Differences between Quarter horses and Thoroughbreds - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-16-2011, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Differences between Quarter horses and Thoroughbreds

Hey everyone!! I have a quick question for you all. What are the major/minor differences or similarities between a quarter horse and a thoroughbred??

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post #2 of 4 Old 02-17-2011, 02:22 PM
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Temperament! (Keep in mind this applies to most not all)

Quarter horses were(are) bred to be less energetic, but still have stamina...they adapted into ranch horse so a term that might be used is "laid back" like there owners the cow boys(I made a funny! haha), specially compared to the Thoroughbred. This personality makes them more beginner friendly, and easier to handle, and I've seen many who don't need a fixed riding/exercise schedule.

(I do realize Quarter horses were bred for Quarter Horse racing, I'm going off the more recent developments that led to temperament)

Thoroughbreds aren't really bred for temperament...that's incorrect but I'll try to describe what I mean. They are bred to "run", so there temperament tends to be hot because they have so much excess energy. There true personality(like we have a puppy dog one at our barn haha) can be changed by the excess energy. So you might have a very willing thoroughbred who loves attention etc. But once you start under saddle, won't be focused, will have lots of "silly's"(bucking) etc. If stalled for long periods of time with moderate work, might pick up vices like cribbing, wind-sucking, weaving(sp?) etc.
So because of this, they tend to need more exercise time, and an experienced rider who has time to work with them, and the knowledge to handle them(specially OTTB's who haven't been off for long)

(Keep in mind all this is generalization and doesn't apply to every horse of these breeds)


QH are built in tons of sizes. You can get large pony sized, you can get horse sized, you can even get like 16hh ones(usually crosses from what I've seen). They come in lots of shapes and sizes, so different ones are built for jumping, barrels, reining, eventing etc. Because of this, most(specially the ones between 14.2-15.2) are good all rounders who can show low-level everything! Or some are bred to be top or good at different disciplines. This is why they are good trial mounts(that and temperament) and all rounders, and beginner mounts.

TB's come between 15.2-16+. They are big and powerful. Not to mention clever. They tend to excel at English disciplines because of there legginess and size, that really won't give them an advantage in barrel racing since they need to make bigger and wider turns. They are generally good at jumping since the "hot" personality gives them speed and drive. People looking at these also need to beware because of "sport" injuries, arthritis etc. can be common at a young age, specially if raced.

...if I can think of more I'll add later. Feel free to add on or correct my generalizations.

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post #3 of 4 Old 02-17-2011, 02:30 PM
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Tb's are as tall as they are long... a QH can be up to 4 inches longer than he is tall ...
Muscling too

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post #4 of 4 Old 02-17-2011, 03:20 PM
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TB's tend to be taller on average and more "streamline" whereas the QH is generally all bulk.
TB's are also bred & built for speed & stamina over long distances whereas the QH is like cannon ball lol ton of speed off the start but they cant keep it up as well.
This is why they are great for short races, barrels, poles & quick events like that whereas the TB excells in jumping, crosscountry & distance racing.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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