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Can you develop a DHH thats been a Driving horse?

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    Can you develop a DHH thats been a Driving horse?

    I have been looking at horses from a farm that seems to always have DHH or DHH crosses for sale. They do really good over all videos of the horses being ridden and driven. My question is they all seen to have very flat croup/hip. I assume this is from being driven. Can this be developed over time with being ridden (no driving)? Anyone with thoughts on this?
    TIA

    #2
    My guy has! I got him last year and he’s developed his top line and booty immensely. I did (and do) feed additional amino acids to help build those new muscles and work LOTS on stretching/long and low. He’s all DHH and 8 years old and was a driving horse until he was 7. I’ll see if I can find some decent before and after photos.
    When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

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      #3
      When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

      Comment


        #4
        FWIW, I once went to compliment a pro who was showing two Friesians at a big show, one at 2nd level and one at 3rd. This was some years ago, when you didn't see that many Friesians. we were discussing the breed, suitability, temperament, etc. She said to us that it was much better to get one that had not been first driven extensively. That she had taken over the two horses she was showing, and they had been driven quite a bit; retraining for dressage had presented some difficulties, and SHE had suffered physically with tedonitis, among other things, in the process of teaching them to be lighter in the bridle and in achieving the beginnings of collection. She loved them temperamentalky, but said she most definite!y would have preferred if they had not been driven first. YMMV

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          #5
          I would say it depends on how they were trained Not a DHH but I had a mare that I broke to drive; plans to show at open pleasure driving, obstacles, etc. Not combined driving though. My driving trainer (who had some dressage in her background) actually RODE the mare for a period of time, teaching her how to come from behind and into the bit. Made a big difference. But I'm guessing not many get that kind of start.

          Edited to add: the DHH flat croup (and longish back) is breed characteristic, not because they are driven.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by spook1 View Post
            My question is they all seen to have very flat croup/hip. I assume this is from being driven. Can this be developed over time with being ridden (no driving)? Anyone with thoughts on this?
            TIA
            You cannot change the physical structure (bones) of a horse. This is just how the DHH is conformed - they were bred this way initially as they were driving horses, not riding horses. While you can change how a horse is muscled (going from driving to riding), you will not ever be able to change the way that they are built.

            I have seen some DHH and DHHxs do well in dressage, but it takes a really capable (and very patient) rider. They have a tendency to want to carry their heads in the air, drop through the back, and disengage the hind end. A rider has to have a very developed skill set at riding a horse back-to-front (engage the hind end/step up and under/sit and take weight behind, relax and lift the back, reach out and down through neck to nose, be comfortable working there for as long as it takes for the horses to really understand the concept and develop appropriate muscling) to succeed with the conventional harness horse. I see people pick them up thinking "oh, dressage horse!" because of the pretty, flashy trots but often overlook the fundamental challenges that are presented with the way they're built.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Edre View Post

              You cannot change the physical structure (bones) of a horse. This is just how the DHH is conformed - they were bred this way initially as they were driving horses, not riding horses. While you can change how a horse is muscled (going from driving to riding), you will not ever be able to change the way that they are built.

              I have seen some DHH and DHHxs do well in dressage, but it takes a really capable (and very patient) rider. They have a tendency to want to carry their heads in the air, drop through the back, and disengage the hind end. A rider has to have a very developed skill set at riding a horse back-to-front (engage the hind end/step up and under/sit and take weight behind, relax and lift the back, reach out and down through neck to nose, be comfortable working there for as long as it takes for the horses to really understand the concept and develop appropriate muscling) to succeed with the conventional harness horse. I see people pick them up thinking "oh, dressage horse!" because of the pretty, flashy trots but often overlook the fundamental challenges that are presented with the way they're built.
              This.

              Also, not all drivers are equal. A person may develop a driving horse towards straightness and reaching head carriage. OR they may run it into the collar with high head, hollow back, and body determinedly canted crooked.

              You will find the horses to be varied by individual. But often tending toward a broken neck/behind the bit with backs that are so weak it is hard to describe.
              "Friend" me !

              http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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                #8
                I'm currently working young a Hackney Horse cross with foundation QH. Lots of stretching down to build up the back and encourage push from hind quarters. Lots of hill work to develop muscle and again push from behind. Some lateral work to develop suppleness combined with forward work to develop implosion. The flexions to develop a frank acceptance and connexion with the bit. It's working...

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                  #9
                  I have two currently. One drove and competed in combined driving for two years before I got him. He is the most difficult of the two, he is also extremely expressive and athletic.

                  It has been a lot of work to get him to lower the neck and not drop the back in all the work. His go to when learning is always to lift the neck and drop the back.

                  That all said, he can collect extremely well and piaffe and passage are very easy for him. He also did not show very well at the lower levels. He really shines at 3rd and above. I’m hoping to bring him out at PSG this year.

