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  1. #1
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    Question What do you think of a foal by Voltaire out of a Pilot mare?

    I was recently offered a 2 y.o. bay colt by Voltaire out of a Pilot mare.
    Do you think it's good breeding for a showjumper (and possibly a prospective stallion in the future if his show record and build are up to par, of course)?

    He has good bone structure but light. He also seems pretty athletic and supple. I still have to see him in the chute, though. I will try to post pics and video later.

    What is your experience with that combination in terms of athleticism, personality, scope, bone structure, height, etc? Are Pilot dams usually good producers?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    Unfortunately, the only two Pilot offspring I rode inherited his horrible temperament. Now when I see the name in the pedigree I curl into the fetal position and whimper. Actually I'm lying, they were Perpignon (x Pilot) offspring, but I have no doubt who they got their volatile temperaments from.

    The one was decidedly worse than the other, he actually broke our grooms arm rearing, he struck her arm with his foot. He bucked a professional jumper off, then bucked me off and would rear when you tried to mount. We ended up practically giving him away because nobody would buy him. The other was just more of a pain in the rear end.

    Having said that, they were beautiful, typey horses with a lot of scope and nice to ride as long as they weren't trying to kill you.

    I have not ridden any Voltaire offspring per se, but we had a couple of Viva Voltaire's at a barn I rode at who were quite nice, could jump and nice movement.

    I would expect the horse to be a nice size (our Pilot & Viva Voltaire offspring were all 16.2h-17.0h range) have nice movement and good jumping ability, but I would be careful about his temperament, which may not be evident until he's going under saddle. I can only speak from my own experience, but I think I would be more inclined to buy one who I could try under saddle first.
    Last edited by CZF; Aug. 19, 2011 at 09:55 AM.



  3. #3
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    If the temperment and rideability were there, I would be interested in that cross. I have a lot of Pilot blood in my breeding program, and the temperment hasn't been an issue, but I've been careful in choosing mares with Pilot. I have considered doing the same cross many times, as the Voltaire x Pilot cross is supposed to be quite good. I've heard it said that the Voltaires can be too careful, and Pilot was a good cross on them as the Pilot horses were very bold (maybe strong) to the jump. There is a quote about this same thing in one of my warmblood books, but it would take me some time to find it! I think it would be worth looking into.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillside H Ranch View Post
    I've heard it said that the Voltaires can be too careful.
    I don't think that a horse can be "too" careful (looking at the top of the sport)
    This carefulness is coming from Voltaire's sire: the SF Furioso II.

    At the top of the sport in France, actually, there are 2 Voltaire's (Kellemoi de Pepita who has a fantastic record and Ohm de Pontual (9 y/o) who is at the start of his career, placed 6th at the famous CSIO Hickstead Grand Prix this year)

    I have no first hand knowledge of Pilot offspring, but their performances are stellar.

    Investigating more this boy is necessary.
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  5. #5
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    I should add, talent-wise this cross sounds very interesting. I have no doubts about Pilot's ability to pass his talents on to his offspring (which is the only reason anyone would have risked breeding to him), but I also think he can pass that temperament on as well.

    I would just be VERY careful about that, especially if you're thinking of him as a stallion prospect. But I have seen some very nice offspring by his as well, and there is no question that he has sires some phenomenal athletes. It was really too bad about the temperaments of two Perpignon's we had, as they were very nice horses in every other regard (easy to sit, easy to put on the bit, pretty, talent to spare).


    Good luck with your decision, I do think taking a good look at him is warranted, just keep that in the back of your mind. It doesn't mean that this particular horse will have those issues, just be aware of it.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy.smaga View Post
    I don't think that a horse can be "too" careful (looking at the top of the sport)
    This carefulness is coming from Voltaire's sire: the SF Furioso II.

