Pedigree vs Conformation

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Pedigree vs Conformation

This is a discussion on Pedigree vs Conformation within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • What is stellar conformation horses
  • Horse pedigree out of vs by

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    12-25-2012, 09:45 PM
Pedigree vs Conformation

When training a horse, what do you use to decide what you want them trained in?

For example, would you rather have a no-name youngster that has great conformation trained for an event? (any event that you're into)

Or would you rather have a horse with stellar pedigree, but lacks good conformation for the event?

Just looking for opinions and get a conversation going! Thanks guys!
(Obviously the best would be a stellar pedigree and conformation haha)
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    12-25-2012, 09:58 PM
Green Broke
Excellent conformation because no matter how great the papers they won't get you far if the horse breaks down due to crappy conformation.
flytobecat and beau159 like this.
    12-25-2012, 10:05 PM
Definitely I buy on conformation over papers. Conformation is very important in eventing. Papers aren't going to get you very far if the conformation sucks.
    12-25-2012, 10:06 PM
Conformation. 100% pedigree is nice if you plan to breed, but if the conformation isn't there, you've got nothing more than a possible trail horse or pasture muncher.
    12-25-2012, 10:17 PM
I agree completely on your answers, but (in my experience) even if you have a correct horse then people will put you down if your horse doesn't have the pedigree. I'm trying to get into cutting with my colt and he's fairly correct (I don't believe any horse is perfect) but he has a lot of things going for him for that event. However, a lady I know who has been in cutting for awhile told me he will never amount to anything just because he's not an "own son" of the top 5 cutting horses.

On the other side, the guy that I'll be sending this colt to training said any horse with the conformation could do it and the only reason you don't see more "back yard bred type pedigree" in the show pens is usually people buy based off pedigree and then train instead of looking what that particular horse's conformation is geared towards. He mostly just said certain conformation types can be an advantage depending on your sport.

It's been interesting to see your reasoning behind the answers!
    12-25-2012, 10:48 PM
Yeah, where I live in the states, we have these local shows. Some western some English.

I rode this lovely gelding when I was 11 in a basic to intermediate hunt show level, I LOVED this horse, he was properly built for the sport, but he was a Back Yard bred boy. His conformation was a stroke of luck, we did well, we usually placed well. But when I started showing out of county, with these people who had their expensive Thoroughbreds (who most looked like crap) or finely tuned pedigrees I was literally spat upon by one of my competitors all because my gelding didn't have papers except a bill of leasing.

I'd like to tell you we won and I modestly rubbed it in their noses but I was so rung up (mind you I was still pretty much a kid) my boy knew I wasn't in the right mind and he would not move. Refused to walk.

But people with their expensive horses tend to look down on others who have horses that aren't "Lined." My 20 year old Arabian mare, is actually a back yard mutt that was never registered. Now she apparently won metal after metal in Cross Country.
So even the little BYB horses can be something, but it takes a dedicated owner with a tough nerve and will of steal to deal with all the jerks that think its gross to have a horse that isn't one of the finest.

In my personal opinion, a lot of pedigreed horses are just that and maybe a personality. I see very few horses with good pedigrees that stand in the good conformation. People see a paper and breed breed breed just to make money.
missnashvilletime likes this.
    12-25-2012, 11:01 PM
TruCharm, I agree I see that a lot. I wish we could go back to when people bred/trained on the horse that's standing in front of them and not who their sire is.

A colt out of a champion reiner might make a wonderful dressage mount if he had the right conformation, and attitude for it! :)

I'm sorry you had such a hard time with your gelding, I'm sure you've gained a lot of experience with him! At least you went out and competed instead of just throwing in the towel because others tried to intimidate you!
TruCharm likes this.
    12-25-2012, 11:10 PM
I've owned several nothing pedigreed horses and brought them up to exceed expectations.

I now have a pedigreed horse.

I much prefer the pedigreed horse, haha.
missnashvilletime likes this.
    12-25-2012, 11:35 PM
Super Moderator
It would depend on the event and the level I wanted to compete at.

Many events have been specifically bred for for so many generations that you will NEVER be able to compete at a very high level with a poorly bred horse. The events that come to mind are cutting, reining and racing. It think it would be a waste of the $10,000.00 to $25,000.00 that it takes to train a horse to a competitive level in these events and several others.

Other not-so-competitive venues do not count as much on inherent ability as conformation. Conformation along with athletic ability and trainability count for as much or even more than breeding in some of these events.

If I was going to put a year or more of training and $10,000.00 or more of money, I would not put it in any prospect that did not have both good breeding for the event AND good conformation. Not only that, if you intend to race or show at a high level, any prospect worth training should also be eligible for 'incentive programs' by their sires having been nominated to programs that are worth a lot of money. They also need to have been nominated to these programs if they are old enough.

It all depends what event an owner is headed towards.
    12-25-2012, 11:44 PM
If I absolutely HAD to choose between a colt with a pedigree and a colt with perfect confo, I'd go with the confo.

BUT, here's something else to think about.

A horse with less than ideal conformation could still have 100x more heart, grit, will and try than a perfect horse.

Personally, I don't buy unless the horse is registered.

Really though, there are so many horses out there for sale in this economy that I can find one with pedigree, heart, and confo. Why would I settle?
Cherie and missnashvilletime like this.

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