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Who is your 'dream horse' and why?

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  • Who is your 'dream horse' and why?

    Out of all of the horses that you have had (or have known, past and present), who has your favorite been so far, and why? Please share some pics and let us know what qualities have made that horse exactly what you wanted - was it their conformation? attitude? movement? body type? jumping style? something else?

    I know that everyone's 'dream horse' is a little different, so I thought it would be fun to hear from everyone about what they are looking for.

    And for your next horse - what qualities would you want to improve on (from your current horse), and what qualities do you hope to get again?

    Blacktree Farm
    Lessons, Training & Sporthorse Sales.
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  • #2
    My horse is my dream horse.

    No, really, she is. In her I have found a talented, sane, fun, and challenging partner who doesn't let me get away with half a good job - I need to be the best rider I can be for her, and in turn that constantly makes me try harder. She's an outstanding jumper, very tidy and scopey, allergic to wood and game no matter how we get to the fence. She always wins the dressage, but I think this has to do with all the incredibly hard work we put into it (and she's got a FABULOUS canter to boot!). She has a big, easy gallop, very easy to rate and completely capable of being given a set pace and maintaining it all on her own for however long I want. She's compactly built in her body type but still very slender and elegant, has very clean legs and is barefoot (and going strong) to boot. In the barn, she is extremely affectionate to people, and has never so much as pinned an ear at anyone. (This is if you're human, mind.... if you're a horse, she is alpha mare and will EAT YOU!) She is incredibly brave and will do ANYTHING I ask with a totally calm expression... literally, I mean anything, she swims in ponds and rivers, climbs into kiddie pools on her own, and was found up some stairs in the barn office once after an accidental solo adventure she had! Easy keeper, totally loveable, extremely quirky but in a very fun way. She makes me a better, more patient rider and person every day. She'll go Prelim easily but she's not obnoxiously hot when she gets going. She's calm and sane and fabulous.

    Downsides? Her random unpredictability, her history working against her (a trainer flipped her over... a lot), her weak topline and her hocks with changes. My next horse? I want, essentially, her carbon copy with a better neck. I plan to breed her for myself, just because I want another one of her.


    The perfect challenge for the over-eager over-achieving adult amateur working mostly on her own. Not tough enough to kill me, not easy enough to be boring, but just right!
    Eventing-A-Gogo: Adventures of a Barefoot Event Horse and her Human
    The Reeling: An Unexpected Mareventure


    • #3
      I love my mare.

      I love that she has more jump than I could possibly ever need. At advanced level.

      I love that she is incredibly smart, to the point of being supercilious.

      She has a great work ethic and gives 100% every day. No "eh, I don't feel like it"... when we have a problem, it's a lapse in understanding, not desire to perform.

      I love that she is a throwback type... a run-and-jump thoroughbred that would have been a glorious cavalry mount back in the day. She'll go up mountains and down ravines, chase cows, navigate through any sort of rocks/brush, open/close any sort of gate. You can go anywhere and do anything on her-- bring in the trashcans from the bottom driveway, drag plastic barrels to and fro, whatever. She is a Work Horse, not intimidated by anything or anyone or any job.

      I love her soundness-- knocking on wood!! She doesn't have the greatest feet, but with proper management they aren't a problem. She's been doing prelim+ since 2004 with three 3days, without any accompanying "issues." Her dam raced 103 times and earned $120K on the track. That's some toughness right there!

      She isn't the easiest to get along with on the ground (see "supercilious" above). She completely believes she is far superior to most people...and in some instances, I have to agree with her. She is not a pet, and please don't treat her like one. She loves me, but we both respect each other's boundaries. I treat her like my partner, not my dog. She can have cuddly moments, but only when no one else is looking. Image is Everything, you know.

      She could be a better mover, score a little better in dressage. But I wouldn't trade any of that for her jumping ability, work ethic, gallop, stamina, or soundness. I hope to breed her some day, and if I end up with one exactly like her I'll be thrilled!!

