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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2007
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    93

    Default dressage success stories for the daisy cutters?

    I am hopefully looking at a horse this weekend that was definitely bred more for the hunter area. And it does show in the trot on the lunge (barely backed three y/o). However the canter is nice and balance, though maybe a touch flat. I am wondering if anyone has had any success in retraining the daisy cutters as dressage horses? I have confidence in my ability to train a horse up to 2nd on my own. I would like to go further, or course. But I really just want a good, all around horse who I can hop on bareback one day, event another and go to a dressage show the next weekend. Obviously that won't all be done over night, but it gives you an idea of what I am looking to achieve with my future horse.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
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    8,672

    Default

    A good moving horse is a good moving horse. I am a bit confused by the question, you want a 3 year old to move forward and from the shoulder, I'd more look at how the horse moves behind than in front. IMO very few barely backed 3 yo will look like a "dressage" horse.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2002
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    Arlington, VA US
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    1,348

    Thumbs up

    Sabriel

    Just remember dressage is good for every horse. My Appy/QH cross (see pic in profile) is a pretty flat mover but showed through 1st level with scores in the 60's consistently until last fall when I retired him from showing. He also trail rides, jumps, team pens, you name it. You WILL be able to better sit the trot on a daisy cutter 99% of the time (at least til you get a hang of riding the bigger movers), so there is a blessing there. Gaits are only part of the score- and consistency does count in them as well. So have a steady horse with so so gaits, but ride accurately and you should enjoy success.
    Appy Trails,
    Kathy & Cadet
    member CDCTA www.cdcta.com, TROT www.trot-md.org & Free State Appaloosa Horse Club freestateaphc.org



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2007
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    93

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Perfect Pony View Post
    A good moving horse is a good moving horse. I am a bit confused by the question, you want a 3 year old to move forward and from the shoulder, I'd more look at how the horse moves behind than in front. IMO very few barely backed 3 yo will look like a "dressage" horse.
    Well, of course the hind end is more important than the front. And a good mover, is a good mover. The thing is, different horse sports look for different movement and a good mover in one is not necessarily a good mover in the other. A 3 y/o just backed with more aptitude for Dressage is going to have more overall spring than one who is more suited for the Hunter arena

    My point in asking was more wondering what success has anyone had in bringing up a flatter mover through the levels. I have been on huge moving warmbloods for the last three years. I cannot afford a huge moving warmblood.

    Something I do like is that this particular horse has a better canter. It makes me think the trot can be improved with correct work. All joints moved fluidly and in even rhythm which I think is another plus. It doesn't hurt that the horse is pretty and would be marketable down the road if we ended up not being a good match (but I won't buy a horse unless I am fairly certain - I am looking for my "forever" horse).



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2007
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    Beyond the pale.
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    Default

    Nice canter? Good 4 beat, long strided walk? And you like the horse?

    Get it. The trot can be endlessly developed, especially in a hunter type who generally start off with nice rhythm and elastic joints.
    I have posted before about my old daisy cutting, downhill quarterhorse who, with the help of trot poles and dressage, became a third level champion, trained to PSG, and about whom I was told by the CEF coaching examiners "He has too much trot to be a lesson horse"'. Too much trot! I about fell over when I heard that.
    "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF



  6. #6
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    Oct. 6, 2007
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    93

    Default

    CatOnLap,

    that is what I am looking to hear. Good work with ground poles, etc... transforming a horse. I've seen it and done it with ruined "big movers" (pushed too far, too fast without regards to building strength or by people using incorrect training methods) but they always had that spring naturally and it had just been taken away through bad riding. I did not know how much it could be developed if it wasn't really there to start (as in, would the horse ever have a decent medium trot)



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
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    8,672

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sabriel View Post
    Well, of course the hind end is more important than the front. And a good mover, is a good mover. The thing is, different horse sports look for different movement and a good mover in one is not necessarily a good mover in the other. A 3 y/o just backed with more aptitude for Dressage is going to have more overall spring than one who is more suited for the Hunter arena
    I disagree. There does not have to be difference between a "flat daisy cutter mover", and a "big" mover. A horse that moves with flatter knee action can be a "big" mover. A horse with a lot of knee action can be a mincy mover. The two are not mutually exclusive.

    Many top dressage horses would do well in a hunter hack. Many hunters who win the hack could be very competitive dressage horses. There are several horses just at my barn that have movement that a hunter rider would love to have, and they have scored in the 60s and 70s, some as high as PSG.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
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    10,243

    Wink

    I am assuming that you have been looking at a video of said horse, since you are just going this w/e to look at it.

    Wait until you see the horse in person, preferably at liberty. Any rider on the back of a a barely ridden horse can change its way of going, usually for the worse. And the wrong hand on the end of of a longe line can make a detrimental difference, combined with the fact that most three year olds aren't strong enough to travel well on the longe.

    All that said, I wouldn't worry about the daisy cutting. It seems to be a current BB obsession.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2005
    Location
    McMinnville, Oregon
    Posts
    312

    Default saw a successful example over the weekend

    I was at our first major dressage show for our area over the weekend and saw an example of what you are talking about. An AA rider - a very good one at that - and a young mare who is a wb/tb cross. I have been watching the pair for the last couple of years b/c they are at the barn where I board. The owner bought her when she was around 3 years old and recently started. The mare really is not a huge, extravagant mover and does not have the high knee action of a flashy dressage horse, but she is steady and cadenced and has a nice hind end. Her movement has developed a lot just through her training, and although I have remarked to myself on several occasions that she would make a fantastic hunter, she is also a great dressage horse, winning her classes all the time, and NOT because she is a super fancy mover.

