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Let's talk Trakehners

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  • Let's talk Trakehners

    I know exactly 2 people who adore them. They seem to be an anomaly because they are a real breed with an almost closed studbook. It seems that they are falling out of the mainstream of the path that the modern WB is taking by constantly introducing new blood.

    That said, they are a lovely horse and can be gorgeous movers. Why aren't more of them seen in the hunter rings? Do they not jump as well as, say, the Han. or the Dutch WB?

    What is their temperament like? In general -- I know that generalizations are always unfair, but let's be unfair for a minute.

    I have found some absolutely droolworthy, to-die-for Trak's who are also to-die-for movers. They are not old enough to jump yet, so I can't tell if they have talent. But I am tempted to be tempted by them. Why don't more people fall in love with this breed?
    "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

    Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

  • #2
    I have met a few Trakehners that I loved, I've met a few that I couldn't stand, but I can say the same for Thoroughbreds, Morgans and Quarter Horses too

    In general Trakehners don't suffer fools gladly and can be a little hotter than some of the other Warmblood breeds.

    When you get a good one, they are very, very good - but that extra bit of hot and the lack of a sense of humour seems to lead to people not wanting to look for the good ones


    • #3
      I have an anglo trakhener and she is tolerant to a degree, but not a plug. She is willing to try anything, but you better ride her. She knows when she is naughty, but don't punish her unfairly.

      They are not a horse for someone who wants a horse that will tolerate alot of bouncing around or not think. They think. At least the ones I have been around.

      She is also super sweet and affectionate. She loves children and wouldn't hurt anyone on purpose. When she is naughty under saddle you can almost hear her laughing and saying "ya scared yet?" Like a kid who tries to scare you by jumping out and saying "boo!"

      I like them, but then I like arabs and TBs too. I loooove an arab mind.


      • #4

        Trakehners are used quite a bit in Hannoverian breeding in Germany and a bit in the Netherlands too. But when they are crossed this way, they are registered as Hannoverians or KWPN because the Trakehner studbook is closed, as you pointed out. They are like any other breed, a group of varied individuals, some refined, some tanklike, some very quiet, some hot.

        I know many people who absolutely can't stand them, think they are all crazy. I think maybe a lot of junk probably was sold to the US in the early import days and that is how people got this impression.

        Personally, I love them.
        See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


        • #5
          Oh, my favorite topic!! I have worked with and around TKs since I was 11 (I'm 35 now) - mostly in Germany where they are very common.

          The TKs I think (and a few other breeders out there have said the same thing) got a bad rep back in the day when they first came to the States because the Germans let a lot of their "sub par" horses come over here (this is just my opinion, and just a generalization so don't jump on me please!!). That being said, some of the resulting offspring weren't all that great with manners, temperment etc so they got labeled "hot" "unmangale' etc (I've heard it all).

          I have ridden alot of WB breeds and have had some horses that were bad (temperments etc) and some good and some rare few excellent. I have ridden or worked with exactly one TK that was crazy. That is just me of course...

          As for if they can jump?? Anduc has the leading (or had) index for jumpers of any WB breed in Europe (he is pure TK), Mackenson also had the leading index for dressage (and is a TK)... don't know if those figures still are accurate, but even if it was once that is still saying something! Also, look at all the TK jumpers out there - Abdullah, Heinzelman (aka Storyteller), Windfall, Larisa, Advocate, Amethyst, Hennesey, Ichi-Ban, Anduc, oh gosh, I'm prob forgetting many many horses out there - and yes some are eventers, but to me that is an added bonus!

          No TKs don't suffer fools - you have to be a good rider (I'm having probs putting it in words, you can be a beginner, but you can't be a rough rider - does that make sense?? Can someone help??).

          Also, there are MANY "hidden" TKs out there - stallions that either didn't go for TK approval, or didn't pass or whatever, that are approved with other registeries and are promoted as "Hannovarians" "Oldenburg" etc, also there are just as many, or prob more that have influenced those other breeds.

          It is a great breed that is quiet about the horses and what they accomplish - so perhaps that is also part of the reason they are not as well known??