      XC table
      SJ liverpool

      People always ask, "How did you know your horse would be an upper level horse?" I show them pics from her first training level event...!

      Also see videos below.
      “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
      ? Albert Einstein



      • #4
        Originally posted by WarmbloodColor View Post
        Out of all of the horses that you have had (or have known, past and present), who has your favorite been so far, and why? Please share some pics and let us know what qualities have made that horse exactly what you wanted - was it their conformation? attitude? movement? body type? jumping style? something else?

        And for your next horse - what qualities would you want to improve on (from your current horse), and what qualities do you hope to get again?
        Well . . . I've been lucky in that my critters were what I needed, when I needed it, and deeply beloved for their own qualities. And all of them have taught me many, many things, helped me be physically and mentally healthy, and kept me from being too wealthy. ;-)


        • #5
          Gwennie. She made an eventer out of me.

          Brave, smart, completely honest and knew the answer to every question. And at the same time, shared my feelings about dressage: it is there to be endured. She had her days as a younger horse winning that phase, but by the time she came to me she was older, stiffer, and SO over that.

          I never worried that she wouldn't get me safely to the other side of any jump I ever pointed her at. There's a reason just about every picture taken of me riding her shows a GIANT grin on my face and happy, pricked ears on hers--she was doing what she loved, and graciously showing me how it was done.

          (my profile pic is my favorite of Gwen and me--taken on my 40th birthday and a week after her 18th)
          Click here before you buy.


          • #6
            I'm definitely a part of the "my horse IS my dream horse" group! I got my boy over a year ago, and he was my first horse. I was 15, and he was 12.

            We were pulling down a dirt road, trying to find the farm that had the horse we were going to look at. On the side of the road, I see this fat, mud-covered paint, and the only thing I can think is, "Dear God, please let that NOT be the horse we came to see!"

            It was. We pulled in to the drive way, and come to find out that this horse:
            has had NO English experience, no jumping experience
            has ALWAYS been ridden in a hackamore
            hasn't been ridden in over 6 months

            So, we slapped an English saddle on his back and a snaffle bit in his mouth, and he made my trainer happy enough that she let me on him. He calmly carried me around the field. That was when, with my trainer's enthusiastic encouragement, we decided to buy him.

            We brought him back to our barn, and everyone was like, "You're going to train THAT to do eventing?"

            When we first got him:

            Our last few shows:

            Since we've got him, he's become more horse gradually, and always just after I'm ready to handle him. He is a XC machine; he absolutely loves it! He's extremely honest, and just a saint of a boy. At our last show, I accidentally got him to a bank on course at a ridiculous angle, but instead of running out, he just hopped up and continued on his way.

            He even enjoys the dressage, and if I'm ever able to bring what I have in the warm up in to the ring, we could probably knock a few points off our all-time low of 33.7. We've had a great show season together, going from 10th at our very first beginner novice to 3rd at our last show!

            He's been a great horse to learn on. One instance where "green on green makes black and blue" wasn't the case!
            Blue-eyed Eventers


            • #7
              I wish I could put Bobs brain in AJs body.

              Bob is a FQH but he thinks he is a national hunt horse of some kind. Running and jumping are what he is best at, and what he enjoys more than anything. But he is a real workman and he puts his all into everything he does. He is allergic to wood and god help you if you make him knock a rail. He is stubborn and opinionated and smart and proud.


              AJ is a baby still, so I have hopes that with exposure and miles his mind will settle a bit and he will have more focus. He doesnt have opinions yet, but he sure has ideas. He is very smart, very impressionable, and very talented. All the things I want physically in a horse. He is very compact, but not chunky, scope up the ceiling, springy movement, the most amazing uphill canter, and a stride that can go from 8ft to 18ft in a single bound. He already has great self preservation and manages to get out of sticky spots unscathed and sometimes also with style. Now to get rid of his ADD....



              • #8
                I'll play cause I just can't resist bragging on Fleckers!!!!

                Yep... Fleck is my soul horsey!!! But shhh, don't tell Roany!!

