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warmblood & arab crosses - good idea or bad? (warning LONG!)

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  • It really does depend on what the purpose is. As I've mentioned in the past, Australians have been using the WB/Arabian cross for decades to produce outstanding show horses. There is a high demand for this type of horse at the highest levels of showing. Most are no slouches in the dressage arena either.


    • We warmbloods have a lot of arab blood in us. It's the way that warmbloods are refined. With Arab blood and TB blood from studs.


      • Originally posted by ToTheNines View Post
        I have not read this entire thread, and I don't mean to be rude, but I know a lot of people that breed "interesting" crosses, and guess what? They are still trying to sell them. I have one friend that bred an Arab-Welsh, and the pony is completely unsuitable. There are simply too many unwanted horses to be experimenting with unconventional crosses.

        Maybe you are breeding for dressage... can't speak to that, and have not read this thread. But when people shop, they shop with a job requirement. It is only logical to me that horses should be purpose-bred for a specific job. If I were looking for a hunter or jumper, and it had an Arab parent, I would not even go look at it.
        Welsh / Arab and Welsh / TB crosses used to be popular as large hunter ponies . . . I showed one when I was a kid that was never out of the top three at the BIG shows. We regularly out-placed a now-famous hunter rider who's often on the front page of COTH Ready Penny (on the circuit in the old days, and in A Very Young Rider) was also a Welsh / Arab. There are many, many others. I've been out of hunter land for awhile, but seriously ...
        Piaffe Girl -- Dressage. Fashionably.


        • Originally posted by Dawn J-L View Post
          Check out the 2 year old in-hand champion at the Young Horse Show Series finals: http://www.younghorseshow.com/2012-finals.html

          "Uphoria" is registered GOV by UB40 and out of a purebred Arabian mare (GOV approved, obviously)

          So it can work pretty darn well when done right!
          Well thank you very much for the shout out

          As I have written in quite a few discussions, the judges LOVE Uri. Hilda Gurney asked if I would send him to California so she could train him if I can't find an appropriate match...ahhh!!! She also said he would be a top FEI Young Horse contender...hehe my little half-arabian. Another judge, Jos Sevriens, remembered him from the qualifying show and just raved about him and said he looks even better then last time! He received the highest in-hand score in any division for the entire 2012 season of the YHS circuit, an 8.86, not too shabby!

          Originally posted by Sonesta View Post
          columbus, I think part of the problem is that many of the Arabian riders know little or nothing about dressage and tend to ride their Arabian/WB crosses like they rode their purebreds in the ring classes - inverted and "broken" at the 3rd vertebrae. And you are correct that they tend to choose an Arabian broodmare with the wrong qualities; they tend to choose halter type mares or English Pleasure/Park type mares - again with the inverted movement and out behind.

          The good Arabian/WB crosses are not showing in the Arabian Sporthorse ring for the most part; they are showing in the regular dressage shows and doing well.
          Sonesta knows her arabians

          If anyone is looking for a sport horse type arabian mare to breed to a warmblood, please look at Sonesta Farms for custom foals. She has two amazing black mares, one is the dam of my boy, and both are approved GOV. I already told Rebecca I keep playing the lottery to repeat the cross, and to breed the mare's purebred daughter as well!! They are very much sport horse in type, not like the inverted, hocks out behind type of arabians you are thinking of.

          Oh, and I will be taking my boy out on the Arabian circuit in Region 12 once he is under saddle, but will show mostly in Wellington since I live right around the corner
          Samantha Werner

          There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by ToTheNines View Post
            I have not read this entire thread, and I don't mean to be rude, but I know a lot of people that breed "interesting" crosses, and guess what? They are still trying to sell them. I have one friend that bred an Arab-Welsh, and the pony is completely unsuitable. There are simply too many unwanted horses to be experimenting with unconventional crosses.

            Maybe you are breeding for dressage... can't speak to that, and have not read this thread. But when people shop, they shop with a job requirement. It is only logical to me that horses should be purpose-bred for a specific job. If I were looking for a hunter or jumper, and it had an Arab parent, I would not even go look at it.

