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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 27, 2011
    where metro meets the mountains

    Default Nature vs. Nurture

    Reading another post where some people were talking about great racehorses don't always produce good offspring, and this made a long-time question pop back into my head. All of the racehorse gurus on here, I'd love to get your insight and feedback.

    What are your thoughts on nature versus nurture when it comes to good race horses? Do you think the talent comes mostly from the horse's genes, or is it sometimes a culmination of their upbringing and finding the right trainer that is able to bring out the talent? What about those with exceptional breeding, but just don't run? Could it maybe be because they just didn't niche well with their trainer(s)? Etc., etc. Just curious...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2007
    Down on the Farm


    In a nutshell, it's a crapshoot. Although the odds are better when you start with a horse that's well bred. Add in an excellent trainer who has good riders, grooms, etc and your odds go up again. Rule out injuries and up the odds again.

    There are always the exceptions though...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2011
    Just west of BFE


    There is no proven formula, unfortunately. I know that 'blood on top' is a time honored phrase, but I feel the mare raising the baby has alot to do with their overall attitude. Meek, submissive mares tend to have foals lower on the totem pole, the bitchy, bossy mares, tend to create alpha babies. This is not according to any study, just the things I have noticed over the years. I often wonder about the babies out of great mares that are out on nurse mares, so they don't drag down expensive mama. Is there any evidence that they end up more docile?

    Training is huge. There are so many different ways to view the training of a horse. A highly individualized program is popular with some. They want each horse to have a chance. There are many trainers that have a formula and the horse fits to the formula and wins, or the horse doesn't fit the formula, and ends up with a bad record. Some horses overcome all kinds of idiocy, and some never get the chance. The odds that one big time trainer, who got lots of 2yo out of training sales gave for his operation was this: Out of every 10 2yos, he hoped 7 would make it to the races, 5 would be winners, and 2 would be good horses.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Saddle View Post
    Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2003
    Flint Hill, Virginia


    Is there some report/citation of how many/etc. of the good racehorses are alpha foals? Are any of them *not* alpha/top dog?
    I've often wondered about all this, too.
    I've worked with lots of foals, lots of yearlings, lots of 2 yo, 3 yo, older veterans, etc. but rarely have gotten to see a single horse thru the whole process.
    * -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.

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