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Breeders who breed for Driving in US

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  • Breeders who breed for Driving in US

    Who here in the United States breeds specifically for driving, more specifically Combined Driving?
    I haven't really found any that breed specifically for driving, but I know there has to be some out there. Just thought I'd try here.

  • #2
    sort of rare

    Might find some Morgans that are bred for driving. Then you have Bob Giles who bred his AndelusianXPercheron mares specifically for CDE.

    Unfortunately most drive what they have or what they stumble across. The sport is young still.



    • #3
      Me! I'm breeding Dutch Harness Horses. In a recent interview Misdee Wrigley Miller, who is now driving Dutch Harness Horses for coaching and combined driving, had this to say about the breed, Dutch Harness Horses “are that perfect balance: beautiful horses with lots of sense. In coaching, you’re going to be in traffic and be around people and other horses. There’s a lot of standing around, and sometimes it’s hard for the horses to stand and wait.” And that's exactly it, these horses are bred for a fantastic way of going but just as important is a sensible temperament.


      • Original Poster

        Oh, DHHs and Hackneys are definitely growing on me. I have a friend who bred her Appaloosa mares (who were successful in the CDEs) to a DHH stallion, I can't wait to see the results. I personally would love to breed a DHH mare to the appropiate Knabstrupper stud. Both my friend and I are spot fanatics.


        • #5
          I have a elegant, matched pair of full sister black Hackney Horses available that were bred to be driving horses. They would do very well in Pleasure or Combined as nothing much fizzes them.

          Misdee has gone from driving National Show Horses to Friesians to Hackney Horses to Dutch Harness Horses as long as the breed is fancy, elegant and can move well at the trot she's 100% on board with the breed of the moment.
          Check out our horses at http://community.webshots.com/user/dalriadadm

          Chronicle of My Horse http://www.chronicleofmyhorse.com/profile/Diana


          • #6
            Not just for combined driving, but here is a list of breeders of driving horses.

            "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


            • #7
              Look in any ADS publication and you will see Mary Ruth Marks breeding German Riding Ponies, Stars and Strips breeding welsh, Gotland breeders, Dartmore breeders and many more. All of these are ponies, but then, I'm into ponies.


              • #8
                Originally posted by DancingAppy View Post
                Oh, DHHs and Hackneys are definitely growing on me. I have a friend who bred her Appaloosa mares (who were successful in the CDEs) to a DHH stallion, I can't wait to see the results. I personally would love to breed a DHH mare to the appropiate Knabstrupper stud. Both my friend and I are spot fanatics.
                Very interesting! With the right Appy mares (the more sport/English type ones, not the stock horse type ones) I can definatly see that cross working well.


                • #9
                  Muffy Seaton - Dartmoors
                  Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                  Now apparently completely invisible!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DancingAppy View Post
                    Oh, DHHs and Hackneys are definitely growing on me. I have a friend who bred her Appaloosa mares (who were successful in the CDEs) to a DHH stallion, I can't wait to see the results. I personally would love to breed a DHH mare to the appropiate Knabstrupper stud. Both my friend and I are spot fanatics.
                    I know her as well and look forward to seeing the result! She is a top competitor and gold medalist in the driving for the disabled games, so one would assume she knows what she is breeding for.

                    I also have a friend that considered Moneymaker but was unable to get past the "noble" quality of the head. I for one love the "noble" heads!
                    Kanoe Godby
                    See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dalriada View Post
                      Misdee has gone from driving National Show Horses to Friesians to Hackney Horses to Dutch Harness Horses as long as the breed is fancy, elegant and can move well at the trot she's 100% on board with the breed of the moment.
                      I agree that she has moved from one breed to another, but I will say this about her- the woman can DRIVE! I watched her in the ring at Devon with several other four in hands, and that fairly fractious team that she had, and I was flat amazed at how well she handled them.

                      So, let's give credit where it is due
                      When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ASB Stars View Post
                        So, let's give credit where it is due

                        Plus, she's a multi-disciplinary driver, who shows to equal success in coaching AND the breed show ring. I was very impressed with how equably she handled a Hackney pony having a meltdown during the awards ceremony at the World Championships this year. Great driver and ALWAYS the one to watch!
                        "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


                        • Original Poster

                          Eclectic Horseman, that was exactly what I was looking for! Thank you so much.

                          Hi Kanoe! Are you going to be able to come to Anne's for the Frank Luetz clinic?

