Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Teach Me Tuesday: The Purpose-Bred Horse

There are certain times I wish I had a more "suitable" dressage horse than a tight-backed OTTB who requires a zen master approach to life just to catch him in the mornings.

Then there are times where I see ads for those horses:

And I remember that there are 150,000 reasons I have the horse I do.

YES ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND. Omg.

I'm not anti-purpose bred horse because I'm not an idiot and I certainly recognize that the job would come more naturally to a horse that was literally born to do it. On the other hand, isn't half the fun learning to teach your own horse how to do things with you?

I don't know.

Sound off internet. Do you or have you ever had a purpose bred horse for your sport and how has that altered your enjoyment of it?

31 comments:

  1. I have purchased purpose bred horses, especially for endurance. In that sport in particular, Arabs excel. Yes, most breeds can do a limited distance ride, but you see very few if any who can compete past that. I wanted to do 100s so I bought Arabs, four of them in fact.

    I also bought Izzy, who is registered with the RPSI but whose breeding is heavily TB. His parentage is all Oldenburg approved with a focus on jumping and dressage, He certainly finds dressage much easier than my endurance bred Arabs.

    With that said, my Arab has accomplished far more than Izzy has. :0)

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  2. We've chatted on this. Purpose bred horses can be very fun. Just like galloping thoroughbreds is very fun. The enjoyment, for me, comes from the horse enjoying their job.

    My issue is that a purpose bred horse with the type of hotness and attitude I want, isn't going to come cheap enough for me (ever). So the ones in my price range are generally broken somehow or don't have the right attitude. Speaking in generalizations, a duller slower "ammy-friendly" warmblood just doesn't do it for me. That said, the schoolmasters I have ridden were VERY fun. :)

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  3. I've had one, but I bred and raised her, so that's the same thing as teaching your own. I have never actually had a non-green horse though, except for my very first horse that was 100% psychotic and borderline dangerous.

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  4. I'm less interested in breeding than I am in personality and capability of the individual. Perhaps it's because I'm not into the upper levels, so I don't necessarily need something with oodles of talent. In fact, oodles of talent probably is going to want a better ride than I can give sooooo...

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  5. I saw that ad over the weekend, or whenever it was posted. And jaw-drop that anyone out there can afford to spend $150k on a horse. Esp when it's $150k firm.

    I bought as much warmblood as I could afford, knowing I wanted to do dressage. I had to also buy it at the just broke to ride stage/barely canters stage to afford it. And Penn just doesn't have that much warmblood (25% dutch warmblood 75% TB). After putting Mikey through the dressage ringer, I wouldn't want to put another non-purpose bred horse through it all, at least to the levels I want to go. That hint of warmblood makes Penn's job so much easier for him to do.

    But you buy what you can afford and ride. I want one of those flashy warmbloods with 10+ movement, but I don't think I want the hot personality that comes with it. I like how easy going Penn is- he definitely got the good bits of everyone in the cross.

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  6. It depends on your definition of purpose-bred. Kachina is grade, with completely unknown parents, so she didn't come with a fancy pedigree or a pricetag to match. However, I knew I wanted a horse to do dressage with, so I looked for a horse who had the conformation and movement for it. Kachina has an uphill build, good proportions, excellent hock action, and the ability to really lift her back and float across the ground. Some people think she looks like a warmblood, and for all I know, she might be.

    So, even though she's not technically "purpose-bred", Kachina is built for the job. How does that make a difference? Well I can assure you that it doesn't take away the challenge or satisfaction. I know that Kachina will be able to sit or lengthen when she needs to, but for the first couple years there has been plenty of work involved in getting her to relax and learn what contact is all about.

    Built for the job does not at all mean that the training comes with. Either good breeding or good training causes the price to go up, but it's not until you have high levels of Both that the price goes into insane territory.

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  7. I accidentally fell onto the purpose bred horse with Mia, her sire is a national ApHC champion in hunter in hand, hunter hack and hunter under saddle. He is also has multiple world grand championships including suitability for dressage. Have to say, jumping does come easily for her.

    App and TWH were both non-purpose bred and it is really interesting seeing the difference. TWH had TONS of heart but not a lot of talent. App had some talent but you had to fight to make it show. I am enjoying my purpose-bred horse for sure.

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  8. I would have a purpose-bred horse if I could afford it. But I can't. So I have my horse.

