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@jgnmoose
Why do they always hide their feet? Very frustrating!

I'm finding myself leaning more and more into animals with "crossbreed vigour". Dogs and horses alike.

As far as most modern quarter horses go, I tend to like a cross of "types". Appendix type crossed on cutting/cowhorse or ranch horse makes for nice horses. Ive heard folks talk about the cross of run on cutting/cowhorse being the "magic cross".

People scoff at Hancock bred horses, but I've always enjoyed them. I have a Hancock x appendix mare right now and she's tough as nails, I really enjoy her for what I use horses for. I have two other unregistered Hancock/older style QH (my best speculation, I know the studs were Hancock) mares too. One is an absolute beast of a barrel horse, and the other is only 3, but smart as a whip and has movement to die for.
 

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@QHriderKE the crosses like you mention can be really good. I had a mare that I’ve talked about on here that was straight Hancock just about on the top side and mostly running bred on the bottom. Solid Bay with almost perfect black feet.

That mare had a temper, she was not cut out for arena work it made her mad. Give her a job in a big open pasture working cows and she couldn’t get enough you could tell she loved doing that. Today she belongs to a cowboy who makes a living looking after cattle for people who don’t have the time. Perfect life for her.

So that’s just an example but I think crosses are just fine for many things people want to do with horses. For the competitive scene people want proven bloodlines that have a shot and that is really all there is to the story.

@trailhorserider I think the stereo type of a Quarter Horse’s size is bigger than they really are on average. In the Performance Horse world there is no advantage to being a big horse, but there is an advantage to being as quick and athletic as possible.

I’m not disagreeing here on the canon bone or hoof size. It would probably take more time and trial and error to get that back that it would be worth. The Driftwood and Hancock horses have great legs and feet that I’ve seen. Correctness for me is as much for me in the angles and proportions, slope of the shoulder etc
 

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But I don't see why you can't have color AND conformation.
Well, the main reason is that good horses are hard to breed. Say you have a very flashy-colored horse whose conformation is quite good, and a plain brown horse who has truly superior conformation. Which one will you breed? If you have half a brain you'll breed the flashy one. Because color sells. It sells to the savvy and ignorant alike, where only the experienced will buy a superior but plain-colored horse.So the high-colored horse gets his genes passed on and the superior horse doesn't. Keep choosing that way, and eventually the excellent conformation is going to leave. People will start excusing problems -- "well, all Paints have bad feet, you just have to accept it" blah blah.

Whenever you hear "why can't we have it all?" -- there are reasons why.
 

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@jgnmoose
Why do they always hide their feet? Very frustrating!

I'm finding myself leaning more and more into animals with "crossbreed vigour". Dogs and horses alike.

As far as most modern quarter horses go, I tend to like a cross of "types". Appendix type crossed on cutting/cowhorse or ranch horse makes for nice horses. Ive heard folks talk about the cross of run on cutting/cowhorse being the "magic cross".

People scoff at Hancock bred horses, but I've always enjoyed them. I have a Hancock x appendix mare right now and she's tough as nails, I really enjoy her for what I use horses for. I have two other unregistered Hancock/older style QH (my best speculation, I know the studs were Hancock) mares too. One is an absolute beast of a barrel horse, and the other is only 3, but smart as a whip and has movement to die for.
This is part of the reason I love Icelandics as a breed. They have rigorous breeding standards and a scoring system for horses with judge comments so the potential breeder knows exactly what they are getting.

For example, this is a palomino Icelandic stallion with average scores (7.5 average, breeding quality is above 8, range of 5-10). It shows that he has a great score for mane and tail, and a very good one for canter and walk, but his joint alignment is below average and quite poor, and his pace is the worst quality it can be while still being present (6 minimum and 5 only happens if gait isn't present). The M#s represent the measurements of the horse taken in cm
M1highest withers
M2lowest back
M3highest croup
M4breast depth (highest pt withers to breastbone behind front leg)
M5length (pt shoulder to end hindquarters)
M6width chest (between pts of shoulders)
M7width hips (between hip joints)
M8width hips (between points of pelvis)
M9min circumference front leg (below front knee)
M10max circumference knee
M11width legs & tendons (below front knee)
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Here is a picture of the said stallion.
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He looks pretty great in the photos, but positive traits, such as color and hair, along with the angle and lighting make him look like a good quality horse when he is not breeding quality. This is why I think it is so important to have an unbiased judge survey potential breeding horses and having a database for all breeds like Worldfengur is to Icelandics so you can see unbiased evaluations of horses. At least he has good feet, though.
 

