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I tried an AQHA HUS horse...and I liked it.

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  • I tried an AQHA HUS horse...and I liked it.

    My friend has been trying to persuade me to try an AQHA hunter for awhile for various reasons (most of them involving me turning into a big fat chicken as I get older and needing a horse that doesn't feel like it's going to explode at any particular minute).

    The AQHA hunter derby idea really appealed to my background and history of eventing and riding my hunters mostly outside, so I thought, hey, I'll go try some horses out of the various AQHA disciplines and see if I like it at all. Keep in mind, I've been riding USHJA hunters for oh...25 years.

    So I went and tried a HUS horse first, because...that's what I found first. And loved it.

    Yes, head carriage much lower than expected, which felt a little strange for the first two minutes (felt like I was going to fall off the front), but after pushing the horse forward, I was surprised at how balanced I felt.

    Tipping forward closed him off and made him go slower (well, or not move...at first)...opening up and sitting more dressagey asked him to go. Had a few moments where I couldn't figure out where the various buttons were...and then...we trotted...

    And then I felt this soft...flowiness, for lack of a better word, and this willingness to listen to me. Like a very well trained dressage horse, I thought woah and got the immediate transition. No touch on the reins necessary. Horse was ridden 100% leg and seat. Little leg to set up for canter and off we went. He rode well on a soft contact, which I asked for. Very very soft. He did come up a bit from where she rode him at, so that his poll was level.

    After asking about a zillion more questions, I ended up buying the horse. Maybe we'll do some open stuff, maybe some USHJA stuff, but I'm now somewhat enchanted by that ride. (Now it's a matter of keeping it). He's been a one owner model since he was 3. Trained by a youth...what a strange thing. It's so foreign to me.

    So - questions...does anyone here do HUS? I've been over on the pleasurehorse forums, and I do NOT love the delphi format...where else does one go to learn more? Could he do some USHJA stuff? (Possibly) The AQHA shows though, and the local affiliate seem really cool though...and are so much cheaper than the local hunter shows.

    Has anyone done this? Gone to the AQHA side? Do I need my head examined? (Probably)

    I'm still on cloud 9 after that ride - how crazy is that?

  • #2
    I would contact Lainie DeBoer - she posted on here once as dreamfld - she has lots of AQHA horses that do both the AQHA classes and the USHJA ones. Her horses are all drool-worthy and she's super nice, I bet she would be able to tell you a lot of what you want to know.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
    Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

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    • #3
      I ended up buying the horse
      Congratulations!
      BUT now we need pictures (& hopefully even video)

      Comment


      • #4
        Congratulations! Yes pictures please! In my humble opinion, the AQHA HUS breeders really know a good mover. Yes, the WB's have some extravagent front ends, but I am a sucker for not only a nice front end but those low deep hocks too.
        Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Congrats, and yes a well trained and properly trained hus horse should be able to go in and do a 1st level dressage test. You'll probably learn as you play around with him that if you take a bit more contact he will follow it up if he rides as nice as you say and it should be pretty easy to take him to hunter shows. I almost purchased one for my next dressage horse. Amazing nice horse, trained very well and could have went in and rocked a 1st level test easy but there is a long sorry behind not purchasing him. It made me very sad because he was so nice. Good luck and enjoy and oils please
          Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

          Comment


          • #6
            I ride AQHA!! You should definitely come over to the "dark side." My new horse rides very much like you describe, was a one-owner horse since he was 2, and was predominantly trained by a youth. AQHA styles have changed over the past few years to favor more of a traditional, forward moving, correct English horse than the stereotypical western horse with an English saddle.

            Try it, you'll like it!!

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            • #7
              Yup I've pretty much crossed over. Not by choice but because QH shows are much closer and cheaper and my QH gelding who was supposed to be my playday cowy type horse ended up being a phenomenal HUS horse. So welcome to the dark side.

              What's his name? and yes pics and video. My guy goes 100% on seat and leg as well and could do a HUS class bridleless. They are bred for Ammy/youth friendly minds which I think is why they are so much less intimidating than WB's. And they are very versatile as well, play around with some dressage and combined training, keeps them fresh and happy
              Fourth N' Goal Training LLC.
              ~Specializing in Mom and Kid Approved Equitation and Jumper Horses

              *Horse Collector Status = Six Pack*

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              • #8
                Originally posted by OneGrayPony View Post
                So - questions...does anyone here do HUS? I've been over on the pleasurehorse forums, and I do NOT love the delphi format...where else does one go to learn more? Could he do some USHJA stuff? (Possibly) The AQHA shows though, and the local affiliate seem really cool though...and are so much cheaper than the local hunter shows.

