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tophandcowgirl

Your Opinions on stock breeds doing dressage

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Do you guys think that stock breeds (primarely paints) would be descriminated against in the show ring for dressage since they are not tb's or warmbloods? My friend is starting serious dressage training since her mom did dressage and she is doing it on a paint. This paint mare is absolutely amazing in her movement, she drags her feet a little and has a natural round body. I think she is going to kick butt but do you guys think the judges will discriminate?

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i wouldnt worry, the judge cant deny a good ride when he sees one. I think TB's and warmbloods are naturally inclinded to be amazing at dressage, where as paints may not be as natural and may take more work to achieve a good score. and that being said i think thats why you see less paints in the dressage ring... but they are coming out, and same with other spotted horses. i am training on my one and only horse, a paint, and hopefully we will be competing late this year. Jakob (my horse) and i do have to work extra hard at dressage but its a passion for both of us...and hopefully soon we will be another paint decorating the dressage arena.so dont sweat it! [big Grin]

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i compete on a VERY LOUD appaloosa [smile] and although i mostly event, i will go to dressage schooling shows. I don't find that i've been discriminated against at all. If i have a good solid ride, i get good scores. I even beat out a fancy moving warmblood at my first 1st level test [smile] so.... as long as you ride properly and achieve what is being asked of the test, you'll do fine. I'm sure there is the occasional judge who may lean towards the extravagant mover, but to be honest, if both horses are the same in every aspect.... both correct, both solid, both rode the test accurately...unfortunately the fancier mover will place higher. But don't let that stop you [smile] Go out there and ride the best test you can ride [smile]

you guys will be fine. i think there is getting to be more and more loud horses out there!

good luck! i'd love to see some pics [smile]

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I competed at A shows with a some-breed buckskin. He was a solid steady eddie, very pretty to look at and had good training, but was not really flashy other than his color. We did acutally very well, considering I had only been riding dressage for a short while. We accumulated enough wins for 3rd place HOY for the region, and at the ABIC Champs, we were 4th, beating some darn fancy horses. Ironically enough, the Champion was a pasture puff western pleasure crazy navicular palomino QH stallion turned docile kickbutt training level dressage gelding that won EVERYTHING.

Anyways, yes, I think you can be successful, and I can only remember one instance of any judge descrimination.

Here was my guy:

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I have a loudly marked Paint that I am currently showing 2nd Level schooling 3rd Level. I've never had a problem. We generally score very well, of course, I prepare very well for my shows, too!! There is always a chance you may run into a discriminatory judge; however, it is more likely that whatever score you get in the ring will be the one that you have earned based on the performance that you and your horse put forth. So, work hard, prepare well, and have fun.

~Shelly~

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quote:

Originally posted by TopHandCowgirl:

..... This paint mare is absolutely amazing in her movement, she drags her feet a little and has a natural round body. ....

I'm not clear what you meant by this sentence. Are you saying "she is an amazing mover EXCEPT that she drags her feet...." or do you believe feet-dragging is somehow a good thing in dressage and equals or is part of amazing movement?

Just to clear things up, dragging of the feet or toes is NOT considered ideal movement for a dressage horse and would generally indicate lack of forwardness, and/or lack of engagement, both of which would be penalized, regardless of breed.

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I think it's great that other breeds are entering the dressage ring. We have several mustangs at our barn that are very solid at the lower levels. One mustang, Chance, is positively stunning to watch when he has the right rider on his back. You can tell he has alot of spanish blood in him, but never-the-less, he's still a stocky, sturdy, old fashioned mustang! Good luck to you & your horse. Always remember, the point is to learn, improve, have fun & build a solid bond with your horse. Everything else will take care of itself!!!

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I show my mostly-QH gelding in dresage, at recognized shows. We are solid 2nd Level and schooling 3rd Level, and have been doing well so far. I am a JR/YR, but I had to show in the Open division at one show, and we came in 2nd place (at First Level) against Warmbloods. We also qualified for and attended the United States Dressage Federation Regional and NortWest Championships, and we came in 5th in the NW class (again at First Level). My trainer took my horse (whom I lease) to a show, at Training Level (this was several years ago, when I was not leasing him), and they recieved scores of 68% and 72%, and placed 1st and 2nd. This was a recognized show as well.

Lots of stock breeds can do well in dressage. I personally have not been discriminated against, and like smithereens said, the score you recieve is usually reflective the ride itself, not your horse's breed or coloring.

