Halter need and trail riding?

Not sure if this is in the right area… This is my first time posting on any forms so please forgive me if I am doing something wrong. I have a four-year-old gelding who is Halter bred. I do not have his papers in front of me but he has sierras tribute, kid clu, Sierra te, perpetualism, and several other halter champions. I do not show and will only be using him for trail riding. I was recently told that Halter bred horses do not make good riding horses. Is this true? He will not be beefed up or fed to make him heavy. Will that make a difference? He has recently been broke and has only been out of the round pen a few times. So far he has done great under saddle, but he has a very rough trot. Rougher than any horse I’ve been on. I was told this was because he doesnt have enough strength yet to trot smoothly because he is young. Could that be the case or is it because he is halter bred and will always be rough under saddle? Why is it that Halter horses do not make good riding horses?

This is all new to me. He Has the sweetest personality of any horse I’ve owned and I am really hoping to keep him for trail riding. Any information or advice would be really appreciated! Thank you

Welcome to COTH and the world of online posting! :slight_smile:

You didn’t say what breed he is. I am assuming QH because you talk about “halter-bred” horses by which I assume you mean horses bred for conformation more than/rather than performance. Or a Paint, maybe? I don’t recognize any of the names you mentioned.

What I can say is that a 4yo horse should have enough “strength” to trot! But I am assuming from what you say that he is very green. Was he worked under saddle in the round pen, with a rider? If not, very likely what whoever said “strength” meant is that he is still too green to have found his balance with a rider. I am guessing he was not bred for performance but only to look “good” standing in a halter in a showmanship/conformation class.

How are his feet in proportion to the rest of him? There is a QH stallion (I forget his name) whose get are notorious for having bad feet. Their feet are too small for their bodies. We had a QH who had this problem. Lovely body and head, small feet. He was a teenager when we got him and already had navicular.

Once we know what breed your horse is, and more about his round pen work, more of us will (hopefully) be able to give helpful feedback! :slight_smile:

I am wondering why you bought a conformation type for trail riding, but that is just me!

Thank you!

Yes he is a quarter horse. Very green broke. Only been rode out of the round pen 3 times. He was worked in round pen under saddle and with a rider. He has only had about 2 months of training. He can trot, it is just very rough. The farrier said his feet were fine and didn’t seem small to him.

The reason I got him is because I fell in love with his personality. He is extremely sweet and calm. When I got him I did not realize that halter bred horses had trouble as riding horses. I have never shown horses or even been around shows often. i just assumed he would grow to be a muscular horse because of his breeding but otherwise be a “normal” quarter horse as far as riding.

Do you think he is hard to sit while trotting because of his breeding, because of his age/lack of experience, or just because that’s the way he is?

[QUOTE=RPM;8166951]Welcome to COTH and the world of online posting! :slight_smile:

You didn’t say what breed he is. I am assuming QH because you talk about “halter-bred” horses by which I assume you mean horses bred for conformation more than/rather than performance. Or a Paint, maybe? I don’t recognize any of the names you mentioned.

What I can say is that a 4yo horse should have enough “strength” to trot! But I am assuming from what you say that he is very green. Was he worked under saddle in the round pen, with a rider? If not, very likely what whoever said “strength” meant is that he is still too green to have found his balance with a rider. I am guessing he was not bred for performance but only to look “good” standing in a halter in a showmanship/conformation class.

How are his feet in proportion to the rest of him? There is a QH stallion (I forget his name) whose get are notorious for having bad feet. Their feet are too small for their bodies. We had a QH who had this problem. Lovely body and head, small feet. He was a teenager when we got him and already had navicular.

Once we know what breed your horse is, and more about his round pen work, more of us will (hopefully) be able to give helpful feedback! :slight_smile:

I am wondering why you bought a conformation type for trail riding, but that is just me![/QUOTE]

If it makes you feel any better, quarter horses as a breed having racing roots are primarily all being cross trained when they’re used as pleasure riding or working horses.

It really comes down to the individual as to whether their particular combination of conformation and personality makes them suited to a particular task. A horse can be barrel bred up the wazoo and a useless barrel mount.

If you have a photo we might be able to help more, but a rough trot can be a bunch of things:

  1. post legged, or vertical/short pasterns will make a horse that will be very tough to get a gentle trot out of
  2. overly tight muscling (confo or developed) will prevent the relaxation that makes for soft footfalls
  3. a horse ridden too hard too young can learn to protect itself and end up moving roughly
    etc etc

Do you have any photos you can share? Here are my thoughts:

The “modern” Halter Horse has unfortunately not been bred for performance, rather, an odd set of conformation traits desired in the Halter pen - that are counter productive to having a sound and comfortable riding horse.

