Halter Bred Horses - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Halter Bred Horses

I grew up being taught to stay away from halter bred horses because they're legs couldn't stand to be used as riding horses, but someone the other day mentioned that the only thing wrong with riding a halter bred horse is the upright pasterns and the occasional downhill-ness....opinions? I am only asking becaus eI am interested in a local paint horse sired by RH Imprint.
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 10:51 PM
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Generally horses whom are fitted for halter cannot move naturally due to all the muscle. It literally restricts movement and makes it hard for the horse to get around much less be ridden. Also having so much muscle on such thin bone from the day theyre born can cause a horse to break down physically very early on in their careers from the sheer weight theyre put under.
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 11:05 PM
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My boy is performance bred (halters and rides) and has stunning movement, he floats along the ground beautifully.

Depends on the horse!
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 11:30 PM
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I think you have to look at each horse individually.Many halter horses are fed up & legs are shot from the overfeeding & bulk,plus some farrier practices are questionable.If they weren't put through this in their young years & managed well I know MANY halter horses that are used for riding.Some halter lines are not going to be much for riders agreed but others you will see doing many other things than just halter {RH Mr Imprint,Barlink Macho Man...there are many just look at the leading sires list & see how many of them are on BOTH leading halter & performance lists.I own a 2X superior APHA halter mare,She is our go to horse for general riding. Most not going to be fancy movers that would excel in the WP/HUS type disciplines but for general trail,roping,ranch work is where you will see more. Don't go by all by stereotypes,My mare is 13 yrs old has lots of bone good size feet & has never been lame a day in her life
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 11:46 PM
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It does depend on the horse. The ranch I used to work for has a stallion who is a major halter champion,many times over,but he's also a champion rope horse.
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-18-2012, 11:07 AM
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RH Mr Imprint has sired multiple horses that have shown under saddle.

The idea that a halter horse can't or shouldn't be ridden following a halter career is, frankly, idiotic. Plenty of horses get broke and go on to be ridden. Often they are not the fanciest movers, but it is not uncommon to see ex-halter geldings in particular go on to show at local levels.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-18-2012, 11:48 AM
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All the halter bred horses I have seen are these HUGE horses on 000 feet....THAT scares me. So I stay away from them just because of their feet....really how good can all that weight be on such little hooves?

And also halter horses wouldn't fit in my program....I am not a fan of their build or body structure.

Conformation is how far the horse CAN go,
Mind is how far the horse WILL go,
Training is how far it DOES go.
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-18-2012, 12:49 PM
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Many of the typically conformed halter horses are not only uncomfortable to ride (those stick-straight legs and shoulders offer no shock absorption at all), but their conformation simply doesn't lend them a favorable chance of a long lasting riding career. Because their joints are so straight; straight hocks, straight shoulders, and very upright pasterns, it puts a lot of jarring wear and tear on their body which can lead to early onset arthritis, even if their joints aren't ruined by overfeeding at a young age. Their leg bones are usually very light for their body size and, IMHO, the combination of the upright pasterns and super small feet seems to predispose them to Navicular issues.

Of course, this isn't true of every halter bred horse out there so you must judge each horse on his own conformation and then decide if he's something that you want.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-18-2012, 07:04 PM
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You aren't talking about a halter horse - you are talking about his sire being a halter horse. Thus, much will depend upon the dam. Some halter horses, Impressive being the prime example, although themselves not performance horses, have sired great performance horses in lots of disciplines when the right mares were used. If the dam is herself heavily halter bred and conformed, you might have a problem...if not, you might have a great horse. In either case, judge the horse on its own merits rather than his sire and dam. Ancestry is very important when selecting breeding stock, but once a horse is on the ground it is what it is...
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-18-2012, 07:52 PM
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A good halter horse doesn't have a straight shoulder... just pointing that out.
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