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  1. #1
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    Default Temperament scale 1-10, what do the levels mean to you?

    After browsing horse sale ads the past couple weeks, I have to say I'm a little baffled over this
    It seems that everyone must have their own version of what the temperament levels mean, on a 1-10 scale.
    So what do they represent to you? Do you find the listed temperament/rating varies based on discipline?
    It's been rather frustrating inquiring about horses that are listed at one level(for example a 3) only to find out I think it's more of a 1 or even a 5.



  2. #2
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    Mar. 9, 2005
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    Default

    In my previous horse shopping searches, this has been my interpretation:

    1 = dead
    2-4 = sane but moves
    5 = probably not INsane, but likely too much horse for me
    6+ = crazy

    But think there ARE some sellers out there that figure 1 is a beginner safe steady horse, and 10 is a pro's ride, and a 7 is just a decent but hotter horse. I never really put much weight at ALL on the number since it's so subjective, beyond knowing that I'M a timid rider, so I steer immediately clear of anything 8+


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2006
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    Default

    I would be more specific. If the scale goes 1 to 10
    1=Almost dead, but breathing - anyone can ride
    2= Breathing and moving - slowly - Dead beginner safe
    3= Average skilled beginner safe
    4= Advanced beginner safe
    5= Average/intermediate rider
    6= Better intermediate, to good rider
    7/8/9= Advanced rider depending on issues
    10 = Too hot to handle
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
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    Middle Tennessee
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by crosscreeksh View Post
    I would be more specific. If the scale goes 1 to 10
    1=Almost dead, but breathing - anyone can ride
    2= Breathing and moving - slowly - Dead beginner safe
    3= Average skilled beginner safe
    4= Advanced beginner safe
    5= Average/intermediate rider
    6= Better intermediate, to good rider
    7/8/9= Advanced rider depending on issues
    10 = Too hot to handle
    This is very close to my interpretation. In my mind, a "5" is your middle of the road average horse-- you know, a horse that's safe enough for your average rider, but is going to sensibly spook if a tarp flies up in his face out of nowhere or buck if you tick him off because you're flopping around too much at the canter.

    When I used to sell a lot of horses when I was younger, I'd advertise most of my OTTBs in the 5/6/7 temperament range-- I thought that was reasonable. They were green and most required intermediate riders. Boy, was that ever a mistake... apparently 5=fire-breathing dragon in many folks minds!
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2006
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    Default

    I had a woman inquire about a lovely, well trained App gelding I have. He has shown in the hunters, eventing, dressage and foxhunts. An ez ride, but not idiot proof. A woman called about him and asked why, if he was THAT well trained, I rated him as a #5??? Some people think a #5 is dangerous!!! Wonder what they think a #6 is??? I guess my good guy, 17 hand, sensitive, soft mouthed, TB gelding must be a #10!!!
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2009
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    Default

    Boy, was that ever a mistake... apparently 5=fire-breathing dragon in many folks minds!
    Unfortunately, according to some of the horses I've tried...a 3 can be a fire-breathing dragon *sigh*. There was a 1-2 I looked at that could barely be walked to the arena.

    When I rate them myself, I do use a scale like this one:
    I would be more specific. If the scale goes 1 to 10
    1=Almost dead, but breathing - anyone can ride
    2= Breathing and moving - slowly - Dead beginner safe
    3= Average skilled beginner safe
    4= Advanced beginner safe
    5= Average/intermediate rider
    6= Better intermediate, to good rider
    7/8/9= Advanced rider depending on issues
    10 = Too hot to handle



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2006
    Location
    Arizona
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    2,235

    Default

    LOL, as I responded to this question posted OTOB, I don't believe in the scale mostly because few of us agree on definitions. I also do believe that a horse can be very much one way with a certain person and be completely different in another person's hands. I use to the scale to keep a certain level of rider or type of rider away. My horse is listed as a 6 and she is far from crazy. She actually is a great ammy's horse but she is a horse with just over a year under saddle. Those who don't understand what that truly means and/or have unrealistic expectations need not inquire. Those who like the horse's appearance, are interested in her for other reasons and understand that you really just don't know until your ride/try to see if you're going to click.....well the number and email address is in the ad.
    Ranch of Last Resort
    www.annwylid.com