One of these traits are overly straight “post” legs, which tend to have very steep (vertical) pasterns, and steep shoulders - which leads to a rough, choppy, short strided horse.

A horse built LIKE THIS for example is not going to be comfortable or athletic under saddle. Legs are WAY too straight, with no slope (which creates reach, and smooth stride) to the pasterns, and overly straight hocks which cause the hind end to be weak (can’t push from behind).

Heavy bulky muscles makes for a horse that can have trouble cooling itself, makes them work harder to cover the same amount of ground, shortens their stride - and generally sucks the “endurance” out of them.

You just aren’t going to be able to get a big ground eating trot like THIS out of them. They just aren’t bred or built for it.

While its true a young horse won’t “give his back” and provide a nice, round easy to sit trot - It is physically impossible for a horse with post legs to have a nice smooth sweeping trot.

So - it depends - how “halter bred” does your horse look? Does he have the straight legs desired in the halter world?

Also, do you know your horse’s HYPP status? Some of the horses in his pedigree that you named off are HYPP carriers…

Unfortunately, some of the horses winning at QH halter right now are so improperly built in terms of the angles in their shoulders, pasterns, and hocks, that they do not have the anatomy to move correctly.

Google this string: “so rich so pretty fearles QH” and you will see an example of a foal so improper behind that she simply doesn’t have the angulation to move like a horse. Horses like this walk like a mechanical Barbie horse… a horse needs to be able to flex the hocks. And her sire has a similar stifle/hock configuration. You can find youtube videos of these classes and see the same.

WTH any QH judge would pin these horses in “conformation” is a mystery to me. I can only assume it’s from the influence of looking at too many beef cattle.

Hopefully your horse is not like this.

Oh my goodness, Appsolute, I have never seen pasterns or hocks like that! You posted a really good example, almost a textbook example of how a QH ought not to look. I am glad you posted that. That poor horse.

The other chestnut you posted is lovely! What a lovely trot too!

OP (stands for Original Poster, in this case you, Wnh100 :slight_smile: ), the stallion I was trying to think of earlier is Impressive. He is – only not a positive impression. Appsolute and poltroon sound a lot more knowledgeable about QH lines than I am. And I agree – we need pics of your guy.

Sweet and calm is definitely good in a trail horse! I’m just concerned about soundness in this case. That’s of major importance too! I am sorry the seller did not bother to tell you about the trail-riding prospects of this youngster.

I would suspect the horse is post legged behind, and too straight up front, too- there is no suspension in his skeletal structure.

Sierra Te was a nice horse but he’s been dead for 35 years. His influence is in the way-back machine :wink:

this is what wins in halter. You would never, ever want to ride these horses.
go to Clark Rassi QHs, and check out Fearles Playmate.

So straight behind they almost knuckle over at the fetlock!

I am tempted to take up Clark Rassi QHs website’s invitation to please e-mail them and say I am new to QHs and am looking for a trail prospect but being used to gaited horses I need educating about conformation. What about those pasterns and hocks? And see what, if any, reply I get! :wink:

[QUOTE=poltroon;8167070]
Google this string: “so rich so pretty fearles QH” and you will see an example of a foal so improper behind that she simply doesn’t have the angulation to move like a horse. Horses like this walk like a mechanical Barbie horse… a horse needs to be able to flex the hocks. And her sire has a similar stifle/hock configuration. You can find youtube videos of these classes and see the same.[/QUOTE]

Uff - yeah, the “Clark Rassi” quarter horses literally turn my stomach - they have successfully bred mutants, which do not have the bodies to live long, healthy, pain free - let alone useful lives.

http://www.clarkrassi.com/main.html

And they WIN - SHAME on AQHA judges. The beef industry demands better conformation of their bulls, than AQHA does of their halter horses.

Any way - sorry to derail in a way OP - but the AQHA Halter industry as really taken a terrible turn. Much like dog breeds bred for extremes - short snouted dogs with breathing and eyes popping out problems etc - some of these halter horses are bred to such extreme confirmations, that they are no longer sound for just about any purpose.

Well, and look at WP horses. Sound? Maybe, but no other western horses move like them. (Thank goodness.)

But getting back to OP’s original theme …

OMG. Their new winners page is even more horrifying.

My equine artist friends and I used to talk about equine anatomy to people, and a phrase we used was, “in a real horse, you can take correct anatomy for granted.” Apparently we were wrong.

And note that all the wins they brag about are in halter. Not a single one that involves carrying a person around in any capacity.

Hopefully OP’s horse is a washout from a halter program and is more useful than these horses.

bam bam bam
snatch snatch snatch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI0eUhitWlc

or ride a horse bred for the job
https://youtu.be/r7SJ6aQx9KU

[QUOTE=Wnh100;8166881] Why is it that Halter horses do not make good riding horses?

