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Old 12-22-2005, 03:50 PM  
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Being a Saddlebred AND Quarter Horse owner I must say that the stereotyping comes with ANY breed. QHs are abused and made to move unnaturaly....same with Saddlebreds. The one thing I have found is that more of my Saddlebreds have a LOT of heart in them. They WANT and LOVE to show and it really turns them on. I rarely see a QH who is that happy in the show ring...even my own.

When training my QH's I do a lot of arena work...lots of mileage and suppling and other stuff. When I train my saddlebreds I get out the fire extiguishers, baby pounds, rock cans, etc. Working a Saddlebred is more like a game...how "hot" can we get without blowing the image, whereas Qh's are all about precision. If my Qh threw his head a little during a class I wouldn't get a ribbon but if my ASB threw a little hitch in his gait because he was trying to perform on the edge it would be overlooked. Saddlebreds look better when ridden at a point where even one more ounce of energy would be too much and become out of control...QHs are ridden at a leisurely pace and allowed to just move along as long as no mistakes are made. So in essence Saddlebreds have fun with their work and Qh's just DO the work. I guess I would put it this way. Qh's are the amusement park technicians...they are mostly concerned with all the precision and technical data put into the rides. Saddlebreds are the ones getting paid to test all the rides by actually riding them. Both are very important jobs but one is just more exciting than the other.

And just so everyone knows...all the Saddlebreds I've ridden and QH's I've ridden even other peoples and big time show horses...when you ask them to do something...they do it...when you say WHOA...they stop and stand...it's just an image you see in the show ring. There are ones of all breeds out there who aren't this way but the biggest and best of any breed is just as good as the next.
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Old 12-22-2005, 06:31 PM  
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All you can do is to make sure YOUR horse is not abused Renae..and so once again I say I find having to use firecrackers and airhorns and toss throw cans at horses not something I wish to do. That is all
I find stock horses not the dreary little worker bees you find them to be though.
Try cutting? The horse is in the drivers seat and the rider is there to choose the cows and hang on..
Well we all have an idea of what is fun-that is why we go into the disciplines we choose. good luck to you on yours
BTW how exciting for you-what big name Qhs have you piloted? What a rush that must be
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Old 12-22-2005, 07:05 PM  
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Well put, Renae.

The fireworks (NOT firecrackers, by the way -- those things make me jump!) baby powder, gravel jugs and plastic bags are not meant to scare the horses to death. They're meant to simply push the horse to look hotter.

I can say "whoa" to my Saddlebred and he'll practically sit down. Granted, when he's in the show ring, he is more "turned on" and is a little more likely to be jumpy and spooky (especially when a clod of dirt from his hoof goes banging directly into a metal trash can...grrr!) but it's what they're supposed to do.

It would be ridiculous to try and scare a horse by a training method. When any of the noise-making things are done, the horse stays on the rail and doesn't bolt. The stride gets bigger and the horse has more action. The horse's head also comes up higher. But the goal is not to spook the horse.

There are Saddlebreds that run hotter and don't respond to that stiumuli in a positive manner. But if that's the case, they probably won't make good show horses.