          Anyone that knows me knows that I can go on for hours about this breed so I'll stop, but if anyone is ever around my neck of the woods and wants to stop by and see them in action you are more than welcome!!
          Emerald Acres standing the ATA, Trakehner Verband, sBs, RPSI, and ISR/OLD NA Approved Stallion, Tatendrang. Visit us at our Facebook Farm Page as well!


          • #6
            SoNota DQ - I was posting when you were. WELL SAID!! That is what I was trying to say!!

            LOL - your mare sounds ALOT like my Anglo-TK mare (and I bet the way her colt is going to be!)
            Emerald Acres standing the ATA, Trakehner Verband, sBs, RPSI, and ISR/OLD NA Approved Stallion, Tatendrang. Visit us at our Facebook Farm Page as well!


            • #7
              Lord Helpus, may I correct you because Canadian horse also has a closed registry and suffer from some path too.

              But I surely share your love in Trakehner and as I am waiting for my mare to pop one up, I will have to wait until May to this event.

              If I recall, they were not selling for cheap and probably, since they have been unknown, they might have suffer from pricing versus other breed. Well, this is my thought about it.

              For sure, they tend to carry that hot temper reputation but I don't feel it is different in other breed; I have seen some funny temper elsewhere.

              I like that breed, I have read about it and the story is really fantastic.

              Fighting ovarian cancer ! 2013 huge turnaround as I am winning the battle !..


              • #8
                I started my love affair with them 20 years ago, and just four years ago finally got my own... though she's an anglo as well.

                Like SoNotaDQ I also like Arabs. Haven't truly worked with enough TB's to make that call... but have worked with everything else from Fjords to APHA's to working Ranch ponies and draft crosses, to Lusos. I always come back to Arab Crossbreds. Not a fan of the purebred per se, but a sucker for a crossbred who is purpose-bred (i.e. sporthorse.)

                And it's the same things I like about them that I like about Tks. SMART (sometimes too smart), Sensitive, hot off the aids. Not necessarily the easiest ride, but bred to do the work. Pretty heads.

                I think you see fewer of them in the hunter ring because many have that Arab-y "float", which is a bit too much.

                And I think you see *more* of them than you know, because lots of "other" Wb's have a ton of Tk breeding. Sempatico has a good dose of Tk lines, which is why I chose him.

                I'm also enamoured of the history of the breed. I think the fact that they did survive as a breed points to a certain innate willfullness...

                I've found alot of folks either like Arabs or not. I think it's so very much the same with Tks.

                Her Royal Highnessness Expectant (TM) was a very spoilt show hunter most of her life. She has a certain lack of tolerance for mere human beings... But I really think that's more nurture than nature. Her foals (2 Arab Crosses) have been incredibly bright, personable and trainable. We've yet to see how the WB cross is going to work... I'm hoping there's enough Tk in his pedigree that I get those traits I love
                InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

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


                • #9
                  LH, there is more Arab in them than in many other WB types. That might be part of the reason for their "different" attitudes.


                  • #10
                    An excellent resource is Trakehners International At this website you will find info about their history(which is very very rich)areas where they excel, general info, and their influences on other wb regsitries.

                    I have 3 full trakehners and one tk cross. I absolutely love them.

                    When I got my first trakehner I had to "learn" how to ride her. she was different from any other horse I had ridden before. She was very responsive, almost too responsive for me. I had to learn to become a very quiet rider, but yet still be an "active" rider.

                    Trakehners do well in hunters. ie storyteller, hennesey etc etc. and there are plenty of others who do very well in dressage and produce good dressage horses ie Caprimond. There are some in jumping, but not that many in international show jumping-there are some, but not as many as say holsteiners.

                    I like to describe trakehners as the ferrari of the warmbloods-you must now how to "drive" in order to have a "smooth" drive, otherwise there will be a lot of grinding of gears.


