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  1. #1
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    Default Olympic Horses -- Amateur Ride?

    The thread about stallions producing ammie-friendly temperments made me wonder -- in the past Olympics (recent or otherwise) -- which mounts would you consider ammie-friendly? I didn't think anyone was going to post that their stallion only produced Olympic level horses that were strictly professional rides on the other thread -- but what about assessing the Olympic or even other venues of international importance with the same quality/level competing. Just thought it would be an interesting topic.
    PennyG



  2. #2
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    The 2008 gold medalist in eventing, Hinrich Romeike, was an amateur -- a full-time dentist -- riding his horse Marius.

    Marius is a Hosteiner by the TB stallion Condrieu (a racehorse) and his rider has described him as a horse who doesn't make mistakes and forgives less-than-perfect riding.

    (I don't know if this is typical of horses with his breeding, just that this is an example of a true amateur winning in the Olympics.)



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    That is a good example! Love that pair for what they do.

    I also think that a lot of horses can be ramped up to Olympic efforts when otherwise - brought along on a different track - they would be ammi-friendly. It is a fallacy that a pro-ride is a hard horse to ride. Pro's don't like a tough horse or one that will let them down any more than a normal rider. It just happens that they can ride such an animal if he has enough talent, etc. What the Olympic horses have to do is hard enough. "Interior qualities" is a big part of a stallion's test.



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    Just looked up Condrieu (TB - Holsteiner approved) on All Breed Pedigree and in the information box it mentions his pedigree is very similar to Lauries Crusader. Missing the Tudor Ministral part, but making it up with DANTE. Hence is ability in dressage?

    I had not made the connection - tb lover here.



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxtrot's View Post
    I also think that a lot of horses can be ramped up to Olympic efforts when otherwise - brought along on a different track - they would be ammi-friendly. It is a fallacy that a pro-ride is a hard horse to ride. Pro's don't like a tough horse or one that will let them down any more than a normal rider. It just happens that they can ride such an animal if he has enough talent, etc.

    IMHO, I disagree. A horse who makes it to the Olympic level is certainly talented, and yes, the good pros can get that ride out of them. I disagree that, if that horse was brought up along a different track, that they would be an amateur ride. While there will always be an exception to the rule, Olympic level horses for the most part, I don't think are amateur rides. A pro horse isn't necessarily one that's tough to ride, but I will say that they are more sensitive and therefore, less forgiving of mistakes...that an amateur would make! They also often tend to be more athletic than the average horse and most amateur riders just don't know what to do with that extra talent and athletic ability or know how to contain it.

    Horses like Big Ben, Cagney, Olympic Bonfire, Zucarlos, Gifted and TomBoy immediately come to mind. I just don't see those horses ever being an amateur ride! Could it have been done if the horses had been brought along differently. Maybe. But horses who are that sensitive and possess that much talent and athletic ability would likely have ended up being bored as an amateur horse and I'm betting would have become difficult rides for the amateur owners due to the boredom and stifling their talent and athletic ability (ie. playing, leaping, bucking, strong in the bridle). We've all seen that one horse at the Olympics that you just know an amateur could have been happy and safe on, I just don't think many of them truly exist!
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  6. #6
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    Jus de Pomme's rider claimed that his little son could ride JdP.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Daventry View Post
    Horses like Big Ben, Cagney, Olympic Bonfire, Zucarlos, Gifted and TomBoy immediately come to mind. I just don't see those horses ever being an amateur ride! Could it have been done if the horses had been brought along differently. Maybe. But horses who are that sensitive and possess that much talent and athletic ability would likely have ended up being bored as an amateur horse and I'm betting would have become difficult rides for the amateur owners due to the boredom and stifling their talent and athletic ability (ie. playing, leaping, bucking, strong in the bridle). We've all seen that one horse at the Olympics that you just know an amateur could have been happy and safe on, I just don't think many of them truly exist!
    I've got to disagree here. A friend of mine rode one of the horses you mentioned, and while she was a confident rider she certianly isn't a pro. She rode this horse 4 times a week for over a year and loved it, and he was never a handful for her.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grayarabpony View Post
    Jus de Pomme's rider claimed that his little son could ride JdP.

