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TBs vs WBs:Why the change in H/Js

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  • #41
    I agree with Findeight, I think it can be easier to find a WB that is already doing a job similar to being a hunter. People who go to Europe to buy a WB are looking at horses that at the very least, are already capable of jumping 3' under saddle and you can get a good sense of the horse's hunter potential. If there were more "purpose" bred TBs to look at, you probably would find more TBs as hunters.

    When I think back to the first WBs I saw in the 80s, they were big and clunky, and generally equitation specialists. They didn't have the style back then suitable to being hunters. A lot of the nicest "WB" hunters I have known have actually been WBs with a high % of TB blood or WB/TB crosses. I think WBs have developed to the point where they look more like solidly built TBs, so have become more suitable to use as hunters than they were back in the 80s.


    • #42
      Originally posted by Pirateer View Post
      The TBS bred for the track for today are not the same as they were. Nowadays they build for sprinters/shorter distances.

      The tbs of before were a hardier type meant for longer distances. They were built in a way that was conducive to H/J stuff.

      There are few breeders today that breed the TB for HJ specifically. These guys tend to look very similar to the wbs.
      I agree. My parents bred TBs for the track and hunter ring for many years. I currently show the last one we bred. He was bred to be show horse (I showed his dam in the childrens) and he is accused often of being a WB. He's slow-legged, big boned, dead quiet, good jumper, etc., etc.

      Most of the race horses that we bred had a different disposition and build from our hunters, although some crossed over successfully, a majority excelled at three-day eventing or in the jumper ring.


      • #43
        Originally posted by Seal Harbor View Post

        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.

        I have trained and retrained MANY TBs in my day and this is a very true statement. They get bored quick. I have found the best thing to do with them is something different all the time. Of all the TBs I've worked with, I've only met one that was super tough. He was a bit dishonest and would argue a lot. He ended up being a very successful adult amateur horse, but not without a lot of work and training. A majority of them were easy. They caught on quick and always gave their best. I really do love the breed....._


        • #44
          Originally posted by findeight View Post
          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.
          There are a ton of TB sires that are that have originated exceptional sport horse bloodlines. Top or bottom TB's cannot be considered any less than the back bone of almost all sport horse breeding programs, they simple would not exist without TB infusion.

          Europe's dominance in International competition has as much to do with their specialized programs as it has to do with their stock.

          Imagine what we could accomplish with traditional flat racing bloodlines if we had a government run, subsidized TB breeding program that focused solely on FEI/USEF disciplines.

          At the end of the day I believe the TB's demise has nothing to do with TB bloodlines and the implications therein, nor anything to do with WB's inherently being a better breed for our disciplines, etc., etc.

          The problem lies in the fact that we are consumers not producers as far as the HJ sector of the equine industry goes, and regardless of breed, if we are not developing them we have to buy whatever is available to compete, and the Europeans are prepared and willing to receive our donations to their equine development programs, and we have been standing in line to donate.


          • #45
            I was giving this a lot of thought last night- going back to recalling the barns I worked at as a teen. Between the racing stable and the H/J facility- I didn't see many track horses actually getting second careers. The racing stock I knew of- most- if they didn't perform were quickly culled and a good portion ended up on the truck to auction/kill pens and some were passed on to pleasure riders. I just don't recall them going from track career into another competition career very often. The TB's I knew of were also built much hardier than today. I want to think that the eighties was about the time were the trend to sprinters really started to gear up. The H/J show barns that I rode and worked at was predominetly TB's. Yes there were a couple WB (as the names have started to surface from their dusty depths!). There are only 2 horses that I remember being off track- Willie and Sam- the later being a goofy hilarious stb that I just adored.

            One facility- I was part of a group of girls who just did warm-ups and schooling on the horses. They were ridden almost every day. Some TB's were hotter than others but they were certainly not push button types. Those are the days I miss


            • #46
              I agree with EMWalker that a good horse is a good horse is a good horse, regardless of the breed.

              That said, when I go to the big shows as a spectator, the ones that catch my eye are WBs 99% of the time. I like the big, sweeping strides and the easyness of it, or so it seems. I like the look of a solid, compact horse and I have a softness for big ears! There have been plenty to TBs that fit that bill, too, as well as QHs that people pass off as WBs.

              In my experience, I've found the WBs are not always dead heads, slow and personality-less. Instead, I've ridden my share of sensitive, easy to light up and big personalities. My current little hunter can be kick-kick quiet, but she also has a motor and a big personality to boot, quite the little diva! She's also the most forgiving and honest horse I've ridden. If I make a mistake, she comes back and tries harder, always believes it was her fault. And she mastered in covering up for my mistakes, I get my share of,"Man, you are one lucky rider, any other horse..."The horses in my barn of 10 with the most personality, as in, in your back pocket MUST love you? Two QHs actually, with a very professional horse show veteran WB right up there. He'll lick your face!

