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So, tell me about Irish Sport Horses for Eventing

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  • So, tell me about Irish Sport Horses for Eventing

    It looks like I am buying an Irish Sport Horse. I've really come to admire them, but have more general experience with TBs. So, what do you like or not like about ISHs for Eventing?
    -Debbie / NH

    My Blog: http://deborahsulli.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    There are many, many examples of famous ISHs at the upper levels -- McKinlaigh comes first to mind currently but I am sure you'll get lots of other names.

    ISHs can be spectacular athletes, and in my small experience, have terrific brains -- sensible, bold, sort of a "leader" brain if that makes sense -- they take care of themselves and make decisions. This can translate to stubborn, but if you get a partnership with an ISH it's a pretty amazing experience.

    If the horse is a bit heavier build than you are used to with the TBs just know you'll need to condition more carefully -- start sooner, and build up slowly, to achieve fitness results. Don't take shortcuts there.
    The big man -- my lost prince

    The little brother, now my main man

    Comment


    • #3
      My first 'real' eventing horse was an ISH. He was awesome- an I level until I got him and went N as a teen. This horse taught me to sit a trot, what contact with the bit was, how to go up and down banks....well, he taught me mostly everything that someone moving from the 4-H world to the eventing world would need to know. He was patient and kind, saved my butt too many times to count, and was full of himself to boot. The first event we went to he let himself out of the stall (untied the leadrope and opened the latch) and led everyone on a merry chase for several hours. (Mom and I had already left for the hotel, and this was before the days of cell phones.)

      So, my experience has only been positive. I would own another in a heartbeat.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks so much for the feedback, I'm really looking forward to bonding with her! As a re-rider I feel like a ISH may be a good choice for my "come-back" horse.

        This is a video of her:

        Horse Video

        I am also looking for name suggestions as I don't like her current name. I kind of have "Mackie" in my head as a barn name and so was thinking of something like "The Colors of MacDuff" as her official name, but I'm not sure yet.
        -Debbie / NH

        My Blog: http://deborahsulli.blogspot.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          They can be a bit slow to mature. And can be opinionated: You can always tell an Irishman, but you can't tell him much.

          They tend to be bigger boned than American TBs, but it will depend on how much Irish Draught is there. IDs can be really big horses - both tall and big bodied But Irish Sport Horse can mean a lot of things. Like "Shipped over from Ireland last month and that's about all we know about her". Most of the time it means ID mixed with TB in some form or another. They tend to be athletic and love to jump and can be very good movers.

          As others have said there are a lot of Irish horses at upper levels. If you are a re-rider, the biggest thing to consider is how compatible you and this horse are. If she has a monster buck hiding in there and isn't afraid to use it, it doesn't matter what breed she is. Likewise if she hates cross country or won't go out alone.

          She looks very cute in the video but a bit heavy in the hand. This could be if she's young and finding her balance, preferring to lean on the rider. What has she done?

          Edited - I didn't see that you had already bought her when I posted. So - that said, if you love her and love riding her congratulations!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            She's 15.3 Hs and is (apparently) a ISH / Paint cross.

            She did some fox hunting and then did a couple of HTs down South this Winter. A couple of sanctioned and at least one schooling that I know of -- all at BN level. I do know that she jumped clean (CC & stadium) at all of them and actually got fourth at one of the sanctioned, so she has gotten around cross-country okay, at least at BN level. She has no history of bucking or rearing that anyone knew of, but the sellers had only had her for a few months. My trainer tried her both on neutral territory and then had her back to her farm for a couple of days. Tried a lot of stuff with her (jumping over ditches and some stuff she might not have seen before, hacking out away from the farm, passing spooky stuff on the track around the farm, etc.) and in all cases she was sensible, had a good attitude and a good mind about everything. The only spooking she did was to stop or slow down to take a look at something, no big jump sideways or fleeing, etc.

            I'm going to have her in training board for the first few months and then after that may continue with a couple of training rides per week as needed. My trainer will also most likely take her to a few HTs late Spring / Summer here in New England to get some more mileage on her and I'll probably ride her in some schooling stuff, maybe aiming for a sanctioned for the Fall.

