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Arabians for Dressage

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  • Arabians for Dressage

    I am temporarily horseless after having had a very nice dressage mare for the last 7 years. I am short and therefore don't want a huge warmblood. I also have a limited budget. I am considering purchasing a young Arbaian gelding, a nice mover, good temperament, good size for me. My question for the forum is to those who have had experience training and showing Arbians in dressage. I would probably be showing in open shows, rather than Arabian only shows. I have heard some judges dislike Arabians and don't score them very well. In general, is this a good option? Or should I just look for a smaller warmblood?

  • #2
    I adore arabs! I don't know of any judges that would score arabs lower, I think this is a complete myth. It IS true that some dressage people shy away from them due to conformational issues that in some cases make the more advanced work difficult for them. Having said that, arabs are my first love and I never turn down an opportunity to school one. Look for one that has sport bloodlines. If your prospect has a good mind and decent movement then go for it, you'll have a blast!!


    • #3
      My recommendation is buy an Arabian because you want an Arabian or more importantly THAT Arabian. If you don't or if you buy because you think it's your only option at this time then everytime things don't go according to plan it will because he's "an Ayrab". I have shown and earned my bronze medal on an Arabian. I showed mostly open shows but also some Arab shows but only in dressage classes. I earned what I deserved in both venues and only ran into breed bias under two different judges. Interestingly one judge later gave me a huge compliment and decent score at a regional championship a few years later because she appreciated a correction I had made during a test. I have had and currently have other Arabians because I love the breed, not because it's what I had to settle for at the time. I have two breeds I adore and it's the other one that I have focused on for breeding purposes but I will always have at least one Arab in the barn. I think they can be very competitve and fun if you focus on those traits they possess that lend themselves to dressage; however, I would do so with one who is sport-purpose bred and has good gaits.
      Ranch of Last Resort


      • #4
        I've shown at a couple of open shows with our boys. The open show I competed in this year, I felt I could have scored a little higher, but there was a slightly political aspect. The only other horse in our class was going for young horse championships this year. He was a much bigger moving, larger horse and better trained.

        I am an ammy. Do all of my own training and schooling. I take lessons, usually once a week with a trainer that helps coach me to train our 3 year old stallion, while trying to improve my riding. It's a tough combination, but have a fantastic young horse that I bred, have started myself and keep at home.

        I agree with the above posters. You should ride and own an Arabian because you love the breed or horse in particular. They are wonderful animals and bond well with their human. Plus, I'm biased, but an Arabian that works properly, doing dressage, is really beautiful!
        Stacy Mortazavi
        Mortazavi Farms, breeding Arabian and half Arabian Sport and Performance Horses


        • #5
          There is nothing prettier than an Arabian dressage horse.

          This is my 4 year old in his first year under saddle.
          Attached Files
          The Inverted Y
          Thoroughbred and Anglo Arabian Sporthorses
          2005 and 2007 USEF Breeder of the Year.


          • #6
            I love both arabs and Tbs....their personalities suit me to a tee. I have a 16.3 TB, but he doesn't feel huge, he is a very light/elegant mover.

            Allanglos...love your boy...very pretty.


            • #7
              It sounds like you have an individual already in mind. If you like him, and think he'll work for what you want to do, then go for it! Arabs are loads of fun, and I adore them.
              Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch


              • #8
                With good gaits and a good brain, you will have a wonderful partner who will try his heart out for you.

                There are plenty of Arabs doing great in open competition, and steadily moving up the levels. With more of them finally being bred to once again be functional horses, I think we will be seeing more and more of them out there doing well.

                Is this young gelding you are looking at located in Virginia?? (There are a couple of really nice ones out there right now! Keep us posted on your purchase!!)
                Cold Spring Farm
                German and Arabian-related GOV sporthorses



                • #9
                  The Statistical Analysis we did of the 2008 open classes showed that Arabs and Arab crosses of various types comprised about 6% of all the horses shown. They also consistently scored below Iberian and all warmblood breeds.

                  Now, this is aggregate information and individual horses may be at the high end of any scoring range. The data also did not go into enough detail to tell us 'why'; it only showed that the differences exist.

                  "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                  - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926


                  • #10
                    Who is "we" and how did you get your "statistical data"?
                    The Inverted Y
                    Thoroughbred and Anglo Arabian Sporthorses
                    2005 and 2007 USEF Breeder of the Year.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dalpal View Post
                      I love both arabs and Tbs....their personalities suit me to a tee. I have a 16.3 TB, but he doesn't feel huge, he is a very light/elegant mover.

