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TBs vs WBs:Why the change in H/Js

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  • #21
    Current TB hunter rider

    I do agree with most of you about why we changed to WB's in the h/j rings. However as a current TB rider in the hunters, I feel that I'm overlooked on a regular basis just because my horse isn't 17+ hh or big and stocky. My TB is just a mere 15.2 1/2 hh but quiet enough to pretty much jump around on the buckle. However with the change of the breed trend in the h/j world I feel that we have also changed our minds about what we think is a 'hunter'. Weren't the hunter divisions orginally created to reward brillance and boldness, just like how the hunter derby is supposed to be judged? But it seems that the judges are liking the slower, duller rounds IMO. My TB was not bred to be a show horse he is an OTTB and did the jumpers for 6 years and just the last 2 years he has been doing the hunters. However, the TB is not completely gone in the hunter world since you are still seeing them being pinned even at the big shows, it's just rare.

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    • #22
      Another reason is time... we are over scheduled. In the past we rode the shoes off our horses. When I was a kid a lesson was at least an hour, and usually ran over time. When we schooled our trainers would scold us if we didn't ride at least an hour. We rode 5 or 6 days a week. When we showed we showed all day at the local shows and in at least two or three divisions at the rated. (for example, 1st year green, Junior hunters and Children's Jumpers and several medal classes). Many of our horses also went out an did some lower level events for fun. We had the time to burn off the extra energy that the TB's often have.

      Warmbloods are better suited to our busy schedules. They don't need as much back time and they are more likely to tolerate being ridden 3 or 4 days a week.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by fourmares View Post
        Warmbloods are better suited to our busy schedules. They don't need as much back time and they are more likely to tolerate being ridden 3 or 4 days a week.
        My experience is the exact opposite, lol. All of my WB's need steady work, whereas my OTTB doesn't care if he has been ridden recently or not - he just goes out there and does his job, no matter what. In fact, he just came back from 18 months R & R at home, while I got my WB youngsters started, and it was as if he had never missed a day!

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        • #24
          The TB breed has changed

          I personally am a fan of the "old school" thoroughbred. However, today's TB's are NOT the same.

          Hotter, faster, and not any sounder. Now, there is an exception to everything, so Im not writing every TB off. But as a generalization, I think thats a big reason why you see them fading out of the H/J scene.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by Horseshowaddict View Post
            I personally am a fan of the "old school" thoroughbred. However, today's TB's are NOT the same.

            Hotter, faster, and not any sounder. Now, there is an exception to everything, so Im not writing every TB off. But as a generalization, I think thats a big reason why you see them fading out of the H/J scene.
            I think of my ottb as an "old school" thbd. This is him:

            http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...03114374aucfHk

            This is what I think a thbd should look like. I find most people almost don't believe me when I tell them he is not a warmblood but in fact an old race horse. The eventing crowd is a little more inclined to see the thbd traits and some of the older horsey people but the younger generation, especially h/j, don't think a thbd can be "nice".

            If I had the time and $$ I would make it my mission in life to help make the thbd popular again. As an old vet friend likes to say "Thoroughbreds are Formula 1 and everything else is just Nascar". Love that.
            "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."

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            • #26
              Originally posted by fourmares View Post

              Warmbloods are better suited to our busy schedules. They don't need as much back time and they are more likely to tolerate being ridden 3 or 4 days a week.
              Not at all the case at our barn. My (young) TB can have days off and comes back into work with no lungeing or nonsense. Another owner's "fancy" Hano, on the other hand, is a loon on any given day and a BIGGER loon when he's had time off.

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              • #27
                Another consideration is that Europe, until more recently, for the most part didn't have "hunter" type classes. So there was a glut of warmbloods without the scope to be marketable over there, which goes hand in hand with the glut of amateurs (with money and no time) that we have over here.
                www.canterusa.org
                www.harpsonline.org

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by sisu27 View Post
                  If I had the time and $$ I would make it my mission in life to help make the thbd popular again. As an old vet friend likes to say "Thoroughbreds are Formula 1 and everything else is just Nascar". Love that.
                  Love that quote too! And Sisu, you can always do just that, with one horse at a time.

                  I'll pretty much never own anything other than a TB. I'm blessed to own another big, rangy, "old school", classic-bred TB who gets mistaken for a WB all the time, even by professionals who should know better.

                  And I'm with Akrogirl - WBs you have to drill. And drill. And drill. HRH Avery, who has some soundness issues, can be off work for MONTHS at a time, and step right back into work without missing a beat or making a single mistake - I just have to be wicked careful about his fitness, now that he's 23!

