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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    thank you. I think that is what I'd call a "bitsa"
    "bitsa" this and "bitsa" that ??? I actually rode a 13.2 tri color leopard stallion to a southern Regional championship in the early 1990's...however, as with more minor minor breeds here,I was the only one in the class

    Tamara in TN



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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamara in TN View Post
    there were more TB's driven in the old days but even in the old books it says that (paraphrased) "too much needless stopping annoys a high couraged horse"
    Sounds like the author knew his TBs all right. But the key word there is "needless". Avery is irked beyond belief if I stop to yap (unless of course he thinks there might be a cookie or better yet a Co-Cola in it for him ), but if it's a stop to fix a piece of equipment or even just to take my jacket off or light a cig, he lodges no objections whatsoever and those feet stay PUT.

    What I loff the most about driving Avery is those quick reflexes. I've told the story before about us at a pleasure show when my SO put the lamps in their brackets incorrectly and very loose. We went trotting briskly over a bump in the road and one lamp went FLYING into the air. Avery hit the brakes before I could even say "whoa" and before the lamp even started its way downward. I was ever so impressed. And was able to catch and save the lamp!
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief



  3. #43
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    I would have to say tough that the Thoroughbred of the late 18th century was a far different animal than the Throughbred of today. In the late 19th century when the National Saddle Horse Breeder's Association was being formed (now the American Saddlebred Horse Association) the criteria for entry into the studbook was the ability to perform the saddle gaits (smooth 4 beat gaits such as the slow gait and rack) and there wer straight Jockey Club Throughbreds that enetered the first few volumes of the Saddlebred book because they could rack. How many Thoroughbreds today possess the natural ability to rack? Just point that out to show how the breed has been honed for the #1 thing it has been bred for.



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    No offense whatsoever, Renae, but can you quote me a source on the rackin' TBs?? I'm not saying it ain't so, but I've sure never heard of one. Name me some names.

    Messenger and his son Mambrino were both full TBs (and foundation sires of both the STB and ASB) but they - and most of the other full TBs I've seen in ASB pedigrees - were known for their exceptional *trotting* capability, not racking.

    I'll grant you that *surviving pictures* of Denmark (full TB) make him look a lot different than the TBs of now, but then so do pics of his ancestor Sir Archy, who was a brilliant race horse and most certainly didn't have a rack anywhere on him! We all know horse portraiture was grossly inaccurate for centuries. One of Avery's ancestors is the Royal Family's great race horse Persimmon, and I can show you any number of pics/prints of him that don't even look like they're the same horse, although they all purport to be!

    I'm digging around right now in the back pages of Edna May's King's pedigree and I'm seeing bunches of familiar TB names (Diomed, Matchem, Herod, blah blah blah), none of whom racked so far as I am aware.

    EDIT: OK, I may have to take this back, b/c if memory serves, I've seen references hinting that Old Potomac - full TB who was also a foundation sire of the TWH - may have racked or at least had *some* kind of 4-beat gait on him.
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief



  5. #45
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    The Galloways and Hobbies were pacers as they said it at the time, and Arabians have always had the ability to do the easy saddle gaits, although in the west we have selctively bred them to be a trotting breed. So the foundation of the Thoroughbred was well able to perform easy gaits. Volume I of the National Saddle Horse Breeder's Association Stud Book (sorry I don't have a copy, kind of a rare expensive book) has 1081 entries, of them:
    Thoroughbred...................................... .........3
    Thoroughbred Blood 50%.............................50
    Thoroughbred Blood 25%............................296
    Thoroughbred Blood 12.5%.........................343
    Thoroughbred Blood 6.25%.........................152
    Thoroughbred Blood 3%...............................36
    Uncertain......................................... ..........201

    But my point was the Thourghbred of old Henry the VI's day would have been a much different horse than todays' animal. Hackney Horses would have been a new fangled thing (Old Shales was foaled in 1755) and the fine driving horse of the time in England was the Yorkshire Coach Horse, the result of crossing Thoroughbreds on Cleveland Bays.



  6. #46
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    Well, but how different does this pic of the racing-fit Diomed (full TB, 1777, and again a foundation sire of ASB and TWH) look from the racing-fit Secretariat (TB, 1970)?

    It's sad, but the horse portraits of the time were sooooooooo inaccurate we're just never going to know for sure. They are in fact so inaccurate that it's quite possible to use them to bolster any and every debating point under the sun! Including yours - and mine.