                Although... in her own right, Roany was exactly what I needed at the time and has earned herself a solid spot forever in my heart and my barn. But as far as best friend...totally Fleck!!!

                Fleck is just a big goofy, clutzy, goober!!! Just like me!!! He's a total love bug, will do anything for attention, is smart and clever and always getting himself into trouble or being mischevious! He's game for pretty much anything and.... if I ride properly, he goes really really nicely!!! For a horse that at first glance really just doesn't look like much, the boy can clean up! It's amazing how well he does when I ride properly! And really... that's all it takes.. is me asking him to go nicely. I also love that he's got some spunk! He's always fit and raring to go and will give me a little bit of attitude, but... he forgives and forgets easily! So if we get into it... he'll fight back some, and then we both stop and start fresh and he's happy as a clam again! He's just a very willing happy go lucky kinda guy. He's even got his own fan club sorta
                He's a big pocket pony and prefers people to horses when given a chance. He has an awesome gallop and... really tries! But he can be a little bit like an insecure kid too. You can almost see his head swell when you cheer him on and he totally eats it up! And then he gets a little too big for his britches and I have to remind him that....yes, he's cool, but not quite that cool yet!

                He's just my best friend... as cheesy and stupid as it sounds!

                And no.. he's not perfect.... He's *spotted!* Hee hee... He's got a grossly thick throatlatch, his conformation leaves a bit to be desired, he's got weak stifles, he's certainly not typical WB dressage typey and while I think he's scopey, it takes a precise ride to get that scope....otherwise he gets lazy and gets on his forehand and rolls over his shoulder over the jumps. So... there is a lot to be improved on, but his heart and attitude totally make up for it!!!

                Heres' a few of my fave Fleck pics... I'm really trying to limit it!!!


                Everyone else has such great horses too!!! Great post idea


                • #9
                  I'll play because I have a different swing on things and most people here know my horse.

                  My grey horse is def NOT my dream horse. I don't think...

                  I went shopping for a big dark mare. I found one but had to return her.
                  She was 17.1h as a 4 year old. HUGE noggin. DARK bay with two hind white ankles.
                  She was the first horse for me to start and she pretty much trained herself. She already knew what to do.
                  She had all three gaits, leads, hack out alone, and jump a 2'3'' course in 6 WEEKS!
                  She was my dream horse.

                  I had to trade her for her stupid little brother. The 'stupid grey gelding' is now my Boomer who was going to be a sale project but I ended up keeping him. I hated him for the 1st 6 months.
                  his pics:

                  If he is sound he's an EASY advanced horse. I have never felt that horse put effort into any jump, not even that pic of him over jumping the 3'6'' square oxar (which was a B of an A,B combo)

                  He's smart. He can figure the technical stuff out and he doesn't need me.

                  He is steady as they get in dressage. Steady enough that I'm really ticked that I'm scoring in the mid 30s at prelim. It's shameful.

                  as a 4 year old he had the maturity of a 10 year old under saddle.

                  I have had way to many BNT/BNR ask for him. One even approached me while I was trotting around the start box at Pine Top.
                  One told me "money is not a factor, what do you want for him?"
                  At clinics the clinicians almost always stop the class so that he/she can sit on the horse. Even when they don't really need to.

                  But I don't think he's my dream horse. Or maybe is he?
                  I have not sat on better but I'm sure better is out there.

                  He doesn't tie -- and he's crappy about loading, he runs into EVERYTHING (mostly trees), and he's lazier then all get out. I have to kick my brains out the whole way around XC.
                  He costs me an arm and a leg in vet bills. If it's not one thing it's another.

                  but I honestly don't know. I guess they all have their issues...right?

