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definition of "rideability" for stallion tests

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  • definition of "rideability" for stallion tests

    Hi,

    When riders judge horses on rideability for stallion tests (and other performance tests I suppose), are there formal criteria that they are given? Is rideability the idea that "anyone can ride" the horse or could say, a very hot horse that is willing and quick to learn get a high rideability score? Does a high rideability score translate into a horse that amateurs can ride?

    thanks!
    http://behindthebitblog.com
    Dressage, riding, sport horse blog
    BTBbrowbands.com
    Unique browbands for dressage and hunter riders

  • #2
    From speaking with lots of training riders, inspectors and training directos over my years of attending the stallion testings, I have come to understand that when they judge rideability they are looking to see how willing and cooperative is the horse, whether he can adjust to different riding styles and whether he focuses on his rider's aids and responds to the best of his ability.

    So, I'd say a good rideability score is one indicator that a horse would be rideable by an amateur - but remember that whether the average U.S. amateur can ride a horse has just as much to do with the extravagence of the horse's gaits and his "hotness" as with his rideability scores.
    Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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    • #3
      The test riders are not amateurs.

      Could an average American rider do well on what a test rider thinks has high rideability?

      It depends.

      Typically the average amateur wants huge gaits, the auction trot.

      I get my best feedback, as a breeder, if an amateur has an upper level trainer who is familiar with youngsters.
      www.oakhollowstable.blogspot.com

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      • #4
        This is not a test of rideability to determine if the stallion is an amateur ride but rather if he is suitable for sport. The riders give their score based on their "feeling". Is the jumper brave and does he take them to the jump? Does he feel scopey? Does he learn from his mistakes? In the dressage phase, is he submissive and responsive to the aids? Does he feel elastic and scopey in his gaits? It is questions such as these, that are most important.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          scopey / suppleness / elasticity

          Hi,

          Hmm. I thought I was getting it, or at least part of it. Rideable horses are willing, fast learners, able to focus, non-resistant, and enjoy their job (which they'll do if they find it easy).

          The last poster emphasized this last point -- athletic horses find their job easy. So it seems like rideability has overlap with sheer ability -- scopey, supple, elastic, etc.

          Is this true? Are riders given specific instructions on how to assess their horses?
          http://behindthebitblog.com
          Dressage, riding, sport horse blog
          BTBbrowbands.com
          Unique browbands for dressage and hunter riders

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          • #6
            Absolutely. Yes, the riders who have not been a test rider before have a meeting with the training director so that they know what attributes are considered when giving the score.

            The horses are not scored down for green-ness. They are not expected to be perfect. If they have a naughty moment, that is okay as long as they get right back to work. Sometimes a horse may look difficult, but the rider have a totally different opinion.

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            • #7
              Rideability for most amateurs means a less reactive horse. That is not a good think for a top level horse, competitive horse, which is what the registries are trying to create..

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                fly on the wall

                I'd love to be a fly on the wall to hear what the trainers tell the riders. I'm probably making it seem more complicated than it is, but the notion of rideability strikes me as an important one to understand when you're looking at stallions to breed horses for a particular market...
                http://behindthebitblog.com
                Dressage, riding, sport horse blog
                BTBbrowbands.com
                Unique browbands for dressage and hunter riders

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                • #9
                  Harald Hoffmann, the training director, tells them to score their "feeling". They may talk a bit about the scoring scale, but it is pretty basic. The riders are all experienced with taking young horses up through the ranks, so they know what to look for.

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                  • #10
                    In the dressage phase, is he submissive and responsive to the aids? Does he feel elastic and scopey in his gaits? It is questions such as these, that are most important.

                    Yes. My SO has been a test rider for quite a few inspections ect. He judges how well the horse is suited for the sport it is bred for. As was mentioned above, is the horse submissive (in general, to the hand ect)?. Is he good through the back(BIG ONE). Is he elastic in his gaits? Does he give the rider a good feeling? Does he have the right reactions?. These are the things that the dressage rider wants in a competative prospect. These are the traits that make a horse more likely to reach the upper levels of the sport. And they are heritable, hence the reason they are judged.

                    Quiet and non reactive ie anyone can ride are not important qualities in a dressage horse. (Obviously you don't want an overly looky or totally crazy reactive horse either).

                    At the same time, I do think it worth mentioning that if the horse does not have enough training, it makes it really hard to judge the rideability. Some people take their horses to the inspections too green and so it is impossible for the rider to give the horse a good score on submission for example...
                    www.svhanoverians.com

                    "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.

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                    • #11
                      I agree. On the other side of the coin, it is also difficult to judge a trained horse that has man made issues.

                      Originally posted by Donella View Post
                      [B]At the same time, I do think it worth mentioning that if the horse does not have enough training, it makes it really hard to judge the rideability. Some people take their horses to the inspections too green and so it is impossible for the rider to give the horse a good score on submission for example...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Donella View Post
                        At the same time, I do think it worth mentioning that if the horse does not have enough training, it makes it really hard to judge the rideability. Some people take their horses to the inspections too green and so it is impossible for the rider to give the horse a good score on submission for example...
                        So true.
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                        Home of VDL Windsor H

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