                  I do agree w/ most of what has been said, in addition to which I thought LaurieP had a good point the last time we had this thread - which was that temperamentally, WBs are better suited to staying in a stall all day for weeks at a time. In the old days, of course, an "A" show was maybe 3-4 days at most.
                  "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

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                  • #29
                    Not every TB has set foot on the track, neither of mine ever did. Here is Seal Harbor in the 80's/early 90's in the Regular Working at Detroit/Motor City horse shows. He is was a 1981 model.

                    Then there is my new one 2004 model - I bought him at 2 years of age. He gets a piece of the hack if he doesn't win it. He beats WBs, in large classes frequently. Still working on winning over fences because he jumps the snot out of everything, which doesn't help him when he lands. He is 4 now. Next year Pre-Greens!

                    Oh and they are/were kicking quiet. The problem with TB's is most of them are very smart, they figure something out the first or second time you ask them, then the problems start. You can't drill them. Sometimes they invent new and interesting ways to do what they just learned, and try too hard.

                    There is a story attributed to Katie Prudent when she first started riding WBs - she said she thought she would be nice and give them a day off, but when she got on them again she had to start all over with them, unlike the TBs she had always ridden. She said she learned that she had to ride the WBs every day.

                    The young one did 2 weeks at Bend and was fine - he likes "camping" - he goes on walk about, stands in line at the taqueria with his buddy and goes and gets ice cream. The guys that work for us make sure the horses are out of their stalls for more than just their trips in the ring. They always grab one and go visiting after their day is done or during slow times. He loves to go to the shows, he finds it all very interesting.
                    Attached Files

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                    • #30
                      War Admiral, I said that too-I wasn't interested in dealing with warmbloods. I have to say my horsemanship has been challenged by my Dutch horse. I have to really ride him. He requires the rider to be technically correct. I never appreciated how much of the work the TBs did for me.

                      sisu27 has the best idea-maybe she will win the lotto and we can all buy horses from her!

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                      • #31
                        As a rule, international market perception for live horses “for use”, is that the “best” stock for FEI disciplines is drawn from European bloodline producers (Canadian sport horse association (2005))

                        Germany is generally held up as an example of best practice, having developed long term programs which incorporate rigorous licensing and grading of breeding horses, detailed record-keeping, and an organizational framework which links breeding operations with government (national and state-level) as well as with equestrian competition structures. This enables the breeding of Sports horses to be a) geared towards continual improvement of type (“bred for”), whilst also being responsive to the current and future needs of competition riders, and b) sufficiently funded and subsidized.

                        Healthy competition between the different studbooks in Germany (e.g. Hanoverian, Holsteiner, Oldenburg, Trakehner) helps to raise overall standards, whilst the keen involvement of these organizations and other national studbooks from Holland, France, Belgium, and Denmark in the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses is a further means of building best practice.

                        To some extent, the readiness of competitors to buy abroad can be explained in terms of fashion. FEI discipline-oriented buyers regard it as some sort of status symbol to have journeyed to Germany to import a horse. These fashions frequently change, identifying the ‘next big thing’ – for example, Danish dressage horses, French show jumpers or New Zealand event horses. However, these kinds of trends are usually linked to a nation’s competitive success story, e.g. Germany’s seemingly unassailable primacy in dressage, which creates flagships out of its equine superstars. Underlying the most visible aspects of a breeds success are issues to do with the whole management of the horse industry: relating to differing levels of professionalism, systematic organization, cohesion and communication within the horse industries of some European countries as compared with the United States.

                        Further to the point of perception is the resulting “bred for” concept which minimizes the risk associated with selecting a horse for a specific discipline, and reduces, to great degree, the necessity of the excellent horsemanship skills normally associated with selecting horse’s for specific disciplines. This has allowed the amateur, or the non-professional the comfort level to make a decision regarding a horses potential, based primarily on breed association approval ratings, and bloodline information. This idea has become much like researching a car on the internet; comparison numbers can be evaluated, manufacturer reputation can be considered, etc., leaving the buyer with only the color of choice to be determined.

                        Further the concept's of "early speed" and "precocity", the small numbers of North American FEI/USEF discipline TB breeders, the decline in FEI/USEF discipline equine development in North America, the fact that the FEI is biased towards European breed horses, and it is no small wonder that perception is that TB’s cannot compete with WB’s in FEI/USEF competitions.

                        All this being said I think it is a shame that the TB has been diminished within the FEI/USEF disciplines and I do not agree with the conclusions based on the aforementioned.