              I haven't had much OTTB experience, but what I have had, is not favorable. Right now there are two in my barn, one is tough, tough, tough. She is talented enough to compete with the best, but she will also do everything in her power to get your number and use it against you. Not my idea of fun. The other is a green 6 year old who requires much more leg than the other "dead heads"m but you can't wear spurs because he'll get spur marks in a second, and will light up at the shows, thinks he's back on track. Again, not fun.

              So, really, I guess it is a subjective topic and what your experiences have been, but I HATE how the TB Vs WB topics always take on this "TBs are so athletic and honest and willing and more personality while the WBs are deadheads and no heart" tones.


              • #47
                As someone who routinely buys OTTB's and re-sells into the H/J market w/ some good success.
                I take a bit of umbrage. Every breed and every discipline has "hot" or unsound horses just not suitable for the job. The hottest, unsoundest horse I ever owned was a well bred, well trained WB. Who needed constant work, farrier and vet. While my lovely OTTB's come already with a wealth of life experiances and if they were going to be unsound it would be by now. The rest of life after track for them is piece of cake. The worst 2 things I have to cope w/ is steroid withdrawl and for some and getting the foot tough and a heel. I think they are better built, better feed and the feet are starting to look better on the track in some places. When I was a kid they were narrower, hotter and more down hill. Just look in a good stallion directory the conformation is so much better than in the 70's.
                About 99% of the time I can get right on and ride, steering needs a tweak but by golly they are forward but not run offs less spooky by far and they do a lead change.
                I disagree they need a softer more tactfull ride, they just need a thinking rider who can ride and in the hunter ring thats becoming and extinct beast.
                I heartly agree that WB's put more money in a trainers pocket and if everyone is wearing red no one wants to be wearing green. In the Hunter ring everyone wants to have/be/look like everyone else.
                The SUV theory is an excellant analogy,there is so much variety, size, color, way of going. In one hour 2 track I can see up to 15 horses, flex, jog and observe all in my age, size, price range w/o hassel or pressure. If I don't find the movement ot temperment just go to next barn. Sure a heck of alot cheaper than flying overseas or driving from place to place looking @ horse all prepped for my arrival.
                In the end they all should get vetted and no one has a crystal ball, even a schooled seasoned show horse doesn't necessarly work well for the new rider/trainer combination and its way pricer lesson learned.
                The funniest thing is the amount of buyers who come looking for TB's that previously had WB's and now are eager to get back the ride they had in the 7-0's and 80's on the TB!!!!


                • #48
                  You have to know how to ride in order to ride a TB. They are thinkers and are always trying to be one step ahead of you. The WBs tend to take things in stride and are happy to just answer the question being asked without giving a full page report and a conclusion to the question! In general, the warmbloods are an easier ride. TBs need a talented rider and as the years go by, there are less and less of them.

                  I ride both. The TBs require me to "think" as a rider and the TBs have developed very good instincts in me. The warmbloods tend to make me lapse as a rider because I find myself just sitting there and riding around. I like both. My 3'6" hunter is an imported hanoverian.
                  Experienced riders are not prone to brag. And usually newcomers, if they start out being boastful, end up modest. -C.J.J. Mullen


                  • #49
                    I agree. You DO have to be a thinker to ride the typical TB. I have one mostly TB, with a touch of QH gelding. He is athletic, handy, brave but man so TOUGH. And a hot head. When I was trying to make him into my 3' Hunter and then trying to sell him, I HATED him. I loved him on the ground, such a pet, but he was so frusturating to mold into something he just did not want to be. He always tried to outthink me, anticipate my next move and never would just...be. Now that I've taken a step back and just ride him according to how he likes to be ridden, meaning, make EVERTHING a challenge, always have a purpose, as in, no such thing as just going out for a hack, he's great.

                    On the other hand, my WB mare, who can be spooky, takes everything except trail riding in stride and waits for my next command, she never tries to outthink me and is happy to just wait for me to ask her for the next thing. Or if we just go out for a hack, we just go out for a hack. And either way, she's happy to oblige.


