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Thoughts on a mare, please

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  • Thoughts on a mare, please

    I've been horse shopping for over a year, and haven't found a good match in my area and price range. I'm getting closer than I'd like to 40, working towards working on a bronze medal, and would like a suitable, eye-catching horse without major $$$ physical defects that won't go apechit when ridden outside of the arena. So, please tell me your thoughts on this 7 year old Paint mare. She is showing training and scoring in the mid-60's, and is said to be schooling 1st and 2nd. Thanks for any advice!


  • #2
    Hard to see from the photos how rideable, sound, or suitably trained the horse is.

    I would expect a horse schooling second level to trot more under itself though; her hind end looks high and trailing.

    Have you looked up her scores? Are they consistent?
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


    • Original Poster

      Ok, I do have a video link. A friend came across this horse and likes it for me. Anyway, here's a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrm0VCM2Rt8
      I agree the trot may need work, but experts are always saying a trot is the most fixable. My friend likes how she comes up under herself at the canter.


      • #4
        Just my 2cents (and I am no expert)--but she looks very speedy in the trot (needs to slow down and take a longer step)-almost pony gaited at that speed (short/quick). I personally do not care for her canter--at times it looks four beat rather than a crisp 3 beat-flat earthbound (more of a pleasure horse type canter). I would take a careful look at her walk (if the walk is good/pure then perhaps the canter will come with greater strength). I think she will have trouble developing lengthenings--without effort. She is pretty and eyecathing---and also looks pleasant, willing and rideable. Only way to know is go and try.
        Redbud Ranch
        Check us out on FB


        • #5
          I would think that horse would maybe get mid 60's at training level in a very non-competative area. She does not have good quality gaits for dressage. All gaits can be improved by correct riding, but this horse is not starting with what you want. If you like her and just want a riding horse, that's fine. I wouldn't even look at her for training level, let alone 1st or 2nd.

          There HAVE to be more horses there. What is your price range? A lot of the OTTB horses I have seen on here look WAY nicer for dressage and they are a super bargain.

          I searched Maine on warmbloods-for-sale and came up with this quite nice moving 15 year old mare shown doing a nice 1st level test for $3,500. http://warmbloods-for-sale.com/Horse...6&UserID=12966
          It also says she's great on trails, and she could clearly go 2nd level, and probably at least 4th if you know what you're doing. I'm pretty proud of myself I found her on my first search.
          (I'm assuming since you're in Maine, anywhere else in Maine is pretty close? I saw a cute, thin Appy on CL, too.)


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by Beentheredonethat View Post

            I searched Maine on warmbloods-for-sale and came up with this quite nice moving 15 year old mare shown doing a nice 1st level test for $3,500. http://warmbloods-for-sale.com/Horse...6&UserID=12966
            It also says she's great on trails, and she could clearly go 2nd level, and probably at least 4th if you know what you're doing. I'm pretty proud of myself I found her on my first search.
            Thank you for looking! I saw her already; I thought she looked nice, so I asked around. She used to board at a friend's barn and had all kind of hormonal/ ovary issues and has to really be held in tight to show well. I don't like to ride like that. I may look more into OTTB's; CANTER NE isn't that far away.


            • #7
              She seems super flat in the knee...especially at the canter it's like she just moves her front leg by scooting it forward. Looks more like a hunter type mover to me! I think you will be able to find a horse in whatever price range you have with better quality movement!

              Just a quick search for horses under 5,000 since I do not know your price range...

              http://www.warmbloods-for-sale.com/H...3&UserID=12418 (this guy is SOOO cute!)




              Samantha Werner

              There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers


              • #8
                Jolie is in Maine. West coast horses aren't going to work. I'm sure tons of NEer's know of many suggestions, though.

                I still think that mare in Maine is really nice, though I don't know you're riding ability. She does seem very sensitive and goey--holding tight would seem to be a bad thing. Can't hurt to actually see her and see if you click, and to see and feel what three good gaits feel and look like.


                • #9
                  In the paint mare's defense. If people are going to take videos of their horse for sale. They need to get someone who can ride. Not bop around with too long a rein and too long a stirrup.

                  The mare has a decent stride, reaches up fairly well behind at the canter. Yes the front end is useful at the canter but if there is no reach under behind, there is little ability to really engage.

