Arabian People!!! Advice!

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Sadiewynn, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Sadiewynn

    Sadiewynn Full Member

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    Hello Everyone!
    So it is official. I have crossed over to the "dark side". I have fallen in love the Arabian breed. I own two now and they are my babies. One I have my sights set on being a super star western pleasure horse. He's with my friend getting his start. I have started several myself but I don't know the disciple well at all and figured it would be best for him to get the right buttons from a professional and I'll take lessons in the discipline. My question is on my other gelding, Nate! He's with me and I'll be starting him soon. He's just started round pen work and long lining. He's smart and seems to really enjoying having something to do but he's quite the giraffe (15.3 hands with a 16 hand butt!!) so I think he needs some more time before I sit in him. I come from a dressage and eventing background. I have always thought this horse was a super mover and I still plan on making him my dressage horse. However, I am interested in playing around in the main ring Arabian world not just sport horse. My question is for all you Arabian savvy people. Do you think Nate's got any potential in the main ring? I am thinking hunter but I really don't know! He's also barefoot and butt high now. Let me know what you think of him. Either way I'm super excited about him. I've also attached a picture of him as a weanling when I first got him. He was quite the ugly duckling!!
     

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  2. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Lovely-!! I started with Arabians fifty years ago and they've still a place of appreciation.
     
  3. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Do you mean regular dressage? " I still plan on making him my dressage horse"

    I'm gonna apologize ahead of time for saying this, 'cause it probably won't go down well, but for your and the horse's sake...in looking at the training in the pictures, that would position and develop the back and neck in a way that would cause problems later for dressage. In general, 'main ring' Arabian classes would create a problem for dressage because the back, neck and hind leg position is so different. I think if you want him to mainly be a dressage horse, you will have to change his early training because the muscles and body parts will get 'set' in the position shown in the pics. I think he would be a fantastic dressage horse if the work, including long lining, longeing etc were delayed til his back was stronger (age 3 at least) and then he was longed and eventually ridden in a different way, encouraging him to lower his neck and poke his nose forward.

    He's got the beginning of a really fantastic hind leg action for dressage. This sort of training will take him in a different direction.

    Many Arabian horses tend to lift and shorten the head and neck, lower the shoulders and back and lift the hind quarter as they get eager and excited, but the conformation of the croup and natural posture tend to encourage that. Early training can reinforce this and cause it to become 'set.' 'Curling' up the neck in an attempt to lower it(the highest point of the neck/head will be somewhere behind the ears, possibly to the middle of the neck's top line) won't help as the horse will be behind the bit, behind the contact.
     
  4. Sadiewynn

    Sadiewynn Full Member

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    Hi!
    Yes I do plan on doing regular dressage as well as the arabian sport horse. Thank you for your nice words. I would like to clarify a few things in his training. He is 3. He's the type that will probably always look like a gangly baby . I am curious what you would change about his head, back and neck positions? I see it as a nice frame. He is not being asked to come up like a park horse here. With expection of the first photo on the long lines where he sucks in, he is above or on the vertical and his poll is the highest point of his neck in the other photos. This series was the first time I asked him to "frame up a bit". I start every session with a free lunge and then we move to long and a low to stretch him out. This was at the end of that session. I don't do often either because I like him to stretch and build the top line. Also, he's has a conformationally very high set neck. I'll find a confirmation photo of him! Thanks again for your input.
     
  5. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    If he looks like this at 3, I'd start him at 4. I wouldn't longe him or round pen or long line him now, but I might pony him on straight lines and up hills at a trot, as long as that could be done without pulling his head too far up or to the right. The whole posture of the horse is setting up the wrong development for dressage. I explained in what way in the earlier post - the hind quarter is too high, the back is dropped too low, the head is too high and it's lifted up by tension in the neck muscles rather than his balance or hind quarter and back activity. It's called being 'inverted' or 'upside down.'

    In comparison to what you want in dressage(everything is relative), the horse is inverted. In the main ring arab classes, in the arab hunt seat classes, the position of the back, hind quarter and neck are very different from dressage. The back is lower, the head is higher and the hind quarters and hind legs are pushed out behind the horse more than in dressage. Additionally, compared to dressage, the bit contact is different in the hunt seat classes. If a horse went like that in dressage, the judge would say the horse is 'behind the bit' or 'short in the neck.' The way you're starting this horse is geared to the main ring arab classes, not dressage. And starting a horse this way tends to set that position in cement....

