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Searching for a new dressage partner.... Woes!

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  • Searching for a new dressage partner.... Woes!

    So I'm fairly new here but post every now and again. But I'm hoping someone can understand my woes at the moment.

    My stallion who was about to make his Elementary debut (2nd level I think? Start of all lateral and collected work) managed to get a tendon sheath infection. A major vet bill and 3 weeks at the clinic later I now have a fairly positive outcome, but no horse to ride for a long time. My husband and I made the desicion to bite the bullet with our savings and get me a good horse.

    I have a good budget. I've only ever had OTT horses or horses with mental/physical issues so now being able to look at really nice purpose bred horses is an entirely different game. But I have been SO disappointed with just about everything I've seen so far.

    So many poorly trained and ridden horses. Supposed training certain levels but struggling to even canter a 20m circle. Mysterious show records..... scoring 69%+ but not being able to actually find anything. These super movers that drag their hind ends in the dirt and are plowing around on the forehand. The list goes on and on.

    With my budget I am being realistic on that I will need to get a younger horse with less training. I have the time, support network and patience to bring up another young/green horse. However I want something that is what I consider a good mover. I want something with a nice nature and isnt going to kill me everytime I swing a leg over it. I am a competitive rider and I want to be aiming at National levels and CDI's eventually so I need something to live up to those massive expectations! I know I won't get a super star but I don't want to be dead last everytime we go out either.

    How long did it take everyone else to find their perfect partner?
    Not my circus, not my monkeys!

  • #2
    It can take quite a while, but just remember that it will be worth it in the end! Try to focus on enjoying the process of searching (I hear you snort in derision!). It's tough, but there ARE a lot of very nice horses out there for very little money right now. The downside of that is that there are simply a LOT of horses for sale at the moment, and I imagine that sifting through them is more time consuming than ever. Depending on your budget, you might want to consider a more minor breed. You can still certainly get to CDIs with a nice-moving non-WB or crossbred and at least be competitive.

    I hear you about the desire to finally get a "clean slate". I was in the very same position a few years ago (though to date my most successful horse was a mad reschooling project that I eventually got to US 4th level (Advanced?)). I'm on the small side and I have a lifelong love affair with Arabs, so after 11 months of shopping I ended up with a young old-style Arab with lots of substance and a good brain. When I was searching I did a lot of research into bloodlines and breeding programmes, and the wonderful thing about the internet is that you can find tonnes of videos of a stallion's offspring. You may want something a bit older, but genetics are still important if pedigree is known at all. I looked for a general ability to engage the hind end and lift through the ribcage, plus naturally pure gaits. It will be a few more years before we're out competing much, but I'm having FUN.

    Good luck to you, and feel free to vent your frustration and disappointments here from time to time!
    Proud COTH lurker since 2001.

    Comment


    • #3
      If you're wanting a CDI capable horse and you're encountering the specific issues that you are, I'd say your budget and your goals are misaligned.
      My friend now competes at CDI level. Her last horse was $60ishk and topped out at the George, so she doubled her budget and got a great great horse. She's scoring in the upper 60's at CDIs.
      CDI horses are six figures. I'm sure there's someone with a slaughter truck love story, or the home bred that made it, but if that's your goal, that's your budget.

      And yes, most of the horses I've seen or tried over the years that are in the $20-40k range and had training (so not a prospect) is say a good 3/4 of them were either poorly trained, poor movers, had hidden health issues, or mysteriously disappeared show records or registration papers.
      www.destinationconsensusequus.com
      chaque pas est fait ensemble

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
        CDI horses are six figures. I'm sure there's someone with a slaughter truck love story, or the home bred that made it, but if that's your goal, that's your budget.
        I don't agree with this. Almost none of the CDI horses at my stable were 6 figures, most were 35-65. Most were imported but a few were found in North America.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm looking now. Frustrating for sure. But I had a fun trip to Spain looking for horses, driving thru the countryside and trying horses. Unfortunately, none vetted out.
          Now I'm looking in the States for one. The most frustrating aspect to looking here is trying to decide if a trip across the country, hotel bills, plane tickets and time off is worth going to see one horse. Maybe I'll plan another trip to Spain.

