Joined: 8-August 05
Member No.: 2658
With all the topics that have recently brought up those SE who are ridden I am truely wondering just what is an honest opinion as to why we don't see nearly as many as we did like in the past. I would like to know if it is true what some say that ..." SE are becomming garden ornaments ...." just pretty to look at but can't be ridden"... Now I don't want to open a new argument but I just wonder what is the true reasons behind this. I myself am intending to break in a SE filly over winter in the next few weeks with the intention to perhaps put her into the show ring, just for fun I might add, as well as to fly the flag for our beloved SE. Now one of the hurdles I feel I will have to over come is the financial out lay this will cost me and wonder if this could also be one of reason why others don't show under saddle. Another point I would like to bring up is the financial out lay to aquire the SE in the first place and are we just in too much of a hurry to breed so as to get some return on this. Might I add that my breeder that I purchased my filly from thought I should breed my filly this season so as to get some of my out lay back. So if this is the advice we are given by others, and we follow this ,could this also contribute to the problem why SE have such a bad name today regarding not being a suitable riding horse. Now please I would like to hear honest opinions.
Joined: 17-March 03
Member No.: 49
As I was getting into arabians and started developing an interest in the SE's I lost count of the times people told me oh they are not good you can't ride them (Tasmania in the 90's was very crabbet orientated!!) !!
I was always determined that when I owned one it would be ridden but now I don't ride much if at all and I can't really afford to send him away to be ridden by someone else, that and I have issues trusting anyone with him because I would hate his beautiful nature to be ruined. If I find the right person and had the $$ spare I would have him out under saddle in a heartbeat.
Joined: 27-January 06
Member No.: 3168
JMO, As a newbie ot the arabian world, I seriously can't understand why a breed like this, which was originally intended for riding, has become so beauty driven. I think it is due to the level of respect a horse recieves for winning halter, as compared to performance. If a horse wins in halter (at least here) it becomes a sought after horse, while the horses who won in the few performance classes remain nameless. Why bother training a horse to ride and spend the money on showing when it means little to nothing in the eyes of the public? For example the world championship in Paris, I assume there are no performance classes there, since in every article I have read about it, there was no mention. Yet the horses that won the championships in halter are considered "amazing and talented" but who knows if they are even saddle broke? Wouldn't you buy a stallion that had won in Paris over a stallion that was a great ride, but had not competed? assuming they were the same price of course... Just my thoughts!!! Deby
Joined: 22-March 03
From: Bury St Edmunds, UK
Member No.: 202
If the Paris champion was a good sound horse and the same price as the ridden horse "in a heartbeat, no need to even stop and think". Why would I want a less good loking horse if there was no reason why the Paris horse should not make a riding horse. I am sure there are a lot of SEs who have never been ridden but would make really good riding horses if given the chance.
Joined: 27-January 06
Member No.: 3168
Barbara, thats exactly my point! Everybody complains about how SEs are no longer performance horses, but no one is buying for performance horses, they are buying for a horse with HALTER winning bloodlines then hope that it will be a good ridding horse. If we are so worried about losing the performance ability of the breed, shouldn't it be the other way around? Buying a performance horse then hopefully, it could win in halter as well? It was such a shock to me when I started working with the SEs, that riding is one of the least important things. To me a horse not under saddle is somewhat a waste, to the horse and owner. I understand there are circumstances where it is not possible and I am certainly not trying to offend those who don't ride thier horses, but if you have the means, why not do it? Deby
added: And by riding I'm not talking about showing, I personally can't stand it, I'm talking about challenging your horse mental and physically to see how it responds, not to mention its always fun to challenge your own skills as a rider.
This post has been edited by deby: May 18 2006, 07:33 AM
You really cannot tell how suitable a horse is for riding unless a) get your hands on it and look at it from every angle you can think of, and ride it. A judges opnion is based on an impression over a couple of minutes - think about the difference between this and a veterinary exam, which takes 20-60 minutes. A vet exam takes this long because the vet needs to tell you whether a horse is SOUND and if it will be SUITABLE FOR THE TASK you expect it to perform. So what does this tell you about show ring results, or the way we pick stallions for our mares???
In addition, just because a horse has a "good temperament" on the ground does not mean it will be the same under saddle, out of it's comfort zone. I have had horses halter tranined, conditioned, gone to shows, on and off trailers no problem, that react quite differently under saddle.... those that think they can tell you 100% what a horse will be like under saddle, from the viewpoint of the ground, obviously do not ride much.
