Thoroughbred vs Arabian? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 10-16-2010, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thoroughbred vs Arabian?

I've had my heart set on an Arab for a long time...But as CONTINUED to scan the market, it seems like there are just as many, if not more, TB's that need homes than Arabs. A lot in rescues, some at kill auctions, and many just ex race horses on craigslist for bottom prices.
MY QUESTION FOR ALL YOU ALL KNOW HORSE PEOPLE: WHICH IS "HOTTER" headed: an arab or a TB? I know they're both more hotblooded than say, a Quarter horse, I'm just wonder of which of the two breeds is a tad more mellow?
Are TB's known for any behaviours? Are they more prone to "bolting" (i dont know..i think racehorse I think bolt).? Are there any Tb's suitable for not experienced riders?
Again, thank you for the input.
Also, how come TBs are so cheap? I mean you can get a registered 5 year old for like $400 and seriously nothing wrong with it, and green broke. WHy so bargain priced?
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post #2 of 31 Old 10-16-2010, 04:12 AM
Green Broke
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Tb will go for cheap because there are so many of them, usually there will be nothing wrong with them, people just don't have the time/patience to train them into something great.
In both arab and Tb you will get some that are darn right crazy, but then you can get some with the mellowist attitude you just have to look for them.
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post #3 of 31 Old 10-16-2010, 04:34 AM
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Almost every horse breed is going to have horses that are more mellow and ones that are going to have a bit more hotness to them. Every horse is going to have their own personality or lack just choose wisely.

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. --Epictetus
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post #4 of 31 Old 10-16-2010, 06:54 AM
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If you are looking for a mellow horse, I would avoid either breed you mentioned. The odds are not in your favor and a TB at rock bottom prices will need a lot of work.

If this is your first horse, or you are concerned about attitude, don't buy for image. Don't buy a horse because you "see yourself" on a TB or Arab. Early on in my search for my first purchase (30+ years ago), I was at the barn of a former US Equestrian Team rider who was my mentor. I was looking at a student of hers on a rather ugly little horse and I made the comment about his looks. She told me that that little guy took more kids to Metal Maclay at Madison Square Garden then any other horse she ever own. "Pretty is what pretty does" were her exact words.

I learned that for the first few horses, that I should be buying one that was more a teacher and confidence builder then an image builder. I was in it for the long haul so finding the "Image" horse waited for some years.

My 2

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post #5 of 31 Old 10-16-2010, 07:10 AM
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Life is too shot to make comprimises. Get what you like, as long as it is safe for you. There are a lot of cheap 'green' tb for cheap, yes. They are usually off the track and the green broke is only to go real fast to the left. They are arnt really trained. Some have leg issues or joint issues in the future. Running that hard and that fast at such a young age doent make if life in their golden years so nice.
That being said. Both breeds are sensitive, bond very strong with their people.
Both breeds tend to have more go than say a QH. Most people ride the tb's hunt seat or dressage or jumping or all three. Arabinas are a little more versitale. It all depends on what your plans are. Do you want to jump? go with a tb, or a sporthorse bred arab. Maybe saddleseat? go with an arab.
Better yet, get a anglo arabian. Its arab and TB cross. They are beautiful and are good at just about everything.
Both are good breeds, but you should have a game plan as to what you would like to try.
Go with a 'trained' horse vs. a 'green' or 'broke' horse. There is a BIG diffrence. Green horses need experienced riders and trained usually means the horse has had more time under saddle. Broke horses sound like they have been cowboyed.
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post #6 of 31 Old 10-16-2010, 08:14 AM
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I agree get what you want, not what is cheap and easy to get. If you really want an arab then keep looking for an arab.

As far as which is hotter, try to look at each horse as an individual, I have experience with two TBs, one was really hot and one is mellow and used for beginner riders at a lesson barn. I don't think TBs are any more prone to bolting than any other breed of horse.

They are so cheap because there are so many of them coming off the track every year, and no place for them to go.

