• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

for Para-Dressage riders: What's THE MOST important attribute in a horse?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • for Para-Dressage riders: What's THE MOST important attribute in a horse?

    As I bring along two from scratch, and another two next year...

    What do YOU consider the most important attribute in a horse that you are going to ride, lesson on, or even compete on?

    I am very, very serious about making horses for special riders of all types. They are desensitised to a lot, but more than that, taught that I won't ask them to do/walk over/go through/bear something that is not safe.

    I am breeding these days specifically for easy-to-ride-but-still-competitive gaits. It's an enormous task, but it fuels my geneticist wannabe fires now that we have all the homozygous cream genes and homozygous tobi genes within reach. And there is the selfish part that *I* can no longer sit huge, expressive gaits without a back like butter. I want it all--I want the gaits to get you in the ribbons right up the levels, but it shouldn't be an Olympic sport *just* to sit the trot or canter.

    Beyond that, I want to know what YOU need when you borrow a horse, or use a schoolmaster, or have to compete on a horse you've never met before?

    It can be as personal and specific as YOU, posting for what YOU need... or as broad as those who have experience in this field generalizing on the needs...

    I *hope* that a decade of breeding for Special Olympics and other special students (mental & physical needs) has me headed in the right direction, in this next generation, I would REALLY like to specialize in COMPETITIVE horses for 'NQR' and 'differently abled' riders and even drivers.

    My secondary--though equal--goal is for the horses to remain affordable to the person on limited income, blue collar income, etc. That has *always* been a goal for me. For too long I rode everyone elses rejects and projects. You shouldn't have to pay a mortgage for a competitive, sane, sound horse. In that regard I am using some "non-traditional" dressage breeds along with traditional ones. Iberian, Arab & Trakehner, right alongside APHA, ASB and Colonial Spanish.

    Will take all thoughts and even criticisms!
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

  • #2
    on/off

    Non-negotiable for me are both the ability to move forward willingly, and to freakin' STOP when asked. I don't mean that I need a horse will will go from 0-60 and back again in 7 sec, but darn it, I start and stop at the very least.

    It sounds sooo basic, I know, but nothing is worse than sitting on someone else's horse and not quite being able to figure out how to get a smooth upward or downward transition, let alone the horses who somtimes don't have any at all short of leaving the rider impersonating a water-skier or lawn dart.

    Good, honest, commonsense buttons for "more," "less," and "halt" are really all I ask. The test movements can be finessed from there. It also helps if the horse isn't stiff as a board, but you asked about bottom line essentials, and those are mine, assuming that relatively sane is a given.

    Comment


    • #3
      Can I pick more then 1 attribute?

      As a not yet classified Para dressage rider, I have 2 scenarios.

      Scenario #1: I am my NQR self just bopping along, taking some lessons, practicing in my ring, and going out on the trails. In this scenario, temperament is by far the most important attribute. For a good temperament, I want a friendly, affable horse who takes things in stride and doesn't pull dirty moves on the ground or under saddle.

      Scenario #2: I am still NQR, but riding seriously and competing in an effort to qualify for the US Para team. I still need the fantastic temperament. I also need good gaits and athleticism. This horse needs to be intelligent enough to learn my special cues. He needs to be sensitive enough to feel my slight movements, but sane enough that he is not explosive.

      I tried to choose as few attributes as possible. I hope I didn't select too many
      Beth

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, I want it all:-) I'll start with driving. I want something with awesome gaits, FEI level driving. I want to compete on equal footing with everyone else. In the sport of Combinied driving, I know that my weakest part is the marathon. If I tip over I'm out of the game so I drive more conservativly on the marathon (many will say I don't:-)), up and down hills are my weakest parts with turns at the top or bottom, I can't lean forward or back like other drivers so I can't shorten or lengthen my reins quickly.

        So I want 20 points ahead in dressage and cones:-) And a clean marathon.

        So I need a huge walk, we have to do a 1 k walk in 8:34 . That is fast. A ground covering trot. The ability to go from a mad gallop through water to a collected trot!

        Tempermant is a must, I can deal with silly horses, and spooks but if they spook it has to be forward. Ground manners are a deal breaker.

        I don't care so much about exposure that just comes with years of experience and miles. When I drive I go down the road so they get the experience.

        Big bone, nice feet. I love my cobs, but you have to be careful with them some are to drafty and not forward enough. I love the Irish sport horse but the ones I have breed are to big even out of 15 hd quarter horse mares. I want all of this in a 15.3 hand package.!!! That is for a single. Pair 15 to 15.3 hds works.

        I like my horse's handled but not pampered if that makes sense? They are horses.

