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ISO a boring FEI prospect

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    ISO a boring FEI prospect

    I’m considering buying a foal either in spring 2020 or 2021. I’m a serious amateur. I brought my current mare from green and mildly feral to schooling 4th level and standing nicely for the vet. We’re still PSG-bound before she retires if I have my way.

    I’ve been doing a deep dive into bloodlines and prices on the internet and not seeing a lot of what I want. I want something smaller, packageable, “boring” but super clean gates and a quick hock that can bear a load. I want a really boring/unflashy FEI prospect that I can chase my dream of scoring in the mid/low 60s at GP 😂.

    What I think I want is a crossbred. I’d like a warmblood x arab, or Connemara, or a PRE (cross or purebred), or something similar. I want to keep in the 15’2-16’1 range. I can handle some spice if it’s not too too athletic. I’ve just sat on too many warmbloods that my sore back can’t keep up with on cold days, that I spend my whole ride trying to put together etc.

    I’d also like to stay around/under 7k usd/10k cdn.

    There don't seem to be many Connemara or arab breeding programs that are breeding for sport. Does the great horse hive mind have any suggestions? Because I'm considering foals at mama’s side I’d prefer to find a program with enough of a track record to get some predictability, but I’ll go kick the virtual tires of whatever you point me to. (Please no Friesian crosses). A full warmblood would be absolutely fine if it ticked all of the boxes, but mostly I’ve found fancier, bigger and more expensive than what I need.

    I’m in Ontario but will consider anything on the east coast/Midwest (I have a lot of frequent flyer pts so maybe even west coast since I’m looking for a unicorn).

    Any suggestions welcome. Yes I have considered breeding my mare and decided not to do a first breeding at her age. Yes I’m a little sad about it.

    Consider also looking at Warmblood x Welsh crosses. That being said, I don’t know how well a “boring” horse will do at FEI dressage. If you have dreams of scoring well at Grand Prix, you will need to look for a horse with some flare. With your budget, you may end up having to search for a weanling or pony type cross as those prices will fall more within your budget.
    Home of Welsh Cob stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
    Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness


      I recently sold my young Hanoverian by Pik L out of a mare by Worldly- I’d known her since she was born and from the get-go she practically screamed “competitive prospect perfect for an amateur!” I’ve heard her breeding is like that
      I sold her to downsize, and ended up with a PB connemara. If you are on FB definitely start joining some of the connemara groups! I found so many small breeders that way, and it definitely is true that a lot of them are word of mouth & don’t advertise much. Lisa Martin Gerdes stands R Blue Moon and her name sticks out as one with a lot of nice sporty connemara crosses from what I’ve seen on FB.


        As for a Connemara breeding program with credentials in the dressage world, take a look at Kynynmont Connemaras. For example,


          Lots of Connemaras are bred for sport! As mentioned above check out Lisa Martin Gerdes (Red Bud Ranch) and Kynynmont Connemaras. I love the *Gunsmoke decedents and have 2 full siblings by his son WH Topgun. The warmblood crosses are very popular as well.

          My suggestion is to reach out to a breeder or two and let them know what you are looking for, if they don't have it they may know someone who does.

          Crayola Posse: Violet Blue


            Original Poster

            I’m not looking to score well at GP. I’m not heading to Florida for winters, I have no aspirations other than riding well and having fun. I’d be tickled to get down centreline at GP, but I also understand that there’s a lot more to getting there than a fancy horse. I’m fine with a 6.5 mover so long as it can sit on its butt.

            My current mare really struggles with collection. There was no flying chance until the canter was properly collected, and the 4th level 1/4 pirouette is not a breeze for her. I don’t think she’ll be able to piaffe/passage. This isn’t to crap on her. She’s far surpassed my physical expectations of her and if I had my time back I would have bred her to something more athletic.

            I love the kynynmont connemaras, but when I’ve looked online it’s been hard to get info about their breeding program. I’m totally open to doing a custom breeding/breeding lease etc. I’ll take another look and maybe reach out to them.

            Thanks all.


              Fred Connemara cross to show off?
              "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

              "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig



                "I love the kynynmont connemaras, but when I’ve looked online it’s been hard to get info about their breeding program. I’m totally open to doing a custom breeding/breeding lease etc. I’ll take another look and maybe reach out to them."

                Yes, give Pam a call. Her breeding program is consistent and considered. She has classic American lines as well as the best of the newer import lines. I expect she will be happy to discuss it with you. Connemara breeders love to talk bloodlines and ponies!

                Check for other possibilities and perhaps give Marynell a call at Ridgetop Connemaras. She usually knows everything because she's the registrar for ACPS and publishes the magazine too!


                  Pm'd, I know one on east coast. Not mine but I know the horse well
                  The stories of the T-Rex Eventer

                  Big Head, Little Arms, Still Not Thinking It Through


                    I started looking this spring for a young WB/TB cross to replace my current cross and ran into the same issue with very few part-WB young horses being advertised. I had the exact same requirements as you - I don't need something super fancy but want conformation that leads to FEI potential and a good brain. My current horse was schooling all the GP until he got hurt (several times...) and progressed way beyond what we ever though possible. I just needed pretty much the exact same horse again, but younger (although a slightly better canter, better set neck, and hopefully less spooky).

                    I ended up finding a 2 year old full Hanoverian in southern Ontario that was in budget (which was a similar budget to yours). The breeder had a 2 year old pony (maybe RPSI?) for sale as well as a few yearlings and her 2019 foals. Let me know if you want the breeder's info.


                      If I were you, I'd join the "DRESSAGE BREEDERS GROUP" on Facebook.

                      It is not a for-sale group, but it is a group where people share pictures/updates of their young horses/yearlings, ask questions about stallions, and look for breeding advice and some-such.

                      I see tons of breeders comment with videos and pictures of their young horses, many of which are for sale.

                      It's a good way to see what is being bred out there, and there's not much a shortage that I've seen, of part-WB yearlings on it. There's a discussion posted last week that's still hopping with comments, about breeders who use TBs in their breeding program. A lot of the posted yearlings are really nice, and exactly what I think of when I think of basic, correct gaits and trainable. There were a couple TB x R-line WBs that really caught my eye.
                      AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


                        There is a site you might want to check out: There are a number of current foals and the person who puts this site together is in Ocala. Some say mid teens but they are two years old. Worth a conversation with him/her if you are at all interested in a PRE or Lusitano. They will get you good capability to sit, size within your parameters, a spark and they are smart, sensitive horses.
                        I've had my Lusitano for 4 years and will never go back to a WB.


                          While I would be all too happy to breed you a lovely and athletic Half Arab-Oldenburg cross in 2021 from one of my Ramiro granddaughters, you might also want to look at oversized GRPs and GRP crosses....we are getting nice ones in the Ottawa area and some carry very interesting Warmblood lines....


                            I'm leaning towards thinking you may think that boring is ok, but to go up the levels - say past 4th - the competition gets fiercer and unless you want to be trailing badly, after all the expense, time and angst of raising your own, you will need to find a very good mover, one that stands out. Not size, but movement and presence and ability to carry itself.

                            As you progress up the levels, the judges get more discening, too. While lower level judges do a good job, there comes a time when the dame few judges get almost boring.
                            Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                              Not all warmbloods are hard to sit. I have a Connemara cross with a super bouncy trot, and then I have my homebred Oldenburg mare who has very pretty movement but is easy to sit. She’s Pik L on one side and Devon Heir on the other, great brain. She’s also much quieter than the Connemara, who’s a fabulous jumper but doesn’t love dressage. I love Connemaras but they can be on the spicy side.


                                I'll just throw this out there.....consider a QH.

                                People tend to have just one image in their mind of what a QH is, but they come in a lot of different types. So you don't want a downhill, long backed, pleasure/hunter bred horse, nor a halter-bred horse. You want specifically a cow-bred working QH. This includes cutting/cow horse/reining/roping bloodlines - they're usually at least balanced if not uphill, they're designed to be able to crouch behind and lift, and with their mind and heart to fill the gap, you're likely to get more bang for your buck. Those pleasure-type horses are bred to move flat and just can't collect the way you want them to....but the cow horses can.

                                I have an FEI QH at home -- we're getting ready to go Grand Prix for realsies (currently doing it at schooling shows), he has scored into the upper 60s with me at PSG and I-1, and I could name you a dozen other QHs that are going FEI or have gotten to FEI recently and doing respectably well. Having one with a good mind will get you a long way.

                                On the AQHA dressage facebook group, there was a QH in Canada killing it at Third and in the comments she seemed to indicate he might be for sale. Who's to say you couldn't get a horse like that for the budget you have, and go on with it?

                                Just a thought for you to consider, good luck in your search.


