Have you ever heard the phrase, “horses for courses”? In the racing world, this means certain horses suit certain race lengths and tracks. However, as far as picking a horse for your equine needs remember that certain horse types suit specific riding activities.
Important Considerations when Picking a Horse
- Many types of horse compete at grass root level
- The higher you progress the more important it is that your horse is built for the job he is performing
Unusual horse types do compete at a high level, but these horses are very unusual. It is hard to find an elite competition horse so if you want to reach the top, look at horses built for the job.
The Horse required for the Grass Roots Competitor
These horses are usually between 15hh and 16hh and are the sort we call “good all-rounders”. Remember, smaller horses are usually sounder and hardier than tall horses so why go for a big horse when a 15.2hh horse will meet your needs. In England, these horses typically have some pony blood and Irish connections. Others are crossed between Warmbloods or Thoroughbreds and ponies. Some are Anglo-Arab horses or Arabians crossed with pony blood. Many of these smaller horses have hybrid vigour. So what is hybrid vigour?
A Horse with the Correct Conformation will stay Sounder
If a horse is built for his job he will find it easier to perform and he will generally stay sounder. There will be less wear and tear on his body. In addition, look for a horse with serviceable legs and feet without significant conformational issues. Although there is no such thing as a perfectly made horse, avoid significant structural deviations.
The Horse Required for the Serious Competitor
Arabians and Anglo-Arabs dominate. The horse must be small, with a short back, a light frame, and a good strength to weight ratio.
Warmblood and Irish horses with a high percentage of Thoroughbred blood and actual Thoroughbreds dominate. The horse must be bold with the desire to gallop and jump. He must also move well for the dressage phase.
Warmblood and Irish horses dominate, but they are typically bigger built than event horses with less thoroughbred blood and do not need to be galloping machines. The horse must be a careful jumper with the scope to jump big tracks with wide spreads.
Warmblood horses dominate this discipline. A natural balance with cadence and the ability to extend are all extremely important.
Quarter horses dominate with various lines bred for different intended uses. These are the horses for reining, cutting, barrel racing, bulldogging, and any other western activity.
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