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Biggest challenge for breeders in NA?

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  • Exactly. And as courses evolve, so do training methods and the horses that are selected for. Rails come down more easily than they used to, so you select for the clean careful horse, regardless of breed, and train it in a way that doesn't make it lose respect for the jumps. Why anyone would think this is beyond a TB completely bewilders me!


    • I am hoping that the TIP shows are going to serve as a feeder program to get more tbs back in the GP ring.
      Another problem facing tbs as sport stock is that generally those inclined to breed tbs are going to go for racing them, not showing them. There is plenty of money to win, the payoff is quicker, and there are plenty of trainers and infrastructure for racing tbs. Some of our famous American GP jumper riders have switched to training racehorses.


      • Originally posted by lauriep View Post
        Oh, bullshit! A good TB has every bit as much jumping ability as any WB. Were you even around in the TB heyday? If you had seen the good ones back then, you wouldn't say that. And producing TBs BRED for their jobs would only make them better.

        The only BS is that you think TB's can jump as well as any WB. Show me the evidence. SO, aparently the entire world has been duped. The TB is really the superior horse but unknowingly everyone buys the inferior WB instead. REALLY? Come on, that is the biggest bunch of crap I have ever heard. Show me ONE succesful TB sport horse breeding program producing horses for the upper levels of OLYMPIC sport. ONE. How about the flood of buyers running to the US and the UK for their sport TB's. How about the top riders in the world filling their barn with TB's. They don't exist. WBFSH ranks all sport horses all over the world, and they inlude straight TB's. And you know what, they aren't even listed. Such a joke. This thread is not about WB vs TB. You are welcome to start breeding TB's for upper level of sport. If you produce a good one, I will be the 1st to shake your hand. This thread is about how to get your sport horse of any breed properly trained, and into the hands of a properly trained rider.

        Now back to realistic conversation.

        1 - Horses in Europe horses are not started until they are three, so doing the same here is not a disadvantage.

        2 - Not all breeders are having a problem moving stock. Me and some others I know are sold out. I had to go buy someone elses long 2 year old to fill inventory. I would love to start my own, if I could keep them around long enough to do so. I had to start another breeders friends of mine to get some riding horses in the barn.

        3 - Just anyone will do, BS. The 1st 30-90 days are very critical to how a young prospect takes training and riding going forward. We aren't all created equal. I can show you horses after 90 days in Europe that look better then 90% of the horses after 3 years of poor training here. I have seen the average rider here, and I have seen the average rider there, and I am here to tell you this is a gap we must narrow. Why do you think our best riders can ask so much, its because there is so little competition.

        4 - My program is small, so outside of a few breeders here that I respect and know their mares, I am forced to go to Germany myself to keep my doors open. I love the idea of a Co-op or regional breeding zones, but the quality must be consistent. I am not going to send my client to someone else, unless I know they have horses of equal quality to mine and that they will do the same to me. This level of TRUST is difficult to develop amongst strangers.

        5 - Too many "Trainers" are concerned about selling their product "The training". A green broke youngster doesn't do this. So not only are trainers not looking for young horses to develop, they aren't telling their clients to look for one either. They know that it will be too long for them advertise what they have done, and too many shows with a young green horse not acting like a solid citizen in public. In Europe they expect their young ones to act their age, and no one is judging them for it. WE ARE TOO CONCERNED ABOUT THE QUICK JUDGEMENT OF THE IGNORANT, all the while spending too much money and time buying them after someone else has already done the work.

        I am perfectly happy to take advantage of this dynamic by breeding horses that would never been shown to 99% of the public that goes over to Europe. Start and sell these prospects to any good and safe home who has the money and support to except them. The reality they will most likely enter into a system that doesn't value their breeding or what created them. I can only hope we change that dynamic by having this dialog.

        As a breeder that is my perspective, take it or leave it.

        Last edited by RyTimMick; Feb. 14, 2013, 09:00 AM. Reason: grammar
        Sparling Rock Holsteiners


        • Tim, you are trying to breed GP jumpers Do you respect that George Morris thinks they TBs the best breed and says we should relearn how to ride our TBs so that we will once again lead the GP standings?


          • Blah, same ole same ole. Do we ever evolve as breeders? Do we ever try and put in context what people say even if we're adamant they're wrong?

