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Warmblood/ Arabian crosses for Endurance?

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  • Warmblood/ Arabian crosses for Endurance?

    I was wondering what you all thought about this?

    I have a mare that I bought as an Endurance prospect, she would have been fantastic, but I decided to do Dressage instead. I have a 2007 filly out of her, by a Selle Francais stallion, and am wondering if she might suit as an endurance horse.


    She has all of [the characteristics I personally looked for in a endurance prospect], but would the fact that she's half WB turn people away? She's got a lot of bone, which IMO would make her sounder in the long run.

    Does anybody have any WB/Arab crosses doing well in Endurance/ Competitive Trail?

    Pix would be great if you do!

    Last edited by Moderator 1; Dec. 13, 2008, 11:14 AM.
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  • #2

    I don't own one... but the problem you run into with a wb is that they are too big. Look at the horse as a marathoner... look at marathoners... successful runners for distance are often leggy, smaller boned and lean muscles.

    is that a be all end all?

    hell no... its if the horse likes it... do they have the heart? My horse loves distance but over 30 miles he just doesn't like it. he gets bored in an arena to qiuckly, he craves trails and distance at more than a walk. And he is a perfect canadate... small compact good bone for his size, but he dones't like it.

    As a half arab I won't say that its impossible to seriously compete, but I would go out on a limb and say its not likely you will be a tevis cup winner. But there is no reason whatsoever that she/he could not be a successful 25 even 50 miler. And it depends on if you do it for fun or serious competition. And if she is good for up to a few miles then you can start looking into competitive trail rides.

    But it really boils down to heart and decent confirmation! =)
    Last edited by Icecapade; Dec. 15, 2008, 12:14 PM.


    • #3
      It depends on what your goals are. I do know of a few people who got their Tevis cup buckle(for completing the race) on your average looking quarter horse(stout, lot of bulk). So if you just want to ride and finish-sure. But if you want to really compete-depends on the horse-lot of Arab crosses have been succesful-but depends on the horse..


      • #4
        Patti S. has a big trakehner/arab cross that she has done really well with in endurance. Patti are you out there? There are some tall, big boned horses doing well in endurance, some that have no Arab blood at all. There are many factors of conformation that really affect the ability to be competitive in endurance. A large heart to pump blood thru the body is importent as it help cool faster and oxygenate the body. Low resting heart rates are a pretty good indication of a good sized heart. Also a narrower, deeper body (rather than wide and round) helps dissipate heat. Of course, the bigger and heavier the body the more energy the horse uses to simply move it's own body, just like a big truck versus a compact model car.

        Bonnie S.


        • #5
          As somebody said, a lot of this is going to depend on the level you're riding at, but my concern will be fitness. WBs and Arabs generally (because yes, there exceptions) get fit faster and stay fit more easily and longer than WBs. I would hazard the same to be true of QHs, seeing as they're bred to race, but I have no experience with this breed, so could be off base.

          I have a WB who is 1/4 holsteiner, 1/4 Oldenberg, and the balance is made up of TB and Arab (I can't do the math, but he's out of a Holsteiner/Anglo-Arab mare). He's not tall, he will top off at about 16.1hh, and although he's chunky, he's not over-the-top heavy. I would like to event him and my biggest concern is his fitness.

          Just something to bear in mind.


          • #6
            My friend has a Hanoverian/Arabian gelding who is absolutely AWESOME.

            In fact, he is such a good endurance prospect I want to buy him but she's not willing to sell LOL
            (¯`·._¤ Jess!·._¤ ´¯)


            • #7
              You won't know until you try.
              However, I would have x-rays done before and during training to see if the warmblood bones are up to the sport ( I have heard that working a growing horse can 'build' bone density- I think they held up Seabuiscuit as an example )
              A pussycat of a horse with a chewed off tail won the triple crown, The Cubs won the world series and Trump won the Presidency.
              Don't tell me 'It can't be done.'


              • #8
                You really can't answer a question as simple as this.

                If Shadow14 is looking, he will slaughter me for this, but "It Depends."

