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Thoughts on this mare as well?

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  • Thoughts on this mare as well?

    I am reposting this and hopefully won't get in trouble this time. This is my friend's mare that she has been going back and forth with me on selling for months now. It sounds like she is to the point where she is absolutely going to have to sell so I am looking at her a little more seriously for myself. She is 6 years old, Appaloosa/Draft cross. I wish I had some riding video of her, but this is the best I have:

    http://youtu.be/TWjldYfxX9U

    I just rode her in her first show on Saturday and I was very pleased with how she did. She took everything in stride and nothing really got her worked up. The one time she did get upset and start acting stupid the good ole standby of food distracted her pretty quickly. We ended up with a 63% at Intro A, waiting to hear what we got at Intro B. We had to leave before they were done tallying up the scores. Our main comment was that we needed more energy. Two things that worry me about this mare is that she a) lacks natural amounts of energy and b) at this point in time is still built downhill. I have noticed that in the past two weeks with consistent riding her energy level has started to pick up some, but she is still a naturally very quiet, mellow horse.

    My goals with her would be to also work through the dressage levels. I have talked at length about this mare with my trainer and she at first said that she didn't think we would make second level, and then said well maybe we could. So I am feel very confused on this one.
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog
  • Original Poster

    #2
    Conformation shot

    Oh, and in the video ignore her crashing through the jump. I have no disillusions about her ever being a jumper. I thought she would just go around it.
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog

    Comment


    • #3
      She is downhill, short-necked, not athletic and I have concerns about the strength of her back end. She may be able to get to second if she has a good attitude , but you will be fighting her conformation. If you love her and are willing to live with her faults, fantastic. Enjoy her for what she is and a good attitude which is nice to live with.

      Comment


      • #4
        If i remember correctly you had an older horse that you loved but would freak out or have issues at shows? Is this right? I'm asking because between the to you posted they look total opposites in every way. Build, attitude, energy etc. It really depends on what you want. The Arab I think would be better suited for dressage probably with some retraining. Sometimes retraining is a terror in itself. She maybe easy at it or hard. I think she wants to go more but has been trained to suck back and bad riding shows that she has a good attitude but just from the looks she seems like she is going to have a higher energy level and possibly give you a run for your money at shows. Maybe not though. This horses is not built the greatest but like above said if he has the willingness he may make it to 2nd but it will be work. Yet, he looks like the type that is going to be a been there done that horse pretty quickly and maybe easier away from home and new situations. It really depends if you want the lazy that you have to kick ride or carry a whip possibly but will always take care of you or a higher energy that is built better but may give you a run for your money at times.
        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

        Comment


        • #5
          First let me say she's adorable. But I foxhunt

          And I would have said send her on until the unfortunate jump.

          She does not scream dressage, however, neither did a quarter horse x saddlebred I had the pleasure to train and ride, yet she was amazing. She was however, very high energy. We got to second level stuff, but her forte was the jumpers. If we made the speed round, we were going to get a good prize.

          Will she do second level? Probably. Will you win anything? Probably not. But if your goal is to have a horse that will load, warm up, hang out, quietly, with no spooks and spins, that you can take on a trail ride without fearing death, then I think she's cute.

          Comment


          • #6
            Pass, nothing about her is appealing conformation or movement wise.

            Comment


            • #7
              I love her! But then I go for the big drafty type. http://www.flickr.com/photos/5296733...n/photostream/

              And she's pink (red roan) so that's score for me.

              I don't think she goes badly (I'm not a trainer, so grain of salt). She looks like fun. You rode her. You enjoyed riding her. So there you go. Will she do well in dressage -why not?

              Here's a favorite video of mine -Eclipse at first level. Check out his extended canter it looks like wicked fun!
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il-SDvxVNZQ

              Buy a horse you like. Have fun with the horse you like.

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

              Comment


              • #8
                I like her color and that's about it. Downill, straight shoulder, hate the neck/head connection. Very heavy.