    I am kinda curious - if you don't mind my asking - why you seem to be against driving TBs. I can think of plenty of ASBs who are much hotter than my preferred *type* of TB, and plenty that I wouldn't dream of sitting behind. (Those of us in these parts have NOT forgotten the late Found Treasure's brief "experiments" in Roadster and Fine Harness, if we can put it that way... They made Thomas' pic above look like the Low Slow Route!!) Seems to me that as a supporter of another breed that has a "crazy psychopath" reputation, you should be playing for Team TB here!
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief



  7. #47
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    Oh I can look at pics of racing TB's all day long, even inaccurate ones.

    Some very good discussion happening here, I think the history of horse breeds is absolutely fascinating!

    Back on track though. I guess I just don't think TB's are so hyper or skittish as compared to some of the horses I've seen already driving. I mean, have you guys seen horses that are wired for take-off before the start of the marathon? Yikes, they look like race horses warming up at the gate! Perhaps the difference is that even though the horses are frothying at the mouth and stepping on anybody around them, they are capable of 'whoaing', sort of and maybe a TB is not.

    Dunno, maybe someday I'll send him to a trainer just "to see". Thanks all.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
    Oh I can look at pics of racing TB's all day long, even inaccurate ones.

    Back on track though. I guess I just don't think TB's are so hyper or skittish as compared to some of the horses I've seen already driving....
    It just depends on the individual horse. Can you tell us any more about your boy - age, experience, training level, etc.?? We may be able to come up with some trainer names for you.

    maybe they are capable of 'whoaing', sort of and maybe a TB is not.
    I have (please God) never been bolted with in harness other than by a Hackney pony in the breed show ring when I was 10, but I've been bolted with by the best of several breeds under saddle, and I have to opine that I actually think a TB is easier to stop than any other breed. Here is why. When other breeds bolt, they bolt b/c they are truly genuinely scared to death, and they keep running b/c they are truly genuinely scared to death. A TB, OTOH, at *some* point during the bolting process, eventually stops running out of fear and starts running for FUN, b/c he loffs it and that's what TBs do. That is the point at which you can usually stop a TB without too much difficulty.

    Just my experience though.
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief



  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by War Admiral View Post
    Not to derail the thread, but I'm kinda surprised Thomas didn't mention that back in the old days there was far more of a tradition of driving TBs than there is now.
    Ah so glad you reminded me.

    I've got some fantastic quotes in some of my old books about why and in what circumstances they were used and why they went to the warmblood types and they're going to be perfect quotes for this posting and to illustrate the point the OP's trainer was most likely making.

    I'll trawl them out for you.

    Though I notice that Tamara has already found one that I do recall.

    I've got to say I'm always somewhat gob-smacked at some of the responses when there's a posting along the lines of "why can't shires be a race horse", "can my shetland event", "why not T/B's to drive", "want to do high level dressage with my arab but they're prejudiced"

    In my mind some of the replies show a fundamental lack of understanding about selective breeding and what breeding true to type actually is and what its for.

    If someone says that a thoroughbred will NEVER in a month of Sundays reach the epitomy of perfection required by say a classical horse in dressage (or insert what discipline you fancy) it doesn't mean that T/B's are junk or rubbish or they've not been trained right or the person is 'prejudiced' or needs to try harder, get out more, get more experience whatever. Consider they might just understand selective breeding principles and aims and objectives alongwith having an understanding of the conformation, temperament and ability of that breed.

    It simply means that its hardly surprising and clearly the centuries of purpose breeding for temperament, type, form and function actually paid off!

    The T/B was bred for something different and out performs all other breeds at the thing they were bred for. So go figure........ the centuries of selective breeding actually worked.

    Personally I can't begin to understand why we can't appreciate the huge diversity in modern species of equus and why some haven't got their heads round the fact that selective breeding is the process of producing individuals of a given phenotype that will outperform anything that hasn't been bred to purpose for the job it (the phenotype) is being bred for.

    I declared at the start an 'inherited' lifelong passion and enthusiam for T/B's and Arabs AND I've even been stupid enough (and successful) at driving them at the top level. But I'll tell you straight - NEVER and I mean NEVER EVER EVER EVER would I teach someone to drive with one or put one to harness for a novice driver or recommend them as a good driving horse or do such as a wedding with them for paying customers.