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post #7 of 31 Old 10-16-2010, 04:06 PM
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I wrote a long post on the handling of arabs on here recently....lemme see if I can find it rather than writing a new one.
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post #8 of 31 Old 10-16-2010, 04:21 PM
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Found it. Edited it to answer your specific questions:

Arabs are great for bonding. They're intelligent, yes, and you have to know how to cater to their intelligence. You can't bore them, but you can't ride the same pattern every day in the same order with the same routines....even if it is interesting. They'll start anticipating your next move. They'll jump into a trot as soon as you shorten your reins. They'll change leads early when doing figure-eights if you do them constantly, because they're incredibly smart and know what to expect--they memorize.

My uncle and aunt have an arab and half-arab reining ranch in Colorado I love to visit, and their horses are NOT high-spirited, out-smarting little devils because they know how to work with arabs. They change things up and put their intelligence to work in a good way, where both horse and rider are comfortable.

I rode all of their arabs when I was there, fell in love with one of their horses (National Show Horse [arab x saddlebred cross] in my avatar, worth $30,000) and man, was she smart. I taught her to bow in thirty minutes one day. I still can't get my Paso Fino to bow, and I've been working on that with him for a year! I spent one day of riding her just working on "throwing her out" with the reins, then gathering her in, working on not letting her change pace, even when she expected to go ahead and trot because horses often associate gathering the reins with going faster. At the end of the lesson, she understood perfectly that she was not to change pace unless asked.

Thoroughbreds....Well, I have two, and let's just say they need ridden every day. If you can give that to them, they'll be happy. They're probably a better choice if you're looking at their competetive, jumping and dressage aspects alone, rather than temperament. Personally, I prefer the NSH or arab to the TB for temperament, but I honestly would never go out and buy an arab for eventing. If you're looking at endurance riding, arabs and tb's are both great, but you see more arabs in endurance than tb's.

Looking at calmness, when handled correctly, arabs are a lot less hyper and disrespectful than most tb's. Thoroughbreds are bred to bring out the "flight" in the "fight or flight" aspect of the equine mind, and therefore have a tendancy to bolt. As the owner of two off-track-thoroughbreds, I can tell you neither of them are suited for inexperienced riders at this stage (they're ages 5 and 6), but there are the few TB's that are good beginners' horses. If you're just learning to ride (and again, I don't know your experience level), I would not reccomend most Thoroughbreds. Maybe start out by taking lessons on or leasing one of either breed to see if you like their temperament. And again, every horse is different, so don't pass on one breed just because of an individual horse.

Thoroughbreds are so cheap because off-trackers are produced like crazy. They're run, few are kept, and the rest are sold for dirt cheap just to get rid of them.
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post #9 of 31 Old 10-16-2010, 04:43 PM
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Once again, that is a great post, Phile ;)

Go for the individual horse, not the breed. I suggest not narrowing your search because of the breed. Search for your price range, your ability, and whatever else, anything besides the breed.

One time I made a comment to a mentor about how ugly one arab's head was, her response was "You can't ride the head, can you?"

So I'll say to you: "You can't ride the breed, can you?" :)

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
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post #10 of 31 Old 10-16-2010, 06:06 PM
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TBs are overproduced, so the "rejects" are cheap or free, and there is nothing much wrong with them. However, they are hot, and Phile's post really puts the pros and cons in a nutshell.

I don't know about in the US, but here in the UK, they are NOT bred for soundness or temperament, just speed. They are a commodity, and altho' it sticks in the graw of horse-lovers, the industry doesn't actually care much about the wastage rate and the fact that 80% are on the scrapheap before they are 6, the age most horses (in the UK) are just starting their full working lives.

You really need to look out for soundness issues - spend the money up front to have foot and joint x-rays and also to have ultrasound scans to look for ligament and muscle damage. Otherwise your cheap horse could be the most expensive you ever bought. Here in the UK, between 70% and 90% of off track TBs have ulcers and terrible feet.

Having said that, there are many TBs that go on to have long, productive lives and are super riding horses.
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