            Let's put what we know about TB's and then have a conversation. Bred for racing and no uniform type. So off the bat we know we need to select the type of horse we're looking for to start breeding. But not just the type in front of us, the genetics behind what's standing in front of you. For this you need more than my trainer had one by so and so and he was awesome. Any of you dedicated TB people go to TB sales? Do you go enough that you can tell what's walking toward you without looking at your catalog? I know what you're thinking, who cares? Well you will when you breed a nice type TB mare whose genetics say downhill ok paces.

            And paces. Maybe I've missed something but SJ is not so much run and jump anymore. And so let's assume all TB's can jump the moon. Still going to have an issue at the upper levels in SJ if that canter isn't right. Oh well that should be easily solved by my excellent skills as a rider. Well to be fair, that canter better have been there from birth. If I'm ever to buy a jumper please don't show me endless slow motion trot videos. And lets go a step further. Do jumper breeders ever infuse dressage blood for anything? No. Do dressage breeders ever reach for jumper lines? Why yes they do. Seems you need to improve that canter and hind leg efficiency now and again. You need more than that super extravagant trot so it seems. I galloped thousands of TB's. I can name about 50 that had a canter. A canter a horse could get up underneath itself with. Course for them to be effective as racehorses they needed to get out of that habit. A canter is not something that is just automatically there.

            Now the modern warmblood would be nowhere without the TB. Because a good canter and power and scope would be nothing without the reflexes and quickness of the TB. Without the TB jump offs would be pretty boring. So if one wanted to breed TB's for the purpose of reaching the UP's in SJ, one would have to research more than just bloodlines. Trying to find uniform type in mares. Then hoping for fillies, then keep crossing, and crossing until you have the types, the jumps, the canter, ect. I'm not talking about hunters here nor anything else, just jumpers. Over generations of carefully selected breeding and training, yes it would be possible to have purpose bred TB jumpers. You must be ruthless in culling and removing those which don't cut it. I mean we all talk about the glory days of TB's and yet I guess we gloss over the part where the ones that didn't make it were sold on at auctions. For every Touch Of Class, hundreds were just gotten rid of because they didn't have what it takes. Of course TB's can jump. You only need to look at steeplechase racing over here to see they can jump. And the braveness that comes with that jump. That's another thing the warmblood would be lost without the TB. The heart and die trying attitude.

            Look I love TB's. I use them for breeding. I won't change that dam line despite what I know. But for me it's that I know what I must accomplish in the next and next generation. I'm an idiot because it's the hard way. But I'm also not living in fairy land pretending they're just as good as a purpose bred jumper that's been bred for specifics in every generation. Just being a TB isn't good enough. When I'm at shows I'm looking at the UL jumpers. Not just watching on TV. I'm looking at many foals IRL. I'm trying to further my education instead of being narrow minded and hoping someone else goes out there and spends the money and hard work so I can say "see told you so". But look it, I know this post will be torn apart. But whatever.

            And on the matter if starting young horses. No it's not rocket science. But it is a skill set just like being a GP rider is a skill set. Being as how we get in horses that have been started wrong or messed up during the process, it isn't just for anyone.

            COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

            "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.


            • Originally posted by lauriep View Post
              My point was that there were well documented pedigrees that, if a cross produced a successful performance horse, the ancestry was easily searchable and other offspring accessible. We know there were several stallions who reliably produced great jumpers. I am not as familiar with the marelines, but TB lineage is SO well documented it would have been a no brainer for a real horseman to put the pieces together. We would have also retained the ability toEVALUATE OUR OWN HORSES, without importing foreign "inspectors" to tell us what to breed and not breed. That is offensive to me.
              OK, so how were the pedigrees documented? By Jockey Club? And where were the stats tying the bloodlines of these vaunted TBs to performance as SPORT HORSES? Those numbers sure weren't being compiled by JC, so how was a breeder to find them?

              Originally posted by lauriep View Post
              But, since no one did this, despite the WB popularity, we have lost track of most of those bloodlines. It is just sad. And if you are foolish enough to think one of the best TBs couldn't hold his own or beat the WB of today, well, too bad for you. The WBs were not beating our TBs. Finding the good ones got harder and more expensive (BECAUSE NO ONE WAS BREEDING THEM), our riders got lazy about wanting to develop young horses, and our SYSTEM fell apart. The European option became easier, nothing more. We then CONVINCED ourselves they were better horses with nothing left to compare to.
              And therein lies the crux of the matter - NO ONE KEPT THE STATS. NO ONE believed enough in the contribution of BLOODLINES to keep records. So breeders who wanted hard numbers went to people who DID keep stats. You may call them foolish, I call them savvy.


