Personal Opinion About Horses: A Horse is a Horse?

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Popular opinion is that the Quarter Horse is the best overall western style competition and pleasure horse. Conversely, in the past I have talked to other active horsemen who said that one or another of their various breeds of horses performed better than the Quarter Horses they owned. I have 4 horses: 2 Quarter Horses named Buck and Scout, 1 Thoroughbred named Bugsy, and 1 Rocky Mountain Ranger named Jack. For the purposes of this paper we will only take into consideration the two horses that are in condition for, and train to compete; Scout the Quarter Horse and Jack the Rocky Mountain Ranger. The only slight differences are their ages, sizes and breed specific abilities. Other than those qualities, they are essentially the same. They get the same types of feeds, live in the same conditions and get, essentially, the same exercise and training. They are close to each other in both experience and talent; Scout has been through 3 seasons of competition and Jack has been through 2. The only significant difference between them is just that, themselves. Although it’s in contravention to accepted wisdom; I’ve found that of the two, Jack is far and above the best all around western style horse I’ve ever sat. I’ve been keeping horses for almost forty years. The one thing that makes horses such a pleasure to keep is that they need to be kept in a routine. Whether it’s feeding, training, or just pleasure riding; they need to be kept in some sort of regular pattern or they get confused and antsy. My horses get put under saddle for training twice a week, every week. They each get around an hour apiece, per session. During that time they go through a standard set of patterns; and then some unique work, since they have their ... ... middle of paper ... ...eager to please, almost like a half-ton dog. Scout on the other hand uses both a saddle and reins with a bit. While this doesn’t detract from his natural abilities; it doesn’t make him unique like Jack. Scout can, and has, won his share of competitions; but never in freestyle. I’ve tried freestyle on Scout and he doesn’t quite get that the normal running pattern doesn’t apply. This makes him hesitate and cuts both time and points. So, in the end, Jack does everything that Scout does, only for the sheer love of it. He and I have won awards that old guys with short horses just don’t win. Jack, more so than Scout, actually makes me look like a good rider. Jack would never win a fight between the two of them; but he is a better competition horse. He is proof that it’s not the type of horse you have that counts; it’s simply the horse you have that counts.

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