    Yes, I wish his job could be easier for him.
    But he seems happy, is dead honest and very willing, so that is good enough for me.

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  9. If I had the money I would have gotten a purpose bred horse. I'm not talking about a 150000 horse but one that had the breeding. Instead I have my little weirdo that has talent but has some glaring conformation issues.

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  10. I'm not sure I can answer this honestly. Only because even if I ever had the money I don't think I cod stomach the price tag of even a low end priced purpose bred horse. But I can't even fathom having that much extra money. So maybe if I did I would. But I any horse you are still taking a chance they can't, won't or shouldn't do the job they were bred for. I know of many purpose bred horses who didn't cut it for their intended purpose. There just are no guarantees. Now if er are talking a made purpose bred horse. Well then that's a different story and that kind of price tag is a hell no!

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  11. Dino was purpose-bred in a roundabout way for eventing, but unfortunately his little round peg self was smashed into a square hole for too many years for it to really benefit us very much. But in general, GRP's are bred to be miniature sporthorses that excel in dressage and jumping. If he had had appropriate training, I never would have been able to afford him. So, I've got a purpose-bred pony with no purposeful eventing training aside from what I've put on him myself, which is nothing to write home about. He has, however, spoiled me for the GRP breed and purpose-bred sport ponies in general. I don't know if I could go back to a different kind of horse!

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  12. i'd also say there's more than one kind of 'purpose-bred' horse too. my leased arab mare was purpose bred for sport (basically all of the sports haha) - but with a much more economical budget in mind. race horses are purpose bred too... for, ya know, racing. i'd echo what others have said: for me, it really boils down to an attitude i can get along with, and whether the horse enjoys the work.

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  13. I have two jumpers that were "purpose bred" for jumping. They are German bred and were imported a few years ago. Until then, my only jumpers were 2 OTTBs. My thoroughbreds had huge hearts and gave me 100%, but unfortunately, both of them had soundness issues once we started heavier work and also lacked the scope for bigger fences.

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  14. I will add that both of my warmbloods are hot, sensitive, rides. Many people assume that you have to sacrifice sensitivity and blood when you buy a WB instead of a TB, but that is not always the case. My warmbloods have a ton of blood. My Hanoverian gelding in particular is much hotter than most TBs that I've ridden.

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    1. Yes so many people have labeled WBs as dead heads. Not the case! Many also have TBs in their lineage to add some blood.

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  15. I read your post again and realized that I didn't fully answer your question. Just because a horse is purpose bred, it still needs training to bring out its full potential. However, the training is MUCH MUCH easier when the horse is built for the job. It's much less of an uphill battle when a horse is naturally inclined to be successful in its sport.

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  16. It depends on what you want to do. If I was shooting higher than Third Level or wanted to jump in the big classes, I would have buckled down and bought a purpose bred horse. It's not fair to ask a horse that's not built for the job to do the higher levels, regardless of where their heart is. It's too physically demanding. Horses built to do it find it hard, now imagine going in with a disadvantage. But if you have a horse that isn't purpose bred but happened to pop out built for the job? Close enough, have fun.

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  17. I have had this conversation with my husband numerous times when discussing what I will do when I eventually (and hopefully not for many years) retire my mare. I stumbled upon my horse sport of choice by sheer accident, so my current mare is not purpose bred for endurance although she excels at it. When I start talking about getting a mustang or standarbred or mule etc... my non horsey husband always responds with the following: "If you want to road bike race, why would you show up with a mountain bike?"

    It makes sense to get a horse made to do what you want it to do. While it won't guarantee success, it does stack the cards a little bit more in your favor and makes the job a little easier. I think getting a purpose bred horse is very different from getting a ready made horse though. I like the challenge of bringing my horse along with me.

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  18. I, personally, am not interested in a purpose bred horse for my sport since I prefer a horse that's less hot and with less tendency to spook. Part of why I like ponies is for their brains and pony attitude and for me, GRP types are still hot for my test. Give me a good Fell, or Welsh instead. Either breed can excel at dressage and have the brains I'm looking for but aren't purpose bred and tend to not have the purpose bred price tag.

