Questions for breed experts! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-11-2009, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Questions for breed experts!

This is just a question. Im just looking for opinions here, maybe for future reference.
What breed would be best to use in a summer camp for kids? In other words, what breed would be very kid-tolerant, willing to respond to any beginner, even tempered, etc.? What breed would be quiet enough to put a young child on?
Tell me what you think!

AQHs are too common for me. Any other suggestions would be nice!

Heres what Ive got in mind so far

Welsh Ponies

Im stuck, though, so if anyone can help me out
Ponies sound like a good idea to me anyone got a breed in mind?
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-11-2009, 01:18 AM
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I think it has less to do with the breed and more to do with the horse/ponies personality and the treatment said horse/pony receives.

I've worked at a summer camp for the last 3 summers and I've met some horrible camp horses and some amazing ones. The camp I work at has a variety of horse breeds, the horses come from an outfitter who buys all his horses from auctions or breeds them himself.
They have had draft mixes, QHs, POAs, National Show horses (Arab/saddlebred mix), TB's, Appendix QHs, Appaloosas, Quarter ponies and a variety of grades.
Out of the group that I've worked with, the 2 National Show horses seemed the best for the job. They are both a little spooky but nothing that a little desensitization can't fix and they are both quite tolerant of mistakes.
The draft was really too big for most of the kids to handle, he was a great horse, just really big.
The 2 Q ponies are both pretty good. They both are very workman like horses so they don't tolerate mistakes all too well but they were bred by their owner to work cattle so they kinda need that attitude for that.
The QH's were all a little too high strung for camp work. They needed more of a job to do that just pack kids around. There were a few that did well but both of the good ones needed bute everyday to stay sound.
The Appendix QH was great but he was super slow and probably not a good indicator of the breed becuase he was also really old.
The POA was way too smart to be happy in a camp situation. He was always thinking of thigs to do to get attention. They kids loved him but becuase of his brains he had to be a wrangler horse becuase he could come up with scary "tricks".
The appaloosa did well but he was also really old and pretty much a dorky horse.
Out of the grade horses the one that was the best was a pony that looked to be half halflinger. She would kick at any horse that was behind her but she was the best ride for campers and wranglers alike.

I hope this was atleast semi helpful.

I would never wish the life of a camp horse on any horse though. It's a horrible horrible way to live, atleast the camp I was a part of (which had the best horse facilities in my area.) Unless the horses are the most important thing in camp, it won't end well.

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post #3 of 9 Old 08-11-2009, 10:21 AM
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^^ Ditto, it depends more on the individual horse than the specific breed. Every breed has horses that are hard to handle and others that are perfect kid material. I would take personality and attitude into consideration first. Worry about breed last.

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post #4 of 9 Old 08-11-2009, 01:06 PM
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I agree that temperment and training are the most important factors. It concerns me that you state that quarter horses are too common, though. Horse camps are generally run on a tight budget and can't afford to turn away perfectly suited horses just because they are a "common" breed...

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post #5 of 9 Old 08-11-2009, 01:37 PM
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It is not a breed (or age or gender) thing - it's an individual horse.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-11-2009, 01:40 PM
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Like everyone else said, it is the individual horse, not the breed. I know hot quarter horses and bombproof TBs. I also agree that it's a bit weird that you are concerned about a "common" breed.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-11-2009, 08:44 PM
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If I had to say breed I would say a Saddlebred specifically from Saddlebred Rescue. You know what you are getting when you adopt through SBR.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-11-2009, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by dee View Post
I agree that temperment and training are the most important factors. It concerns me that you state that quarter horses are too common, though. Horse camps are generally run on a tight budget and can't afford to turn away perfectly suited horses just because they are a "common" breed...
+1 ... and not just because I'm a QH fan

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post #9 of 9 Old 08-11-2009, 10:39 PM
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I hate to sound like a broken record but I have to agree with everyone else.
You can't judge a horse kid safe because of it's breed.
I've got some Arabians that would blow Quarter Horses away, and I've seen some Quarter Horses that would totally take a Welsh Pony.

You need a horse that's got a good calm mind, confident, is steady, and is reliable in the sense that they will not get easily flustered when a kid gives them the wrong que or kicks them too much.
You need a horse that has had a great training foundation made for it, as well as finished. They should be able to neck rein, go off leg pressure, voice aids, and have a solid foundation on their gates and be, really, unflappable.

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