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TB pedigrees for Dressage...

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  • TB pedigrees for Dressage...

    I'm thinking about leasing out my Hano/TB. mare and taking on a TB from CANTER as a dressage project for resale.

    Anyone out there have insights into what pedigrees are more pre-disposed to becoming good dressage prospects? This guy caught my eye due to conformation: http://www.canterusa.org/index.php?o...&directory=279

    Nice angles, higher neck set than you see in many TBs (may be a touch short) but overall pretty good balance... They say hunter - but in our area, everything is a hunter prospect

    This is his pedigree. http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/surprise+inside

    Also asking in this forum as opposed to breeding because I'm looking for people who have experience finding and retraining TB for dressage and I want to see if there are any common pedigree threads.
    Then, the only thing is how fast can I get my mare leased?!
    Last edited by Reddfox; Dec. 19, 2009, 11:49 AM.

  • #2
    Unless you plan on breeding I wouldn't worry about pedigree. You should be thinking about what's between the ears: loves endless flat work, is willing to partner with you, etc.

    Since you mentioned CANTER, touch base with Jleegriffith who is known for matching CANTER horses with riders, or in your case resale:

    Originally posted by Jleegriffith View Post
    ..there are so many nice Tb's with the talent and the mind. Feel free to drop me an email with what you are looking for. We have a lot of nice horses that come through the CANTER program that are already restarted and at very reasonable sales prices. I have been keeping a list of what everyone wants that way when I have something come in that might fit the bill I just sent out emails.
    I would just like to point out that pedigree-wise my horse could send trainers screaming from the indoor (a downhill runt, 15h2 on all tall day, with *difficult* Storm Cat as his sire) but he managed to win against imported WBs with olympic sire pedigrees because he had three very good gaits and because of his attitide, work ethic, his love for dressage, etc.

    If you insist on worrying about pedigree, you may want to open pedigree up to TBs in eventing, not just in dressage. However I still say a happy horse is the best resale value...

    Best of luck!


    • Original Poster

      Thanks! I'm definitely not for breeding at this point, the pedigree question is more because I'm curious as to whether there are certain trends in pedigrees from OTTB that are excelling in dressage.
      What's between the ears is going to be the MOST important factor! Any thoughts on the horse that I posted?


      • #4
        I would need to see the horse move, assuming the horse is sound and not sore, etc.

        Also check if the horse is built symmetrical (ex., is one shoulder higher than the other) this will effect ability to do the work and move up levels.

        Sorry I can't be more helpful... for pedigrees ask vineyridge, but to me, certianly since most riders don't get past first level, so many TBs with any pedigree can do the job. Movement and mental ability is what will win the day.


        • #5
          I've had lots of OTTBs as sport horses. I do look for certain horses in the pedigree, they are: Native Dancer, Native Charger, Buckpasser, and the most important Bold Ruler. I look for those horses within the five generation pedigree. They tend to throw EXCEPTIONAL movement with exceptional minds. But of course you can judge for yourself when you see the horse. That is just a starting point for you. Good luck! Oh my, another post reminded me, but I also forgot to mention Nasrullah, I look for that as well. Another favorite.
          Last edited by dwblover; Dec. 20, 2009, 09:58 AM.


          • #6
            I'm not as "up" on the pedigree stuff as many, but I've known some really nice horses with Round Table in their background.

            I like his looks in the photo. I'd take him if I had the time, the money and the place to keep him. I'd include some gymnastic cavallettis in his work. That way, if he shows little aptitude for dressage, you're still building towards some useful career, like hunting or eventing.

            I bought my mare to be my dressage horse, but she has other ideas. She'd rather jump. Square peg, round hole.


            • #7
              TB lines known for producing sport horses include Princequillo and Prince Thatch. Nasrullah is also strong.

              You want older European bloodlines bred for distance, not American lines bred as sprinters, basically.


              • #8
                The best TB mover I ever had is a granddaughter of Nodouble. But who knows if that is where that movement came from!
                Immediately who comes to mind for me is Courageous Comet, one of the best moving TB's I've ever seen.
                We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.


                • #9
                  This mare has movement in spades; http://www.pedigreequery.com/alabree
                  as do her babies.
                  ... _. ._ .._. .._


                  • #10
                    TBs basically come off the track for one of 3 reasons:

                    1. Too slow

                    2. Injured

                    3. Don't want to run any more (or, never wanted to run, to begin with).

                    I think it is more important to find out WHY the horse is leaving the track than it is to look into the pedigree, especially if it is a gelding.

                    Horses who are too slow but still want to run are often more difficult to re-train.

                    Horses who come off with an injury will probably need down-time. Many still want to run, making them likely to be difficult to retrain. Some of those who don't still want to run may have soundness issues for the long term.

                    Horses who no longer want to run - or never did - often are grateful to be given a different way to make a living. And there's not much you will ask them to do which is harder than the track training they already have had, so you look like a pretty darned good option to them.

                    I had a horse that was multiple graded stakes-placed in his race career, then he decided he was done. Rather than sell him or give him to a non-track home, his connections kept dropping him down in class at the track & he kept trying to find a way to tell them he was done. In the end, they got the message when he trotted out of the starting gate.

                    But he gave it his all, as a dressage horse.

                    And he's not the only horse I know like that.

                    So, find out why the horse is coming off of the track. Especially if you're looking at a gelding, his mind is way more important than his pedigree.
                    Hidden Echo Farm, Carlisle, PA -- home of JC palomino sire Canadian Kid (1990 - 2013) & AQHA sire Lark's Favorite, son of Rugged Lark.


