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What *should* an average horse be capable of?

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  • What *should* an average horse be capable of?

    I *should* be in bed, but this has been eating at my mind...

    I've read different versions of the statement on here (and elsewhere) many times: Any horse should be able to go training level.

    What's your opinion? I could expand with many 'what if's' and 'what about's,' but I won't. Y'all can expand and qualify your own responses, I'm sure.

  • #2
    There are too many variables! "The average" I am too creative I should go to bed too!
    Before I do....set some parameters like
    "The Average off the track TB 10k-20k"
    Dacia Peters-Imperato
    www.steppingstonesporthorses.com
    Standing FOR PLAY, Hanoverian Stallion - Style of a Hunter, Scope/Power of a Show Jumper, Balance/Cadence of a Dressage horse. California

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    • #3
      I think most horses can do Pre-Training/Novice - but of course it depends on many things:

      -natural ability/scope (this includes not having a dangerous jumping style)
      -willingness
      -training
      -physical limitations (e.g. arthritic or previous injury)

      I think when people say "any horse" they think of a 13hh pony they know that went Training, and the 17hh Clydesdale they know that went Training, and the 14hh cow they saw jump a fence once. They don't consider the 13hh pony that is really only good at 2'6, the Clydesdale that demolishes jumps rather than jumping them, and the millions of cows that have no desire to jump over a fence.
      Blugal

      You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

      Comment


      • #4
        Maybe it's just cause it's late.. but Blugal.. your post cracked me up!!!!

        We used to call that "jumping by braille"!

        Comment


        • #5
          My experience is that MOST horses can eventually be gotten to the point that they are safe (not necessarily competitive) to jump around at Novice. And yeah, that would be assuming they are sound, willing, and have reasonable conformation. Once you start adding in the slightly greater height, spreads, strides, and rideability necessary for Training and then up, you start to narrow the field.

          If you are only jumping correctly set hunter courses in the ring, I think most horses can jump 3'6--again, not be competitive, but get around safely.

          Having a significant amount of TB or having jumping bloodlines (whether they are WB, Arab, or draft) hugely increases your odds, of course.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm of the opinion that the "average", sound horse with any athletic inclination should be capable of Training level eventing with proper training and conditioning.

            I say "with any athletic inclination" to exclude perhaps the clunkiest of drafts and the tiniest of ponies.

            I think just about any horse can jump up through 3'3", and with a solid enough dressage background should be able to handle the technicality. Proper conditioning and they should be able to handle the pace/distance. Lots of grid work and they should become tidy enough to get around safely, even if they aren't naturally the cleanest jumpers.

            That being said, I'd say there are plenty of horses NOT capable of Training level, but we're talking about the average here.
            www.efarrellequestrian.com
            www.facebook.com/efarrellequestrian

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            • #7
              well the question was "what should the AVERAGE horse be capable of?"

              so lets define average first.
              average is not a 13hh pony
              not a Clydesdale
              and not a cow.

              average is 15.3-16h.
              relatively ok conformation
              slight arthritus in the hocks.

              this horse can jump around training level and school some preliminary.
              jump around 3'6" show jumping fences
              and school 2nd-3rd level dressage

              none of the the tasks listed in bold are difficult.

              the above average horse can do those bold tasks before their 6th birthday.

              edited after reading the post above mine...I don't know of any horse that I have ever met that could not jump around training level with a competent and confident rider.
              http://kaboomeventing.com/
              http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
              Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

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              • #8
                My trainer says that the average horse can jump 3'6".

                Now, my horse *can* jump the height, but not with enough scope that we would feel particularly comfortably going around a Prelim course.

                She can, and has, done Training level and this is the level that my trainer thinks any horse should really be able to do. She works with a LOT of thoroughbreds, though, so this may skew her thoughts a bit.

                Personally, I think any horse should really be able to do Novice (excluding the really athletically inept)

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd say the average tb/wb/draftx/arab can do 3'3", but the of multitude of cow-horse-turned-eventer types, Novice is probably the max for many of them. Its a bit hard to compare a fat little pony, stocky little hony, 'average' tb, or a monster sized draftx (and the millions that fall in between)
                  .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think by saying that the average horse can go training, you're looking at a very artificial average.... I will agree that the average sound, sane TB can go training, or even higher. The same should be said of any warmblood, bred for sport.

                    That said, I've seen tons of terribly honest "try hard" type of horses that are built great for running down a cow, sprinting around a barrel, carrying their rider smoothly over trails, pulling a cart, (fill in the blank with other uses of horses here) but I wouldn't put over anything above novice. Yes, said horses could probably get over a SINGLE 3'3 jump if he tried really had, had a great approach, on level terrain, but give them any sort of sustained effort, and they'll land on the 2nd or 3rd jump. Yes, there are also the "freakishly good" riders who could micromanage the very technical questions and sit just right to make the stars line up but really?