            It’s been a long time…Since my initial thread was started. A long time relative to the breeding business anyway. Some things have changed dramatically (as have so many things in all our lives), other things *remain constant.
            I hate to be rude, but.....the above quoted writer is obviously ignorant on the subject. Before flaming, please note:
            def. ‘ignorant’...lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned: an ignorant man. 2. lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact: ignorant of quantum physics.
            “...I know alot of people who breed ‘interesting crosses’ and they are still trying to sell them.”
            Really? And I also know alot of people who breed the more ‘fashionable’ crosses (a warmblood IS a cross , you know) and they too, are ‘still trying to sell them’. We have never had a problem selling our ‘interesting crosses’. To people who are NOT ‘arabian’ people. Weanlings at 8, 10 and 12k. Walk trot and canter, free jumping at 15- 20k. Right in the same ballpark as those with the ‘fashionable’ foals. Tobruk Farm breeds fabulous ‘interesting crosses’ and they have never had a problem selling for top dollar, and there are many many more small, successful breeders like that. And the feedback from buyers has been outstanding. The reception they’ve gotten with their ‘interesting crosses’ has been overwhelmingly positive in a relatively prejudicial world.
            “have one friend that bred an Arab-Welsh, and the pony is completely unsuitable. There are simply too many unwanted horses to be experimenting with unconventional crosses.”..Well, ‘one friend’ certainly makes one an expert on the quality of welsh/arab hunter ponies overall, don’t you think? As a matter of fact, MANY successful hunter ponies are of arabian blood. Some are , oh gosh, EVEN purebred! And arabian/welsh is hardly an ‘unconventional’ cross.
            “If I were looking for a hunter or jumper, and it had an Arab parent, I would not even go look at it.” Whew..boy are you missing out. Check out our IronStone, a premium Oldenburg by Ironman and out of an arabian mare (who happens to be an approved GOV mare with three premium foals to date). IronStone was evaluated by one the top hunter/jumper riders in the country and he said that this horse could be in the top five in the nation with the scope to go open jumper. HE didn’t give a hoot that IronStone ‘had an arabian parent’..And, oh yes, check out Ironman himself. Lots of Arabian blood in his lineage...Now, one only has to match these potential stars with the ‘right’ rider, correct? How many ‘fashionably’ bred prospects must meet that same benchmark?
            “I have not read this entire thread,...” hmmm...perhaps then refrain from such a biased post until you do? And why did you click on the thread to read it at all feeling the way you do?