            That's the plan at the moment anyway!
            -Debbie / NH

            My Blog: http://deborahsulli.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              I bred my own, out of my super-nice but slightly spooky TB mare (who really was more of a jumper than an eventer, but to-die-for conformation and temperament) and by a purebred RID stallion who was known for a great temperament and stamping his babies with the same. I wanted an amateur-proof horse to cart me around as I got more mature.

              I threw in a request for bright bay, a filly, with a little chrome.

              I got exactly what I wanted.

              My first homebred, Bonnie was born halter-broke, thinks she's a human, required no real "breaking" other than adolescent drama-queen tantrums from time to time, and while she is not without a decided opinion about things has been very easy to bring along. She is happy to work every day, but also has the ability to be chucked out in the pasture for months at a time (which my life and schedule sometimes require) without forgetting everything she knows and turning feral. Easy, easy, easy horse for me to do things with. Great work ethic, a good sport about things, and just enough of a boss-mare (has been since day one) to not be boring.

              Far from perfect, she's definitely a "lower level prospect" and not bursting with scope or athleticism, but I didn't try to breed the next Olympic horse. It takes a lot of riding to get her to use herself, but when you ride her correctly she's pretty, without being blessed with "WOW" gaits. Not super bold, but smart and honest, loves water and ditches and doesn't have a lot of weird quirks when you're riding her. Easy keeper, lives outside or inside, chills right out when you take her somewhere . . .

              Basically just what I need, I love her dearly.
              Click here before you buy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Did you get to try the horse? Just curious since the horse is down South. Looks cute. I agree, she looks like she can get heavy and may be a push ride.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have two, both by the same stallion, Brandensburg's Windstar. They are 3/4 TB and 1/4 Irish draght.

                  They are very different: Gelding is big, full of himself but kind and loves life. Mare is small, was an absolute pistol as a youngster but has grown up to be a solid citizen. They are both very sweet and love hanging out with their humans. They're both very athletic, with great jumping ability; gelding is a very nice mover, and mare is a nice mover, but nothing too spectacular. However, she really tries hard and is very willing to please.

                  Gelding takes just about everything in stride, and is an easier ride in that respect. Mare is a little more, I'm not sure how to phrase this, except she can be two different horses, especially when we're jumping at shows, and then she goes between being lit, yee haw, and being overwhelmed by the whole experience. She does an "OMG! There's a jump! What is that?"

                  I love them both dearly, and they're both lifers. If they had a better rider than me, they would go much farther in eventing than what I can do, but I'm having tons of fun with them. There were times early on when I thought I just might be crazy having to deal with their antics! However, now that they're all grown up, the antics are kept to a minimum and I feel slightly less crazy!

                  Good luck with your new horse!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Congrats on the new addition. They are a great horse and are well suited to both amatuers and pros. Solid mind, forward and lots of personality.
                    Epona Farm
                    Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

                    Join us on Facebook

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      my ISH

                      nuff said

                      they are da bomb
                      www.yellowroseeventing.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ISH's rock!

                        I have two ISH's..a 12 yr old gelding by Able Albert and a 6 yr old mare by Brandenburg's Windstar. They are very different in many ways as far as personality goes, but dependable and superbly athletic in all three phases just the same. Maybe I have just been really blessed or lucky, but I will probably always stick with this breed as long as I can bc they have both been wonderful horses for me. I lease a barn and do my own barnwork and I was a WS with my first one so I have been extememly fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with my horses on a daily basis. However, it did take me about a year or so to really bond with the gelding and the mare and I are finally forging a strong partnership after 2 yrs. I am not sure if that is typical or not to take that long, but I can tell you that once they allow you into their hearts...you will never want to leave. My gelding is my best friend and gave me a priceless amount of hope when I was dealing with losing my Mom to lung cancer 4 yrs ago....not to mention so much more in our 8 yrs together. My mare has been a lot of work in many ways, but has made me really appreciate "asking" and not "telling" her what to do. She is really teaching me how to ride....though I still have so far to go. My gelding is very kind and generous, but I work for everything I get with her. I wish you the best with your new horse. I hope you will have a lifetime of special memories to share with others one day.
                        Most sincerely,
                        Michele

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So... what is an ISH? Is it an IDSH in the US sense, which is a RID x TB? Or an Irish Sport Horse in the Irish sense, which means various crosses bred in Ireland?