                You can find better for your purposes.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I feel like there are two different "groups" of horse people, for lack of a better term. One is more about the riding, competing, showing and I completely understand and respect that. At times I'm jealous of those people and being able to accomplish the goals that they do.

                  The other group is in it more for all aspects of the horse they are happy to just have a horse they love, they dabble in all horsie things such as trail riding, occasional showing, hanging out, grooming, teaching their horses tricks and basically just enjoying coming home at the end of the day smelling like horse.

                  Of course these two intersect at places, I'm certainly not implying that the people who enjoy competition don't love horses, but for the most part they have differing views about why they own a horse.

                  I am the later. I chose my horse for her, her personality, and just because I loved everything about her. Sure I made sure her confirmation wasn't so awful that she would break down immediately but other than that I wasn't too concerned. I have no idea how far we will get in Dressage but I would be just as happy to do some competitive trail events or something. Even spending time with her makes my day.

                  I think you need to sit back and look at why you want to own a horse and go from there. I think that you should buy the horse you love but if you want to show and be competitive you need to have just the right horse to do it. Sometimes that horse will be outside of your budget but you will be frustrated if you end up with a horse that has limitations so it would be good for you to make that decision now, before you buy.
                  My little girl, Katai - 13.2 Haflinger/Unicorn
                  and her blog

                  "Ponies are the new black. Welcome to the darkside!" - Manahmanah

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It depends on your goals. If you want to have fun, you like the horse and she puts a smile on your face, then consider it.

                    However, if you want to be competitive and/or really do want to "move up the levels" then I'd pass. I suspect you'll have a hard time moving her up to second level because of her conformation. She may have the best brain in the world and that can help, but it can only overcome a certain amount of conformational limitations. Also consider that it would likely take a lot more time and training to get her there than with a breed (or horse) that's bred for that type of work.

                    I will admit that I'm not a huge fan of draft crosses for dressage because they are not bred to step under and carry themselves -- they were bred to pull. I am currently riding a draft cross for a friend of mine. She is a fun horse, she is comfortable, she has a lot of common sense and she's athletic (she has a great jump and pretty amazing buck). BUT, she is long in the back, heavy in your hand (although she's actually slightly lighter built than the horse you showed), she pulls, it's hard to get her to give through the rib cage, and she often feels like she's going to fall down because she trips. All of that will get better with work and training but she's not a natural and it's going to take time to get her there.

                    Granted my other horse is an OTTB so he's about as different as you can imagine (he is light, balanced, free through the shoulder and that is how he is built) but it's SO much easier to start with a horse that is naturally balanced to do the work you want. Certainly there ARE draft crosses that can compete in dressage successfully but they are the exception, rather than the rule.

                    Sometimes you buy a horse you like and then figure out what they want to do when they grow up; sometimes you know your sport and you buy a horse that likes to do that discipline. It's completely up to you.

                    FWIW, I had a Trakehner that I loved. He wanted to be a foxhunter, not a dressage horse or an event horse (which is what I bought him to do). That's what we did. I am now a foxhunter. I will not buy a horse that won't hunt because that's what I like to do and I'm not willing to compromise that.
                    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Piccolopony,

                      I love what you said! I am definitely in that latter group with you;

                      The other group is in it more for all aspects of the horse they are happy to just have a horse they love, they dabble in all horsie things such as trail riding, occasional showing, hanging out, grooming, teaching their horses tricks and basically just enjoying coming home at the end of the day smelling like horse.

                      OP it's a very good distinction and I think if you're the former please ignore my assessments as they are purely for the latter group. I won't be offended in the least.

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

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Yes, my former mare was a bit of a disaster to show. Towards the end of last year I put her on SmartCalm and it made a huge difference. We had several lovely dressage shows, but I kind of felt like I was cheating. Of course, this year I have been going to shows and find myself often wondering how many other horses are on products like that! They all seem so quiet, even the ones that are obviously hotter breeds.

