What So Bad About Grade Horses? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 97 Old 02-16-2012, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Sinister View Post

I actually think it's easier to sell a grade horse because most of them are under priced and a lot of registered horses [at least in my area] are extremely over priced.
True. If the horse is very good at a discipline, a grade will normally bring a lower price than one of equal ability that is registered - particularly if it is a mare or stallion, as most people don't like to use grades for breeding stock. Registration does add value when selling, even if that value is based upon a subjective rather than objective basis.


As to the question at hand, I doubt any reasonable person has anything against grade horses - if they have been responsibly and intelligently bred. Many crosses are better at the job they do than a purebred would be. Remember, that all breeds arose as a cross or combination of established breeds. A "junk" grade is another matter of course, but a lot of people breed "junk" purebreds too, and they are no better than "junk" grades.

Using grades as breeding stock is, of course, a different matter. Breeding horses with unknown ancestry is not generally prudent because the product is unpredictable.

IMO anyone that has an issue with grades is no different than a person that is prejudiced against Arabs, Quarterhorses, Appys, Morgans, TB's, or any other breed. Once a horse is born, the measure of its usefulness is its dispostion and ability. Whether it is registered or not is irrelevant other than when it comes to money for the reasons I mentioned above, and of course being qualified to participate in breed shows.

I have never quite understaood the prejudice against grades, and can only attribute it to foolish snobbiness. If you breed a champion stallion to a champion mare and produce a registered champion foal, is that foal any better quality than if the breeder had failed to submit a stallion report and the foal couldn't be registered, so is a grade? Or if a grade soundly beats a registered horse in a race or competition, is it of lesser quality than the registered horse?

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post #22 of 97 Old 02-16-2012, 11:38 AM
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I've had both grade and registered horses and in my humble experience I've found grades to be hardy, athletic, easy keeping, sound, and even tempered. Six of the registered horses I've owned had different problems that I have yet to experience with grades.
Two of them were hot headed over bred QH mares with evil and often dangerous dispositions, one in particular had horrific feet and was constantly absessing. They were nothing but breeder culls with incredible pedigrees and flashy looks.
My NSH mare died of liver failure at 11, she was kept the exact same way as my grades for 8 years, fed the same diet etc.
My families $25,000 QH mare had breeding problems, she was the last "fertile" offspring out of a pretty famous line. She died giving birth to a little filly in Mississippi but at least her line lives, they will never breed her, she is the spitting image of her dam.
My Rooster bred gelding had every ailment known to horses and had to be babied his entire life, he died at 28 but was semi retired at age 18 due to arthritis.
And there are many other stories...
The best registered horse I've ever owned is out in my pasture now, so far she has been wonderfully easy to keep. Except for some reason she is prone to developing cysts, she's had to have 4 minor surgeries.

As far as my grades go, I have yet to have one die of an ailment. My first mare was 16 when she passed by way of tornado, she looked like she was 5. My daughter's pony was a shetland/appy/paint of some sort and she had COPD and was going blind, the only grade I've had a problem with. I believe she had a really rough life that contributed to her poor condition.
Just look at guided trail horses, you'll hardly find a highly registered horse in one of those strings. They are cheap, decent looking, level headed, highly trained animals. A lot of them were bred to be that way. Take the story of the guide who encountered the bear on the trail and saved the boy. That was a grade horse.

I think the snobbery comes into play when you look at the different types of grade/cross breeds. The sport horse crosses are not nearly as bashed as a cross between western types. I had a woman ask my geldings QH lines out riding and when I told her he was a grade she promptly walked off. Guess without a piece of paper he wasn't nearly as good lookin! Ha!

Some grades, especially Quarabs, deserve to be recognized. I wish there was a better program for them just to highlight how special they can be. They are personally my favorite. I get really miffed when people don't recognize the difference between lowlifes just wanting a "purdy baba" from their mare and then using the same distinction against a old timer, who knows a heck of alot more about horseflesh than the average joe or top breeder, crossing a couple of really good horses regardless of weather or not they have papers. I despise the term "backyard breeders" when it's applied to someone who purposely breeds a grade. And I'm talking about the people who do so with the intention to pass on a great horses abilities and looks and take care knowing their history. Grades get bashed for not having a "history" but many who are bred by "responsible" breeders provide documentation of vet records. Many registered horses come with false documentation so as in all cases buyer beware.

