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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
  • Top 5 five cutting horse pedigree

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    12-26-2012, 02:08 AM
  #11
Yearling
First of all, I try not to forget that, beneath all the bull, pedigrees are there for a reason. They show you what you have a good chance of getting (although I firmly believe that nothing can tell you 100% what you're in for.)
If I was looking at a horse which I intended to breed, I would be hard put to say that I would ONLY go for one or the other- good conformation might have been a stroke of luck, you don't know exactly what's going to pop out in a year, or at least not as well as you would if you could see the horse's ancestry. Bloodlines are created for that reason- to preserve traits which are desirable and save you a bit on the guessing.
But, if you breed a poorly conformed horse because of it's bloodlines, you're an idiot.
Overall, when breeding is involved, I think that if you don't have good confo and a good pedigree, don't breed.
And so, personally I would choose conformation over pedigree, without doubt, because
1.) I am not interested in breeding. I am not a huge fan of mares, a stallion is useless if he's not breeding, and raising a foal appeals to me only slightly more than raising a human child- it's a ton of work, it takes ten times more patience than I have, and only wins out against a human kid because let's face it, foals are a hell of a lot cuter and they can be sold if you don't want them anymore, lol.
2.) I don't favor standing over a broken down horse, pointing at his pedigree, and saying "he may not have amounted to anything but LOOK AT WHO HIS GRAND DADDY IS." Nope, not this gal.
3.) I don't do anything that requires a pretty pedigree, and the things I plan on doing in the future put conformation before it anyway. I want a nice sturdy horse (preferably a gelding) that will be my partner in crime until he's thirty.

Summary: Conformation for me.
     
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    12-26-2012, 02:47 AM
  #12
Foal
Mind>conformation>pedigree
     
    12-26-2012, 03:26 AM
  #13
Green Broke
Cant ride those papers.. hee hee.. Conformation of course
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    12-26-2012, 03:27 AM
  #14
Green Broke
I have seen many nice unpapered Jumpers at 4 meters and grand prix level. Same for some very nice dressage horses.
     
    12-26-2012, 07:08 AM
  #15
Yearling
Because I show WP, I look for the bloodlines I prefer first...THEN assess the horse's conformation.
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    12-26-2012, 08:22 AM
  #16
Yearling
I shop for bloodlines, then look at the horse. But I will take conformation over pedigree, in this economy is so easy to find both though. I've owned grade and byb bred horses, from now on I'll only by the best pedigreed and conformationally built horse I can afford.
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    12-26-2012, 09:04 AM
  #17
Green Broke
Conformation. If you had to go with only one or the other. Ideally you should be looking for both if results matter. If you go by pedigree, that's like saying you should be a good doctor because your parents were, of that you'd be a star athlete because your parents were. Pedigree does usually indicate the breeding intention of the breeders but it doesn't ensure they the foal comes out suited for the intent.

I'd like to say I will only buy a registered horse but I'm a sucker for a cutie that works hard.
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    12-26-2012, 09:04 AM
  #18
Yearling
Conformation over pedigree, you can't ride papers.
     
    12-26-2012, 12:35 PM
  #19
Cat
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by missnashvilletime    
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.
Well one thing to keep in mind on the responses you receive is that you presented an either-or scenario. Its a little different than what can happen in real life where your choices are usually more open than that and there are more variables than just pedigree and conformation.

One thing I could see having an impact with a cutting horse is having a horse that inherited a good amount of cow sense. I could see the likely hood of getting good cow sense more likely coming from proven lines than not, but not impossible. I just think most who want to spend all that time and money to train and show a horse want to start with the best odds - so that makes pedigrees valuable.

But if you are someone who is more interested in seeing how far you can get a well conformed horse without lining the odds in your favor - you might end up pleasantly surprised. But that is a different mentality than someone in it for a serious win.

One thing I tend to notice is that those that are really stuck on pedigrees are stuck on stallion lines and totally ignore the mares. Mares are just as important if not more so than the stallions.
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    12-26-2012, 12:58 PM
  #20
Trained
My best friend has an Arab gelding who is her endurance horse. He's a great endurance horse. They placed in the top 10 on their first endurance ride (think it was a 25-mile race) with her never having been in an endurance race before and him not having been in one in five years. They were in a field of 40, all more experienced than my friend. Her gelding is bred to be an endurance horse and has all the great names on his papers to prove it, starting with Bask...five times over. He is, however, a conformational train wreck. Shark fin withers, hollow shoulders, prominent coupling regardless of how much topline conditioning she does (his back isn't roached, though), upright shoulder, high hocks, over at the knee and tied in behind the knee, and his neck ties in high on his chest. But boy can he run! They've clocked him at a sustainable gallop (not a full-out sprint) doing 48mph. The trainer's Arab gelding was springing to keep up and Siege was barely trying.

Point is, sometimes conformation contradicts pedigree and the horse is still amazing at the discipline it was bred for.

That being said, you can't ride papers, so I'll pick conformation over pedigree any day.
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