    At the top of the sport in France, actually, there are 2 Voltaire's (Kellemoi de Pepita who has a fantastic record and Ohm de Pontual (9 y/o) who is at the start of his career, placed 6th at the famous CSIO Hickstead Grand Prix this year)

    I have no first hand knowledge of Pilot offspring, but their performances are stellar.

    Investigating more this boy is necessary.
    I don't disagree with you; I'm simply quoting from Jan Greve, Voltaire's owner, per this excerpt from an interview done with him for Horse magazine; I believe the interview is also in Chris Hector's book "The Making of the Modern Warmblood "
    __________________________________________________ __________________

    What sort of mares does Voltaire work best with?

    “Mares with a little bit of blood, and bold, very bold, strong characters – maybe too strong characters. Mares that might be too bold and not careful enough. Voltaire was very very careful, sometimes that is his weakest point. It’s very close the relationship between genius and the crazy one, and between ‘careful’ and ‘afraid’ there is just a little margin in there. Some Voltaires are too careful, too small hearted – that’s why a lot of them jump very tied up behind, when you freejump them. They are not bold enough to open up, they are very careful. You have to treat them right as a young horse, don’t take the heart out of them. That’s why Voltaire needs a mare that is very strong – Nimmerdor is a very good cross. A lot of Nimmerdors are very good as young horses, but when they get older, they are not careful enough, they are too full of themselves. Pilot works very well, Joost works well. Sometimes when you come back to the Le Mexico mares, but you have an in cross of the Furioso then.”
    Last edited by Hillside H Ranch; Aug. 19, 2011 at 03:25 PM.
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  7. #7
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    I agree with others on the Pilot issue. There is a saying I've heard in Germany "death by Pilot". We've had 3 from a Pilot line stallion. Two were fine and one was NOT. All were beautiful youngster with great conformation and movement. We sold two and they are doing very well in Dressage and Hunters. The third we put 3 years of every type of training, de-sensitizing, etc. and it was a no go. He was not mean - he was just untrainable AND would bolt in hand so fast he could take your arm off. He eventually wouldn't be caught and we gave up and put him down. We couldn't risk having him hurt someone seriously.
    I'd look for a Furioso line mare - we did so well with stallions from that line and their offspring did have a lot of go but they were trainable.
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  8. #8
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    I always thought when a horse was referred to as possibly being "too careful" --it was a polite way of saying that if the horse thought it might have a rail or messy jump they stopped. So I think a horse could be "too careful" because a "too careful" horse may be one that stops if things are not just right and they would need a very accurate rider.

    (P.S. hence I could see why Pilot may add some bravery/boldness to the mix?)



  9. #9
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    I would be interested in the horse but as a 2 year old you need to look past the pedigree a bit and look at the horse in front of you. I like the idea of the cross a lot, but every horse is an individual.

    I have ridden a number of Voltaires (and a few Concordes) and own one Voltaire mare. They seemed to fall into one distinct type or another....either smallish, quick, sensitive, and a little quirky or large, a little plain, and ammy friendly. All of them had very good work ethics and were enjoyable in their own way. Most were not beauty queens, not that it matters too much.

    People talk a lot about the Voltaires being too careful. My mare was extremely catty and careful....super over the jumps but took a very specific ride between them. Should she have hit a rail because of me being a monkey on her back she had difficulty relaxing or softening for the rest of the course. She was very brave and confident though and jumped the open water as a young horse like she had been doing it forever.

    I don't have much experience with direct Pilot blood, but have been around and ridden a couple of Pablos and liked them - usually stylish and a little sensitive with good hind ends.

    You said the horse is "light"....do you mean light boned? Two year olds will still change and fill out, and sometimes horses look light boned as two year olds and one day you wake up when they are three and all of a suddden they have real horse sized joints and feet.
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  10. #10
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    Agree with Andy.Smaga as a horse cannot be "too careful." It means you have a horse who pays attention and makes great effort to miss the rails and thats a very good thing. Carefulness is always desired in a jumper and should be PRESERVED with correct training.
    Carefulness really cannot be taught, but it can be preserved or ruined depending on the training. It definitely runs in certain bloodlines and is lacking in others.



  11. #11
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    no, this is not right. there is such a thing as carefulness getting in the way of a clean round. scopey horses which overjump due to an excess of carefullness not only spend a lot of time in the air but also contort the jump trajectory such that related distances can easily become totally messed up.

    with these horses much more time has to be taken when they are young or their own carefulness will indeed cause stopping and even soundness issues, due to the extremes they can put themselves to in order to avoid the woodwork.

    they can be very impressive over single jumps, but that is not the sport we are breeding for, unless all you do are puissance classes.

    most often this excess of carefullness is as asset and can be trained to work in our favour, but not always, and if in the wrong hands can make for a short and unsuccessful career in the ring. my personal preference is the horse which is consistently both accurate and efficient in its jump... just careful enough. related distances favour the arc of the trajectory of these horses' jump much more than those that overjump from an overabundance of carefulness.

    carefulness needs to be commensurate with a horses maturity of understanding of its job, otherwise it can very easily be a bad thing.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ne1 View Post
    no, this is not right. there is such a thing as carefulness getting in the way of a clean round. scopey horses which overjump due to an excess of carefullness not only spend a lot of time in the air but also contort the jump trajectory such that related distances can easily become totally messed up.

    with these horses much more time has to be taken when they are young or their own carefulness will indeed cause stopping and even soundness issues, due to the extremes they can put themselves to in order to avoid the woodwork.

    they can be very impressive over single jumps, but that is not the sport we are breeding for, unless all you do are puissance classes.

    most often this excess of carefullness is as asset and can be trained to work in our favour, but not always, and if in the wrong hands can make for a short and unsuccessful career in the ring. my personal preference is the horse which is consistently both accurate and efficient in its jump... just careful enough. related distances favour the arc of the trajectory of these horses' jump much more than those that overjump from an overabundance of carefulness.

    carefulness needs to be commensurate with a horses maturity of understanding of its job, otherwise it can very easily be a bad thing.
    I completely agree with Nick here. It IS possible for a horse to be TOO careful. Being too careful can cause a horse to back off too much if the circumstances are not perfect, and in the wrong hands, the talented but exceptionally careful horse can easily be ruined. To be successful in sport a horse needs a certain amount of bravery as well, and having a horse with just the right amount of each is rare indeed.

    IMO, the quote from Jan Greve that Hillside H posted is well worth reading, and then re-reading. He hits the nail on the head. On the one hand you have a possibility of being too careful, bordering on afraid, or "small-hearted" as he says. On the other hand, you have one who is maybe too brave and bold, and who gets careless over time as a result.

    That is why a horse with just the right combination of carefulness and bravery is such a rare and coveted animal- and likely one whose talents have been cultivated very carefully over time from the raw ingredients.

    It sounds like it could be a good cross, but obviously one needs to look at the individual, not just the sire and damsire.
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  13. #13
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    ne1, we are talking about horses aimed at the top of the sport, these horses are in training with rider at the top of the sport.
    In this situation there is no horse that is "too" careful because the rider has enough "talent" to train the horse the right way and find the right distance to the jump.
    I can agree that if such horse is ridden by a less than stellar rider, then you have a problem.

    What you describe, I think, is a horse that has been too much "prepared" and will over jump as a consequence of this "treatment", in that case you are right with what you describe.
    I have a horse that was over jumping at age 4, and now at age 7 he still is very careful but do not over jump and perform very efficiently for his age (he place at 140-145)

    buschkn, bravery is an element that any horse jumping the 160 classes must have, and yes those horses need to have the right balance of bravery and carefulness in order to perform.

    We are all in agreement, it's just that we look at this subject from different angles.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy.smaga View Post
    ne1, we are talking about horses aimed at the top of the sport, these horses are in training with rider at the top of the sport.
    In this situation there is no horse that is "too" careful because the rider has enough "talent" to train the horse the right way and find the right distance to the jump.
    I can agree that if such horse is ridden by a less than stellar rider, then you have a problem.

    What you describe, I think, is a horse that has been too much "prepared" and will over jump as a consequence of this "treatment", in that case you are right with what you describe.

    We are all in agreement, it's just that we look at this subject from different angles.
    andy, yes, i think we are in general agreement, but my point remains that, even in good hands, some horses will need to follow slower routes of progress if excess carefulness is present.

    i bred a horse that freejumped super as a 2yo. he did the young jumper finals here last year as a 5yo, and still is a bit sticky in finding the balance between getting way 'up' over the jump (carefulness) and being forward enough to offer consistent bascule and then land with enough juice to make the subsequent distance work. his rider is a regular gp competitor over here and is sensibly letting him back down the levels to iron this out. this horse has not been 'prepared' in any way as i understand that inference. he just needs a little longer to figure out that balance of how careful he needs to be, but also the type and degree of effort which other aspects of his job - beyond just getting over the jump in front of him - require.

    it is a good problem to have, but one which, in the wrong hands, could still have a bad ending. certainly it is better to have one that is too careful than one that is not careful enough, but even the former requires focussed attention to bring to correct maturity.

    apologies to the op. no intention on hijacking your thread. fwiw, i like pilot and have not had any temperament issues in the few i've ridden which have him in the pedigree. my sense is that he almost single-handedly put the westphalen studbook on the map for jumping.



  15. #15
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    Thumbs up A little example of your too careful topic...

    Quote Originally Posted by ne1 View Post
    andy, yes, i think we are in general agreement, but my point remains that, even in good hands, some horses will need to follow slower routes of progress if excess carefulness is present.

    i bred a horse that freejumped super as a 2yo. he did the young jumper finals here last year as a 5yo, and still is a bit sticky in finding the balance between getting way 'up' over the jump (carefulness) and being forward enough to offer consistent bascule and then land with enough juice to make the subsequent distance work. his rider is a regular gp competitor over here and is sensibly letting him back down the levels to iron this out. this horse has not been 'prepared' in any way as i understand that inference. he just needs a little longer to figure out that balance of how careful he needs to be, but also the type and degree of effort which other aspects of his job - beyond just getting over the jump in front of him - require.

    it is a good problem to have, but one which, in the wrong hands, could still have a bad ending. certainly it is better to have one that is too careful than one that is not careful enough, but even the former requires focussed attention to bring to correct maturity.

    apologies to the op. no intention on hijacking your thread. fwiw, i like pilot and have not had any temperament issues in the few i've ridden which have him in the pedigree. my sense is that he almost single-handedly put the westphalen studbook on the map for jumping.
    No worries about hijacking at all...in fact Andy Smaga and you have turned it into a much more interesting topic.
    I posted a video of a horse that is in the top of the game, with a top rider and top talent but is too careful:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rwriwcEHZA&feature=fvsr

    It is not that evident in the first course (with grey coat), just maybe in the back combination where Chippendale was a little too high and not wide enough. In the second course (red coat) it is clearly seen how the elevation affects the bascule of the jump, especially in the first combination, the water jump, the wall and a white spread near the end of the course. This is a horse with scope to spare, rider to spare (he is now ridden by Martin Mayo and previously by Jos Lansink) and training to spare. I am not sure though if it is carefulness (because he does not seem like a timid horse) or he's just plain stubborn with driving aids (he is kicking and resisting impulsion most of the time...). He seems not to know how to direct all that power forward and not only up. Once again, I am not sure it is about carefulness...maybe lack of heart (or balance) if he is galloped more towards the jumps with a longer distance? I don't know...just guessing here...
    Anyway, this duo is now jumping the tryouts for the PanAm games and they are great now and I would think it was just a minor phase until they got used to each other.
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