To be truly honest... I have a hard time going out bushwacking on a $10,000+ horse. Makes me a nervous wreck. Not that I care less about any horse I ride due to how much they cost, but accidents happen. Of course family history matters, for dogs, horses, livestock (especially meat producers), but you can't paper handling or TRUE talent of the individual. And talent does not 100% beget talent. That fact has been proven over and over again. Often times there are unintended consequences of doing so. But knowing any horse before you breed and their families tendencies is key, you don't exactly need a piece of paper to prove that.
Fugly is fugly, no horse with obvious problems should be bred. But a great horse without papers is far better in my mind than a poor one with them.
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post #23 of 97 Old 02-16-2012, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Sinister View Post
I actually think it's easier to sell a grade horse because most of them are under priced and a lot of registered horses [at least in my area] are extremely over priced.
With a crappy market as it is now it doesn't really matter in my area. And those that can jump or do dressage (and are shown successfully) costs $$$ whether it's a grade or registered.

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post #24 of 97 Old 02-16-2012, 01:55 PM
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But just because they're bred for it doesn't mean they're going to be good at it or even like it. Examples: a thoroughbred can bred through the roof with amazing racing blood, but he may just enjoy jumping better and lose races because he doesn't like it. Or a cutting horse that just doesn't really like cows. A warmblood that doesn't like the english world. Do you get where I'm coming from? Just because they're bred for it doesn't mean they'll be good at it.

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post #25 of 97 Old 02-16-2012, 01:57 PM
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It does not matter to me if they are grade
as long as they are sound, and the right match for me

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post #26 of 97 Old 02-16-2012, 02:04 PM
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Grade horses are awesome(:

Just don't breed them!

You know, Mudpie's not registered, and we all know how epic he is...

Juuust saying ;D
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post #27 of 97 Old 02-16-2012, 02:09 PM
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The best horse I ever owned (and likely will ever own) was a grade. I don't think there is snobbery against grades, just that with the market the way it is, it's better to breed for the best quality possible.
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post #28 of 97 Old 02-16-2012, 02:31 PM
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I don't want to breed since I would like a gelding

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post #29 of 97 Old 02-16-2012, 03:05 PM
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As many of the other posters have said, nothing is "bad" about a grade horse. Breeding them can be and most of the time is bad..Other posters have already pointed out the many great things you know and can tell by a registered horse. A registered horse, to me, is better because you can tell where they came from, see any genetic diseases or defects that can be passed on, know the horse's history, you and your horse can be a part of something bigger (a registry and association), and you can learn SO much more about the breed and your horse in general..A grade however, you're lucky to know it's parents and breed..You have no way of knowing if the horse may carry and pass on genetic diseases and defects, you have no way of knowing it's true history, nothing really fantastic..A grade horse just is what it is. A horse, it can be a perfect example of a mutt or it can be a horse like Banman's mare, who is quite a nice mare and had proven herself in many areas..

That said, I do own 3 registered Quarter Horse's with pretty nice bloodlines..To me, a registered horse is worth more and has more resale value, I know what I'm buying and know what potential I have. If I ever decide to breed one or both of my mares I will know what I have to work with and what I can look for in a stallion to improve and/or contribute to my mare's traits to make an outstanding foal..Yes, there can be the "oops" foals who just aren't what they are bred for but they are pretty rare and a good example of those "Oops" horses is Doc Bar, he wasn't bred for cutting at all, but he changed the cutting world forever through his offspring and amazing traits he passed on..Could he have done it without really nice mares? Probably not, the breeders paired Doc Bar with a really well bred mare to hope to pass on those traits and characteristics to their foals. Breeding is a science....but the fact is about Doc Bar, he is a registered "Oops" that failed to be what he was bred for but he turned another discipline into something amazing.

We do own one grade horse..and I have not a clue as to what he is..We can only assume TWH because he's gaited and well, that's what the previous owner said he was. We have no way of knowing his history..My Dad scooped him out of a field where he was malnourished and not taken care of at all..He is one of the best horses we have and I love him to death.. Would I have taken a second look at his ugly butt if he hadn't been in such bad shape? Nope. He's a good guy though and we all love him, horrible conformation, big head and all.

It all comes down to personal preference...I'm not really a breed snob and I'm not going to say one if better than the other... I am partial to my registered QHs and I doubt I'll ever own anything else..but to each their own and I can respect why everyone chooses the breed and discipline they ride.
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Last edited by DrumRunner; 02-16-2012 at 03:09 PM.
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post #30 of 97 Old 02-16-2012, 03:30 PM
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I have nothing against grades, but I would not breed for a grade either. All of the horses I've ever owned have been registered with the exception of my first pony. Because I show breed shows (AQHA) it has to be a registered horse. But even if I didn't show, I would still want a registered horse because it's like a history book for that horse. The resale value is also higher. And while the saying is..."you can't ride papers"....heck ya you can! I do it every time I get on my horse!
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