Let's face it, most of us base our breeding decisions on a few minutes of looking at a horse either from a photo, video, or distance of 20 metres. Few of us bother to delve into the nitty gritty of conformation much past the standard basic texts within general horse encyclopedias.
Yes sure, some of these "2 minutes of 2 dimensional assessment" horses will make okay riding horses if given a chance, but just as many won't. Unfortanately, the market seems to be largely driven by people who want a pretty horse with a flashy trot and "snort and blow" for halter - that's where the money is. As long as there are shows, Arabians will continue to be bred by the aforementioned "2 by 2" method.
In my perfect world the Arabians would be the best saddle horse in the world and bred accordingly by knowledgable people with excellent horsemanship skills... but apparently I am in the minority and seen as a bit of a party pooper.
Joined: 21-March 03
Member No.: 192
DEar JMO, you better believe it, this is very bad advice.
Indeed it is costly to show, promote, but this goes for any business.
the large breeders with names do have the finances, so there is no excuse other than that they might not have the horses which can do anything, other than promoting names, and nothing else, resting on the loralls won decades ago.
Therefore my dear, enjoy this SE you have, who knows you might just have a supreme one, which you will find out when under saddle. If this is the case, take it all the way to the top. It is possible that some welknown breeders really dont know a good horse, if they see it and sometimes discard their best. And there is where the expert comes in, picking it up.
Joined: 9-December 03
Member No.: 1046
Good morning to all,
I personally believe that the halter horses of today can be ridden and probablly do at some time. Maybe not all go back to the shows. I enjoy watching the halter horses at the Egyptian Event, it is a chance to see what is out there for the future. Some are what I like and some are not but I think they are all capable of being ridden at some point. I have a stallion that unfortunately I have not ridden in a couple of years due back problems but he can be ridden, I have and he is straight egyptian and has been at the Egyptian event in a halter class. It was a great experience to watch my friend take him into the ring but, the next time he goes there, he will be under saddle for sure. My point is I believe that if a horse has the conformation, whether shown in halter classes or not, it is more than capable of being ridden. Also, a good deal of the halter horses are very young and are not ready to be ridden. I think that the older ones probablly are when they are back home to help with boredom and for exercise.
Joined: 16-March 03
Member No.: 28
Claudia, I completely agree wtih you. I find this notion that halter horses could not be ridden artificial, not based on facts and ridiculous. I think that people confuse a horse that, through no fault of its own, is perhaps not ridden, with one that CANNOT be ridden. I myself belong to the category of ageing women who used to ride much but now lack the energy and time. That is not to say that the horses I own cannot be ridden. They can, and sometimes they are, certainly the male horses once they reach that age. Alao,I have seen the grossest allegations that some stallions would not even be broken to saddle, that I have seen ridden with my own eyes. So clearly that allegation was untruthful to say the least. Sometimes, there is a huge difference between what is believed and what is a fact.
Joined: 27-January 06
Member No.: 3168
Hansi, weither money is an issue or not, some people just don't like showing. I do not like showing in large rated shows, there is just too much pressure and I have seen people take it too far too many times to enjoy it anymore. Even as a child, I had my saddle sliced with a razor at a dressage show, had my best friends horse get drugged, seen people send children through the barns with whips to scared the western horse... I just don't want to deal with it. But, put a schooling show or an open show near me and I'll be begging people to let me show thier horses... and how many schooling show wins do you have in your lists of stallions winnings?
Humans own horses for pleasure, if your pleasure is showing and mine is trail riding, how does that make any of our horses less desirable? And if another owners pleasure is halter, then who are we to judge? And it is definatly really nice to watch the halter classes, I enjoy it too, but I personally would rather be in the saddle then on the ground, but to each his own!~*~deby~*~
Joined: 18-March 03
From: Vale View, Toowoomba, Australia
Member No.: 117
there are different types of Arabians... some will ride differently to others however - temperament under saddle ie acceptance of the saddle, then the saddle and rider can only come from hands-on experience. Some Arabians these days are just not making the cut for ridden temperament ie they are not safe to be ridden. And I feel akin to being the last one to consider this prospect as I do believe that Arabians are one of the better saddle horse breeds regardless of their tag/label. There shouldn't be a difference between halter and saddle prospect. The ones which haven't made the grade that I'm familiar with have a number of famous halter bloodlines.