                    • #11
                      I have one that would have made an awesome dressage horse. Here is his pedigree:


                      Three incredible gaits and naturally balanced. Unfortunately he fell and injured his hindquarters at 3 so was never able to reach his potential .



                      • #12

                        I'd say, he looks super, nice conformation, a lot would depend on how he moved. He sounds like he has a brain, they call him quiet and sensible. But then all things are relative and whether he is quiet enough for you and your purposes remains to be seen.
                        As for his pedigree, any well known (to me) sires are too far back in the pedigree to be of any relevance.

                        Give him a whirl, and see what you can make of him, he looks like a nice horse in any case.
                        Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
                        Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
                        New edition of book is out:
                        Horse Nutrition Handbook.



                        • #13
                          Private Account. I cannot stress this enough, Private Account horses have fantastic minds and love the details of dressage work.

                          Otherwise, I would contact Mapleshade and/or Sabovee to ask what bloodlines they look for in dressage prospects. Mapleshade picks all her horses off photos and does an amazing job of knowing what they will be even before they arrive on her farm. Frankly, some of her before pics blow my mind that she could see the potential.

                          And FWIW, my most recent OTTB has an absolutely BORING pedigree and is uphill, short backed, long legged and has a 10 canter and a 12 mind. He is outstanding. Bought off a pic and he had a chip in his knee. If I had to buy this horse from a private seller I'd be looking at spending $15 - 18k, he is that nice.
                          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                          • #14
                            Which Private Account?

                            Originally posted by TB_lover View Post
                            You want older European bloodlines bred for distance, not American lines bred as sprinters, basically.
                            one obvious exception to this is USA's distance-bred Mytens who had the Dutch registry drooling http://www.equineline.com/Free-5X-Pe...ts_indicator=Y


                            • #15
                              Having trained a lot of horses for the track and then retrained them after they came off the track, I have one thing to say. Judge the horse that you see in front of your eyes. I've had ones that have been bred to run, but are built for dressage. Others that are built to run, but have no desire and end up loving dressage and doing very well.

                              This guy looks really nice. Decent conformation and a nice eye. I'd take a look and see how he moves. The fact that they say he naturally wants to go with his head lower doesn't mean he won't be able to sit and come up when he builds correct dressage muscles. It's all in how loose they move and how free they are in the back, and how much natural suspension and impulsion they have. Natural balance and swapping leads easily when free is another thing to look at. If they have all that and a good brain, snap them up!! You just can't go wrong. (This of course is based on the belief that he's truly 100% sound.)
                              "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by sm View Post
                                I would just like to point out that pedigree-wise my horse could send trainers screaming from the indoor (a downhill runt, 15h2 on all tall day, with *difficult* Storm Cat as his sire) but he managed to win against imported WBs with olympic sire pedigrees because he had three very good gaits and because of his attitide, work ethic, his love for dressage, etc.

                                If you insist on worrying about pedigree, you may want to open pedigree up to TBs in eventing, not just in dressage. However I still say a happy horse is the best resale value...

                                Best of luck!
                                This made me giggle. My OTTB is out of Storm cat (grandsire) and he is 15.3 hand, has *difficult* moments ( I call them tantrums) that last about 30-60 seconds, but then brain comes back. He reminds me more of a quarter horse than a TB since he has wide shoulders, shorter neck. I looked up photos of Storm cat and my TB looks just like him.

                                He is incredibly smart. He learns incredibly quick so quick, that it catches me off guard. His biggest problem is heavy on the forhand, towards the left during the canter. His trot is quite big and a lovely walk.

                                Today after being super hot after not being ridden for 2 weeks, he learned that he can stretch down and like seemed to like it. Long rein and he reached for the bit, again a moment that surprised me since it has not been something I have been working on consistently ( have owned him for 6 months now after being on the track)
                                My Blog ( for me and my OTTBs)-ableequine.webbly.com


                                • #17
                                  I had a lovely mare who was unraced and linebred to Buckpasser. I lost her to an injury. She was injured in the paddock at 5 and was euthanized when she was only 7 and we could no longer keep her comfortable. She had a FANTASTIC brain, an uphill build, and a powerful engine. This mare was by far the easiest TB I have ever owned. She was stunning, 16.2h with a big barrel, and so willing. She was a good mover, but not spectacular. She had a big walk, a decent trot, and a powerful canter. She did tend to be on the lazy side. I think her trot could have been greatly improved, but I never got the chance


                                  • #18
                                    Like EqTrainer, I love Private Account up close. He is Cyriz's damsire. I've liked every PA descendant I've ever seen.

                                    Cyriz also has most of the other names mentioned, including Buckpasser, who I am also very fond of.

                                    Cyriz competed at 3rd level this year and will be competing at 4th and hopefully PSG next year.

                                    Here is his pedigree:


                                    And a conf pic is on this page. Pic was taken in April. He's probably put on another 150 lbs of muscle since.


                                    I don't think there is as much info out there about bloodlines for TB dressage horses, but there aren't as many out there doing dressage, especially at 3rd level or higher.

                                    I do agree with looking at some of the eventing bloodlines as there are some great TB movers at the upper levels.
                                    Home of Sea Accounts xx
                                    AHS/HV, ATA, GOV, RPSI, JC, AQHA, APHA, APtHA
                                    "LIKE" www.facebook.com/SeaAccounts


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by cyriz's mom View Post
                                      Like EqTrainer, I love Private Account up close. He is Cyriz's damsire. I've liked every PA descendant I've ever seen.


                                      Wow he is LOVELY!
                                      We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by DLee View Post
                                        Wow he is LOVELY!
                                        I completely agree with you. He is totally "to die for"! If I hadn't lost my mare, he would have had to be her hubby!!!