              • I have an enourmous amount of respect for George Morris and his contributions to the sport as a rider, trainer and Coach. We as Americans are lucky to have him. However, in regards to his understanding of breeding and the realities assoicated with what breeds are winning the sport I think he is disconnected. His comment that you refer too is demonstrative of this. The facts overwhelmingly show that he is wrong on this. Even if our best breeders in the country were to begin breeding TB's for sport, they would never catch up to the type, ability and vastness of the sport horse herds in Europe.

                Until anyone can provide evidence that breeding TB's for sport is effective I will believe otherwise. Of the leading sires list put out by WBFSH, 60 of them are Holsteiners. Of the top 25 mare families for the production of international jumpers, 14 are Holsteiners. Top 3 and 6 0f the top 10 are Holsteiners. Based on these facts, Holsteiners are responsible one way, shape or form for 60% of the top international jumpers in the world with a very small percentage of the overall mare base. If I met Mr. Morris, I would share those facts with him and suggest what we need are more well bred Holsteiners not TB's.

                Sparling Rock Holsteiners


                • Originally posted by DownYonder View Post
                  So breeders who wanted hard numbers went to people who DID keep stats. You may call them foolish, I call them savvy.

                  Spot on DY, and riders wonder why we make such a stink about keeping one horse one number.
                  Sparling Rock Holsteiners


                  • This is an interesting conversation. All I can speak to is the breeders lamenting the fact that there are no good young horse starters in the United States. Well there might be if those people were treated with respect and compensated fairly. At 18 I was starting TBs for the track (in the late 80s) and was paid a fair $25 every time my butt touched a horse. I took a job in San Diego for some ridiculously wealthy H/J trainers starting and riding their young imports and was expected to work 6 days a week, 12 hours a day, ride 5++ horses per day in addition to other duties, and was paid what ended up about $2 an hour with zero benefits. These particular people had multiple six-figure imports more than 20 years ago. I quit and went back to college...

                    I know of at least 2 gals who are superb young horse starters, they have the same story to tell as they try to get into the business. Breeders in this country don't think buyers want to pay what their product is worth? The exact same can be said about young horse starters and trainers. So none will exist. And none do exist if they are talented and smart, they realize it's a waste of time.

                    How are these riders treated in Europe? Is this a job that one can survive on? I would imagine universal health care helps some. What are the wages? Benefits?
                    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                    • You won't find a bigger TB fan than me, for sure, but...

                      Saying a good TB can jump just as well as a WB (I am talking at GP heights, not 3' Hunters or anything else) is just insulting to the generations of breeding that went into developing the WB for the GP levels. Are there TBs our there that could? Oh I am sure... but that would be a GREAT TB, and a freak until we can find other siblings or close relatives that can do anywhere close to the same.

                      Do I think TBs could be GP horses? Sure they have and they will. Do I think a breeding program could produce it regularly? With luck. These blood lines are so vast and varying in type that it is difficult IMO to know which bloodline produced the attribute you see in front of you. But if they do find the right breeding stock, yes I've no doubt it could be accomplished. But they will see the fruit of their labor in generations to come more than anything else, just like initial breeders of the WB did. It will not happen consistently over night.

                      Now I say this and think of all of AFR's babies' accomplishments and think I could be proven wrong re: generations. He has had incredible success in his first generation, but wasn't he the dam sire of a Viva Voltaire dressage horse that competed in the Olympics or another very high level of competition like that? WEG? It escapes me at the moment.

                      I love TBs, my goals breeding wise will never not include a great TB in them. But the success of the WB in sport is no accident. I hope we get more programs like the Chapots, and that they can again find success at those levels more frequently. It is possible but someone needs to do it, to commit to 100% TB.
                      Last edited by magicteetango; Feb. 14, 2013, 12:26 PM. Reason: Clarity


                      • How are these riders treated in Europe? Is this a job that one can survive on? I would imagine universal health care helps some. What are the wages? Benefits?
                        Yes, you can survive on a horse trainer's wage in Switzerland and parts of Germany (I have no reference for anywhere else.)