                    • #11
                      I'm going to get flamed no matter what, but I'll try to say this as diplomatically as possible.
                      The reason so many hunter people steer clear of trakehners is that so many of them are heartbreakers. Lots of them are exactly as you describe, beautiful to look at, lovely heads and eyes, and fabulous movers. However, quite a few of those same horses jump without enough use of the neck or shoulder for the hunter ring, and thus make people want to cry.
                      Of course, there are some that are the whole package, such as Hollywood, or Storyteller. But they are hard to find, and the whole perception of the breed is tainted in many people's eyes. They are thus a bit harder to market than the average warmblood, as some people (such as my mother for one, who was burned by one such tempting prospect as you mention, bought out of the canadian cup classes) will rapidly run the other direction.
                      I have heard some people think they're hot, but the ones I've come across have in general been dead quiet, so I'm not sure how much I believe that theory. You may remember Oyster Pond (Aberdeen for you Trakehner breeders) that was in Rodney's barn for some time. He was a wonderful horse for adults or kids, sweet and quiet, model winner, hack winner. Couldn't jump to save his life.
                      I do think a small amount of trakehner blood in a WB could be a lovely refining influence, and I've seen a couple of nice crosses bred that way. However, I'm likely to steer clear of the full or half blood unless it's already going and can prove itself to me.


                      • #12

                        You could be right about their conformation for hunters. They are bred as dressage horses or jumpers. I would caution people to not think of them as a blanket refining influence, they aren't. And some of them are downright "old style".
                        See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


                        • #13
                          My $.02 for what it's worth

                          I have always gravitated towards Trakehners or Anglo-Traks. If there is one in the barn, that is the stall that I find myself standing outside admiring I have owned an Anglo-Trak and am currently leasing one. They have several traits in common. They are determined (this can be good and bad ), intelligent, reactive and opinionated. They are willing to do anything for me if I ask and explain my request logically. Neither tolerated being muscled around. Neither likes demands. And I don't find either of them particularly hot. In fact, I find them very laid back. I would honestly say that I am a fan of the breed. But you have to be a rider that truly believes in a partnership to make it work I find that if you encourage some independent thought and appreciate it, they will go to the ends of the earth for you


                          • #14
                            I have an I-1 Trakehner gelding by Hailo. Although his name is Oliver Twist, his nickname given to him by one of his trainers is "Mr. Perfect." He is the horse my trainer puts family visitors on who cannot ride so they can be "taken care of" by him. He tolerates me (around 1st level) three times a week and is also ridden by a Prix St. Georges rider (working student) and a Grand Prix rider (my trainer). He is brave, extremely smart, talented and drop dead gorgeous. He will put his head on your shoulder and leave it as long as you will let him. He was champion of EVERY Hunter show he was ever in and, in his 5th year (he's 12 now), he was top ten in the nation for Training Level dressage and top 20 for First Level dressage. He achieved as high as 70% at Third Level and 69.7% at I-1. That I-1 69.7% was in a downpour.

                            He is my only Trakehner even though I own 6 other horses. He is my irreplacable horse of a lifetime. I have had him 6.5 years now and I still marvel at him (can't you tell? ) and feel very fortunate to have him.

                            I think there are good and bad in all breeds and that horses should be looked at as we would look at people -- as individuals. I think the main reason the Trakehner has lost some of its popularity and marketability is the steadily increasing interest in more knee and hock activity for dressage. Trakehners lack this because of their steady crossing of TBs and Arabs and closure of their book to other breeds. They are still considered highly valuable in Europe as refinement stallions, but of course, we as breeders are not trying to breed refinement stallions -- another reason they are not as popular as some of the other breeds. This loss of popularity, in my opinion is a travesty, as I have had my most fabulous riding experiences on the back of a Trakehner.

                            Lord Helpus, if you spend the time to get to know the Trakehner you are interested in, AND YOU LIKE HIS TEMPERAMENT, buy him. You won't be dissapointed. Good luck and keep us "posted!"


                            • #15
                              LH you can add me to the list of those who adore the breed I have known several Trakehners and more that were/are Anglo-Trakehners. I especially love the Anglos. We have had many in my trainer's barn through the years and they have varied from very very high quality to not so great quality, but I can say that for any breed. Some could jump, but not all have the form to be hunters (again I can say that of most breeds). For the most part they are some of the smartest horses I have ever worked with. I like that in a horse, but it is not everybody's cup of tea.

                              I think that the breed has really been stereotyped for whatever reason. I also think, however, that one thing that most people don't recognize is that as a closed book breed the Trakehner is a relatively small breed (in production #s) when compared to some of the other WBs or TBs. As has already been said they have been an influence in other breeds though.