                      Allanglos...love your boy...very pretty.

                      Sounds like you would like an Anglo Arabian
                      The Inverted Y
                      Thoroughbred and Anglo Arabian Sporthorses
                      2005 and 2007 USEF Breeder of the Year.


                      • #12
                        there are undoubtedly really good ones out there- here is one of them...I'd love to ride that horse.

                        "the man mite be the head but the woman is the neck and the neck can turn the head any way she wants..." -smart greek woman


                        • #13
                          I think it's really doing to depend on what you want. If your goals are to score very high, then an Arab *might* not be the breed of choice, as they are not bred for the big flashy gaits that a nice WB would have.

                          But if you love this horse and he is suited for the job, then by all means buy him.

                          I have a very nice one that I just adore. He is purebred, Polish and Russian, but he doesn't look like the stereotypical Arab in build. Very few people believe he is purebred actually because he is 15.2h as a 3.5yo and his conformation looks more Anglo or Arab/WB.

                          But then this is coming from someone who has absolutely no desire to own a WB.


                          • #14
                            I've had Arabs and Half-Arabs for dressage. They would have done better if I'd been a better rider back then. My last Arab was my best buddy and over-the-top fun for whatever we wanted to do. Cattle work, low-level eventing, dressage, hacking on trails. Great horse.

                            Have fun!


                            • #15
                              I will say it again and again: a good horse is a good horse. Period. If this Arabian is a good horse - GO for it!!

                              I (being a TOTAL ammy) personally ride and train two Arabians (one mine, one is my mom's), and I love them both. But they are both INCREDIBLY different, although same age and came from the same breeder.

                              I've taken my horse to several BNT's, and their reactions are all pretty much the same: "When you told me you were bringing an Arabian, I was skeptical - But HE is awesome!!" (He's also in my profile pic - although not doing dressage)

                              If you like this horse, and you guys get along, I say go for it!


                              • #16
                                My daughter has a fabulous little Arab pony mare. Moves very nicely, nice build, sweet and loving personality. I couldn't ask for a better pony for my daughter. I have not seen any bias from any judges, she usually gets compliments about how nice she is. I say go for it!
                                My DraftX could kick your Dutch Warmbloods BUTT!


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by allanglos View Post
                                  Who is "we" and how did you get your "statistical data"?
                                  You must have missed the past and current threads on the Performance Standard and scoring in dressage. A large statistical analysis of dressage scores was done as part of all this, using the scores posted on the USDF website. A copy is available on the PVDA website: http://www.pvda.org/default.aspx

                                  "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                                  - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926


                                  • #18
                                    My personal opinion is that and Arabian can be vastly improved with dressage, but that they don't have the physiology to excel in dressage as it is shown and ridden today, easily. If you love an Arabian, buy her/him and use him according to his talents. Dressage will improve his mind and his physique, and his way of going. How well he places in classes will depend upon you and his performances and work. From that place, I say, enjoy and apply your considerable dresasge training know-how to your new arabian and have a great time. You probably have as much opportunity to move up in the levels with him as with any horse, except for purchasing a horse bred and trained specifically for dressage movements in the shows as they are judged and ridden. If i am wrong, I will one day retract this statement and eat my works. Until then, that is what I think.
                                    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


                                    • #19
                                      I have my dream horse. A 14.2 hand bay Arabian filly that I have started and am now putting some miles on. I have every intention of showing and training her Dressage and she has the natural movement and mind that will make that fun.

                                      Arabians just fit me, I love everything about them and when I started looking for a new horse I knew I would get an Arabian even if they couldn't do Dressage well. However, when I started looking around I found how incredible they could be at just about every sport. Now that I have Sora I can't imagine ever going back and even if she were terrible at Dressage I really couldn't bring myself to care. They are really the coolest horses!
                                      My little girl, Katai - 13.2 Haflinger/Unicorn
                                      and her blog

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


                                      • #20
                                        I own and adore 2 arabians and for me there is no other breed I would rather ride. Any horse that has the conformation, temperament and sometimes just plain heart can excel in dressage. Ludicrous blanket statements regarding an Arabian's lack of aptitude for dressage are without merit. I can think of many high dollar warmbloods that never made it above second level...owning a warmblood does not equal FEI potential.