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  19. Yes, I had a purpose bred ISH and he was worth his weight in gold. Excelled at the job he was bred to do. Elegant, steady, fast, sensible and...super well trained. From
    Mary Kings yard. Took me up the levels, won championships, allowed trainers to teach me cool things, rarely a bad ride and those bad rides were usually my fault, not his. My unicorn. It was hands down the most enjoyable time in my riding career with the exception of years 4-6 with Spots. However!!!!!! My unicorn broke due to a bad splint plus a bad farrier and he was sidelined for a couple years. Ugh. So...moral of the story is proceed with caution! If you can flush $$$$$$$ buy the unicorn and enjoy the hell out of the unicorn while they're usable

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  20. id love a purpose bred TB eventer (any of bruce davidson sr's horses or anything from tamarack)

    but im too fucking broke for that. OTTBs it is!!

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  21. I think the nicest thing about a "purpose-bred" horse, is that the training is just so much simpler because hopefully the horse has some natural inclination and understanding of its job. You can certainly teach a TB to do almost anything, and they'll usually be fairly willing to learn, but you'll rarely find one who can progress quite as quickly as a horse who was bred for the job. The same goes for say a horse bred for dressage but learning to jump and vice versa. The Dressage horse is bred to use its body a certain way, and will struggle much more to learn to jump and have the natural jumping intuition than a horse bred to be a hunter or jumper, and a hunter/jumper will have to work much harder to find the proper balance and execute dressage movements.

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  22. Mine was bred to be a fancy hunter like his dad. He was a sorta-fancy-if-it's-local-and-the-big-names-are-out-of-town hunter. But they seem to like him more in dressage land, and his mom was a dressage horse. So maybe he was bred for this, kind of?

    I love that C is starting to look like a dressage horse. It feels more honest than, say, taking your incredibly fancy big-moving import into training level and getting a 70+ just for steering. (Not that I've seen this happen or anything. And not that I'm bitter about it.)

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  23. I now have a lusitano cross which is slightly more in the direction of "purpose bred" I guess but I have never owned anything not green except my first eventing TB who was completely nuts which I got for free because of his behavior problems! :) I think half the fun is the journey so I am with you that I would not want to buy past all that... not that I could even if I wanted to :)

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  24. I have 2 horses that you could say were purpose bred to be all rounder, amateur friendly types, which they certainly are. The third (morgan x TB) was purpose bred for dressage, is more sensitive & needs a more sensitive rider - but boy, when she is on, she is a dream. I'd definitely like my next horse to be dressage bred - but that doesn't have to be a WB because I can't afford it!!

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  25. Both of mine are purpose bred. Sometimes horses live up to their purpose and sometimes not. I had a QH who jumped like a freak of nature. Current baby adds to the pro of purpose bred. Jumping is so natural and easy for him. It's like he came out of the womb a natural. Although I typically shop for purpose bred horses I do not exclude others. If you ask me what breed of horse I like I will always simply say "the scopey ones."

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  26. I've had pretty much everything. I think there is a time and a place for everything but I do believe in horses doing the job they are both built for and like. You probably aren't going to have a very happy or sound horse if you take a cutting horse and try to make it into an upper level horse. Or maybe you will, if you are truly a talented trainer and have a willing and game horse. But you'll have better luck with something that is built to gallop and jump. Likewise, you're maybe not going to have fantastic luck making your Holsteiner into a barrel horse.

    There are a lot of breeds that do the recycled second career thing that can be very versatile. Saddlebreds, TBs, Standardbreds, etc. There are a lot of breeds that are versatile anyway and can go any number of ways, if they are game and sound. But I think that's half the battle there - are they game, and are they sound?

    Are you going to have an angry cripple if you push it to do something YOU like, versus something it can actually do? That I can't get behind, forcing a horse to do a job just because he's the horse you have. Some horses are not mentally cut out for certain things, or physically cut out either.

    It is super fun to teach a horse to do All The Things, or The Sport You Love, but it's also beneficial to have that purpose-bred, super trained horse to teach you how to teach other horses to do things. Like Dylan that I have now - he knows nearly everything and he is completely purpose bred from six unbroken generations of FEI horses. I could never afford him but I am lucky enough to have the ride on him. He is teaching me, so I can be better for my other horses in the future.

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    1. That sound say, taking a cutting horse and make it into an upper level *dressage* horse. Or event horse, or GP jumper, or whatever. But, you won't make a GP horse into a top cutting horse either!

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  27. My purpose bred dressage horse was a homicidal maniac who was thrown out of every BNT's barn on the East Coast, and probably also Sweden. My purpose bred race horses both flunked out of racing before they turned 3. In retrospect, I probably should have put the purpose bred dressage horse on the track!

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