                  Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                  • #10
                    My horse I have right now is my dream horse. He's talented, willing, and has a really good personality. He's also super smart, so he learns things really fast. I've only had him for 3 months, and i already can't ever imagine my life without him. He is a little wimpy about new stuff though, so I guess if he was braver, then he would be absolutely perfect. I got him because he had really nice conformation, and we just sort of clicked with each other. I didn't really know much else because he was super green, so the highest we got to see him jump was about 2ft. He also had really bad back pain, but I was crazy enough to take a chance on him. I really loved his personality. He's just sort of a nervous guy, and I love working with horses that are a bit wimpy. I like it when they do something I ask them to, not because they are super brave, but because they trust me enough to know I wouldn't ask them to do anything dangerous.

                    In my next horse, I hope to have the same personality and willingness. Just maybe a bit more talented because I'm not too sure how high my guy will be able to jump. 3'6 won't be a problem, but I don't want to live at Prelim forever. I would also want a horse that's little braver.

                    My dream horse that I've never met would have to be Jennie Brannigan's Cooper. I have no clue why. I just love him. Maybe it's because he looks a lot like my boy. Just dye that mane and top of his tail black, and we'd have twins!!!!
                    Last edited by forestergirl99; Aug. 4, 2009, 07:31 PM.


                    • #11
                      I'll play a bit different

                      I love Chase-- in many ways he is my soul mate. I bred him, we work great together, I love him.....

                      Just like I love my boyfriend, but a little fantasy is good right?

                      So, I think if I had to pick a "dream horse" it would be Brandenberg's Joshua Stephen Bradly's horse. There is something about that horse that makes my heart go all pitter patter and my fingers really itch to grab the reins. He just looks so genuine and athletic while being rideable... Like the type I would love to sit on.


                      • #12
                        My horse... but braver. lol.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jazzy Lady View Post
                          My horse... but braver. lol.
                          Same here!!!!


                          • #14
                            I thought Jack was my dream horse, but now that we've gotten to know each other better there are definitely some things I would change.

                            I'd like him to be a little more scopey, like Liam was. Liam could trot into a 3'6" oxer on an angle with me all over his neck and hop over it like it was nothing. You had to work to have a rail down on that horse. Jack, not so much. He's gorgeous and I have the pics to prove it, but we have rails, which I'm not used to. Maybe because he's smaller, my position affects him more? It sure does make me ride better though!!!

                            I'd also like Jack to be more honest in the dressage. Cross country? No problem. Point and shoot. But when we're playing rodeo with stupid pony antics outside the dressage ring, of course it makes me nervous. And then he gets tense. And then the bratty behavior starts up all over again inside the ring. Sigh.

                            So I think if we're fantasizing here, my dream horse is probably Esker Riada, only un-retired and about a hand smaller Fairly quiet, honest, fancy and scopey as anything.

                            And actually, if I get to dream about real-life, attainable horses... I would probably take this mare in a heartbeat. I love mares.
                            The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~ Arabian Proverb


                            • #15
                              I have to say, my current horse is my lifetime dream horse.

                              First, he is just plain gorgeous. He is a tall, big boned chestnut TB, with four white socks and a big wide blaze, luscious tail, and a powerful shoulder like you would not believe. I swear, he struts around like a peacock and tosses his mane like Donkey in Shrek. Just plain sexy horse!

                              Second, he knows his job and he is FORWARD. He is an experienced prelim horse and is a xc machine for me, who is happy putzing around at BN. He's not an *easy* ride because he can be VERY strong (fortunately so am I!), and it is taking me a while to figure out all his buttons, but now we have settled into each other and it's just plain fun! Even dressage is fun - he is lovely mover, so he is one of those who even when he has a bad, tense-feeling test, he still manages to score very well. So we can just go to a little event and have a great time. He is an absolute joy to ride after selling my very-sweet-but-lazy hunter TB.

                              Third, he is smart. He self-loads into the trailer, which for me is KEY as I keep my horses at home and have to trailer everywhere by myself. Riding him on my limited schedule is a breeze because he is SO easy to teach. He remembers and retains whatever we work on, even though he is only ridden twice a week. Because of that, we do not regress from ride to ride - so when every ride is precious, that really, really helps, and it is because of that that we can manage by trailering to one lesson a month on my very limited budget, and still feel like we're getting somewhere.