My advice is to try your hardest and have fun [smile]

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In most cases, color won’t matter. I think a good test is a good test, and most judges will see it [smile]

However, I was recently talking to our show announcer for the events here in CA and we had this same discussion. He once talked to a dressage judge about this, and the response was not the breed, but how the color affected the horse in question. Judge said once after judging this paints test, that no matter how correct the horse was he would never look correct because of his color, and he would always appear to be more hollow than he truly was.

On the contrary, if the horse is a fancy mover, he will stand out ten times more than the average bay [smile]

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quote:

Originally posted by smithereens_86:

I have a loudly marked Paint that I am currently showing 2nd Level schooling 3rd Level. I've never had a problem. We generally score very well, of course, I prepare very well for my shows, too!! There is always a chance you may run into a discriminatory judge; however, it is more likely that whatever score you get in the ring will be the one that you have earned based on the performance that you and your horse put forth. So, work hard, prepare well, and have fun.

~Shelly~

you should post a pic of the Razz-Man (man...right? lol...can't remember) for TopHand to see...he's awsome [smile] flashy flashy flashy!! I like spots [smile]

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I knew a woman who was competing on a spotted Saddlebred--a double-whammy. But he was big and a good mover and she got very good scores.

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quote:

Originally posted by EventingRed:

In most cases, color won’t matter. I think a good test is a good test, and most judges will see it
[smile]

However, I was recently talking to our show announcer for the events here in CA and we had this same discussion. He once talked to a dressage judge about this, and the response was not the breed, but how the color affected the horse in question. Judge said once after judging this paints test, that no matter how correct the horse was he would never
look
correct because of his color, and he would always appear to be more hollow than he truly was.

On the contrary, if the horse is a fancy mover, he will stand out ten times more than the average bay
[smile]

This has to do with optical illusions and NOT with breed or color biase. And it will NOT occur with every paint (and almost never with appaloosas.) It depends on the paint's color pattern.

For example, this summer I saw a paint around at the shows I was going to. The first time I saw him, my immediate thought was, "oh my goodness. That horse has the skinniest neck I've ever seen. It's almost unnatural."

Upon closer inspection, he did NOT have an unnaturally skinny neck. Indeed, he had a very normal neck. BUT, he had a white coat pattern that followed the crest of his neck and about the top five inches of neck (near the poll,) to about the top seven inches of neck (near the base,) and the underneath part of his neck was black. So, especially when the sun fell on him a certain way, the white part really "jumped out" at you and the black underneath just looked like ... nothing. A shadow, perhaps. So, all you saw was this very skinny white neck.

If the pattern across the horse's back creates an optical illusion, it can create difficulties for the judge to REALLY see if the horse is round through his topline or not.

Incidentally, similar problems can occur with non-paints who have certain markings. Any blaze or stripe that is off center will create the illusion of the horse tilting his head. White legs, especially the hind legs, that are uneven in height, or where there is one white leg and one dark leg will give the illusion that the horse is not tracking evenly (that he is slightly unsound.)

The more a judge sees these things, the more they can ignore them; so crooked stripes and blazes and uneven hind leg markings are not a big disadvantage as they are very common. But paints who just happen to have markings that create unique optical illusions are rare and it is harder for the judge to see "through" them.

For example, I can imagine this Trakehner filly creating some very odd optical illusions:

http://americantrakehner.com/Saleslist/ShampagneNCaviar.htm

[ 02-07-2007, 08:49 AM: Message edited by: RioTollerAgain ]

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Okay, pictures of Razzle as requested . . .

Raz’s spots do cause me a couple of issues – the vet always complains about the spot on his left stifle. It creates an optical illusion that can make him look “off” if you stare at that leg trying to look for soundness issues. Of course that is his “bad” leg that he is weaker in and doesn’t want to use, so we are constantly watching that leg!!

-

The other problem I have with Raz crops up in showing. His BIG WHITE HEAD!!! If I don’t keep my hands really, really steady and quiet, his big white head gives me away and bobs all over creation as we trot down the centerline. So I have to be a really good rider coming down that centerline at the judge. I haven’t quite mastered that one yet, but I’m getting better at it yet. I don’t get the “head bobbing” comment nearly as often any more thank goodness!!!