    And I hasten to add that when my oldest daughter got married we used one of my fei t/b's which was also her eventing horse and I drove him there and she drove her husband away put to in an original Victoria. But the wedding had so many real horse people and real driving people there and real t/b experts and trainers, that you could smell the horse sh** a mile away. It was in enclosed private grounds and no one would have cared if said t/b did something wappy or took exception to things happening. Though got to say that Tracey's new husband looked a little terrified when Duke broke into a canter going across the lawns.
    Last edited by Thomas_1; Jun. 11, 2007 at 05:58 AM.



  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renae View Post
    But my point was the Thourghbred of old Henry the VI's day would have been a much different horse than todays' animal. .
    There were no thoroughbreds during the time of Henry VI.

    As I said in my earlier posting the Thoroughly blood bred horse was developed in England and from the following stallions with their dates: Byerley Turk (1680-1696), Darley Arabian (1700-1733) and the Godolphin Arabian (1724-1753). The name later changed to Thoroughbred.

    There's been horse racing in England from before then and some of the horses used prior were in turn used to breed into those stallions but they weren't thoroughbreds. It was in fact during the reign of Charles II that racing first went to on a track and at first between just 2 horses

    And so you can get your time scales. Charles II - 1630 to 1688 and Henry VI - 1421 - 1457



  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by War Admiral View Post
    I have (please God) never been bolted with in harness other than by a Hackney pony in the breed show ring when I was 10, but I've been bolted with by the best of several breeds under saddle, and I have to opine that I actually think a TB is easier to stop than any other breed. Here is why. When other breeds bolt, they bolt b/c they are truly genuinely scared to death, and they keep running b/c they are truly genuinely scared to death. A TB, OTOH, at *some* point during the bolting process, eventually stops running out of fear and starts running for FUN, b/c he loffs it and that's what TBs do. That is the point at which you can usually stop a TB without too much difficulty.

    Just my experience though.
    Got to say that I don't recognise your description or experience as being bolting at all.

    I've had 4 'true' bolters in decades of working with virtually nothing but green or spoilt riding and driving horses.

    I've had a few that were close to being runaways though.

    There is a difference between a horse spooking and scooting away for a few strides across or down to the other end of the arena, or an ex-racehorse who takes hold of the reins and goes for a bit of a run because he got excited and enjoys the run or tired of the rider making him lean on the bit and a horse who bolts.

    There are two kinds of bolting:

    The kind where the horse completely loses its mental capabilities to 'think' AND DOES NOT REGAIN THEM FOR SOME TIME. The horse is literally in a panic and running for it's life and sometimes this horse will run itself right into obstacles immediately in its path because it does not 'see' them in the panic. You're not going to stop this horse until he runs out of gas or comes to his senses.

    The second kind is the 'clever' horse that does it because he's not happy with what's currently going on. This is a horse that's used bolting to get rid out of the situation its in and is fully aware of what's going on. This horse often likes to include bucking as they're galloping off with all their might. This kind you can stop, if you can stay astride or aboard long enough have the riding/driving skill.

    Originally Posted by Gestalt maybe they are capable of 'whoaing', sort of and maybe a TB is not.
    IME a t/b transitions down the paces absolutely no differently to any other horse and using no different signals or commands. That IMO would not be a consideration at all when thinking about driving one. There's a mass of things that would be, but not that.



  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    There were no thoroughbreds during the time of Henry VI.

    As I said in my earlier posting the Thoroughly blood bred horse was developed in England and from the following stallions with their dates: Byerley Turk (1680-1696), Darley Arabian (1700-1733) and the Godolphin Arabian (1724-1753). The name later changed to Thoroughbred.

    There's been horse racing in England from before then and some of the horses used prior were in turn used to breed into those stallions but they weren't thoroughbreds. It was in fact during the reign of Charles II that racing first went to on a track and at first between just 2 horses

    And so you can get your time scales. Charles II - 1630 to 1688 and Henry VI - 1421 - 1457
    Ugh, sorry, have no idea why I typed Henry VI, there, was thinking of George IV, no idea where Henry VI came from



