesome Park horse by Prowizja. She is also the dam of Pro-Fire.

meaty ogre
Jul. 22, 2011, 08:38 AM
This thread has been hugely informative and educational, if not a little overwhelming! I'm loving all the great links...makes me want to go horse shopping really bad! But, a lease is really what is going to fit my lifestyle best right now. That does certainly narrow the field but I feel like I'm definitely armed with a lot of good information.

I don't want to step on any toes by posting specific ads here, but I'd love to run some horses by an "expert" or someone with a good idea to get some thoughts, so if there are any volunteers, let me know and I'll PM you.

Keep posting the links and the pics of your own arabians. I could spend all day looking!

exvet
Jul. 22, 2011, 09:10 AM
As far as specific bloodlines, I've heard Bey Shah grandget do well in sporthorse and dressage. Odd, I know because that horse used to be poster child for crappy feet and crazy halter horses. But apparently someone must have gotten the nick right.

I earned my bronze on just such a horse. Dam was a Khemosabi daughter bred to a Bey Shah son. I was told by many at the open dressage shows, gee, your horse doesn't move like an Arabian (he had a decent canter instead of the stomping snakes kind of canter). Most assumed he was PB, usually crossed with Trak or QH due to his sizeable hind end when in reality it was just Polish bone with proper muscle development :winkgrin:

Kyzteke
Jul. 22, 2011, 12:28 PM
Totally agree and understand, but I'm very much appreciative of any experiences others want to share that could make this an easier selection for me. As an ammy, temperament is always the #1 criteria. I'll have to bypass any arab that is too good at that teleport trick! :lol: (you know, the one where they're under you then poof! they're on the other side of the ring!)

I have not read the whole thread, but if you don't know enough about Arab lines to recognize Polish, Egyptian, CMK, Russian etc. when you are looking at a pedigree, why ask about which certain lines are best? You're not gonna know 'em when you see anyway, so don't even bother.

They don't tell you what they are on the pedigree and it takes years to know all this stuff.

So save yourself the agony and simply evaluate the HORSE, as other posters have said. Find a knowledgeable dressage rider/trainer who likes Arabs and take her/him with you when you go shopping or reviewing videos.

Buy/rent Hilda Gurney's "Evaluating a Dressage Prospect" (or whatever the title is) video.

And do NOT listen to sellers who tell you their horse is suitable for dressage unless they are experienced dressage riders themselves. I saw an ad just yesterday for a horse (Arab) who was some 12 yrs old and just had 30 days u/s (by a western trainer) and they billed him as a "dressage prospect"!:confused: And they would know this how?

Personally you would probably save yourself ALOT of grief by buying an Arab that is already showing in dressage...at least 1st level.

Trust me, whatever $$ you might pay in the purchase price, you will save in training costs and future disappointment by knowing the horse is already mentally & physically suited for the sport.

As for avoiding the teleport factor....well, good luck on that one:)

Teleporting is an Arab speciality!:D

oldernewbie
Jul. 22, 2011, 12:56 PM
I think it's a pretty universal marketing strategy to say the horse is a dressage, sport horse, or endurance prospect if they can't figure out what else to do with it or if it is completely talentless!! Perusing the "for sale" ads on the AHA site is to review some pretty fantastical ideas about what certain horses can do, especially those that are 4+ and have never been under saddle :eek:

Dawn J-L
Jul. 22, 2011, 02:14 PM
Just evaluate for the qualities that you would look for in ANY dressage horse regardless of breed. There ARE some Arabians that have the conformation, three good gaits, and high trainability/rideability for dressage.
Here's one example: http://www.sharksporthorses.com/Quicksilverbey.html


While some Arab family lineages do have a higher tendency to produce sport type horses due to characteristics that have been selected for within those families, suitable horses can be found from all the main bloodline groups. KB Omega Fahim is just one example that disproves the assertion that Egyptian lines are never good for dressage. Also see: http://blythdale.tripod.com/coventryequestriancenter/id24.html

When I switched from WB's to Arabians, I did so for the incredible work ethics that I encountered in a group of Arabians. That eager work ethic and quick mind is what sets them apart for me. I'm using "old fashioned" CMK lines that have been bred for generations for soundness and general athleticism. (There have even been a number of FEI/haute ecole Arabs from the bloodlines I am using.)

Since you are looking to lease locally, then go look at and ride what is available to find the best match for your needs.

(included a few examples of young prospects and highly trained dressage Arabs)

meaty ogre
Jul. 22, 2011, 02:35 PM
I have not read the whole thread, but if you don't know enough about Arab lines to recognize Polish, Egyptian, CMK, Russian etc. when you are looking at a pedigree, why ask about which certain lines are best? You're not gonna know 'em when you see anyway, so don't even bother.



Well, because by asking I was given a list of the top arabian dressage sires, and some background info. You can't learn if you don't ask. :)

My reason in asking is not because I specifically set out to buy an arabian for dressage, but because my options in the area are fairly limited. As a full-time shift-working mom of 2 young children, the best option for me right now is to be able to lease a horse who is currently in work, say in a show barn. There are 2 show barns near me, and both are arabian show barns. I'm not a big fan of the breed shows - I'd rather do dressage, so I'm looking into leasing an arab from one of those barns and doing some low level dressage. Obviously it would be better to find a horse already doing the discipline I want to do, but the nearest dressage barn does not have any horses available for lease. The arab barns do. I have already confirmed with one of the arab barns that they would have no problem with me hauling out for dressage lessons if I leased one of their horses. I just wanted to be armed with some more information before I venture down this road, and thanks to this thread, I am.

smokygirl
Jul. 22, 2011, 02:49 PM
A lot of the breed shows have dressage classes, so don't necessarily discount them... if the barn is going to a show. A lot are a ton of fun too. (some aren't.. but i have had a lot of fun at Arab shows.. much more than QH shows i used to show at).

mp
Jul. 22, 2011, 03:08 PM
I earned my bronze on just such a horse. Dam was a Khemosabi daughter bred to a Bey Shah son. I was told by many at the open dressage shows, gee, your horse doesn't move like an Arabian (he had a decent canter instead of the stomping snakes kind of canter). Most assumed he was PB, usually crossed with Trak or QH due to his sizeable hind end when in reality it was just Polish bone with proper muscle development :winkgrin:

Bey Shah really was a well-bred horse with good conformation, except for those feet. :p

I think his reputation was hurt by 1) the way he was shown -- wild and crazy; and 2) he was bred to some truly crappy mares because of all the hype.

I always thought Bay El Bey as a sire was superior to any of Sheila Varian's stallions, and she's had some really good ones.

Showbizz
Jul. 22, 2011, 03:08 PM
I can tell you right now, finding a dressage saddle that will fit the typical Arab is going to be difficult. (I'm looking right now!)
Lets not forget that most Arabs are barrel ribbed. My little fleabit grey, Crabbet/Egyptian, could NOT keep a saddle in place. He was bowling pin shaped!



Contact the Arabian Saddle Company. I have a student with a Crabbet gelding with the same conformational issues, and this saddle fits him remarkably well.

Dawn J-L
Jul. 22, 2011, 03:12 PM
Well, because by asking I was given a list of the top arabian dressage sires, and some background info. You can't learn if you don't ask. :)
(snip) I just wanted to be armed with some more information before I venture down this road, and thanks to this thread, I am.

Don't put too much stock in that "top sires" list from the AHW magazine article. The methodology used to compile it was apparently rather flawed. (The article is based on incomplete show records with no weighting for number of offspring of each stallion --nor was the dam's breeding or phenotype considered.) The list is not useful for much predictive value.

Just look for a horse that LOOKS and MOVES like a dressage horse. :-)

cuatx55
Jul. 22, 2011, 03:30 PM
Saddle fitting is harder on an arab? Not sure why you say this, it isn't my experience at all.

try Thornhill, Lovetts and Rickets, Amigo (Amerigo?) and Lazer brands. generally anything used for morgans and boroque breeds often works for wider backed arabs.

smokygirl
Jul. 22, 2011, 03:45 PM
Bey Shah really was a well-bred horse with good conformation, except for those feet. :p

I think his reputation was hurt by 1) the way he was shown -- wild and crazy; and 2) he was bred to some truly crappy mares because of all the hype.

I always thought Bay El Bey as a sire was superior to any of Sheila Varian's stallions, and she's had some really good ones.

I liked Bay El Bey's daughters especially when they were crossed to Khemosabi, but I wasn't impressed with his sons. Huckleberry Bey (out of a Raffon daughter) has no butt. (and that isn't from the Raffon side). Bey Shah had terrible feet (not something the Bask horses or Ga'zi lines are known for) and Barbary .. he had a nice rear (possibly from his damline more though) but he always appeared odd to me. Like.. Very short legged. Moonstone Bey V was nice, but not as well known sadly.

Arizona DQ
Jul. 22, 2011, 04:58 PM
LOL...do you know, I was watching the Conrad Schumacher video series on RFD-TV and the title was CONFIRMATION. I had to do a double take.....sure enough it was spelled incorrectly. :lol:

I saw that too and almost hit the ceiling!!!! Years ago, I used to confuse it too, but I just remember that we want to animal to CONFORM to a set standard.... We confirm our allegiance...... ;)

Dawn J-L
Jul. 22, 2011, 05:19 PM
Saddle fitting is harder on an arab? Not sure why you say this, it isn't my experience at all.

try Thornhill, Lovetts and Rickets, Amigo (Amerigo?) and Lazer brands. generally anything used for morgans and boroque breeds often works for wider backed arabs.