                Has anyone done this? Gone to the AQHA side? Do I need my head examined? (Probably)

                I'm still on cloud 9 after that ride - how crazy is that?
                Congratulations! I grew up around quarter horses, and my horse I had when I left for college was a palomino/QH. He's still the most powerful horse I've ever ridden - with only one very fancy WB who has a tendency to try to kill her riders if she's upset with them the only one comparable. Only he was gentle and never did anything wrong - you simply felt that amazing power. I love the minds! While I was in college QH returned to mostly heads below the withers and many more horses bred to have that low set a neck started showing up, and I couldn't make myself go back. But a nice QH is just an amazing pleasure to own.

                HUS riders do tend to sit more upright or dressagey than a USHJA rider would, and indeed - they ride off the seat/legs, as you are not supposed to have visible cues. Sounds like you got a horse ridden by a kid with a good trainer. You could probably still do USHJA, but would need to learn to take courses sitting more deeply between fences like an eq rider than forward/out of the saddle. I suspect this is a horse who will also be super adjustable for you who could therefore be pretty fun to do jumpers with for the sanity even when asked for speed!
                Originally posted by Silverbridge
                If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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                • #9
                  Welcome to the dark side! I used to ride/groom hunters and GP jumpers. Took an opportunity closer to home with an AQHA trainer and never looked back. But yes, we need pictures and video.

                  For groups try the delphi form anythingshowhorses, much nicer than PH.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks guys! I'll post all of the details and pics after all of the saley stuff is 100% finalized...and video when *I* ride him (I know better than to post the poor junior's videos on here lol - I can handle the criticism). I'm really psyched. The only challenge is that I don't know of any trainers who do HUS in the area. One guy does Western Pleasure and Reining...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      OP - where are you located at?
                      Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a friend who's a very accomplished dressage rider, and also has done a good bit in the reining world. With the AQHA dressage stuff coming on, she wanted to find a really nice QH to do the dressage with, and I saw what she bought. One of the nicest young horses I've seen in ages. Good size, good bone, nice feet, and a total sweetheart. I didn't see him move, but all of the parts were in the right places for that to be good, as well--no Totilas, certainly, but very, very adequate. If all of the over-mounted adult-ammie DQs ever discover these horses, there could be a revolution in the dressage world, and for the better.
                        "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                        Spay and neuter. Please.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          I'm in central PA.

                          monstrpony, I am totally with you. I almost didn't want to post out story for fear that other people would discover the joy of a nice QH brain and drive prices up still further! Lol!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Congrats!!

                            I show USEF hunters right now…and I used to show APHA/Pinto stuff. Love, love, love. I will eventually end up owning another HUS AQHA. They are just so fun to ride. I had a Tb that was trained just like an AQHA hunter. He was even spur trained, pretty cool. He could do the open shows and then go do the jumpers. He was a neat horse. Anyways, I love the AQHA hunters but my trainer HATES them. I don’t know if she’s ever been on one. I have an unregistered Appendix mare that can get a bit spicy at times. But, the Qh minds are the best. I can’t wait to see a video and pics! One of the best moving USEF hunters in our area is an AQHA. Youtube “Secret work of art” and you’ll see him. He’s amazing and does the children’s 3’ with ease. Definitely what I’m going to get after this mare, that’s for sure!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Congratulations! One thing about sitting more upright is having a saddles with more supportive panels, more like a very modified dressage saddle. The Pessoa AO and my older Dover Circuit Elite are examples.

                              Some of the more recent popular sires like Skys Blue Boy and now These Irons Are Hot, and the various Invitation Only bred HUS stallions do pass on their higher set neck and can carry their front ends more correctly.

                              Kim Myers may be the nearby WP/Reiner trainer you referred to. I would contact him and see if he knows any other more specialized HUS/Over Fences trainers in the area. He does judge a lot and should know who is fairly close and how they ride and train. His website: http://www.equinenow.com/farm/kim_an...ter_horses.htm
                              Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
                              www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I always liked the movement of a great AQHA HUS horse. Many of them are very tolerant and have great back ends. The best of them look like they float! And many also have a high percentage of TB in their pedigree because with the AQHA if an appendix earns an ROM it can be registered as a full QH.

