Dales ponies are rare in the US. Just curious what anyone thinks about them in dressage in particualr, and anything in general. :D Anyone have any experience with Dales ponies?
I might have the chance to get one for a great price. He's about 15 hands, so while his breed is pony, he in particular is not. He's very, very green under saddle, which is not a problem for me. And is smart and playful, pretty mover. Has a few issues other than very green, but nothing I'm not totally confident with being able to deal with. I wouldn't be keeping him for myself long term, but schooling him for a while (probably 6 months, give or take) to get him really solid and showing) and then to sell.
Any comments or thoughts? For what it's worth, when I first met his owner, she was on her other Dales pony, and I thought, wow, that is the smallest Friesian I've ever seen! LOL I'd never seen one before that. I've been very impressed with their minds ever since I got to know hers.
Personally I like them; but, not all will. Like Welsh Cobs (though not as uncommon) they will garner a following. I think it's a situation of whether or not you'll love it if he doesn't sell for what you've put into him. You may be far better at marketing than I am; so, perhaps not an issue. I have a Welsh Cob who I compete at PSG and will be moving up to I1 soon. I tried leasing him out and NO ONE would even take him on free lease because he is not a warmblood. I have a welsh cob x TB cross who I believe will eventually sell because she just has "that" quality to her but multiple interested parties have commented, "too bad she's not a warmblood because you could get at least double if not triple her price." I'm in it for the love of the breed (which is why I've collected several and bred a couple) so for me the naysayers or negative comments are far overshadowed by my satisfaction in being able to smile every time I look to get on one of mine. I see no reason why a Dales pony couldn't or wouldn't be very, very similar............plus black is in :winkgrin:
I have met quite a few Dales ponies here in CA. They have something referred to as a "rolling gait"---though for the life of me I cannot remember what that is all about. Though I suspect it is one of those "breed typical" ways of going (sorta like rounded knee vs. Daisy Cutter) rather than an actual gait. The youngsters remind me of mini Friesians in color/form---but do not have anything remotely like the same movement. I actually prefer the Highlands over the Dales for Looks :)--but the Highlands are about the cutest things ever---and Both are quite rare here in the US. Of the Native Pony Breeds (I think there are 9-I used to know this!) I'd personally go for Welsh, Connemara, New Forrest and/or one of their crosses for Dressage.
Thank you, exvet, for your opinion. The more I think about it, the more I think I'm going to do it. My husband likes the horse a lot too, even though he is pretty strictly race horses himself.
TBs are my breed of choice, I just love everything about them, but I'm an equal opportunity horseperson. LOL I love any horse that is smart, willing, pretty, and athletic for SOMETHING, regardless of what sport that might be. And I'm a bit of a generalist as a rider anyway. I can gallop a race horse, ride lower level dressge, jump a hunter course well enough for the locals, ride a baby jumper course, trail ride. I'll even hop over itty bitty cross country fences, but I'm not brave enough for the big stuff. Of course, I'm not really into western sports and QH are probably my least favorite breed. I just really love horses and try not to force the individual to do something it doesn't like or isn't suited for--no round pegs in square hole kind of things.
As far as selling and marketing, I'm very lucky in that we live in SE Pennsylvania, Chester County to be specific and it is very definitely horse country. Has lots of world class trainers in the area. Lots of horse people in all the main english sports and even some reining type barns in addition to all the pleasure riders as well. I haven't had too much trouble selling anything, even in the down market. Of course, I put a strong dressage background on everyone for rideability and try to price them right. Just in the past few years, I've sold a few dressage type "non-warmbloods", a few OTTBs, a saddlebred that was just crying out for a dressage home, a Tennesee Walking Horse trail horse, a bombproof beginners type TWH, and a unregistered gaited paint mare with 8 different gaits that we could distinquish. The 8 gaited mare was the funniest though--by time I sold her, she could w/t/c in a training level way of going, could jump a small course WITH flying changes, and could distinquish what I wanted on the trail between a running walk, pace, and rack.
By the way, I looked at your website and I absolutely love the pics of your gelding. I would have taken a free lease on him in a heartbeat just to learn the more upper level work on! It's amazing how blinded some people can be just because of breed!
Thank you, Goodpony. I think I know what you mean about the "rolling gait" but I've never heard about that before. When you watch my friend ride this horse's mother, she really has to work to post, but she can sit her trot all day long. Watching from the front, she doesn't exactly paddle with her legs, she kind of "waddles" from side to side. This guy is a better mover than his mother, more of a rounded suspended stride. Like you said, they may look like mini-friesian, but sure don't move like one!
