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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2004
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    Pine Top side of Atlanta, GA
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    4,961

    Default Definition of "Packer"...

    I really haven't ever heard or read anyone really defining the criteria for these wonder horses though I see them advertised all the time. Actually I think my own OTTB is a "packer" although there are times when Rasta can be sharp. At any rate, our fine friend bornfreenowexpensive in another thread summed up the packer - here are her criteria:

    packer to event riders means that (i) if you point them at the fence...they will generally get you to the other side and not buck you off or bolt because you didn't jump perfectly with them, (ii) they stay in the dressage ring and put themselves in a reasonable shape even if you don't ride perfectly, and (iii) leave most of the rails up in stadium and don't cause the folks watching to gasp. Basically a packer will do the job not because they are well ridden,
    but often in spite of how they are ridden.

    That last line pretty well sums up why Rasta is most definitely a "packer"...Anyone else want to add to this? THX, BFNE
    Last edited by RunForIt; Dec. 28, 2012 at 09:58 AM.
    ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan


    3 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,318

    Default

    I agree with the above. I also think that packer is a different subset of ammy friendly. My horse is ammy friendly, meaning he doesn't need a perfect ride and he doesn't have a volatile temperment, but he's not a packer.

    An acquaintance of mine bought a packer. That horse will jump around, set itself up with good distances, jump the jumps well with almost no useful input from the rider. Its an AWESOME horse!

    ETA: I also think the term is overused.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
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    36,321

    Default

    Sounds like a reasonable definition above. And I agree the term is overused. Brave is not the same thing as a packer. You don't get to call a horse a "packer" if you are a pro/very accomplished and it's easy for YOU. The horse needs to haul some people like ME around first to earn the title.
    Click here before you buy.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2006
    Posts
    807

    Default

    Inside the mind of a true packer:

    That isn’t my tack – my bridle has a different bit and my head is a distinct shape, but whatever, maybe someone will tell you and you will get it right next time.

    Look barking dogs chasing me - Yawn.

    Major construction equipment digging right next to me - Yawn.

    A hack through the woods turned to a day at the nature channel. Donkeys, miniature horses, cows, pigs, alpacas, deer, wild turkeys – Yawn.

    Ummm I’m sure you didn’t want me to run over the instructor so I will correct your squash-shaped arc into a 20-meter circle instead.

    It feels like you are going to fall off so I am just going to change gaits so you can get your balance back.

    If I follow your directions I will end up in the jump standard. I’m assuming you’d like to go over the center instead.

    I know you didn’t mean to take off from that distance so I will just fix it for you. Again. As I do for Every. Single. Fence.

    I can’t for the life of me tell which jump we are heading towards so I am assuming it is the green one; oh it isn’t? No problem, I can change with only two strides left before the fence.

    Ack – I jumped you out of the tack – I will shift on my way down as to catch you so you do not end up in the dirt!

    Really? We are going over the advanced xcountry fence?!
    Goody Goody Gum Drops!
    Things are really getting fun around here! Oh, you didn’t really mean it?
    Ok, maybe another day.


    17 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2006
    Posts
    674

    Default

    ^^ THIS! LOL I love it!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2011
    Location
    KY
    Posts
    210

    Default

    Packer - a horse who know its job so well, a monkey could ride it.
    Things happen for a reason...so when I reach over and smack you upside the head, just remember...you gave me a reason!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2011
    Posts
    451

    Default

    I seriously need one these when my current mare retires.
    Quote Originally Posted by west5 View Post
    Inside the mind of a true packer:

    That isn’t my tack – my bridle has a different bit and my head is a distinct shape, but whatever, maybe someone will tell you and you will get it right next time.

    Look barking dogs chasing me - Yawn.

    Major construction equipment digging right next to me - Yawn.

    A hack through the woods turned to a day at the nature channel. Donkeys, miniature horses, cows, pigs, alpacas, deer, wild turkeys – Yawn.

    Ummm I’m sure you didn’t want me to run over the instructor so I will correct your squash-shaped arc into a 20-meter circle instead.