                    Do you want to spend a small fortune having Boyd Martin / Phillip Dutton / Buck Davidson, etc. train your beloved Paso Fino x QH to get around a training level course?

                    Yes, my little sister had a 13 hh arab/welsh cross who could go training, and probably could have done prelim, but he was the exception, not the norm. I've jumped a 15 hh QH around a 4 ft jumper class - again, an exception. One of my best friends took a morgan cross that was given to her after a pasture accident shattered his shoulder around prelim for a year - but there is nothing average about any of these horses.

                    Let's redefine what average you're looking at, and also whether you're talking about with a professional ride or an average rider....
                    The rebel in the grey shirt

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Big_Grey_hunter View Post
                      I'd say the average tb/wb/draftx/arab can do 3'3", but the of multitude of cow-horse-turned-eventer types, Novice is probably the max for many of them. Its a bit hard to compare a fat little pony, stocky little hony, 'average' tb, or a monster sized draftx (and the millions that fall in between)
                      Tobys Lynx here. aka: American Paint Horse AWESOMENESS!

                      I had to chime in once I saw that Big mentioned my kind.

                      I usually don't say anything negative about myself...but here goes.
                      I'm small and stocky. I have a very short neck and very very straight hind leg. I stand only 15.2 maybe 15.3 and my event rider is 6'.
                      I am 10 years old and I started out as a roping horse--the Weekes Family bought me and I was used for 6 years as a trail horse. Their daughter, Kristen, told me to trot very very slowly and take the smallest steps possible so that I would be very comfy for my human, Cheryl.
                      Just recently Kristen has started riding me. My very first jump school was in Novemeber and she started riding me full time just a month ago.

                      I've now done a few CTs at BN. I'm afraid of new fences and colors but Kristen's crop gives me much needed confidence.
                      I'm going to show at Novice all year and my goal is to compete in a training level three day in 2012. And to also do the meter jumpers at the local H/J shows.

                      at home I have jumped 3'6" in gymnastics but mostly Kristen makes me jump several bounces in a row with all sorts of stuff piled up on the right side....because I drift so badly to the right due to my weak left stifle.

                      I'm below average for an event horse. I am athletic but I have a small heart. My rider has to work very hard to make me confident. Kristen. never. stops. k.i.c.k.i.n.g!

                      here I am. My weak stifle is much improved now that I'm eventing and I have received 7s on gaits and been in 1st after dressage at every show so far!
                      http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p...oom/tobyqr.jpg
                      http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p...m/tobyqr-1.jpg
                      (in Dec I was unable to canter a full circle in a dressage frame--look at me now!)
                      http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p...om/tobyqr2.jpg
                      http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p...om/tobyqr3.jpg
                      (and this was my first time jumping in Nov. 2010)
                      http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p...m/eventer2.jpg

                      I alIo have a blog where I have started telling folks about my adventures.
                      I'n my first blog I actually talk about how Kristen didn't think I had the talent to jump. I showed her!!
                      http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/2...-by-tobys.html

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                      • #12
                        Toby - you are an adorable spotted chunk-a-monk! Awesome!
                        View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Let's redefine what average you're looking at, and also whether you're talking about with a professional ride or an average rider....
                          I think if the question is asking "what the average horse is capable of" we have to assume it is with a rider that can bring out the most and best performance from the horse.

                          the discussion will be too tough with many many layers if we are talking about riders of different levels.
                          Last edited by purplnurpl; Feb. 21, 2011, 11:26 AM.
                          http://kaboomeventing.com/
                          http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
                          Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Highflyer View Post
                            My experience is that MOST horses can eventually be gotten to the point that they are safe (not necessarily competitive) to jump around at Novice. And yeah, that would be assuming they are sound, willing, and have reasonable conformation. Once you start adding in the slightly greater height, spreads, strides, and rideability necessary for Training and then up, you start to narrow the field.

                            If you are only jumping correctly set hunter courses in the ring, I think most horses can jump 3'6--again, not be competitive, but get around safely.

                            Having a significant amount of TB or having jumping bloodlines (whether they are WB, Arab, or draft) hugely increases your odds, of course.
                            Great topic and opinions here! Just stopping by to visit from HunterWorld. The Great George Morris used to say any horse can jump 3'. I'd like that to be 3'6", at least a vertical alone.

                            But here's my fervent prayer to God: Please don't let people think a 2'6" horse is A-OK, a breeding/marketing goal or "average" for a horse. What will we have left when we lower our expectations this way?
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've yet to sit on a QH (or paint)...even one bred for cutting or roping...that wasn't capable of going training level (and there are many that can go further).