                        I guess I am somewhere in the middle. I like going to shows and not making a fool of myself, but it is also just as important to me to have a strong relationship with the horse and to be able to feel safe. I want to be able to go on trail rides and not have a death grip on the reins the entire time. This fall I would like to try fox hunting at the local hunt club, but I will likely just hill top (or whatever they call the group that just follows behind). I use to say that I wanted to event, but once I started regularly taking jumping lessons I am not sure I have the nerves to canter at a solid fence.
                        Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                        The Blog

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                          I love her! But then I go for the big drafty type. http://www.flickr.com/photos/5296733...n/photostream/

                          And she's pink (red roan) so that's score for me.

                          I don't think she goes badly (I'm not a trainer, so grain of salt). She looks like fun. You rode her. You enjoyed riding her. So there you go. Will she do well in dressage -why not?

                          Here's a favorite video of mine -Eclipse at first level. Check out his extended canter it looks like wicked fun!
                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il-SDvxVNZQ

                          Buy a horse you like. Have fun with the horse you like.

                          Paula
                          Oh my gosh, I love the video you posted! What a nice looking horse and a lovely test.

                          I am rather torn about this mare, because I do like her a lot. I have been riding her consistently for only two weeks and the horse that I had when I started riding her two weeks ago is a lot different than the horse I have now. She picks things up incredibly fast.
                          Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                          The Blog

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm going to speculate that you're torn between what you want to do and what you think you ought to want to do. If I'm not mixing up my posters you've liked this mare from the start.

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

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                              I'm going to speculate that you're torn between what you want to do and what you think you ought to want to do. If I'm not mixing up my posters you've liked this mare from the start.

                              Paula
                              I am torn between the fact that I have wanted to be serious about working through the levels for years, I have just never had the horse to do it with, and how much I really do like this mare. I have known her since she was an unbroke three year old and liked her a lot then, just didn't have the resources to get her broke out. A good chunk of me says "Just get her and get as far as you can and be happy." BUT there is a nagging voice in there too saying "Look what happened with your last mare? You got her because you felt instantly in love and connected and then spent two years bouncing around from thing to thing trying to find something that she would enjoy and do well at." I don't really want that to happen again either.
                              Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                              The Blog

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I think that with fitness, she'll be fine for second level, and if you ride correctly, you might break 60 with her. Do you want to do licensed shows or schooling shows? Because either one of the mares you have posted would be fine for schooling shows. If you have goals of high score or regionals, neither one is a good idea.

                                But, given that, I kinda like her. She looks like she will be comfortable to learn to sit the trot on. But, that is going to be a somewhat difficult back to fit with a dressage saddle if you like a narrow twist...she is both wide and flat backed. What do you want to do more of? Fun, relaxing stuff and trail rides? Or dressage lessons and shows? To me, dressage lessons and shows are a more mentally and physically challenging sort of riding than trails or foxhunting, still fun to some of us though...

                                Since you've been riding her for 2 weeks, in a way she is the devil you know and the Arab-cross is the devil you don't know. They are very different types.

                                10 years ago, either one of the mares you posted (that I saw) would have been fine for me. Now, I have added a couple of warmbloods to my herd and I'm getting more into the dressage, so neither one of those would be a current pick. I still like my TBs and QH/Appy too, but recognize the limitations of them when it comes to showing dressage.

                                For all my favorite horses, I've just known within 5 minutes that they were worth a try - the sort of horse I'll fall in love with. And I've learned something from every horse I've owned. I will say that the horses I have gotten out of pity (the need a home sort), those have never ended up being favorites, almost all ridable and still learned a lot, but it is definitely different from my horses that I see that something I love, a combination of conformation, eye, movement, and interaction with people.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I understand, Skye. The problem of course is we can't see the future. I feel your pain.

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

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Discuss your goals with your trainer. Sometimes it's had to separate the emotion out when looking at a horse.

                                    My first horse as a "re rider" was a very steady QH cross. He was great to start back on but after about 2 years he'd pretty much topped out. He could jump 3' but asking him to do much more was pushing him beyond his comfort and safety zone and I wanted to event. I competed him through Novice level eventing and first level dressage. He could school training level fences but not jump a whole course. In dressage we got decent scores because he was very obedient, but he didn't have the gaits to be competitive. He was fun -- he could do canter pirouettes and two tempi changes -- but he wasn't competitive.

