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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Hi Elles,

You may find these books useful:

"The Typology of the Racehorse" by Franco Varola

"The Functional Development of the Thoroughbred" by Franco Varola

Amazon has them.

I can't judge a horse's phenotype from action photos, sorry.  However racing lots of times over long distances brings that wonderful thing--PROOF that he does have some toughness!

Performance is what matters.  Heart can overcome any number of grave conformation faults (Charismatic, won the Kentucky Derby & Preakness and broke down in the final stretch in the Belmont, he had the worst legs.) 

The Thoroughbred started racing in 4 mile heats, many races had 3 heats to determine the winner (12 miles at racing speed.)  THOSE horses were tough.

From looking at the pedigree it looks like the TB's are getting more line-bred than used to be approved.

I was looking at conformation photos of Black Apalachi's sire line. 

These horses look like they do not have much bone (the cannon bone under the knee) and I prefer bigger hocks.

Some of the more refined TB lines are VERY fast, and their blood has swamped TB racehorse breeding. 

I will be back late Sunday, off to see my grandson!  May you get other people commenting.

Hi Jackie,


Black Apalachi was going to race in this year's Grand National but he has a tendon problem. He is 12 years old now, there are three other 12 year old horses in this year's line up: 2011 Grand National horses

Comply Or Die, who won the Grand National in 2008, Hello Bud and and Royal Rosa. Comply Or Die is also by Old Vic, Hello Bud is a grandson of Alleged and Royal Rosa is grandson of Mill Reef with a lot of Prince Rose in/linebreeding. I quite like the type of Garde Royale, sire of Royal Rosa. 

But maybe you are right that today's horses do not have enough bone anymore and that there is too much speed and in/linebreeding..

Thank you for the names of the books,I might buy one of two. 

Red Rum may have been able to romp through the Grand Nationals by being light on his feet.  He sure looks like he could float when moving.
I just came across this horse Yeats, he races over distances up to 20 furlongs. I like his pedigree and conformation.

This is one of the very few TB stallions that has been approved by the Dutch warmblood studbook: Roven. He has proven that he can jump and he has a nice conformation. There are people in Holland that think that TB's are still needed in breeding warmblood horses and there are people who think that there is no need. Because they think that a TB does more damage then good. But especially during the 1960's and 1970's quite a lot of TB's stallions were used on the Gelderlander horses (Dutch carriage/light farm horse).

These are (some of?) Roven's offspring Offspring

I can see why they approved Roven.  He shouts quality without being weedy, and his joints are adequate. 

There are reasons for periodic infusions of hot blood (TB, Arab, Barb, Turkomen) blood into the European riding breeds.  Speed, jumping ability, endurance, and heart.  The warmblood breeders seem to be now using the TB like Europeans traditionally used the desert Arabian, picking only the very, very few specimens without major faults which could blend well with the European mare lines to make better riding horses, or, a century or so ago, better carriage horses.  By picking only the most perfect hot blood stallions in conformation, performance, and breeding ability, the European breeders can end up with the best of both worlds.

I think this hot blood crossing was done every few generations (3 or 4?) and was considered essential for the continued improvement of the riding breeds.  I applaud the warmblood breeders for being so picky about their approved outcross sires.    

Hi Jackie,


I hope you had a nice weekend with your grandchild.

Aren't there more Thoroughbred horses around like Roven I am wondering? Where there is one there must be more and maybe even better ones?!



I had the honour of meeting Red Rum and he didn't look like a sprinter to me even though he did win a few flat races at the beginning of his career! He was around 16.1hh and looked far more like the good old fashioned point-to-point horse which is what MOST good jump race horses are like. Good hurdlers (over smaller jumps) are definitely more like flat race horses. The Grand National is over 4 miles! A point-to-point is the original jump racing when the course went across country from one point to another - they still take place and are organised by local hunts all over the UK but in a modified form over a p-t-p racecourse. They are strictly amateur and not for professional jockeys. They are hugely popular and are well supported by the local population. Jump racing in the UK is known as National Hunt racing due to it's origins. TBs are brilliant at eventing because they stamina, power and speed. They definiotely have the edge over warmbloods in that field. Thery also make outstanding hunters. I've ridden a lot of TBs over the years and a good TB is unbeatable. Contrary to popular belief they certainly are not all scatty. Most horse problems, regardless of breed, are caused by thoughtless and inadequate owners :(

A book you might find interesting is "An Eye for a Horse" by Michael Schafer.  If this book was not influential in warmblood breeding (and I don't know if anyone else has read it!) it should have been.  It was first published in Germany in 1971 and has a discussion of stallions used in warmblood breeding at that time, including some TB's.

That sounds like an interesting book. Thank you for giving that name.

It is about time that we find some more Abgars, Ladykillers, Courvilles, Uppercuts, Erdballs and Lucky Boys ;-). Only a younger version that is.


I should also have mentioned Pericles.


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