                        If we look at arguably the best rider in the US, Beezie Madden, and her most successful recent mounts, being Authentic and Judgment, and examine their bloodlines, we see that these two hoses are well over 80% TB. Eliminate the JC's closed studbook and the horses associated breed associations and you have a two TB's.

                        I especially take exception to the Early speed and precocity concepts based on the fact that my father (who has been riding/training/developing) for over 60 years, and I, have no problem finding TB's that Dad would consider classic TB's, and by classic I am referring to the types of TB's he purchased and rode in his earlier days. Horses like Sinjoin, Idle Dice, Touch of Class, Snowbound, Jem Twist, Untouchable etc. However the money follows money and equine/rider talent alone do not get horses to International competition level. For those who still believe in the TB and compete at a high level, the cost of running the route that gets you to international level is not a wise business decision, and without sponsorship of an owner with deep pockets it is not worth the effort.

                        An analogy… we are all pretty well aware of the two types of operating systems that dominate the PC market today, Windows, and Apple. There are others based on linux, that are every bit as good, if not better than Windows or Apple. However until Ubuntu gets the same type of exposure Apple and Windows receive they will be used by a sub-culture, but never hit the mainstream. The same for TB's unless we get the best TB's into the hands of our best riders and TB's get the resulting exposure, they too will languish in a sub-culture as well.

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                        • #32
                          One other thing to consider: the WBs coming from Europe have either been started with a good foundation in dressage and/or have had a career already as a jumper. They weren't good enough to do the big sticks so they're marketed towards the American hunter people.

                          Not many people are still breeding TBs for show hunters, and OTTBs have already had a job, too- racing. A warmblood fresh off the plane who has a whackload of training on the flat and over fences can transition into the life of a fat show hunter easier, in most cases, than one who knows Go and Stop.

                          Many, many TBs off the track are great candidates for doing H/J or whatever- and at higher levels- but they need more time. Even if they have a great mind (which so many of them do), they need at least a year and sometimes more, to actually *look* like a hunter. Then the mileage, and dealing with any pre-existing baggage. And *then* you have a show horse that is at the same place as that already-trained WB.

                          It's not for everyone, and it's not guaranteed to produce a winner. Even an untrained WB imported from Europe, or bred here, is a safer bet because it hasn't had a career focused on galloping, or a life (most likely) spent either running, attached to a walker, or standing in a stall.

                          I love a good TB hunter- there are two off the track in my barn right now that I'd put up against anything and expect them to do very well- they are gorgeous, mellow, and fancy. But it takes time, energy, and good training and management and not everyone can or wants to do that.

                          I have one shot of my own TB, a jumper, I always post because I never remember to take any others- he's dirty here but big (nearly 16.3hh) and handsome, not at all scrawny or racy-looking. To my eye he says "Why, yes, I am a TB," but I have people asking what he is all the time, surprised he is a TB. This is him about 1.5 years off the track (I was still working on his butt at that point!)- compare that to the second picture, which was taken the first week I had him.

                          http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...happypurty.jpg

                          http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...pyoct05two.jpg
                          You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Hauwse View Post

                            If we look at arguably the best rider in the US, Beezie Madden, and her most successful recent mounts, being Authentic and Judgment, and examine their bloodlines, we see that these two hoses are well over 80% TB. Eliminate the JC's closed studbook and the horses associated breed associations and you have a two TB's.
                            Interesting... I did not know that!
                            Love my "Slo-TTB"

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Another thing is that the racing world has changed. In the old days, there was less of a possibility of a horse "earning its keep" at the bottom of the racing talent pool. Horses that couldn't make it "in good company" were sold out of racing.

                              Nowadays, there are many more low dollar claiming races, and such like. It takes a lot longer for a horse to "run out of starts". So more horses stay at the track until they HAVE to retire because of injury.
                              Last edited by Janet; Sep. 10, 2008, 11:50 AM.
                              Janet

                              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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                              • #35
                                Sisu, saw your picture and I just had to share this:

                                http://s49.photobucket.com/albums/f296/cocreate/?action=view&current=batheMeLT.jpg

                                He's not mine, he's at my barn and I used to lease him before I got my horse, but I LOVE this guy so much!!! As you can see his back is starting to go a little...God love him, he's only 27 years old. As far as I know, he was only ever used for dressage his whole life...but he can still out run any horse on the place, including my way hot Quarter horse. Not that we make them shoot it out, it's his free choice in the pasture.