            My husband and I are not fancy breeders. We don’t cotton to fads, nor do we have oodles of dollars for imported European stock.* We ARE long time performance people who have bred excellent, long lasting performance horses. Hunters, jumpers, polo horses, and an occasional dressage prospect trained and shown by someone with a tad more finesse then we country types possess. We have CAREFULLY utilized several breeds over the decades, either individually or in combination with others. In any event, the goal was to produce a ‘type’ that could do a darn good job in the arena of equine athletics. NOT overally ‘specialized’ but an overall fine athlete. It is (or used to be) understood and respected that a good athlete could perform well at a variety of athletic endeavors. Once in awhile, there would be a ‘star’, outstanding at a specific job. But to look at this ‘star’, he would still have the identical outward qualities that the more all arounds had. So ‘star’ quality, in our decades of breeding, we found was something intangible, something inside, something deeper than pedigree, fashion, or breed.
            It is the small breeder that adheres to the basic principles of quality breeding that is the backbone of the industry.
            In our simple way of thinking, a good horse for the right job is a good horse. Regardless. And a good horseman is one who recognizes the same.
            *To breed for purpose is a good thing as long as one is not hung up on too much ‘specialty’. Too much of any one ‘good ‘ thing often spoils the broth.* There are far more people interested and skilled at average to above average competency than there those who aspire to, or have the skill to achieve stardom.*Generalists shine and are the basic ingredients for our success. * And so it goes with breeding good horses.*
            Sure, we’d all like to have that Olympic prospect.* And* so unlikely that even were one bred, that an Olympic quality *HUMAN would come along for match up. And history shows us that there were many Olympic quality stars who were not from illustrious backgrounds, or who were of a less than ‘respected’ breed.
            Read the remarkable story of Snowman if you’d like a real education in talent vs ‘quality’ and pedigree..
            So we concentrated on breeding the best for the world of equine sport, that would suit from the *medial to the best of riders and in between, that the norm of the majority of participants *can enjoy. Horses that can be trained to be tolerant of those less capable, that can be trained to not only jump high and clean, take an eventing course with pride and competence, jump sweet enough to place in a hunter division, or make a fair rider shine in the dressage ring, and, most importantly, to also be a friend.* A horse than can also take that person on a trail ride, or be the rock that carries someone through a difficult time in their lives.* An all around athlete and friend.
            We bred for quality and harmony of movement, heart to take on challenges, love of work, and conformation to remain sound for life, with a dash of pretty and personality that we all admit, is so nice to have looking out that stall door for us as we make our way to the barn. We found that the Arabian and the Thoroughbred, combined with a select few warmblood stallions, topped our goals. Before the warmblood was readily available, we found that the Thoroughbred and Arabian was rarely a disappointment to us in our goals. And scattered in, there were often individuals of each breed that stood out above all others, their stars shone.
            I will be the first to admit, also, that today’s Arabian, Thoroughbred, and yes, warmblood, are not being bred in GENERAL, to the standards we old folks are used to. Good individuals are out there, but it takes good horsemen to recognize them. Too much fad and fashion has taken over many breeds today, much to the degeneration of each .
            And so, sadly, it’s the*kind of* thinking, as evidenced by the callous and ignorant comment quoted here,that is all too prevelent in today’s equine buyer’s mindset. It is indicative of a bias mindset that is nourished by ignorance.
            And that has helped us to make a decision to get out of the breeding business. Because when we were in our heyday of performance, breeding, and sales, real horsemen chose horses based on their ability TO DO THEIR JOB WELL. If anyone in our circle made a comment such as the above, you knew…You just knew , that this person was not a horseman.* *You see, us old dinosaurs were only interested in the tried and true qualities of a good horse. We were not hung up on pedigree, status of breeder, current fashion, country of origin, breed purity,* color or size, but only on whether this horse could and WOULD do the job asked of it , and do it with cheer, grace and harmony, while bringing something no one else could bring to that person on board.
            And if often took years to find that special nick, that really nice blend of either two individuals and often breeds, that seemed to do the job best overall.
            And sadly, the person who made that post, and I know nothing of this person, and they know nothing of me,* are the norm now, rather than the exception. That these kinds of people who are now in the world of equine sport are often those who could not ride that ‘perfect horse’, that one of certain breeding, that didn’t have any ‘disparate’ blood.* IF such a horse existed and they were able to obtain said animal. We don’t breed to market to people like this, and do not want our horses in such an environment.
            They do not comprehend that there are THOUSANDS of horses with ‘specialty breeding’* for a given job (can we say race horse, or reining horse, or cutting horse, or jumping horse, and so on?) who never aspire to even an average competency level in their field, despite their ‘specialty’ pedigree. And are cast aside accordingly. So many more than the so called ‘ unconventional’ crosses.
            Only the ‘stars’ make headlines, all those other little foals that grow up average are never factored in.* It’s in the specialty breeders’ best interest to not mention them.
            It is far more productive to breed a ‘type’ in conformation, a kind temperament,* and a willing heart, over the long run, than to worry about whether one has ‘5 crosses to Feur Ibn Open Jumper’, who is the rage in stallions this year …Despite the record keeping, remember that the big guys get the publicity, they breed many mares, and percentages matter, not how MANY offspring are successful. A stallion with a hundred foals over the years and ten top performers is no better than a stallion with ten foals and one top performer..
            Good horsemen know how to look at a prospect, young, started , or performing. Good horsemen, professionals, want to win. Good horsemen, even those with some prejudice, will* NEVER turn down a prospect that obviously has the ability to do the job, just based on breed or pedigree.* Unfortunately it’s rare to find such a human animal nowadays
            *And, this comment also demonstrates the lack of knowledge of horses of sport, and how many came to be, a gaping lack of understanding history,* breeding,* and how so many breeds have been utilized to improve, enhance, and fine tune equine athletes. All a comment like the above shows is snobbishness, and like most snobs,* an intolerance for the truth and in becoming educated. “If I knew a horse had Arabian blood, I wouldn’t even go look”….How ridiculous, and how indicative of how our society has become. And how extraordinarily exclusionary of so many wonderful horses out there, many, I am sure, that this commenter perhaps could not even ride to the level the horse was capable of.
            As so many of our fine warmbloods have significant Arabian blood, so many jumping stars, so many show the refinement, trainability, and long term soundness the Arabian and Thoroughbred brings to the table.
            How could someone like this feel so superior to those breeders in Europe who’ve used Arabian blood for decades, to those who have approved Arabians as breeding stock (like Oldenburg Verband, Hanoverian, and others)?* Does this person know so much more than these horsemen of the past and present who give us so many fine athletes?
            I think not..
            Deb Morgan
            Ancient Oaks Sport Horses
            Breeders of fine Arabian Warmblood crosses for the equine world of sport.


