A WEANLING????? Yikes. It would scare me it would step on a pole and blemish itself-or get really hurt. Or, worst of all, scare itself with no way to correct the bad experience. They are growing and can have trouble with all the legs going the same direction.
Can't we friggin let them be babies when they are...babies?
Besides that, it won't help too much with the average Hunter buyer. Most don't keep at home and cannot carry one 3 years to get a decent idea of talent and 4 years to really get it going enough to know if the buyer will be able to actually get it around a course.
Proven parental talent and show record/progeny record in the show ring would be my choice.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
I'd be more interested in the performance career of the sire/dam than any of the options above. Free jumping adult horses doesn't tell me a whole lot, and free jumping a weanling is just a little scary.
I want to see that the foal's parents have some ability under a rider. I understand that most broodmares don't have performance careers, but I'd like to see that at least her sire and damsire did.
"Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
EM. Sure don't see foals "jumping" at say, for instance, the Holstein auction recently held. Those buyers rely on bloodlines and what they can see before them! And one of the babies went for $42,000 or that could be Euros! Sweet!
"Her life was okay. Sometimes she wished she were sleeping with the right man instead of with her dog, but she never felt she was sleeping with the wrong dog."
Free jumping is so deceiving. I buy weanlings and yearlings without ever seeing them free jump. I let them mature and wait to see them jump with someone on their back. I have seen horse jump in super form on their own and not so great under tack.
I can tell if they have the right instincts and have been pretty successful gauging talent.
We don't free jump our babies though jump chutes till they are at least 2 years old. Although we have had to move babies from a pasture that had some small cross country logs because we saw them doing this on their own...
Now obviously it doesn't indicate jumping talent later in life with a rider but she sure is one of the bravest foals we have ever had. We had just moved her and her mom in this pasture (3 acres) and in less than 5 minutes she had found the jumps! Needless to say she went to a new pasture as she was giving me a heart attack!!
Although I am not in the market for a weanling, I would not want one that had been free jumped yet. I want to look at the conformation, movement, parents and hopefully get to meet the weanling to get a feel for their personality.
this is interesting in that yesterday at the ISR/OLD NA inspection, one of the Amazing fillies cut the corner while on the triangle and jumped a pile of mums in spectacular form. Christian was very complimentary of her style and stated that the way a weanling jumps over things is like their fingerprint...their jump style stays the same for their life. He was adamant that weanlings not be trained to jump, but if they happen to do it on their own, it can be very informative
Home of Amazing (Balou du Rouet/Voltaire) 2005 KWPN Stallion
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I don't think a weanling should be free jumped either; yet, I have the jumps set up in one of their pastures (the joys of small farms!) and of course, I could've caught a shot like WASF; but then, what to do with it? Hide it or use it?
I find the opinions are very much in opposition. But according to the poll, seeing the parents go is good enough.
For the modern hunter market, I wish breeders would emphasize two things that they usually don't:
1. The soundness of both parents. Give me a sire and dam who were show ring sound into their late teens and I'll be very, very interested.
2. The mare's mind. Ideally, she'd have a deep performance record. But at a minimum, she should be tractable and kind. I do believe that "nurture" plays a part in shaping the baby's mind.
I say this because the hunter ring makes such unrealistic demands of horses now. The soundness thing I think we always should have been selecting for.
But the mind piece is crucial now. Very, very few horses can deliver the desired "Western Pleasure + Back-Cracking Jumps" performance. So we take some perfectly nice horses and drug them down further. If you don't want to get into this arms race or stay there and hope to win it, you must start with a spectacular-minded horse. Oh, and if the horse isn't very, very pretty or athletic, the good mind will make him appealing to a wide market for the duration of his career. All in all, a good minded horse as an easier life all the way through than a bad-minded one.
I second the poster that said it would reflect poorly on the seller (in so many words).
You don't have the option I would have chosen, so I chose "I wouldn't touch one with a ten foot pole". But only because there's not an educated breeder on earth that would send a weanling through a chute then include the footage of that in the sales material for such a young horse.
If you had a combination of options 2 and 4, I'd have chosen that. Seeing the sire and dam jump is adequate.
When looking at weanlings I would have zero interest in seeing free jumping of any kind. It really doesn't provide helpful information, and it might put me off a little in that I would think that the breeder was a little wacko and I would wonder just a little what other crazy stuff they had been up to with the baby. If that was the only strange thing they had done and they hadn't over done it, I wouldn't worry about soundness issues, those youngsters do way more to themselves out in the field. I want to know about pedigree, health, soundness of parents, career and soundness of the dam, temperament, handling...
I don't need to see a baby free jump. In fact I would probably pass one by that had video or pictures of it free jumping. I don't necessarily think that it's going to give you a good indication of what it does as a mature horse anyway.
I think buyers that insist on free jumping of a foal are probably not the right buyers for foals.
A picture of a baby jumping something random in their paddock like the above photo would not turn me off and may even catch my attention as in that case it is obvious the horse wasn't chased/chuted over the jump. Ran through a chute would turn me off.