    On a loose buckle or a nice hack? Very different than *riding* him over a GP course.
    Daventry's post really is spot on IMHO. One that can truly be ridden at upper levels with an "average ammie" really is a rare thing.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyadawn View Post
    I've got to disagree here. A friend of mine rode one of the horses you mentioned, and while she was a confident rider she certianly isn't a pro. She rode this horse 4 times a week for over a year and loved it, and he was never a handful for her.
    I'm not talking about an amateur being able to hack a horse on their own every once in awhile, etc. I'm talking about an amateur rider being able to ride/train/show Olympic horses at the upper levels, not necessarily just the Olympic levels though. I'm assuming the horse you are speaking about was still being schooled/shown at the higher levels, hence, being able to express his talent and abilities still on a regular basis and not getting completely bored.

    All I am saying is, if that talented horse was taken over by an amateur at a young age, and let's say never did any more than 2'6" hunters their entire lives, I think that rider would have a holy terror on their hands, as they would be holding the horse back from their natural talent and athletic ability. I think that horse would become quickly and easily bored.

    At the other end of the spectrum is...would that Olympic level horse do as well at that level with a good amateur as compared to being ridden by a pro? pony girl stated it well...there is a big difference between being able to hack a horse and getting around a Grand Prix course or test! Whether we like it or not, some horses are "pro rides". Whether that's due to temperament, sensitivity, athletic ability, etc. I find many of those horses exist at the higher levels of sport.
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  10. #10
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    I did an awful lot more than hack an Olympic horse, and I got a very, very good ride from him with all the dressage movements he knew.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponygirl View Post
    On a loose buckle or a nice hack? Very different than *riding* him over a GP course.
    Daventry's post really is spot on IMHO. One that can truly be ridden at upper levels with an "average ammie" really is a rare thing.
    Yeah, his 8-year-old rode him over a Grand Prix course. What do you think?

    It's technically difficult riding any horse over an Olympic level course. If it weren't we'd all be doing it. If Daventry meant that a horse that can be ridden by an average ammie at upper levels, that makes no sense at all. That would just mean the richest people would always buy push-button horses and win at the Olympics.

    Personally, I don't think personality is linked to talent, and many horses can probably perform at one level with one kind of rider, and at a higher level with another. I don't think it's usually Olympics or bust. Just MHO.



  12. #12
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    I've heard that McKinlaigh, Gina Miles' horse, is quite a good fellow. I doubt that an amateur would have taken him as far as Gina has, but he seems to be a very kind, game horse. Like most of the other Irish horses out there!



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by grayarabpony View Post
    If Daventry meant that a horse that can be ridden by an average ammie at upper levels, that makes no sense at all. That would just mean the richest people would always buy push-button horses and win at the Olympics.
    If you think money is all it takes to win at the Olympics, then you seriously need to learn more about your equestrian disciplines!

    Quote Originally Posted by grayarabpony View Post
    Personally, I don't think personality is linked to talent, and many horses can probably perform at one level with one kind of rider, and at a higher level with another. I don't think it's usually Olympics or bust. Just MHO.
    Personality may not be directly linked to talent, but it sure as heck is related to the successful talented horses who are out there showing. The horses at the Olympic levels MUST possess some level of heart, bravery, willingness, forgiveness, etc. or they would have never been able to reach that level in the first place. A horse with a pissy attitude, no heart and no desire to please it's rider certainly won't find itself at the top level of the Show Jumping world!
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  14. #14
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    The route and training to get to international level is very grueling and demanding. I *think* that the added energy, spark, drive (complicated brains) or even quirks lends some "extra" to the horses at that level which makes them competitive in that company. It could also make them a tougher ride for many ammies. There are quite a few ammies that are as talented as pros, but those aren't the majority. What I was asking was about international level horses that would be ammie-friendly for your "average" amateur rider (in competition). It has always been interesting to read the stories of so many of those BN horses/riders and the "journey" it took in training, blood, sweat and tears to get there -- certainly not for the faint of heart or ability. So would you say that most of those upper UPPER level horses are not ammie friendly? Just an interesting observation, not necessarily a fact.
    PennyG



  15. #15
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    Once the horse has the extensive training behind it and it doing the upper level stuff is different from that same bloodline being taken along a different track. That's all I meant.
    I do know that in the jumpers, some have such a big jump that they jump the less capable riders out of the tack. Actually, it all depends upon a lot of variables. Our daughter in Grade l2 groomed for a GP rider and rode all his horses quite well, they were well trained and good minded, for a young person to school lightly.