                              The downside is, he's getting older (16 this year), and his manners are atrocious and are sometimes disrepectful. (We're working on that.) He can be unpredictable on the ground - I always have to be on my toes around him. He is a pig for the vet (also working on that). He refuses to let his mane be pulled (who cares, that's why they invented thinning shears) or his whiskers clipped (also just not a big deal). He tested me quite a bit when I first got him, and can sometimes be rather explosive on cold windy days. He is strong and powerful enough that I will never put my children or any other beginner rider on him.

                              But MAN he is fun!!!!

                              Lastly, to complete the dream horse package.... he was given to me. FREE.
                              where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?


                              • #16
                                I've had two, and they couldn't be more different.

                                Bentley was 18+ hands and black as pitch. He was supposed to be a Trak/TB but he had no papers or brand and I always though he looked like a 70's era Hanoverian. He came to me at a time in my life when I thought my competing and riding days were behind me. I suffered a terribly fall, and after being grounded with my injuries for nearly two years, I was struggling to get back to the sport I loved. I had been working with a lovely, but uninterested, OTTB and struggling mightily--not just because he was destined to be a show hunter (which he now is) but because the changes to my body and psyche were still fresh and uncertain.

                                Going to look at Bentley was one of the few times in my life that a horse was actually bigger than advertised, I guess they thought 18 hands would scare too many people off.

                                He wasn't beautiful, and he never would have endangered the top levels, but the word no was simply not in that horse's vocabulary. He was the kindest, gentlest, quietest soul I have ever known, and he would have done anything asked of him, ever. Through him, I found my love of the sport again, and remembered that I did, in fact, know how to ride. I loved him desperately, passionately, and without reserve.

                                When I lost him to colic, I thought it might be something I'd never recover from. It took more than a year before I could even consider looking at another horse, and even then I was less than enthusiastic. I had a job that kept me in the saddle consistently, but I'd lost my joy.

                                I was working for Sharon White then, and a horse came in to be sold that had been sold through the farm before. He was 16.2 (so small by comparison), nearly white, and an OTTB who could be charitably referred to as quirky. I didn't give him a second thought. When Sharon suggested that I start riding him, and consider him for myself, I thought she was absolutely nuts. He just couldn't have been more different than my beloved Bentley, and I couldn't imagine why she thought we'd be a match.

                                But she can be persistent, and I finally agreed to sit on him, just to shut her up.

                                I knew within five minutes he was mine.

                                He has been, without a doubt, the funniest, most challenging, most educational horse I have ever ridden. Also, one of the most competitively successful. I can only think of one event we didn't finish in the top five ribbons. It's Sam's world, we're just living it. He has a lot of things he just "doesn't do"--whips, metal bits, trot poles, schooling in groups, and lengthy warmups being the prime offenders--but if you play by his rules, he is also the best cross country horse I have ever ridden, and his flat work is simply amazing. He is a very particular horse, and he is clearly "mine" and gets offended when too many other folks ride him. As I've been laid up with my pregnancy, he's been pressed in to a bit of school horse duty to keep him fit, but we choose his partners carefully. He's 14 now, and has mellowed a bit with age, but he still let's you know if he doesn't care for someone.

                                He got badly cast about 3 years ago, and the injury he sustained halted his progress up the levels, (I had been on track for some one-stars with him), so competitively we just putter around the occasional Novice for fun, and focus on dressage. But I'm not dissapointed. Every ride on him is fun. Every day I have with him is a gift. I'm so happy he is in my life.

                                And I owe Sharon, big time.

