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How did you find YOUR dressage partner?

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  • How did you find YOUR dressage partner?

    I am curious as a breeder AND a buyer where people are finding their dressage horses. Did you using the sales sites? Word of mouth? Your trainer?

    How many horses did you look seriously at? How far did you travel to look at those horses?

    Did you consider non-continental warmblood breeds? Did you look at horses not being marketed as dressage horses? Smaller horses?

    What was your price range and did you end up changing your price range as you shopped?

    Looking back are you happy you got what you were looking for? Has the "plan" for that horse worked the way you imagined?

    Obviously there are hundreds of questions so if you have one that you want asked toss it in. PatO
  • Original Poster

    #2
    I'll start

    I have an 8 yo Irish Draught mare as my dressage partner. I found her by recommendation as a foal in Ireland...I sent a hand full of pictures of the Irish Draughts I admired and asked for suggestions. I bought a foal sight unseen though she had won at the RDS Show(a big win in Ireland). I then had 6 years of an homely athletic girl with a wonderful brain. Now she is in partime training and I am getting back in the saddle after about 15 years off from what was a a very useful rider.

    I am internet all the way from finding the breed of my dreams to the people I met in the US who suggested the breeder in ireland...However once dealing with Ireland it was all phone calls. I DID see her before she shipped and didnt like her but I was already signed sealed and soon to be delivered. Thank God because I would have been a fool. The advice I had received was golden and they were exactly right...in the end.

    I considered all breeds but by-passed the modern versions of nearly all the breeds. Ultimately I loved all the traditional types the breeds were changed from and the horses I liked most all looked like good Irish Draughts with bone and compact bodies and short shins. Lucky for me the internet showed me that Irish Draughts were here(in the US) and I went to see them.

    I spent the amount I had which was 10K and ended up being about 12K when she arrived. So the limit I had included shipping door to door.

    Of course I am delighted by my mare. She had the trainability and honesty to build my confidence that Yes I CAN ride amd train again at 51. She is the best horse I have ever ridden and has given me two foals better than she is. As my menopausal adventure she has done HER part though the route wasn't what I planned I have had success breeding for the type of horses I envisioned and now that I am riding again I cant stop to breed more foals as it is so much fun. Pat O

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    • #3
      Originally posted by columbus View Post
      I am curious as a breeder AND a buyer where people are finding their dressage horses. Did you using the sales sites? Word of mouth? Your trainer?
      Yes, Yes, No

      How many horses did you look seriously at? How far did you travel to look at those horses?
      Six, but two were sold before I could even put an offer on the table.
      Two hours, but three of the horses I was seriously considering were on the west coast and I'm on the east coast. I was going to purchase "sight unseen".

      Did you consider non-continental warmblood breeds? Did you look at horses not being marketed as dressage horses? Smaller horses?
      I don't "do" warmbloods.
      No, because this breed has been bred for 500 years for dressage and that's what they do.
      Smaller than what, a bus?

      What was your price range and did you end up changing your price range as you shopped?
      $15,000 - $30,000.
      No.

      Looking back are you happy you got what you were looking for? Has the "plan" for that horse worked the way you imagined?
      Yes and yes.

      Pat, would be nice if the questions were not skewed in favor of warmbloods

      Eileen
      Last edited by Roan; Apr. 15, 2008, 07:17 AM. Reason: Grammar correction
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      • #4
        I looked at one or two if I recall...was looking on sales sites and asking everyone I knew if they heard of something let me know. I was on a budget because I had bought my dream mid level schoolmistress three months early and she died unexpedctedly of splenic cancer. I was open to any breeds...just wanted training so I could show 4th/PSG. One mare I liked but actually had an offer on her by the time I drove there to see her. At the time, this was very disappointing. In the end, the woman I sold my first homebred foal to referred me top someone looking for a forever home for a very special Russian horse. I drive there, rode him, recognized I was about to be a very lucky girl and bought him on the spot. I have never regretted it...and despite some ups and downs...he has been a schoolmaster sent from heaven!
        Whispered Wish Weser-Ems: Breeding quality German Riding Ponies!
        Standing the stallion Burberry
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        • #5
          My current dressage horse I found through my vet.

          Before I bought her, I'd gone out to look at two other horses I'd found online, but was so unimpressed with the first I left within minutes. The other was very likeable, and I hope he found a good home, though I don't think he was quite what I wanted.

          I was really hoping to find something within two hours or so of where I live. The horse I bought, interestingly enough, was only maybe 15 minutes away.

