What do y'all think of this horse?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by GalloFino, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. GalloFino

    GalloFino Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 28, 2010
    What do you think of this horse as a prospect for someone that wants a beginner safe horse to do dressage work in the arena and to trail ride, slowly working up to some longer/endurance-y rides?


    Note that while the first post doesn't say so, later posts claim that she would be good for a beginner.

    Happy with the breed, size and age (if it's correct at 14), just wondering if there's anything about the conformation that you can spot in the photos that might be a red flag, or anything in the written details...

    Thanks much for any thoughts, comments.
  2. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Personally from what they wrote in the original ad, I think she needs a lot of work to be a beginner's horse. For me, a lot of energy = needs more training and is not beginner safe. She also looks pretty small, which may be perfectly fine for some people (I just tend to like my horses a bit bigger!). Confirmation wise though, nothing really jumps out at me on first sight. I do think $1000 is a bit high for an adoption fee, and I think you could find a much better beginner horse for that price or perhaps just a bit more.

    Seems like she has little to no dressage training, so the buyer would have to put money or time into her to get her to that point. However, I would not recommend that a beginner starts on a horse like that.

    This is purely my own opinion, and I know I'll get jumped on for it, but I typically do not like arabians as starter horses for beginners because my experience with them has been that they have a bit more energy than other breeds. That's not a bad thing in a breed for someone who has the knowledge to deal with it (And I have met calm arabians, but I've found that is generally an exception, not a rule). My fear with this horse is they are saying she's a bit energetic, which in an arabian might mean completely "hot". My experience has been that a horse described as an "energetic" arabian is much more "hot" than a horse described as an energetic QH.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
  3. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    Later posts on that thread correct her age to 17. I'm not an Arabian person, so I won't comment on her confirmation. Are you looking specifically for a kids' horse? Or are you a very small adult? She's not a big girl at all.


  4. starryhen

    starryhen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2010
    Hi ...I am a breeder of Arabians and I would agree that, as a beginner, you should be very careful about acquiring one. When I was looking about every 5th one was crazy. There are good ones
    but Arabian breeders do not generally breed for temperament. An exception is Khemosabi progeny. Anyway, this horse is not suitable for dressage - or endurance. I would also say that endurance and
    dressage are not compatible. They require very different temperaments and, anyway, Arabians are not generally suitable for this (dressage). If you are inexperienced I would suggest start very slow.
    Try to find a good steady trail horse first. Ha, just off the top of my head i thought of a friend's horse who is pretty good for everything you want but he is not and never will be for sale.
    He is a tall buckskin of no clear breeding, well conformed, calm on the trail but willing to tackle dressage (lower levels). He was a surprise. They bought a grade mare from a trader who didn't
    tell them she was pregnant. She was pony sized and he is over 16h !!! He couldn't do endurance, though. If you were wild and crazy I would tell you to find a small Thoroughbred off of or bred for the track.
    There ARE sweet calm ones but they go fast. Contact some local responsible person who rehabilitates them. Around here in Texas the person is Lynn Reardon at lopetx.org. She is very reputable.
    It is a buyer's market so hold out for the perfect thing. Find someone or many people to help you and listen to them.
  5. impis

    impis Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2010
    I know nothing about horses, and definitely nothing about arab horses - but she's VERY pretty. Is it possible you can have her on a trial basis - for a couple of weeks or so - to see how she pans out ? It may be that she is suitable - and it would be a shame to miss out on having such a lovely horse just because other Arabs are a bit lively.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Nothing really jumps out from the photos other than her fetlocks look kinda 17-yrs-old ish... she may be reasonably sound now, and it is not at all *impossible* that she might be able to be fitted up for some modest distance work and remain sound at it for a few years, but I would entirely not COUNT on it, and would keep a sharp eye out for any signs of generalized arthritic-ness.

