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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2010
    Western NY

    Default QH temperament

    Would any qh experts out there care to comment? All my previous horses (not qh) have been so opinionated. This guy is so mellow. I'm loving it, really. And he's the first easy keeper I've had in a long time, and so personable. Are they all like this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2003


    I'm a h/j rider who somehow ended up riding QHs at a QH barn. Well, it's very close and my life is very busy, so it fits. I am now in love with the breed.

    They truly are amazing, great personalities/temperaments. I just wish they were a bit taller, on the whole.

    Enjoy your wonderful horse, HP.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
    South Carolina


    Mine's an easy keeper. And he's definitely got personality. Whose, we're not sure. I sometimes wonder who he might've been in a past life but I reckon I'm happier not knowing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007


    You can get the taller quarter horses, but generally those have more TB % in them and so also a bit more of the TB and less of the qh temperament, maybe.

    I am sure if you look long enough you can find a horse of any breed with whatever temperament you like.

    The TBs we trained and raced we retrained after racing as ranch horses and once working cattle and fat, you could not tell them apart from the others as easily.
    The larger ones we sold for fox hunters in the East, as many as we could find.

    I think that if you want an English type horse, some of today's short qh, that move like they have square tires, would not work for that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007


    Not every QH is like that.

    But some working rancher a long time ago said "Let's breed the Labrador Retriever of horses." And his buddies said, "Yeah, I bet I could wring a lot of work out of a horse that always liked me and ever said No."

    QH's can be reactive (though "convinceable" that they should return to the realm of thinking). Some can be cold-blooded, tough SOBs. That's mellowness used against you.

    But by and large, they want to please and think about how to do that (as well as preserve themselves.) And more often than not, the horse that's affectionate like a dog is a QH.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2006


    HP do you have a link to his bloodlines? IME a lot can depend on that, and their training/upbringing.

    Personally I'm a fan of the more old school foundation lines in QHs. The more modern QHs have a lot of TB blood (and I love TBs) but they often have a TB brain, and the QH trainers sometimes burn them out pretty good. I had two Appendix QHs that were WP rejects and man were they fried.

    Also some of the more cutting/reining bred types can be hotter, and quick... I've seen a few end up in lesson programs and people are always surprised at how they can spook-n-spin!

    My first horse was a Skipper W QH, loved him dearly, and I grew up at a barn that had a large contingent of people who did AQHA.... so my heart is definitely with the breed in a lot of ways.

    Ok now we need pics of your new dude!
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

  7. #7


    My QH is super hot and can be a big @$$. He's fun to ride - but beginner beware - he'll unload you asap if you annoy him.

    My TB, on the other hand is very relaxed for the most part - I even took him in an extreme trail clinic! We might not have fared as well with my QH.
    Last edited by Bluesy; Mar. 27, 2012 at 12:56 AM.
    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
    Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2005
    Eventing Heaven, VA


    My first fall as a kid was off a QH, he used that quick athleticism QHs can have to execute a sliding stop/teleport to escape from some sparrows in a bush by the ring. Sweet little bugger, but he was reactive!

    I've also ridden TBs that you couldn't get moving forward with a whip, roweled spurs and a legion of hungry zombies behind them.

    It really depends on what lot they've been dealt in life, but most QHs I've known are definitely people-pleasers. Honestly, I'm a dyed-in-the-blood Thoroughbred person, but I wouldn't pass up a nice QH or Appendix QH at all. My first horse was App QH and one of the biggest hearted horses I've ever known.
    Why do I work two jobs to support a horse I don't have time to ride?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2006
    Williamston, NC


    It all depends upon the blood lines, training, socialization, etc. Many are quiet, old shoe type souls, who are extremely easy to abuse with too many demands, etc., etc. Others are firey, hotheads and no sense at all. Many simply fall between the two ends. Honestly QH are like any other breed -- a mix.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2007


    I've had a number of QHs. I think a lot of it has to do with breeding.

    The first that I rode as a kid was a bull-dog type. He loved me. I loved him. We were a team and he looked out for me, but I was a kid and what did I know.

    My first that I owned was a Leo-bred ex-halter horse. He was a grumpy old gelding even when he was young. A hard worker; though. A great horse.

    I had an Impressive-bred 16.3hh behemoth. He was like a big baby who just wanted to be loved.

    My next one was by Easily Asset. Not too smart but very very sweet who only wanted to do the right thing.

    Then I rode a Sunny Dee Bar gelding who was very stubborn but would work for you if he liked you.

    My last one was a modern-bred gelding by a Bett Ohio son. He was super smart and totally opinionated. He only wanted to do what he wanted to do, which was not what I wanted to do. I ended up giving him to someone who wanted to do what he wanted to do and everyone was happy.