          Mostly I was looking at Thoroughbreds and Arabs. I've owned both before, and I enjoy a hotter, more sensitive, horse. I was willing to work on training/retraining, so I was fine with finding a horse that had been ridden in a different discipline, or even not at all. As far as size goes, I wanted something over 15hh and under 16.3, so I was pretty flexible.

          My price range was under $1500, hoping to spend under 1000. I wasn't looking for an FEI prospect, nor was I in any hurry. Ended up paying $500.

          Absolutely thrilled with my mare. She's an Anglo-Trakehner, just over 15hh, with an incredible work ethic. Vet described her as very athletic, but difficult. She's very sensitive, and she was owned by a nervous rider, and they were quite ill-suited to one another. I went into it knowing I had a project on my hands, but it's been well worth it. Our lessons together have been going great, and now that she's starting to relax, she's really starting to go well. And it appears that at some point she was really trained quite well, it was just buried under a lot of tension. Far exceeded my expectations.
          "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
          -Edward Hoagland

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          • #6
            I got my boy from an 85 year old man that owned a barn we boarded at for a year. He wasn't really being used anymore because he was "CRAZY " He would spook and scare people or buck here and there and throw people off. Well he never gave us a problem so we offered 2500.00 for him and the man took it. He didn't want to because he loved this horse but he knew it was a lot of money at the time for the boy and he would have a wonderful home, esp. since he really couldn't use him anymore for trail rides. I've had him right over a year now and have grown to love him more and more. Even though he is for sale (priced high because I'm not going to sell him to just anyone) I would keep him for the rest of his life before dropping his price. He has turned out to be amazing with me. He is a very sensitive horse and doesn't like a lot going on up on his back so I think thats why he didn't do well with any joe blow riding him. He won me yr end champ locally in eng. pleasure w/t and w/t/c and o/f in xrails and 2', he also won reserve champ in hunter hack 2'. He is a beautiful mover for dressage and that's what we are doing now, also some c/t's because we both love to jump. He is doing well now in dressage and starting to kick butt after just 3 months of training. So all in all my little old trail horse that has never ever had any proper training is worth so much more $$ wise now and can compete up with the best warmbloods in his level on a good day
            Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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            • #7
              My trainer at the time took me to a Hanoverian auction. it was very exciting. Neither my trainer or myself had ridden her, so kind of scary as well. I ended up going over my price range. She was a great partner. I had her for eleven years before she had to be put down due to illness.

              Pat, would be nice if the questions were not skewed in favor of warmbloods
              How are the questions "skewed" in favor of warmbloods?

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              • #8
                I looked for just over a year. I had a list of things that I needed and I knew that I did not want a young horse and that I did need a trained horse with substantial show experience and a horse who could take me beyond 3rd level. I looked online, at print ads and trainer recommendations. The farthest I went was from Vancouver BC to London, Ontario. I reviewed dozens of videos and test drove about half a dozen horses. I tried not to be breed specific but I wanted a horse that was built for dressage. I looked at horses from 15.1 to 16.3. I really did not want anything bigger than 16.3 because I am not tall. My budget grew over time. The horse I bought was listed online, but I was directed to him by my trainer. I have had my horse for almost 4 years now and I am very happy. The first year was tough as he was much more sensitive than I was used to dealing with, but that quality has taught me to be a better rider. I am going to make my 4th level debut at a show in 3 weeks. He is a (now 12) 16.1H Danish gelding, locally bred, out of a TB mare.

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                • #9
                  I am curious as a breeder AND a buyer where people are finding their dressage horses. Did you using the sales sites?
                  Yes, ewarmbloods.net, dreamhorse.com, warmbloods-for-sale.com, and equine.com. Also searched for specific breeders: Hanoverian, Oldenburg, Holsteiner, Dutch, Swedish, & Oldenburg N/A.

                  Word of mouth?
                  No

                  Your trainer?
                  No, didn't have one when shopping.

                  How many horses did you look seriously at? How far did you travel to look at those horses?
                  Got about 10-15 videos, seriously looked at 3 of them. One I traveled 100 miles, he ended up being too big for me--glad I saw him in person. For the other two I didn't travel at all, just looked at videos. The first of those 2 failed his vetting, the second one passed and I bought him.

                  Did you consider non-continental warmblood breeds?
                  Not at first, but ended up buying a non-continental (if you mean a non-Euro WB) because in my price range it was very hard to get the quality I wanted in a continental WB.

                  Did you look at horses not being marketed as dressage horses? Smaller horses?
                  No, they were all marketed for dressage. If you mean smaller as in < 16.3H range vs. >=17H, then yes.

                  What was your price range and did you end up changing your price range as you shopped?
                  $8k maximum, ended up spending quite a bit less .

