Originally Posted by BlueSpark
I think its a shame that the breed has gone from that to one where you can find your next jumping/dressage/hunter/eventer/halter/reining/cow/trail/kids pony, from pony size to 18hh, heavily muscled and extremely stocky build to super light and narrow, roman nose and coarse face to dainty arab type, solid bone to "tooth pick" legs.
When does a breed stop being a breed?
I think it's both good and bad that the breed has so much diversity. On the one hand, no matter what you want to do there's a QH out there to suit your needs. It's probably the main reason the Quarter Horse is the most popular/common breed in the US (I think maybe even the world but I can't remember if that's right or not).
Conversely, it can be frustrating that you almost have to find a horse bred to specialize in your chosen discipline to be competitive at the high levels. True all around Quarter horses that could compete and win in everything from halter to reining to hunter under saddle are nearly impossible to find.
I personally like having options within a breed. I love my current cow type quarter horse. She's close to the ground and has a good head on her shoulders and is perfect for my western aspirations, but down the road I'd also like to get a bigger hunter type that's better to suited to my hunter and low level dressage inclinations. It's like having two sides to the same coin... or perhaps in the case of the American Quarter horse, six sides of the same dice?