Conformation VS Talent
 
 

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Conformation VS Talent

This is a discussion on Conformation VS Talent within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • Horse conformation versus talent
  • How to assume a horse has talent

 
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    01-04-2010, 05:28 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Conformation VS Talent

There have been a lot of good threads lately, so I thought I'd open a new discussion!

What do you believe is more important - conformation or talent? Would you forsake a champion stallion that had conformation faults? Would you forsake a conformationally sound stallion if he hadn't proven himself? What do you find is more important?

I say this because I think at times with the equine industry in the US anyway, often a stellar stallion with a lot to offer may be overlooked based on conformation alone. There are definitely certain conformation faults we all tend to view as definitive no-no's, regardless of how talented the stud may have been. But is conformation really as important as proven worth? There are a multitude of talented champions in the world today, that most people would probably have looked at as foals and never thought they'd amount to a hill of beans due to certain imperfections. Should that be the deciding factor in not breeding an animal? How many horses have had ideal conformation and yet amounted to absolutely nothing - as a show horse, or as a breeding animal?

Very curious to hear opinions!
     
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    01-04-2010, 05:33 PM
  #2
Yearling
I think it all depends on the horse, if I found a great stallion that didnt have great confirmation but passed on his great talent than I would go for that horse more than the confirmationally correct horse bc like you stated a horse can be perfect confirmationally and still have no talent. But sometimes you can have a very talented stallion that either has great confirmation or doesnt but cannot pass on his great talent.
     
    01-04-2010, 05:42 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
Talent is the result of training as much or more than any genetics, IMO. Before I bred to a stallion with conformation faults, I would really research any "genetic" talent he is capable of passing to his offspring.

If I was buying a horse, I would choose talent over conformation.
If I was breeding a horse, I would choose conformation over talent.
     
    01-04-2010, 05:43 PM
  #4
Showing
I think that a certain amount of reason needs to be applied. If I used a scale to pick a stud and 50% went to accomplishment, 50% went to conformation then I would look for a horse that was in the 90's giving more weight to accomplishment. No horse is perfect, not Secretariat, not Impressive, not Doc Bar, etc..

90's with 48/46 accomplishment/conformation as an example.
     
    01-04-2010, 05:49 PM
  #5
Yearling
I would go for coformation over talent, but there are a few faults I will overlook, depending on the discipline. For a reiner a horse that is slightly sickle hocked wouldn't bother me. For barrels being slightly cow hocked/sickle hocked wouldn't bother me, IMO it helps get their butt under them. I would choose a stallion that compliments my mare, not because he is pretty or has a good temperament.
     
    01-04-2010, 05:52 PM
  #6
Trained
For me I want to see a stallion or mare for that matter proven themselves in the show ring and retire sound. This tells me several things. One they can do the job in which I am looking to breed. They have the conformation to remain sound. Both these things are very important to me.

There is a line that I love in the Reining word however I tend to stay away from it b/c they tend to not stay sound. They do win however you rarely see them past the aged events.

I tend to look for the whole package. I can over look somethings and have if everything else is there.
     
    01-04-2010, 05:54 PM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by nrhareiner    
For me I want to see a stallion or mare for that matter proven themselves in the show ring and retire sound. This tells me several things. One they can do the job in which I am looking to breed. They have the conformation to remain sound. Both these things are very important to me.

There is a line that I love in the Reining word however I tend to stay away from it b/c they tend to not stay sound. They do win however you rarely see them past the aged events.

I tend to look for the whole package. I can over look somethings and have if everything else is there.
^This is exactly what I was trying to say. I have a hard time putting my thoughts down.
     
    01-04-2010, 05:57 PM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison Finch    
Talent is the result of training as much or more than any genetics,

I disagree with this to a large extent. If this was true then trainers like Shawn Flarada would be training any and every horse he could get cheap and selling them for big bucks. However he dose not do this b/c it dose not work. I have seen him go through 40 horses before he finds one with the talent that he can bring out and win with. If he could take any horse train it and win he would not need to do that.

A good trainer can bring out the talent with in the horse. Some trainers are better at this then others. Some trainers work better with certain lines then others but the talent MUST be there. The conformation MUST be there for the horse to stay sound.
     
    01-04-2010, 06:15 PM
  #9
Green Broke
I agree with Allison. I think that if I were buying a horse, I would want talent over conformation. For example, my American Warmblood mare is VERY talented over fences (so says multiple CCI**** event riders) but her conformation is less than desirable. But if I were to breed a mare, I would want her conformation to be almost flawless.

But I agree it really depends on the horse.

Good thread!
     
    01-04-2010, 10:00 PM
  #10
Super Moderator
My Post;

Talent is the result of training as much or more than any genetics, IMO. Before I bred to a stallion with conformation faults, I would really research any "genetic" talent he is capable of passing to his offspring.

If I was buying a horse, I would choose talent over conformation.
If I was breeding a horse, I would choose conformation over talent.


In response to my post;

Quote:
Originally Posted by nrhareiner    
I disagree with this to a large extent. If this was true then trainers like Shawn Flarada would be training any and every horse he could get cheap and selling them for big bucks. However he dose not do this b/c it dose not work.

What doesn't work? Is he going through them looking for genetic traits or personal traits? You don't say what he is looking FOR.

I have seen him go through 40 horses before he finds one with the talent that he can bring out and win with. If he could take any horse train it and win he would not need to do that.

I didn't say ANY horse has talent. Talent can be as much from the horse's heart than anything. All I said is that I don't rely on a horse's breed lines to determine whether that horse will have talent, or not. When I see "comes from a reining line" I wonder if people buy the offspring/breeding in the hope that they will exhibit the sires performance more than the fact that this performance is genetically determined. The people who buy this way might then put said horse in good training and produce an offspring with good reining talent. Natural talent or genetics? Who can know?

A good trainer can bring out the talent with in the horse. Some trainers are better at this then others. Some trainers work better with certain lines then others but the talent MUST be there.

Well, I think that is what I said. Maybe I didn't say it well. I said "Talent is the result of training as much or more than any genetics, IMO.


The conformation MUST be there for the horse to stay sound.
He may be looking for certain lines because they sell. Ha may be looking for horses with a great heart, because they will knock themselves out for you. I'm just not sure how much "talent" is genetic. Movement? Yes, although that can be influenced a lot through training, too.
     

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