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Here is an example of the exact opposite thing happening with a horse. This picture of an Icelandic stallion who is the highest judged in the world shows him as quite mundane because of his sleepy posture, lack of fitness, and sonewhat disheveled appearance (this is him in pasture on baby making duty). Also, the way the camera is tilted makes his head look disproportionately large. In reality, he has great conformation.
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Here are more flattering pictures of him.
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The first stallion has a much prettier color (in my opinion) than the second one (palomino with star vs black tobiano), and if there was not a system in place to educate buyers and breeders on the quality of horses they are interested in, I think you would see a lot more people breeding for flashy horses within Icelandics instead of a good quality horse (as often sadly seen in breeds with little to no good breeding standard).

The quality of both these stallions is available to the public, though, and the number of offspring reflect this. The first stallion, although born in 2009, has only 3 foals. The second stallion was born in 2012, but has 153 foals (150 more than the first). Because buyers can also look at individual horse stats, it makes actual good quality horses much easier to sell and less people fall into the color trap (though many still do). If you have good horses already, you can easily sprinkle in a little color with the right crossing (as is seen with this buckskin stallion).
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Why do they always hide their feet? Very frustrating!
Not all of them! LOL!
Flipping through the QHN Stallion Register, a lot of the pictures are taken on grass or performance pictures but there are several that are on pavement or gravel so you see their feet.
Stallion pics are basically dating profiles. But if you get on the cow horse pages, people ask, "What does so-and-so look like in person?"
Here's High Brow Cat showing his tootsies-
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Something I've been told about HBC breeding, his sons aren't all that big but the size comes out in the grandsons.
Another note, AQHA doesn't recognize the rabicano. The horse is registered under its base color.

Here is Smooth Talkin Style, you can see his feet. He is the sire or grandsire of a big bunch of horses where I work. Fun horses to ride, really feely.
20210405_161702.jpg



As far as most modern quarter horses go, I tend to like a cross of "types". Appendix type crossed on cutting/cowhorse or ranch horse makes for nice horses. Ive heard folks talk about the cross of run on cutting/cowhorse being the "magic cross".
I think @jgnmoose sums it up at least for the cowhorse/cutter scene.
I think crosses are just fine for many things people want to do with horses. For the competitive scene people want proven bloodlines that have a shot and that is really all there is to the story.
But I totally agree for a ranch horse, rope and barrel horse. I love the running crossed on the cow! They are the horses you can cowboy on and take to town.

A friend from CA moved to NV, she has a couple studs she stands to the public. She didn't understand the running horse crossed on the cow, she thought it was a waste. I told her she's missing out an the majority of market of where she's living now. (cowboy country, barrel racing, team roping, ranch rodeo)

No offense to the Hancock lovers, but a lot of guys I know are getting away from them and moving towards the modern run/cow cross for cowboying. HBC can make some bigger colts and same with Peptoboonsmal which is pretty common in cow horse breeding. Some of the cow horse lines work better for the cross than others.
Some lines are great alone for the crossover to barrels or roping, Dual Rey being the first that comes to mind.
Rocking W, (which is Ruby Buckle nominated), I have ridden a daughter of him and I'd love to try to try one if given the chance.
 

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@fireandicehorse It's interesting that you bring up the point that in other countries, there are far stricter breeding standards than the US. I was just thinking of how in DE and NL there are strict stallion approvals, mare performance tests and offspring evaluation. Bit of a governor on the engine so to speak. Even with these protocols in place, there still not immune from breeding for trendy or what's hot. (black dressage horses were all the rage for awhile!) So, I think it's a bit of human nature that we can't really avoid. JMO.
 
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High Brow Cat isn't in the same universe as that first shown sorrel stallion Isn't High Brow Cat bred for reining?

That diaper-butted one, first photo posted, has such a straight hock as to be non-functional as a using/riding horse. THAT is where breeding for a certain look goes off the rails; when you get horses that can't really do anything. I just don't see horses quite as pure pets, yet, as most dogs are. Dogs used to be bred for using, too, but they've 'graduated' to being pets , for the most part. But it's sad when a dog is bred so big headed that they can't even give birth normally, but require Ceasarian birth.
 

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High Brow Cat isn't in the same universe as that first shown sorrel stallion Isn't High Brow Cat bred for reining?
No he's not in the same universe as the halter horse pictured in the OP.
I posted his pic in relation to the the discussion of stallions not showing their feet in their "dating profile".
High Brow Cat was/is a cutting and reined cow horse sire.(he died in 2019 but frozen semen is available)
 

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This was a decent cover of the topic related to the first.
 

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This was a decent cover of the topic related to the first.
This quote I pulled from the above article sums up my feelings (and what I was trying to say rather wordily) nice and neatly:

"The real big issues for these halter horses are the lightness of bone and the excessive post-leggedness."