                  If she's close enough to try easily, try her. The hustle in her trot could be rider induced. Hard to say from a short video. She may have no idea how to listen to seat, or the rider may have no idea how to use her seat.

                  There is more to sitting the trot than mere survival.
                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                  • #10
                    I'm relatively new to dressage, so take this with a grain of salt:

                    I think you could find a nicer mover. I would expect a horse who was truly at first and second level to be working over their back much more than this horse is. She seems to have a nice expression but looks tight. When I was looking at horses that were young and green, I saw some with much more engagement than this horse has.

                    I agree with those who have said let's see what the horse can do with a pro on its back.


                    • #11
                      She looks like a cute mare but not one that's truly going training/first. Her trot is too quick, she's not using her back and she's not taking a steady contact.

                      I looked at some of the other videos up there and she is short at the walk (doesn't track up).

                      That's not to say she wouldn't work for you if she's priced competitively, but she is not ready to go at that level.

                      CANTER NE has some very nice horses and they are very helpful (my own horse came from there) but you have to keep in mind that they mostly come with race training only, so hopping on your new OTTB and going for a trail ride may be more exciting than you planned for! My own TB is wonderful outside of the arena . . . now. But he took some work to get him that way.
                      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                      • #12
                        Not tracking up will cause issues from the get go. I qould at least start with a natural overstride to work with.
                        ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~


                        • #13
                          She's not even going in what I would consider a respectable training level balance and composure. She's being fidgeted into a frame, with a rushed, dropped back. If she's working 1st and 2nd, I assure you it's not correctly.

                          She doesn't have a lot of natural talent that I can see. She *might* be a bronze medal horse if she was ridden by a pro every other ride, and was lucky with the judges and the star alignments, and phases of the moon

                          If your goal was just to learn and have fun, anything with 4 legs and a tail will do, including this mare.... but you mentioned wanting a medal, and you'd be FIGHTING with every ounce of talent you and this horse have to make it in her lifetime.

                          which brings me to: what is your budget?
                          many times the goals and the pocketbook don't match. If you are looking for a $5k bronze medal horse, he will most likely be over 17 years old, or in utero.
                          chaque pas est fait ensemble


                          • #14
                            I'm not a dressage rider, but I dont like how the paint mare moves currently. She looks very short strided, and almost stiff behind. She looks like she isnt totally comfortable with contact either. Her transitions looked a bit slow. They almost reminded me of the way a young, very green horse does transitions. I'm a hunter rider mostly, and even with her flat knees, I wouldnt be inclined to try her.

                            I'm sure with a lot of correct work (with a trainer involved) she could improve. Sharing your budget and expectations would help a lot.
                            Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                            White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                            Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                            • #15
                              Okay, I watched another video of her. The rider seemed to start out with a longer rein, and the horse looked a little better like that. I think getting a rider whos hands arent in their crotch would really help. The rider in the video literally had her hands in her lap. Not what I want to see in a sale video. This makes me think that more correct riding and training would help this horse. But are you looking for a horse that needs some tweaking? Or a horse that is fairly easy?
                              Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                              White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                              Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                              • #16
                                OMG. Please take what people say with a goodly grain of salt. If you like the horse, if your friend likes the horse for you, go see the horse. Here's a recent post on Ultimate Dressage Message Board to take to heart http://www.ultimatedressage.com/foru...p?f=1&t=230430

                                There's a picture of the horse about 2/3 of the way down the list.

                                He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                                • #17
                                  No way she is schooling 2nd level correctly not even 1st. She needs a lot of retraining IMO. My paint that's 8 has been in training with me riding and trainer riding on occasion for the past year. He is ready for intro but not training IMO and he goes much much nicer than this girl. She is hollow and not tracking up well at all. She is fussy with her head because she is not asked to go properly from behind she is instead looking to be rushed forward. Remember forward isn't about speed and this looks like what's happening here. She may make a good lower level mount but she needs a year of retraining and I honestly don't know if it's in her to get you a bronze. But that also depends on her heart and her try. There are some paints that can do it if brought along properly and have the want to do it. I'd keep looking if I were you. Just my thoughts
                                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                                  • #18
                                    You can train *most* horses to move up levels and you can somewhat improve their gaits (trot more than walk & canter). But there are a lot of nice horses out there now and you cannot make an average mover truly competitive. If you are serious about achieving your bronze medal and want to accomplish it in the near future, then this might not be the horse for you because it's not clear to me that she has the natural gaits for it.