Dales Ponies are Awesome
I have owned dales for over 12 years. They are absolutely the best breed I have owned. I currently have a 14 yo mare, and her son. I donated her full brother last year to a therapeutic riding program. They are known as the "great all-rounder" for their ability to do everything-driving, dressage cross country, etc. I have 12 YO triplets who have been around this breed since they were 2. Their natural curiosity make them a pleasure to be around. They are very hardy-can breathe air and get fat, and have excellent feet. They are very comfortable, and do have the "rolling gait". It can be like riding a couch! The mare I own has done very well at dressage and eventing. I am keeping her son to send to training in 2 years.
Originally Posted by Chestnut Run
breed profile for you
Originally Posted by Chestnut Run
General: A strong, active pony, full of quality and spirit.
Height: The preferred height range is 14 hands. (142.2 cms) to 14.2 hands (146.2 cms).
Head: Neat and ponylike. Broad between the eyes, which should be bright and alert. Pony ears slightly incurving. Long foretop of straight hair down the face.
Neck: Strong and of ample length. Stallions should display a bold outlook with a well-arched crest. Throat and jaws clean-cut. Long, flowing mane.
Shoulders: Well-laid, long, sloping shoulders with well-developed muscles. Withers not too fine.
Body: Short-coupled and deep through the chest, with well-sprung ribs.
Hindquarters: Deep, lengthy and powerful. Second thighs well-developed and very muscular. Tail well set on, not high, with plenty of long, straight hair reaching the ground.
Hocks: Broad, Flat and clean. Well let down with plenty of dense flat bone below.
Forearms: Set square. Short and very muscular, with broad, well-developed knees.
Feet, Legs and Joints: The very best of feet and legs, with flexible joints, showing quality with no coarseness. The cannons should display 8"-9" (20.3cms - 22.9cms) of flat flinty bone and well defined tendons. Pasterns should be nicely sloping and of good length. Ample silky feather on the heels. Large, round feet open at the heels, with well developed frogs.
Colours: Black, Brown, Grey, Bay and Roan
Markings: A white star and /or snip on the head. White fetlocks to the hind legs only. Mismarked ponies will be down-graded to the grading-up register.
Action: Clean, high, straight and true. Going forward on “all fours” with tremendous energy. The knee and hock are lifted, the hind legs flexed well under the body for powerful drive.
Character: True pony character. Alert, high-couraged, intelligent and kind.
will say dales ponies along with all the other pony breeds of uk are very versitile, good allrounders live on air type and good doer's
can turn there hooves to anything, from showing, to jumping to dressage to eventing ht x/c p/c r/c general hacks and driving,
the fell pony is smaller than the dales but looks the same and breed wise very simular to the dales pony
Originally Posted by Chestnut Run
Not exceeding 14 hands (142.2 cms).
Black, brown, bay and grey. Chesnuts, piebalds and skewbalds are debarred.
A star and/or a little white on or below the hind fetlock is acceptable. An excess of white markings is discouraged, but such ponies are eligible for registration.
Small, well chiselled in outline, well set on, forehead broad, tapering to nose.
Large and expanding.
Prominent, bright, mild and intelligent.
Neatly set, well formed and small.
THROAT & JAW:
Fine, showing no signs of throatiness nor coarseness.
Of proportionate length, giving good length of rein, strong and not too heavy, moderate crest in case of stallion.
Most important, well laid back and sloping, not too fine at withers, nor loaded at the points - a good long shoulder blade, muscles well developed.
Good strong back of good outline, muscular loins, deep carcase, thick through heart, round ribbed from shoulders to flank, short and well coupled, hind quarters square and strong with tail well set on.
FEET, LEGS AND JOINTS:
Feet of good size, round and well formed, open at heels with the characteristic blue horn, fair sloping pasterns not too long, forelegs should be straight, well placed not tied at elbows, big well formed knees, short cannon bone, plenty of good flat bone below knee (eight inches at least), great muscularity of arm.
Good thighs and second thighs, very muscular, hocks well let down and clean cut, plenty of bone below joint, hocks should not be sickle nor cow-hocked.
MANE, TAIL AND FEATHER:
MANE, TAIL AND FEATHER:
Plenty of fine hair at heels (coarse hair objectionable), all the fine hair except that at point of heel may be cast in summer. Mane and tail are left to grow long.
Walk, smart and true. Trot well balanced all round, with good knee and hock action, going well from the shoulder and flexing the hocks, not going too wide nor near behind. Should show great pace and endurance, bringing the hind legs well under the body when going.
The Fell Pony should be constitutionally as hard as iron and show good pony characteristics with the unmistakable appearance of hardiness peculiar to mountain ponies, and at the same time, have a lively and alert appearance and great bone.
Thank you for the additional information guys. The owner and I spoke last night actually and he's coming home as soon as I can teach him to trailer load. LOL I'll post pictures when he's home. I love all breeds, especially TBs, and I think this boy is just absolutely gorgeous! I'm so excited, even though he's going to be for sale eventually.