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2001
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    Washington State
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    Default

    I am finding this topic very interesting. I occasionally do searches on Dreamhorse when I'm bored. Not because I'm looking for a horse, just to see what's out there. I always cap my search at a 4. My assumption...based on nothing...went like this:
    1 - Dead quiet, not much forward desire
    2 - Slightly more forward desire
    3 - Very quiet, rarely offers to spook, horse wants to get along
    4 - A bit more energetic, but sensible horse who does its job congenially
    5 - Forward and sensible but may spook on a somewhat regular basis
    6-8 - Getting increasingly more spooky, tense or hard to work with
    9-10 - Horse checks out on a regular basis, not something I would ever enjoy

    Maybe I need to open my search a bit more to see what others are marketing in the higher ranges.



  9. #9

    Default

    1 = Dead, too crippled to move, or drugged.

    2/3/4 = Seller afraid to rate higher and scare people off.

    5 = Screw loose (for sellers who think everything is a 2/3/4) or average horse (probably includes a long explanation about why the horse was rated a 5).

    6/7/8 - Advanced intermediate to pro ride. Or a seller trying to scare off beginners.

    9/10 - Screw loose, badly mismanaged, or owned by someone used to bombproof schoolies whose greatest fault is drifting towards the gate sometimes.

    --------

    I get slightly less cynical about the numbers if the ad is written in a way that I can gauge the seller's experience/competence, but for the most part the scales are meaningless.


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
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    Westchester County, NY
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    Default

    I think it also depends on what type of ad you are looking at. I've been looking recently for a 4-7 year old upper level dressage prospect- predominantly listed by competent professionals. In that group, there only seem to be 3-4 ratings, and sellers seem to use them pretty consistently.

    3 - quiet horse that needs to be motivated to do his best work
    5 - middle of the road- needs some motivating and some whoaing
    6/7 - hot, a whoa/balance ride typical of many UL horses
    8/9 - it isn't broken because everyone here is too afraid to get on it, but it looks super pretty in the field so we have put a large price tag on it



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2009
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    I helped the BO put her gelding up for sale and rated him at a 6 but with an explanation .

    He is very well broke and has a nice handle on him. He is not a western pleasure horse, but will trot/jog pretty slowly. He also can move out and has a nice working trot, and he jumps enough to be safe on the trail.

    He necks reins. He has a very good whoa. He knows lateral aids. He will do a turn on the haunches, turn on the forehand, and he sidepases. I can open and close a gate off his back no sweat. He rides in a snaffle and never needs spurs or anything like that. He is very, very sensible on the trail. But not bombproof. He has a fantastic work ethic, tries really hard and willingly, and has never been pissy or crabby.

    BUT ... he is really sensitive. Not flighty or dangerous at all. But if you shift your weight it def means something and he moves over or stops if you sit on your backpockets. (he was bred to be a cutting horse) He does not appreciate a rider who flops around on him or is sloppy. He also does better with someone who is confident. He doesn't do anything wrong, he doesn't get pissy, but he gets wiggly trying to keep up with what the rider wants if that makes sense. Def not a beginner / green bean ride.

    I would say he's an intermediate ride.

    The owner has had one call on him in almost 9 months.


    So does this horse sound like a 6 to anyone ? Or should he be a 4 or 5 ? We don't want to be misleading



  12. #12
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    Feb. 7, 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by snbess View Post
    I am finding this topic very interesting. I occasionally do searches on Dreamhorse when I'm bored. Not because I'm looking for a horse, just to see what's out there. I always cap my search at a 4. My assumption...based on nothing...went like this:
    1 - Dead quiet, not much forward desire
    2 - Slightly more forward desire
    3 - Very quiet, rarely offers to spook, horse wants to get along
    4 - A bit more energetic, but sensible horse who does its job congenially
    5 - Forward and sensible but may spook on a somewhat regular basis
    6-8 - Getting increasingly more spooky, tense or hard to work with
    9-10 - Horse checks out on a regular basis, not something I would ever enjoy

    Maybe I need to open my search a bit more to see what others are marketing in the higher ranges.
    This is exactly how I rate the rating scale on Dreamhorse. I was actually surprised that others have different interpretations.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2006
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    872

    Default

    I guess I've had a little bit more open interpretation to the scale.