As with any discipline, there are trainers who abuse the method and do unethical things. But the trainers at my barn do not abuse the horses or the method.
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Old 12-22-2005, 07:35 PM  
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Who ever said QH's can't be gaited????? I have had two, both papered one incentive fund, both with AQHA points. One was a western pleasure the other a barrel horse!!! The WP mare does a running walk just like a TWH on the trail. The other does something more similar to a Foxtrot sometimes breaking into a pace all the time. He doesn't trot. Many ranch bred QH's do a running walk and hardly ever trot. No they are not grades they are not even Appendix. One is Typical wp bloodlines the other is 100% foundation QH.
Back to the original subject just like saying Arabs, SB's etc are hot and flighty is nothing but a seriotype given by people who do not actually know anything about the breed. I used to work for a mounted patrol and they loved getting in retired Saddlebreds, TB's off the track and retired TWH show horses because they had already seen the worst they would ever see while on patrol plus they were well trained and knew all about being hauled and handled. They prefered these breeds over QH's because they were highly intellligent and would learn how to do their job with minimal instruction from their rider, thus leaving the rider able to focus on the issue at hand not his horse. I personally prefer stock types simply because they are more naturally able to do the things I prefer (cattle work and barrels). But that does not mean I wouldn't ride or own one of these breeds. The barrel horse I just sold was part arab and nobody would ever believe me because he was good at his job and wasn't the least bit flighty or stupid about anything, but boy could he blow and snort in the pasture!
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:00 PM  
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Kinda funny, I had my co-workers read this thread and they just laughed. They both show saddlebreds pretty heavily. Both have had the pleasure of showing their horses with Capt. Kirk himself. Neither of my co-workers will show their babies at halter or will even consider buying a baby that was halter shown. All because of what some of them go through to get that Saddlebred look. I find that very interesting. Now I am sure that Just like my stock horse breeds, their is different techniques to get your horses ready for show, some trainers making them do unnatural things and carry themselves unnaturally. So I think to lump all saddlebreds in one crazy group or to throw all stock horses into them unhappy worker group is unfair.

Renae, I would love to know what horses you have ridden. You must be very acomplished and obviously proud.
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Old 12-22-2005, 10:43 PM  
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When I said big time show horses I really meant horses being campaigned on larger show cuircuts...however here are a few of my proudest! The gelding I had in training who's by Invitation Only out of a huge point earning mare who's by a another big name stallion...his pedigree reads as a who's who in Pleasure QHs. Invitation Only recently sold for over 2 million dollars and is no longer standing to the public. I've ridden a few of Ed Morris' top show horses he lives just down in Deer Park Washington. I was friends with a lady who used to own Hero's Jumpin Jack Flash who when sold went over to the east coast and placed very well at the World's Championship Show. I've ridden a son of Castle Bravo who's by the ever known WGC Skywatch. I got to see Castle Bravo go one year when he showed out here and he was breathtaking to watch. I worked my tail off to be able to ride these horses and I still continue to work hard...it's also a who you know game just as much as a what you know game!! And I'm not trying to turn this into a brag session...I was just trying to push the point that good horses are everywhere...they all are very highly trained for their disciplines...and you can find them in ALL disciplines and breeds. Plus the high I get from riding in on a big 5 Gaited Saddlebred is JUST as equal as the cutter riding in on their QH and the little leadline kid riding into the ring for the first time with all those butterflies...it's all cool...it's all valid...and ALL worth bragging about!!! At least that's how I feel...
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:16 PM  
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Well, once again, I have completely enjoyed what you've all have had to say on the subject...obviously we all choose our breeds for a specific reason, be it their reliability, spiritedness, or otherwise.
I am sure all agree that EVERY horse is beautiful, but they resonate differently with us...

To quote outsports.com writing about Carson Kressley (Queer eye for the straight guy):
" In the show ring he specializes in the American Saddlebred with all its spirit and snappy knee action. Indeed, one has to wonder if Carson picked Saddlebreds because he gets to wear rider's attire that is the peak of chic. Saddlebred tradition decrees that formal attire (meaning a tuxedo-type jacket and gloves) is NEVER to be worn in classes before 6 p.m. The whole effect is elegant, polished ... what Carson calls "goodstyle." (He has, I believe, 6 Saddlebreds)

BTW he also has been quoted as saying :"The Saddlebred is like a fast, sleek sports-car."
(Quite handy when showing off, not so much trying to hike up a trail or trying to rope off a calf, I suppose?)


Truth be known, I personally work in fashion as well, and ONE of the reasons why I was attracted to saddlebreds was their composed refinement, which, as I've found out extends to the way they are shown and handled. On the other hand, (in my case) this was very quickly translated to, by the barn-owner: "Your horse, She's just Miss Prissypot, throwing her little feet and carrying on ".
(all w/ thick Southern accent).