                                  Originally posted by OrangeAmbition View Post
                                  I’m not looking to score well at GP. I’m not heading to Florida for winters, I have no aspirations other than riding well and having fun. I’d be tickled to get down centreline at GP, but I also understand that there’s a lot more to getting there than a fancy horse. I’m fine with a 6.5 mover so long as it can sit on its butt.

                                  My current mare really struggles with collection. There was no flying chance until the canter was properly collected, and the 4th level 1/4 pirouette is not a breeze for her. I don’t think she’ll be able to piaffe/passage. This isn’t to crap on her. She’s far surpassed my physical expectations of her and if I had my time back I would have bred her to something more athletic.

                                  I love the kynynmont connemaras, but when I’ve looked online it’s been hard to get info about their breeding program. I’m totally open to doing a custom breeding/breeding lease etc. I’ll take another look and maybe reach out to them.

                                  Thanks all.
                                  You're in Ontario right? Tonya Cummins runs Jump 4 Joy stables and she stands Windy Isle Get Smart there. She has quite a few young ones on the ground and let me tell you, it's hard to pick which one is nicer. She is crossing them with Warmbloods, and they are stunning!

                                  She has a facebook page: but her personal page has a lot more photos.
                                  Boss Mare Eventing Blog


                                    Original Poster

                                    I am in Ontario. Thanks to all for all of the feedback. All of the comments are really fair. I do want a very good mover with tons of sit. I don’t want big gaits or any flash. I really dislike the passagey back end on a lot of the big warmbloods. I want quick and stepping under but no bells and whistles, no leg flinging, not tons of cadence in the at-liberty trot.

                                    My current girl is a Canadian, who is a bit straight behind. She has tons of hind end if the goal is to propel forward but a hard time sitting. The changes didn’t even think about happening until I had a really honest ability to collect the canter. That said, with a lot of work, she can coil that hind end to do PSG (according to a number of BNTs). She was backed at 6, I learned a LOT along with her, I had a baby and so 9 years later I have a 4th level horse who is 15.

                                    I don’t want to overemphasize how much I don’t care about being competitive at the upper levels. I’m pushing 40 and I have a job and a family and a mortgage. I’d like to have a good shot at seeing the upper levels, but this horse doesn’t need to be blowing GP out of the water. We will be showing locally, and for fun. Yes, I’d rather not go out for a 55%, but if I did GO for a 62 and the bottom of the class, I’d be ecstatic.

                                    That said, when I say boring, I’m saying I’d like something with super clean and sitting gaits that I can make look nice, vs the more “modern” movers. I get that not all warmbloods are hard to ride/sit, and not all crossbreds are easy. But since my budget is probably keeping me looking at something that I won’t be able to sit on, I’d like to stack the deck in my favour. So to be clear, I’m not married to any breed, just looking at what might get me pretty close to what I want.

                                    As for spice, my comfort level is a bit dependent on how the spice is expressed. And frankly what I think is spicy might be dead to you, or vice versa, so probably not worth having a long debate about. I’ll always be taking a bit of a risk on that front, but I also know the limits of my ability and comfort level enough to 1) know when a horse needs to be turned over to a trainer to get me through a rough patch and 2) when I’m just flat out in over my head.

                                    Thanks again and keep any ideas coming.


                                      If you want a horse that can sit, I'd recommend a P.R.E. Or Lusitano. They can really sit on their hind end. On the other hand, getting a good extension can be difficult, but they have a more natural apt for movements such as piaffe and pirouettes. They are a sensitive type, but that can be a good thing. My P.R.E. Is so fine tuned and easy to ride with my body. I was working on collection yesterday and it's just so easy for him to use his hind end and lift the front. My friend is of the belief that he could canter in place, I haven't tried that ​​​​​​

                                      Anyway, they are a nice medium size horse, generally comfy gaits, high ability to do collected movements, very intelligent/trainable and very loyal to their person. Just like 2tempe said, I'd never go back! I still ride Warmbloods, but can't wait to get back to my little Spanish horse!


                                        I have a gelding by Dauphin who is the most trainable, easygoing, focused horse I’ve ever ridden. He is seven now and has breezed from training to third level in a little over a year. He’s doing the working pirouettes now and the harder it gets the better he is.

                                        Aileron, the owners of Dauphin, is a Canadian stable and they often have young stock. I would have another of him in a second if I had the time to ride two.

                                        Bonus, he is also small and super sound. Is he a 10 mover? No. He moves like his daddy, which is to say he is correct and attractive but not flashy. He pulls 8s all the time, though, and is comfortable to sit.
                                        Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                                        you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the long as its in a conservative color.