                                I own a full QH - a granddaughter of Rugged Lark, who was 50% TB. The TB definitely came through with her. She is definitely not the stereotypical quiet, tolerant, easygoing QH. She is actually kind of a pistol and definitely not for the faint of heart, especially on the ground. She is extremely smart and very work-oriented. I have never met a horse with a better work ethic. However, she was simply not tolerant enough to do the whole boring circuit hunter look, and didn't quite have the action to make further effort worthwhile. I have found that many of those AQHA horses are easily adaptable, but retrain so that the horse doesn't lose that stop! It is so hard to get back!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The title almost sounds like a sheepish confession haha!

                                  My second horse was an APHA HUS horse. He was a total doll. He didn't keep his nice HUS set, but I also didn't know how to ask for it back then (plus it didn't work for jumping 2'6" lol). He was so in-tune to my seat I could canter a 180 on him (like a half Pirouette, only not even close). I could ride him backwards... do just about anything on him, he was so tolerant. Amazing.

                                  Congrats on your new hot rod! Enjoy him.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by monstrpony View Post
                                    I have a friend who's a very accomplished dressage rider, and also has done a good bit in the reining world. With the AQHA dressage stuff coming on, she wanted to find a really nice QH to do the dressage with, and I saw what she bought. One of the nicest young horses I've seen in ages. Good size, good bone, nice feet, and a total sweetheart. I didn't see him move, but all of the parts were in the right places for that to be good, as well--no
                                    Totilas, certainly, but very, very adequate. If all of the over-mounted adult-ammie DQs ever discover these horses, there could be a revolution in the dressage world, and for the better.

                                    Lol that's why I have a apha horse and he is learning dressage now. Can't pass on the brains on some of these guys for sure. Even the saddle fitter said when i rode him him moved amazing and was surprised because looking at him he is a stocky paint horse. Lol. I call him my mini warmblood, ESP when he engages and gives me a little float.
                                    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      One of the best moving USEF hunters in our area is an AQHA. Youtube “Secret work of art” and you’ll see him. He’s amazing and does the children’s 3’ with ease. Definitely what I’m going to get after this mare, that’s for sure!
                                      DROOL.

                                      Everyone should take a look at that horse right now. Holy cow.

                                      Kim Myers may be the nearby WP/Reiner trainer you referred to. I would contact him and see if he knows any other more specialized HUS/Over Fences trainers in the area. He does judge a lot and should know who is fairly close and how they ride and train. His website: http://www.equinenow.com/farm/kim_an...ter_horses.htm
                                      Thanks! That's not actually who I was thinking of (I was thinking of Chris Gray, from Graysland), but that's another good resource. A lot of the terminology is very different in the AQHA world (like...what's a performance horse? As opposed to...?) and so I'm having trouble searching for what I'm looking for.

                                      I own a full QH - a granddaughter of Rugged Lark, who was 50% TB. The TB definitely came through with her. She is definitely not the stereotypical quiet, tolerant, easygoing QH. She is actually kind of a pistol and definitely not for the faint of heart, especially on the ground.
                                      I had one of these. Not Rugged Lark background but definitely a more...assertive QH with lots of TB in his background. Heck of a jumper, though, and yes, work ethic to die for.

                                      The title almost sounds like a sheepish confession haha!
                                      Well, it was...because they have such a stigma! This whole peanut rolling wenglish thing...

                                      Now I just have to wait until he gets home!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by OneGrayPony View Post
                                        DROOL.

                                        Thanks! That's not actually who I was thinking of (I was thinking of Chris Gray, from Graysland), but that's another good resource. A lot of the terminology is very different in the AQHA world (like...what's a performance horse? As opposed to...?) and so I'm having trouble searching for what I'm looking for.


                                        !
                                        A performance horse as opposed to a halter horse. They mean performance as in 'using' not 'halter standing' horse.

                                        Here is a link to the AQHA Professional horsemen. Please feel free to PM me if you are wondering about someone specific. Unfortunately, the AQHA hunter world is quite small so there are not a ton of options for you . I would second supershorty's training suggestion, even if it's just for help at shows, even though I know she's not in your area. If you show the AQHA shows only the majors offer over fence classes with any real points up for grabs. Any AQHA questions you may have I would be happy to help you with as best as possible. I've done the circuit for years, all the majors, world and congress so I might be able to at least answer some questions for you. Congratulations on your purchase! I hope you enjoy your horse!

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