View Full Version : Spinoff: Sale horse with DR on its record.

Jul. 20, 2011, 04:52 PM
This question formulated for me as I was answering the Vaunted thread and checking my email. I have an AA student we're starting to horse hunt for, and she's sending me ads and websites on a daily basis.:winkgrin:

If one looks like a likely contender, one of my first steps is to check their USEA record. One of the ones she sent me had an extensive, if somewhat spotty record. Lots of good placings with a pro, much more mixed results with what I assume is an AA and a junior.

However, on his record there is a one-off (that is, he was ridden by someone that did not ride him before or after this competition) in which he was eliminated for dangerous riding.

Now given the spottiness of the rest of his record, I suspect he's not for my client, but it did lead me to think about what if the horse had a less spotty record, but still the DR, what would I do?

I realize the DR can be entirely about the rider, and not at all about the horse, but what if he was, say incredibly strong? Or didn't have the best jumping style? Would you run away? I would imagine once you tried the horse in person, you'd have a better feel for what the issue may or may not have been, but what if you couldn't take him xc?

My general MO is not to rule out a horse over the occaisional booboo on his record, but having DR's starting to appear on those records has given me a new angle to consider. I'm not sure what I think, what about the rest of you?

Jul. 20, 2011, 04:59 PM
Eliminated for dangerous riding only once while under someone who has never ridden him before or since? Wouldn't worry about it.

Jul. 20, 2011, 05:02 PM
I think right now the DR is a little spotty itself. I know of two cases (one that I witnessed and one where knowing both horse and rider, I couldn't even comprehend it) where DR were given and are on record where I wouldn't hesitate for a millisecond over the horses. Both of these were at the upper levels. I would tend to ask honestly what had happened and then assess the credibility of the response. I feel somewhat the same about stops. Some horses stop because it is safer given the rider or because they are being told to. Depending on the rider that may be the better/safer choice than a horse that jumps anything they are pointed at.

Jul. 20, 2011, 05:45 PM
It would not keep me from trying the horse if I liked everything else.

Jul. 20, 2011, 06:01 PM
I think I'd pick up the phone and find out.

Jul. 20, 2011, 06:31 PM
I view USEA competition records a lot like I do race records when buying a TB right off the track. It gives me great questions and topics to discuss with the trainer, but that's about all. If this horse is being ridden by an amateur--especially one without much experience--I wouldn't rule a horse out based solely on its USEA record. Look at the horse not the paper, DR penalty or not.

Jul. 20, 2011, 08:36 PM
The DR would be added to my list of questions to ask the seller when I called about the horse. If the answer made sense ie. the horse is a 17 hand draft cross and the rider was a small girl not strong enough to hold him, etc. then I would try the horse and see what he was like for myself.

A DR does not bother me as much as seeing a MR does. Although I guess it all depends on the situation. But unless you saw what happened you are depending on the seller to tell you the truth about the circumstances which I am always skeptical of. Sad, but true.

Jul. 20, 2011, 09:02 PM
It's unfortunate that there isn't a database for unrecognized competitions. For a lot of people there are more showings at unrec than rec, simply for financial reasons. It would sure give you a more well-rounded picture.

As far as DR - I kind think it carries the same weight as TE when looking at a record: if all else was ok than it probably fell on the rider.

Jul. 20, 2011, 10:10 PM
Well being an owner of a horse and having a rider labeled DR at an event I would not shy away ... I would ask the questions about the situation and the horse. The rider and my daughter were ripped apart on this site, needlessly and rudely. Still own the horse because he is so wonderful. Rider still here and rides him successfully and unsucessfully .. rider issues not horse. Ask the questions and then the question becomes .. are they being up front with you. Try to have a trial time and see if it is a match. Our rider has learned so much on our guy. I will never sell him because he is so unique .. such a dangerous guy .. he walks around on a buckle on/off the farm with a young child (not the rider/event kid) on his back. Again .. ask the questions.

Jul. 20, 2011, 10:20 PM
I don't really care what is on their record. A DR can be for a lot of reasons. Stops...letter scores...time....rails...bad dressage scores all can be for reasons other than the horse.

A perfect record also does not mean *I* can ride the horse.;)

Jul. 21, 2011, 02:41 AM
I appreciate everyone's thoughts. I want to emphasize I'm choosing not to pursue this horse for reasons other than the DR. But it was the first time I'd looked at a record and seen one, so I've had to think about what I think about that.

I don't view records as the be all end all. But they are helpful in seeing patterns--what levels or types of riders the horse is or isn't comfortable with, etc. I don't expect a horse to have a spotless record, but I do like to feel like I understand the story of the horse told by it's record.

I have seen cases where I thought a DR was given incorrectly, and where I thought it was a good decision. When I have agreed with the call I can't say I've always thought it was all rider (though certainly at its most basic level, if the horse is that out of control/jumping poorly/etc. it is the riders duty to pull up). But in terms of a horse with a DR on it's record--well, some of them I'd not think twice before riding, and some you couldn't pay me to get on. :winkgrin:

Like I said, it was an interesting intellectual exercise.