                                    My trainer sat me down and told me I had two choices: I could let him do what he did best and enjoy it, or I could buy a horse that could do more. I chose to let him go into a semi-retirement situation where he was ridden on trails and enjoyed by someone who did not want to show. I bought a younger horse with more extravagant gaits and more potential.

                                    You have to decide what you want to get out of riding. It's very hard to sell on a horse that you love so that has to be part of the equation.
                                    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I consider myself a card-carrying member of both groups. I'm all about the riding and learning dressage to the very best of my ability, but I'm also all about loving the horse in a pure, not-for-sport way. IMO, you don't have to pick and choose between reasonable ability for dressage and what your heart calls you to do -- you can have both things if you look around for a while. You can love a horse that's also got some promise for the activity you enjoy. Personally, I fall in love with about 90% of the horses I meet, though -- maybe that's unusual?

                                      Anyway, my other philosophy is unless you're horse shopping on Bill Gates' budget, you have to make compromises somewhere in terms of the abilities and challenges of the horse. So IMO, it's not necessarily about picking the horse with the least "flaws," but the horse with the "flaws" that you're excited to work through and learn from (provided those flaws won't lead to soundness issues and heartbreak). The horse whose "issues" or "challenges" speak to you, are compatible with your own skills, and make you excited to ride and learn.

                                      eta: as for the specific horse, I think she kinda looks like a fun project.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I don't think the issue is so much "can this (or any) horse do second level" -- it's "can YOU get her there -- and do you really want to?"

                                        OP, I'm not trying to be snotty or bash your riding ability, but I truly believe that in most cases at the lower levels (where most of us are), it's the rider who is the limiting factor in the relationship. With good riding and a good progressive program developing fitness, suppleness, etc., most horses that do not have severe physical limitations can do the requirements of second level. (Being COMPETITIVE at 2nd level is another story.) A horse that has conformational challenges will struggle more than a purpose-bred horse with natural self-carriage (however, that purpose-bred horse with extravagant movement may be very difficult for the average amateur to ride!). It's up to the rider to overcome these limitations, and that's where you need to ask yourself if you are up to the task (or ask yourself if this is really what you want).

                                        To prove that I'm not just bashing you, I'll illustrate with myself as an example. I am a lifelong rider (30+ years) with just about ZERO talent. However, I do have some things going for me -- experience; good instruction; a strong drive to learn; a schedule that allows me time to ride; a pretty high level of physical fitness (if not physical ability) and I'm pretty brave. That gives me a toolkit to ride and enjoy certain (but not all) horses. I have a big draft cross mare that I event (you can see her in my profile pic). I bought her because I LOVED her brain, personality, braveness and her jump - but I knew that dressage would be a challenge. We are starting to school some second level and it's hard for her -- lengthenings are hard; collection is hard. Keeping her hind end moving as fast as her front is hard. But she is smart, willing, SOUND, forgiving and naturally forward -- so I can keep muddling on, taking 2 steps forward and one step back without frying her brain or mine. A better rider would have had her confirmed at 2nd level a long time ago; I think I have enough tools in my toolkit to get her there eventually. But there are some types of riders who I think wouldn't get her there at all. To keep her forward thinking, she needs to GALLOP -- a rider who is only happy doing 20m circles in the ring or shuffling along a trail would quickly lose her engine. She needs A LOT of riding to maintain the fitness required to really rock back into collection or lengthening. She is physically more work to ride than a light, sensitive TB. But, if I am willing to put in this type of work, I can and will progress.

                                        This mare looks sweet and willing. She definitely will be fighting her conformation in many respects, but she would hardly be alone in this respect. These types are hard to get fit and quick to lose fitness, so you will need to commit to this. You will need to rev her engine -- without forward, you have nothing. If you can do these things, I don't see why she will hold you back from your goals.
                                        I don't mind if you call me a snowflake, 'cause baby, I know a blizzard is coming.

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