                                Anyway, all these points made are such good analyses of the situation I think, and I for one believe there is a point where the pendulum will start to swing back in favor of the TB's - the growing popularity of the hunter derbies may be the leading edge of the wedge. All things are cylical. I definitely remember the day when the most deluxe ride you could get in the jumper ring was an ex-steeplechaser - quick, agile, brave, (perhaps too much so sometimes) and nary a dirty stopper to be found among them, that I ever knew of. I will say that I am amazed at the athleticism of the WBs, that they can hoist their big frames over huge fences with no more impulsion than they do, but my aesthetic will always crave the elegance of the leggy, sleek TB silhouette and that "leaf on the wind" kind of lightness. It's pretty obvious from this thread there are others out there who remember, or something. Maybe we should form our own league...
                                Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!

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                                • #36
                                  Bunch of BS..sorry...errr...no I am not. WBS are not popular because nobody can ride. They are bred to do the job and start their lives aiming for the job.

                                  No time wasted running at the track. No guessing at possible talent. No risk of soundness issues from running at the track. No career change training needed. No "flashbacks" to prior career when stressed.

                                  A horse specifically bred (usually with ALOT of TB blood) to have a great canter and stylish jump instead of one bred to do something else that MIGHT or might not work out.

                                  Not all of them are that quiet and many riders do not like to kick all the time, WBs do come with motors and even some temperment-not all are the lumbering slugs you would think from what's on here. Personally, I have not found them any easier to ride correctly around a course just because of the fact they are WB. They ARE easier because that is the job they were bred and trained for and they don't know anything else.

                                  Just for the record, I ride and show an unraced TB that was diverted to the show ring very early in life. If more like that were out there, you would see more TBs. But they aren't so you don't and it is perfectly understandable that many do not want to take a gamble and spend a year or more retraining an OTTB.
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by equest View Post
                                    Interesting... I did not know that!
                                    I think everybody would be surprised by the number of 12/16th (which is the mark of choice) and more WB's there are out there competing in International competition.

                                    Almost all sport horse breed associations use TB's to enhance their bloodlines. The beauty of it is that the breed associations can call a 99.9% TB a WB, a QH (the original North American WB) or whatever since it is registered under their umbrella. Even a TB would be a WB if not for the arbitrary intervention of the JC.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      I have mentoned this before and just recalled it for another thread.

                                      Example of what a WB can be is the fact my own TB Hunter's sire, a JC stakes placed horse, returned to France (where his sire and grandsire came from) to sire Sport Horses.

                                      Sometimes people get an incorrect vision of exactly what today's WB bred for the jumping ring looks and acts like, sort of focusing on some lumbering beast of substantial size and questionable intelligence instaed of what's actually out there in any substantial number.
                                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        You made SUCH a good point, Hawse. TBs walk and mingle among the highest ranks largely uncredited and unnoticed as TBs, much like Canadian people walk around the U.S.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                          Bunch of BS..sorry...errr...no I am not. WBS are not popular because nobody can ride. They are bred to do the job and start their lives aiming for the job.

                                          No time wasted running at the track. No guessing at possible talent. No risk of soundness issues from running at the track. No career change training needed. No "flashbacks" to prior career when stressed.

                                          A horse specifically bred (usually with ALOT of TB blood) to have a great canter and stylish jump instead of one bred to do something else that MIGHT or might not work out.

                                          Not all of them are that quiet and many riders do not like to kick all the time, WBs do come with motors and even some temperment-not all are the lumbering slugs you would think from what's on here. Personally, I have not found them any easier to ride correctly around a course just because of the fact they are WB. They ARE easier because that is the job they were bred and trained for and they don't know anything else.

                                          Just for the record, I ride and show an unraced TB that was diverted to the show ring very early in life. If more like that were out there, you would see more TBs. But they aren't so you don't and it is perfectly understandable that many do not want to take a gamble and spend a year or more retraining an OTTB.
                                          While I agree with most of what you state.... I do not think WB's are dead-sided, easier to ride, or that they are popular because people cannot ride TB's anymore.

                                          I also agree that a horse that has no history is a better bet as a prospect then on who does possess one, and that a horse that has one basic career path is better off in the long run, than one that has to retrain for a new career.

                                          However I strongly disagree, and believe that your conclusion regarding the number of viable FEI/USEF discipline TB's available being limited is nothing more than perception, based on this particular point in time in the industry.

                                          I have too many TB's that are simply as good as my WB's, across the spectrum of disciplines, excluding dressage, which I do not compete in, to believe that I have merely been blessed with a extraordinary luck.

                                          I believe my "blessing" of TB's either OTTB or not, is based in being an advocate of "no good horse is a bad color", thus being as open to a TB as a WB as a prospect, and to the pure luck of being the son of a trainer who possesses the knowledge, experience, and understanding, and who is a true horseman who has been able to help and guide me in the "old school" methods of evaluating prospects.

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