  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by War Admiral View Post
    I am kinda curious - if you don't mind my asking - why you seem to be against driving TBs. I can think of plenty of ASBs who are much hotter than my preferred *type* of TB, and plenty that I wouldn't dream of sitting behind. (Those of us in these parts have NOT forgotten the late Found Treasure's brief "experiments" in Roadster and Fine Harness, if we can put it that way... They made Thomas' pic above look like the Low Slow Route!!) Seems to me that as a supporter of another breed that has a "crazy psychopath" reputation, you should be playing for Team TB here!
    I'm not against any horses as driving horses, go ahead do whatever you want. The OP asked "Are driving TB's the exception rather than the rule?", and yes, they are. There might be some nice ones driving, but the number 1 light driving breed for road or pleasure use in America I would have to put my money on the Standardbred and secondly the Saddlebred, the 2 breeds most popular with the Amish and Mennonite folk. These are the folk that use their horses every day and those are the two most popular breeds with them because they are affordable reliable road horses.



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    The kind where the horse completely loses its mental capabilities to 'think' AND DOES NOT REGAIN THEM FOR SOME TIME. The horse is literally in a panic and running for it's life and sometimes this horse will run itself right into obstacles immediately in its path because it does not 'see' them in the panic. You're not going to stop this horse until he runs out of gas or comes to his senses.
    That's the kind of bolting I'm talking about. I guess what I'm trying to say and did not express well is that my experience has been that the TB comes back to its senses more quickly. Mind you now, "quickly" in the context of the incident I'm remembering was like... three *minutes*... so yes we're talking about a serious bolt.

    I would definitely loff to read the TB quotes some time when you've a chance to type them out, Thomas!

    I guess we'll find out about TBs and weddings some time this fall, as I will be using Avery for the BM's wedding. Like yours, it will be on a private farm with loads of horse people about - and being me, you best believe he will have loads of despooking sessions with confetti and veils and whatnot beforehand! I suspect, however, that my biggest problem on the day will be how to stop him trying to eat the wedding cake once he is unhitched.

    You'll have to come meet the Old Professor some time when you're next in the States. I think you will find him quick and responsive, but very very kind and sensible. He's not by any means the only TB driving lesson horse in America, either - my trainer had one as well when I started, though I feel certain that mare has retired by now. (And BTW I don't actually teach formally - but he has given "pony rides" under close supervision and taught people the rudiments a few times, and will do so again.)

    Mind you - I'm not claiming for a minute that all TBs are like this. I got very, very lucky indeed when I bid this horse in at the feedlot for $600, and I have always freely acknowledged that.
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief



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    War Admiral - Good luck with Avery at the wedding!! I'm sure he'll be fine! My 7/8 TB mare carried an East Indian groom to his wedding when she was 3 years old. She was even on the news! She did fantastic. Never a spook one. The pictures I have are just great. There are about 500 people dancing and playing moraccas (spelling?), everybody is dressed in brightly colored robes and gowns, there is a band, and the groom is carrying this giant ceramic egg, while riding the horse. The news crews were everywhere, photographer's flash going nuts, and people throwing streamers and rice. The horse was covered in this giant tapestry type blanket with fresh flowers braided in her mane. The poor thing was BARELY started under saddle, but she had such a calm disposition and was always solid as a rock. Of corse there was a handler leading at the horse's head. I do really enjoy TB sporthorses. We never found ours to be spooky or crazy in the least. Breeding has a lot to do with it, and so does handling/training.

    As with Arabians, I strongly believe that many people just plain "handle them incorrectly" because they are unacccustomed or uneducated, to the ways of hot bloods. I handle my Arab differently than I do my foundation bred QH, because the personalities are very very different. A reactive, hot blooded horse requires a handler who understands that personality type and can work with it, not against it. No, you don't handle them with kid gloves and walk on egg shells, but you do have to recognize the fact that they are sensitive. I could groom my QH with a metal wire brush if I wanted and she wouldn't notice. If I touch the Arab (or any of my mother's TBs) with a brush stiffer than limp spaghetti, you end up with one seriously pissed off, cranky horse. When I ask for a foot for hoof picking, I touch the Arab's shoulder and she snaps her leg up like she just got bit by a snake. With the QH, you could practically winch her leg up with a construction crane and she'd just sleep.

    Not all QHs are that docile and not all Arabs (or TBs) are that reactive, but when you meet an individual who "is" then you have to respect their emotions and dispositions appropriately.



