Xpost: Anyone turned a Western QH into a 2nd field hunt horse?
Long story short, my Mom wants to start riding with me , and I've found a really broke, quiet QH who's shown Western and English (but it's more like Western under English tack-LOL!) that I'm thinking about for her. He's really slow and steady ("headset" isn't like a peanut roller/super low, it's level with his withers) and has the gaits that will be easy on her body! But my question is, has anyone ever turned one of these types into a 2nd field hunt horse, maybe jumping some stuff under 2'6" along the way? Thinking about the future and wondering if this could be something I could have some fun with a few years down the road? Would love to hear any stories, successes, failures!
He's build pretty stout, and has an "ample rear" LOL!
Absolutely! As a matter of fact, I've turned a couple of stock type QHs into first class staff horses as well.
As long as the horse has the brains and athletic ability, breed shouldn't matter!
My current project for hunting is a 14.2 foundation bred mare who's nearly as wide as she is tall. She has a head full of sense and is going to be great. She has a strong self preservation instinct. She isn't going to hurt herself, therefore, she isn't going to hurt me!
AB - SO - LUTELY!!! A well trained western horse is a gem to hunt imho! Don't hesitate! And QH's make great fieldhunters! Happens all the time around here and many parts of the country. Tb's get all the publicity but the Qh's are always there.
A good horse is a good horse! Some folks overthink it - don't!!
Not sure what my guy (see his profile pic) did before I got him (for a song...). I was told he had "too much engine" for a lesson pony. No doubt he had a Western saddle on him before I had him. We have several QHs at our hunt...they are all solid citizens. Enjoy him!
Last edited by Beau's mom; Sep. 12, 2011 at 12:46 PM.
I sure hope so. My guy is a former western QH much like you describe the one you're considering for your Mom. I adore him, and I hope he and I will be hilltopping next season.
He's learning to jump. Neither of us know how, so we're working with a trainer. We've only done tiny crossrails and cavaletti so far, but I think he's doing fine. He hasn't refused or cat-leaped anything, anyway.
He's one of those guys who really just wants to figure out what you're asking him to do, and then do it. I love my QH.
"We're only trying to understand what you want, people. If we're not supposed to actually lunge at you, you need to name it something else." - Dear Murray
Yes, several. First flight, second flight, whipping in, hunting hounds, they all did it all, pretty much. One for 20 seasons beginning at age 6 (after successful WP show career). One started hunting at age 26 to pack my 4 yo son around. All except this last jumped anything and everything (including wire and gates) up to 4 feet and in trappy surroundings. So no worries.
You bet. Willie, my wife's horse of a lifetime was a 15'2 QH that she bought off the knacker's outlot several years ago. We never were able to trace his history, but it was clear that he was trained for reining and cutting. He was nimble, quick, smart, and game.
She started him in H/J and then on to 10 years of Eventing. They won everything that wasn't nailed down around here for several years at the Training level. That means great dressage and big enough jumps to get your attention on tough ground.
They capped in with our local hunt over the years and he seemed to understand it right away. He was a fun and easy ride in the hunt field. We lost him to EPM 9 years ago and he cannot be replaced.
Riley, my current hunt horse is also a registered QH. We bought him as a 9 year old and he was a wonderful event horse. He was not trained western but has been my hunt horse for 7 seasons. At 16'2 he has a big stride and really can cover ground. He is spirited, safe, sane, has that 5th. leg we are all looking for, and just loves hounds and hunting. He pulls me to the trailer on hunt mornings and does not want to come home until all of the other horses are already loaded onto their trailers.
So, have fun with your QH! Given an opportunity he will give you everything you are looking for.
Absolutely, last year we rode two Quarter Horse mares in our (and their) first year of hunting and they were absolute gems. Both mares worked cattle in Oklahoma and one had shown AQHA Western Pleasure but both had great, sensible personalities and were easy-going from day one. Never balked at or looked twice at hounds, standing at checks, other horses racing past, etc. My husband is a novice rider but had a great year on our 15.2hh buckskin QH. She took care of him all season and was excited to get on the trailer every time we went - she absolutely loved hunting and would attentively listen and watch for hounds at the checks. We had moved up to second flight and were jumping small logs (neither mare had any previous jumping experience) by the end of the season. We have a new, bigger horse with more hunting and jumping experience for my husband to ride this year (and for me to steal on the days he can't come!) and I'll be riding the buckskin QH. We only made a change because husband is 6'2" and was really too big for the mare. Don't overlook the Quarter Horse in the hunt field - they've got the brains and nature to handle it and make sure every one has a good time!
He sounds like the perfect type to take care of your mother out in the hunt field! I just STOLE my daughter's QH (western pleasure, turned dressage horse, turned kid mount...) to hunt for the first time at a joint meet two weeks ago!
I HAVE NEVER HAD SOOOO MUCH FUN!!! Oh, I have had a blast on every horse I've sat upon in the hunt field, but never before has my mount had as much fun as I, the first time out! Never once did I have to worry about him taking a step wrong, stressing over horses around him, and he was listening to and searching for hounds working in the woods in a nano second!
A good Quarter Horse with a good brain and easy gaits are more than likely a wonderful option for someone looking to take it easy in the hunt field as they're learning the ropes!
We have many Quarter horses in our hunt who have come from ranch work to fox hunting. Both horses that one Master whips off of are at home pushing cattle in the feedlot or jumping a coop. Your Mom's horse sure seems to have the core traits I enjoy in a hunting horse.
That being said, each horse is different and it comes down to the horse's reaction to the sights and sounds of the hunt field. 12 years ago I spent a season hunting a QTR horse of ours who was as multi-diciplined a horse as you could find- 100% trustworthy on trail rides, parades, indoor shows where you unload, tack up, warm up in a little bitty spot then show and so on. Fox hunting, well, that made him come unglued (just hilltopping and non-jumping second fliight!)and so after one season we stopped. That was the one gift he didnt have.
(Raises hand) Yep, my QH was broke to rope and cut cattle before I bought him. I ride him both English and Western and we are in our 2nd season hilltopping. He's brilliant on his feet, takes good care of me and I adore him.
I second what everyone else says about QH having just as much potential as any other breed. If he is the stocky type, just remember that he may need more work & time to get fit than your average TB type. That's something that many people tend to overlook - make sure he is fit for what you're asking of him in the hunt field. But they do tend to have good,quiet minds and he may be perfect for a 2nd field horse ! When it comes to hunting - it's all about their minds and you'll never know for sure until they in IN the hunt field. God luck !