            • Although I think TTN could have posted their opinion a bit more tactfully, I don't understand this last post by AO. The title of this thread specifically asks for opinions on Arab/WB crosses. Why react so strongly when someone does just that?

              IME, TTN's opinion represents the vast majority of H/J buyers and not because they are ignorant or snobbish. The number of F1 crosses that are truly competitive on the AA circuit is miniscule. To find one is looking for that needle in the haystack, so understandable that someone looking for their next partner would concentrate their search on crosses most likely to be suitable.

              Yes, many top jumpers carry Arab and/or TB blood, but only a handful are F1 and only a tiny fraction of that handful have the blood on the bottom. European books have added blood very judiciously on the top. I say that as someone who uses a TB mare in my own jumper breeding program. I know I am going against the odds and I can't fault anyone for pointing that out to me.

              I did just check out your lovely 2006 colt, IronStone. Beautiful, but his show record doesn't exactly make TTN look ridiculous. As breeders we sometimes put a lot of emphasis on inspection scores and opinions. IME, buyers care about that when they are looking at foals because many find it difficult to evaluate them. Once that foal is backed, most no longer put much weight on foal scores and judge the horse in front of them.

              We have a big Arab and TB mare base in this country. I think it's important to discuss how to make the best use of that in meeting both our goals and the demands of the market. I am seeing more success in the Dressage ring for the Arab/WB F1 and in the Hunter ring for the TB/WB F1. Both still have a way to go to make a dent in the upper level (1.5+) jumper ring. This isn't an insult, statistically it's simply the truth.

              Edited to add that it wasn't really fair to misquote TTN. She stated she would not go look at a horse with an Arab parent. Nothing about not looking at one with Arab blood. There is a difference.
              Last edited by tuckawayfarm; Apr. 7, 2013, 02:01 PM. Reason: add


              • Good post tuckaway. I apologize for being harsh about horses with an Arab parent in the hunter ring, and the grey in the website of the person who responded to me looks very nice. I do recall now that I boarded a very successful show hunter pony here post-retirement. He was Welsh-Arab, but looked very Welsh. I had another Paint-Arab here for a while that was very cute, but looked fairly QH-ish and was small and short-strided and successful only because she was ridden by a very very good rider.

                I have an App that I show in hunters and it is a lot of fun to compete him against the warmbloods. However, I am the first to admit that you have to look far and wide for an App that can play with the big boys. And almost everyone I show against would not go look at an App if they were looking for a hunter or jumper. Same thing with Arabs I suppose.

                It is just that I sort of feel like the Sport Horse Breeding forum is a bit "enabling". As in yeah yeah breed breed. I know so many persons who are breeding that have no idea what they are doing. They have horses no one wants. We have a world full of horses that need homes, and breeding more is not helping the problem. I also know a breeder who is extremely successful. She had 10 -12 babies this year, and I believe all but three are sold. Her breeding program is extremely focussed on horses for a specific job and type and her offspring are out there winning in the show ring for that job -- performance classes at the upper levels.
                Last edited by ToTheNines; Apr. 7, 2013, 04:24 PM.
                Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


                • I started breeding this cross 5 yrs ago and my first one is just now under saddle. So far I have sold 100% of my stock before they turn a year old. One to a dressage home, one to a Hunter home and one that may never be for sale (first one that started it all and is my heart horse). It may help that mine are not only Half Arabian, but they are also registered Hanoverian.

                  Excepchanel (Escudo II x Caraechstrodinair ox) '09 Hano filly
                  2 weeks under saddle
                  60 days under saddle

                  Landinair GOA (Landkoenig x Caraechstrodinair ox) '12 Hano colt

                  Polaur Express GOA (Magic Aulrab x MS Fine Tune) '12 HA/Hano Colt (only registered HA due to the Arabian sire)

                  These are my first three of this cross, the boys are sold to awesome show homes and the filly is mine

                  Just purchased a Pik Solo mare who will be bred to Escudo II this year and then I'll try an Arabian stallion on her for a 2015 baby.


                  • My first arab warmblood cross - and I will tell you that plenty of open hunter people have lusted after him. He happens not to be for sale, because I bred him to get back into hunters myself.

                    He's a smidge taller than 16.1 and has an amazingly scopey jump, And he's the smitting image of his sire, Budweiser.

                    This is a photo of him as a 3 year old.

                    Click image for larger version

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                    Duel for the Crown: Affirmed, Alydar, and Racing's Greatest Rivalry