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Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

In our continuing effort to provide an avenue for individuals to voice their opinions and experiences, we have recently reviewed and updated our forum policies. Generally, we have allowed users to share their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, trainers, etc. within the industry, and that is not changing.

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So, a user may now make a specific claim against a named individual or company, but it must be a FIRST-HAND account, and they have to IDENTIFY THEMSELVES. Users have always been legally responsible for their posts, and nothing has changed there, but we want to loosen the reins a bit and further allow the free flow of discussion and information relevant to the horse community.

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    I have a blank canvas here. A green 9 year old 14h Paint/Welsh/Belgian mare that’s ready to go in any direction. I ride mostly western but am open to anything. Very friendly, curious, brave, agile, athletic, sure of herself, and FAST! She was broke under western saddle, but has done a tiny bit of dressage, and jumping. She loves to jump anything she will jump logs in the field for fun. Just before I got her she was schooling over cross country jumps. But I am looking to show her in some western mostly, but any takes on what I should do with her, kinda wanna anything and everything but want some ideas and opinions from others?

  • #2
    Go try everything see what she enjoys.
    "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

    Practicing Member of the Not too Klassy for Boxed Wine Clique


    • #3
      Try everything and find what she enjoys. Take the time to really work in each discipline you try. Then no matter what you end up ok you’ll have a horse with a truly solid foundation. My trainer teaches jumpers but she always stresses dressage work. My horse has western reining training and I find i use that training all the time even though I personally don’t ride western.


      • #4
        Working equitation is something I’ve been sniffing around a little, but don’t know much about.


        • #5
          Let the horse tell you?

          Maybe go to some playdays, team sortings, some open shows and watch them, see what you would like to try and who trains in a way you like and see if they would start both of you?

          Decades ago I started one four year old filly we raised that was old foundation ranch bred and not really cow bred.
          She was more the plodding, born broke and never too worried about anything or getting much done.
          That is the last kind you expect to get in front of a cow and want to dance with them, but that is what she did when we started working cattle.
          She was sold to someone that trained her for arena cutting and made state champion on her.

          Most people get horses already bred and hopefully good at something and that is what they want from that horse.

          Others, like you, get a horse and then enjoy figuring what you both want to do and get down to learning about it.


          • #6
            Get her moving well and build up her muscles correctly, and she can do whatever you want and she enjoys! The bulge of muscle under her neck and lack of topline (and the second pic of her moving) indicate she's tight and dropped through the back, not allowing the hind end to swing and propel under her. She's carrying tension and just pulling herself along. Hope that helps!


            • Original Poster

              Awesome thank you for your opinion everyone I always wanted to try pole bending and eventing. I think I will try those out and a bit of everything. Ya those pictures were of her with her dressage trainer before I bought her. Any ideas on how to build a good topline?


              • #8
                Originally posted by animallover223 View Post
                Any ideas on how to build a good topline?
                Good nutrition and exercising the horse (making sure they travel correctly).... and time!
                It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


                • #9
                  I would try everything with her. But I would keep at the dressage as it will help her use her hind end better. I notice she is built really downhill so that might help her. Make sure she uses her back correctly to get that topline musculature. She also might surprise you with what she likes.

                  Years ago my trainer got in a warmblood that the owners wanted to event on. Trouble was, he absolutely hated jumping and despised dressage. Just for the heck of and to give him a break she took him on a cattle drive and he loved it. He loved working the cattle and was actually pretty good. Off he went to live with a cowboy and was last seen as a happy working ranch horse. Go figure - bred for eventing, wound up Buck the Happy Cowhorse.
                  "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
                  - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

                  Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.


                  • #10
                    What about extreme cowboy races or mountain trail? Those involve a lot of skills and look like a blast to me!


                    • Original Poster

                      Originally posted by imaginique View Post
                      What about extreme cowboy races or mountain trail? Those involve a lot of skills and look like a blast to me!
                      Wow I just looked that up after reading this, wow it looks fun I think it would be a great one to do. Thank you!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by animallover223 View Post
                        Awesome thank you for your opinion everyone I always wanted to try pole bending and eventing. I think I will try those out and a bit of everything. Ya those pictures were of her with her dressage trainer before I bought her. Any ideas on how to build a good topline?
                        She wasn't being ridden in a correct frame. Looking at the riding photo and the hunt seat photo you can see how the bottom of her neck bulges and her back is dropped in the riding photo. Correct frame will improve topline.
                        If you wanted to do WE, hunter or dressage I would not do the pole bending. Those horses are very inverted and not ridden in a frame that will enhance your other disciplines..


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by China Doll View Post

                          She wasn't being ridden in a correct frame. Looking at the riding photo and the hunt seat photo you can see how the bottom of her neck bulges and her back is dropped in the riding photo. Correct frame will improve topline.
                          If you wanted to do WE, hunter or dressage I would not do the pole bending. Those horses are very inverted and not ridden in a frame that will enhance your other disciplines..
                          This ^

                          A horse trained thru traditional dressage will be slowly conditioned to carry itself and the rider's weight with it's back up, which brings the front end up.
                          The horse in that one picture looks to be hollowing it's back and dragging it's hind end and that is why the horse is traveling inverted, U-necked, whatever term we may want to use.

                          Now, folks, one picture is only one split second in many, many minutes.
                          Maybe the horse was being ridden properly and just had a moment of resistance there, not how it normally looks as it travels, happen to anyone.

                          That such a picture was used, that does show us maybe the OP doesn't know yet what to look for, is learning to educate it's eye, why she posted all those questions.
                          We have all been there, someone taught us what to look for, is the best way to learn so we ride in the more correct ways, which permits our horses to move the most comfortably for them.

                          Here are some basic diagrams just off the internet, there are many more out there: