Looking for top dressage sires known to pass on great temperament...
I'm thinking about breeding my Class 1 Swedish mare again for my next competition horse. The last time I bred her for a riding horse for my own use, I selected a stallion explicitly for temperament and couldn't be happier with the results. That was 10 years ago, so there's a whole different crop of stallions to choose from this time around.
I know some of you will be tempted to talk about confirmation, movement, etc. I can see all that on a stallion video and judge for myself what might complement my mare's strengths and improve on her weaknesses. What I cannot see on a stallion video is temperament and trainability.
I would especially like to hear from actual owners of offspring of top stallions. Fresh semen is easier, but I'm not opposed to frozen.
A few of the stallions on my current wishlist that I'd really like to get feedback on the temperament of the offspring:
Others I should consider?? I tried to breed her to Flemmingh in 07, but it didn't take... and then he died. The thought of a foal from the Flemmingh line still makes my heart flutter.
Freestyle! My mare is Swedish, too, and my #1 concern was temperment in breeding. I have a 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 year old from her and Freestyle and they are AMAZING temperments. It also doesn't hurt that they are stunning, rhythmic movers, uphill, and super athletic. Oh, and his semen is kick ass, Jennifer is great to work with, and he's a better deal than most stallions with amazing bloodlines.
I actually had Karen Offield offer me a discount to Lingh, who was high on my list, but I'm glad I went this route.
They are SUPER with temperament. It's a BIG issue with my mare, who is super talented, but can be a PIA to ride. They are just SO nice. They both always come running when I call, choose to be with people rather than anything else, and "troll" for people when anyone is around. Just REALLY nice to work with (and I have mostly experience with HARD horses.) It seems it throws this 100% of the time. The 4 year old looks like a clone of him, and the 2 year old looks more like her mother.
And "breaking" was a joke. The 4 year old showed last year four times between 30 and 60 days under saddle (no kidding) and was unbelievable--just SO easy, and averaged 70% at training level, going to three brand new places, wind, flags, mirrors, etc. While waiting to ride, she would schooch up to anyone nearby for a face rub. I've had friendly horses before, but these guys are the only ones I've had that actually love to have you hold their heads, forever, and rub their eyes.
You wrote you look for temperament. I ask now what do you mean by that ?
A horse for your own use, so do you like them a bit on the hotter side ? Forward ? Eager ? Or do you like an a horse that is bombproof when it comes to challenging envionment ? You want a more sleeping pill temperament ? You want one that does not care whether you yell at it ? you want one that is sensible ? Before this is clear, I think it is not that easy to give you ideas, and especially with the stallion list you gave - two of them make me ask these questions !
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I can't say enough good about Rotspon. HIGH rideability, great personalities. I've bred 4 & they are all wonderful. He consistantly passes on great necks, rideability, swinging backs & normally pretty faces. He can be all over the place in height though but all mine are big.
I have two geldings from the Rubenstein line that I adore.......I crossed them with my breeding program (hunter oriented) for their quiet, willing attitude.
Both will show AND foxhunt, which is quite hard for most horses!!
The last time I bred her for my own riding horse, I chose Taxateur as the sire. At the time, he was being (or had recently been) shown upper level dressage by a young rider. I figured any stallion that can be successfully shown by a teenage girl is one that I'd probably enjoy riding myself.
Then I leased my mare to somebody locally who bred her to her own stallion and got a wonderful foal.
Alexandra, you bring up a good point about how I define "good temperament". I was taking for granted that most of us (adult amateurs anyway) have the same thing in mind when we say that. Giving it some more thought I realized that isn't necessarily the case, so I started a new tread to discuss just that.
For me it means sensible, willing learner, eager to please. I definitely do not think "hot" when I think about a good temperament.
If you have experience with offspring of the sires I listed, I would love to hear how you would describe their temperaments. Thanks for your help!