    As far as the horse re: beginners, I dunno, it is entirely possible that she is straight-up really a perfectly ok beginner horse FOR PEOPLE WHO GET ALONG WELL WITH ARABS. I would not however recommend looking at Arabs as a beginner horse unless you have reasonable experience with at least several different Arabs in the past, perhaps in a lesson or borrowed-horse situation, because there are some fairly consistant breed characteristics that are not within everyone's comfort zone. Particularly an inclination to put head up and snort at new interesting things. If that kind of thing puts you into "OMG, the horse is gonna blow!" mode instinctively, there are very few if any Arabs that'd really be a good beginner horse. If you are in touch with your inner 12 year old and your reaction is "ooh, pretty" or "ooh, fun!" then it can be ok as long as the horse is behaviorally suitable.

    It would take a lot to get that horse out of training level, dressage-wise (actually it would take a lot to get it *into* doing good training-level tests) but that is not necessarily a problem if your goal is mainly "fun".

    Agree that $1000 seems a bit optimistic in this market.

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    So true, every Arabian is not a beginner horse. Even the best Arabians tend to be more touchy in the mouth and more reactive and sensitive. Not a good thing for a beginner.

    This horse does not look or sound(by the descriptions the person provided) suitable for a beginner in the usual family-beginner situation. The description alone should warn one off. Though the description is 'all over', as if they are trying to make it sound like the horse could be adopted by any type of person and work out perfectly.

    The horse in some pictures, is very thin, and I assume that's when they first got her. Later pictures, she still is not at a normal weight. Among other things, I'd be very careful not to put any bigger people on her. She does not appear to have a strong hind quarter or back. Some fat and muscle will improve her appearance, but the structure underneath that, isn't going to change.

    The main conformation fault is that her hind legs are very straight, with very little angle to her hocks. Too much is not good, but too little is also not good. Aside from that, she's 'smooth', in that everything seems to fit well together(as someone else also said).

    She's about seventeen they said, maybe older(it gets harder and harder to tell a horse's age exactly as they age). I would be cautious in evaluating the temperament when the horse is on the thin side. Many rescued horses are rather quiet because they have been in a poorly nutritioned state for a long time. Later, when fed better, they may act very different with beginners. Some horses need to be worked daily and don't do well in the usual family situation.

    Anyway, this horse is not suitable for dressage - or endurance. I would also say that endurance and
    dressage are not compatible. They require very different temperaments and, anyway, Arabians are not generally suitable for this (dressage).

    Emmmmm...I am not so sure that endurance and dressage are incompatible, that they require different temperaments, or that 'Arabs' are unsuitable for dressage.

    Practically speaking, I'm sure it's tough for a novice to do both dressage and endurance, simply because there just aren't enough hours in the day(or enough dollars in the wallet) for most people to be good at two equine sports.

    I would be interested to know what the poster that said this, saw, that made this horse unsuitable for endurance. The endurance people always seem to say, 'it's all about legs and feet', and of course, overall proportions are important, because if those are off, they put more strain on the legs and feet.

    That said, though, I would NEVER buy a 17 year old (or older) horse, expecting it to do endurance or dressage, if it had not come right out of doing those things comfortably. Putting an old timer into a new sport is asking for trouble.

    Unless done at the most casual, beginner level, these sports are demanding and difficult - endurance even at the easiest levels is miles and miles and miles over any terrain and footing!!! They require a lot of miles for conditioning - one cannot take an unfit, flabby, out of shape animal and do a twenty five mile or more ride! The animal needs conditioning - riding 4-5x a week, increasing gradually. I have a LOT of respect for those guys. They put in a great deal of work.

    Dressage requires a lot of miles too. Though many dressage people do not condition in a regular program, it really isn't in the horse's best interests.

    The best thing is to get a closer look at ankles and hocks, xrays are not a bad idea, nor are flexions (done by a vet, not an eager seller or a friend). Considering how hard it is to 'get rid of' a horse these days, even a one thousand dollar horse is a big, big liability to take on if it can't be ridden or can't do what you want.

    If it was the very, very rare case, where the 17 yr old horse had excellent xrays, had been doing endurance and dressage right along, and had no stiffness, unevenness of stride or any indication of discomfort, I might think I'd lucked onto one of those 'forty year arabs' that could go along for many years...but it would take an awful lot of data to convince me!