                                Pics of both are on my website--Sam is the gray featured every where, LOL, and Bentley's pic is on the bottom of the Our Horses page.
                                Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
                                Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
                                Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com


                                • #17
                                  I have not sat on better but I'm sure better is out there.
                                  I kinda sorta want to ditto this. Vernon is the coolest horse I have ever sat on, and I have sat on some really, really cool horses that outclass him on paper all over the place (and a couple that, if life had gone different ways, would have been team horses). However, there isn't a hose I rather ride. He's smart and athletic, tries his brains out for me (usually...he does remind me he's FIVE occasionally), doesn't have a "can do" attitude but a "let me at it, I'm going to slaughter it" type attitude. He may not be a 10 mover, but I so don't care (and his canter is a "12" which is the most important thing to me), because what he lacks in wow he makes up for in obedient (something that's a little new to me. I've had wow, but they were ***theads). But he is green and still a baby and we do have to deal with things occasionally, and so he might not quite yet be my dream horse, but he's headed that way.

                                  We won't talk about his feet (better than they were but still have work to do) or the fact that he is allergic to frickin EVERYTHING, or that he's a total hooligan and trouble maker, or that he is a very naughty nipper (I have tried and tried to fix this...I fixed the kicking, for God's sake! but the nipping apparently is here to stay), or that I spend gobs of money on sheepskin because he's allergic AND sensitive. None of that matters, because when it's time to go, he's there and ready to tackle it. Love that. I'll take the hives for that.


                                  • #18
                                    I have ridden so many and there have been so many that are really cool and so talented that I don't know how realistic "dream horse" really is. I have really started just appreciating them for who they are. I think that is something that has come with age for me.

                                    That being said.....I love my mare but to make her my "dream horse", I would give her a bit more scope, make her a bit quieter (not much but a bit) and make her 2 inches taller. I would also make her bay instead of grey Then she would be perfect It's tempting to breed her to get just that but I keep telling myself....I do not need another horse But I will say that she is the first horse I have ever owned that if I could never ride her again, it wouldn't matter. She would still be my favorite girl. I do admit though....I would love to sit on Formula One just once Even though he is grey, on video that is my dream horse. He is beyond fabulous.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Great replies, everyone! I'm a definite eventer (despite temporarily trying to blend in a bit w/ the more dressage/SJ crowd of most WB breeders). So I read all of these descriptions and think - yes! I love that, too! That's exactly what I like too! Can't wait to get out there and compete again in a few years when all of our 'big projects' are done on our new farm and we can start spending money on things like shows again.

                                      Originally posted by Ritazza View Post
                                      My horse is my dream horse.
                                      Love your mare!

                                      Originally posted by EventerAJ View Post
                                      I love that she has more jump than I could possibly ever need. At advanced level.
                                      That was my absolute favorite thing about my old event horse (though we never went advanced ). I loved, loved, loved that he was so athletic that he could get us out of ANYTHING, even if I messed him up and the jumps were huge. Luckily my future event horse (our stallion) also has that amazing, more than I could ever need jump. That's a lot of why we bought him. Now I just need to get him out on a cross country course.

                                      Originally posted by EventerAJ View Post
                                      Her dam raced 103 times and earned $120K on the track. That's some toughness right there!
                                      Wow! That is a super sound bloodline!

                                      I'm really enjoying all these responses, keep it coming everyone.
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                                      • #20
                                        I haven't found mine yet. I have to admit, I don't know if I want to right now. I have an awesome horse that I really love. I honestly don't know that much about his real scope right now because since I got him two years ago, we have been working through so many health issues (first me, now him) that only within the past 2 months have we both been really healthy at the same time.

                                        Of course, that was the same time that I lost my job (and health insurance), and don't have a saddle that fits him anymore now that he's filling out into a healthy hoss. I've got a job now that will fill in the gaps, but until I find something better (with benefits), I can't ride much. We're learning to long-line.

                                        As he strengthens and gains experience (he's 10, but was 8 when he came off the track, so he's still pretty green), he might make into the perfect horse. Who knows? Either way he'll be pretty damn good, so I'm ok with it. Love his personality, his intelligence, and his looks (especially as he gains more weight... I wish folks would say that about me!).

                                        I am only 27 and don't have the funding to compete or even seriously train. I would rather have the horse of my dreams when I can do him justice, I think. Of course, that's easy to say because I like the one I've got pretty well.