        For a riding horse, when I rode I needed soft back easy to sit trot since I can't post and absolutly correct confirmation, no winging paddling or anything, any mistep and I was off:-) Thats why I love driving!!! Much more flexibility in choice of animal!!

        Diane

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks for the input so far!

          It's helpful and hopeful... I think I am on the right track. Would love to hear from more riders.

          Cad--my 'goal' is horses in the 15-16h range. If they go 16h, great, but *I* find the 15.2 Cobby-but-light types to be my favorites.

          Interesting about the 'stop' and 'go.' I am all for schoolmasters who make you ask correctly, but it's pretty disconcerting to have no brakes until you figure out the button to push... (or are having a bad day and can't use the same amount of seat/back/thigh etc. that the horse is trained to.)

          I've never had a horse crabby to the whip--but I've known some. I hadn't thought about it being important for them to see it as an aid, though I am CONSTANTLY telling my young rider students "the whip is an AID, a *direction* NOT A PUNISHMENT!!!"
          InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

          Comment


          • #6
            great thread, pintopiaffe!

            I really had to think hard to get to my absolute #1 basic request, although, like I said before, my point presupposes a reasonable temperament and some degree of sanity.

            Like you, I love learning from the schoolmasters who make you ask correctly to get what you want, it's the horses trained (or not) to things other than correct, or who have no idea what I want even when asked as correctly as I am able (ususally apparent when I try for lengthenings, etc-- this is where, like another poster, I'd prefer a horse not take offense to whip cues, as I have no lower leg cues to speak of short of using my heels ).

            Something else that has become hugely important to me is a beastie who will stand rock-solid (without shifting their weight), etc for mounting and dismounting no matter how long and how many people it takes me. It;s nice to have someone at the horse's head for this, obviously, but truly not always practical-- many times I've got the reins gathered and am standing on the mounting block with helper there to assist my right leg over and into the stirrup, so that horse better STAND. In fact, when I trained my own, he had both "stand" (get balanced/square and be still) and "stay" (don't you *dare* move from this spot until I say so), in his vocabulary. Hugely useful on more than one occasion.

            I'm sure we'll all think of more things that would be nice, but it's great seeing what others' most basic requirements are, and to compare similarities and differences.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a new attribute I must add

              I like small price tags!!!

              Being that I am disabled and on a fixed income, price is a giant factor! Now that I am beginning a semi search for a new horse, I am beginning a journal to follow my quest for the "perfect" horse on a budget. This is going to be one loooong journal, as I don't see perfect for me with a small price tag showing up in the near future
              Beth

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KLS View Post
                Non-negotiable for me are both the ability to move forward willingly, and to freakin' STOP when asked. I don't mean that I need a horse will will go from 0-60 and back again in 7 sec, but darn it, I start and stop at the very least.
                Yes! I absolutely agree with this statement. It is amazing how much easier riding is, for me at least, with a horse that goes forward willingly and will stop when asked.

                I would also add to the mix a horse that has rhythmical gaits. Since I can't feel my butt or legs, I need to be able to count the beats and time my aids to that count. A horse that can't maintain a steady rhythm within the gait makes it impossible for me to do that. Or maybe not impossible, but just beyond my ability at this point.
                Sheilah

                Comment


                • #9
                  bump for more input

                  just bumping this to give PintoPiaffe the chance to get as much feedback as possible.... she's looking for help bringing along the horses we'd all want to work with; we might as well give her as much to think about as possible.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Competitive at what level? Competitive for the 95% of people whose show careers will begin and end at the local/regional level, who want safe, sane, fun, forward, affordable horses to ride? If so, sounds like you are on the right track and get the idea, and the formidable challenge, of trying to build that holy grail of traits: competitive but smooth gaits, a good temperament and (oh wouldn't it be lovely?) an affordable price tag.

                    BUT.... If you are talking about breeding internationally competitive para horses, wow, the whole game changes.

                    The movement has got to be rideable but REALLY, REALLY fancy. Check out these highlights from Beijing. Of the horses shown, I see maybe one Gr. Ib horse who doesn't appear to be a fabulous mover. And Lee Pearson's new horse (at about 4:30 on that vid) could kick ass in any FEI arena, much like his now-retired horse, Blue Circle Boy (LOVE this freestyle music, BTW!) could. And that's "just" walk-trot Grade Ib! Looking at the movement on those horses, (and these, to pick a stateside example) you realize just how tough the competition is.
                    If I was a breeder trying to produce horses to compete at the international para level, I probably would not include ASB, AQHA, APHA b/c while those horses might be kind and smooth, they generally don't have the suspension to be competitive at that level.