When I got my first Arab mare, I had two skilled saddle fitters trying to help me find a dressage saddle that fit well. Neither of them could find a saddle that fit --and they TRIED!!! (Not even the Arabian Saddle Company saddles of that period--late 1990's-- fit!) I had literally dozens of saddles on trial to no avail. I resorted to a treeless saddle for years because I couldn't find a saddle that really fit my mare. Most standard dressage saddles are built for a different shaped back than what many Arabians have.

The saddle fit issue with Arabians is one that is commonly brought up. For the really wide Arabs, the shape of the tree and of the panels are as important as the width. Many sufficiently wide saddles with a standard shaped tree pinch the shoulders. The gussetted panels that are standard on most dressage saddles can extend too far back on a short backed Arab.

Since the advent of "hoop" trees, saddle fit for wide backed Arabians has become easier. I now ride in a Black Country Eloquence X (hoop tree) with upswept panels and am so delighted to finally have a saddle that fits!!!

L&R does now offer hoop trees as does Passier, Black Country, Duett, and a few others, but hoop treed saddles are often not as easy for most folks to find (or even to be aware of) than models with standard trees. In most cases, unless you are communicating with a saddle fitter, you would not be aware of the existence of hoop shaped saddle trees.

mp
Jul. 22, 2011, 05:44 PM
In most cases, unless you are communicating with a saddle fitter, you would not be aware of the existence of hoop shaped saddle trees.

You can also talk to the folks at Trumbull Mtn or read other posts earlier in this thread. ;)

oldernewbie
Jul. 22, 2011, 05:59 PM
Or.....you can be the Arab owner for whom even hoop trees don't work. Tried nearly every one of them on your list and none worked. Finally ended up (strictly by accident) with a Luc Childeric that worked great. I don't know what I would have done if that saddle hadn't come along.

Moral of my story: keep trying. Assume nothing except that it *may* be difficult. Get expert help. Post on COTH for moral support and insight!! Keep your credit card handy!

Dawn J-L
Jul. 22, 2011, 07:38 PM
You can also talk to the folks at Trumbull Mtn or read other posts earlier in this thread. ;)

TMT is my saddle source. :-)

Dawn J-L
Jul. 22, 2011, 07:39 PM
Or.....you can be the Arab owner for whom even hoop trees don't work. Tried nearly every one of them on your list and none worked. Finally ended up (strictly by accident) with a Luc Childeric that worked great. I don't know what I would have done if that saddle hadn't come along.

Moral of my story: keep trying. Assume nothing except that it *may* be difficult. Get expert help. Post on COTH for moral support and insight!! Keep your credit card handy!


Yup!!!

Nanerpus
Jul. 22, 2011, 09:53 PM
Since you asked for photos, I have ridden Arabs my whole life and love them. I agree with the person who posted the list of lines, and especially love the Crabbet lines and love love love Khemosabi and Aladdin lines.


This is my mare, she has crabbat lines:http://i1084.photobucket.com/albums/j407/nanerpus1/224354_221403341218451_198138160211636_921346_1237 861_n.jpg



This is my Polish gelding who passed away 3 years ago, he was amazing. He was out of Aladdin:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30525366&l=f9fcc74c0c&id=13002359

shall
Jul. 22, 2011, 11:34 PM
I am so enjoying this thread! Growing up, I rode thoroughbreds and I still love a hot, responsive temperament. When I went shopping later in life, I remembered how much fun a friend of mine used to have with her anglo-arabian, so I ventured over to the Arabian side. I decided that I wanted that rarest of the rare, a gray gelding! HA. I missed all the Arabian craziness of the 80's and was looking at the classifieds at AHA in 2004. Needless to say, there were many to choose from. A good Arabian has that charisma that pulls all eyes to them. In warmbloods, I can see pretty quickly those that trace back to Arabians. Think Rohdiamont. There is that lovely airy and electric spell that they cast. Dressage is about an image of beauty – what do You want to create? There are so many non-traditional horses that shine in dressage. Yes, dressage is so like ballet and figure skating.

In my shopping, I started with a horse I considered so beautiful - Ruminaja Ali and went looking for his descendents. I found my boy and we have been together for 8 years. My life is busy, so he hasn't been able to progress as fast as if he could with a better, more consistent rider. He's schooling second level and showing first. At a recent show here in the Midwest, he received a 7 on gaits from Jana Wagner who is not an extravagant judge with her marks.

Bloodline? All mine are Straight Egyptian. They are beautiful, in tune, intelligent. and hardy. My gelding has a wither, long sloping shoulder, lovely bone and a powerful hind end. My mare is a different type. She has a barrel body and mutton wither - a nightmare to saddle fit. Yet, she loves to work and is a muscular, but elegant girl. I love them both very much.

Look at the horse in front of you and decide if you want to partner with that horse to determine which to choose for your own. At the end of the day, you want the one who inspires you to keep coming back for more riding. These horses inspire passion.

smokygirl
Jul. 23, 2011, 03:22 AM
http://www.susarinc.com/tucky.html

here is a lovely SE stallion I like. Obviously he isn't for sale (he's 25 and one of the last Tuhotmos sons in the US, and the only that is Non-Nazeer I think), but it looks like this farm has students, and I heard that she does dressage and leasing.

Ginger
Jul. 23, 2011, 08:38 AM
Shall, your post caught my eye. I have a great grandson of Ruminaja Fayez, who was a full brother to Ali. While he is registered half-Arabian, he is 63/64 pure. I agree with everything you say about the Egyptian-breds, I love them. I also had a double-Morafic gelding a few years ago, and I did just everything on that horse (ride and drive).

My new one is as sweet and sane as they come, with lovely gaits as well. He's also got withers and a perfect "saddle back," I haven't had any trouble finding a saddle that fits. While I'm not interested in doing everything with him, I'm sure he'll be game for whatever the day holds.

Egyptians can appear hot, but they are also usually sweet and ultra sensitive, and if they trust you, they will lay down their lives for you. But then that's true with most Arabs.

MelanieC
Jul. 23, 2011, 09:58 AM
Mine is half Egyptian, half Spanish. His sire is the SE parent and is gentle as a kitten, which is part of what sold me on my gelding. Like you, I am busy and don't have as much time to ride as I would like, and I needed a sane horse who wasn't going to need to be lunged for an hour and then ridden in an inflatable vest before riding if I hadn't been on for a few days. He's also my first horse, and although I've been riding nearly my entire life it's a different thing when you actually have one.

My gelding is VERY alert, but not in a spooky way. He notices everything, but doesn't get freaked out by it all (yes to some things) and has yet to teleport with me. I would call him "lively." He does do a lot of those "short pause" kind of spooks for the first few minutes if things have changed in the arena but is very careful, especially if someone is on him. He takes care of the person who is on him. The times he's gotten totally wigged (all with me on the ground, not in the saddle) he's recovered instantly. He also has a very strong tendency to look to me for reassurance, like my Border Collies do and can be calmed easily with a soft word and pats.

My gelding went lame in front very soon after I bought him last fall (probably bruising in the heels due to very long feet and poor/infrequent farrier work) and was on and off lame for a few months, during which he spent a lot of time on stall rest. On top of that in the situation prior to me buying him he was getting almost zero turnout, and before that he was in a show barn where I am guessing he got zero turnout. He should have been a fire-breathing dragon but I had no problems handling him -- he was definitely wound up but not scary in any way. For the record, I am just over five feet tall and weigh about 105 lbs. A mini could probably drag me around if he wanted to.

I have been told that Arabians bond very strongly and I believe it. He has gone from being friendly and outgoing when I first got him to being ridiculously devoted. I tend to take romantic breed mythology with a grain of salt, but I could totally see living with this horse in a tent. I am pretty sure I could train him to fetch the paper too.

Kyzteke
Jul. 23, 2011, 10:20 AM
Well, because by asking I was given a list of the top arabian dressage sires, and some background info. You can't learn if you don't ask. :)

My reason in asking is not because I specifically set out to buy an arabian for dressage, but because my options in the area are fairly limited. As a full-time shift-working mom of 2 young children, the best option for me right now is to be able to lease a horse who is currently in work, say in a show barn. There are 2 show barns near me, and both are arabian show barns. I'm not a big fan of the breed shows - I'd rather do dressage, so I'm looking into leasing an arab from one of those barns and doing some low level dressage. Obviously it would be better to find a horse already doing the discipline I want to do, but the nearest dressage barn does not have any horses available for lease. The arab barns do. I have already confirmed with one of the arab barns that they would have no problem with me hauling out for dressage lessons if I leased one of their horses. I just wanted to be armed with some more information before I venture down this road, and thanks to this thread, I am.

Again, the list of sires will not really tell you want you need to know. As so many others have stated, horses from ALL lines can be good (or bad) in dressage.

I have read most of the thread and noticed (for instance) one person said "Stay away" from Bey Shah horses while 2 others said they were the best! (and actually a son of Bey Shay -- Bey Oro -- was the top sire for one of the first years the SHN Payback program was going).

If you are leasing an Arab already going u/s and showing, and can't find one going in dressage, the next best would be HUS or the western working events (NOT WP, but stuff like reining, working cattle, etc).

And I would try contacting all your local Pony Clubs....Arabs are often a first "starter" horse for these kids and you might find an older one to lease because his owner has out grown him or going to college or something.

Most Arabs are very tough and long-lived, so don't be put off by a 16-18 yr old horse -- my 17 yr old Polish mare (3 lines to Bask, heaven help us!!) has rarely had an off day.

As most have said, I find that alot of Arabs have awesome trots and pogo-stick canters, so finding a good canter will be a challenge.

Honestly, forget about the sires and lines -- find the horse and judge him/her on this capacity for the sport...then you can start to research his/her pedigree and learn about lines.

But if you consider bloodlines before considering the horse, you are liable to get lead astray.

