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Is there a market for Quarter Horses in the dressage (or hunter/jumper) world?

A good trainer can teach the horse contact, I agree. Her other qualities of mind and spirit are priceless


Yes I agree with others. She looks like a great pony club or 4h all around horse. Someone could dabble in some lower dressage too but marketing her that way is not going to bring you much money. I think going all around route would be best as far as marketing her.

I absolutely love her tail and she’s definitely a very pretty mare.


Are you personally unwilling to just not game her anymore? Sounds like she has plenty of other skills you could focus on and if you like her that much it might be worth a try.

I watched a couple of the videos and she is pretty and willing, would probably make a fine lower level dressage/pony club/etc. type horse with some polishing. But as far as selling her is concerned, there is going to be limited marketability for a horse of any breed with documented breathing problems, even if the buyer is never going to go faster than a slow canter. It’s a “limitation”, in the market’s eyes, and that’s going to shrink your buyer pool and probably your value. This is the same horse from your Heaves thread in Horse Care, right?

I think you would have the best luck taking the winter to focus on training her really well in another discipline, get her breathing issues fully managed, and then market her in the spring with some shows (in new discipline) under her belt.


Has something changed since you last updated the thread on her breathing issues because in that thread you say the opposite of that.

I think she is cute enough for moderate level just about anything, if her breathing condition is not going to cause her issues, because though it might not be barrel racing, most things require a certain amount of fitness and breathing issues can really limit things.

She does not look totally kid safe to me. When she gets inverted and gets fast and bouncy I can see that causing an insecure riding melt down.


Agreed. I’m surprised to see so many votes for Pony Club, I see a tense horse who doesn’t strike me as particularly safe-looking just from these videos. And I personally would never buy an eventer or jumper with undiagnosed breathing issues. OP - it really depends on how much you’re hoping to get for her. I don’t think you’ll find anyone willing to pay much for her as an English prospect. She doesn’t look well-suited to dressage and the breathing issues and lack of experience are likely to turn off anyone looking for a jumper unless the price is low enough to make the gamble worth it. She’s probably worth more targeted to Western or AQHA riders. If you’re committed to selling her for an English discipline it could be worth getting some professional training put on her, but I’m not sure you’d increase her price enough to break even on the training costs.

On the broader question of whether there’s a market for QH in dressage, theblondeandthebay on Instagram has posted extensively about her journey bringing a ranch-bred QH up the levels in dressage, and just hosted a clinic exclusively for QH/ranch/stock types. It’s worth checking out her account. It is possible to show a QH successfully in dressage (hers is very nice!) but I wouldn’t say there’s a market for it, more that there are people making it work because they like the breed or their specific horse.

You seem to really like this horse, if I were you I’d probably keep her unless I was really committed to competitive goals she couldn’t support. Horses worth gushing about like you have been on this thread don’t come around every day! If you love her she’s priceless no matter what her market value is.


Your mare is quite lovely and shows potential to be a lower level dressage horse. Yes, she has tension, but that seems typical of barrel horses who get revved up for each competition. The first video is nice and she is much quieter than I expected. Ages ago, I tried to rehab a barrel horse and it was unsuccessful. His brain was fried. I don’t see that in your mare.

Anyone who would buy her would need to go to baby basics ground training, lunging, and work under saddle to reshape her topline and create relaxation. She is a nice mover. No, not a warmblood, but nicer than most quarter horses.

I have seen two quarter horses who were retrained to be dressage horses. One had been a barrel horse and did third level; another had pulled a cart. With dressage training, he went through dramatic transformation from a flat mover to lovely suspension.

Disclaimer: I own a registered quarter horse. My first one. He passes for a warmblood cross and scores quite well in dressage. He is recovering from a long bout of EPM and we are finally back to work. His temperament is stellar, he is easy to ride, and his movement is very nice.


For what I like to do with my horses, I like to do the gaming and it is what is most available in my area. So, if she cannot do it, that’s why it’s crossing my mind to sell her to a non-gaming home.

Yes, same horse. And I do understand the two topics do intertwine some as it affects terms of marketability, but I am the type of person that a prospective buyer is going to know the whole entire backstory if I do ultimately decide to sell her. Because she’s a danged good horse and she deserves a good home and I won’t sell her if I do not think it’s a good fit.

So I am trying not to complicate this thread too much with details, although I know people are asking.

Kinda same response as above. I understand it’s going to be intertwined but I’d rather leave the detailed breathing discussion on the other thread. I mostly just had questions on what’s out there, and what might be a good fit for her, if I actually decide to sell her. And as said above, potential buyers are going to know everything if I do decide to list her.

No, the videos are not her best, not at all. But I put them up for those wanting to see her movement. This would be the extent of what you would call “bad behavior”. And no, she would not be a fit for a child who is afraid to lope. Absolutely not. If I let her go, it’s either got to be a good fit for her rider, or she’s staying at my house.