    Suitable temperament for dressage in Arabs? 'It depends'. There are many Arabs with poor temperaments, though they aren't really typical of the temperament the breeders are aiming for. They are cast offs. Or, they are bred by people who don't choose sire and mare with a good temperament, and the result is not surprising. These less desirable horses also tend to get bad training, compounding the problem.

    Such a horse might not be easy to do anything with.

    But I've seen quite a few people do both dressage and endurance, very successfully, and with Arabs. Some do dressage to improve their endurance ride, too. That's especially interesting.

    Temperament for dressage and endurance is different? I don't think so. Both sports require a horse that LOVES to move, loves to move very energetically, has tons of energy, and has a certain eagerness and determination. Both of them need to be fighters, who love a challenge, and rise to the occasion.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
  8. RareBreedFancier

    RareBreedFancier Surrounded by Broodies

    Nov 5, 2010
    Australia :)
    I would be very, very worried about the idea of starting a 17yo horse towards endurance. She might be fine but personal, I'd expect problems.

    I also think she may not be an ideal beginners horse. The way the market is at the moment I think it shouldn't be to hard to find an older horse that already has dressage training for a similar price. I think a 'been there, done that' horse is a lot better idea for a beginner than an energetic, not particularly well trained horse.

    I also agree with welsummerchicks about assessing temperament in a thin horse. My older rescue would barely raise a trot on the lounge when I was trying checking soundness before bringing him home. 2 months later (and a LOT of regained weight!) He was EXTREMELY forward moving. Not because of grain either, he was just that kind of horse. I later found out the person I'd bought him off had deliberately kept him thin because she was too scared to ride him when he was in good condition. [​IMG]
  9. GalloFino

    GalloFino Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 28, 2010
    Quote:Yeah, and then later, later posts correct the age to 14 again. If she really is Sweet Texas Tea, she's 14, but I don't know how they've determined that that is who she is. One post says an earlier owner said she was registered but refused to disclose the registered name, then suddenly they say that she's Sweet Texas Tea.

    They were originally placing her at 10, based on her teeth.

    The horse that I've spent the most time with was a cranky little grey Arab mare; I guess I'm a bit partial. I did lessons on her and had a part lease.

    With that horse, I was doing dressage-based exercises, to improve both her strength, flexibility and responsiveness and to improve my own riding and communication with the horse, and I guess I'd like to pick up with that where I left off. I think of dressage like yoga. Just because you're not doing head stands, that doesn't mean that you're not benefiting from what postures you can do. And I like having goals and something specific to work on in the arena, particularly as we will be in the northwest where there's a lot of indoor riding in the winter. That being said, I love being outdoors and have been interested in doing some endurance training, to learn more about the sport and again just have something specific to work on with the horse. I have no aspirations of myself or the horse being super good at anything...just want to have fun and learn together.

    I'm not a crash hot rider, but I'm not an absolute beginner. However, I'd like a horse that will be safe for my son to ride when he gets a bit older (little guy's only 3 right now!) which is why I'm looking at "beginner safe" horses.
  10. ND

    ND Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Just going off pictures...which aren't the greatest btw....

    She IS very post-legged (very straight, "upright" rear legs), and appears to be over the knee on the front. I also don't like how she appears to land toe first in the trotting picture...and would be extremely concerned this is signaling hoof pain or potential navicular syndrome. She doesn't appear to have to right foot/knee action for an Arab....granted, it's a still shot, but it says a lot. Many people dismiss, or don't even recognize that type of landing at a trot as a problem because SO many horses are seen doing it that's it's almost become the 'norm', but it's a HUGE RED FLAG. Honestly, out of any other faults she may have, the toe first landing would be the one I don't mess around with-- don't pass go-- run AWAY. [​IMG]

    For as small as she appears to be, she has a very long back, especially for an arab...but it could just be weird angles I suppose.

    ACTUALLY, after taking a peek at her "before" pictures, I'd definitely steer clear if this is a horse you're wanting to use more than lightly, IMO.
    In every picture, before and after, you can see how very over the knee she is... in her before pictures, you can see how her cannon bones are pretty offset in picture taken from the front. (But again, I'd have already dismissed her as any type of performance horse based on toe first landings- provide that is how she actually does consistently move and it wasn't just a 'bad step'.)

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