Ghazzu
Jul. 23, 2011, 10:47 AM
I thought CMK horses came from Poland originally? Hmmmm.....

Some of them are related to Polish horses.
Others are descended fro different lines entirely.
Both CMK and Polish Arabs tend to be from lines that were bred more for utility than "living art".

horsefaerie
Jul. 23, 2011, 10:56 AM
I have owned and ridden and trained arabs for years. I have heard huge amounts of nonsense from all sorts of people including non riding arab breeders.

All lines are quite capable of dressage. Not all individual horses are.

I had a wonderful downhill arab mare who did just fine with 2nd level and higher level movements.

Personally I prefer the leggier models as the extended gaits seem easier for them.

If you have limited training abilities try to find one already going with three good gaits. Also, find one that likes YOU! It is worth a million in training with an arab. Seriously. You have never seen a horse that wants to please like an arab who loves their owner.

Horses that have been used for rail classes can be a challenge. As others have stated, those who come from hunter or reining backgrounds come with better basics for a future dressage career.

THose started for Endurance will be almost bombproof but may have been started in a bosal and have little experience with a bit.

THere are lots out there for sale and just needing a home.

I have been looking for some time (altho with this heat it can wait a bit longer) so take your time and find the one who has been looking for you!

CosMonster
Jul. 23, 2011, 11:50 AM
How have I missed this thread for 5 pages!

I find that horsefaerie is right that all lines can do dressage, but not all individuals. If you were shopping the general market (as opposed to looking for a lease at a specific barn or two) I'd say it might be important as it can be a good starting point. Obviously it's important to breeders trying to produce a horse for a certain use. But in your situation OP, I don't think it's that necessary though it is interesting. :P

I have met good dressage horses that were heavily park bred, SE, even bred for halter alone. The most popular do tend to be Polish or CMK. I own a largely Polish horse who is fantastic, as well as a mostly Polish half Arab (and her non-Arab half is a pinto bred for WP, so I'm pretty sure she gets her dressage talent from the Arab), but I've worked with horses of all breeding who had a lot of talent. Actually one of the nicest was a Huckleberry Bey grandson who was bred entirely for English Pleasure. He was very flashy but boy could he get his hindquarters under him and use himself well. I had several FEI trainers drooling over him when I took him to a clinic. :lol: Sadly his career was ended due to a freak injury before it even really began, but he had been schooling well up to second level at the time.

It's hard to say universally what to stay away from in terms of training background, too. Generally I'd say watch out for horses from an English Pleasure background, but I've met some who are started very similar to dressage horses so as long as you get them before they're too specialized it can be a very easy transition.

As far as saddle fit, IME most Arabians aren't that hard to fit, but the ones who are really really are. :lol: I haven't worked with as many as some but I ran a breeding farm that had probably 60 riding horses (at various times), I currently train for another smaller breeding farm, and I've worked with a decent amount of just miscellaneous Arabs over the years. I can count on my fingers the number of horses who were really hard to find a saddle for, but seriously those ones were pretty much impossible.

I will say too that IME some "hard to fit" Arabs are really just fat. I see a ton of overweight Arabians because they are usually easy keepers and a lot of sporthorse people feed them like WBs or TBs. I've found that in some cases getting them down to a healthy weight suddenly makes a lot of saddle fitting problems disappear. ;)

Hampton Bay
Jul. 23, 2011, 01:17 PM
Saddle fit..... Even the non-typical types can be hard to fit. I have one who in Wintec standards is currently on the narrow side of M, but FLaT in profile. Even saddles meant for flat backs will rock on him. He's not hoop-shaped at all, but he does have the big belly and narrow shoulders some arabs are known for, so the saddle goes right up his neck. add in the incredible reach, which means the shoulder blade comes back like 10 feet.....

But not all are that difficult to fit. This guy's mom was an easy fit. Unfortunately, he didn't inherit that trait.

oldernewbie
Jul. 23, 2011, 02:57 PM
My horse has good conformation but was a real challenge to fit. He's not fat, actually he looks kind of weedy and narrow from the front, but he has huge shoulders (apparently) and a roundish barrel and that's where the problem was.

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p168/bicyclewoman/Montyconfoshot081510cropped.jpg

He needs a wider saddle than any other horse in the barn, including some big warmbloods, but it had to be wide in a certain way. I could not find a saddle that didn't pinch the heck out of him at the bottom of the tree. The Childeric is supposedly built on a jumping tree and has flat panels and relatively little padding on the bottom of the saddle. Whatever, it works, is a great saddle, he likes it, I got a great deal, yay! But our experience is the poster child for how hard they can be to fit.

As for the list of dressage sires, well, it is interesting just because of its quirkiness. Putting aside whether the stats used to calculate it were correct or not, I would be willing to bet lunch that only a very small minority of horses that won championships and therefore counted towards a stallion's total, were actually purpose bred for dressage. That is, I'll bet most of those horses were bred for some other purpose (main ring showing, mostly) and just happened to be good dressage horses. That's why you get so many contradictory stories like Huckleberry Bey being a sire of bad rear ends - but he's like what? #6 or 7 on the list? Padron, through his many sons, is to me, basically a halter line. Conventional wisdom says stay away from halter horses. But Padron is high on the list as well. So I can't help but think that a lot of those dressage champions found their way to the discipline after a career, maybe failed, as something else.

So, to me, the list is helpful for its overall trends, not the specifics. And the trends are...Polish, Russian, Crabbet, Varian, are good places to start looking, but no guarantees. And that doesn't mean that other lines can't be good as well - just that they weren't bred as frequently as the guys on the list. Therefore, not as many offspring period, and a smaller number of those made it to dressage, yielding fewer championships, so dad didn't make the cut.

Therefore, helpful, but of course, always look at the horse!!!

shall
Jul. 23, 2011, 06:56 PM
Hi there,

Your guy sounds so like mine.

Shall, your post caught my eye. I have a great grandson of Ruminaja Fayez, who was a full brother to Ali. While he is registered half-Arabian, he is 63/64 pure. I agree with everything you say about the Egyptian-breds, I love them. I also had a double-Morafic gelding a few years ago, and I did just everything on that horse (ride and drive).

My new one is as sweet and sane as they come, with lovely gaits as well. He's also got withers and a perfect "saddle back," I haven't had any trouble finding a saddle that fits. While I'm not interested in doing everything with him, I'm sure he'll be game for whatever the day holds.

Egyptians can appear hot, but they are also usually sweet and ultra sensitive, and if they trust you, they will lay down their lives for you. But then that's true with most Arabs.

Kyzteke
Jul. 24, 2011, 04:11 AM
Here is a conformation pic of the best natural moving PB Arab I've ever seen personally:

http://news.webshots.com/photo/2280104530104425996awcKzo

She sort of bombed out on the track (just didn't want to run very fast ;)) and they didn't want to breed her because of her rather plain head.

Perfect example of (head) form have absolutely nothing to do with function. This gal had -- hands down -- the best walk and canter of any Arab I've ever seen. And her trot was pretty nice as well...none of the "boing,boing, boing" sort of trot you see so often in Arabs, but a real WB sort of trot. She had great push with her hocks, lots of bend and reached real deep underneath herself.

She could really cover some ground, yet she looked like she was barely making an effort.

I leased her from Van Gilder Arabians to breed to my Akhal Teke stallion, Kinor, but I lost him before she could get in foal.

I told Kerry Redente about her (as an endurance prospect) and Kerry scooped her up for a song. When she got back to CO, she showed Ambir to the folks running a big dressage barn near-by and they could not stop gushing about Ambir's movement and what an awesome dressage horse she would make! And of course her head didn't bother them at all...it's positively petite compared to a WB's!:D

If you look at her general conformation, you can see she is not "typey" at all in terms of what they look for in an Arab halter ring, but she is extremely correct plain old performance.

smokygirl
Jul. 24, 2011, 06:07 PM
Well she is not very arabian looking that is for sure. I certainly would not breed her for arabians. While looks aren't everything, breed type is very important. If you don't have that.. including the trot.. why not just buy a WB. There is nothing that leads me to believe she is an arabian, and i'd probably insist on a DNA verification on it before breeding or purchasing her. Which is unusual, bc while her sire is large for an arabian, he is not that course or unrefined. I am familiar with the breeding program that produced her and I'm quite shocked that they got her, but it sounds like they did cull her from there breeding herd, which does not surprise me.

smokygirl
Jul. 24, 2011, 06:13 PM
My horse has good conformation but was a real challenge to fit. He's not fat, actually he looks kind of weedy and narrow from the front, but he has huge shoulders (apparently) and a roundish barrel and that's where the problem was.

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p168/bicyclewoman/Montyconfoshot081510cropped.jpg

He needs a wider saddle than any other horse in the barn, including some big warmbloods, but it had to be wide in a certain way. I could not find a saddle that didn't pinch the heck out of him at the bottom of the tree. The Childeric is supposedly built on a jumping tree and has flat panels and relatively little padding on the bottom of the saddle. Whatever, it works, is a great saddle, he likes it, I got a great deal, yay! But our experience is the poster child for how hard they can be to fit.

As for the list of dressage sires, well, it is interesting just because of its quirkiness. Putting aside whether the stats used to calculate it were correct or not, I would be willing to bet lunch that only a very small minority of horses that won championships and therefore counted towards a stallion's total, were actually purpose bred for dressage. That is, I'll bet most of those horses were bred for some other purpose (main ring showing, mostly) and just happened to be good dressage horses. That's why you get so many contradictory stories like Huckleberry Bey being a sire of bad rear ends - but he's like what? #6 or 7 on the list? Padron, through his many sons, is to me, basically a halter line. Conventional wisdom says stay away from halter horses. But Padron is high on the list as well. So I can't help but think that a lot of those dressage champions found their way to the discipline after a career, maybe failed, as something else.

