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  1. #1
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    Mar. 9, 2006
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    Default TBs vs WBs:Why the change in H/Js

    I was wondering if anyone has any opinion on why the trend in Hunter/Jumpers(mainly hunters) has gone from mostly Thoroughbreds in the 80s to mostly Warmbloods today. It seems to me like a complete reversal and having been active with TBXs in the 80s I just wondered what everybody thinks.
    Does anybody else think this trend has hurt the OTTB market or are there just more for eventers.



  2. #2
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    Jun. 20, 2000
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    Kennesaw Georgia
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    There are ALOT of young warmbloods being brought over from Europe and breed in the US. Not all these horses are going to make it in dressage. They are going into hunters with them. Several friends of mine ended up sending their 3 and 4 yr old warmbloods to hunter trainers to train and sell them as they didn't do well in dressage which they were originally purchased for.



  3. #3
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    May. 5, 2000
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    Aiken, SC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ponygirlnmh View Post
    I was wondering if anyone has any opinion on why the trend in Hunter/Jumpers(mainly hunters) has gone from mostly Thoroughbreds in the 80s to mostly Warmbloods today. It seems to me like a complete reversal and having been active with TBXs in the 80s I just wondered what everybody thinks.
    Does anybody else think this trend has hurt the OTTB market or are there just more for eventers.

    You have to know what you are doing to ride a Thoroughbred well, not so much so for a warmblood. That is why I have a warmblood. I'm getting too old to have to deal with TBs like I did when I was a youngster in the early 80's. IMO, TBs make the most beautiful hunters!



  4. #4
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    Jan. 14, 2008
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    Default

    For the most part, Warmbloods are quieter than TBs!



  5. #5
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    Nov. 29, 2005
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    Default

    ahhh yes- the hunter/jumper days of the 80's. That's when I was involved with H/J. You couldn't do anything without a TB. Okay well there were a couple of warmbloods but certainly not like today.

    I don't know why the change either and often wondered why. The TB's I knew were very talented and very level headed. Memory is fuzzy but I can't remember if there were as many OTTB's recycled like today either? I know one show facility was also breeding TB's for H/J and I don't think any of the several dozen came from the track. I do not have fond memories of one of their studs but recall some gorgeous foals.

    Many OTTB's in the eighties just went on the truck experienced that first hand.

    which lends me to question...

    Maybe there is some correlation with the racing industry breeding (?)- TB's have changed over the past couple decades... many many OTTB's today.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2007
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    570

    Default

    A friend of mine put it interestingly - The WB is the horse version of the SUV. Big and lumbering, percieved as safe and way more fashionable than a mini van (the QH). Not everyone can handle the speed and sensitivity of sportscars (TB's), but everybody can roll in style in the ultra-pimp Escalade. We're a fadish sport, and America lives and dies by the "bigger is better" philosophy.



  7. #7
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    Mar. 4, 2006
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    VA/MD
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    I'm sure this will be an unpopular opinion to some people but some of the dynamic, IMO, is a fashion trend that evolved to match where the money is in the sport. The industry makes so much of its living off the buying and selling of horses, and the industry is so interwoven - trainers, breeders, judges, etc - that the stylistic preference in a Hunter has evolved to fit the high dollar horse...heavier horse, slower step. Less of the Handy Hunter / Field Hunter type emphasis.

    Thoroughbred racing saw a mini-explosion within the last couple decades when a lot of tracks (or circuits within a state) around the country expanded their racing dates to cover an entire year. That contributed to a larger stream of OTTBs in need of new careers, which probably enhanced the dynamic of the trend.

    I hope this isn't interpreted as saying that a TB can't succeed in Hunters - I fully believe they can break through, and I personally enjoy the beauty of an agile, in-hand TB over a hunter course so much more than a horse that lugs over the fences and looks like it could stand to lose 100 lbs. In fact, when I'm watching strangers go at shows, I love to root for those guys. One man's OTTB is less than another's warmblood commission.
    "To understand the soul of a horse is the closest human beings can come to knowing perfection."