                        My MIL is Swiss and she apprenticed as a horse trainer. It's a trade in Switzerland, like Welder or Electrician in Canada. Apprentices do a lot of the work with young horses, at least where she was from. She has some of her old textbooks, there was a formal curriculum, just like any other trade, and testing. Stables and senior trainers were required to pay a reasonable wage, and while plenty of horse crazy kids exist in Switzerland ready to trade riding for chores...those kids aren't used to REPLACE the valuable skilled apprentices.

                        She came to NA, was appalled at how her trade is treated, and after a few years working at a stable (which she enjoyed, but was more of a hobby than a source of income) she just started breeding her own and training horses for her friends, kids and herself.

                        She's great with horses, I've learned a lot from her, but she's only willing to provide her skills to someone who values them. She was badly hurt by someone else's horse in her younger days, and because training help here is part-time work at best, there was no worker's compensation or any kind of benefits. We have free health care in Canada, so that's not a huge problem...but how stupid would you have to be to take the kind of risks involved in starting powerful, athletic youngsters in an economic climate where you can't afford health insurance?

                        If you're bemoaning the fact that you can't find colt starters...well, MAYBE look at what you're offering them, in the context of what the job can very easily cost them.

                        Not saying that the answer is to make horse training a trade, or just forking over more money. Europeans place a much higher value on many types of work than North Americans do. In Germany, you can make a very decent living as a waitress...which in my part of Canada is next to impossible. In order to create that kind of wage structure, there's a fundamental cultural shift required of North Americans, and most people I know are unwilling to say that the government ought to be involved in regulating wages. So, you get what you get. In my part of Canada, for every great waitress, there are 20 terrible ones. What can you do, the pay is total garbage most of the time, and employers bilk the system to keep almost all of them on part-time, working just enough hours to NOT receive benefits.

                        My sister is a professional musician, which is probably a close analog to "horse trainer." She loves music, and is passionate...and our culture has the attitude that she ought to make music to entertain us FOR THAT REASON ALONE. And lots of amateurs are happy to play for free. Then you see untrained, unskilled pop musicians who make more money than God...and Symphony musicians with Doctoral degrees in music making minimum wage. It's clear that we don't universally value skill or level of training...so what would motivate someone to go out and train as a musician? Music doesn't have near the risk to the body that horse training does either...and at least you get applause. Most young horse starters get a lot of injuries and a place of "honour" at the bottom of the totem pole in a rich man's sport.
                        Last edited by rugbygirl; Feb. 14, 2013, 01:00 PM.
                        Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior


                        • I paid a friend, an A pony clubber and a (then) law student $50 every time her seat touched the saddle to start one of my youngsters while I started the other myself. The one she started is now an elite mare and successful show jumper. I do pay well and it is high risk.


                          • Like Diane, I pay a friend who is a ex Pony Clubber and ex trainer who currently is a school teacher. She is compensated very well with many perks and gets commission on the horses she is riding when they sell. I couldn't find a full time trainer who didn't want to charge my left arm and leg. With this friend it is a mutually beneficial relationship with no over inflated egos or distrust. Love those Pony Clubbers!


                            • Originally posted by Renascence View Post
                              Tim, you are trying to breed GP jumpers Do you respect that George Morris thinks they TBs the best breed and says we should relearn how to ride our TBs so that we will once again lead the GP standings?
                              George Morris has lost his mind if he actually made these remarks in my opinion. The day of breeding the TB for GP jumping is over.......period.

                              Very few in the world are even attempting it and even less are shopping for them.

                              The only TB relevance for top jumping sport is reserved for the TB Stallion in the generational production of the warmblood.


                              • Ruby girl, that is all well and true, but you are talking to breeders who make even LESS and also have no health insurance or workers comp as they work with young horses (and sling bales of hay and bags of grain - ask how many of us have bad backs). The medical issue is not a horse industry issue, it is a US issue, anyone who is self employed in any industry is dealing with it.

                                So, while I agree, a young horse trainer isn't going to get rich, compared to the average breeder, they are still doing OK, so please don't feel like it is the breeders who are the enemy of the horse trainer!

                                And I actually think several of those trainers do get plenty of respect and referrals from the industry. Are they as well paid and as "respected" as the big name FEI trainer - no. But the bigger issue I see is that most of the young-horse trainers are young themselves,and use it as a foot in the door to advance to "non-young-horse-trainer". WHich is probably a natural progression - as a trainer gets older and more "mortal", they are less inclined to get on those young horses.