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by ef80 View Post
                      A friend of mine put it interestingly - The WB is the horse version of the SUV. Big and lumbering, percieved as safe and way more fashionable than a mini van (the QH). Not everyone can handle the speed and sensitivity of sportscars (TB's), but everybody can roll in style in the ultra-pimp Escalade. We're a fadish sport, and America lives and dies by the "bigger is better" philosophy.
                      -I'm catching on to this thread really late, but I just have to say this cracked me up.
                      Just today I was sitting in my Ford mustang putting on my boots with my OTTB "patiently" biding his time by playing with the antenna.
                      I guess I fit this analogy to a T, esp. because I'm always a day late and a dollar short when it comes to what's "hip".
                      Spell-checked prior to transmission. All errors occured en route.


                      • #51
                        A good horse is a good horse of any breed any color. Selection for hunters is based on temperament, specific jumping technique and specific movement as well as the physical charachteristics to enable the requirements of the job, rocket science is not required here. Resale may be the determining factor in following the fashionable prototypes. You have to be smart to win in the world today both in the ring and in the sale barn.

                        Horses have a tendency to be labeled as status symbols. Yes an amazingly beautiful smooth moving machine does grab attention and does make an impression but if you consider the return on the investment in the discipline, it is a one way street. Everyone loves to see a big spender coming but in times of economic change, what will be the outcome? My guess is a more defined definition between those who can afford to play and those who would liike to. The middle class exhibitor will be pushed further and further from the playing field. However, talent will always find its place.

                        Thoroughbreds particularly in these threads are not always well considered but if you truly examine the warmblood of today, how much of that lightness and modern frame has to do with the input of thoroughbred blood? Perhaps not all but a very good percentage...yes.

                        As in the expression, do not bite the hand that feeds you, perhaps it too is well said to not bite the breed that feeds you. Don't look only at the label on the package. It can be somewhat deceiving in many cases.

                        I remain open minded for the future of the thoroughbred contribution to sport.
                        Last edited by Hocus Focus; Sep. 11, 2008, 09:51 AM.


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Hocus Focus View Post
                          Resale may be the determining factor in following the fashionable prototypes. You have to be smart to win in the world today both in the ring and in the sale barn.

                          Horses have a tendency to be labeled as status symbols.
                          WELL SAID!! My sentiments exactly, and IMO these two points are a big part of the trend.
                          "To understand the soul of a horse is the closest human beings can come to knowing perfection."


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by ef80 View Post
                            A friend of mine put it interestingly - The WB is the horse version of the SUV. Big and lumbering, percieved as safe and way more fashionable than a mini van (the QH). Not everyone can handle the speed and sensitivity of sportscars (TB's), but everybody can roll in style in the ultra-pimp Escalade. We're a fadish sport, and America lives and dies by the "bigger is better" philosophy.
                            "Lucky you to have ridden Kildonan Tug- Luckier you to have loved him"
                            "Carrying you to prelim was the jewel in Tug's crown."
                            "Great horses find you. You don't find them."


                            • #54
                              I've had 1 TB and 3 warmbloods and each came with their quirks but the bottom line is they were all good horses in their own right.
                              I had a TB that looked like a WB:
                              He was never raced, crabbiest thing ever, hardest mouth ever and I had to run him into the wall to stop him when he was green. He always had to be lunged or hacked for a good 30+ minutes each day but turned into a fabulous 3'6'' horse and was still showing at 18 long after I sold him. But even at 18 - they would hack him for 30 minutes before even thinking of jumping!

                              I had a WB that looked like a TB: (Dutch by Neptune)
                              He was tall and thin and had a great personality. Needed a light hack or quick spin on the lunge line before showing but in general, pretty lazy. Not the most athletic but made a good, honest 3' horse and the kid I sold him to loves him.

                              I had a "old school" looking WB: (Dutch by Consul)
                              Big and heavy. Tons of personality and the hardest horse to teach a lead change to. Never spooked, never hot. Once he got his lead changes he has become a fabulous children's hunter and he packs the new owner around and always jumps great, even when the owner "misses".

                              And finally and "new school" finer boned WB: (Hanoverian)
                              Fabulous, friendly personality and smart. Still very green but is a quick learner. Never spooks and always gives 110% at the jumps. One of the easiest show-prep horses ever.

                              SOOOOO..... a good horse is a good horse! They were different breeds but all are great horses. Just thought this was an interesting study in breeding and thought I would share!
                              My Pictures! http://community.webshots.com/user/estieg12
                              *Harbour Town* 2002 Hanoverian gelding "Otto"
                              *Sahalee* 2002 mare "Flower" but who knows what breed she is!