[/QUOTE]

As others have said, it would be most useful to see some pictures of your horse. Post legs and extremely small feet just don’t seem to “hold up” to the stress of regular riding, and doesn’t make for a very smooth ride. Of course, it’s not a blanket statement that halter horses don’t make good riding horses as it depends what caliber you are talking about. As others have already said, something like this is not the type of horse you are going to trail ride on. Their body has been “engineered” to stand there and look pretty; not actually work.

Your guy could be rough for a number of reasons (maybe needs a chiro adjustment or maybe saddle doesn’t fit right, etc), or it could be due to his conformation. Plus, some horses are simply rougher than others.

My old horse was “halter-bred” but he was put together very nicely and had very nice gaits.
http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k27/r_beau/Horse%20pictures/6-21-08Mandan.jpg
http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/ravishing+beau

[QUOTE=RPM;8167134]Well, and look at WP horses. Sound? Maybe, but no other western horses move like them. (Thank goodness.)

[/QUOTE]

On the flip side, it’s not every day that you hear of WP horses dying like you do in eventing.
shrug

[QUOTE=beau159;8167382] On the flip side, it’s not every day that you hear of WP horses dying like you do in eventing.
shrug[/QUOTE]

Well - thats a consequence of the sport - not necessarily breeding. While I do not personally know any event horses that have lost their lives in the pursuit of competition, I do know a good number of WP horses that are permanently unsound before their 10th birthday - navicular disease and work under saddle at 18 months of age caught up with them.

I LIKE Quarter Horses - but the good ol’ all round horses that the breed was meant to exhibit. Not these “specialist” - halter horses built in such freaky ways that they could never be ridden. WP horses bred for toe first landing, and trained too hard at young ages - again, too much specialization.

Just like I disagree with breeding extremes into dogs, I disagree with breeding these extremes into horses - its setting them up for a life with pain - all for “looks” which is immoral in my mind.

Can’t be any worse than the broodmare page - check out “Shez Not Guilty”. She has the most horrifying hind quarters + post legs + roach back that I have ever seen. (interestingly enough, she is now owned by a beef cattle breeder).

http://www.clarkrassi.com/main.html

[QUOTE=Appsolute;8167444]
Can’t be any worse than the broodmare page - check out “Shez Not Guilty”. She has the most horrifying hind quarters + post legs + roach back that I have ever seen. (interestingly enough, she is now owned by a beef cattle breeder).

http://www.clarkrassi.com/main.html[/QUOTE]

Oh my god, they do actually look like cows.

Thank you all for your replies! I have pictures. How do you post them?

[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Appsolute;8167054]Do you have any photos you can share? Here are my thoughts:

The “modern” Halter Horse has unfortunately not been bred for performance, rather, an odd set of conformation traits desired in the Halter pen - that are counter productive to having a sound and comfortable riding horse.

One of these traits are overly straight “post” legs, which tend to have very steep (vertical) pasterns, and steep shoulders - which leads to a rough, choppy, short strided horse.

A horse built LIKE THIS for example is not going to be comfortable or athletic under saddle. Legs are WAY too straight, with no slope (which creates reach, and smooth stride) to the pasterns, and overly straight hocks which cause the hind end to be weak (can’t push from behind).

Heavy bulky muscles makes for a horse that can have trouble cooling itself, makes them work harder to cover the same amount of ground, shortens their stride - and generally sucks the “endurance” out of them.

You just aren’t going to be able to get a big ground eating trot like THIS out of them. They just aren’t bred or built for it.

While its true a young horse won’t “give his back” and provide a nice, round easy to sit trot - It is physically impossible for a horse with post legs to have a nice smooth sweeping trot.

So - it depends - how “halter bred” does your horse look? Does he have the straight legs desired in the halter world?

Also, do you know your horse’s HYPP status? Some of the horses in his pedigree that you named off are HYPP carriers…

You have to “host” them somewhere else first. Put the photos on facebook, or photobucket, or any other online photo storage page.

then copy and past the link to a post.

For example - I have a picture on FB I want to share - but do not want to link directly to my FB page for privacy reasons. I will open the picture on FB, RIGHT click on it, choose “open image in new tab”

And then I copy and paste the URL from the new tab

Like this!:

https://scontent-dfw1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtf1/v/t1.0-9/10653586_10154310313822837_4878939596093954854_n.jpg?oh=6ca7e40490c2af3f1e1518fb8d6cbc68&oe=55F39F58

I don’t know what hypp is. I do not know his status for that though…

Is there anyway to do it from a mobile phone with pictures I have on my iPhone ? Otherwise I will have to wait until tomorrow when I am at work