I do love this horse, she’s amazing, and that’s part of what is hard for me to swallow that she may really need a different career than what my goals are.

If she is nervous about something, her way of expressing it is chomping at the bit so I can agree with tension in her mouth. Obviously not desirable in any show pen, but I do feel that she has improved as the year has progressed (doing more showing with her). At home, of course, she’s not doing those things, but all horses are better at home!!

So in our point club there is good enough trainer support and some of the moms are very experienced riders themselves, and everyone is looking for a bargain. Our tweens with support could be part of reschooling a western horse. Several of the PC horses were bought off ranches.

Are there any trainers/lesson programs/pony clubs in your part of the world that you trust that might be willing to look at her and give you their opinion on her usefulness that type of riding?

That might be a great place to start. They might even have an appropriately trained kid that could give her a try and see how she does in that situation.

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I went back and read the heaves thread.

I think that unfortunately a horse with the symptoms reported is not going to work for pony club jump lessons, low level eventing, and general trail riding. I wouldn’t buy a kid a horse with those symptoms. Guaranteed heart break.



7 is very young to have a breathing problem. And it will affect her in every discipline except maybe being a light work husband horse or something.

Don’t kid yourself about dressage or jumping, she will also have problems breathing there.


I don’t think it’s possible to separate the two issues. The breathing issues are going to be huge for a potential buyer unless you offer her at a bargain-bin price (which may not do her any favors as far as attracting a good next home). It will impact her potential in pretty much every discipline out there other than maybe trail riding/low-level showing on the flat. I’m not familiar with the market in your area specifically but in general I’d say the lower-end market has softened enough that people have options, and undiagnosed health issues are going to make her an unattractive option even without looking at a potential discipline switch. It would be different if you had a diagnosis and could say definitively what kind of work she was and wasn’t suited for, but right now you just have the backstory without a conclusion to offer.

If she’s not suitable for your goals I would second the advice to reach out to a well-respected trainer in your area and see what they think. You can explain that you’re going to be picky about finding a good home but are willing to offer a steep discount to make sure she lands somewhere good. Having someone work their network on your behalf is going to be much safer than posting a cheap horse for sale and weeding through the mess yourself. Just be aware they may charge you for the service.


I have a few English trainers that I have taken lessons with over the years that I had planned to reach out to first, if I made that decision to find her a new home. My goal would be a word-of-mouth sale first, before I would publicly list her, as that would be better chances of the right home.

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You have received some very good and thoughtful replies…and would like to share a couple…
What come through in all of your posts is that you love this horse. She is beautiful and kind and willing and given you everything she has.
I would keep her, try to figure out and/or alleviate the breathing problems…and maybe take some dressage lessons and see if you would enjoy this discipline with her. I know there is dressage in N Dakota (but instructors might be a ways away from you) you sound like you have a good horsemanlike mind and would be open to this.
Any horse or rider can benefit from dressage and if you can get a diagnosis and treatment regarding her breathing issues you might be able to return to barrel racing. Or, she might end up as the perfect light trail riding horse. But you’d get to keep her. And she would stay safe in your care.


If you really want to do gaming and cant have two horses, I can see why you would want to move her on. I would be looking for QH barns that do showmanship, maybe train kids for equitation of any type, dressage, etc. She might fit in that niche as a kids horse if a trainer was working with her… I think she has more value as a registered QH than in the open show world.

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Meanwhile everytime I’m shopping I’m looking for this (APHA or AQHA who can do low level “open” hunters and dressage) and I can never find it and end up with a warmblood. I’ve tried 4 times now!


As a hunter, I see a cute green horse who is willing but knows very little. That’s about where I would expect a letdown off the track TB with a couple months of flatwork just starting to jump to be. She looks like she has all the pieces to make up to a nice little local 2’6 hunter if the veterinary issues don’t impede her but right now she is just a horse with potential, it’s pretty clear she doesn’t know much yet. With the veterinary issues and her being in an area where hunters aren’t big, I’m not sure how great the market is going to be. She’s cute! She looks capable. She just doesn’t know much yet.


There are a couple instructors locally that I have taken English lessons with but as far as showing goes, that’s where the travel comes in. Closest thing I am aware of is 3 hours. English is fun and I like it, but the Western is just so much more accessible locally. My husband and I each own our own business, and our kids are young, so it’s just so much easier to not travel so far if I want to go to something on the weekend.

I already have two older (basically retired) horses for my kids to ride, so I really don’t need a third! Although my kids have ridden her and I would have no problem putting a total newbie on her (including my husband :joy: ) to go for a trail ride. She walks along on a loose rein and nothing bothers her.

And not that I couldn’t have a 4th horse, because I could, but I had 4 horses a few years ago and I myself am happier managing 3 horses myself. I guess I kind of know my personal limit.

in N Dakota

we have bought four horses out of North Dakota (three from the same ranch) none did western anything,

our western horses have come from Kentucky and California and those were Supposed to have been English Pleasure horses

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