                          Yes, the appies crosses should be stunning. The mares are of sport horse type. I'm not sure of who the sire is though.

                          Thank you all for the information.


                          • #14
                            I'ts a mystery to me

                            OK, I have to admit that as a sporthorse breeder for over 20 years, I had no idea what the market was for driving prospects. Because there are many different breeds involved, and many different varieties of the sport of driving, I'm sure that makes it hard to focus in on what is worth what. Without horses that have been bred for at least a few generations for driving, and their offspring competed successfully, I think it's hard to say a breeding program for driving horses (or any sport actually) is a "success".

                            My confusion wasn't helped when an internationally known US trainer posted a "wanted" ad: She wanted a 2-3 year old driving pony prospect.....had to have excellent conformation, good mind, "international quality gaits, capable of competing at FEI level". Preferred a youngster unstarted, and not "messed up".

                            She wanted to pay $3,500 for this pony.

                            Now, would it make sense for me to take one of my Stud Book mares and breed it outside the registry to a pony with the hopes of selling the offspring for this price, when staying within the registry, going through the inspection process, etc, will give me a youngster that should sell for at least 3 times that price as a riding prospect?

                            I'm sure that once you get into horses that are actually driving, the prices are more quantifiable. But for youngstock, I honestly don't see how anyone can breed for the driving disciplines and not lose money if the aforementioned example was the norm. Based on what I see on the Combined Driving E-list where people are "looking" and others are "selling", prices seem to be very very low (and I noticed this before the current poor market) for driving horses. I think most people either drive what they have, or what they can afford to purchase, not necessarily the most talented individual suited for the purpose. I hope that doesn't sound crass.

                            My personal opinion is that Combined Driving in the US now is about where Dressage was here in the 70's and 80's....there weren't a lot of horses bred specifically for the sport, and people tended to use individuals (often outstanding ones) that they just happened to "do" dressage with. It's come so far from that now....you can now buy absolutely international quality warmbloods in the US. I think that driving horses will follow the same route.....but I really am just guessing.
                            Far Away Farm


                            • #15

                              My husband noted once that driving folks seemed to willing to pay more for the harnesses than the horses/ponies that wear them...
                              Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                              I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


                              • #16
                                Have to agree with Lady Farrier and Tamara. Driving folks as a group, won't pay for quality equines. Morgans have long been a Driving dumping ground, sold down to Pleasure drivers, CDE folks. This quality horse mostly won't win in the Morgan ring. A couple exceptions come to mind, but most of them are not top breeding lines. Folks make more money selling the best Morgans for riding. Same with the cross-breds being offered with European breeds. Not the best quality around, not as capable of the highest levels, so priced down to sell. Many are bred, not all are the best of the lot. Works well for the person who doesn't want a horse to be that talented, not going to use him in that hard.

                                Why would ANYONE sell a quality young horse to a Driver, for less than the stud fee? You don't even add in the price of feeding it to reach weaning age or even older where folks want to buy, 2-3-4yr olds. This is pretty much any breed. Drivers gloat about their "bargins" found as folks go broke, age out, sell off their herds. Yet this wonderful animal won't ever be repeated, breeder lost their shirt, is out of business. Gelded the stud horse to sell him on.

                                The folks with deep pockets don't seem to have a problem shopping in Europe, paying 5 figures, per horse, for Pairs and Teams. Yup, these horses are broke, well matched, have some good training and competitions on them. Even Coaching horses sell quite well, not cheap horses. And if they wash out of the Driving later, they can do other disciplines, jumping, Dressage. Usually sell him for as much or more, as they paid for him as part of the Team. Have seen that happen a number of times. Seller DOES NOT lose money on that horse unless he is old.

                                Americans as a group, won't pay for driving horses. Unwilling, don't have the money, always want a "deal" on a horse. The ones WITH money, Singles, often seem to be the biggest whiners about purchase costs of everything. And the more they compete, the more they complain about expenses.

                                The harness remark is pretty funny, the whole outfit IS usually worth more than the price of the animal pulling it!! Folks do drive whatever is out in the field. So many driving animals are not the best athletes. However drivers may be safer with these kindly-minded animals they trust, than the higher-powered, more capable, athletic driving animals.

                                Those who want to compete and improve, soon trade to better animals and equipment, get lessons to learn skills. They put in the DAILY work needed to get horse ready.

                                Kind of like all the folks shopping for a competition horse, doing Dressage, want to go Grand Prix. Yet these people can't RIDE THIS HORSE, can't train it, don't have money to send horse to trainer. They don't have the skills to even ride a MADE horse capable of this skill. This is their dream, but is pretty unrealistic, when hopping on that skilled horse scares them silly.