                              • #55

                                Originally posted by ef80 View Post
                                A friend of mine put it interestingly - The WB is the horse version of the SUV. Big and lumbering, percieved as safe and way more fashionable than a mini van (the QH). Not everyone can handle the speed and sensitivity of sportscars (TB's), but everybody can roll in style in the ultra-pimp Escalade. We're a fadish sport, and America lives and dies by the "bigger is better" philosophy.
                                Absolutely, beautifully put!
                                The truth is always in the middle.


                                • #56

                                  I love TBs. I've only had TBs. Only one has been off the track. The last one was very clearly bred to be a strip horse. He had excellent conformation and carried more bone than those that race (although he was still very fine). I absolutely love their brains. Most are very sensible if handled correctly. But you do have to invest the time and develop a partnership. And you absolutely can't drill them, they are just way too smart. In other words, you have to be able to ride!

                                  From what I've seen of WBs, is that they are infusing more and more TB blood. My mom's horse is a Zangerschide (sp?) warmblood by Glencoe, and she clearly had both TB and Arab blood in her. And she runs both hot and cold. You really never know which you have on a given day!
                                  The truth is always in the middle.


                                  • #57
                                    i wasnt alive back in the 80's lol but i have to chime in here. I love the TB look. I wouldnt pass it up even if someone was handing me a nice WB. Id rather take my semi-crazy TB Much more fun of a ride IMO.

                                    I think it is mainly b/c a lot (not all, but a good number) of hunter riders (especially the younger ones) grow up learning to just be a passenger. they do not learn to "ride" their horses. I think that is the problem more than anything. I dont doubt that there are WBs out there that are more sensitive and crazy than some TBs, and vice versa, but I think it is safe to say that most of the riders just simply cant ride TBs. And somehow the mindset that WBs are so much better than TBs set in and people will pay ridiculous sums for one, so the trainers get a good commission, so why would anyone turn them away from an easier ride and more money?

                                    Just my opinion but I think there is always a classiness to a nice hunter round with a big, lean, sleek TB that a WB just will never have.
                                    True love is taking their pain away and making it yours
                                    ~rest in peace momma (7/5/08)~
                                    ~rest in peace thomas (6/2/11)~


                                    • #58
                                      EMWalker, all of your horses look like lovely hunters. Your latest has a gorgeous jump!

                                      As a lot of people have said, each horse is an individual and a good horse is a good horse regardless of breed. I have always had TBs, until my current horse who is a TBx App. Of the 5 TBs I have had, 2 needed some lunging at multi-day shows because they missed their turnout, the other 3 were dead easy, no prep AT ALL at any shows. Walk off the trailer, warm up, then into the ring. All except one were the chunkier version of a TB with more bone. At the end of the day, people will buy the horse that does the job and suits them. The point I was trying to make earlier is that a lot of the successful WBs in the hunter ring today have a high % of TB blood, and look an awful lot like a solidly built TB. This horse that I leased for a few years is full TB, but people always thought he was a WB or TBxWB.

                                      I bet there are times that people see horses that are solidly built, full TBs but they think think are WBs.


                                      • #59
                                        EM Walker has good horses and looks to know a bit about riding them as well. That last one is a hot ticket.

                                        Glad to read this thread. I love all breeds, even some butt ugly ones, on a day to day basis temperament tends to overrule the beauty, but I tend to see more of the fancy warmbloods at the shows. Interestingly enough if you attend enough of the big shows when you go back to the smaller ones, you see huge differences in quality. Lots of big bucks in the hunter world. I have seen as much as 100 K refused for a nice greenie, not even a world beater, just a nice one, and I know of some ammy owners who cannot ride so well who have paid "beaucoup bucks" for the ride that at best gets them a fourth place and the trainer has to ride them three days a week so they can show one or two. In todays world, they get dressed, they stand quietly on their mounting block, the fully turned out horse is led up and off they go to fret about where their trainer has run off to and not be able to have a singly thought of their own, and the second they leave the ring they are off and hand off the horse. How can one truly call oneself a horseman... I just don't know, but such is the life of the priveledged.


                                        • #60
                                          Thank you for the comments on my boys, past and present. They were all good horses reiterating my point that a good horse is a good horse.

                                          For those who think WBs are just sit and point are wrong. The green ones are not. But after a few years of training IMO most should be that way, TB or WB. They don't give out ribbons for riding the jerks so why would anyone want to??? A bad attitude and temperment can happen with all breeds but it's up to each person if they want to deal with it. Me? No thank you!!
                                          My Pictures! http://community.webshots.com/user/estieg12
                                          *Harbour Town* 2002 Hanoverian gelding "Otto"
                                          *Sahalee* 2002 mare "Flower" but who knows what breed she is!