                I maintain than ANY reasonably fit, sound horse can finish a 50. The last year of the Tevis a Paint finished in the top 10, while 40% of the rest of the horses (the majority of which were PB Arabs) did NOT. I know of at least one WB (a Swedish WB I believe) who completed Tevis twice.

                So what are your goals? XP rides? LD? To win the Tevis? These are all VERY different goals and require difference answers.

                And what KIND of WB? A "real" European WB (vs a Perch/QH/Saddlebred, etc, etc cross) that comes from inspected/tested stock is bred for performance as well. If you look more toward the more modern types and "breeds" such as Trakheners (who carry alot of TB & Arab blood anyway) who have been successful in sports such as 3-day eventing would probably do quite well in endurance if it was properly conditioned and of the right type.

                For instance I have an Arab/WB mare that I bred myself. Her dam is a Polish mare with Bask x3. Her sire was a 16.3hh imported Dutch WB, BUT because of the refinement blood used in HIS breeding the mare is actually (by blood) 50% Polish Arab, 6.25% Shagya Arab, 18% TB and only 25% WB. I don't compete heavily at all, but endurance riders are always going crazy over her, because she has feet like cast iron, super bone and legs, plenty of driving power in the rear (meaning she can carry herself more efficently) and an absolutely solid mind.

                And she's only 15hh. I'm not saying she could finish the Tevis -- I'm not sure I could finish the Tevis -- but she is a very solid, good type for the sport. She's good at dressage and jumping too!

                So you have to look at alot of things in terms of the individual horse AND the rider's personal goals.


                • #9
                  Bonnie mentioned my big guy ...

                  ... who is half Arabian (Egyptian mare) and Trakehner (local stallion who 100-day tested, I believe, but was just a hair under 16H and therefore didn't get approved by ATA tho he was a local jack-of-all-trades stallion who did a little bit of everything, very athletic).

                  Ned's about 16.1H, weighs about 1125# when he's competing, and has a ton of bone, size two feet. I honestly think he's "not that big" until I see photos of him with more typical endurance horses, and he looks like their big brother.

                  I'd bought him as a dressage prospect, figuring that I could condition with my husband, who was competing pretty heavily on his Arabian at the time. Did my first 50 with him when he was 7, and that's all she wrote.

                  He's got about 1500 AERC miles, is a middle of the pack horse, but has also completed 6 100s to date. The fastest had us finished about midnight, the slowest had us pushing to finish in 24 hours.

                  I think it is mostly about individual horses. Ned looks like an Arabian on steroids, probably more of a daisy cutter mover (very efficient and big-strided) than a lot of the horses out there, is a voracious eater with a great sense of self-preservation, and most of the time, he's doing his own ride, and taking you along with him. However fast or slow that might be on a given day. He's tough and opinionated and supremely impressed with himself. He was not an easy young horse, but now that he is, gulp, coming 15, he is a joy to compete.

                  His biggest challenges are heat (that big body is a PITA to cool down, and I work really hard to keep his core temp down on hot, humid rides, though he does a lot better than some of the big horses out there) and technical trail. He's a much better Cadillac than all-terrain vehicle.

                  So there's a one rat study on WB/Arab crosses. I'd absolutely grab up another should the right one come along, tho I confess that I am rather enjoying my NSH, who is smaller, more compact, and a more dying-to-please sort of horse than Ned.

                  Good luck!



                  • #10
                    I've got your next horse right here!

                    I have a super cute, correct WB/arab cross gelding. Trak/arab, moves great, wonderful temp. I have competed his mom dressage and a little endurance, she is a super iron little horse! Varian bred and it shows. Multiple regional champ and Scottsdale top 10. Super motor with a brain. Bigger stride then many 17hh horses. His sisters would sleep in the tent with you if they could, will turn themselves inside out to please.

                    He was supposed to be a filly to keep, otherwise I would not be considering parting with him.

