Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
I really don't believe in temperment with breeding. I believe that's just how the horses are or depending on how they are raised.
I really don't think that this is a black and white issue. I think that temperment can be influenced to different levels both by the genes of the parents and by how the horse is raised. The combination of these two things creates the individual horse.
I would not make the choice to breed two horses with nasty temperments in the hopes of getting a sweet tempered foal. That does not mean though, that two nasty tempered horses cannot produce a sweet tempered foal. Odds are just better to start with parents with temperments, and physical traits that you like if you want to see it in the foal.
My stallion started out with a fabulous temperment coming from parents with good temperments, and continues to be a pleasure to be around as a five year old because I have nurtured that temperment that already existed in him.
Along the same line, a wonderfully tempered foal can be raised to be nasty under the right circumstances.
When it comes to labelling and stereotypes; the reason some of them exist in the first place is because they sometimes have some truth behind them. In general, yes, quarter horses are known for their calm temperments. That does not mean that there are not many quarter horses who are not calm. But again, a quarter horse who may have been genetically perdispositioned to be calm, may have been raised in such a way to change that. Just because a general label exists does not mean all individuals fit that label exactly. There are many factors beyond genes that go into making an individual the way they are.
As I said, this is not a black and white issue...there are many shades of grey.