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What do you look for in a prospect?

Disposition, natural movement and conformation.

Yes, excellent walk, overtrack and swinging. Not interested in the trot. Uphill canter Good hocks, lots of bend there. Uphill conformation, loin and higher neck set. Good slope to the shoulders and pasterns, no upright conformation. Lastly, excellent work ethic. Eager, enthusiastic, alert, thinking horse which seems to be saying to me, OK, now what do we do next? Can I do this better?" Work ethic.

Great thread. I’m learning a lot.

So any Holsteiner? And what do you think he is adding to the mix?[/QUOTE]

Holsteiners put power in the back end of the horse which tends to get bred out with constant breeding to ‘dressage’ stallions. Dressage sire lines are valued for different qualities besides the power and scope to jump. But, jumping power can help with collection since both dressage and jumping require coiling the hind end. If you check the pedigree of some of the modern stallions you will notice Holsteiners usually in the dam line…that’s where I like it too.
Furstenball is an example of this.

I read an article about Totilas’s breeder. They selected a jumper mare as his dam to add more power in the back. You can see that Lominka has a very strong Holsteiner influence in her pedigree.

Added: one of my favorite mares Lorreta, as in the dam of Diamond Hit and Sandro Hit goes back to Holsteiner line Ramiro Z on her sire side.

One of the things I always look for in a pedigree of successful horses in sport or as stallions is ‘where’ did the Holsteiner influence show up.
Obviously not all successful horses have Holsteiner in them.

There was a recent discussion on Come Back II as the sire of two recent dressage class top placings. Come Back II , a Holsteiner, is the direct son of Cor de la Bryere who you will also find in Furstenballs pedigree.

This is a couple years old but I think it illustrates the points I have been trying to make.

In my various hunts for horses, and in looking at and getting stuck riding students horses, I look at the head FIRST. I used to save that for last, after the legs, angles and movement.

Good eye, plenty of room for a brain, nice expression.

A refinement:

Qualities for a horse you’ll make into your Bronze Medal Vehicle and then sell to someone else wanting the same?

So this horse has to be good-minded. Given the level of the work and that Hard Stuff At The Canter might not ever be required of this horse, should you try to buy a prettier trot?

In general, I do agree with you guys that it’s harder to fix a good canter. One with no uphillness or suspension would be a bit of an obstacle for the ammy rider that would persist throughout the horse’s career. Does that seem right to you guys?

  1. well socialized - should be friendly and easy to handle respectful of your space and non-threaterning
  2. good minded- shouldn’t spaz out at hearing a dog bark or a car start. should be okay with new training experiences. How were they to teach to lead, to stand for the farrier, to administer medication, to get a saddle on and to back?
  3. good feet - no club feet, adequate size foot for the horse, no farrier issues no foot=no horse
  4. good balanced conformation no obvious issues with saddle fitting or conformational deficiencies that will affect performance
  5. 3 good basic gaits, uphill movement
  6. an expert assessment that suggests that the prospect will have a reasonable chance of getting you to where you want to go. If we are honest with ourselves, most of us want to progress up through the levels and not stay at training or first level together. If you don’t have the experience to do this yourself, ask a more experienced person (rider, trainer) to evaluate the horse for what you want to do with them. There are never any guarantees but if an expert tells you that something big is wrong, you have probably saved yourself alot of money and heartache.

unless you’re a trainer who can ride anything, I think temperament is #1.
(talent or conformation are irrelevant if you can’t ride the horse!)

what’s the right temperament?

well, IMHO, that’s like asking who’s the right person to marry. some people like pushy horses, some people want horses they have to push, some people want a sensitive horse, some want affectionate horses. you have to do some soul searching and ask yourself what would be a good match for YOU.

I frequently see people fall in love with flashy, big gaits that they just can’t manage and they blame the horse (or the seller) when it doesn’t work out. (it’s like getting a trophy wife ; ) ) they all SAY they want a ‘good’ temperament but they haven’t really thought hard about what would be a ‘good’ temperament for them.

In fact I bought my last green horse for her relatives… She had two close relatives competing in International GP. I kind of figured that this type of rider would not bother with horses not willing to cooperate… I wanted a horse with a great work attitude…
So far it looks like i got what I wanted… By the way I was the only one with this idea… Everybody else just looked at the horse and passed… But I think the higher dressage horses are made, not born…