It is my understanding that temperament and character are different (someone please correct me if I'm wrong on this one). For temperament, I want one that is forward, eager to please, not spooky or not overly reactive. One that takes everything in stride and that looks at the world with curiosity rather than worry or fear. One that can "take a joke" and be forgiving of one's mistakes. Basically "amateur friendly". For character, I want an easy going, personable, kind natured and affectionate type. One should keep in mind, however, that many of these traits are generally not found in top dressage performers
An informal list of stallions that, in my experience, are quite reliable in producing a good character and temperament are (I put deceased ones in as well since they, and their sons, can be looked for in pedigrees):
Florestan (recently deceased) and sons/descendants
Rotspon is just one that comes to mind but there are many others
Donnerhall and sons/descendants
Don Schufro and sons/descendants
KWPN Roemer (deceased)
KWPN Flemmingh (deceased)
Benetton Dream has a super mind and seems to be passing it on
Benicio (young but excellent mind!)
KWPN Lord Leatherdale
KWPN Chippendale (young but excellent mind!)
Escudo I and II
ETA: I'm sure there are many more and this list is far from "scientific" but these are names that I have experience with. How the horse is raised (including what it is exposed to early on), nurtured and trained also plays a big part in how it turns out. I really love Ampere but do not have any experience with any offspring so don't know the type of mind he passes on.....
Last edited by Mistysmom; Jan. 26, 2013 at 12:11 PM.
I don't know if they all the same but the Rousseau I had could not be better for his temperament. He has it all;willing, friendly, confident, not spooky, easy to handle, forward, fast learner, always happy with a lot of charisma...and so beautiful.
He seems to meet what an amateur or professional is looking for. My sister bought him as a yearling and brought him to his current trainer as a 4 years old. Her trainer said he would be a good horse for my sister. She meant that he was willing to forget mistake, was not spooky, calm but willing and foward.
Then after a few weeks of training she found he would also be a good horse for herself. This trainer was part of the Pan American Game who won the team Silver Medal for Canada in 2011. They now have an agreement so he is her next Grand Prix prospect. She is amazed on how fast learner he is and his ability to do easily what he is asked for. She is literaly in love with him but we call this the 'Dragon syndrome' (his name is Dragon Bloom) as everywhere he goes people are falling for him.
I have tried for the past few years to bred this mare back to Rousseau but had no luck so far for different reason. But he is in the line up again this year.
Last edited by bloomingtonfarm; Jan. 26, 2013 at 11:37 AM.
I can second Rotspon and Rousseau. I currently compete my Rotspon mare Second Level (we were NC HOY 3rd place in 2012, yeah!) and are hoping to move up to Third this year. She has super gaits and when working through is a head turner. However, at times she can definately be an alpha mare....opinionated and stubborn. Never dangerous or impossible but you need to ask her how she wants or it ain't.gonna.happen For me it has made me a much better rider as she is "hard enough" to be challenging but not so hard that I want to give up....when we are working together and clicking are rides can be almost dream like! I have also taken her camping in the VA mountains and we trail ride extensively which I love about her (just can't have a horse too cloe behind as she WILL kick). i can not ride her for a week, take her out of the pasture and go out on the trail...safely. Her biggest spook is to just not move....really, her hooves cement to the ground.
I also bred a Rousseau that is now coming four. He too has been a dream to work with...first for ground work with me and now under saddle with his new owner. Hopefully they will begin showing this year a little so we'll see how he develops as well!
We bought a 3 yo Sir Sinclair that's a saint, well put together, and talented. easiest horse we ever broke.
We bred a Contucci who I really, really like, not as quiet and easy as the Sir Sinclair but a superior individual (I'm 65 years old and handle him every day), quite easy for a 2 yo. And he's physically a BEAST - 16'1" at 18 months, bright chestnut, 4 high whites, big blaze. Flashy as hell. Haven't backed him yet, so who knows?
Not sure if the question of who my two youngsters are was for me, but if so..........they are by Rodioso and Rodan (both Rubenstein sons). I also bred a fantastic foal by Rosenthal (crossed with Claim to Fame's full sister) who won at Devon this year, and just was the three year old SpyCoast Young Horse Series National Champion!!