    It feels like you are going to fall off so I am just going to change gaits so you can get your balance back.

    If I follow your directions I will end up in the jump standard. I’m assuming you’d like to go over the center instead.

    I know you didn’t mean to take off from that distance so I will just fix it for you. Again. As I do for Every. Single. Fence.

    I can’t for the life of me tell which jump we are heading towards so I am assuming it is the green one; oh it isn’t? No problem, I can change with only two strides left before the fence.

    Ack – I jumped you out of the tack – I will shift on my way down as to catch you so you do not end up in the dirt!

    Really? We are going over the advanced xcountry fence?!
    Goody Goody Gum Drops!
    Things are really getting fun around here! Oh, you didn’t really mean it?
    Ok, maybe another day.
    "But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost

    Eventing at Midnight Blog
    http://eventingmidnight.blogspot.com/



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2011
    Posts
    451

    Default

    I seriously need one these when my current mare retires.
    Quote Originally Posted by west5 View Post
    Inside the mind of a true packer:

    That isn’t my tack – my bridle has a different bit and my head is a distinct shape, but whatever, maybe someone will tell you and you will get it right next time.

    Look barking dogs chasing me - Yawn.

    Major construction equipment digging right next to me - Yawn.

    A hack through the woods turned to a day at the nature channel. Donkeys, miniature horses, cows, pigs, alpacas, deer, wild turkeys – Yawn.

    Ummm I’m sure you didn’t want me to run over the instructor so I will correct your squash-shaped arc into a 20-meter circle instead.

    It feels like you are going to fall off so I am just going to change gaits so you can get your balance back.

    If I follow your directions I will end up in the jump standard. I’m assuming you’d like to go over the center instead.

    I know you didn’t mean to take off from that distance so I will just fix it for you. Again. As I do for Every. Single. Fence.

    I can’t for the life of me tell which jump we are heading towards so I am assuming it is the green one; oh it isn’t? No problem, I can change with only two strides left before the fence.

    Ack – I jumped you out of the tack – I will shift on my way down as to catch you so you do not end up in the dirt!

    Really? We are going over the advanced xcountry fence?!
    Goody Goody Gum Drops!
    Things are really getting fun around here! Oh, you didn’t really mean it?
    Ok, maybe another day.
    "But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost

    Eventing at Midnight Blog
    http://eventingmidnight.blogspot.com/



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2008
    Location
    Sunshine State
    Posts
    2,215

    Default

    I consider the horse I'm riding these days to be a packer. He's a former 3* horse who has most recently been humoring me at novice.

    He doesn't care much for the white rectangle game and will make hideous faces and let everyone know it - but he is very safe. His tricks are more along the lines of doing an impression of a giraffe when he halts and jigging into the up transition. He doesn't care if a horse is having a bucking hissy fit outside the ring, the rain is pouring down, or the judge has a small dog sitting on the judges table. If I ask correctly, he will give me a correct answer but there are no freebees. That said, he is VERY VERY safe.

    In show jumping he will add a stride all day long if I forget to tell him anything useful or ride forward. He'll move up if I add leg, he'll wait if I ask. If I tell him nothing at all, he will make the best of the situation. He's known for his "helicopter jumps" which is what he will do when he's buried into a fence where a normal horse slam on the brakes. He might hang a leg here or there because he's just not all that concerned with anything, but again, I am coming home in one piece every time.

    XC is where this horse shines. Most of his career has been at the upper levels but he walks into the starting box with his ears flopping. I swear he was snoozing while we were being counted down last time out. He will go as fast or as slow as he is asked. You put him at one speed and he stays there. Point him at a jump and he's going to get me over it - without rushing, silliness, or any other shenanigans. He handles that.

    My responsibilities: 1)some semblance of steering - He will seek out skinnies if he thinks that MIGHT be what I'm looking for. I better at least let him know where not to go. 2)if I'm completely clueless, grab the neck strap and stay out of his way. 3)try to remember to put on some leg from time to time - he'll take care of me anyway but will eventually start to add a stride at everything if I don't push once in a while.

