"Easy keepers" - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 22 Old 06-06-2015, 07:44 AM
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blue eyed pony has a very good point.

a good standardbred can be hardy and they can have a very good mind. They can be solid citizens. And, because people associate them with not having a canter, even trained and competing riding ones can sell for much less than another breed with the same training.

People associate them with having poor canters and giant, ugly heads - but again, not all are like that. Some have lovely canters and are just as pretty as the next breed.

And they do tend to be lower maintenance than TBs - with a calmer personality.

They should get way more credit as a breed than they do from the riding public - old habits die hard, unfortunately.
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post #12 of 22 Old 06-06-2015, 09:54 AM
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"Easy keepers" are actually quite high maintenance.
It means a horse that uses feed very effectively. In the context of sales ads, what it really means is "fat".

Sure, you might not have to pay as much for feed, but a really easy keeper runs a high risk for metabolic problems and will often not do well on all day grazing and free choice hay. So that would put you in a situation where you'd have to keep your horse on a dirt lot and feed individually - much higher maintenance than a herd setting.

As for the temperatures, I live in Alberta and it gets really cold here in winter. As long as horses are healthy, being outside is not a problem for them, not even the TBs and Arabians. They just build a big winter coat and get a blanket for the really cold days. They do burn through more feed though.
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post #13 of 22 Old 06-06-2015, 03:07 PM
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When you buy a horse you choose one with the temperament that suits you best and the ability to do whatever it is you want to do with it which often means making compromises.
The British native ponies and cobs are tough and will deal with living out - though the winter there is nowhere near as cold as it gets in places like Canada and parts of the US but they are also the type that will get grossly overweight and develop laminitis really easily so far from being actual 'easy keepers' in terms of managing them
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post #14 of 22 Old 06-06-2015, 08:56 PM
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I wouldn't call horses that get fat so easily and founder, "easy".

There certainly is a mid-way which many horses fall in, where they are sustained fairly well by pasture, do not gorge themselves on hay and are still active and lively horses.

My horse, for example, is out year round on pasture. His weight drops a little winter, rises a little in spring. He needs no extra feeding (besides the vitamin/mineral feed I give him when I ride) except for perhaps a few weeks in winter. He has been in thick lush paddocks, and sparse ones.

Of all the horses I've owned I've had a few that were easy keepers, and a few that I had to pour feed into, spending huge amounts on hay just to maintain their weight. I've never had a horse I've needed to lock up in a dirt lot.
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post #15 of 22 Old 06-07-2015, 12:11 PM
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I think the term 'easy keepers' is meant to describe horses and ponies that you can keep weight on very easily
It has nothing to do with all round management.
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post #16 of 22 Old 06-15-2015, 03:18 PM
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I live on a quarter horse ranch and all of ours have been healthy. They gain and keep weight on easily and rarely have health problems. We use them for every from barrel racing to show jumping and have had no problems. They have developed arthritis as they age, but that is to be expected with any breed. A few of ours have less than ideal feet, but with the correct type of shoeing, it doesn't bother them. They have a lot of personality, and show it. They form strong bonds with the person who cares for them. My mare even expresses jealousy when I work with some of our other horses. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with a quarter horse. I would have a farrier check out a potential horse's feet before you purchase though. I'm not sure if it runs true to all quarters, but some of ours have minor problems that you may not want to deal with.
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post #17 of 22 Old 06-15-2015, 05:41 PM
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Since I've only owned and ridden one breed which I truly love no matter which horse it is I'm on, I'll give some opinions on the Arabian. In my opinion, the Arabian is a low-maintenance horse physically and mentally, as they are incredibly hardy and have no predisposed soundness issues. They are also extremely quick learners and are curious, which makes for an easily trainable horse with a good work ethic. Once the horse's training is underway, they become solid mounts for all levels of riders.