                                Most folks can't handle the REAL athlete horse, or are not willing to learn how, work hard enough to gain the skills needed. They are seldom a good enough driver to use the horsepower or talent the athlete has. It is like not giving your kid the fancy sports car to drive. He doesn't have the judgement or motor skills yet to manage a fine machine in tight situations. Kid will do fine with a nice older sedan for getting around, learning. He won't get in much trouble with it, won't mess up the fine tuned engine, options on the expensive sports car. Less likely to get hurt, "trying it out" in driving about.

                                It is also fine if you don't want the chance to do World Games with your horse. Just enjoying a good horse is fun, the best part of having them. Lots of horses capable of being your companion in driving or riding, competing at lower levels very well. Just buy a nice animal, with a sound body, kindly mind. Few folks out there endeavoring to breed the world beater, Driving horses. No money in it. Breed one to enjoy for yourself, but don't expect to break even on expenses, let alone turn a profit, unless it goes to some other discipline.


                                • #17
                                  With regard to the comments about folks not wanting to pay.

                                  Whilst I intrinsically know what you're talking about and particularly recognise Goodhors posting as being pertinent and well constructed, I honestly think it depends.......

                                  Which end of the market you're talking about, whether its genuine high level performance competition or having fun with like minded people, just for tootling around for pleasure, the knowledge and ability of the buyer etc etc etc

                                  I've personally exported trained and proven coaching horses to the USA and trust me I didn't do that for some piddling amount and the people who bought them paid what they were worth. It was absolutely no different to what I'd sell any proven sports horse for.

                                  The last singles driving horse I sold - purpose bred, professionally produced, proven and now competing on the circuit was sold for £28,000 ($56,000)

                                  She wanted to pay $3,500 for this pony.
                                  I know someone competing now for the British Team and whose driving pair were ex grandprix dressage DWB's. And believe me if you added a 0 and doubled what you suggested he'd have only got half a horse!!

                                  However it depends because I've also seen what you talk about but in riding as well as driving. I had a call just last week from someone wanting me to find them a hunter "nicely bred sports horse, good over jumps and with the ability to compete hunter trials and ready to start novice eventing". "No problem" I said, "What's your upper limit?". "£3,500". "NO WAY" I replied!

                                  Likewise I had a guy come to me for pairs driving lessons..... long story as he couldn't even drive a single! But I'll save that one for another day!!!

                                  He'd already purchased a phaeton (£11,000) and a 4 wheeler exercise vehicle (£6,000) ordered a reproduction Landau (£14,500), a set of English Leather pairs harness with full collars (£4,000) a set of webbing exercise harness (£2,000).

                                  And he'd left himself £,4,500 for a pair of horses!!! And he couldn't drive! Now don't get me wrong, you can indeed buy a pair of horses over here for £4,500 but they won't be an experienced good and proven driving pair and they won't be suitable for a total newbie thinking about starting a business doing commercial driving work.

                                  Some folks have interesting or silly ideas and daft expectations. They probably believe in good luck and fairies and Santa Clause. Then some who (say they) compete go round talking about good luck and things like they only compete for fun and winning isn't important. IMO that isn't actually a competitor at all. Its just someone having a great time doing something they like and not minding paying to allow competitors to beat them.

                                  For folks who have genuine serious ambition about driving and competing AND WINNING at high level they'll be competing against purpose bred, professionally produced, well trained, athletic horses backed by big money. They won't have as much as a look in with a nag bought for meat money. But they can look on and bemoan and wonder why the Europeans in their piddling little countries and with their piddling small horse population seem to be so "lucky" and do so disproportionately well.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Thomas_1 View Post

                                    But they can look on and bemoan and wonder why the Europeans in their piddling little countries and with their piddling small horse population seem to be so "lucky" and do so disproportionately well.

                                    and THAT is the quote of the day
                                    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                                    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


                                    • #19
                                      We have a quote we use for the kids in their daily work,

                                      "The harder I work, the luckier I get!"

                                      It fits so well, when you are at ringside, seeing the smooth way some pairs work, riding, driving, showing sheep or cows. Time invested, does make them the "Lucky Winners".


                                      • #20
                                        I couldn't agree with Thomas and Goodhors more!

                                        Thank you for such thoughtful posts.
                                        Kanoe Godby
                                        See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.