So, to me, the list is helpful for its overall trends, not the specifics. And the trends are...Polish, Russian, Crabbet, Varian, are good places to start looking, but no guarantees. And that doesn't mean that other lines can't be good as well - just that they weren't bred as frequently as the guys on the list. Therefore, not as many offspring period, and a smaller number of those made it to dressage, yielding fewer championships, so dad didn't make the cut.

Therefore, helpful, but of course, always look at the horse!!!


Unfortunately in arabians, it is not uncommon for a horse to sire a bad trait consistantly, and still be high on the sires list. Huck bred in bad asses. No one disputes it (unless they own one, and usually not even then. then it's usually.. how can i improve it.. ). Padron was very athletic. He was trained in English Pleasure. He has sired a few very athletic and trainable horses, but it's widely known that he himself was a bitch under saddle, and passed it on a lot. I got to work with his son Padron's Psyche.. and while I never rode him.. even on the ground, while not bad mannered, he was very tempermental. For collecting he needed a grey mare in the door way, but not closer, but he had to see her.. and it must be grey. He had to be left from the left side. He had to be led out before the rest of the horses in the morning, and fed first, or he'd throw a fit, and he couldnt' be stalled in the same barn as other stallions at all. he had a routine, and you followed it. Which once you figured out the routine was okay.. lol. That is probably why you don't see more of his offspring under saddle though.

Kyzteke
Jul. 24, 2011, 06:33 PM
Well she is not very arabian looking that is for sure. I certainly would not breed her for arabians. While looks aren't everything, breed type is very important. If you don't have that.. including the trot.. why not just buy a WB.

Again -- which is more important to the OP -- type or athletic ability? If you look at most racing Arabs or even many of the working ranch athletes they don't look any thing like a "halter" Arab....many of them don't look like Arabs at all for that matter. That's because the breeders were choosing function & ability over "type" (a wise choice, if you ask me...).

This mare had/has superior gaits...her trot was outstanding (for dressage) and her canter was probably the best I've seen in an Arab. Yes, her head is quite plain, but you don't ride the head.

If I had been breeding PB Arabs, I would have kept her in my program and just picked stallions with fancier heads....but I don't breed PB Arabs.

And why buy this mare instead of a WB? Well, one very strong point would be because her selling price as a well-started 5 yr old was hundred's of $$'s less than the stud fee for most WB stallions. Talk about getting a great bang for your buck!:yes:

Oh, and she had a good brain too....

The OP asked what she should look for in terms of dressage ability and (wisely) most folks said judge the conformation/gaits and not the breed/bloodlines.

I was just pointing out that this mare's conformation more than allowed her to do the job, and do it very, very well.

And this mare was bred by the owner of her sire, so parentage is confirmed. She has a full sister who has a much fancier head...:yes:

smokygirl
Jul. 24, 2011, 06:38 PM
Again -- which is more important to the OP -- type or athletic ability? If you look at most racing Arabs or even many of the working ranch athletes they don't look any thing like a "halter" Arab....many of them don't look like Arabs at all for that matter. That's because the breeders were choosing function & ability over "type" (a wise choice, if you ask me...).

This mare had/has superior gaits...her trot was outstanding (for dressage) and her canter was probably the best I've seen in an Arab. Yes, her head is quite plain, but you don't ride the head.

If I had been breeding PB Arabs, I would have kept her in my program and just picked stallions with fancier heads....but I don't breed PB Arabs.

And why buy this mare instead of a WB? Well, one very strong point would be because her selling price as a well-started 5 yr old was hundred's of $$'s less than the stud fee for most WB stallions. Talk about getting a great bang for your buck!:yes:

Oh, and she had a good brain too....

The OP asked what she should look for in terms of dressage ability and (wisely) most folks said judge the conformation/gaits and not the breed/bloodlines.

I was just pointing out that this mare's conformation more than allowed her to do the job, and do it very, very well.

And this mare was bred by the owner of her sire, so parentage is confirmed. She has a full sister who has a much fancier head...:yes:


I agree that athletic ability should be looked at first, and I don't personally care for most halter-bred arabians. But you can have pretty and athletic. Toskhara does it almost 100% of the time on there horses, as does Van Gilder, Classical Farms, Faerie Court Farms, Belesemo Arabians, Al-Marah and many others. Just because you want an athletic horse, doesn't mean you can't have good breed type as well. they aren't mutually exclusive of each other. And a good arabian will have both. If you are looking for an arabian, why not get one with the looks.

No one would mistake this horse for anything but arabian.. http://www.toskhara.com/racing/linedancer.html and yet he is an extremely successful racing arabian. http://www.toskhara.com/stallions-details.asp?id=230 yet another whom is athletic, and looks like an arabian. http://www.toskhara.com/stallions-details.asp?id=30. http://www.singingheartsfarm.com/rd_five_star.asp http://www.singingheartsfarm.com/aabsolut.asp http://www.stanleyranch.com/stallions.htm#SS%20Orion
http://www.classicalafarm.com/ariailbacio.html
http://www.belesemo.com/stallions.php#stallions
http://www.faeriecourtfarm.com/FCF_Oberons_Vanity_pedigree.html
http://www.vangilderarabians.net/atstudambirdragon.htm
http://www.vangilderarabians.net/atstudvalsstartrek.htm
http://www.oakwerth.com/okw_entrigue.asp
http://www.mirageltd.com/the-stallions/tc_miyake.html

Arabians are supposed to be athletic and have appropriate breed type. They don't have to have a sea-horse head, to exhibit breed type, and I don't think anyone would say that.. But you can get athletic and beautiful Arabian-y horses. Why settle for less?

oldernewbie
Jul. 24, 2011, 06:39 PM
Unfortunately in arabians, it is not uncommon for a horse to sire a bad trait consistantly, and still be high on the sires list. Huck bred in bad asses. No one disputes it (unless they own one, and usually not even then. then it's usually.. how can i improve it.. ). Padron was very athletic. He was trained in English Pleasure. He has sired a few very athletic and trainable horses, but it's widely known that he himself was a bitch under saddle, and passed it on a lot. I got to work with his son Padron's Psyche.. and while I never rode him.. even on the ground, while not bad mannered, he was very tempermental. For collecting he needed a grey mare in the door way, but not closer, but he had to see her.. and it must be grey. He had to be left from the left side. He had to be led out before the rest of the horses in the morning, and fed first, or he'd throw a fit, and he couldnt' be stalled in the same barn as other stallions at all. he had a routine, and you followed it. Which once you figured out the routine was okay.. lol. That is probably why you don't see more of his offspring under saddle though.

Love to hear these stories. Very funny as my guy, a solid citizen, stellar disposition, go along to get along kind of guy, is Padron, Padron's Psyche, Psymadre for his sire line. He's also got at least two lines to Aladinn, who was also reputed to sire temperamental horses. He does have two lines to Khemo, so maybe that's where it came from??

Soooo, since you seem to have a lot of first hand info, who would you breed to these days if you were deliberately trying to get a dressage horse? Most of the guys on the list are not current stallions - a lot of names from the 80s and 90s, aren't they? So who is a proven dressage sire now???

horsefaerie
Jul. 24, 2011, 06:51 PM
Good grief! See what I mean?

I had an Aladinn great grandson and worked a grandson, both of whom were easy peasy to handle. Both stallions. were trained just like all of my other horses. Stood for shots, bathing, clippers etc loose and never saw a shank over their nose! They were even kid friendly!

There is no need to sacrifice beauty for ability with an arabian. You can easily have BOTH.

horsetales
Jul. 24, 2011, 07:06 PM
Playland farm in MD is producing irish Draught sport horses using Arab mares. I have seen some nice dressage prospects from that cross.

Equi88
Jul. 24, 2011, 07:07 PM
This is my guy: http://i449.photobucket.com/albums/qq218/Equi88/HudsonRR2011001.jpg

He is a PB by Sterling Bey (Bey Shah), 16 hands tall and in my opinion a nice Sporthorse Type. He usually gets 8s for his gaits and his canter is super smooth.

Coming from riding mostly Warmbloods, I don't know much about Arabians but have a lot of fun with this one! He is like a little Sports car... reactive and always ready to go:cool:

oldernewbie
Jul. 24, 2011, 07:59 PM
This is my guy: http://i449.photobucket.com/albums/qq218/Equi88/HudsonRR2011001.jpg


Love him!!

smokygirl
Jul. 24, 2011, 08:06 PM
Love to hear these stories. Very funny as my guy, a solid citizen, stellar disposition, go along to get along kind of guy, is Padron, Padron's Psyche, Psymadre for his sire line. He's also got at least two lines to Aladinn, who was also reputed to sire temperamental horses. He does have two lines to Khemo, so maybe that's where it came from??

Soooo, since you seem to have a lot of first hand info, who would you breed to these days if you were deliberately trying to get a dressage horse? Most of the guys on the list are not current stallions - a lot of names from the 80s and 90s, aren't they? So who is a proven dressage sire now???