    I think the biggest questions are whether the horse in question has enough natural elasticity to progress in dressage training, a conformation that is conducive to the physical demands, and of course the mind to handle the training. I have seen many, many very fancy wb's that just didn't have the minds to be ridden and shown by their AA owners. In those cases, the owners were discouraged and frustrated while the people who had the less fancy movers were having a great time showing, clinicing, and training! Of course, I'm not saying that all fancy moving warmbloods are like that. I'm just saying that if the horse has a good mind and has the physical potential, then that is far more important. At least that has been my personal experience!

    www.foxdalefarm.us



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2007
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    93

    Default

    PerfectPony, you are right - I have seen horses do well changing between the two disciplines. Usually at the higher end of the hunter shows (not local/regional shows).

    merrygoround, yes I have only seen video so far. And it wasn't exactly the best lunge session... think not enough energy for what the horse looks like it is capable of, on a relatively small circle (around 15 meters?), nose poked out and a bit high. I specifically am going to ask to see the horse turned out after we get done. I'd like to see how he goes when he trots/canters off to see his buddies.

    Foxdale Farms, thank you very much for your post. Good information for anyone when they are looking to purchase a horse.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2009
    Location
    va
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    585

    Default

    in my opinion, daisy cutter-= good!
    I think more 'knee action' is tolerated in dressage, where it is not preferred at all in hunters. Hunters want the low stride, that is long and kind of flicks the toe forward, spring and a little elevation are a nice plus too- but not high in the knee. I think a really nice mover in the hunter ring is STILL a good moving horse in the dressage ring!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2008
    Posts
    408

    Default

    Am I the only one that has seen the "style change" in dressage in the past few yrs? I remember about 10 yrs ago when I purchased my Langraf/donnerschlag mare that knee action was not what dressage riders were looking for.. I was told my mare had to much knee action. Forward 10 yrs and I can only tell you that the reverse seems to be true. Now it seems as if knee action is very much desired in a dressage horse...of course as long as it isn't a "choppy" stride. The horses of yesterday with the long forward flowing way of going...some what of a daisy cutter but of course with the uphill canter and great walk are not in "vogue." These horses were able to develop the trot as it is the one gait that can be improved upon. When I look for a dressage horse, temperment is top priority.. A good uphill canter and good walk are very important.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2008
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    Apparently Everywhere
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    Default

    I have ridden several flatter horses through the levels and have known others who rode flatter movers through GP.

    All things being equal, flatter movers may not win over a big mover, but a flatter-moving horse who can sit and is obedient can win over others quite easily. Many big moving horses can't really sit or may not have the patience to sit and collect, and they will have difficulty as they move up the levels. The object is to not give away points on a flatter-moving horse. If you can ride accurate figures and letter- to-letter lines, if you can show real differences between your mediums, collected, and extended gaits, if your horse has a good work ethic and you ride well, you can easily take a flatter-moving horse up the levels and do well.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2007
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    93

    Default

    blackhorse6, I have seen the trend as well.


    I do feel there is a difference (imo) between flat movers (daisy cutters), springy movers - the ideal movers, and knee action which is "in style" at the moment. My old TB was a naturally springy mover with matching diagonal pairs. A far cry from the 3 and 4 beat trots I see today in the dressage arena. Whether it is training or breeding - because some horses with extreme knee action do move with an untrue trot and canter at liberty before even being started under saddle - knee action is not what I want. What I do want (a nice spring in the step and more importantly a well balanced canter) all seem to be out of my price range. And in reality that is because they are nice horses!

    I would speculate if the horse is not slow moving in the hocks and the confirmation and temperament are good, then a flat mover could go far. I just wanted to see what other people thought as well because I don't always trust my thoughts. I am doing most of this on my own without a trainer.



  15. #15
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    Mar. 15, 2007
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    (throw dart at map) NC!
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sabriel View Post
    I would speculate if the horse is not slow moving in the hocks and the confirmation and temperament are good, then a flat mover could go far. I just wanted to see what other people thought as well because I don't always trust my thoughts. I am doing most of this on my own without a trainer.
    I would add that some horses who are slower moving in the hocks can be trained to be quicker. I'm not talking about "forcing" the horse, but saying "hey - pick it up, bub". Many horses can pick it up. The best moving horses go nowhere if they have a bad temperament/work ethic. And at the end of the day, most people want an enjoyable horse rather than an uber-talented but difficult horse. Even alot of professionals. Those are not *fun* horses to ride. As an amateur, life is too short to not have a pleasant horse to ride.



  16. #16
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    Oct. 6, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Lu View Post
    I would add that some horses who are slower moving in the hocks can be trained to be quicker. I'm not talking about "forcing" the horse, but saying "hey - pick it up, bub". Many horses can pick it up. The best moving horses go nowhere if they have a bad temperament/work ethic. And at the end of the day, most people want an enjoyable horse rather than an uber-talented but difficult horse. Even alot of professionals. Those are not *fun* horses to ride. As an amateur, life is too short to not have a pleasant horse to ride.
    I couldn't agree more with both of your points. I knew an awesome Irish Sport Horse who was very slow in his joints if you didn't insist for him to pick himself up. I enjoy the quicker, hotter horses (grew up on TBs) and that sort of personality mixes well with mine. I especially like it when they have some spunk. Though that got me in trouble with my last catch ride. "Some spunk" (as the owner described it) turned out to be a horse with known rearing problems and would grab the bit and RUN full speed bucking. I found that out after I was already on... And that horse is the reason I decided I am done catch riding/retraining/rehabing horses for other people and it is time for me to have one of my own.



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