                                    If you are willing to put a year or two of training into the horse because you like other things about her, then she might work out fine. However it is a whole lot easier if you start with a horse that moves like a dressage horse.

                                    Here's my experience with a horse that I bought. Your mileage may vary. This was the right horse for me when I bought him, but not the right horse to move up the levels.

                                    My first horse was a grade QH with a long back and a pretty straight shoulder. When I got him his underneck was huge and his topline was non existent. After a year or so of proper work, he looked and moved like a different horse.

                                    After two years he was marginally competitive at first level if I rode a very exact test and kept to schooling shows. He was never going to get great marks on gaits (except for his walk, which was great). At home could do canter pirouettes and two tempi changes, so he was trainable, but not athletic enough. He *never* had a good lengthening but he was accurate, obedient and had a heart of gold. He also would jump anything you pointed him at and was very competitive at the 3' jumpers (which is why I bought him).

                                    My trainer (who was not a snob) told me I'd gotten more out of him performance wise than his conformation would predict but that if I wanted to move up the levels, I needed a horse with more scope. Ultimately, I ended up retiring him to a trail riding home as he was getting older and needed a job with less stress.

                                    I loved that horse and had great fun with him but despite having access to very good trainers, he was not going to be a "DRESSAGE HORSE".

                                    So my questions for you are:

                                    - Are you willing to put a year or more into retraining a horse that has likely been started incorrectly? Or do you want to show now?
                                    - Are you willing to buy a horse that doesn't have the gaits to be competitive and will be satisfied by achieving what is good for *this* horse?
                                    - Are you an "enjoy the journey" person or do you like the "destination"?
                                    - Is your budget consistent with buying a horse that is competitive?
                                    - Would you be willing to buy an older horse that has the miles but might need some maintenance?
                                    - Are there other things you want to do with a horse beyond dressage that would influence your decision? If you want to ride in hunter paces and do extensive trail rides, you might sacrifice movement for trail worthiness.
                                    - Do you have a good trainer? One who is accepting of non-traditional horses for dressage?

                                    There really isn't a right or wrong answer -- just an assessment of goals. I like the journey. I don't like to compete. I frequently buy horses that need training/re-training. But, I can completely understand wanting a horse that you can accomplish your competition goals on.

                                    Paula chose to buy a horse that is not a conventional dressage horse that needs training. If you look at her posts, she had some issues with this horse over the past year and put the horse in professional training (which seemed to be the wrong program for the horse). She was, at various times, interested in trail riding instead of dressage. Her horse is probably just fine for what she wants and she will likely have a lot of fun with him. He's cute. But he is not a horse that I would choose if I wanted to earn my Bronze medal.

                                    If you go to look at this horse, bring a trainer, not your friend. I know way too many people who are convinced to buy horses that are unsuitable for their goals because friends like them, or because they are a nice color (the mare is very flashy).

                                    As for looking for a year? Do you have a trainer? Ask them. I have a friend who has been combing the horse ads for a horse and complained that there was nothing out there in her price range. I suggested she contact a trainer we have both ridden with and she knew of four horses (known quantities) for her to try. Many of the best horses are not advertised.

                                    Good luck!
                                    Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                                    OMG. Please take what people say with a goodly grain of salt. If you like the horse, if your friend likes the horse for you, go see the horse. Here's a recent post on Ultimate Dressage Message Board to take to heart http://www.ultimatedressage.com/foru...p?f=1&t=230430

                                    There's a picture of the horse about 2/3 of the way down the list.

                                    Last edited by Bogie; Aug. 26, 2012, 01:25 PM.
                                    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                    • #19
                                      The mare has a lateral canter, not an easy fix if it can be fixed at all. Good only for the trail if she's sane and comfortable.


                                      • #20
                                        Exvet2 on UDBB is a very talented rider and could probably ride a paper sack to PSG.

                                        I think Bogie's post is dead on.