                              The ones I've been involved with took a little longer to get the jumping but they did get it. Two of them were even very competitive movers in the dressage (and very ridable).


                              I would say the average TB or sport bred WB can go Prelim or higher although I've known several I didn't want to sit on at that level.

                              Draft crosses and ponies I have no experience.

                              IME...it is the rider's capabilities that limit a horse more that the inherent ability of that horse. Most of the horses that I've owned were more than capable to go Advanced....but the question is always can they go Advanced with me on their back

                              ETA: One of the scopiest jumpers I've sat on was a 15.2 H stock bred from Australia. That horse could seriously jump and jump big (5'+ courses).
                              Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Feb. 21, 2011, 11:07 AM.
                              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Toby- I meant no offense to you, your spottiness! But you are tall and fairly athletic looking for the type I'm talking about. I'm talking about the 14.3 stocky critters with so-so confo. Yes, before everyone jumps on me, I KNOW there are plenty of exceptions, "well, I ride a hony with 3 legs and 1 eye that went prelim!". But I think people are only thinking of the good ones (like Toby), not the multitude of muscle bound, short legged, thick necked, post legged ones that probably can't get past BN, let alone novice. I know I've met plenty I would never feel comfortable jumping more than 2'6" (Including my last, 17hh horse).

                                Perhaps "cow pony" was not the proper term. No offense intended for all the lovely athletic "cow-pony-turned-eventers" out there!
                                .

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I think NOVICE is where "any horse" can compete

                                  DITTO what JWB said.

                                  TRAINING level can be too much for "any horse". Many horses CAN......But not neccessarily your average cart-horse, drafty, hairy horse or pony breeds

                                  It also downplays the athleticism/training that is needed to be competitive at TRAINING level. Yes, most TBs/WBs and even the Stock Horses (they have lots of TB blood too) breeds can probably do it.

                                  I just think for this particular question - my response would be that "any horse, or your "average horse" can do NOVICE LEVEL. (not Training)

                                  My own mare is a perfect example. She could go up to Novice (we putter-about doing BN), but not higher. She's just not purpose-bred for this sport. She doesn't have the scope and doesn't have a good canter- nevermind - gallop

                                  Originally posted by JWB View Post
                                  I think by saying that the average horse can go training, you're looking at a very artificial average.... I will agree that the average sound, sane TB can go training, or even higher. The same should be said of any warmblood, bred for sport.

                                  That said, I've seen tons of terribly honest "try hard" type of horses that are built great for running down a cow, sprinting around a barrel, carrying their rider smoothly over trails, pulling a cart, (fill in the blank with other uses of horses here) but I wouldn't put over anything above novice. Yes, said horses could probably get over a SINGLE 3'3 jump if he tried really had, had a great approach, on level terrain, but give them any sort of sustained effort, and they'll land on the 2nd or 3rd jump. Yes, there are also the "freakishly good" riders who could micromanage the very technical questions and sit just right to make the stars line up but really?

                                  Do you want to spend a small fortune having Boyd Martin / Phillip Dutton / Buck Davidson, etc. train your beloved Paso Fino x QH to get around a training level course?

                                  Yes, my little sister had a 13 hh arab/welsh cross who could go training, and probably could have done prelim, but he was the exception, not the norm. I've jumped a 15 hh QH around a 4 ft jumper class - again, an exception. One of my best friends took a morgan cross that was given to her after a pasture accident shattered his shoulder around prelim for a year - but there is nothing average about any of these horses.

                                  Let's redefine what average you're looking at, and also whether you're talking about with a professional ride or an average rider....
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                  Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                                  www.elainehickman.com
                                  **Morgans Do It All**

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                    IME...it is the rider's capabilities that limit a horse more that the inherent ability of that horse. Most of the horses that I've owned were more than capable to go Advanced....but the question is always can they go Advanced with me on their back
                                    Yes, the word "average" is a problem. I think the USEA starter numbers would back this up, but I don't think the "average eventing rider" is competing at Training level. So if the question is what is the capability of the "average horse" with an "average event rider" the answer would NOT be Training level. An above average rider can probably get an average horse around Novice, maybe Training depending how above average they are.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I think any horse should be able to go Training. Now, if they get that far depends on a multitude of things

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Average? What does average mean?

                                        Check out some of the horses out field hunting in Ireland, look at the obstacles they jump, and then tell me that the drafty types and little ponies can't jump the big scary stuff. Not that you could catch me on one! I need all the equine athleticism I can get helping me out!

                                        I had been told by several pros many years ago that "any average horse" could go Prelim. I wonder if those same folks would say that today with the increasing technicality of XC and Dressage as well as the increased height of Stadium?
                                        They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                                        Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

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