                  Looking back are you happy you got what you were looking for? Has the "plan" for that horse worked the way you imagined?
                  VERY happy with what I got!! I think he's a lot of horse for the money and will allow me to accomplish my goals quite easily. Don't know if the "plan" will work out yet, he's unbroke and I just got him in November, so the verdict is still out.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by columbus View Post

                    How many horses did you look seriously at? How far did you travel to look at those horses?


                    *****About five. I had a zillion videos though! Video was not the best idea in the world, it makes for not going in person, and most people take a horrible video. YMMV! *****

                    Did you consider non-continental warmblood breeds? Did you look at horses not being marketed as dressage horses? Smaller horses?

                    *****I wanted a pinto warmblood. Young, and not especially small, over 16 hands, under 17.*****

                    What was your price range and did you end up changing your price range as you shopped?

                    *****Up to $25,000.*****

                    Looking back are you happy you got what you were looking for? Has the "plan" for that horse worked the way you imagined?

                    *****My horse was green as grass, only 60 days of riding before I bought him. He has worked out well, but it has taken me 2-1/2 years of constant training. He is getting there now. It was more work than I had previously asked for, he is kind of "a work in progress". *****

                    Looking for ANY horse to do dressage is my biggest PET PEAVE. If you want to ride dressage look for a horse who CAN do dressage. Breeds are a matter of personal preference, but try to get a level, well proportioned animal to do the job and be prepared to spend a few dollars. I know it's hard to find a diamond in the rough, and many people spend a life time looking. Aimlessly going forward with an inappropriate animal takes all the fun out of riding if you ask me. But hey! If you get your kicks kicking yourself that is you prerogative. YMMV!
                    ~Equine Jewelry~
                    Used Saddles For Sale
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                    • #11
                      I had borrowed her for a while since my others were so young and not ready. Honestly, I HATED her in the beginning and wanted to take her back. The owner told me to "give it a few months, mares take time to bond"........ well that was over a year ago now and well, she is not going anywhere.
                      www.spindletopfarm.net
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                      "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by columbus View Post
                        I am curious as a breeder AND a buyer where people are finding their dressage horses. Did you using the sales sites? Word of mouth? Your trainer?

                        How many horses did you look seriously at? How far did you travel to look at those horses?

                        Did you consider non-continental warmblood breeds? Did you look at horses not being marketed as dressage horses? Smaller horses?

                        What was your price range and did you end up changing your price range as you shopped?

                        Looking back are you happy you got what you were looking for? Has the "plan" for that horse worked the way you imagined?

                        Obviously there are hundreds of questions so if you have one that you want asked toss it in. PatO
                        I used mostly sale sites, though some word of mouth too. I shop on my own and if I have a big question mark about the horse I run it past a trainer friend of mine.

                        I looked on and off for about 18 months. In that time I looked seriously at about 5. I saw video on 20+. I have to agree that video should be considered with a grain of salt. Very few people take good sales video. The best video that I saw was one of a horse that started on the cross ties with some confro shots and then some close ups. It was then three gaits in each direction without being cut or edited. It was about 7 minutes, and I didn't come away wondering what the horse did that made them stop the video.

                        Farthest I went to look was about 200 miles. Farthest that I got video from was 1500 miles.

                        I considered non-cont. wbs. Had to based on my budget. Looked at alot of tb/wb crosses, some draft x's (please leave the discussion of inappropriateness of drafts for dressage to the other current thread - please!!), and a couple barely started wb broodmares.

                        My price was max $10k including vet and transport (if out of my hauling range). Ended up spending way less than this.

                        The horse that I bought was somewhat misrepresented in the level of training that he had received. I looked at him once in person, and I think I saw a very good day. It has been a much longer process that originally planned, b ut he is also a much nicer prospect than I though I was buying.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by petitefilly View Post
                          Looking for ANY horse to do dressage is my biggest PET PEAVE. If you want to ride dressage look for a horse who CAN do dressage. Breeds are a matter of personal preference, but try to get a level, well proportioned animal to do the job and be prepared to spend a few dollars. I know it's hard to find a diamond in the rough, and many people spend a life time looking. Aimlessly going forward with an inappropriate animal takes all the fun out of riding if you ask me. But hey! If you get your kicks kicking yourself that is you prerogative. YMMV!
                          Did you take your flame suit out of the closet petitefilly?

                          Shhhhhh...maybe they won't find you in here.

