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There’s never been a better time for horses and human performers to work together creating gorgeous displays that engage both partners while they wow the crowd. Whether as a ridden show or with the horse performing at liberty, that is, free and uncontrolled by a rider, equestrian displays are a great way to build a bond of trust between horses and humans. Horses and ponies usually love learning new skills, particularly if encouraged by positive reinforcement and a tasty treat! What’s more, any horse or pony of any age has the capacity to learn some simple tricks, such as stretching down for a carrot, bowing or picking up a piece of fabric. Many people are surprised to discover how quickly their apparently ordinary pony learns a new skill, and who knows – they could be the next social media superstar!

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42 results
Show (Main discipline)H
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Hispano Arabian, Mare, 7 years, 15.2 hh, Chestnut-Red Show - Dressage
Alex Andalusians Horses
ES-41007
Sevilla
15,000 € to 25,000 €
price range ~13,350 £ to 22,250 £
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Eye-catcher
1 / 4
including video
Arabian horses, Stallion, 1 year, 14.3 hh, Chestnut-Red
F: CYCLONE OS | MF: ERYKS
Show
PL-62-070
Trzcielin
3,000 €
~ 2,670 £ ONO
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Eye-catcher
1 / 5
Curly horse, Mare, 2 years, 14.2 hh, Sabino
F: DAJANGO GAWO EDACURLY | MF: CAMARGUE
Show - Leisure - Breeding
Karine Maglia
FR-22110
ROSTRENEN
3,850 €
~ 3,426 £
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Eye-catcher
1 / 8
including video
Menorquin, Gelding, 3 years, 16 hh, Black
F: COMPLERT | MF: MALBORO
Show - Mating - Baroque
TROYAN STABLES BVBA
BE-8958
HEUVELLAND
15,000 € to 25,000 €
price range ~13,350 £ to 22,250 £
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1 / 11
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Platinum
including video
Menorquin, Gelding, 3 years, 16 hh, Black
F: COMPLERT | MF: MALBORO
Show - Mating - Baroque
TROYAN STABLES BVBA
BE-8958
HEUVELLAND
15,000 € to 25,000 €
price range ~13,350 £ to 22,250 £
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Golden
Shire Horse, Mare, 1 year Shire Filly - Jet Black - Will be MASSIVEShow - Breeding
GB-cw8 2bq
whitegate
price range ~8,900 £ to 13,350 £
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Platinum
Knabstrup Mix, Mare, 3 years, 15.2 hh Show
Alexandra Fischer
DE-97797
Wartmannsroth
3,500 €
~ 3,115 £ ONO
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Platinum
including video
Arabian horses, Stallion, 1 year, Chestnut-Red
F: ZAD SHIRAZ | MF: VITORIO TO
Show - Dressage - Breeding - Endurance
Sud-Himmerik Stud
NL-9161CL
Hollum Ameland
2,500 € to 5,000 €
price range ~2,225 £ to 4,450 £
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Golden
Shire Horse, Stallion, 2 years Superb Shire ColtShow - Leisure
GB-cw8 2bq
whitegate
price range ~8,900 £ to 13,350 £
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Platinum
including video
P.R.E. Mix, Stallion, 11 years, 15.2 hh, Bay-Dark Show
Golden Golden
ES-08001
Barcelona
18,000 €
~ 16,020 £
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Platinum
P.R.E. Mix, Stallion, 6 years, 15.2 hh, Dun Show
Golden Golden
ES-08001
Barcelona
18,000 €
~ 16,020 £
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Platinum
P.R.E. Mix, Stallion, 10 years, 15.2 hh, Gray Show - Baroque
Golden Golden
ES-08001
Barcelona
15,000 €
~ 13,350 £
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Platinum
including video
P.R.E. Mix, Gelding, 9 years, 15.3 hh, Brown Show
Golden Golden
ES-08001
Barcelona
14,000 €
~ 12,460 £
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Golden
Clydesdale, Mare, 1 year Show - Breeding
US-cw8 2bq
marbury
price on application
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Platinum
including video
Arabian horses, Stallion, 1 year, 14.3 hh, Chestnut-Red
F: CYCLONE OS | MF: ERYKS
Show
PL-62-070
Trzcielin
3,000 €
~ 2,670 £ ONO
Add to watch list
Platinum
including video
Friesian horses, Stallion, 10 years, 16.2 hh, Black
F: ANDRIES 415 STB SPORT | MF: FEITSE 293
Show - Dressage - Leisure - Breeding
DE-28195
Bremen
40,000 € to 100,000 €
price range ~35,599 £ to 88,998 £
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Platinum
P.R.E. Mix, Stallion, 10 years, 15.2 hh, Buckskin Show - Dressage - Mating - Baroque
Golden Golden
ES-08001
Barcelona
14,000 €
~ 12,460 £
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Platinum
P.R.E. Mix, Stallion, 12 years, 16 hh, Brown Show - Dressage - Mating - Baroque
Golden Golden
ES-08001
BARCELONA
15,000 €
~ 13,350 £
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Platinum
P.R.E. Mix, Stallion, 3 years, 16 hh, Buckskin Show - Dressage - Mating - Baroque
Golden Golden
ES-08001
BARCELONA
10,000 € to 15,000 €
price range ~8,900 £ to 13,350 £
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Platinum
P.R.E. Mix, Stallion, 3 years, 15.2 hh, Gray Show - Dressage - Leisure - Baroque
Golden Golden
ES-08001
BARCELONA
10,000 €
~ 8,900 £ ONO
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Platinum
P.R.E. Mix, Stallion, 5 years, 16 hh, Brown Show - Dressage - Mating - Baroque
Golden Golden
ES-08001
BARCELONA
12,000 €
~ 10,680 £
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Platinum
P.R.E. Mix, Stallion, 6 years, 16.1 hh, Gray Show - Dressage - Baroque
Golden Golden
ES-08001
BARCELONA
10,000 € to 15,000 €
price range ~8,900 £ to 13,350 £
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Platinum
Lusitano Mix, Stallion, 4 years, 15.1 hh, Champagne Show - Dressage - Mating - Baroque
Laura Schmidt
DE-40667
Meerbusch
price on application
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Platinum
Arabian horses, Stallion, 2 years, 15.1 hh, Brown
F: GANGES | MF: EPOLET
Show - Leisure - Galopper - Endurance
Maria Nikonorow
PL-02-785
Warszawa
12,000 zł
~ 2,354 £ ONO
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Characteristics of an Equestrian Display Horse