                          I'm just curious what people think this means these days. Are Cavalier offspring ISH, even though Cavalier Royale was a Holsteiner-SF?

                          Now that I think about it, I might have one. One of my mares is 1/16 Irish. Does she count?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            my fav. thing about my ISH has got the be the POWER!!!
                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60lgQoJctVc

                            he is also quite adjustable, in terms of his stride
                            I have noticed that some of them can be a little bit stiff seeming behind, not really in terms of lameness or anything, just a little reluctant to track under, possible because they possess so much power? rather like we don't consider football players to be the most flexible people?

                            JER: I'm assuming my boy is about at Irish as they come, he was imported from Ireland when he was 5, he is out of Laughtons Flight and Miss Highland (i think she was an Irish TB, they didn't keep very good records on the dams for some reason), and Laughton's Flight one of King of Diamonds many sons...
                            But I have always been unsure of whether or not to call him an Irish TB or an Irish Sport Horse...he looks very draught-y, roman nose, deep chest, pretty solid in general.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thanks everyone for your ISH stories -- I've particularly enjoyed the pictures! I am looking forward to many long years of partnership building with my mare.
                              -Debbie / NH

                              My Blog: http://deborahsulli.blogspot.com/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                So... what is an ISH?
                                It depends on who you ask. In some circles, "Irish Sport Horse" means any horse from Ireland. Others insist that the animal must have Irish DRAUGHT blood, and the ultra-purists insist that only REGISTERED Irish Draught makes up the proper mix, with TB the requisite other part, in whatever ratio one prefers. It is a source of much drama and frothing at the mouth for many people.
                                Click here before you buy.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I got on my 7 yo ISH mare for the first time in about a year and a half (she has been a project for students during that time) at a show a few weeks ago, took her right in the 3'6" and 3'9" Jumper classes and had a blast. Today I hopped on her and ran through the Training and Preliminary dressage work, planning on taking her out this season and getting serious with her while my 5 yo TB is plinking around at Novice. Put a ten-year-old on her and she turns into a plodding babysitter......

                                  She is 3/4 TB, by my TB event/jumper stallion out of a G3 ID/TB mare who evented through Preliminary. Her full brother is nine days old today! (there are three other half-sibs who are all really really nice and all very sensible).

                                  Jennifer
                                  Third Charm Event Team

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    awesome

                                    I love ISHs!! They are brave, athletic, rarely spooky, and super talented. I have an ISH (3/4 TB, 1/4 Irish Draft) and he is VERY athletic.
                                    I would recommend ISHs for anybody...
                                    Please visit the Donate page!

                                    https://justworldeventer.squarespace.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by JER View Post
                                      So... what is an ISH? Is it an IDSH in the US sense, which is a RID x TB? Or an Irish Sport Horse in the Irish sense, which means various crosses bred in Ireland?

                                      I'm just curious what people think this means these days. Are Cavalier offspring ISH, even though Cavalier Royale was a Holsteiner-SF?

                                      Now that I think about it, I might have one. One of my mares is 1/16 Irish. Does she count?

                                      yes they can be a variety of crosses. I believe they can be ISH as long as one parent is Irish.

                                      A friend of mine owned a Cavalier Royale baby that was out of a Irish mare. Technically this mare was 1/2 Holsteiner but her papers said IDSH and she was imported from Ireland. At the same time she had another imported IDSH with papers that was RID and Irish TB, which is the common cross from what I understand.

                                      don't know if your 1/16th's counts or not.
                                      Last edited by LookinSouth; Apr. 13, 2009, 12:22 PM.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I personally would want papers stating that yes, indeed the horse is a registered ISH
                                        There are no such papers, unless you mean papers from the Irish Horse Board, which papers ANY horse born in Ireland, regardless of pedigree. If you mean Irish DRAUGHT Sport Horse, that's an entirely different thing, and requires one parent be registered IDSH or ID. Can't recall what the minimum accepted dilution is, though.
                                        Click here before you buy.

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