Hmmm. Al-Marah Quebec, Heir To Glory, PF Phar Lap if his owner allowed it (unlikely as he's older and fertility has been an issue), CZ Klue (not at public stud though :( ), RD Five Star, I'd look at most Belesemo horses (though they are more for Endurance), AM Power Raid, Exodus I, AM Michael Love, Aul Magic (though I heard he may have passed away, so if he did :( ), TA Monet, Aur Mystique, OKW Entrique, Magic Domino, SS Orion, Ta'ez, I'd look at most of the Ravlon and Aulrab bred horses actually. I am in love with an AF Vanity's Repeat son, FCF Oberon's Vanity, but he's young and unproven right now. There will be more I suspect as Arabian breeders breed for SHs more, and not as a second option. I know many whom were bred for another purpose, but then trained for dressage.. but the program was hoping for something else. Really, most riders, don't ride at the upper levels of the sport, so having a horse capable of the extreme upper levels (i.e. Totilas) isn't necessary. A good amount of Athletic ability, good mind, work ethic and trainability is more important to me. You can train a lot in. Those not so much. As more breeders go towards actually breeding for a dressage mount though, I think more arabians will compete at higher levels. (Obviously these are just random first thoughts.. because there is no specific mare in mind, nor do i know if i'm thinking HA (crossed with a TB mare, or Trak, or ??) or PB. A lot will depend on those ofcourse. And what the mare has back in her pedigree.

(and yes Khemosabi is very well known for his outstanding disposition. Psymadre I've heard has a lovely temperment too. And while I loved working with his dad.. and once you knew the routine he was a lamb, omg the first week was a pain lol. But he was also a lot of fun to lead to turn out. you never had any doubt that at the end of the lead.. you had the King of the World. he didnt let you forget it. I also worked with the much publicized QR Marc and the beautiful ABHA Qatar. Qatar had that something special, as did Borsolino K, but Marc.. didn't for me. Some loved him.. to me he was just a horse lol).

smokygirl
Jul. 24, 2011, 08:07 PM
This is my guy: http://i449.photobucket.com/albums/qq218/Equi88/HudsonRR2011001.jpg

He is a PB by Sterling Bey (Bey Shah), 16 hands tall and in my opinion a nice Sporthorse Type. He usually gets 8s for his gaits and his canter is super smooth.

Coming from riding mostly Warmbloods, I don't know much about Arabians but have a lot of fun with this one! He is like a little Sports car... reactive and always ready to go:cool:

He is very nice. Pretty and Athletic :)

Dawn J-L
Jul. 25, 2011, 12:23 AM
I agree that athletic ability should be looked at first, and I don't personally care for most halter-bred arabians. But you can have pretty and athletic. Toskhara does it almost 100% of the time on there horses, as does Van Gilder, Classical Farms, Faerie Court Farms, Belesemo Arabians, Al-Marah and many others. Just because you want an athletic horse, doesn't mean you can't have good breed type as well. they aren't mutually exclusive of each other. And a good arabian will have both. If you are looking for an arabian, why not get one with the looks.


Arabians are supposed to be athletic and have appropriate breed type. They don't have to have a sea-horse head, to exhibit breed type, and I don't think anyone would say that.. But you can get athletic and beautiful Arabian-y horses. Why settle for less?

Why would utilizing a mare like Ambir Magic for breeding be settling for less? The kind of athleticism she appears to possess is much more rare in the Arabian gene pool than "pretty" heads. And yet successfully breeding for a more typey head is far easier to do than creating the kind of athletic potential that this mare possesses. Why not try to reproduce her athletic structure and exemplary movement while striving to improve the areas where she is less than perfect? She's race bred and has multiple generations of breeding for overall athleticism behind her increasing the likelihood that her athleticism will breed true.

There are two photos of Ambir Starlight here: http://www.crrarabians.com/horse/Ambir-Starlight The one posted previously where she was standing in a relaxed conformation pose and a second where she is much more alert. To my eye, this mare shows clear Arabian characteristics though not of the sort that is fashionable in the Arabian halter ring. Based on her phenotype and pedigree, I think she is an excellent candidate for use as a broodmare for producing Arabians for dressage or other sport disciplines.

I think that those of us who want to breed Arabians for sport performance disciplines need to give additional weight to the presence in our breeding stock of the traits that lead to superlative sport ability. Any decently conformed horse of any breed is quite capable of performing at the basic levels of any of the sport disciplines. Settling for that level of athleticism as the full measure of the Arabian as a sport horse does a great disservice to what the breed has offered in the past and to what it can offer now and in the future to the sport disciplines.

Kyzteke
Jul. 25, 2011, 01:37 AM
I bought 3 Belesemo mares to breed to my Teke stallion and looked at all their stock.

Also went to Van Gilder's and several other breeders in the PNW not to mention watching countless on-line videos.

Ambir Starlight's gaits, bone and perfect limb conformation was far better than anything else I saw. I mean, it wasn't even a contest...she was that much superior. But everyone (even Kerry) had a hard time seeing it because they couldn't get past her plain head.

Considering how sadly lacking most Arabs are in the canter dept. and often even the bone dept., I think Ambir would make a great contribution to the breed. As others have noted, it's far easier to produce a pretty head than a really solid canter.

However I think Kerry wants to breed her to a QH. Personally, I'd breed her to a WB (like Rosenthal)....but that's just me.;)

And now back to our regularly schedule program....

smokygirl
Jul. 25, 2011, 02:26 AM
Well it is good that the head is fairly easy to put on an arab.. because that's one of the defining characteristics. I know some feel that it is because it's pretty, but the arabian was designed/bred/developed in a very arid place. All of the "breed type" usually stems to something that has evolved for a purpose. The skin is usually finer than most breeds (and the hair) to aid in cooling. the tail flagged to aid in cooling. the nostrils and shape of the face (when they arent to the vast extremes sometimes found in the halter arena) are to help breath more, and the ears are usually longer/larger (again for cooling purposes). What is the point of breeding a specific breed, instead of going to a Warmblood style registry, if not to not only better what there is, but also keep the qualities that make it unique?

And i've very rarely met an arabian that did not have a good amount of bone. They happen, but rarely. It's another breed characteristic. A common myth is that Arabians are not strong because they are relatively small and refined. However, the Arabian horse is noted for a greater density of bone than other breeds, short cannons, sound feet, and a broad, short back,all of which give the breed physical strength comparable to many taller animals. This, along with having a well sprung barrel, allows many people to ride them, whom feel that they need a tall horse. Probably also why you rarely hear of arabians breaking bones at the race track.

Glynnsong
Jul. 25, 2011, 02:31 AM
This is a wonderful thread and thought I would put in my two cents. I am a huge fan of Polish and Crabbet. Have bred and owned Hi Voltage(by Aurab) for almost 31 yrs He was always my perfect horse but I wasn't into dressage back then. I trained Aul Magic(Aurab grandson)http://www.glynnsongfarms.com/index.htmland he was a a very talented horse. Then I got OKW Entrigue and was just amazed on how smart he was and how everything came so easy to him. I trained him from training level to Grand Prix. He is now the only Purebred Arabian Breeding stallion Approved by the Oldenburg NA (Te'az is approved too but not breeding anymore) He also has two PUREBRED ARABIAN foals that are approved-registered and Branded Oldenburg. One being my colt Encandescent out of a Hi Voltage daughter.http://www.glynnsongfarms.com/news-events.html I love this cross-I call it my golden cross-the best of both worlds. Entrigue and Hi Voltage.
You can see more on my website glynnsongfarms.com

Kyzteke
Jul. 25, 2011, 11:07 AM
And i've very rarely met an arabian that did not have a good amount of bone. They happen, but rarely. It's another breed characteristic. A common myth is that Arabians are not strong because they are relatively small and refined. However, the Arabian horse is noted for a greater density of bone than other breeds,

Then our experiences differ. I've met plenty of Arabs who were light in the bone dept. The theory that Arab bones are denser is just a theory to the best of my knowledge; I've heard it too.

Again, what the OP asked at the start of this thread was what characteristics should she look for in an Arab that would indicate the horse could perform in dressage (1-3rd Level).

Well, the characteristics needed in an Arab are the same needed in any horse of any breed: among them 3 pure, correct gaits. Ambir had/has 'em. Many, many Arabs don't.

Sandy M
Jul. 25, 2011, 01:31 PM
FWIW, my horse was purpose bred for dressage. Sorry, I don't have a pic, but if you go to confettifarms.com and looked for Confetti's Magic Marker, you can see pics of him as a 2 year old (under for sale/sold) or a 4 year old (under "news about our youngsters). He's almost 7 now and much more filled out. He was sired by the late Aul Magic (Crabbet) out of a 17 hand Appy mare. The leopard gelding on the site home page is his full brother (1 year older.)

He is a SUPER mover and I think that comes more from his Arabian sire, though his dam is a lovely big mare. I see the Arabian in his head and his movement, but most people guess that he is either a WB or a TB cross. He's 16.2 h.h. (I think the size throws most people off with regard to the Arabian half of his breeding). He IS very reactive, and after years of laid-back Appy jumpers of Foundation and/or TB breeding, it is taking some getting used to!! LOL

meaty ogre
Jul. 25, 2011, 02:45 PM
Oh, please keep the pics and info coming! This thread has been hugely informative and fun.

I appreciate all the info. I know it's an odd request because I'm looking for a dressage horse in an arab show barn - totally off the wall, I know, but it's what I have nearby as far as lease options.

Hmm...one of the ones I'm considering is a CZ Klue son.

I'm learning so much. I still know very little about the breeding but I have been doing a ton of googling as a result of this thread and I'm picking things up.

Even though I'm looking for a lease, I have been checking out sale ads and it does leave my wondering why arabs aren't more popular. There are some very nice ones out there for very little money. They seem to be selling for much less than other breeds performing at similar levels.

esdressage
Jul. 25, 2011, 05:27 PM
Here's my mare:

Echo 1 (http://www.staticfreedesign.com/echo-beauty.jpg)

Echo 2 (http://www.staticfreedesign.com/echo.jpg)

She has several Al-Marah horses on her pedigree (as has been said, Al-Marah has produced some FEI horses) and she also has Khemosabi (I saw mentioned several times in this thread), Rapture, Fadl, Ferzon, Fadjur, Gay Pompey and some other good ones.