  8. #8
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    May. 5, 2000
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    Aiken, SC
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    Quote Originally Posted by ef80 View Post
    ... We're a fadish sport, and America lives and dies by the "bigger is better" philosophy.
    Not true with everything otherwise my cousin would have had more second dates, errr I mean first dates, umm I mean even one date.



  9. #9
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    May. 16, 2001
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    Alaska. Not in an Igloo.
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    Default

    The TBS bred for the track for today are not the same as they were. Nowadays they build for sprinters/shorter distances.

    The tbs of before were a hardier type meant for longer distances. They were built in a way that was conducive to H/J stuff.

    There are few breeders today that breed the TB for HJ specifically. These guys tend to look very similar to the wbs.



  10. #10
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    Mar. 9, 2006
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    Lucama, NC
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    Default

    Why?

    1) not "popular" nowadays to breed the TB, much more "posh" to have an "imported WB", the TB's that we rode when I was coming up thru the 70's were usually homebreds, not OTTB's, yes there were SOME OTTB's out there doing the hunters, but many people were breeding NICE TB's specifically for hunter/jumper careers. You have to look long and hard these days for that.

    2) todays riders, honestly, aren't taught to ride tactfully, they are taught to be passengers on big, lumbering, kick along WB's and kick their way around courses. Now, yes, there ARE riders who ride well, but not nearly the same as "back in the day". We rode ANYTHING we were put on, and most of them being TB's required a soft, quiet ride with tact. I think there are some nice WB's out there, don't get me wrong, but I just feel the "average" rider of today is not nearly what the average rider was 4 - 5 decades ago.

    3) there really weren't any WB's at that time, I remember the first WB I saw, I was a junior rider in early 70's and this nutty hanoverian stallion was at a farm I went to to show, he was CRAZY in the stall and when they rode him, usually they couldn't even get him into the ring he acted so bad. Not to say WB stallions act nutty, but this one was a LUNATIC. I guess my opinion of WB's got started off on the wrong foot!! After that there was a local breeder who went into WB's in the 80's and became quite a top breeder of hanoverians and at that time they were definitely getting more popular although were VERY pricey. The prices have come down to a point now where your "average" person can buy a WB, unfortunately some of the average priced ones aren't really that great IMO.

    Yes, we have a few WB's here at my farm, but honestly give me a NICE TB or QH/TB cross and I am happy as a clam!



  11. #11
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    May. 12, 2006
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    All of the above. Plus, trainers can get their rich clients to pay the trainers' way to Europe for horse-shopping trips. And those rich clients love taking those Euro trips themselves, and getting to ride at a bunch of Euro stables where the sellers salivate all over the Americans who buy the horses deemed not good enough for the Euro market.



  12. #12
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    Sep. 7, 2008
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    82

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    Quote Originally Posted by shawneeAcres View Post
    Why?

    1) not "popular" nowadays to breed the TB, much more "posh" to have an "imported WB", the TB's that we rode when I was coming up thru the 70's were usually homebreds, not OTTB's, yes there were SOME OTTB's out there doing the hunters, but many people were breeding NICE TB's specifically for hunter/jumper careers. You have to look long and hard these days for that.

    2) todays riders, honestly, aren't taught to ride tactfully, they are taught to be passengers on big, lumbering, kick along WB's and kick their way around courses.
    I totally agree, I was reintroduced to the hunter scene last year (went to dressage and eventing) and I was shocked by the riding. I knew a girl who wouldn't ride her horses if they were "too fresh." That meant the horse would buck. I couldn't believe how much of a passenger this girl was.