                                • Originally posted by Bayhawk View Post
                                  George Morris has lost his mind if he actually made these remarks in my opinion. The day of breeding the TB for GP jumping is over.......period.

                                  Very few in the world are even attempting it and even less are shopping for them.

                                  The only TB relevance for top jumping sport is reserved for the TB Stallion in the generational production of the warmblood.
                                  Let's see. GM has been involved at the HIGHEST level of the sport for, oh, forever. Spends months in Europe each year, watching the very best horses jump the very best courses. And yet he still thinks the TB is the superior horse. Yeah, well, I think I will take his word over yours...


                                  • Originally posted by lauriep View Post
                                    Let's see. GM has been involved at the HIGHEST level of the sport for, oh, forever. Spends months in Europe each year, watching the very best horses jump the very best courses. And yet he still thinks the TB is the superior horse. Yeah, well, I think I will take his word over yours...
                                    And......I've heard he is being replaced as coach of our Olympic Team after dreadful performances. George Morris is a terrific horseman but he is WAY out of touch with the breeding end.

                                    If he thinks the TB is superior......show us where one is ranked. Show us a top TB mare family. Show us a string of top jumping TB's in any barn in the world. Why isn't George Morris buying TB GP jumpers and putting his money where his mouth is ?

                                    You keep breeding your beloved TB's and you will quickly go bankrupt as there is next to no market for them in the upper levels of showjumping.

                                    Your understanding of todays showjumper is off the mark. Nostalgia will never make you right.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      I have read through all the posts and heard much of the same problems. Too expensive, lack of riders who are skilled with educating young horses, jumping classes that are overwhelming to young horses and perpetuate the constant need to win.

                                      I would like to turn the table over and ask you folks to offer up some solutions to these problems.

                                      Any ideas are welcomed and important. At the end of the day we all know that not everyone will be satisfied, but we have to start talking more about possible solutions and then use the avenues available to get things moving.

                                      Let's hear them......

                                      Hyperion Stud, LLC.
                                      Europe's Finest, Made in America
                                      Standing Elite and Approved Stallions


                                      • I offered solutions in my previous posts, but here they are again ...

                                        1) Create a database similar to what is used in Germany that tracks breeding data (pedigree, production, inspection & test results) as well as sport results allowing for tracking and research.

                                        2) Create a desire to keep the original paperwork with the horse and correctly completed USEF number applications, especially in the hunter/jumper venues where this is the biggest problem, using incentive programs and better accountability for dishonest business practices.

                                        3) Develop a young horse competition series that is suitable to the horse's age and development, on par with the European championships to bring NA on a level playing field, focus on increasing visibility/recognition of young horses and young horse trainers/riders/breeders.

                                        4) Start young rider schools focused towards talented young riders WITHOUT means lead by experts in the industry offering young horse development programs at an economical value to breeders (yes, have young riders starting the young horses with the supervision of experts).


                                        • Start young rider schools focused towards talented young riders WITHOUT means lead by experts in the industry offering young horse development programs at an economical value to breeders (yes, have young riders starting the young horses with the supervision of experts).

                                          Sadly, talent is often strongly tied with monetary means. If we can allow all those girls and boys with talent but no means (that can't afford to buy a youngster to show), to ride talented but very green horses, you will see a BUNCH of US/Canadian homebred horses kick asses in shows.

                                          I don't mean that the welthy ones we see on the big circuits are not talent.. Because sure they are. But I say that the talented ones that cannot afford to show the world how talented they are.. we will never know them if they can't ride talented horses. We will never know if some of the fundless talented riders would beat the wealthy ones lol because they cant get to the show to compete here in North America. So that diminish greatly the numbers of young riders available.

                                          So I see a win-win situation here. Not you?

                                          Why not a contest? like a bunch of breeders with good 3yo to start, put up a contest, and there's young talented riders who applies, with a resume, videos and letters from coaches etc. and the breeders then select the one they think would do a good job, interview him or her, and exchange the training for.. let's say, monetary support for board and/or showing of this young horses. At the end, it will be cheaper than to send the horse to a trainer, and it will help a talented rider to make his place in this luxury world of horse shows.
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