    This horse is a packer to me. He lets me know that I still have things to learn, and the better I ride, the better our outcome, but even if I'm a hot mess, he's going bring me home safe and try to do his job in spite of me.
    The rebel in the grey shirt


    3 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2008
    Posts
    4,004

    Default

    My trainer owns one of these. He is trained to, I believe, 2nd level dressage (could be higher), though he does make you work to put him in a frame - get the walk first, then the trot will be easier and once you have both, the canter.

    Jumping is different - from one side to the other almost no matter what you do. I have some confidence issues jumping and he really helped me. Granted he goes a bit sideways when you don't set him up right, spent the first 15min with my heart in my mouth, going over a very solid looking novice cross country jump with my trainer yelling at me to set him up better...then I realized there was going to be no last minute refusals and I started to actually ride!

    Took him on my last show of the season - first time I ever took two horses and it was great to have one that I knew I didn't have to worry about.

    I did novice with him and he has not competed above novice due to the people who lease him ending up not going that high, but he has jumped prelim and some intermediate schooling. I just feel very safe on him and when he's on in dressage, it feels wonderful!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    433

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    Exhibit A: 5yr old warmblood mare who hasn't been ridden in a month, taking out someone who has ridden less than 5 times in life, last time 10 years ago, on an hour trail ride in sub freezing temps. She also does jumpers, events at the novice level, and is generally the best behaved thing I have ever met. We joke that Amber would never want to do anything bad, because that would take entirely too much work! lol

    http://www.facebook.com/katzimmer?cr...type=1&theater

    http://www.facebook.com/katzimmer?cr...type=1&theater

    http://www.facebook.com/katzimmer?cr...type=1&theater

    http://www.facebook.com/katzimmer?cr...type=3&theater



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 23, 2006
    Posts
    2,392

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    A packer is the horse your trainer wishes you had.
    Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
    Ms. Brazil



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2001
    Location
    virginia
    Posts
    3,247

    Default

    whew, you guys are tough. To me a packer doesn't give it away for free but wont hurt you or be unsafe in any intended manner. Yes they do still spook on occasion, but not as an everyday occurrence. A packer is a been there done that type and isn't guaranteed to win but is guaranteed to be safe and carry your smiling self across the finish lines in one piece. I think I agree with the first definition of Packer in the OP's first post the most. For eventers a packer likes to jumps, and will go over most jumps unless you just totally screw up the approach.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 23, 2006
    Posts
    2,392

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cameraine View Post
    I seriously need one these when my current mare retires.
    I took a lesson on a horse like this a couple of weeks ago. She is a 2* horse who would have no problem being an up-down lesson horse. The owner said she'd just need somebody to point her at big jumps once a week so she could do what she loves. Easy, easy lateral work. Easy to ride up into a contact. Easy brakes, easy balance, easy counter canter, easy changes--- you get the picture.

    Ridiculously easy, easy, and quadruple easy to jump. Point and shoot. I got jumped out of the tack over the first vertical and she adjusted to get back under me. I'd been told upper-level horses were really hot but this horse was ridiculously quiet, almost lazy without big jumps to impress her. I'm told that even though she seems like an incredibly slow horse she makes the time at 2* because you don't need to adjust her at all.

    To top it off, she's only 11 years old. Being a mega-packer at this prime age is so fantastic. When I win the lottery she will be in the stall next to Brazil's.
    Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
    Ms. Brazil


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    Maybe the phlegmatic angel described above would be a TRAIL packer, but that doesn't always translate into an EVENTING packer. Gwen was the CONSUMMATE eventing packer (well, minus the dressage part) but would come UNGLUED at the sight of a sheep, cow, llama or other non-equus-caballus four-legged herbivore.
    Click here before you buy.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2009
    Posts
    2,825

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    Quote Originally Posted by NRB View Post
    whew, you guys are tough. To me a packer doesn't give it away for free but wont hurt you or be unsafe in any intended manner. Yes they do still spook on occasion, but not as an everyday occurrence. A packer is a been there done that type and isn't guaranteed to win but is guaranteed to be safe and carry your smiling self across the finish lines in one piece. I think I agree with the first definition of Packer in the OP's first post the most. For eventers a packer likes to jumps, and will go over most jumps unless you just totally screw up the approach.
    I think there's a difference between amateur friendly and a packer. An AF horse won't be nasty and will tolerate mistakes, but a true packer will do everything it can to figure out what your trying to ask and do it for you.