And I'd agree - expense these days is prohibitive for the show ring when the budget is tight. photo : by me, my friend riding my sE stallion in open dressage. Her smile after this halt was magical
I think the question is not that the horses can't be ridden, but that many people who own them don't ride and this is for all sorts of reasons. Some of us rode both in shows and for pleasure when young, but there is a point when age, dictates discretion.
Some have taken up the ownership of Arabians, later in life, when they have been able to do that which they have always wnated to do, that is to own an Arabian, and they do not at this stage of their life take up the physical demands (and potential injuries) of learning to ride.
Some owners do not know who to contact or how to search out someone who has training, education and experience in training a horse (and ethical standards).
If fact, this would be a good opportunity to put forward experiences (good and successful) with having your horse trained and returned to you as a willing and safe riding horse.
Joined: 23-November 04
Member No.: 1964
IMO It is very difficult to evaluate whether ANY horse shown in halter would be a good riding horse (at least if shown in halter in the US). Certainly you can identify those with faults (post legs and pasterns with no flex) that would make bad rides. But, aside from the issue of temperment (and I agree with guest that you can't tell how they will respond to being ridden until you ride them), you never see the natural movement of the horse during halter classes. So how could you ever evaluate how they would be as riding horses? Going from the German masters in dressage, the role of the trainer/rider is to bring out the natural brilliance and develop the gaits of the horse. In the halter classes, the NATURAL GAITS are never seen. Horses are yanked and shanked for outrageous trots with their noses in the air. You rarely see a natural walk. The horses are never shown at the canter - which is historically the MOST important gait. Sheeshh. At least in the Shagya certification system they free longe the horses at all gaits.
Anita (who will now get off her soap box and back on a horse)
Joined: 13-May 06
Member No.: 3423
Funny you should mention the canter. Our colt by Kazmeen out of RG Iris goes directly into canter from a walk when he wants to play. No trot at all just a great cavorting canter that just eats distance. Oh, he can trot, just does seem to prefer the canter interspersed with bursts of unbelievable speed. He approaches the fence panels of the arena at frightening speed and always stops within two strides and has never ever slammed into them even when the clay footing turns slick in the rain. Always seems to judge it correctly. The canter is easy and relaxed and will be a pleasure to ride. He is still immature at 4 so I will not put any weight on him until his growth plates close. If he is like his half sister he won't stop growing until he is at least 8. You have to stop by and see him one of these days. Pritzlaff with the line to Ansata El Salim the Grow's ( Rafter G) horse of so long ago.
Joined: 31-December 04
From: Central Saskatchewan, Canada
Member No.: 2096
A majority of our SE horses, mares and stallions, are started under saddle. SOME CAME THAT WAY HERE! We have a small group here also to be prepared for ground work and light saddle work. All are at various levels of learning. The two new SE mares due to arrive here, have professional training with a top reiner - one has the potential, the other does not as a reining horse even though they are half sisters and very similiar in phenotype...
Part of owning horses, for me anyways, is experiencing that glorious impatience to get on their back and see what kind of [potential] "goodies" they have to offer. I agree, you can not totally judge what a horse will feel like, move like and THINK like undersaddle until you sit on them and ask them to perform maneuvers, even the most basic. Others may have the natural ability for certain disciplines but no desire to perform that discipline, too.
There are still excellent performance trainers out there. Since I have delved into the costs between a professional halter trainer and a few professional, high level winning Reining Trainers, I can assure you that the cost of the Reining trainers either matches or is LOWER than the halter trainer! Good performance trainers and riders also seem more prone to be careful how they shoe or trim their horses so as not to inhibit their movement.
Athletic and beautiful - I agree. A performance horse should be capable of also competing in halter - example, AMIIN (working cow horse) does and I have seen it with my own eyes!
I do not "buy" the explanation that I have read and heard: That it is cheaper to send a horse for halter training than for performance training - if you are willing to learn and continue to ride, that is. I understand many circumstances that may also not allow for a person to ride or finances to send them out for training, etc. Yet, with the money issue aside, I have met and talked with people who can't or no longer ride and they still send their horses to good performance trainers and promote them that way.
What people do with their horses is their perogative. However, I am tired of the SE getting the undeserved reputation of not being able to perform. Put them out there with a good trainer for a riding discipline, and your PR begins! Word of mouth does more than fancy advertisements...