What breed should I get?

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What breed should I get?

This is a discussion on What breed should I get? within the Horse Breeds forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

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    10-19-2010, 01:53 AM
Smile What breed should I get?

I'll be looking for a new horse soon, and I have NO idea what breed to look into. This is what I'm looking for in a horse:

1. Friendly temperament! I really want a personable horse. I want him (or her) to enjoy being with me. The horse I have now doesn't care for attention. She's great to ride, but I want something I can enjoy all the time, not just when I'm on it's back.

2. Willing. I don't care if the horse is the most talented, but I'd like for it to be willing to try for me :)

3. Be capable of doing a little jumping (3'3" max), basic dressage (1st level), and trail riding/hacking. Just fun all around

4. Medium sized. I'm thinking between 14-15.1, but I can be flexible on that.

Any ideas would be wonderful! Thank you!
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    10-19-2010, 05:45 AM
Pretty much any breed is going to meet your requirements. The only one you have said that will exclude breeds is the height. If I were you, I would search for all horses in your height range, and not let breed sway you :)
    10-19-2010, 06:16 AM
Green Broke
There seem to be a lot of Quarter Horses in America, there isn't as many over here, but the ones I have met I liked. Each individual is going to be different so the only way to know if a horse is right is to meet it. I think pretty much all breeds are capable of 3 feet or so and basic dressage. Again it will depend on the individual.

If I were you I'd look for a QH, QHxTB, Anglo Arab, WBxTB, draftxTB or something like that.

I have a Standardbred right now. There is a fair amount of stigma surrounding them, and I used to think they were a bit of a "bad" breed for riding. But with mine I have found he has a lovely personality and is really quiet. I haven't started him under saddle yet but he learns quickly. A well trained Standardbred could be really nice.
    10-19-2010, 11:42 AM
Yeah, I realize that despite being a particular breed, each horse is an individual. But I didn't know if there were certain breeds that tend to be more personable and willing in general.

Saskia- I've actually been thinking about looking at off the track standardbreds! I'm glad to hear that you like yours. I'll keep looking at them (although, I don't think they're that common in my area... but maybe I could ship one from the east coast or something if it's not too expensive...)
    10-19-2010, 06:17 PM
What about a Morgan? Just make sure you look for the working type and not the park type.
    10-19-2010, 06:57 PM
What is the "Park" type?
    10-19-2010, 07:16 PM
Breeds do tend to have certain characteristics, but not every individual in a breed will have them. Different breeds seem to suit different personality types - I once did a hilarious exercise where I got people to do an online colour personality test and then matched them to their best breeds by the number of reds, greens, blues etc they scored. It was all rather tongue in cheek, but it was quite astonishing how many people said, "Yes, actually, I do feel more affinity with that breed".

The reason breeds are different, especially those close to an ancestral type, arabians, fjord, shetland, iberians etc, is that different conformations and different temperaments were a better survival strategy in the ancestral environment.

Running fast is not much use if you are stuck in a bog, but kicking hard and bucking are all good in that situation. The famous pony trait of dropping one shoulder is a great defence if you are dodging around in a forest edge. Attack horses, these are the cow horse, Iberians, 1/4 horses, many gaited breeds, are ancestral mountain horses, where running away is only sometimes an option. Interestingly, plains dwelling Prewalski horses behave more like cattle when under threat, forming a tight group with the adults facing outwards.

There are quite few people who link the horses physiology, conformation, to their personality. There is a fair degree of truth in this, but most of the explanations I have seen range from the faintly mystical to the downright batty. With the exception of breeds that have been artificially selected for "desirable" traits that are not actually very desirable from a survival point of view (e.g. Seahorse heads in arabians), the physiology of horse will reflect its ancestral environment, and thus dictate the inbred survival strategies that we think of as personality traits.

So the big thing is to know yourself, and choose the type of horse most likely to chime with you. Any fit and well horse or pony, especially in the height range you are specifying, will be able to do all the things you want. But only a horse that matches or compliments your personality will try for you, would probably die for you!

As a rule of thumb, cold bloods need positive, encouraging people. If they get scared, they will use their weight and strength to defend themselves. Hot bloods need an agile mind, as they will run when scared, but they don't mind neurotics, they are quite happy to be neurotic beside you. Warmbloods need calm people with agile minds - they can be unpredictable as they display both personality types of the original crosses, hot and cold. Iberians and arabians, although from quite different ancestral backgrounds, need people who have a sense of the absurd. Ponies are a law unto themselves, but are often much quicker and more agile than people expect.

There is no best breed, but there is often a best breed for an individual.
    10-19-2010, 07:30 PM
Thank you LusitanoLover! Out of curiosity, what breeds did you match with the blue personalities (I'm very dominate blue... not much else ;) ?
    10-19-2010, 07:33 PM
I'll dig out my notes and let you know, I've forgotten!
    10-19-2010, 07:33 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by petitepyromaniac    
Saskia- I've actually been thinking about looking at off the track standardbreds! I'm glad to hear that you like yours. I'll keep looking at them (although, I don't think they're that common in my area... but maybe I could ship one from the east coast or something if it's not too expensive...)
They really are rather nice. I got mine for free, and he's just a three year old, but he is the quietest three year old I ever met. People always remark on how quiet he is. All the Standies I have ever met have been really friendly and quiet. Often there is harness racing nearby but you don't hear of it. See if there is a general nation wide organisation, if you call them they might be able to put you in touch with a trainer. Often they give them away, or sell them very cheaply.

Another thing though, in my experience I have bonded best with mares, and most people seem to bond better with mares than geldings. Although it is a personal thing, some people hate mares, and a luck thing, it can be tricky to find the right mare, but most geldings will be pretty decent.

breed, dressage, jumping, trail

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