Honestly though, I knew nothing about any of that when I found her. She was on her way to the auction because somebody bought her for his girlfriend and threw her in their backyard, and though well-meaning they had no clue how to handle her and she ended up scared and dangerous. I picked her up for a few hundred dollars basically to keep them from sending her to the auction, and I'll tell you, that's the best few hundred dollars I've ever spent.

Se has been sound, barefoot and amazingly healthy for ten years, and has been enthusiastically interested to learn and do anything I want with her. She is entirely devoted to our family with her whole being, and makes me feel like a rock star every time I see her (because she gets so excited to see me!). She is smart as a whip and just a doll. Although she's the only Arabian I've ever owned, she's made me a huge fan of the breed purely by its association with her :)

Things to think about: the reason the people I got her from had trouble with her was because she is very responsive and very forward. Every thing you do on her has an effect because she responds to every movement the rider makes, from the wiggle of a finger to the subtle change in balance when you look over your shoulder, and also to a rider with easy nerves. They were frightened by her, but if you like having a lot to work with, it's great. Also, she can't be left in her stall and picked up a week later to ride, expecting a perfect horse. She needs to get out daily, and thrives on attention. Lastly, while she's structurally incredible sound, her skin rubs easily (fly masks, girths, blankets) and it's sensitive to almost any ointment or lotion (think peeling skin from just a layer of antibiotic cream!). Not sure if that's just my girl, but it's definitely something I need to manage carefully.

oldernewbie
Jul. 25, 2011, 05:35 PM
Even though I'm looking for a lease, I have been checking out sale ads and it does leave my wondering why arabs aren't more popular. There are some very nice ones out there for very little money. They seem to be selling for much less than other breeds performing at similar levels.

They are not for everyone. As you probably know, it takes some tact to ride a forward, smart horse and it takes quite a bit of hard work in the beginning (at least for me, being a newbie at dressage myself) to get your typical Arab thinking dressage. I also think Arabs have an undeserved reputation for being hard to manage generally. Of course, many are the converted who have tried one and learned to appreciate their many strong points.

Smart horse shoppers can get a great deal by buying an Ayrab!

horsefaerie
Jul. 25, 2011, 06:16 PM
Yes, we get converted.

There is something to be said for their mind.

I remember loading an arab mare in a trailer in pitch darkness. I had borrowed a trailer and could not find the lights. A friend was with me and she said "That mare will NEVER load in this!"

To her credit, I ASKED her to get on the trailer and to our surprise, she did, Russian bred.

Trust.

They are incredibly honest. They will rarely (and some never) do anything stupid at least in my presence. They will warn you of their impending meltdown, desire or necessity to flee or spook and actually seek your input.

Again, an arab mare on the end of a lead rope. Knew her just a day or so and had moved her to a new barn. Closed the garage type door at the end of the aisleway with said mare on said lead rope. Never gave it a thought as I did this all the time with horses that had been stabled there forever.

Mare came (justifiably) UNGLUED! However, that said, she didn't even tug more than a sparrow would on that lead rope. Gave me a stern look and talking to and was then forever convinced of my basic stupidity. CMK bred I think.

They flash and look like they are in the rafters. This is a good thing for dressage! However, I always remember they don't need to tug on the lead rope. Some are packers just like those found in other breeds. Some are afraid of the wooley boogers and need a confident rider just like other breeds.

They possess a keen sense of fairness and justice and are less likely to put up with nonsense.

Had a gelding that picked up and ran off with a leaf blower, that was running!!!!! So much for their tendency to be flighty. SE bred.

Lateral work came more easily for most of the horses I have worked with. Collection not a problem. Extending the gaits has been tougher for the smaller, stouter body types. Transitions are either butter or challenging.

Need to watch that they don't memorize your entire test. School it in pieces and just a bit in the entire sequence.

You will, if you desire, have the opportunity to ride with the subtlest of aids. They are, for the most part, FORWARD.

They are not for everyone. For those of us who have risen to the challenge, what an adventure!!

Some of y'all have some cute horses!

trixie10
Jul. 25, 2011, 06:35 PM
I'm surprised to hear about all the bad cantering. I've ridden arabs all my life and had no idea how bad my back must hurt by now (tic).

Some traits that have managed to sneak into the breed lately are high hocks and long backs. I'm going to point my finger at the halter people because I don't belong in that crowd but it makes the horse very hard to collect.

If the horse has a short hip and a long coupling you might want to think about a pass as that horse will be a tough ride and very hard to collect, at least it has been my experience.

I want to add that it depends on the horse, not the breeding as Desperado is a Huck son and has a solid rear and has sired good dressage/reining horses but being old school, you can't beat Crabbet.

meaty ogre
Jul. 25, 2011, 06:55 PM
Some of y'all have some cute horses!

Ain't that the truth! I just love looking at all the links and photos. And, it's awesome to see horses and riders that actually look like a well matched pair! Much more refreshing that the often-seen peanut of a rider perched atop the mega warmbloods!

The more I look, the more I just want to buy one, but I keep reminding myself that a full-time working mom of 2 does not need another horse to mow grass in her pasture, but rather needs to lease one that someone else can ride through the week to help keep fit. Hopefully it will come with its own saddle too so I can skip the saddle fitting drama! :lol:

esdressage
Jul. 25, 2011, 07:09 PM
I'm surprised to hear about all the bad cantering.

My mare get's 8's on her canter and has received positive comments about it being very balanced on tests, too.

It was tough to get her canter together at first because she was so forward and wanted to race along on her forehand (tested my confidence, that's for sure!), but once I clearly "explained" to her what I actually wanted, it's been easy-breezy ever since and she just redirects that energy into a nicely forward, but not "racing" canter with lots of energy from behind instead. It's nice to me to have that energy available to redirect, rather than feeling like you're having to create it all the time.

Another really positive trait I've found related to that is that if I communicate well, she gets it right away, maybe after just a few repetitions reinforcing the correct response I want, then she offers that response from the get-go nearly every time after. That's what's happened with her canter… I explained how I wanted her to use her energy in it, and she just simply offers it that way now. Now I absolutely adore her canter! It's like a lovely, light, balanced metrinome! :D

IdahoRider
Jul. 25, 2011, 07:23 PM
Even though I'm looking for a lease, I have been checking out sale ads and it does leave my wondering why arabs aren't more popular. There are some very nice ones out there for very little money. They seem to be selling for much less than other breeds performing at similar levels.
It is a real shame, but many people in the horse world think that an Arabian must be a crazy, googly-eyed horse with the neck of a giraffe because all they know is what goes on in the halter ring, where horses are made to look that way.

Plus, as others have mentioned, the Arabian horse is very smart and sensitive. They need owners who appreciate those qualities.
Sheilah

smokygirl
Jul. 25, 2011, 07:24 PM
Oh, please keep the pics and info coming! This thread has been hugely informative and fun.

I appreciate all the info. I know it's an odd request because I'm looking for a dressage horse in an arab show barn - totally off the wall, I know, but it's what I have nearby as far as lease options.

Hmm...one of the ones I'm considering is a CZ Klue son.

I'm learning so much. I still know very little about the breeding but I have been doing a ton of googling as a result of this thread and I'm picking things up.

Even though I'm looking for a lease, I have been checking out sale ads and it does leave my wondering why arabs aren't more popular. There are some very nice ones out there for very little money. They seem to be selling for much less than other breeds performing at similar levels.


What's his name? CZ Klue is one of my favorite Park stallions. I am a huge fan of his damline (he's a grandson of Maliktoa by Galero), as well as the Bask ofcourse.

meaty ogre
Jul. 25, 2011, 07:37 PM
smokygirl, I'll PM you

stripes
Jul. 25, 2011, 08:04 PM
Great thread! Many Arabians make awesome dressage horses. Someone before me, I think MaryJo, said to look at each individual horse - well stated! I didn't grow up with Arabians, I sort of gravitated towards them when I was looking for a dressage horse. At 5'2" I didn't want a giant so when I started looking, many Arabians started to come up in my search. I have found Arabians of many different bloodlines to be very good at dressage, look for what make you happy. My first experience with an Arabian in dressage, was a mare I rode for a friend, she was Bey Shah. When I went to look for one for myself, I found an amazing gelding by Padrons Psyche out of a Hal Gibby daughter. He's very cool and an awesome lower level ammy horse. His new owner just loves him and is in a dressage barn with a bunch of WB's - she says he fits right in. My current Arabian is now making babies with dressage as the goal. Carli is the highest scoring Arabian mare to be approved Hanoverian. She scored 8's on elasticity and imulsion. Her pedigree is Echo Magnifficoo, Bey Shah, Salon & *Elimar. My point here is do not rule out any horse due to someone told you not to look at those bloodlines. Carli has had 2 foals - '09 by Escudo II and '11 by Magic Aulrab.

Here's a link to Carli and her '09 Hanoverian/Arabian filly Excepchanel.

http://s411.photobucket.com/albums/pp193/tamcam/Caraechstrodinair%20and%20Excepchanel%20Spring%201 0/

Hampton Bay
Jul. 25, 2011, 10:07 PM
I'm surprised to hear about all the bad cantering. I've ridden arabs all my life and had no idea how bad my back must hurt by now (tic)....

Poor canter for dressage doesn't necessarily mean it would make your back hurt though. I've ridden horses with a smooth canter, but who would have trouble getting a good dressage canter. If they tend to place the hinds down too close together, it makes it VERY hard for them to get the carry and the length of stride they need to do well in dressage.

In fact, my arab, who has a fabulous canter, which is the main reason I bought him, is much harder to ride in the canter than my short-strided mare. He has so much motion, so much length of stride, than you really have to be relaxed in your lower back or you're likely to bounce right off him. I have to warn people who are used to riding flatter horses, otherwise they struggle until they get used to the idea of that big canter.

