Oct. 29, 2012, 02:26 PM
DQs, please educate me!
I just watched a sale video of a beautiful friesian gelding, just looking for fun, definitely not in the market right now. I have never been around friesians, I come from the eventing world, but I noticed that his trot looked very different from the horses I'm used to riding. His gaits didn't look choppy at all; his rider was sitting the trot easily, he was an awesome mover. But his stride seemed a lot shorter, quicker, and a little more up and down then say, a TB or WB that really reaches out and has a more "floating" step.
I'm assuming that this is a breed thing? Obviously they are a lot heavier and thicker, so it makes sense that they wouldn't have as big of a range of motion as a longer, leaner type. Is this a hendrence in the upper levels? Or is it an advantage? Is one type preferred above the other? I don't know a lot about what is looked for, what is considered right, in the judge's eyes.
Just curious, I know the fundementals are all the same, but I'm not as familiar with the opinions and training methods of true dressage as I am with eventing dressage.
Last edited by talkofthetown; Nov. 2, 2012 at 04:39 PM.
Oct. 29, 2012, 06:25 PM
I have ridden a few and have some pics in my blog of one who could step out quite a bit if I ever got that neck out correctly
I think a lot of them have very nice shoulders but obviously like any breed they have their really good prospects and ones that are not quite built perfection for sport.
If you look into the dressage bred ones they are actually quite nice.
Oct. 29, 2012, 08:34 PM
Expanding on the above: One thing to remember about Freisians is that they have been bred primarily to be carriage horses - thus the action at the trot and the upright neck/head, and not much focus on a quality canter. In more recent years, there has been more of a focus on them as riding horses, particularly in dressage. Breeders of dressage type horses have worked to improve the canter. If you are going to think about buying one, it would help to do some homework on the breeding thing - as w/ any other breed, all Freisians are not equal...
I see a fair number at lower levels; I can't think of any at the upper levels at the moment, but that doesn't mean they aren't there! I have a friend who shows a freisian cross, he is doing very well, schooling second level and is just a little work machine. Love him.
We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........
Oct. 30, 2012, 11:19 PM
Good advise in both the posts above for you! When you are trying to find a dressage prospect or evaluate a going horse there are a ton of things to consider which does not make it easy.
First off, do you really LOVE that breed? If your answer is YES!, then you need to buckle down and do a lot of homework. The Friesian breed was bred to pull the carriages of European aristocrats. They were bred to be docile with straight up and down movement. That's very flashy and exactly the opposite of what you need for dressage.
For a number of years, selective breeding has been producing a horse that retains the docile temperament and has smoothed out the high stepping into more ground reaching gaits suitable for dressage. Due to their carriage pulling background the Friesians tend to have huge shoulders in the carriage bloodlines.
The guidelines for picking a Friesian are the same as any other breed. When the horse trots does his hock line up vertically with his croup? Does his walk overtrack in a monstrous amount? Is his wither higher than his croup? Are the legs straight? Is his croup connection well muscled? When he canters is there space and more between the hind legs as they pass each other? Is there room in his throat latch so he has sufficient room to breathe when engaging his hindquarters? One of the biggest things for the carriage horse bloodlines, does he push from behind or pull from up front?
The folks I that run into here that have them swear by their temperament, no shutdowns, no temper tantrums.
In my area we have a number of Friesians that working in the lower levels and in the FEI levels. If you can find "the ONE", I'd say go for it.
Oct. 31, 2012, 01:20 AM
There were two Fresians competing at Grand Prix level at the Australian Championships last weekend.
Oct. 31, 2012, 11:42 AM
Oct. 31, 2012, 06:10 PM
Oct. 31, 2012, 06:18 PM
I often prefer upper level eventing dressage to the similar 3rd/4th level straight dressage.
What eventing dressage seems to lack compared to straight dressage is movement through the back and softness through the whole body. That comes both from the skill set needed for eventers and the tension horses who know they're going to run and jump the next day tend to carry. Friesians also tend to lack movement through the back, which tends to make them far easier to sit, so it's both a plus and a minus.