Ironically, Impressive wasn't nearly as extreme as today's halter horses. While heavy, he looks like a functional horse you could actually ride, especially if he were fitter than the photo shows. I always assumed he was some sort of monstrosity, but it is clear now that he didn't start the conformation problems, even if HYPP started with him.

What's up with the "diaper butt" anyway? (On the modern horses, not Impressive, he actually has a decent butt.) Is that a result of the over-straight hocks? Is that in itself a "desirable" look? Maybe a result of steep croup AND straight hocks? It's really odd compared to ANY other horse breed on the planet.
 

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Well, the main reason is that good horses are hard to breed. Say you have a very flashy-colored horse whose conformation is quite good, and a plain brown horse who has truly superior conformation. Which one will you breed? If you have half a brain you'll breed the flashy one. Because color sells. It sells to the savvy and ignorant alike, where only the experienced will buy a superior but plain-colored horse.So the high-colored horse gets his genes passed on and the superior horse doesn't. Keep choosing that way, and eventually the excellent conformation is going to leave. People will start excusing problems -- "well, all Paints have bad feet, you just have to accept it" blah blah.

Whenever you hear "why can't we have it all?" -- there are reasons why.
While that may be true, I really don't quite buy it. If we can breed nice solid colored horses, we can breed nice patterned horses. Nice patterned horses do exist. If people can't see the conformation for the color that's one thing, but that doesn't make the horses any different to breed. And certainly colored horses don't have the monopoly on bad conformation, the horses at the beginning of this article prove that.

I guess to answer your question, I would breed them both.....I would have both in my breeding program. I would cross the exceptional colored horses with the truly exceptional solid horses. Sure, there will be a few solid patterned horses as a result perhaps, but that's why there are "breeding stock" Paints. And crossing two flashy horses doesn't necessarily increase your odds of getting a colored foal either. And breeding two flashy horses (frame for instance) can increase your odds of genetic problems (lethal white) as well. There is a whole lot that goes into it.

Maybe I'm an optimist, but I don't see why we can't have both.

I always thought a good strategy would be to breed a homozygous tobiano stallion (of very good conformation of course) to quality mares of any color. That would give you very good odds of color AND quality.
 

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That is where affordability comes in. Those well conformed, performing at elite level, proven whether sire (semen cost) or broodmare (cost of breeding plus proven foals on the ground) and then to be flashy whether color, pattern or variant and stable in what you will get genetically meaning homozygous so unless lethal doubled will be guaranteed to pass means you can ask a pretty penny for breeding. That leaves those that want the flash to breed to the ho hum and not so conformationlly sound to get it. Then they perpetuate it by breeding generations of been there done nothing to keep that color cheap.

Then there is the weirdness of halter and obsessive need to go just a little bit further to attract attention.
 

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@trailhorserider, you are indeed an optimist. You know the adage, optimists are happy, and pessimists are right?

Remember my original response to the OP, about how my goat mentor would sell her gaudy-colored goats? She was raised on a ranch, and has successfully bred (as in won competitions with) not just goats but horses, cattle, sheep, and rabbits. Breeding is what she does for a living and has for fifty years. She wasn't being frivolous, she was speaking from lifelong experience.

I saw this in dog breeding, and trust me, those dog breeders said EXACTLY what you are saying. "Why can't I have these colors and markings and hair coat and conformation that please me visually, and also breed for working qualities? Frankly, it was perfectly infuriating because that mindset virtually destroyed the very qualities that made the breed so valued.
 

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I googled QH stallions, and came across these horses. My question is why are people breeding for this?
Probably the same reason why some folks (men and women) partake in body building.

Not my cup of tea to see 8-pack abs on a female, but to each his own I guess.
 
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Another questions - Considering the "legendary" stallions, why have many popular breeds deviated from what was once treasured?

Zippo Pine Bar popped to the top of my head as far as AQHA western pleasure horses go, but I could only find a picture of his son, Zips Chocolate Chip. He still has a big booty and some pretty upright pasterns, but he looks usable still (and not ridiculously photoshopped!).
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And for Arabians, I don't think I could find a more perfect example of the Arabian breed than Bask (who is found in MANY pedigrees of horses around today). What a beautiful head that isn't obnoxiously dished. If I found a modern day Arabian that looked like him, I would buy it in a heartbeat.
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And for Thoroughbreds, Secretariat. What a beautiful example of a horse. I look at a lot of ads of OTTB's, and very few look as substantial as Secretariat. Of course he was built to run, but I think he could have been successful no matter which direction he went. Also, with my limited research, he retired sound.
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