HeyPone!
Jul. 25, 2011, 11:09 PM
I am very lucky to have a lifetime free lease on a purebred arabian mare who is smart, gentle, calm, and drop dead gorgeous. She could be a Breyer model. She looks like she would be a wonderfull ride but she is enjoying retirement.She was on the giveaway forums here. Alot of people missed out on a super horse. I could just sit and watch her all day, she's just lovely. Her temperament is the best and she is just a joy to have here. Very level headed. Another plus is she is a very easy keeper :) Can you tell I just love her?

ms raven
Jul. 26, 2011, 04:56 AM
Great thread! Couldn't read all of it but skimmed through and there is definitely some amazing information here! Not much to add that hasn't been said I'm sure but also agree that it's important to evaluate the horse you see before you, not as an arabian with the potential to do dressage but as a well constructed horse with a good mind.

Conformation is important obviously but for an Arabian I think it is more important that they have a good mind. Arabians are achievers and they can overcome many a fault or challenge if they are level headed and willing. If you can find one that you "click" with on the ground and under saddle you are even better off because they will generally give you all that they have 100% of the time.

It is very important to find an arab that is willing to move well from behind and through and over the back and into the bit. You may have some challenges if you find one who has been trained for other arabian disciplines.

I ride an arabian which is of Polish/Russian/Crabbet lines. I purchased her as a weanling and had her started by a fellow who trained and rode only dressage (not an "arabian trainer") which I think was the basis for which we've been able to have as much success as we've had. My mare is not perfectly constructed behind, (little weak in the SI/loin area and a touch long in the gaskin) which is fairly common, but she has a super snappy hock and a very supple back. Her best gait is her canter, second her walk. She much prefers lateral movements and extensions and the more difficult the transition the more she seems to prefer it. She would much rather not collect but she can do it.

If you look for an Arab who is strong, soft and relaxed in the canter and walk I think you would be off to a good start. The traits which support good movement in these gaits would be desirable A lot of arabs are leg movers and you don't want a tense horse who moves naturally inverted.

candysgirl
Jul. 27, 2011, 01:52 AM
Smokeygirl,
I'd honestly never heard of Comoshun when I went down to buy him. I actually went down to KY to buy a one of two different colts, but they'd sold one a few days before I got down there and the other just didn't do it for me. I picked Mika largely based on personality. He was insanely friendly and just wanted to be near one of the humans out there. He seemed to really like the farm owner, but he also was following me around even when the other colts would run off. Just loose in the field, he let me touch him anywhere, pick up his feet, etc. When we chased him/them off to watch them move (they were unbroke 3yos), he went into this gorgeous floaty show off trot. Between the way he moved and his awesome personality, I was sold. I didn't want to make a hasty decision, so I looked at everything else on the farm, but they just didn't stack up to him. I'm SOOO glad I picked him, he's been pretty easy to train and a blast to work with.

As for saddle fit, my Polish Arab's dressage saddle is a Stubben Aramis. Its basically the Tristan, but they put the Aramis out for a short time because it had nicer leather. His jumping saddle is a Stubben Siegfried II. The Stubben tree seems to fit him well. As a bonus, you can get them pretty cheap used and since they're tough as nails, they last forever.

mp
Jul. 27, 2011, 12:03 PM
Padron was very athletic. He was trained in English Pleasure.

And never shown under saddle (unless it in a one-horse class was to qualify to show in halter). I saw him ridden once in an exhibition and he wallowed all over the place. It was everything the rider could do to keep him from moving like a drunken sailor. I don't think it was due to anything other than lack of training, however.


Again -- which is more important to the OP -- type or athletic ability? If you look at most racing Arabs or even many of the working ranch athletes they don't look any thing like a "halter" Arab....many of them don't look like Arabs at all for that matter. That's because the breeders were choosing function & ability over "type" (a wise choice, if you ask me...).

Also because before DNA typing was required, French racing breeders sneaked in TB blood. If you ask them (after a glass of wine or two) they'll admit it. ;)

The dam of all the horses I bred was a race-bred mare from the Michalow stud. She wasn't as pretty pretty as some Arabians, but she was unmistakably a purebred.

This is Ferrara PASB (http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b2da37b3127cced1b4866cdad100000010O08AZOGrNm5bsw e3nwA/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/)

Also, the best Arabian stallion I ever saw was a race-bred horse that won at the track and retired sound. This photo doesn't do him justice. He has bone, size and type.

Card Sharp (http://www.forgottenlane.com/page13.html)

So, as with just about everything in the horse world, it depends.



This is a wonderful thread and thought I would put in my two cents. I am a huge fan of Polish and Crabbet. Have bred and owned Hi Voltage(by Aurab) for almost 31 yrs He was always my perfect horse but I wasn't into dressage back then. I trained Aul Magic(Aurab grandson)http://www.glynnsongfarms.com/index.htmland he was a a very talented horse.

I saw Aul Magic at Arabian Nationals in Albuquerque way back before they split off the sporthorse competition. I just happened to walk by the dressage arena as he was entering for a 2nd level test (I think). My god, what a lovely horse he was -- presence, gaits, looks. He had it all. And I bet you were riding him that day.

That was when I started thinking about riding dressage instead of the rail classes.

HCF
Jul. 27, 2011, 02:01 PM
Here is my 5 year old Anglo arab gelding. This is a confo photo from last year, when he was 4 and just started. He is actually 3/4 Arab and 1/4 TB, by Kharbon Khopi+++//, who is Khemosabi bred.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=6762673&l=f0e7be04c4&id=729620154

I am just so thrilled with him. He has such nice gaits, with lots of suspension and although is still green due to lack of time on my part, is quite supple and uses his back well. And an added bonus is that my Oldenburg's Wolfgang Solo fits him! :)

This is his half brother, a PB stallion who is also doing very well.

http://www.centerlinesporthorses.net/?page_id=119

Sandy M
Jul. 28, 2011, 06:41 PM
Smokeygirl - I saw Padron when he was standing at stud in Danville, CA and, um...his front legs were something less than straight. There were rumors that his National Championship was a bit fishy......

Glynnsong - As you may have seen I posted about my Araloosa by Aul Magic! He is an awesome mover, and I attribute that to his sire (size obviously comes from his 17+ h.h. dam. He's not immediately obviously half-Arabian, but there are times in 3/4 head view that he looks a lot like Daddy. I'm still waiting, however, for him to settle down (he just turned 7). He's a bit hotter than I'm used to (always full Appies - Foundation and our Foundation/TB before). LOL

leilatigress
Jul. 28, 2011, 06:52 PM
I've physically seen Padron and I agree his legs are not fantastic and I agree on the fishy championship.
Khemosabi bred horses have always done me in and I can usually spot them in a line up. They're fantastic movers and solid minds though you have to watch that limo back during collection. The flat croup most of the popular halter lines are just cannot physically do the upper levels of collection but there are very few who can. Desperado kids when mixed with either a WB or non halter QH can be really nice.

selah
Jul. 28, 2011, 08:36 PM
I searched this thread to see if this had been mentioned, but didn't find anything.

IS Orlow is an Arabian stallion who had been approved by the Trakehner Verband, and was also approved by the Hanoverian Verband...I believe it was in 2010. There are several youtube vids of him...here is one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9epmAh-GWM

Pedigree:
http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/is+orlow

Sireline goes to Comet (plus he has a couple of other crosses to Comet) who was known to pass on great trot. You can see the strong resemblance...here is a pic of Comet:
http://www.quintessentialarabians.com/pix/comet2.jpg

Tristtan is an Arabian stallion whose damsire is the Comet son, Flis. He competed as a jumper, and in 2010 was competing I-1 dressage:
http://www.tristtan.com/

I have been interested in Tristtan, as I have a Half Arabian mare, by Hilltop Farm's Parabol, with the same damsire...the Comet son, Flis.
Here is a short clip of my mare's son, by Bugatti Hilltop, going through the jump chute...not a great quality vid, but I think it shows a strong family resemblance, even though he is only 25% Arabian:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTCZpRVKMeM

Dawn J-L
Jul. 29, 2011, 08:42 AM
I searched this thread to see if this had been mentioned, but didn't find anything.

IS Orlow is an Arabian stallion who had been approved by the Trakehner Verband, and was also approved by the Hanoverian Verband...I believe it was in 2010. There are several youtube vids of him...here is one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9epmAh-GWM

Pedigree:
http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/is+orlow

Sireline goes to Comet (plus he has a couple of other crosses to Comet) who was known to pass on great trot. You can see the strong resemblance...here is a pic of Comet:
http://www.quintessentialarabians.com/pix/comet2.jpg

IS Orlow is a good example. I'm surprised that he wasn't mentioned earlier. I know we've discussed him in other threads (mostly on the sport horse breeding forum).
More on him here: http://www.hengsthaltung-kathmann.de/cms/front_content.php?changelang=2&idcat=61

Comet is a great example of an Arabian of sport horse phenotype. (more on that later)

Another old fashioned Arabian who is often found in dressage (and eventing) Arabs in the US, Europe, and Australia with some vey nice Anglo Arabs and WB's (Traks) in the UK and Australia is Oran:
http://www.sporthorse-data.com/d?showpic=2671&time=1311417877

AA and WBX (Trak) with strong Oran influence in the UK:
http://www.ahs-premium.org.uk/Fairlyn_Gemini.htm
http://www.sporthorsegb.co.uk/members/Horses.asp?ID=108192
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Romarnic-Stud/104494982923217?sk=photos

AA and WBX with strong Oran influence in Australia: http://deveronstud.homestead.com/residentstallions.html


Oran is a prominent pedigree influence in a number of Arabians with dressage ability. Horses like The Count of Al-marah who was trained to the haute ecole by the great Ward Wells, Bright Meadows an FEI horse who was considered a potential candidate for the 1976 US Olympic Team by Chuck Grant, Golden Wings who represented the UK in international competition in the late 1970's early 1980's, and Magic Domino AHS who was Canadian Trak approved prior to being exported to the US and who competed in dressage and is siring horses (purebred and part-breds) that compete in dressage.