  13. #13
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    Oct. 5, 1999
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    A place called vertigo
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    Default

    Many "horsey" families in this area did everything - they raced, hunted, pony clubbed and showed. When a horse's racing career was over, it became a steeplechaser or field hunter, and if quiet enough, did shows and pony club with the kids. The warmbloods seemed to fit the bill for the "urban" riders, those that did not have land and farms, and had to board. As the farmland was developed and more and more of the rider base lived in suburbs, and the size of boarding farms decreased, the temperment and ability of the warmblood seemed to be a better fit for the show environment. You can't really blame people for being raised in an urban or suburban setting. You live where you family lives, and if you can't have horses in the backyard, you make do with what you can have access to.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2007
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    171

    Default

    pds, I agree with you 100%



  15. #15
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    Jul. 25, 2007
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    Default

    pds, I agree with your first quote about the TB's...not the 2nd quote. I don't know your cousin. I think you really have to know what you are doing to ride a TB well. They are so sensitive...but if you are lucky enough to find a good one, it will be your horse of a life time.



  16. #16
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    Mar. 25, 2008
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    Goshen NY
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    Default Hay

    Shawneeacres: 3) there really weren't any WB's at that time, I remember the first WB I saw, I was a junior rider in early 70's and this nutty hanoverian stallion was at a farm I went to to show, he was CRAZY in the stall and when they rode him, usually they couldn't even get him into the ring he acted so bad. Not to say WB stallions act nutty, but this one was a LUNATIC. I guess my opinion of WB's got started off on the wrong foot!! After that there was a local breeder who went into WB's in the 80's and became quite a top breeder of hanoverians and at that time they were definitely getting more popular although were VERY pricey. The prices have come down to a point now where your "average" person can buy a WB, unfortunately some of the average priced ones aren't really that great IMO.


    Hay, I know this horse...Arh, arh! IN the early 80s, I used to walk horses at the quarantine center in Newburgh NY where they would ship in horses from Europe. Of all the horses I walked, the WBs were the crazy ones. I would stand at the end of the lead rope and just watch the thing do airs above the ground. The TBs and STBs coming over were the nicest and most well behaved.
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  17. #17
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    Jul. 10, 2001
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    Default

    I don't think warmbloods are quieter, I think they are less reactive, which is not the same thing.
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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2007
    Location
    MA
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    I think the TB's are a much harder ride than your average warmblood, but if you can click with a nice TB, you won't be beat.

    Love the warmbloods, but I feel the TB's have wayyyy more personality and heart.

    JMHO



  19. #19
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    Apr. 2, 2006
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    San Antonio, TX
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    IMHO, the Europeans are breeding better and better horses, then in the past, on many levels - more athletic, smarter, quiet, "ammy/junior friendly". On the other hand, I think the TB industry is breeding for speed and speed only and the brains, longevity, stamina have gone by the wayside.

    When the fad started: it was easier (for trainers) to go to Europe and find a bunch of nice, level headed horses that were already started under saddle for dressage or jumping then to go to the race track and find the same age horse and have to give it a break to chill out and then retrain it for dressage or jumping. The trainers then had less time/expense into a horse to flip it for a profit, then to wade through the masses at the track. In turn, clients bought more warmbloods and now many prefer them.

    There are still quite a few trainers (Kenneth Wheeler comes to mind) that buy TB's but they buy them before they even get to the track. They have the "means" to take a chance on buying a very young horse and hoping it turns into something.

    A good horse is a good horse is a good horse, in my opinion, no matter the breed.
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  20. #20
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    Jan. 24, 2008
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    Many "WBs" in the show ring have lots of TB blood, especially if they are domestic breds. The good half breds are really the best of both worlds. Too bad the TB mommas don't get their deserved credit.

    I ride a DW and an OTTB. I find even with the behavior problems left from racing the TB is easier because she is naturally forward and generous with her efforts. The WB is docile, but he won't "get up" without a stick and spurs. Once he's coming forward, the jump quality and scope are amazing. He is heavy boned with a huge step-when the judge wants a breedier look, I don't get top ribbons even if I don't make mistakes.



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