    Whatever other work he does before he's in this position, doesn't remove the effect of him working in this position.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  6. Kristal H

    Kristal H Senior Member

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    We have some horse that do both sport horse at a national level and main ring hunter at a regional level. Where the issue comes in is that Main ring Arabian hunter most horses show with a thin pad and a toe weighted shoe to increase the height of the arc of the movement. Sport horse hunters want a low long sweeping stride, Dressage horses want more extension than lift and the USDF and USHJA judges both frown heavily on any shoe that modifies a gait or pads. The sport horse world penalizes horse for being under the bit, but it is very common for main ring horses to be under. We keep our horses without pads or toe weights and always show on the bit....we don't change this for Main ring hunter, and while we have placed very respectfully in the class A and Regional shows...we are not willing to make the changes in training and appointments to be competitive on a National Level in Main ring.
     
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  7. StraightandTrue

    StraightandTrue Senior Member

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    My goodness, you weren't kidding when you said he was a bum high baby haha. He looks lovely now, but he does look like he's got even more growing to do. I would consider waiting until he's a little older before you start training him under saddle. He still appears quite bum high, which will make it more difficult for him to learn to carry himself correctly. Use the time as an opportunity to do some lead classes at shows and expose him to the atmosphere. By the time he's ready to compete under saddle he'll be a veteran.

    It's nice to see another person who long lines their breakers, I think it's the best thing for developing a soft mouth and strengthening them for ridden work. Be careful not to get too short in the frame though. I'd prefer to see a green horse more open through the gullet/throat latch area, and stretching forward into the contact. My priorities for a breaker are building their confidence in the bridle, getting them forward, and developing a consistent rhythm in all three paces. There's no point putting them in a frame if they're inconsistent in the contact / zig zagging all over the place / shuffling along / constantly varying their speed. He is obviously capable of carrying himself in a more collected frame and his hock action is amazing, but resist the temptation to rush it. He's only a baby and there will plenty of time for that later.

    Best of luck!
     
  8. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

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    He's very cute, but just not using his hind end as well as he should. It's possible that's just b/c he's been "picked up in the head" too high or too soon, but from a purely dressage only stance, I would not have him this upright.

    Arabs as a rule of thumb are more pushers than sitters. This guy is showing only pushing & no even thought of tracking up in the trot photos. So one couldn't even thinking about sitting (collection) until the horse is tracking up, regardless as to if there's a rider on his back or not.

    Just my 2 cents. And he is CUUUUTEEE!!!
     
  9. Sadiewynn

    Sadiewynn Full Member

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    Hi!! Thank you for the nice words! He's definitely been a bit of an awkward one. He's got a LONG way before I sit on him. I'm thinking of he might be ready around August but that totally depends on him. I've just started this work about 3 weeks ago. He's super smart and gets bored if he doesn't have something to do. You should see his gate, the horse is freaking Houdini!!!!! It would be a lot less cute if he was hard to catch but still annoying. He gets a lesson like this about once a week. I think it's good for his body but mainly his brain. I should also add that this is the only time I've worked him with the long lines that high and short. It was at the end of a session for about 2 minutes mainly because I was curious. He really does love to stretch so we do a lot of long and low work when ever he does work. We are lucky where we are at to have a bunch of open schooling shows. There is a Sporthorse in hand clinic and show he's going to this February just to get out. He also will do halter classes there every few months or so when ever I have the time just to get out. He also digs trail. I love to hike and his boarding facility is located right next to a wash that I take him hiking 2-3 times a week. He practically drags me up the hills. He loves it! I appreciate everyone putting in their opinions but not being rude about it. Bottom line, he's my baby and I'll take my time for his body. I want a horse I can ride until he's 30!!
     
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  10. Sadiewynn

    Sadiewynn Full Member

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    IMG_9255.jpg IMG_9256.JPG IMG_9257.JPG IMG_9258.JPG IMG_9260.JPG IMG_9261.JPG IMG_9262.JPG This is just to brag because I love him so. I have known this horse since he was three months old I got him around 9 months old. I worked at the farm he was bred at. I've had a lot of "babies" and I've started a few (I still consider myself new to it, he'll be my 5th. And I also work with a trainer) but this is the first time I've ever had a horse from this age and I am just loving it. It's a fabulous feeling knowing a horse so well before you even get on. He's my baby. It's funny, when my boss first offered him to me I was like "what the heck and I'm going to with a chestnut weanling Arab?????". But I couldn't resist and I'm glad I didn't. I've attached a picture of the him long lining long and low (say that 5 times fast!!). This is what I ask of him most the time. He can actually do more but it's hard to take pictures and long line This is also before the bit. I start them in a halter so they get the idea of turning without me pulling in their mouths first. There is one photo of the day my donkey eared boy went home with me. And a few of his first show. Funny enough this was actually a young event horse class and he actually placed second! I just went because I was already showing my event horse and thought he could tag along. It was a great experience! We also have a small XC course where I keep him and he loves to play around every once in a while. He digs banks!
     

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