Oran is one of the important pedigree elements in my herd and it blends well with other pedigree elements that I have selected as having demonstrated consistency in producing sport horse type. Some of the traits that can be attributed to Oran are strength of structure/frame and great freedom and elasticity.


Tristtan is an Arabian stallion whose damsire is the Comet son, Flis. He competed as a jumper, and in 2010 was competing I-1 dressage:
http://www.tristtan.com/

I have been interested in Tristtan, as I have a Half Arabian mare, by Hilltop Farm's Parabol, with the same damsire...the Comet son, Flis.
Here is a short clip of my mare's son, by Bugatti Hilltop, going through the jump chute...not a great quality vid, but I think it shows a strong family resemblance, even though he is only 25% Arabian:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTCZpRVKMeMI really like Tristtan, too. In addition to Comet, his pedigree reveals thoughtful purpose breeding for "working athleticism" over *many* generations. I am not at all surprised that he is both a very good high performance horse AND a good sport horse sire.

I looked him up on the Arabian Datasource and see that his progeny are all Anglo-Arabs or Half-Arabs (WB's). Hmm, I may investigate using him for some of my own mares.

Here's another fine example of an Arabian dressage horse, Dervatiw Gwyddion: http://www.paslowhallarabians.com/Page2.html

When he was in the US, he was under-appreciated by the developing Arab sport horse market and not used much. He's in the UK now. I'd admired him from afar, and then when I finally had mares to breed to him, he was in the UK. Darn!

Of special note: Dervatiw Gwyddion also has a line to Comet. While comprehensive data on what Arabian ancestors are the "best" for sport horse breeding is not available, there are sometimes fragments of evidence available that when taken together seem to reveal a pattern of producing sport horse ability. IMO, like Oran, Comet is a likely candidate for designation as a highly desirable pedigree element for sport horse breeding based on his phenotype and the phenotype of some of his descendents.

quietann
Jul. 29, 2011, 09:38 AM
Would add that both the stallions being discussed (Tristtan and Dervatiw Gwyddion) have good "old" American CMK bloodlines through their grand-dams. A lot of the nice half-Polish performance horses in the past were bred exactly like this: Polish sire on CMK dam with Abu Farwa lines.

Dawn J-L
Jul. 29, 2011, 10:28 AM
Would add that both the stallions being discussed (Tristtan and Dervatiw Gwyddion) have good "old" American CMK bloodlines through their grand-dams. A lot of the nice half-Polish performance horses in the past were bred exactly like this: Polish sire on CMK dam with Abu Farwa lines.


Yup. My herd of 25 Arabians is of good old CMK lines. Fads and politics within the Arabian world have tended to devalue these lineages, but I have found that there is a deep well of athleticism coupled with high rideability/trainability in the CMK gene pool.

I can still appreciate other good lineages with demonstrated sport ability. That the CMK bloodline group actually ALLOWS the use of "outside" lines is a reflection of the founding principles of breeding for a "functional working type" using a variety of complementary lineages upon which the CMK tradition was built (and defined in retrospect).

The dam and granddam of several of my best youngsters has a sire line via a non-CMK Spanish lineage. All her offspring qualify as CMK heritage horses. I do strive to use predominantly CMK lineages for their inherent value and to help prove that value, but I can still appreciate being able to use exceptional examples of non-CMK horses within the context of breeding CMK horses. :)

http://www.reocities.com/Heartland/Ranch/3479/CMKIdenity.html

Sandy M
Jul. 29, 2011, 10:31 AM
Would add that both the stallions being discussed (Tristtan and Dervatiw Gwyddion) have good "old" American CMK bloodlines through their grand-dams. A lot of the nice half-Polish performance horses in the past were bred exactly like this: Polish sire on CMK dam with Abu Farwa lines.



oh, oh, oh....I know Gwyddion. Used to run into him and his trainer or his owner at shows and on the trail often. Was so sorry to see his nice owner return to England and, of course, take him with her. I think of them every time I trail ride past the home they had built in our area (and then had to sell. The stable and arena are now being used as a store house and I think the new owners must have teen age boys, because the arena now houses a basketball half-court and a batting cage. Sigh. It was such a nice horse property.)

selah
Jul. 29, 2011, 02:04 PM
Here's another fine example of an Arabian dressage horse, Dervatiw Gwyddion: http://www.paslowhallarabians.com/Page2.html

Wow! Gorgeous, athletic horse!

Here is a young stallion with two crosses to Comet in his damline:
http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/montraz

I love to watch his video...it does not show any canter, but he looks as if he feels so good in his own skin...athletic and joyful (scroll down to the third stallion, Montraz, and click on video):
http://www.showbizarabians.com/Stallions/index.html

netg
Aug. 1, 2011, 05:31 PM
Glynnsong - As you may have seen I posted about my Araloosa by Aul Magic! He is an awesome mover, and I attribute that to his sire (size obviously comes from his 17+ h.h. dam. He's not immediately obviously half-Arabian, but there are times in 3/4 head view that he looks a lot like Daddy. I'm still waiting, however, for him to settle down (he just turned 7). He's a bit hotter than I'm used to (always full Appies - Foundation and our Foundation/TB before). LOL

I've known of three Aul Magic babies who were 1/2 Arabian. All Trakehners, too, as he's approved by their registry. Different dams, and all three just fantastic movers. The one I know in training is being shown by an ammy who is doing an amazing job with him and winning everything they enter, pretty much.

Sandy M
Aug. 1, 2011, 06:28 PM
I've known of three Aul Magic babies who were 1/2 Arabian. All Trakehners, too, as he's approved by their registry. Different dams, and all three just fantastic movers. The one I know in training is being shown by an ammy who is doing an amazing job with him and winning everything they enter, pretty much.

I had always said that if I ever got a WB/Appy cross, I would want it to be a "Trakhaloosa." Well, didn't get the WarmBlood cross Appy - got the HOTblood cross - but, as you say, Aul Magic was Trakhener approved, so I guess he's my "pseudo-Trakhaloosa!" ROFLOL

rcloisonne
Aug. 1, 2011, 06:46 PM
Actually, the Polish and Crabbet are among the least closely related.
Umm, how can you say that when Skowronek was 100% Polish??????

rcloisonne
Aug. 1, 2011, 06:50 PM
But don't be dissuaded. My current Arab has a croup AND withers, and while he is hard to fit in ANY saddle, he is very amenable to dressage. He's a Bask son (Bask was Polish, and raced two or three years before his importation.)
Your horse must be quite aged. The youngest *Bask get were born in 1980. *Bask died in 1979.

hrsmstr
Aug. 11, 2011, 12:42 AM
Duh, you're right, my mistake! I wrote son but I meant grandson.

smokygirl
Aug. 11, 2011, 05:09 AM
Umm, how can you say that when Skowronek was 100% Polish??????

yes, but in general there was very little trade of bloodlines between the programs.

stripes
Aug. 12, 2011, 01:30 AM
The Polish CMK cross is awesome!

Here's a colt I bred this year out of my pure polish mare, sire by a Polish/CMK stallion. Lines to Comet, Karajordje, Abu Farwa & Serafix. I LOVE this colt, so wish he was a filly :)

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

hrsmstr
Aug. 12, 2011, 11:36 AM
OMG, Stripes, he's great! Now tell me the truth...when you bred the mare, was it to a deer, a kangaroo or what? because that little colt spends more time springing in the air than he does on the ground!!

Boy, he is a dandy. The mare is a nice one, too.

smokygirl
Aug. 12, 2011, 11:56 AM
The Polish CMK cross is awesome!

Here's a colt I bred this year out of my pure polish mare, sire by a Polish/CMK stallion. Lines to Comet, Karajordje, Abu Farwa & Serafix. I LOVE this colt, so wish he was a filly :)

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

he's adorable!!!!

AllForShow(s)
Aug. 12, 2011, 12:58 PM
I've had great luck with Crabbets for sporthorses.


One thing, a lot of Arabs have really high hocks, bad! Look for low hocks, they make for more soundness, longer careers, and more power from behind.

stripes
Aug. 12, 2011, 10:15 PM
OMG, Stripes, he's great! Now tell me the truth...when you bred the mare, was it to a deer, a kangaroo or what? because that little colt spends more time springing in the air than he does on the ground!!

Boy, he is a dandy. The mare is a nice one, too.

Thank you! This is my first attempt at producing a purebred Arabian dressage horse. Its the breeding! These lines are so proven for this type of motion. Tons of elasticity, impulsion & charisma. They just aren't popular with Arabian people so these horses get passed by and wasted. Carlos is amazing! I so wish he was a filly, I would keep him. I'm seriously hoping someone buys him and holds onto to him as a stallion prospect. His bloodlines are pure gold! He is a total outcross to everything in the Arabian gene pool. Its so hard to find a polish mare with little to no *Bask. And his sire... awesome old old pedigree. I went a little off course, but I got better than I ever expected. His sire is 26 this year and I hear he's not doing well, Carlos my be the last =(

Here is his pedigree
http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/supernatural11

fairtheewell
Aug. 17, 2011, 10:18 AM
Check out the Davenport Arabians...some have been very successful in dressage. There are some , very good movers in that bloodline, as well as great temperments. You could check with StarWest in Illinois for some info, as well as Charles Craver.