There are some very unfortunately conformed Friesians, and some very nice ones. If someone were looking for a Friesian/Friesian-x dressage prospect, I would strongly recommend against one built like my mom's trail horse. However, I have known some who were nicely talented in dressage and could have mobile backs, sit nicely with hocks under them, etc. We just had a purebred stallion retire from GP dressage last year, and he was lovely and fun to watch. He was no international competitor, but he could do the job.
Every Friesian or Friesian cross I have been around had personality similarities. There's a certain pigheadedness, and a common tendency to try to drag their humans around with their shoulders. However, each of them were able to get past that to show they had more ability than originally thought, and the "laziness" seemed to disappear as they turned out to appear to actually enjoy and thrive in work. I prefer horses who verge on oversensitive and are therefore unforgiving of rider mistakes, which is opposite to Friesians, so they aren't my type of preferred ride, but playing with my mom's mare as a dressage horse has been fun, and she surprises me by applying my request to sit more into "how about half steps?" and her tendency to start each ride where the previous ride ended, really hanging onto her training. They aren't for everyone, but have some definite pluses.
My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.
Originally Posted by katarine
1 members found this post helpful.
Nov. 1, 2012, 09:47 AM
Doubtless *not* the education you meant, but there's no apostrophe in DQs when it refers to the plural of DQ. Apostrophe goes in when it's a possessive "The DQ's hair was a wreck."
On topic ... I don't think the movement is a hindrance at upper levels if their training is solid, but their conformation tends to be chest-strong and upper level work requires a LOT of strength in the back end. I think they can be spectacular but it's the exception.
Nov. 1, 2012, 04:59 PM
Yes, it has improved drastically over the years, however the OP said this: "not as familiar with the opinions and training methods of true dressage." There should never be a difference in training methods. Classical training is classical regardless of final intention.
Originally Posted by 2ndyrgal
Nov. 1, 2012, 05:24 PM
You are either forward and supple or you are not in either discipline. Eventing has as much ugly dressage as you can expect with people who cannot train for one thing only but they do have forward usually in the bag lol
I have seen enough lovely 3rd/4th leve plain dressagel riding to say that there is plenty of nice rides there too (regular dressage). Funny, all of the top level horses that we love were once 3rd/4th LOL
Nov. 1, 2012, 05:45 PM
Funny, most of them probably didn't show at that level, particularly not the local shows I've been to, as my comparison was based upon what I see personally.
Originally Posted by NOMIOMI1
My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.
Originally Posted by katarine
Nov. 2, 2012, 04:36 PM
Nov. 2, 2012, 05:25 PM
Firstly, not a DQ. Dressage was my first discipline but I have since switched to eventing. Hence why I will not comment on the remarks regarding the dressage phase of eventing.
Just wanted to add that I rode/trained a Grand Prix level friesian. He was an exceptionally smooth ride and surprisingly light. One of the easiest and most fun rides to date. He would do anything and everything BUT, I did find that he tired very easily. The same woman who owned him also owned another full blooded friesian and a TBxFriesian cross. The other friesian was a baroque type, which are more carriage-built and have the strides of which OP speaks. She was lower-level and comfortable where she was, but was not a candidate for the upper-levels. The TBxFriesian was...awful. My least favorite horse I've ridden/trained to date hahaha. I always joked inwardly that he got all the traits if the inbred friesian breed.
Of course friesians can be lovely dressage mounts. It really depends on the type. There are three types: Baroque or "heavy weight" (the carriage horse), "medium weight" (most common and most often seen at the lower-levels) or "light weight." In any case, I think they're beautiful.
Nov. 3, 2012, 11:41 AM
It definitely depends on the horse, but you can also look at the bloodlines too. I knew two Grand Prix stallions and both were successful in show. But, both had very different movement and conformation. One was an absolute powerhouse and you had to be so strong to sit his trot. The other was very easy and push button. Both horses made it to the top level but you also have to have an exceptional rider as well, Friesians must be ridden correctly or it's a big ol' mess, you have a lot of horse to put together.
Like the others have said, for what they were bred for, they aren't going to float as readily as a warmblood. Friesians have great, forgiving temperaments, are a lot fo fun and just beautiful to boot.
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