Over all he is really comfortable to handle as a stallion in daily life. He is one of the good guys who never spooks, buckles or rears. I hack him everyday and never care for anything appearing on our way. I could ride a pas de deux with a tank or the garbage truck – he wouldn´t care. Maybe the driver would be blinded by the sunlight reflecting from Ducados white coat. This horse is afraid of absolutely nothing! It may take 5 times a year when he looks at anything, that would make other dressage horses spook – he just takes a look. Once I can remember, he was some kind of afraid, when we turned round a corner and found ourselves close to 4 black bulls, standing on a field behind an electric wire. Black bulls are something a Spanish horse takes a look at. The usual Bavarian cows are of no interest. They just walk around with their bells around the neck, in the beginning of the season the little bulls with their bells on, bolter toward the horses - but he just looks at them and doesn´t loose his rhythm. But about the black ones – he was a little bit worried. Maybe his mum told him in his early years in Granada that these guys are a bit rough and have no good manners.
I know that no matter how exciting a competition dressage arena is, he will trot and canter around. It is not for sure, he shows his big walk, but he will go anywhere. But his fearless attitude does not mean, everything was easy with riding and schooling him on the way to medium level. By far not! He is a stallion – everyday! Some days more, some less. He has a big neck and lots of power – by far more than I have, both, neck and power. He is a good guy, but strong. And sometimes he has absolutely no interest in my plans. He just makes his big neck stiff and gives me the feeling he is off! Off in collected trot and I am just a passanger. Well, a medium advanced level dressage competition gets very long if your stallion decides to keep his teeth on the highest point and smiles at the female audience throughout it all. And it is absolutely not consistent with the scale of training! But, well – he maybe never read it, I have just a german version. He looks very impressive when he acts like that, he is obedient, he canters if I tell him to, he halts – for 0,3 seconds – and if I ask for a lengthening in frame in the extensions… I get a lot of that lengthening on the diagonal, it takes him one and a half second to cross the arena at the highest possible speed with teeth on the highest point. Only boring old geldings trot down a long line in a loose collection! From HIS point it is impossible to understand what MY problem is?! He does everything I ask him for – but in his personal style and speed. Halt and immobility is the greatest insultation to his power and strength! It is just outrageous! Only Fiaker-horses in Cities halt for hours in front of the cathedral – he won´t! Well, on days like these we don´t find a lot of fans of Iberian stallions in the dressage arena among the Austrian and German judges… but they still tell me how beautiful he is – well, thanks.
And then there are training days and also competitions when it feels like heaven to ride him. He concentrates, he seeks a fine contact to the bit, bends and collects by my lightest movements. And I can feel all his power in every stride, jumping as high as possible, this big neck in front of me with a light contact. Half passes are his easiest movement, canter pirouettes are for free, and during all the lessons he asks me if he should move more forward – that´s what I love most: his Go.
The German and Austrian Judges liked him a lot. I could not tell, that I had been treated badly by the judges for riding a Spanish horse! If I do it right, I get high marks. Sometimes… see as told above – still beautiful…
I didn´t have the intention to breed Spanish horses, but some breeders ask me if it would be possible to use him. There was a point, when I lately decided that I will show him at a German stallion approving in Kreuth. If they accept him – for warmbloods as well – I will care for a breeding career, if the commission doesn´t accept him, I will not discuss it any more.
Well, they liked him! Ducado-G is one of the few stallions in Germany accepted for the Cross breeding with German horses.
Available via http://www.bachl-hengststation.de/en/stallions/ducado-g/