          Comment


          • #6
            I know exactly what you are going through. It sounds like you are outside of the US but here what you describe is the same as far as misrepresentation and exaggerated ads. I am suing the big name FEI trainer that I bought a horse from about 6 months ago for fraud. So as a buyer I now have a low, low tolerance for contradictory facts, bad videos where the horse is not even remotely close to the level advertised, etc. I am not looking in the same level you are, but it is discouraging. I am starting over with my search and prefer to deal with sellers I am referred to that are ethical and care about the process. So my search will really take forever, but in the end I will feel more comfortable.
            "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"

            Comment


            • #7
              We have been breeding our own CDI horses for a long long time. The bloodlines can be very different from the fashionable flashy young horse classes prospects. A very different mind as well as gaits for PSG through GP is needed. And yes we are in the USA.
              Anne
              -------
              "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd look for a young horse with good, correct basic gaits and a workable attitude. The path to CDIs can be developed over time with a horse like that.

                I don't put too much stock in videos. They make poor horses look better and great horse look sort of average most of the time. While you are beating the bushes, I'd develop a list of question for sellers and ask for copies of any show results before traveling to see the horse.

                It can be a long and frustrating process. But it's worth it to find the right one.
                See those flying monkeys? They work for me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd look for a young horse with good, correct basic gaits and a workable attitude.

                  And shop for a fabulous canter with a naturally closed base and uphill flying changes, even in something unstarted.
                  Anne
                  -------
                  "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by not again View Post
                    I'd look for a young horse with good, correct basic gaits and a workable attitude.

                    And shop for a fabulous canter with a naturally closed base and uphill flying changes, even in something unstarted.
                    That is exactly what I'm looking for. And something both my trainers are looking for me as well. The view is you can train a trot but a naturally super canter is a must.

                    No I'm not in the US, I'm in Australia but the problems seem to be fairly global. I have a good budget but not quite enough to cover an import and purchase price as import here I'm looking at the best part of nearly $25K which puts a major dampener on the budget. I'm not exactly looking at 5k horses but I am trying to stick under $35K for a GOOD young horse with trainability, paces and good nature. It seemed so simple at the start but it surely isn't!

                    I'm looking at non WBs here but they're really in short supply and the ones out there I'm not too keen on.

                    But thank you everybody for your replies and suggestions if I could steal the money for redoing our horse truck from the hubby Id be off overseas in a heartbeat!
                    Not my circus, not my monkeys!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This, look for the canter, you can develop the trot quite a lot and a lot of horses with a big lofty trot just do not make the grade when it comes to flying changes.

                      It is interesting, to "breed" discussion there are some who feel that the PRE, baroque horses are far better designed to develop the upper level collected work, and that the warmbloods are great at lower level work unless you have a huge budget, and can afford the hundred K warmblood.

                      I would start with your budget, then i would exclude horses less likely to remain sound, then i would exclude the horses least likey to develop collection and flying changes in your budget, then I and then i would look for the horse you can most easily develop from what is left within your price range.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BrokenArrow View Post
                        That is exactly what I'm looking for. And something both my trainers are looking for me as well. The view is you can train a trot but a naturally super canter is a must.

                        I'm not exactly looking at 5k horses but I am trying to stick under $35K for a GOOD young horse with trainability, paces and good nature. It seemed so simple at the start but it surely isn't!

                        I'm looking at non WBs here but they're really in short supply and the ones out there I'm not too keen on.
                        I'm by no means any expert, so hesitate to post my opinion alongside others, but based on what you are saying, I though I'd throw in my thoughts. Take them for what they're worth.

                        I have a Perch/TB with an awesome canter who is learning dressage at 14. He has a great, can-do, will-do attitude, and an excellent nature.

