So if you are like I was last year, you are probably wondering “what is an American Dutch Harness Horse?” Otherwise known as a Tuigpaard, an ADHH is a warmblood who is primarily bred as a driving horse. The breed was developed in the Netherlands and the studbook is kept by the Koninklijk Warmbloed Paardenstamboek Nederland (Royal Warmblood Horse Studbook of the Netherlands) or KWPN. In the past few years, a handful have come to North America and the American Dutch Harness Horse Association maintains the registry; they are sought after by driving and saddleseat enthusiasts. It is noted on Wikipedia that “a few have distinguished themselves in sport, rather than show, though they are the exception. Some of the successful sport Dutch Harness Horses include Constance Menard‘s Lianca and Anneke Muilwijk’s Atuur, both of which compete in dressage.” We are hoping to be one of the exceptions as well.
Ike’s sire, Majesteit, is a well known ADHH sire (http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2086962950105966466FdDtOm). To date, I’ve only seen the high knee action when Ike gets nervous while out in his paddock. If we ever progress to the higher levels of dressage, I’m hoping that this ability will provide us with a better than average piaffe and passage…all in good time.