    5 & 6 can be forward horse or ones with more buttons making them unsuitable for a novice. 7 & 8s often what I consider a pro's horse or a much more advance. 9 & 10s are the ones that forget things two seconds after being taught and could theoretically be handled by a pro, but pros don't want them either.

    4 & under, IMO, are often the horses that might need to be nagged at, behind the leg, may or may not be "broke", but a whole lot more brake than gas.



  14. #14
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    Jan. 17, 2013
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    Default

    When I was a complete beginner I got a horse who was a 1. He is 18 (19 now), and had lots of hunter show experience. He knows his job and was a great teacher allowing me to make lots of beginner adult mistakes on him with a smile on his face. If it wasnt for him, I would still be doing crossrails.

    My new guy is probably a 3. He is 12 and has also had lots of experience in the hunter ring. He is apparently has a rounder jump so wouldnt have been a good first horse for me, however he is very safe, quiet and willing to accept beginner mistakes as well. I havent jumped him yet, but my coach thinks we will be a great team. So far, we have really clicked on the flat.



  15. #15
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    Dec. 10, 2012
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    Default

    Looks like some bargains to be had in the 5's to 8's.



  16. #16
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    Apr. 9, 2012
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    Interesting. I've always figured that a lot of the numbers were "deflated" or under-estimated to make a horse more attractive to a broader set of buyers. I didn't consider anything reported as a 5 or above - I figured that was going to be too much horse. (Haha, I've had a couple 6-8 types, but they were not reported as being that hot!)
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  17. #17
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    Apr. 9, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roxyllsk View Post
    I helped the BO put her gelding up for sale and rated him at a 6 but with an explanation .
    ...So does this horse sound like a 6 to anyone ? Or should he be a 4 or 5 ? We don't want to be misleading
    I would say a 5. And I would probably at the top say he'd be a great horse for an intermediate rider looking for X, or a non-beginner working with a trainer. Maybe even say a 4 because you provide a thorough explanation.
    If he doesn't buck/rear or spook super hard, I would also note that.
    I think COTH is a rather honest group. But I still do think a lot of other posters deflate a bit and anything 6 or above doesn't get much traction.

    Edited to add: maybe even leave off the rating because the ad explains thoroughly?
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  18. #18
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    Jan. 26, 2006
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    Fort Worth, Texas
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    Default

    The scale is in the eyes of the beholder which makes a determinant of value difficult.... however the scale does provide a marketing tool.... that is near worthless


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  19. #19
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    Jul. 22, 2008
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    Rochester, NY
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    Default

    Interesting discussion. I also try to take into account the wording of the ad/nature of the seller- a seller who specializes in retraining OTTBs for eventing's idea of a 7 seems, in general, very different from, say, a private seller who does western pleasure's idea of the same. I would probably consider a 7 horse from the latter and leave the 7 from the former to the pros.

    The scale as I see it in my head is pretty close to joiedevie99's version, although I think of those 8/9 horses as being pro rides, and 10 as something that needs to be transported via that contraption they used for the velociraptors in Jurassic Park.
    bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
    free bar.ka and tidy rabbit



  20. #20
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    Jun. 7, 2001
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    I used them on my site strictly to reflect the full spectrum from 1=difficult to get going because completely lazy, unresponsive type of horse, safe but not not keen on work.
    5=would be perfect temp. for average rider who liked a horse that does not require too much seat (or generally speaking intervention) to get to work but won't have a go button with no switch to turn off either.
    10=Hottie with a tendence to overwork, overreact and needs a rider who is capable to compensate for that.

    Recently I've had a web-relaunch and changed it from Temperament to Tolerance level as there are many riders who do want a horse with a go-button but can't handle on that is not forgiving.

    Most of my own horses will rank in the 6-8 department on the tolerance scale but I will occasionally have one that is 3. I haven't given a 10 either as this would have to be a fairly seasoned, experienced horse which has had a ton of mileage/exposure probably too much for most people to even consider *lol*


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