    I've also ridden a Doc-bar bred gelding - super nice and easy to work with. And a Boston Mac son who was a pain to break (I didn't do it) but then he was a total superstar and would do anything for his rider.

    I hope that helps.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2006
    Some Beach Somewhere


    In my experience both temperament and whether they are easy keepers or not has a lot to do with how they are bred ...and the QH breed these days is often bred to specialize, but in very different arenas. I ride reiners and in my experience some off the bloodlines tend to be much harder keepers than others (our Smart Chic Olena horses tend to drop weight easily while our Hollywood Jac horse like to stay plump quite easily). As far as temperament, my stallion is a son off Trashadeous who is know for throwing babies that can be a bit on the tough side. Mine is a puppy dog on the ground, but super smart and reactive under saddle. This can be really good in the show pen for the reiners, but can go wrong in a hurry if pushed too hard too fast. He would never make it as a rail horse though.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006


    I've seen more people bucked off of qh's than tb's. I'm glad you got a laid back guy, some of them are pigs!
    "All top hat and no canter". *Graureiter*

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2008


    first: depends on how they are bred

    second: depends on how they are handled

    third: depends on what you want to do.

    Western Pleasure horses are bred to be quiet and slow. Generally speaking they have the type of temperament you are seeing. Not always, but usually.

    Reining and spooky

    HUS: lots of taller, leaner type horses, some of which have a slightly hotter temperament.

    Halter: I haven't decided if the reason they can be so explosive is because they are kept 300# over weight, or if it is more the breeders don't care about handle-a bility.

    I have a AQHA mare, she's just turned 4. W Pleasure bred and pretty as can be. VERY self confident both under saddle and in the pasture. A little combative if she does not like another horse. We're working on it. However, she glides when she moves with a level headset naturally. I find her a joy, I think her last trainer did not.

    I have a Solid Paint bred mare, that is mostly QH bred. She is halter on the bottom and W. Pleasure on top (Snazzy Story x Story Man). Quiet, steady,confident and spook-less. I think she's spooked 3x on me in the last 4.5 years. It's simply too much work to spook. When she did, she startled in place and there was no running off.

    Daughter has a QH gelding, cutting bred. Holy moley there's a lotta horse under her when she's on him. He can do some serious bucking when he wants to, nearly standing on his head. He's built like a Mack truck, has a booty on him that....well, lets just say it's generous. Plus he's really fearless, but I think he enjoys spooking and spinning. I'm certain his issues are a combination of breeding (his mama isn't right) and lack of adequate handling for the first three years. depends.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2011
    Waaaaay back Slaughter Holler


    I am a long time QH person and can't imagine owning anything else. I have 3 "Steady Eddie" QH geldings that I adore. They are all Doc Olena bloodlines and were bred to work cattle. My guys are the type you can throw out in the pasture for six months and then get on them one day without lounging them and expect them to not be total whack jobs that want to kill you.

    My show cutter has NCHA earnings and will crawl through the dirt to work a cow, yet I wouldn't hesitate to put an inexperienced rider on him because he is that dependable. The trainer who bred him trusted him enough to have her young children cool him out after a training session, but he was one of the most athletic horses she told me she had ever sat on.

    I have another, who I have used a my turnback or "helper" horse in the cutting pen. He is great on the trail and my "go to" horse for relaxation.

    I also have a youngster I am bringing along who was purchased from the Penn State breeding program as a two year old and has done nothing until recently. He is one of the smartest and most non-reactive horses I have ever ridden. Absolutely nothing scares him, but much of that I attribute to his Penn State upbringing. He is the first at the gate daily, begging to get worked.

    I had to put my first cutter down about 4 years ago and he was another outstanding individual. He not only packed my future husband around, who had never really ridden before, but also my trail riding buddy's husband. He taught me much in the cutting pen but also helped me regain my passion for riding after losing it due to fear issues.

    I have owned an absolute b***h QH mare, who was not worth the cost of the bullet to put her down with, even though she was drop dead gorgeous.

    I think it is like any other breed- there are good and bad. I am really lucky to have the horses I do in my barn and am thankful for them every day.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2005
    New England


    I have a Two Eyed Jack granddaughter that I adore. Smart,athletic,levelheaded and an absolute joy to start and train. She is a smooth ride. You can see her watching you all the time, waiting to see what you want her to do. She comes up to the gate and literally sticks her head into her halter when you hold it out. She likes to work.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2010