                          But ITA.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hmm i looked at close to 40? Videos (and yes returned em all) i was waffling between a school master (i had already a horse at 2nd level and shown in past to 4th) or a youngster/stallion prospect. I had a limited budget *L* I found Texas on line and bought site unseen.
                            Qualified Saddle Fitter with the S.M.S.
                            www.ravenwoodaussies.com

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by neVar View Post
                              Hmm i looked at close to 40? Videos (and yes returned em all) i was waffling between a school master (i had already a horse at 2nd level and shown in past to 4th) or a youngster/stallion prospect. I had a limited budget *L* I found Texas on line and bought site unseen.
                              Wow, now that is brave. How did he turn out? Are you happy with him?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I just recently purchased my new horse. I knew I wanted something young (between 3 and 6) but under saddle, between 15h and 17h, and a warmblood or warmblood cross for mainly dressage but also some low level eventing.

                                There are several breeders in this area, so I was sure I would be able to find something local or at least within the state. I did have my trainer help -- she made all the local contacts and set up appointments to look at everything available in the area. In the meantime I also looked at several sites (ncwarmbloods.com, dreamhorse.com, warmbloods-for-sale.com, and equine.com) but confined my search to a state or 2 away.

                                I sent everything I found online that looked interesting to my trainer for her opinion. I contacted the sellers and got several videos which we watched together. (I do have to say that most of the videos are terrible.) The local angle did not pan out so I decided that I needed to look out of state. There was one in particular that I wanted to see just over the boarder in PA (5-6 hours from me). For the trip I made plans to see everything that was on my list between here and there (basically in VA) and I think it was around 3-4 horses.

                                I did end up getting the one in PA. I made a second trip up there a couple weeks later to try him again before I committed. He was slightly out of my orignal price range (<20k).

                                I have only had him for 6 month but everything has been going well so far!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Equine.com, purchased him from Holland un-seen and with no vet check. He has been my teacher now for 5 years, he is totally sound, and has taken me to FEI. Best thing I ever did!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I found my horse from a wanted ad on the Internet.

                                    My criteria? A young American Saddlebred gelding to mature at 16H for Dressage, preferably one with little or no Saddle Seat training. Budget up to 10K.

                                    I had a response in less than a month. He was the first horse that I looked at and as luck would have it he was 30 minutes from my house. I went and looked at him. I didn't even ride him. I decided the next day that he was exactly what I was looking for. That was 7 years ago.

                                    This Saturday he shows in his first show at Grand Prix.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I looked at about 10 horses when I was looking 6 years ago. I found my horse on the internet, to this day I can't remember the site I found him on. I was looking for a young TB, I was not interested in any of the ones I went to see in the first part of my shopping. THey where all between 3 and 7 and very green for their ages. All of them where long lanky TB's. I prefer a big TB with al ot of bone. I decided then, I needed to buy a very young horse if my price range was <$5,000. So I bought a baby- I couldn't be happier. He's a MA bred TB, 17.2 and everyone asks me if he's an Irish Sport horse he is so beefy! I got lucky, that's for sure.

                                      So to answer your question, ONLINE!
                                      "Personally speaking, if for whatever reason I was stuck with absolutely only having to chose one breed, then it would without hesitation be a thoroughbred."

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I am curious as a breeder AND a buyer where people are finding their dressage horses. Did you using the sales sites? Word of mouth? Your trainer?
                                        My trainer found the horse on the Internet. The breeder had posted him on Dreamhorse. I also found my last horse on Dreamhorse.

                                        How many horses did you look seriously at? How far did you travel to look at those horses?

                                        I only looked at 2 horses seriously. They were both great but very different. I drove from NJ to CT to look at the horse I didn't buy. I flew from NJ to MO to look at the horse I purchased.

                                        Did you consider non-continental warmblood breeds? Did you look at horses not being marketed as dressage horses? Smaller horses?

                                        The horse I didn't buy was a Morgan, advertised as an all-around horse with talent for dressage. The horse I bought is a QH advertised as an English/Jumping horse. I couldn't afford a WB.

                                        What was your price range and did you end up changing your price range as you shopped?

                                        My price range was roughly $5000 (preferably lower). Both horses were slightly over (including shipping and traveling to the horse).

                                        Looking back are you happy you got what you were looking for? Has the "plan" for that horse worked the way you imagined?

                                        Love my horse. I got talent (has good gaits for any dressage horse not "just a QH"), looks (he's got a cute head), and brains (very little spook and puts up with me) - what more can you ask for? We are working on the plan in the right direction even if we are not quite where I wanted to be at this time (not the horse's fault - I'm learning as I go).

                                        I hope that helps.
                                        Last edited by xQHDQ; Apr. 16, 2008, 06:18 AM.

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