Amateur friendly jumper lines, including TB?

I did a search, and all the threads I found were 10+ years old.

I’m starting to consider looking for a jumper for myself. My budget will be firmly in the TB/pretty green area, and while I will be working with a trainer, they’re more likely to just grab an OTTB. I’m a bit over the OTTB thing myself, though I’ll take something unraced.

So, I’m looking for insight and suggestions on good studs or lines to look at as I’m browsing around. I’d like a TB or something higher blood, I’m not super into the draft cross heavy type. (I’d like some shot at a jump off :laughing:). Ammy friendly brain is most important though, and some scope to get me out of stupid distances when I randomly forget how to ride. I don’t need to jump the moon or win at WEF, but I would like to do 1.10- MAYBE (dreaming here) 1.20 and not feel like I have to be professionally accurate to make it over.

What do y’all like? Where can I educate myself on things to look for? I’m very confident I can pick the “brain” I like to own once I’m on the horse, but I’m looking to narrow my search down from “sound (lol) and alive”.

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Pick the canter. If they can canter they can jump. You’ll find this narrows down the bloodlines pretty quickly. Unraced is rarely a good idea unless someone has bred it for sport and brought it up accordingly. There is generally a reason if they don’t run, and they don’t get all that great track mileage of seeing sights and having a job.


The AP Indy line is arguably the best TB line out there currently for sport/jump (he’s the sire/grandsire of a number of 4 and 5* event horses), but they can be quirky and many of them are good racehorses so they’re rarely cheap before they race. Honestly I would get an OTTB but look for something restarted a bit and buy from someone like Jessica Redman/Benchmark Sporthorses who is known to have a great eye but also great connections and who will have a bunch you can try.

Just as a general comment, and not really useful when discussing OTTBs, but the modern big name SJ stallions tend to have good characters and be very easy to handle because their life is now one of constant travel, international flights, new climates, new stables, crowds of people, and a difficult horse is unpopular with everyone involved. This point was stressed during a demonstration at Stallion AI Services ( who obviously handle stallions daily.


The hesitancy with an OTTB is due to my own current one being the least sound animal I’ve ever owned, despite my best efforts and his initial appearance. I love him and he’s got a forever home, but trying to get and keep him sound has been the most expensive and draining experience of my horse life. I do realize that purpose bred horses are not guaranteed to be sound either, but I’ll take my chances with something that doesn’t have the track wear and tear.

Good point about the track rejects being unraced for a reason- I’ll definitely be keeping that in mind.


Pony cross TB can produce a neat jumper with a bit more pony hardiness.


AP Indy is probably the most amateur friendly line out there and known for having good feet.

I’ve found Deputy Minister’s to also be very AA friendly and they do not break.

A few other notable names to look for in a pedigree Dynaformer, Arch (can have some spunk), Sadler’s Well, Ghostzapper, and Dixieland Band (you’d want DB preferably on the sire side).

Avoid too much of Mr. Prosepector or Northern Dancer.

Don’t be afraid to buy off the backside. Watch their walk. The walk translates to the canter. You can develop a trot. You want a nice open, swinging shoulder and a booty to fuel them. Don’t be afraid to find something that’s raced 15+ times an has run out of it’s conditions. I’d buy a warhorse over something that has 4 starts anyday.


Avoid too much Northern Dancer by looking for 5 of his sons and grandsons. Got it. :rofl:

I’m not trying to be an ass. The “avoid too much Mr. P/ND” line grates on me because there are so many misconceptions that come along with it.


i didn’t say avoid them all together, I said avoid too much.

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I really like Not For Love’s offspring. They all jump great.

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TB wise I’m a big Candy Ride fan, they are not typically built as downhill as most modern TBs. I also like to see as much of the “bold” lines back there as I can. I used to love Icecapade descendants, I never saw one that wasn’t a well above average athlete but that’s old bloodlines now and hard to find.

I’m also not a fan of too much Mr P, I see tons of them with multiple crosses to him and they move nicely and are cute but tend to have light bone upfront, be built fairly downhill and he threw a lot of crooked front left legs. For the larger fences that’s not a great combo. They do make nice cute moving lower level horses though and Mr P showing up once in a pedigree doesn’t bother me.

If you have a bit of money to spend though I’d look for an ISH type. The Cappa bred horses and those lines tend to be big and quiet and smart and have a good jump. There are some other NA breeders I’d recommend checking out too. Nice horses, slow to mature though.


I’d love ideas for NA breeders just to satisfy my curiosity. I have some sport tb and Hanoverian breeders I follow on FB just in case the “perfect” one comes along - but I could use more.

Follow some of the breeding pages on FB. There are active groups for dressage and event breeding. I am sure there is a jumper one too, but those are the ones I follow.

I recently saw a sales ad for a mare by Arch out of a line bred Caro mare (Cozzene/ With Approval). Granddam is Win Approval. She has a filly at foot and I’ve no idea what I’d do with a foal but I keep looking at the ad. She’s only 11 and they say she’s sound too.

Talk me out of buying a broodmare you guys.

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I had a Roberto grandson who might not have been what some people would consider ammy-friendly (though I loved him to pieces). Did Dynaformer not produce the opinionated Hail to Reason types?

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I went through 3 of these experiences before I gave up and quit OTTBs. I love TBs, but I just couldn’t do it any more. Usually the career-limiting or -ending issues showed up right when I’d put a couple of years and a ton of time into them. I just couldn’t do it any more.

Maybe look for a QH that hasn’t been started too young? I ended up with one of those and she’s been an absolute doll, and in budget.


Dynaformer was well known for being an extremely difficult horse to handle and IME it was true for his offspring as well. That said the ones I knew were tough and sound and good jumpers.


Some of the best TBs in sport right now, completing at least one 5* event within the past year:

While I wouldn’t say these are necessarily “ammy friendly” being ridden predominantly by pros, but you can argue they are rideable, good jumpers.

You can certainly see some trends, particularly AP Indy. Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector show up with frequency, so it makes me see red when people suggest “avoiding” them. Avoiding them is nearly impossible in 2023. Every single one of these horses has at least one of them, most have both with inbreeding.


I always wonder how far down you can really see the stamp of one horse. I guess it depends on the particular horse and what other ancestors they have to balance things out. My horse has Dynaformer in her pedigree and she’s sweet as can be. Also a good jumper, but not particularly tough and sound.

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