    Yes and no... the nastiest, meanest mare ever met was a very well bred quarter horse out of foundation lines. She was handled well and treated kindly and would still strike out with the intent to hurt. Beautiful and great under saddle, just stay out of the way on the ground.
    My girl is an appendix and is wonderful, she was abused and fearful when I got her. After the training issues she is the best horse I have ever ridden. TB work ethic and typical quarter horse mind. Have had a paint with foundation quarter horse lines that is now a babysitter for his new owners. Wonderful, in your pocket type.
    Another example, two half brothers. Both ranch quarter horses, one a sweet kind horse and the other would try to rip your arm off. Same handling, same training and same owner. Guy was really good and they never had a bad hand on them, one was just crazy.
    A GOOD quarter horse or cross is amazing and will be the best horse you will ever have, however a bad one is a death wish.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2007
    Central VA


    I have two Appendix QH geldings. The old guy, who I've had for 14 years, is a total doll. He's the sweetest, most gentle horse. Everyone loves him, and I dread the day that he's no longer around (he's 25ish). He's my best bud. When he was sound and rideable, he was fun but opinionated and we often had battles of wills when he was convinced "his" way was the "right" way.

    I've had the new kid for about a year and he has a good work ethic (though he's inherently lazy) and is usually very quiet. However, as I learned a month or so, he also has a BIG spook when he wants to-- that athleticism is great until it manifests in a "OMG" spook n' spin! We're attempting lower level dressage and I'm having a lot of fun with him. He's actually built uphill and has good gaits for a QH.

    I have had TB's and straight QH's also and have to say, I prefer the Appendix.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2005
    Strasburg, PA "Just west of Paradise"


    Quote Originally Posted by HPFarmette View Post
    Would any qh experts out there care to comment? All my previous horses (not qh) have been so opinionated. This guy is so mellow. I'm loving it, really. And he's the first easy keeper I've had in a long time, and so personable. Are they all like this?
    Our two, have been easy keepers... that said temperment polar opposites.

    My wifes horse,mare, retired reiner, very mellow. Mine dominant, bossy, alpha mare of the herd they are in (mixed breed herd of 7, 4 geldings, 3 mares)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    You can get the taller quarter horses, but generally those have more TB % in them and so also a bit more of the TB and less of the qh temperament, maybe.
    Both our QHs are foundation. Mine is 93% and its Three Bars that is TB that shows up once 6 generations back, and once 7 gen back. She a big girl and some of that TB did show up. She is taller then my wife's horse. Her temperment possibly from a prior owner (when she was 2-3) that had her in a larger herd, where she learned to move other horses.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 2004
    Eastern Kansas


    Overall, QH ARE known for their willing disposition, but, as others mentioned, genetics can definitely play into temperament. Having mostly owned, trained, and ridden QHs (and a couple paints thrown in) since I upgraded from ponies as a kid, it's interesting how temperaments can run the gamut within bloodlines, as well. I.e., totally soured by a ticking timebomb of an Impressive/Two Eyed Jack granddaughter I dealt with for 8 years that eventually sent me to the ER. Plenty of people avoid anything Impressive, and some people say TEJ's can be tough, but I've met people over the years with perfectly lovely horses by the same cross.

    Currently own:

    -16yr old gelding going back to Jet Deck (so TB in there), who's really quiet on the ground, but I tried hunting on him and he nearly lost his mind...never would settle down. On the other hand, he did really well for me as I dabbled in dressage, and was pretty successful walk/trot horse for my daughter a few years back, but to this day he can still have his little 'fractious' moments.

    - 9yr old (Colonel Freckles/Harlan a ways back) mare I bought as a yearling. I really like this mare. She's on the hot/sensitive side, all business, and SO not a people horse, but she's super smart and responsive, with more try than any horse I've ridden in a long time. Fun, fun, fun, but I couldn't put just anybody on her. (she's in my profile pic)

    -little 6yr old mare who has Smart Chic Olena/Shining Spark (sire side)on her papers, out of a mare I had (Doc Bar a couple gens back). Pokey quiet and hasn't much of a work ethic. She's a great follower on the trails, but still annoyingly tentative leading. Not spooky, just has to go reeeeally slooooow and look everything over. She's sweet, but more of a snooze for me.

    -Lastly, I'm loving my 2yr old paint gelding (QH with flash ) whose breeding seems to be a bit of a mishmash, although, I'm not as familiar with paint lines (recognize Scenic Jetalito; some partial Hancock-this and King-that foundation names in the rest). If he's anything under saddle like he's been on the ground, I'll be thrilled. Not in a rush to find out, as he's got some physical maturing to do, but I don't think I'll be disappointed.
    Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2008


    Not all QHs are as mellow as others. I have one who's bred to run and is 16.2. He is mellow with a capital M. Sweetest, gentlest creature you'll ever meet. Although he can get a bit enthusiastic when jumping. He gets upset sometimes, but never, ever mad or cranky.

    My appendix on the other hand, is spookier and while I wouldn't say he is hot, he's most definitely more opinionated. He loves his bucking and rarely a ride goes by when I don't get told off by him.

    I have also met a few full QHs that are very, very, very hot and could rival the hottest TB on the track.

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