                    My experience comes not from riding myself, but from watching the US Para team coach look at horses for team members, and seeing what passes her muster and what doesn't, given her experience at the international para level. She gets contacted by a lot of people who have a not-particularly-fancy dressage horse they mistakenly think it would be a "perfect" para horse because it's sensible and has smooth gaits. Unfortunately, at the international level, the sport's become way too competitive for the less-than-stellar, and that probably prices a lot of otherwise deserving and talented riders out of the running unless they can be aggressive and resourceful about finding sponsorship... but that's a different thread.
                    I evented just for the Halibut.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KLS View Post
                      I really had to think hard to get to my absolute #1 basic request, although, like I said before, my point presupposes a reasonable temperament and some degree of sanity.

                      Like you, I love learning from the schoolmasters who make you ask correctly to get what you want, it's the horses trained (or not) to things other than correct, or who have no idea what I want even when asked as correctly as I am able (ususally apparent when I try for lengthenings, etc-- this is where, like another poster, I'd prefer a horse not take offense to whip cues, as I have no lower leg cues to speak of short of using my heels ).

                      Something else that has become hugely important to me is a beastie who will stand rock-solid (without shifting their weight), etc for mounting and dismounting no matter how long and how many people it takes me. It;s nice to have someone at the horse's head for this, obviously, but truly not always practical-- many times I've got the reins gathered and am standing on the mounting block with helper there to assist my right leg over and into the stirrup, so that horse better STAND. In fact, when I trained my own, he had both "stand" (get balanced/square and be still) and "stay" (don't you *dare* move from this spot until I say so), in his vocabulary. Hugely useful on more than one occasion.

                      I'm sure we'll all think of more things that would be nice, but it's great seeing what others' most basic requirements are, and to compare similarities and differences.
                      I'm right there with the standing still while mounting. I have one too many falls when mounting.

                      Sane and unflappable is another one.
                      Frogs in a Basket. Oh, one jumped out.
                      EC Level 1 Coach, ARIA Level 3 Dressage Coach
                      www.dressagelife.com
                      http://piaffing.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have to agree with Nevertime, a para-equestrian driving horse at the international level will also be competitive at the regular FEI level for Combinied Driving. As that is where the para-equestrian driver needs to aim for to get the experience needed.

                        The competition for para-drivers at the worlds is tough. The dressage test has fewer movements and no one-handed because many para-drivers have limited hands anyways. Lots of straight lines (which can be difficult) Extensions, and collected trots They need to be fancy!. The marathon is the same as regular driving and cones is the same narrow clearance, the time on course is a little more forgiving.

                        As I've been showing internationally for 8 years, I can tell you every year the quality of the horses and ponies go up! For Para-driving horses and ponies compete against each other.. Lots of German riding ponies, warmbloods, Welsh cobs.

                        To add to all of that they need to be safe and sane also. PRICELESS !!!!

                        Diane

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          KLS, thanks for the bump!

                          I don't think I'm breeding for International ANYTHING. I'm too poor!

                          Seriously, I don't think it's fair to say any breeder doesn't try to breed the ULTIMATE... I wouldn't be breeding if I wasn't... but MY Ultimate is not necessarily the same as, say, Iron Spring Farm's Ultimate. And bottom line is I must be willing to keep (and able to ride!) every horse I bring into this world if they don't sell--so I'm breeding for ME first and foremost, and a market secondly, if that makes sense.

                          On the other hand, there are horses will will be competitive as far as their riders want/will work to go, because of their MINDS. If their movement is pure, and a little fancy... their gaits easy to ride and mold, then... truly, I do in my heart of hearts believe the sky is the limit.

                          I'm encouraged by what I'm hearing. Please, please keep the comments coming. Like I said, even if it's something really personal, for just YOUR particular need... or something general...

                          I have always used "Stand" as a command exactly like "stay" for a dog. "Ho" means STOP MOVING YOUR FEET. Period. It doesn't mean slow down, doesn't mean calm down, HO is reserved for HO. Stand means stay ho-ed until I tell you something else.

                          I do a ton of 'stand and wait' or 'stand and chat' stuff too. It's hard on the greenies because their backs are not strong, but to me it is crucial that when I drop the reins, they stay put while I climb on/off/adjust tack etc.

                          So it sounds like in those regards I'm on the right track.

                          The driving is a whole 'nother world! I drive a little, but nothing fancy or competitive. I think it is fabulous. I've always wanted a nice meadowbrook or even an EZ Entry to put one or two of mine to for parents of Special Olympians etc. to just have a ride in... equipment is sooooo prohibitive though!
                          InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                          Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X