The thread on horse racism, set me thinking about some breeds which are often overlooked by the average equine enthusiast. Maybe more especially, by newcomers to the horse world, who automatically seek to purchase a horse of the more common breeds, without looking into many other breeds.
One breed which comes to mind, is the American Saddlebred. Many seem to have a fixed idea that they are just high-stepping horses, suitable for nothing outside a show ring. So untrue. They make wonderful dressage horses and very good trail mounts, given the chance. Doesn't hurt that they are also beautiful.
A few years ago I would have added the Gypsy Horse/Cob/Vanner, but they have and are, still gaining a steady popularity, in spite of many who seem to wish to put them down at every opportunity.
I expect some of you who own different breeds, would like to 'sell' your own breed, to the horse buying public and tell why they shouldn't be overlooked.
I had a friend who ran barrels on a Saddlebred. He had the longest legs and could sprint faster than most Qhs around here until he was retired.
I like this thread. I'd love to learn more about the breeds that not everyone has had or experienced.
I'd have to say GOOD draft crosses. I emphasise the "good" because I've seen some not-so-good ones.
We joke that my coming 4yo draft cross was born broke. Things that even more experienced horses freak out at don't bother him at all. He leg yielded on his first ride and picks new concepts up incredibly quickly (except neck reining...he just can't figure out what we want lol).
I think draft crosses make good beginner or newcomer horses because many of them inherit the steadiness of the draft with the usually somewhat smaller (and less intimidating) size of whatever they're crossed with.
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I'd like to add Morgans and Canadian horses.
I feel like Morgans were a fad for a short while that came and went, but they're amazing horses - particularly the older style ones with less Arab influence (not that those aren't fantastic, but we already have Arabs :P) They're fantastic endurance, dressage, jumping, even western horses - and many have pretty level heads, we have 2 in our therapy program, 1 old style 1 new.
Canadians I feel are SO forgotten! They're this perfect blend of solid, drafty horse with sporty, high action type horse! They're the ancestors of breeds like Morgans and saddlebreds, but with a much more 'solid' build. They look like a Percheron, Morgan, Friesian blend. They're incredibly sporty and make fantastic jumping horses, as well as being strong working/carriage type horses and good for endurance or really any other sport!!
They're used by mounted cops in Canada:
Canadian Horse - Cheval Canadien | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Look them up - they're fantastic!!
Honestly I'd say grade horses. I've met, ridden and seen some awesome horses "of questionable backgrounds". I don't own a "papered" horse anymore. Owned zippos rookie. Papered to the moon. Sold him. I personally want a horse that can mentally and physically do what I need out of it. What it's breeding or bloodline is means very little. To me.
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I am going to add Shires.
It seems most people see a big blaze socks and feathers and are like Clydesdale cross! And then I am like no her mom was a shire. . .
There is a stable here that specifically breeds shires sport horses (where I got my mare) and people always look at them as Clydesdale crosses or "Budweiser" horses, I love Clydes but Shires need some spot light too, they are different!
Before starting work at my current yard I had never heard of Hensons before. There is something like 7 in the country and we have 4! We use them for driving and riding, they love jumping! They are very versatile and all of them have beautiful personalities. I started a thread on them just this morning :D
Take a look!
I don't understand why so many people are so down on Friesians. A lot of people say they are great cart horses, but not so good for riding. There are two types though, cart horses and then the dressage type. Granted, I have only ridden a Friesian once, but they were incredible horses (of the dressage type). They just have this presence that captivates me like no other breed. Riding one is like a dream. Like seriously, when you have a dream about riding a horse, all floaty and magical, yeah that's what riding a friesian is like. And I'm a western girl! I ride QH's the majority of the time. I'll never forget that one day with the Friesian though. :-)
I second the motion on American Saddlebred horses. They are so incredibly athletic and a little known fact... they are super sensitive to their people. They make amazing family horses though most are seen in the show ring only and those are often very hot and forward and would be too much for the average rider. Take that same horse home, give him some quiet time and time to bond with you and folks would be amazed. They can also learn to shut it off on the trails and turn it back on in the ring. They bond with their person and they will do anything you ask.
I love Friesians as well but admittedly, I want to shave their legs. LOVE the mane and tail but the hairy legs are messy and just not my cup of tea. Amazing horses though for sure. Same for Shires.
Arabians in this area were a dime a dozen several years ago but when one sees a well bred Arabian (different then most of the ones seen around) they are jaw dropping. Their grace of movement, temperament and athletic ability is phenomenal. Is there anything more fun then a native costume class?
Hackney horses are another one. WOW! Would love to see more of those and Irish draft horses. Yeah, not the same type at all but I am somewhat diverse in what I like.
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