Talented display horses are often members of professional teams who perform at shows and events across the world. These horses are trained to an exceptionally high standard and may be used by re-enactors, or for film and TV work, or at major stadium events. While every horse and pony has unique talents, horses for this type of show work are often members of a small group of breeds that have been used historically for displays. Whatever the breed, an equestrian display horse needs to combine a laid-back and willing temperament with a hint of hidden fire, which gives them a great presence in front of an audience. They are true equine actors and performers.

Equestrian Display Horses: The Best Breeds for this Discipline

When it comes to costumed shows, there’s one group of horses that comes up again and again – that is, the Iberian breeds. Gorgeous Lusitanos and PRE horses have the steady character, eye-catching beauty and presence that thrills an audience. They are intelligent horses too, learning quickly and contributing their own charisma to each event. Breeds such as the Friesian and the recently created Warlander are also much in demand for equestrian display work. Friesians are a good choice for carriage work in the show ring. Many pony breeds, such as Shetlands, are highly intelligent and make great performers, particularly at liberty.

Equestrian Display Horses in Equestrianism

Modern equestrian displays, quadrilles and shows have their roots in circus equestrian acts, which are not of ancient origin, but in fact, were invented in the eighteenth century by skilled performers, such as Philip Astley. It was often former military men who were excellent horse riders, such as Astley, who established displays of riding skill in either outdoor or indoor arenas in front of a paying audience. Much of what is now associated with the traditional circus, such as the size of the ring in which the acts perform, is attributed to Astley. Cultures with a strong equestrian tradition, such as the Cossacks, were also famous for their athletic riding displays and many of them found a natural home in the circus ring. For circus liberty work, traditionally Arab and half-Arab horses were used, as well as ponies. The ponies often had eye-catching coat colourings, such as spotted, palomino or black and white. Display or show horses may specialise in one set of skills or be multi-talented performance horses. The Iberian breeds often appear in displays of traditional Iberian horsemanship, such as garrocha and classical dressage. A good performance horse will learn to work in a broad range of unusual theatrical conditions, including under bright spotlights, with loud music, and possibly the use of fire or explosions. They are usually trained to perform at least some of the haute école movements and to accept riders wearing a variety of costumes. They will also often be confident with riders using weapons, such as swords, lances, or bows, moving around on the saddle, or even hanging off it! An experienced show horse is an integral part of every professional display team and the younger horses learn their confidence from the older ones. Horse enthusiasts don’t have to be professionals to enjoy a bit of showmanship. Anyone can have fun teaching their horses some of the more basic skills!

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