-

~Shelly~

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I agree with everyone else, you shouldn't have any problems, especially at the lower levels. Back when I first started I went to the regional championships (in Cali) with a glowing 19 y/old Buckskin. She was the only Buckskin on the grounds during the three day event. To tell you the truth, I think because she stuck out so much she helped the judges remember me for the three days. I did really good on the equitation the first day, ok the second day and really cruddy the third day but I still took home Regional Champ for Intro level.

Don't think twice about entering any color or type of horse, its all about how you and the horse work as a team to produce a solid ride.

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Okay, I will chime in. Here is my QH, Winston, although not spotted, a stock breed. He did not start dressage until he was 13, he will be 17 this summer. He is scoring high 60's at first level at rated shows and is going out at 2nd level this summer. I do see breed bias around here...and hear it from others, but I will stay off of that soap box today. Anyway, here is a pic from last summer:-)

-

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I'm worried about Kota's lightening marks creating an optical illusion. I've noticed that it sometimes makes him look like hes not tracking up (especially with my crappy video camera, it made him look like he wasn't tracking and was maybe slightly off when I tried him out and almost didn't buy him for it!) but he does and its not that bad in real life. I wish I could put some boots on him to hide those markings when showing!

-

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I have been told that paints "Tobiano" can be hard to judge when they have a large spot in the middle of the back just behind the saddle directly on the spine. It can make them look hallow. I have been told by many dressage riders and judges that the coloring on the legs can be a factor aswell. They like both front legs solid or white. When one is white and the other solid it can be hard to tell if the horse is correct. The back legs are not as much of a worry as the front.

This is what I have been told. I think if a judge is having a hard time because of color then he should get his or her butt out from under the tent and do whatever it takes to get a better view of the horse.

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This is Beau, my 10 year old AQHA gelding. This was last spring showing training level at a schooling show. He has 3 white socks and a crooked blaze. They have never caused me any problems in the show ring. In fact, I have had a few FEI level instructors tell me he is awesome and they love his hock action and movement. He is a beautiful mover and does exceptionally well with dressage. We earned our Training level plate last year in California through California Dressage Society. You had to have 5 scores over 60 to earn your plate. This year we are getting ready to show First level, but we have moved to Texas so will be showing out here this year. We are looking forward to it. All breeds can do dressage. Training is what will afford you to do well in the show ring. Nothing else. If the training isn't there, regardless of breed, it just isn't going to happen. And more and more folks and other breeds are becoming involved in the sport of dressage. It's a wonderful discipline.

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[ 02-07-2007, 05:19 PM: Message edited by: Boocoo ]

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Appaloosa1224 The markings on your horse won't be a factor in optical illusions. Not to worry. Those particular markings are large enough and symmetrical enough to be a complete non-issue.

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Appaloosa1224, I totally agree with Rio. You don't need to worry about your horse's markings. I can't imagine worrying about any horses' markings, really. A judge should be able to disgintuish between markings and how a horse is going. [big Grin]

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Beckham03 You mentioned breed biase in your area. I will agree that most people think THEIR horse and THEIR breed of horse is the best, and show people in general are horribly catty. If you go to just about ANY kind of all-breed show, you'll overhear conversations where people are talking bad about this breed or that breed, or discussing how much better is some other breed.

That kind of breed biase is different from judges who have different scoring standards for different "preceived" breeds. I say "preceived," because unless there is a brand indicatng the breed, or a horse is very obviously a certain breed, it can be difficult sometimes know if a horse is a purebred this or that, or a cross, or what.

Judging biase is very wrong, and to be honest I have seen very little of it in the dressage world. Individual non-judges publicly slamming certain breeds is also wrong, much more common, but not in the same catagory as judge biases.

The OP wanted to know if her breed would be judged more harshly than other breeds. In my experience, the answer is "no." But what other catty, mean, immature competitors might say is a different question all together.

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I am on a personal crusade of sorts to get more stock-type breeds involved in dressage. I'm supported in that by a trainer who is breed-blind and has and had just about everything in her barn that you can name, except maybe a Clydesdale or Shetland pony.

My horse is half Paint and half Dutch warmblood, and he's almost qualified for championships in Training level, his first year of showing.

I will, as long as there's breath in my body, always own a horse with either QH or other stock breed in it. There are quality movers and individuals in all shapes, colors, and sizes and there will always be a judge here and there with their own biases, and dressage training can help ANY horse be better at their particular talent.

End of sermon!

DQ

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