                    Let me know if you want to make it a two rat experiment
                    Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


                    • #11
                      My riding partner ran a heavily muscled quarter horse CHAMP and he won top quarter horse in enduarance year after year just because he could finish, most don't. He also got his 1000 mile pin .
                      BUT on the hot days I really had to slow down and take it easy so he could finish. His heavier muscle mass didn't allow him to run as cool and he took longer at the gates to meet paramaters.
                      So yes it DEPENDS if you want to take the chance and see if you can do it with an odd ball or start with a tried and true breed and know your chances are excellent on being successful.
                      In the 25's he had no problems but in the 50 by 40 miles he was dragging.
                      He was heavily trained with up to 70 miles a week and other then his feet he stood up fine to this heavy schedule.
                      But again NO FOOT, NO HORSE and he had foot problems. He was about 1400 pounds
                      Champ on the right running a 2 day 50. My guy Strider left with my daughter up

                      Shetan on the extreme right, another anglo arab that won a perfect score in a 35 or 40 mile competitive. A perfect score is unheard of but at the end of the day Shetan had one.


                      • #12
                        My daughter in the foreground on Strider and Champ in the background at the start of a 50 at Dufferin forest.


                        • #13
                          We have an Arab Trakehner gelding ( was stallion ) and while we haven't done longer distances yet, he has done well in 25's. His daughter has shown promise. In 2007 he was regional top 5 BC @LD. I think that more than the type of horse you have, it is your goals & conditioning/care of horse that count. Someone stated that something about a draft x vs. a warmblood = better breeding/horse~ I'd not agree with that. I have seen some very sorry looking horses from approved parentage & have seen some phenominal draft crosses.
                          Best wishes toward you~
                          ~*Ride Far*~Ride Well~*~ The Sky's the Limit~


                          • #14
                            I rode an Appy who smoothly out trotted 90% of the Arabs and had low P and R's. She was built like a warmblood.
                            I now have 2 of her granddaughter's that we will be starting to condition this year. They are 1/2 Westphalian, 1/4 Arab, 1/4 appy.
                            Resting heart rates on these two run about 28/32.


                            • #15
                              Here's my gal:


                              Most of the photos are of her at 2-4 yrs. old and now that she's almost 6 she is a bit "fluffier", but I think that is because she could survive on air and water.

                              But she has bone & foot to die for, plus the athletic ability to really "sit" and manuever...and a GREAT mind.

                              Again, probably not a Tevis winner, but a good solid gal who can finish when she's fit.

                              But, as I mentioned before, she is really only 25% WB -- the rest is Polish Arab (Bask mainly), Shagya and TB.

                              Have to say one thing -- she is THE smartest, most willing horse I've ever dealt with.


                              • #16
                                She looks like the slimmer twin of a Morab I used to own named Niki. She too was of the Bask line. She was a great horse and would have been good at endurance, except that Niki didn't have much for withers, and we traded her for an APHA mare that the foster children could ride too. If your mare has a trot like Niki's, you'll be eating up the miles!
                                Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
                                Here's my gal:


                                But, as I mentioned before, she is really only 25% WB -- the rest is Polish Arab (Bask mainly), Shagya and TB.

                                Have to say one thing -- she is THE smartest, most willing horse I've ever dealt with.
                                ~*Ride Far*~Ride Well~*~ The Sky's the Limit~


                                • #17
                                  I *love* Appy's & would enjoy seeing a picture of your Appy~ sounds lovely

                                  Originally posted by 2enduraceriders View Post
                                  I rode an Appy who smoothly out trotted 90% of the Arabs and had low P and R's. She was built like a warmblood.
                                  I now have 2 of her granddaughter's that we will be starting to condition this year. They are 1/2 Westphalian, 1/4 Arab, 1/4 appy.
                                  Resting heart rates on these two run about 28/32.
                                  ~*Ride Far*~Ride Well~*~ The Sky's the Limit~


                                  • #18
                                    Draft cross

                                    I have a draft cross that we will try on his first 25 (God willing) in 09. Am not planning on being a winner on him, but just out for some miles. He's a joy to ride~here he is playing in a paddock:
                                    ~*Ride Far*~Ride Well~*~ The Sky's the Limit~