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    If someone says that a thoroughbred will NEVER in a month of Sundays reach the epitomy of perfection required by say a classical horse in dressage (or insert what discipline you fancy) it doesn't mean that T/B's are junk or rubbish or they've not been trained right or the person is 'prejudiced' or needs to try harder, get out more, get more experience whatever. Consider they might just understand selective breeding principles and aims and objectives alongwith having an understanding of the conformation, temperament and ability of that breed.
    Haha, no, I'm afraid it would only lead me to think that the person saying it has never studied the career of Podhajsky - probably the greatest classical dressage master who ever lived - and who competed nothing BUT full TBs to Olympic level until he took over the SRS.

    And in our own generation (in case Renae is planning to argue that the *type* has changed), there's also this fine gentleman!
    Last edited by War Admiral; Jun. 11, 2007 at 10:39 AM.
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief



  17. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by War Admiral View Post
    Sounds like the author knew his TBs all right. But the key word there is "needless". Avery is irked beyond belief if I stop to yap (unless of course he thinks there might be a cookie or better yet a Co-Cola in it for him ),
    I think the author meant more along the lines of going 40 feet and stopping to collect or gain control or micro mange the animal REALLY annoyed these sorts of horses....

    when I ride my own "high couraged horses" out early in their riding lives,I don't ask them to do much stopping or harassing in the first mile or two....now I may be in two point above a "start of the ride" kinky knotty trot but I'm not dropping the aids on him and demanding he do half passes or circles because he's "not listening" as so many folks are bad to do

    let them stretch out and catch some excitement and wind in their lungs..riding or driving with us should be fun for them also...they may be our slaves but they are not drones....

    I'll ride 7 or more miles every ride and they already learned "whoa" from the first day as I have a 10,000 sq foot barn w/indoor attached...but I hate riding in there past a week or so under saddle....ring riding bleech....

    and they do mostly manage to walk the first mile out....but again....it's not about annoying the horse into doing what you want...if you wait just a bit...he will come around to you...obediance must be happily given or it dies not far past the next deep breath as they learn the drill and the drill NEVER changes they are content and this is any breed....

    anyway....these old driving horses would not have been suited for the stop and go of Taxi services or market deliveries....nor would they have been great in the welsh hills...but traveling the long darks at a trot for 14 miles or so....sure....

    Tamara in TN



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    Again - depends on the horse and depends on how it is trained. Hell, I can set an entire cones course with Avery carrying the cones in the cart and me scrambling out every x feet to set them. In fact, I usually do, since I don't own a truck! As long as Avery understands that there is a *purpose* to the halt, I get "Ah. I see. We are setting a cones course. How may I be of assistance to you?" It's only when I stop to pointlessly yap for more than about 3 minutes that I get the heavy sighs, the rolling eyes, the snorts of disgust, and the pawing. So I tend to read the author's words *exactly* the way he wrote them.

    I totally agree with you though that TBs do not take kindly to the concept of micromanagement, and anybody who does not understand that needs to find a different breed.
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief



  19. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by War Admiral View Post
    Again - depends on the horse and depends on how it is trained. Hell, I can set an entire cones course with Avery carrying the cones in the cart and me scrambling out every x feet to set them. .
    yes but as you set the course you dismount from the cart (2 wheeled??) and then you remount and start again....in that time, his burden on his harness and person is relieved and then reloaded when you remount...he can relax and start again when you remount the cart....

    however, it may be harder for him to balance the load,stationarily in the harness when you do not dismount....esp in a 2 wheel....in a war wagon you have four wheels to take the burden off him....and his breechen and his saddle and collar....with 2 wheels and not having the ease that comes with a foreward momentum he may find it harder to hold his cargo....

    and of course I may be totally wrong in all counts !!!!!!!

    Tamara in TN



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    Quote Originally Posted by War Admiral View Post

    I totally agree with you though that TBs do not take kindly to the concept of micromanagement, and anybody who does not understand that needs to find a different breed.
    That's a neat point you made. My friend and I always talk about this girl she knows with western pleasure QHs. She gets on and immediately sets the head, gets them in a tiny circle and walks 10 steps, backs 10 steps, walks 10 steps, backs 10 steps. She'll do this for 30 minutes or more before she ever lets them jog or get off the little circle.

    I'm afraid if you did that with most TBs or Arabs, they would start evading by bolting or going straight up. When I get on my Arab, I usually have to just get her forward in a strong trot and let her "trot it out" for a mile or two before she's ready to get down to work. Part of that is being young, but part of it is being a hot blooded horse. You do have to manage them differently.



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