I've found my saddlebred to be the equine equivalent of my personality, and I am very happy to have found her...for all her quirks I can appreciate her ability to remain beautiful, co-operative yet un-compromised and an all around fine lass.

I should only hope we all can find the same, whatever it may mean to us.
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Old 12-23-2005, 12:42 AM  
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Thorab I think that's a stereotype too about gaited breed mares are witches. My ex-husband had a TWH filly we got when she was about a year and a half I think. She was a little wild when we got her but she became so sweet it was actually annoying sometimes. She was all about getting the hugs and kisses. She always followed me around like she was a puppy. I couldn't stop or turn around without Frankie almost bumping into me because she was following me. I would let her follow when I would take my horse Blaze out for a ride, never had a rope on her or anything she would just follow along. When she was about 2 we would set our youngest daughter who was also about 2 up on her back, Frankie didn't care, I think she liked it because she got more attention with someone patting her from on top and us patting her neck lol He sold her before she was trained to ride but I bet they had no trouble at all with her. I'll try to dig up some photos of her and put them up
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Old 12-23-2005, 05:22 AM  
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I dont have much experience with Saddlebreds, but I do with arabs and I know first hand about breed stereotypes. I used to think like alot of people that arabs are spooky, hot and a little nuts. Then I got my first arab and she was quite the opposite. I now own a 15 yr old polish bred arab. He is excellent on the trail, but boy does he put on a show! He will arch his neck and snort, but never spooks. He will prance and jig down the trail, looking quite magnificent if he must say so himself, but is always under control with the slightest rien pressure. I get alot of oooo's and ahhh's from other people and then they will shake their heads and say something like "arabs! too hot for me, glad he is yours!" Me too! Everyone always thinks he is gorgeous, only problem is, he knows it! I have learned not to judge other breeds.
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Old 12-23-2005, 05:31 AM  
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I think it also depends on your area. In my area everybody has a gaited horse. Saddlebreds, Walkers and Ken. Mtn. Horses are oozing through the walls. I find that uneducated horse people are the most likely to put down a breed or be very stuck on one breed or even 1 type of riding. I very seldom make it known that I have horses or that I even ride. I was told once by a TWH owner that if I didn't have a TWH then I didn't have a horse.

Many uneducated people look at the WP horses and say dead head. I was at an open show and a man was whooping and hollaring during the saddlebred class. (This was before the height restriction on the pads) It may have been TWH class. Anyway, the pads were huge and the horses were just about hitting their chins with their knees. When the WP horses came in (this was way before the horizontal neck rule which is now in effect for paints) the man was shakning his head and saying that it just ain't natural and look at the dead heads. Come on, he was trying to tell me that the pads and crud was "natural". Well cutting tails are not natural, but allowed. And sticking ginger up the hiney is not natural, not allowed??
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Old 12-23-2005, 05:47 AM  
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Did you say, "Ginger up the hiney"?!

And it is said Cowboys or "Western types" are rough.
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Old 12-23-2005, 07:09 AM  
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I've read about the ginger thing-on here somewhere. It makes the horse hold it's tail out and up higher-because it burns!
I think Saddlebred get the bad rep because they are very eager. I used to think they were a real handful too, then I got my Rocket. He's a big boy at 16.1hh and would be a lot of horse to handle IF he ever did get out of hand. Like Reba was saying about her Arab, Rocket is a looker and he knows it. He likes to put on a show. When you are tacking him up, he's fine until the saddle is all the way tight. Then he knows it's time to go. He starts to dance around and flare his nostrils. When you reach for the stirrup, he stands still. He'll prance around a bit when you're on him, but he's so easily controlled. To the best of my knowledge, Rocket was very shown, but he always thinks he's putting one on. His ears are always foward, neck way up high, tail out and up and nostrils flarring the whole ride. I think it's pretty to watch my mom ride him. I also would have to say, that Rocket is the smartest of the horses I have. You show him something one or two times and he's got it. I've also owned Arabs and I've never had a problem one. They too seem to like to work and the ones that I've had did get bored easily. We had to keep them going and teach them new things or they would lose interest. IMO, all horses are wonderful, but I don't show or anything like that, so I don't get as into the disciplines as a person who does show would have to.
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Old 12-23-2005, 10:02 AM  
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You have different personalities in every breed. Not all QH can work a cow or do western pleasure, just like not all TB can jump and not all saddlebreds can do 5-gaited.
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Old 12-23-2005, 10:09 AM  
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I honestly think gingering is not an issue anymore

