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Arabians as Jumpers
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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Gsafar
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 Posted: Wed Aug 27th, 2014 11:28 pm
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Dr. Bennett; I wanted to gain your thoughts on Arabian Horses as Jumpers.

I watched your videos on Collection & Conformation as part of the G.H. Morris, clinic and wanted to gain your insight into any particular reason Arabians are not used (or could not do well) as Hunter Jumpers.

I have asked many owners & breeders and heard many reasons, but none rational and wanted to gain your insight into this.

You mentioned your surprise at not seeing more Friesians in dressage as they are naturally collected, and thought i'd start by asking if you had any thoughts in Arabians as Jumpers and Hunt Seat from a conformation or bio-mechanic point of view.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Aug 28th, 2014 04:13 am
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Gsafar, I most certainly did NOT advocate Friesians as being easy to collect; quite the opposite. You misunderstood me about this, evidently. The easy to collect breeds are all Iberian, plus a certain select number of individual animals, appropriately conformed, that might belong to any breed.

As to Arabians being HUNTERS, the reason that they are not more successful in this division of competition is that the "style" or overall picture that most Arabians present while negotiating fences is not the one preferred by hunter judges. As you may know, hunter judging is entirely subjective. It is also very tradition-bound, and Arabians are not the traditional winners in that division.

As to JUMPERS, that's another matter. There it's going to be a question of "heart", willingness, and power vs. the size and scope of jumps that must be negotiated. There have always been a certain number of local and regional champions in the jumping division who were Arabians. This number diminishes at the national level and on the "big" circuit, and on the Olympic team, primarily because most trainers are not particularly out scouting for Arabians to bring up from the local and regional levels, nor are they the majority at those levels.

This is to say that if you have an Arabian horse and you and he like to jump, then go for it; you have as good a chance as anyone else in the Jumper Division, for there is no physical reason whatsoever that an appropriately-conformed Arabian could not in that division beat a horse of any other breed. -- Dr. Deb

 

Gsafar
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 Posted: Fri Aug 29th, 2014 09:26 am
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Dr. Bennett,

Thank you for your message;

Re: Collection - Sorry to misquote. You said Andalusians take a step and literally collect.

Re: Hunters. Lets say, hypothetically, there were 2-3 large shows created just for Arabian Horses, specially judging Hunt Seat Equitation, where only Arabians could compete and there was sizable prize money offered. Sizable enough to attract good breeders, owners, trainers and accomplished riders - An Aachen type show, which is what they are planning on doing this year at the Aachen show with some patrons willing to make it "viable" for Arabian Horses.

Would you say, if great riders, trainers went out and found great Arabian Horses to be competitive and they had the ability to complete for huge prize money, for the sole reason of developing the sport to a point that 5-7 years from now, the top, winning horses may be able to compete against some of the traditional horses in that division.

- Lets say, someone wanted to back Arabians to flat racing (under 2 miles) and was willing to spend any amount of money to find and develop that, I would presume, regardless of style and tradition, they just wont be able to outrun a Thoroughbred. There would be nothing about preference or prejudice here, I think the clear answer would be that Thoroughbreds would outrun them as thats was they are designed to do (run that distance faster than any breed)

In the same way, if someone wanted to ride Quarter Horses in Endurance, they certainly could be successful, but on the whole on a 100 mile course, Arabians naturally would always have an advantage.

If you considered it from such as perspective, would you still say that an Arabian (appropriately-conformed) & developed could technically compete at the highest levels with traditional Hunters / Jumpers ?

Would you say that if we started getting to Grand Prix level Jumpers, size & scope might be a limitation if most of the Arabians were 15hh +/-

Much appreciate your insight - Hope that makes sense though, and recognize there may not be a simple black & white answer.


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