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Ideal Qualities for 1.20m/1.30m/1.40m Jumper?

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    Ideal Qualities for 1.20m/1.30m/1.40m Jumper?

    Just wanted to know if anyone had a list or opinion on what qualities (both physical and mental) they would desire in a horse that is a prospect for the 1.20s/1.30s or 1.40s.

    I recently purchased a youngster back in August, and although it's much too early to tell what her potential is, I just wanted to know if there was a general "guide" to knowing, or if it simply cannot be quantified until he or she demonstrates their skill set.

    It entirely depends on the rider and what exactly the rider is looking for out of said horse. For example, if you're looking for a horse to move up on, one to take you into your first 1.20m, 130m, or 1.40m, you're going to want one that is brave and not overly careful. But if you're looking for the winner and can give an accurate ride, you're going to want something that is much more careful than it is brave. Speed is also important when looking for a winner, but it's personal to the rider. Some riders prefer a bigger type, with a huge stride that can cover the ground. Others, myself included, prefer a smaller type that may not cover as much ground, but have a faster foot speed.

    My first 1.20m horse was very brave and was a great confidence booster. Because of her, I was able to compete at the 1.20m level and I never thought I could. However, she wasn't particularly careful. I then got another horse and moved up to the 1.30m-1.40m, and he is the winner, but he would throw me off every show for the first 6 months I had him. He is very careful--he will squeal and buck if he even touches a jump. I never could have ridden him when I was first trying to move up to the 1.20m.


      Brave is nice in a jumper. I like when a baby sees something new and knocks it over instead of spooking at it. That’s also just a character preference of mine. I can backfire if they aren’t careful. But for myself I’d rather take an occasional rail and know they’re going to jump than have to worry about having a shoulder dropped out from under me because they decided late that the jump was spooky.

      I also prefer a nosy, busybody, chewing on the cross ties, gotta knock everything off the shelf in the wash rack, pony brained kind of horse. So that’s what I want to see in a baby. That personality is definitely not everybody’s cup of tea.


        I'd say heart, brain, and honesty are my three most important qualities whether I am shopping for myself or for my clients. I do everything in my power to always put babies in healthy situations where they can't have bad experiences, let them learn to trust their humans so they want to do what you are asking of them. I want a horse that can make a mistake once, learn from it, and try their hardest to do better next time. And I want something that wants to jump 99.9% of the time. That gives every rider confidence.

        Then levels of scope, carefulness, and ride-ability vary by riders skillset.

        I think you can start by shaping some of this before they are ridden by tons of positive experiences going places, trailering, seeing new things etc. But only do this if you are willing to be patient and do whatever is needed to ensure the young horse has an overall positive experience.


          Totally agree with the brave aspect and the good mind. My daughter's horse can jump the moon, 1.20 is a walk in the park for him, but he is not an easy horse to ride. Too spooky and sensitive. We have had him since he was 5 so he has had positive experiences, but in hindsight, I should never have bought him as he is much more a professional ride than a fun horse for an amateur. Good thing we love him and accept him for what he is, but he's hard work.


            Originally posted by jonem004 View Post
            Brave is nice in a jumper. I like when a baby sees something new and knocks it over instead of spooking at it. That’s also just a character preference of mine. I can backfire if they aren’t careful. But for myself I’d rather take an occasional rail and know they’re going to jump than have to worry about having a shoulder dropped out from under me because they decided late that the jump was spooky.

            I also prefer a nosy, busybody, chewing on the cross ties, gotta knock everything off the shelf in the wash rack, pony brained kind of horse. So that’s what I want to see in a baby. That personality is definitely not everybody’s cup of tea.
            This is my horse to a T.


              Me personally, I like a tight front end on the good jumping horse. One of mine is not as good with it, all the rest have been. So I look for big shoulders and tight knees.


              "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries


                For a 1.20 horse: brave, forgiving. Most folks at this height are just looking to have a good time.

                1.40 needs to be careful and fast as hell. I will tolerate a lot more difficulty from a highly competitive 1.40 horse.

                Everyone wants something different, and there's a market for everything IMO. Just work to her strengths. If she's chummy and sweet, you'll probably have a great moving up horse on your hands. If she's sensitive or quirky but can perform at the bigger fences, she'll be a perfect fit for a more advanced jr or am trying to win.


                  The ability to jump that high without terrifying onlookers!


                    Originally posted by Biscotti View Post
                    1.40 needs to be careful and fast as hell. I will tolerate a lot more difficulty from a highly competitive 1.40 horse.

                    This is why I threaten my 3 year old that if he wants to keep his current personality he better be talented But in all seriously I will tolerate a lot more personality and quirkiness from something that can jump the big stuff, it is hard to sell a crazy fast, quirky 1m horse. If I'm looking for resale (when they're young and unstarted) then I care more about brain and personality, if it is for myself then I care about brain and talent. I know how much horse I can comfortably ride.
                    In terms of raw talent then I look at breeding, conformation, and brain. It's nice if I can see a video of them moving or even free jumping.


                      The market for kind horses is a lot bigger than the market for talented horses.

                      Brain always wins in my book.