                              Mine personally have been good movers and nice jumpers that, while maybe not in that top 1-2% of A circuit horses, have held/ can hold their own in most company. The stallion I used to own (who was gelded right after I sold him) showed on the east coast and FL through the Regular Workings after he sold and got some ribbons even at the big shows. He had a decent jump, but always had a little play in him (he had so much scope that he could play to the base of a 4' oxer and not blink an eye) and never made the A/O horse he was supposed to. He is now out west (last I heard) and is doing very well as a Children's hunter horse. I now have one of his sons (out of a WB mare who I think may be a trakehner, but I am not sure). My current one is sooo easy and has a good work ethic which are probably his best qualities (he is meant to be the A/O horse). He tends to get a little bored with the lower jumps and doesn't yank his knees to his chin, but as the jumps are going up I think we are starting to see the signs of the really good jump he had as a 2 yo when I bought him (though we still are not getting the yanking knees at this point). He is also showing nice movement as he is getting stronger.
                              ~ hunt_jump ~



                              • #16
                                I love the photos I have seen of Oliver Twist! The stallion that I used to own that I spoke of in my post is a Hailo son (and my trainer owns his two full brothers). We also have my gelding and another filly by my former stallion in the barn so we are full of the Hailo line kids - I absolutely adore the line They are all stunning to look at with that "Hailo look".
                                ~ hunt_jump ~



                                • #17
                                  Thanks so much, Hunt Jump! I've often told my husband that it's a good thing Ollie's a horse, or he'd be in trouble...

                                  I too have seen many Hailo offspring as we have Hunter's Bluff Farm here and they have used him extensively. His offspring are consistently beautiful, intelligent, talented, often multidisciplined, and have great minds. What more can you ask?!?

                                  Good luck to you and your Hailos!


                                  • #18
                                    Foxen is by Pregelstrand (Trakehner) and out of a Thoroughbred mare. She is elegant, quiet, and sensible. She has lovely hunter movement and tends to produce that type of movement. I can not speak to her jumping technique as she was aged and arthritic when I got her and she has been a career broodmare.


                                    • #19
                                      I have an Anglo Trak mare by Hennessey who is one of those head turners. She's got that gorgeous head, LOFFLY movement, but jump is about average (she's still pretty green and only doing small stuff, maybe she'll improve over bigger stuff...maybe...hopefully ) Anyway, point being, she is probably the sweetest, kindest, SMARTEST horses I have ever ridden. (Can ya tell there's a "but" coming) BUT she is also too darn smart for her own good and gets bored VERY quickly. I am also dealing with energy and stamina galore that only WINDS UP as you go. She's not ill mannered, just wants to GO GO GO. She's turned out for a full day almost every day, she is an EASY keeper and gets a few handfuls of grain so it's not grain high.... Seriously- she's like an Arab and will go ALL day...HAPPILY. She's everything I've always wanted except for the energy level. I don't know if it's the TB side or the TK side but DARN...this girl wants to go all day. She was supposed to be my future A/O horse, but I think eventing may be more her speed.


                                      • #20
                                        Add Schonfelder to the list of traks that have been successful in the hunter ring (and as a hunter sire). Here is a snippet about him:
                                        "An athlete with a terrific temperament, he was champion or reserve champion in most of his show career through the Regular Working Hunter and the Conformation Hunter divisions. His get have won $80,000 in the IHF. Prize money has been won every year since the inception of the IHF with one international champion and four regional champions as well as two champions in the Challenge Series. He has had numerous AHSA year end champions in the Amateur divisions as well as many zone champions. In 1998 his ywo year old was AHSA Breeding Horse of the Year. He consistently throws horses with great temperaments and strong work ethics."

                                        I have a yearling Hanoverian filly who is actually almost entirely trak. She is very smart, responsive, sensitive, and an excellent mover. She was bred for dressage so I don't really care whether she has a 10 jump, but she is extremely athletic. She has a very particular character that is hard to describe other than to say that she is really sharp, tries hard to please, and is a little busy body (tries to make friends with everyone who walks by, always fishing in your pockets even though she gets no treats by hand, and is very vocal). Personally, if a young horse really impressed me I would not hold being a trak against it at all.
                                        Roseknoll Sporthorses