                  I would buy him again because he is very competitive in the open classes however if you are not good at working a horse through the body on a hot horse I would not recommend.

                  My second is younger and built and goes more like a traditional WB, still hot and sharp but much better through her body and her inclination isn’t to drop her back. She scores better at lower levels and is more competitive there.

                  If I had to be picky on the breed I would say buy one with a less fancy trot and wants to canter when turned loose, and of course a good walk. A lower neck set is much easier to deal with (they neck will still be higher then most) and the rider MUST be good at developing looseness within the horse.

                  As a whole I find them very sensible to deal with if a more hot and looky type to ride. I also find them more likely to jump or spin and run from something scary vs the traditional WB who tend to jump and blow up in place when scared.
                  http://www.windsweptfarmllc.com

                  Comment


                    #10
                    OK. WHAT is "DHH"???
                    Janet

                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Janet View Post
                      OK. WHAT is "DHH"???
                      I believe here it refers to a Dutch Harness Horse.
                      **********
                      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                      -PaulaEdwina

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Lucassb View Post

                        I believe here it refers to a Dutch Harness Horse.
                        How is that different from a Gelderlander?
                        Janet

                        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Lucassb View Post

                          I believe here it refers to a Dutch Harness Horse.
                          Originally posted by Janet View Post

                          How is that different from a Gelderlander?
                          I found this: https://baileyranchbreeders.com/info

                          Dutch Harness Horse: The Dutch harness horse was created with a combination of Dutch Riding Horse and Hackney. This gave the riding horse the knee action and cadence that is preferred in harness. This breed started in the late 19th century when they were considered luxury horses.

                          Gelderlander Horse: The Gelderlander was first created to have the substance necessary for work on the farm. A good temperament was also very important. They were used for riding when they weren't pulling a carriage. Now the focus is more about performing at the top level in all categories, creating the all around athlete. This specific breeding has created a horse that is very versatile, happy and talented.
                          "She is not fragile like a flower. She is fragile like a bomb."

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                            Original Poster

                            #14
                            FizzyFuzzyBuzzy..Wow what a difference! Good job!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              If it's one of the places I'm thinking of all their DHH come from the Amish. DHH is a huge industry for them. Locally DHH are started in harness at 2 and driven extensively. In addition to the other words of caution, I would be concerned about the wear and tear.

                              The DHH don't always canter easily, and a horse started in harness might have been punished as well.
                              http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by spook1 View Post
                                FizzyFuzzyBuzzy..Wow what a difference! Good job!
                                Thank you! There is a LOT that goes in to rehabbing and restarting one of these guys -- I've learned a lot along the way, but my boy is so worth it. Feel free to reach out if you'd like additional photos or details.
                                When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  When a horse is driven it is very easy for them to just lean into the collar or breast plate and pull by digging in with their front ends, and many driving horses are allowed to go along with raised heads and dropped backs. However in driven dressage the same push from behind you want in ridden dressage IS the goal - it's just a little harder to achieve.

                                  The conformation you see (flat croups, long backs, longer necks..) is not going to change with work, that's skeletal. But you can develop a topline with correct work.

                                  The ones I've met can be a bit goofy/dingalings, but very sweet, and if nothing else, they are bombproof when the Amish get done with them. Some are hot and some are really mellow.

                                  They may be a little heavier in the hand than a horse who hasn't driven but they will understand contact quite well.


                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    The Amish do breed and have imported some top European stallions from Europe. It is a business for them.

                                    Most are sold to riding homes and competitive driving homes. Some for huge price tags. They are not breeding them to plow the fields or drive down the road as a daily driver. (Example my filly was bred by the Amish... she was an unstarted 4yr old... so never driven; they were selling her specifically for a Dressage home)

                                    There are two different lines of registered DHH. The KWPN and the ADHHA. Please do research on the lines of what you are buying if you are spending a bit of $$ on one. Some stallions have produced many FEI offspring.

                                    If you are looking at the DHH as a upper level competitive prospect... you are not going to be buying a Amish daily driver.

                                    If like me you find yourself buying a combined driving horse, yes there is probably some need to show them how to use their bodies differently under saddle but they do do Dressage in Harness... how well it’s done depends on the driver...

                                    How well the horse naturally uses it’s body is based on its conformation... same as any type of Horse...they are limited or successful based on conformation and brain.
                                    http://www.windsweptfarmllc.com

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      fizzyfuzzybuzzy

                                      What made you buy him? He looks like a different horse under your care! Good job 🙂 congratulations!

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        My neighbor and friend is converting a failed driving horse into a dressage horse. He's not full DHH, has a bit of Friesian in him just to add to the difficulty! Her biggest challenges have been canter transitions - high head and hollow - and how heavy he wants to be in the bridle - he has to learn to carry himself better, and he is getting there. Her background is hunters so she naturally looks for a very light contact, and he isnt there yet - but he is getting better every week.

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