Good or bad for breeding riding horses (Quarter horses, jumpers, dressage horses, etc.)?

I have come here  to find out as much as I can on this subject.

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This is an old listing: But a number of those stallions are still in service.

What made me thinking was this: Thoroughbred article

I can remember a time in around the 1960's and 1970's that Dutch people purchased horses from Ireland for riding. There are the most wonderful TB horses to be found in Ireland and ofcourse the wonderful Irish Draught and I find it a bit shocking that nowadays everywhere people only seem to ride warmbloods. Warmbloods also often have quite a bit of TB blood. The same goes for Quarter horses. But a lot of people are quite suspicious of TB's it seems.

Is there no longer a role for TB's for the breeding of riding horses? 

William Micklem has several blog posts on this site about using TB blood in riding horses, including the overwhelming amount of TB blood in some of the top Warmbloods that win internationally.

Many of the racing QH's have TB blood up close.  QH registry still will register a 1/2 TB 1/2 QH as QH, possibly in the Apendix registry.  I'm not too familiar with QHs of today.

Riding a TB can be a challenge, when I was young the progression was half-bred, 3/4 bred, and then when you got to be a good enough rider you went TB.  It is just that a full TB can accelerate so fast, and keep on accelerating that seems to scare people.  Plus a lot of them do not seem to be very people oriented. 

My riding teacher likes starting off her 4-H kids on Arabs, then when they learn to ride she starts looking for a good TB for them to ride and compete on.  This way her kids are always well mounted.

I'm hooked on riding Arabs, but my next choice is the TB.

I invited William to join this discussion. He wrote back to me that I already know his few by reading his writings. I joined this board because of his writings. His articles caught my interest. 

My second reply.  While reading the article I was thinking that today's TB basically no longer regularly competes over 1 1/2 miles.  Does any race track run 2 mile races any more?  With no testing over longer races the need to breed for endurance disappears. 

I have also noticed an increase in refinement of the TB's, and along with the prettier, more refined head comes smaller joints.  These smaller joints are probably one of the reasons the TB does not always cross as well with other breeds for sport horses.

One of my riding teacher's students had gotten a drop-dead gorgeous TB mare.  One day the 14.3 Arab I was riding was standing next to this circa 15.2 TB mare and I noticed that the Arab's knee and hock joints were MUCH broader than the taller mare's knees and hocks.  For sport horses broad knee and hock joints are a good thing usually, and if the TB is no longer breeding these broad, strong joints, it is a very valid reason not to use the TB as an outcross anymore.

I would not outcross with a super-refined TB (or Arab).  They may have pretty heads but a pretty head won't keep the rest of the body going after that 5th mile at a gallop.

I am wondering if most TB's have small joints and how much of a problem that is.
Living in the Netherlands I do not get to see a lot of TB's because there aren't many.
I know that in the UK and Ireland longer races are being run but those are mostly races over jumps.

Three Bars (TB) had an impressive influence on the Quarter horse breed. Conformation wise I think he would not have looked bad in a warmblood breeding programme.

Three Bars

This is where the wonder of the internet comes into use.

There are a LOT of horse pictures on the net.  Luckily for us when the TB stallion owners publicize their stallions they usually include a conformation photo with the horse standing square.  Spend time getting the "look" in your mind's eye, then look at the warmbloods (either conformation photos or in person) and educate your eye there.

British and Irish horsemen used to breed strains of the TB that had substance and endurance.  Plain headed big jointed tough horses that could go hunting all day.  The Byerly Turk (through Herod) was the top line for substance and endurance in the 1800's & 1900's, but partly because these horses were ugly and partly because these horses were not sprinters this sire line is dying out a TB stakes winners.

The funny thing is that it is said about Red Rum, the horse that won the Grand National (over 2 miles long and with huge jumps) three times and came in second twice, was built like a sprinter.

Red Rum


Still there are people that believe TB's can be influential in sport horse breeding, a lot of sport horses have a high dose of TB blood. Influential TB's

Breeding performance horses

Oooh, I like Red Rum!  Looks more like a miler to me, but the steeplechase horses can be different.  Besides, reasonably fit, he'd probably have no difficulty fox-hunting all day.

I have recently come to the reluctant conclusion that the TB has been ruined.  Littauer, back in the 1930's---1970's, among other authors, bemoaned the faulty TB temperment but had no doubt of the horse's ability to run, jump, and do dressage as well as race on the flat or over jumps.  Their main problems seemed to come from the early breaking.  It seems to be different nowadays. 

Personally, if I was looking for a TB warmblood sire I would go to Chile or Argentina.  IF they have kept their old lines they have robust TB blood still.

What do you think of this horse Black Apalachi He raced a lot of times and over long distances.

Sadler's Wells


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