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about the individual horse. You can’t stereotype.” In evaluating the lineage of a horse for breeding, the individual’s success in performance has merit. However the performer may not be the best breeder. “Track the performance horses that are true breeders

in that bloodline,” Bettina advises. “Track ones that throw a certain trait or certain balance or a certain disposition every time. A performance horse may be a stallion, but you may have to go back to the uncle or brother or cousins who throw true to type. Look for the horse that has bred and is still standing at 20, or has been bred to many different prototypes of mares and throws certain traits on any one he’s bred to. He’s worth his weight in gold.” “Know what your ideal is,” Bettina adds. “Personally I

prefer one that puts my hair on fire and that I can ride to the edge of disaster because that is so cool. That is not the horse that I will want for many amateurs who feels a little insecure when the horse turns it on.”

Warmbloods and Lusitanos In a world of Warmbloods dominating the dressage competitive scene, Allison Mathy was intrigued by the Lusitano breed for many years and now has as many as five in training at one time. Allison at last bought her first Lusitano, mostly a Veiga, named Vaquarius, a year ago. She was attracted to the Veiga-Andrade cross when

she rode Quarteto do Top, her future horse’s sire. “He was incredibly powerful and athletic, but a lady’s horse. You think collection and you are in collection. You think half pass and you’re in a grand prix half pass; more a cerebral than a physical ride as with other breeds. I was intrigued by the Veiga horse. After I bought Vaquarius, I ended up with three in training.” She describes her

experience with the Veiga horses. “They are very athletic, and their natural instincts lend themselves to dressage movements. With my horse I don’t need to teach him half pass or flying changes. The movements are already in there. You just have to learn which button to push and when to push. It’s very

different from riding Warmbloods,” says Allison who has worked for Olympian Steffen Peters and Laurie Falvo, has trained with her mother Carolyn Carroll and now has her training operation at Flying Cloud Farm in Petaluma, California. “The challenge is that they’re incredibly hot under

saddle,” Allison continues. “I won’t let just anyone on my horse. You can feel them anticipate your next move. They’re so sensitive and ready to go—easy off the leg. You don’t need to create energy; you’re just containing and directing the energy. Generally this is a different feeling than riding a Warmblood.” She recalls taking Cielo (Vaquarius’ nickname which means heaven in Italian) to his first show.” I took five other horses and he was the bravest.” While she did not pick him because the Veigas are strong in bull fighting, the courage of a bull fighting horse is not a bad thing for any discipline. The Waltons at Brookside are frequently contacted

by riders who wish to try something different than a powerful Warmblood. “With these Lusitanos the average person who is not a top dressage rider has a better chance. People can learn to ride dressage with finesse and find their own balance easier on these horses.” Bettina Drummond warns, however, that if the

training is rushed to get the high level movements and the horse in a double bridle, it will in the long run be detrimental to developing the proper muscling and correct training of the horse. “Unlike sport horses, the Lusitanos take longer to mature in the throughness of the stifle rotation and outward release of the base of the neck while Warmbloods mature later in balance and uphill lift. Regardless, both the Lusitanos and Warmbloods don’t come into their own until age seven or so. The jump into third level collection at that age is easy if the proper foundation of work is followed and executed. Only then will a dressage horse be happy, beautiful and competitive in the work,

regardless of which breed or lineage they come from.”

Editor’s note: This article is dedicated to Ingred Lin, here pictured with her two Lusitanos stallions, Queba and Quemacho. Ingred passed away in December 2009 and was a big ambassador of the breed. She trained and competed many Lusitanos to FEI dressage. Photo © Sharon Packer

Warmbloods Today 63

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