  16. #16
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    I think what we are forgetting is that pro riders were ammies once upon a time. They were little kids playing on ponies learning their diagonals and strides. They spent countless hours learning their sport and I shudder to think the dollars to get where they are.

    Their horses that they ride have been developed as well. Not every "sporthorse" is pro quality, some just don't have the ability or the drive. Some never had the right trainer.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by grayarabpony View Post
    Yeah, his 8-year-old rode him over a Grand Prix course. What do you think?

    It's technically difficult riding any horse over an Olympic level course. If it weren't we'd all be doing it. If Daventry meant that a horse that can be ridden by an average ammie at upper levels, that makes no sense at all. That would just mean the richest people would always buy push-button horses and win at the Olympics.

    Personally, I don't think personality is linked to talent, and many horses can probably perform at one level with one kind of rider, and at a higher level with another. I don't think it's usually Olympics or bust. Just MHO.
    This gets at what I was trying to say; pro level riders have the training behind them to develop horses. For the average ammi rider to buy a pro trained horse and expect to compete would be suicide. They just don't have the skill or training to ride at that level.

    Does it mean they never will? no, but they have a lot of work till they get there.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyadawn View Post
    This gets at what I was trying to say; pro level riders have the training behind them to develop horses. For the average ammi rider to buy a pro trained horse and expect to compete would be suicide. They just don't have the skill or training to ride at that level.

    Does it mean they never will? no, but they have a lot of work till they get there.
    Exactly! And the truth of the matter is, the majority of amateur riders will never get there. Just like NHL Hockey, NBA Basketball, the National Baseball League, etc., only the most talented ever make it to the top of their sport. I think someone had once quoted that it was less than 1%...I think that goes for percentages on Olympic level horses too. So, that being said, the majority of amateur riders out there will just not ever make it to the top of their sport. Now, they can go ahead and call themselves pros...but that term is easily thrown out there by any rider willing to hang up a sign on their gate! The word "professional" doesn't automatically mean they can go ahead and get their Home Country's flag tattooed on their butt 'cause they will be going to the Olympics.

    Money will certainly open up opportunities to purchase a winning and talented horse, but no money in the world can turn an average rider into a talented and great rider if they just don't have the talent for it. Hence, that money they spent on the expensive and talented horse will just be going to waste as they will never be able to ride that horse properly and bring out the talent in the horse. Money certainly helps but it cannot create miracles!
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  19. #19
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    The other reality - besides a good pro having the ability to bring out the best of a good horse - is that a top talent horse is just going to be more sensitive, quicker to respond to stimuli, with a greater response, than is a "normal" horse. Uber talent usually means uber everything (including ego to go along with it)! And such a horse, with that sensitivity, that movement, that athleticism, is going to feel totally stifled, frustrated, and shut down by the average rider (and not just average ammie, but average local pro). Sure, there may be exceptions - Brentina comes to mind, a horse who seems to have a quieter, gentler character than the average Olympic dressage horse... You could probably make a mare like that into an "average rider" horse, and she wouldn't be brain-fried in the process. But I think she's an exception to the rule...
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxtrot's View Post
    Just looked up Condrieu (TB - Holsteiner approved) on All Breed Pedigree and in the information box it mentions his pedigree is very similar to Lauries Crusader. Missing the Tudor Ministral part, but making it up with DANTE. Hence is ability in dressage?

    I had not made the connection - tb lover here.
    I wouldn't exactly say they were similarly bred. Yes, they both have High Top as a close ancestor, and they both have Court Martial and Donatello, but all the other common horses in their pedigrees are also common to a huge number of European TBs, as are, in fact, Court Martial and Donatello. High Top is huge in steeplechasers.

    Condrieu's grandsire Tepukei was licensed by the KWPN and has quite a few daughters that have bred on and produced jumpers and at least one Z1 and 2 Z2 (whatever that is) dressage mares who are licensed for breeding in the KWPN dressage book.
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