Buy an Arabian horse for the following awesomeness in a beautiful four-legged package:
- extreme intelligence (smarter than you even)
- sensitivity (a horse you don't have to pull or kick into oblivion!)
- easy keeping (which means less money, right?)
- speed!
- endurance/stamina/can run for days/it's just like the movie Hidalgo
- excellent train-ability/work ethic/your horse has a job and it knows it
- a huge heart and willingness to do anything you ask of it
- strong, solid feet
- smooth gaits
- you can tell everyone you own the Barbie of the horse world (I mean everyone else is going to say it behind your back, so you might as well kick their butts in the show ring while also looking FABULOUS!)
- a teacher (the kind you ENJOY, even on a weekend)
- a pony of your very own to grow old with (they can live into their late 30s!)
- a sport horse built for war, looking like a queen, and an attitude like a diva packing around riders of all levels (I would even dare say the one breed best suited to take beginners all the way to where they want to go in Equestrian)

But remember to read the fine print:
- can be prone to swayback and topline issues in aging horses. Arabians are a high-head carried breed that rely on a rider to help keep them fit and conditioned. Otherwise, they are not genetically predisposed to any soundness issues at all
- can quickly become stubborn if the rider is inexperienced, assuming the horse has the personality to test the rider. Arabians are smart, and can often outsmart a rider more quickly than some other breeds.
- will often get fat without exercise as they are easy keepers... But I mean, are you honestly NOT going to ride your horse?
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post #18 of 22 Old 06-15-2015, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillowNightwind View Post
Since I've only owned and ridden one breed which I truly love no matter which horse it is I'm on, I'll give some opinions on the Arabian. In my opinion, the Arabian is a low-maintenance horse physically and mentally, as they are incredibly hardy and have no predisposed soundness issues. They are also extremely quick learners and are curious, which makes for an easily trainable horse with a good work ethic. Once the horse's training is underway, they become solid mounts for all levels of riders.

Buy an Arabian horse for the following awesomeness in a beautiful four-legged package:
- extreme intelligence (smarter than you even)
- sensitivity (a horse you don't have to pull or kick into oblivion!)
- easy keeping (which means less money, right?)
- speed!
- endurance/stamina/can run for days/it's just like the movie Hidalgo
- excellent train-ability/work ethic/your horse has a job and it knows it
- a huge heart and willingness to do anything you ask of it
- strong, solid feet
- smooth gaits
- you can tell everyone you own the Barbie of the horse world (I mean everyone else is going to say it behind your back, so you might as well kick their butts in the show ring while also looking FABULOUS!)
- a teacher (the kind you ENJOY, even on a weekend)
- a pony of your very own to grow old with (they can live into their late 30s!)
- a sport horse built for war, looking like a queen, and an attitude like a diva packing around riders of all levels (I would even dare say the one breed best suited to take beginners all the way to where they want to go in Equestrian)

But remember to read the fine print:
- can be prone to swayback and topline issues in aging horses. Arabians are a high-head carried breed that rely on a rider to help keep them fit and conditioned. Otherwise, they are not genetically predisposed to any soundness issues at all
- can quickly become stubborn if the rider is inexperienced, assuming the horse has the personality to test the rider. Arabians are smart, and can often outsmart a rider more quickly than some other breeds.
- will often get fat without exercise as they are easy keepers... But I mean, are you honestly NOT going to ride your horse?
That list is the greatest thing I've ever read! xD xD LOVE it!
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post #19 of 22 Old 06-21-2015, 05:09 AM
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I can comment on temperament as i've got a stationbred (which has a fair bit of clydesdale blood) that i've only had for 8 or so months and hes lovely. Very bombproof and bold, but does throw the odd buck in when he wants. Hes the type of horse you can tell off though (not physically obviously), so hes a real sod. Draft breeds i find can also be pushy on the ground but it's all in the training and maintaining of boundaries. Haha, i'm making him sound worse than he is but i love him :)
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post #20 of 22 Old 06-23-2015, 09:51 AM
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I didn't read all the replies, but keep in mind some easy keepers aren't easy at all and beware.

I have an arabian mare that is an easy keeper and gets fat on air. This mare came to me as fit and out on pasture 24/7 with no issues. As soon as I moved her to another state, she began to balloon up on 24/7 access and became insulin resistant. She now has to be watched and medicated if necessary.

So, beware of the term easy keeper in some instances. Also understand that you can take a very easy keeper who is true to the term and turn them into a hard easy keeper.

My point is, every horse is different and even if they are an easy keeper now, does not mean they will stay that way. You need to take into consideration that their care needs could easily change at some point. Even if they are an easy keeper now, doesn't mean they will be one in the future.
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