    Although, the term 'packer' can change as you move up the levels. A horse that is a packer over 4ft might be too much horse for a beginner rider, while a horse that packs someone over 2ft might require an accurate ride at 3'.
    Quote Originally Posted by pinecone View Post
    I can't decide if I should saddle up the drama llama, dust off the clue bat, or get out my soapbox.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2006
    Posts
    3,319

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    Quote Originally Posted by west5 View Post
    Inside the mind of a true packer:

    That isn’t my tack – my bridle has a different bit and my head is a distinct shape, but whatever, maybe someone will tell you and you will get it right next time.

    Look barking dogs chasing me - Yawn.

    Major construction equipment digging right next to me - Yawn.

    A hack through the woods turned to a day at the nature channel. Donkeys, miniature horses, cows, pigs, alpacas, deer, wild turkeys – Yawn.

    Ummm I’m sure you didn’t want me to run over the instructor so I will correct your squash-shaped arc into a 20-meter circle instead.

    It feels like you are going to fall off so I am just going to change gaits so you can get your balance back.

    If I follow your directions I will end up in the jump standard. I’m assuming you’d like to go over the center instead.

    I know you didn’t mean to take off from that distance so I will just fix it for you. Again. As I do for Every. Single. Fence.

    I can’t for the life of me tell which jump we are heading towards so I am assuming it is the green one; oh it isn’t? No problem, I can change with only two strides left before the fence.

    Ack – I jumped you out of the tack – I will shift on my way down as to catch you so you do not end up in the dirt!

    Really? We are going over the advanced xcountry fence?!
    Goody Goody Gum Drops!
    Things are really getting fun around here! Oh, you didn’t really mean it?
    Ok, maybe another day.
    This....you could knot the reins, run the stirrups up and he could do all three phases, WELL, without a rider...and finish in the ribbons!! Truly a rare commodity, but worth his weight in GOLD!!! More if he's pretty!!!
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2008
    Location
    Sunshine State
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    2,215

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    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fulrider View Post
    I'd been told upper-level horses were really hot but this horse was ridiculously quiet, almost lazy without big jumps to impress her. I'm told that even though she seems like an incredibly slow horse she makes the time at 2* because you don't need to adjust her at all.
    I heard this rumor once too - then I met and had the chance to ride lots of UL horses. It's true that there are some hot head pro rides, but it's certainly not a requirement, and many people will argue that a good mind is one of the most important things for an UL horse.

    My old boss in Europe had two advanced horses - One was a nut and she showed him because she couldn't sell him or otherwise get rid of him. The other was a safe horse that her 7-year old son could trot around on in the ring. I could ride him to a pub and enjoy a beer from his back. He went to the WEGs with her.

    My current coach has two former 3* horses in her lesson program. They are different sorts but both are both packers in my mind. Both are exceptionally safe, super adjustable sorts that try their hardest to take care of their riders. One gives a bit more than the other in dressage, but they will make sure you get back home safe every time, even when a rider doesn't give them a terribly effective ride.
    The rebel in the grey shirt


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 26, 2011
    Posts
    47

    Default

    I always think of a packer as something safe and experienced. Not a horse that will give away clear rounds etc. My current guy is a packer at intermediate (I do training on him) but he is really quite difficult to show jump! He will not give away a frame in dressage (makes you work for it) but when you get it right, could win on the flat. (I have yet to get it right...lol). He IS completley a machine oh XC though! He has absolutely zero stop, (unless I do something SUPER STUPID), and I always feel very safe. So to me it is a horse that will not give it away, but will teach you how to ride.
    To ride or not to ride-what a stupid question!
    -Unknown



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