Cozmic One

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Miss Woodford
Posts: 1051
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:34 pm

Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:23 pm

katmandu wrote:Thoroughbreds can make very nice dressage horses, but warm bloods rule that world, at least at the higher levels (of competition, not training). The USA used thoroughbreds back in the day of Keen because that is what we had. Germany (in particular) had the best cavalry in the world and part of that was their government's extensive breeding program dating back to the 1800s. This is where warm bloods evolved with the government offering stallions to the farmers and their "farm horses" and then the government would come through and take the offspring best suited for their use. And of course it was the nations' cavalries that first represented countries in the Olympic games (dressage/showjumping/3-day eventing). I've been somewhat surprised to see warm bloods move into the 3-day eventing arena, but with the evolution toward a lighter horse (introducing even more thoroughbred blood), they are a lot quicker/stamina, but can still maintain the better movement that warm bloods have, in general.

If Coz is going to be a dressage horse, he needs to pass the 3 correct gaits test, a basic requirement. Dressage has absolutely nothing to do with size other than they need to be over 14.2 hands.

Love those pictures of Keen, horses were ridden more biomechanically correct (not overly round in the topline) in those days.
With the advent of the short format (removal of the steeplechase and roads and tracks parts), the move towards much more compact bendy xc courses due to loss of land for 3-days, and the overemphasis on dressage it shouldn't be any surprise. The conspiracy theorist in me even thinks that some of these changes were intended to increase the success of European capital-w Warmbloods, as there is a lot more money in breeding and training six-figure sporthorses than picking up an OTTB for a thousand bucks and training it yourself. Eventing (and show hunters, which has also become much more Warmblood-friendly) has also become a cast-off zone for Warmbloods bred for showjumping or dressage who couldn't cut it in those disciplines.
Posts: 1054
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:16 am

Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:09 pm

Yes, you're right in regards to 3-day eventing, particularly the more "technical" courses. I was aware of the use of dressage to move up scores ("overemphasis", lol), but had forgotten about this. My bailiwick is dressage and in regards to 3-day eventing, don't really think about it too much. It has been a shame to see some of the degradations in dressage (see 2nd paragraph) show up in the 3-day arena, although that's not new. There has been a huge influx of warmbloods (and breeding) into the US since the 80's, it's not entirely surprising they've "trickled down". Having had my dressage horses boarded at multi-discipline farms now and again, I've most definitely seen the influx of WB's to behind every stall door. But this is all pretty old news, I've been out of show world for 10+ years, with my retired breeding/riding horses at home.

I wouldn't dispute your conspiracy theory(you are not alone!), international judging/federation/etc. has it's share of, um. . . intrigue/politics/dumbing down. . .

Oh, and I wouldn't call them "cast offs", just horses finding their appropriate niche. ;) :)
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