Yes I agree JG-and the thing is that is where the training abuses generally come in-trying to bang a square horse into a round hole.
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Old 12-23-2005, 10:25 AM  
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I saw it alot with paint trainer I worked for. People with lots of money would get very angry with her when she told them that their horse could not compete in what they wanted. Can't you just make them do it. Well she wouldn't. And I think alot of trainers have so many nice natural horses that they have come to understand that it doesn't make any sence for them to struggle with one that can't.
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Old 12-23-2005, 03:30 PM  
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As a saddlebred trainer, supporter, breeder, and rider, I will say that I absolutely LOVE them!!!!

Lonearrow: yes, some are sedated while being transported, but that happens with all breeds. Some horses just are not good shippers. They like that wide-eyed look in the show ring. Yes, we do. I love the big, bright eyes, when I can see the whites of their eyes. They're alert and attentive. Not scared.

LiquidStarlight: Saying that ASBs are high stung and nervous is just another bad stereotype. They are one of the kindest breeds of horses I have ever met. VERY smart, alert, they have great personalities, they're very willing to do their job(s), and they do it with style! LOL

I have a wonderful ASB gelding who is 4; he is a wonderful lesson horse, wonderful trail horse and wonderful show horse. I have 8 saddlebreds of my own, including 2 western saddlebreds...they truly are a very versatile breed. I am still a firm believer in the saying that "show horses are born, not made." Riding a saddlebred is like driving a porshe.

EquineLaw78 & Renae: Wonderful post!!
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Old 12-23-2005, 03:55 PM  
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Lopin-wonderful post,glad you enjoy your horses-we all have our own favorites.
I do like it when people can discuss their breed without denegrating another.
I appreciate your info
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Old 12-23-2005, 04:46 PM  
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ToveroMom: Thanks for the kind words. The world sure would be boring if we all liked the same breed of horse!
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Old 12-23-2005, 05:10 PM  
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Personally, I hate breed stereotyping when it comes to disposition. I do think some breeds have higher or lower energy levels than others, just like some tend to be more or less muscular, or shorter, or taller. One can hardly argue that Arabs as a breed don't have great endurance or quarter horses don't excell at short bursts of speed and strength.

However I am a firm believer (from experience) that you can breed for disposition. I know breeders that raise "high strung" Arabs that are absolute pussycats. The Appaloosas I've raised for years are so gentlle that you can just jump on them and ride when they are 3.

There are always individual exceptions in horses, just as with any other animal. You can get a "bad seed" every once in a while. But, for the most part, I blame breeders for producing horses - of any breed - with poor dispositions. In my opinion, disposition should come first when selecting breeding stock, then you work in the other desireable traits. To me, breeding a perfect physical specimen with a poor disposition is just as much a failure as breeding undesireable physical traits.

Breeders should be more responsible and more selective in their choic of breeding stock, but we all know the almighty dollar rules.

The bottom line is if you run across a cantankerous ASB, Arab, or other high energy horse, it isn't because of the breed - it's because of the breeding.
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Old 12-23-2005, 06:05 PM  
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One can hardly argue that Arabs as a breed don't have great endurance

SO true! My polish arabian can go on forever! So can my 4 yr old western ASB...but yes, arabs have great endurance.

The bottom line is if you run across a cantankerous ASB, Arab, or other high energy horse, it isn't because of the breed - it's because of the breeding

Right. I wish more people thought like you!
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