Eventing Horses ( Eventers ) – Breeding of Eventing Horses. Eventing horses are made, not bred. When breeding versatile healthy horses, it becomes clear that the term „versatile horses“ is not synonymous with the term „eventing horses“. As a breeder of horses with a high blood content, it is important to recognise the difference between „versatile horses“ and „eventing horses“ because very few people are aware of this difference.
1. Eventing horses – versatile training to become a riding horse
Training the young horse: patience and time are rewarded. Those who work with the horse with a lot of patience and time will be rewarded. In our experience, training a young horse (eventing horse or versatile horse) requires not only the necessary knowledge and skills, but also a lot of patience and time. If you learn to pay attention to your horse, you will notice whether you are over- or under-challenging it physically and mentally – or whether you are challenging and encouraging it in the best sense.
Muscle development in horses takes time, the development of strong tendons and ligaments takes a lot of time and the development of strong bones takes a lot of time.
And the development of a young horse’s head and mental abilities also takes a very, very, very long time.
When we train a young horse we have to give the horse’s body and head a LOT of time to develop.
We do this by continuing with our young riding horses where we left off with the foals and young horses. The same things that the young horses learned as hand horses first with their mothers and then in their herd or as hand horses in the field, we now do with the young ones as riding horses.
In this way, the versatile training corresponds to the nature of our horses. So we can ride a raw three- or four-year-old into the water or over the first small tree trunks quite naturally and naturally. Completely relaxed. Later on we add climbing sand hills and canter training.
Our training with young riding horses:
At the beginning of the year we usually start to train our young horses. The cross-country rides become more intensive over the course of the months. Sand hill, forest and meadow circuits alternate so that we always have different demands on the horse’s legs and muscles. Depending on the horse’s age and type, the intensity is always adjusted. This is extremely important, especially for the young horses, because this way they become sure-footed and learn to move safely on any ground. This is also a matter of head. Very fast growing, big as well as young horses sometimes need some time to get balanced. This training makes the legs resistant. Horses that did not have this cross-country training when they were young, i.e. between four and six years old, are more susceptible to tendon damage. This basic condition cannot be made up for later.
With this training and with the comprehension of obstacles and the confidence for water, low jumps and climbing, each of our horses becomes a potential „eventing horse“, because potential eventing horses must first and foremost have the physical health and fitness and the willingness to perform, which is promoted to the maximum through our young horse training.
At this stage of training, it is completely unimportant to us what pedigree the young horse has or what strengths we believe the young horse has. Each of our horses – regardless of its talent – receives this basic training as a riding horse in the field, which lasts at least one to two years.
2. Eventing horses – rearing as foals
The keeping and rearing of foals and broodmares at our stud is the basis for a healthy and successful horse life. Lots of exercise, being able to let off steam and play with their peers promote physical development as well as balance and strength of character. Daily contact with humans is part of the foal school and promotes a healthy relationship with humans.
At an early age, the foals practise together with their mothers at the pond and in the most interesting pasture area possible.
Once they are used to the halter, the foals are led along as hand horses when their mothers are riding. In this way, the foals learn to walk through the water from an early age and can also orientate themselves on their mothers when walking through the interesting terrain.
Foal ABC and trailer riding are also part of the optimal rearing conditions of eventing horses.
3. Eventing horses – rearing as young horses
At the centre of a young horse’s life at our stud is the herd and the herd structure. The keeping and rearing of young horses and broodmares is the basis for a healthy and successful horse life. Playing, romping and trying things out in their herd among their peers promotes physical development as well as balance and strength of character. Daily contact with people is part of raising young horses and promotes a healthy relationship with people.
Our young horses are also regularly taken out into the countryside as hand horses. Early on, the young horses practise as hand horses in the forest in the sand hills and in the water. For this purpose, we have specially built a second 600 m² water area to complement the versatile rearing of the. In the process, our young horses move over different types of ground, sometimes softer, sometimes harder, even over uneven terrain. This is extremely important, especially for the young horses, because this way they become sure-footed even without rider’s weight and learn to move safely on any kind of ground. This also helps the young horses to become balanced and mature in their minds. This basic condition can hardly be made up for later.
4. Eventing horses – specialisation or bringing pot and cover together!!!
After the successful basic training of our young horses, it is now time to find the matching pot to the lid or, in other words, to decide which life path could be the best for our young horses.
One thing right away: The right lid for the pot is much more important for a horse than the highest class to be achieved in competition sport!!!!.
Whether it becomes a show jumper or an event horse or a dressage horse or a leisure horse or or or or … with our breeding we offer our horses an optimal basis to lead a healthy and long life.
And until it is, for example, an eventing horse in the several** range, a lot of water flows down the Rhine even after our basic training, therefore one can justifiably say:
Eventing horses are made and not bred.
Eventing horses … versatile horses with a lot of noble blood
5. Eventing horses – selection of parents
As a breeder you can focus on breeding „versatile horses“ by choosing the parents. The maturation to an „all-round horse“ is DONE by active encouragement starting with the versatile and varied rearing as a foal, young horse up to the training as a riding horse.
The horses of our Sport Horse breeding – with a very high proportion of noble blood – are particularly versatile horses. Even though our breeding focus lies in the breeding of show jumpers, the high proportion of Arabians ensures fast, people-oriented horses that can be used for any sport.
When selecting the parents, we pay special attention to the following criteria:
Willingness to perform, health even in old age, ability, good heredity in jumping across generations, good basic gaits. We only breed with mares that we ourselves enjoy riding and that have a very good attitude towards work.
As we aim for a high percentage of Anglo Arabians in our Sport Horse breeding (30% +- 10%) we are always looking for suitable Arabian stallions.
An important criterion for the choice of an Arabian stallion is how great the subjective probability is of breeding an offspring with the stallion that could be competitive in the upper sport classes.
In a horse magazine, Mr. Dibowski stated the requirements for a future eventing horse, for example, that an eventing horse should be able to compete at medium level in both jumping and dressage.
If you take this as a rule of thumb for the choice of parents, then it might make sense to breed an eventing horse with parents where BOTH parents have competed or could compete at least at M-level in BOTH disciplines. (Exceptions prove the rule 😉 )
In addition, when selecting the parents, we place particular emphasis on „cross-generational performance“, as we see with the stallion Zeus, for example, and are very happy to use sires who „perform well into old age“, as is the case with the stallion Catwalk IV, for example.