                        I'm not saying that CDIs are full of these horses, but mine is rideable, pleasant, and sturdy. (And very good looking, I think!)

                        I do know of some of these crosses who are doing well at FEI.

                        I'm not sure what your level is, but as a newbie to this, I see so many people who had a much bigger budget than I did who are having great difficulty RIDING their horses.

                        I'm biased, and we will never make it to FEI levels (but that's not our goal), but I really like the common sense my horse seems to have most of the time, and the work ethic he shows. Plus, he's a total sweetheart and fun to be around, with minimal drama.

                        Good luck - mine found me, and the more I stick around them more I realize how lucky I am.
                        LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't know how tall you are, but here in the US, horses under 16 hands tend to sell for less (for the same quality) And smaller horses often are sounder (in my experience)

                          Best of luck!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There are not that many CDI combinations...

                            equine Canada makes it easy to read the requirements to qualify, I'm sure other national governing bodies, like USEF, have similar reqts.

                            http://equinecanada.ca/dressage/inde...id=554&lang=en

                            For now, I have goals to earn my rider medals at national level shows, this can be accomplished on less fancy horses. I do believe that CDI/international quality is going to be expensive. It is not that common.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              OK you've got me shopping for you now,lol. I have always thought there were some pretty nice horses down under.

                              If you want a large one, here is something I'd check out on bloodlines alone.

                              Full disclosure***I own a relative (1/2 sister) and I really love her. She is sensitive but not crazy, very trainable- good mover with an awesome canter. Looks very similar. http://horsezone.com.au/category/240...ein-lines.html
                              See those flying monkeys? They work for me.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by nhwr View Post
                                OK you've got me shopping for you now ,lol. I have always thought there were some pretty nice horses down under.

                                If you want a large one, here is something I'd check out on bloodlines alone.

                                Full disclosure***I own a relative (1/2 sister) and I really love her. She is sensitive but not crazy, very trainable- good mover with an awesome canter. Looks very similar. http://horsezone.com.au/category/240...ein-lines.html
                                Wow! You found a wonderful one!!
                                LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by nhwr View Post
                                  OK you've got me shopping for you now ,lol. I have always thought there were some pretty nice horses down under.

                                  If you want a large one, here is something I'd check out on bloodlines alone.

                                  Full disclosure***I own a relative (1/2 sister) and I really love her. She is sensitive but very trainable- good mover with an awesome canter. Looks very similar. http://horsezone.com.au/category/240...ein-lines.html
                                  Thats funny nhwr because I have him on my waiting list! Im ready to book a plane ticket when the owner lets me know if the people trying him out on the weekend are taking him or not. I really really like him.
                                  Video of him
                                  http://youtu.be/Go8cjpIml1k

                                  I'm aware of CDI qualifications as well, thank you Ours aren't quite as big scores due to the complete lack of CDI's during the year. Which is again why I'm looking for a super young horse to muck around in YH classes with the view of bringing up to FEI.

                                  Our medal system here in Australia is a lot different as well and is a personal achievement and not something people use to judge riders or trainers. Most people don't even know about it.

                                  Interesting how things really are different overseas! For us you only need a qualifying score of 60% to get into a CDI at Grand Prix. For Small tour the score is 63%.
                                  Last edited by BrokenArrow; May. 19, 2013, 11:43 PM.
                                  Not my circus, not my monkeys!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    That is funny BrokenArrow

                                    It is truly amazing how similar they are. My girl is a couple of years younger, black, only has sox behind and is a smidge shorter in the back. But other than that .... down to the mark on the face and very similar movement

                                    Good luck. If it works out, let me know. I'd love to compare notes
                                    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Broken Arrow- where abouts in Oz are you ( PM if you want)? I'm down here in SA but have a few contacts around the country.

                                      P.
                                      A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        I'm in QLD

                                        Looked at one today. Super super lovely filly, great paces and lovely nature. I loved every second of riding her.

                                        BUT she's got a slight roaring problem So big sigh, another one struck off the list.
                                        Not my circus, not my monkeys!

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