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Halter-bred Horses Doing Other Things? UPDATE

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  • Halter-bred Horses Doing Other Things? UPDATE

    The current style of halter horse (not performance halter), at least in the western world, is often rather post-legged with smaller feet and sometimes with smaller joints/lighter bone. I've heard a lot of people say that because of conformation issues like that, most horses bred for halter are barely rideable, if at all, and that they can be plagued by soundness trouble.

    Have any of you had halter horses that you rode or did other disciplines? What were your experiences with soundness and longevity?

    The reason I ask is that one of the horses I'm looking at buying was bred heavily for halter on both sides, and while she is HYPP n/n, she does look post-legged to me. I'm not looking to buy a halter horse, but she seems like a nice, friendly horse, pretty coloring, and otherwise built okay. She's just a yearling now though, so it's hard to tell. Her sire was Initials Only, if that helps inform opinions at all on soundness.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by necryptonix; Oct. 24, 2018, 02:22 PM.

  • #2
    FG Totally A Charmer is a 6x world champion in halter, also broke to ride and ridden quite a bit and will start ranch riding/reining training soon. I think it's the particular horse and also how they are fitted up and maintained

    Comment


    • #3
      I know several successful halter horses that have gone on to be really good roping horses! I say give it a shot. :-)
      The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....

      Comment


      • #4
        Of course you go on to ride them. I'm not saying they'll make great English horses, or western pleasure horses, but all of them will probably ride to one degree or another.

        Comment


        • #5
          There's a Paint around here that is halter bred, and does great in halter. Also does awesome in hunt seat and driving. And is a great lead-line horse as well.

          Comment


          • #6
            It depends on what you want them to do. Light trails, light WP or HUS locally? sure, probably fine. Dressage beyond 1st level, jumping above 2'3? Could be a problem - some have it in them, some do not, and there's not a good way to tell at that age necessarily what she will turn out to be athletically. Some have major soundness issues, some do not - again, hard to tell at only a year old.

            Frankly - I would pass if she's already showing signs of being post legged - there are lots of QHs out there without these issues, look for roping and reining and ranch horse types. Or if you'd like more of a sporthorse, go get that! She may very well work out for you, but it's always a bit of a crapshoot with yearlings in the first place and even more so in terms of halterbreds and long-term soundness and athleticism - that's simply not what the breeders are worried about for halter horses.

            Comment


            • #7
              I've been working with a 4yo halter bred mare. She's turning into quite an excellent hunter. That said, while she's a bit downhill she's quite well balanced overall. She doesn't have post legs or tiny feet. She'll never be a rated show hunter but she is quiet and cute with a great attitude. She's already cleaning up ribbons on the local circuit in the baby hunters.

              https://scontent-dfw5-2.xx.fbcdn.net...c0&oe=5C3B06D7
              ​​​​​​https://scontent-dfw5-2.xx.fbcdn.net...57&oe=5C3B0979
              Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
              My equine soulmate
              Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

              Comment


              • #8
                I’ve owned Impressive-breds that not only ride, but ride well. I also know of Impressive-breds that have NCHA earnings. In the end, if the horse is built to do the job, it should be able to do it. You don’t ride the papers.
                "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have a bit of a different opinion than most I guess.

                  First off, there is no mention of what type of riding you plan to be doing and what level. Also no conformation pictures to really judge how post legged the prospect is.

                  Second, I'm of the mind of, if I'm choosing a horse to do a job I'm going to pick the best suitable prospect I can afford. That means choosing a horse with the bloodlines, build and temperament for the job at hand. To me choosing a modern bred halter horse for a ranch or cow horse is a lot like using a rusty screwdriver to engrave fine silver. It can get the job done but its not going to be the best.
                  With that said, yes, I realize horses bred for a certain discipline go on to do great things in other disciplines and events. And most horses no matter what they are bred for can be pleasure/trail horses or show at low levels in many different classes.
                  I've owned a few halter bred horses but they were "old school" halter. The mare was halter crossed on cow and was a fantastic rope horse and doing any type of cow work inside. However her feet caused us to sell her as she couldnt handle the tough terrain.
                  I also owned a grandson of Impressive which I wouldn't compare to the majority of winning, modern halter horses.

                  So again, I'd really consider what you have planned for the horse before purchasing.
                  Last edited by Aces N Eights; Sep. 3, 2018, 02:50 PM.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Aces N Eights View Post
                    I have a bit of a different opinion than most I guess.

                    First off, there is no mention of what type of riding you plan to be doing and what level. Also no conformation pictures to really judge how post legged the prospect is.

                    Second, I'm of the mind of, if I'm choosing a horse to do a job I'm going to pick the best suitable prospect I can afford. That means choosing a horse with the bloodlines, build and temperament for the job at hand. To me choosing a modern bred halter horse for a ranch or cow horse is a lot like using a rusty screwdriver to engrave fine silver. It can get the job done but its not going to be the best.
                    With that said, yes, I realize horses bred for a certain discipline go on to do great things in other things. And most horses no matter what they are bred for can be pleasure/trail horses or show at low levels in many different classes.
                    I've owned a few halter bred horses but they were "old school" halter. The mare was halter crossed on cow and was a fantastic rope horse and doing any type of cow work inside. However her feet caused us to sell her as she couldnt handle the tough terrain.
                    I also owned a grandson of Impressive which I wouldn't compare to the majority of winning, modern halter horses.

                    So again, I'd really consider what you have planned for the horse before purchasing.
                    I've bought horses for competition in the past, but have strayed away from that lately. I'm less interested in competing heavily and more interested in trail riding and doing just small shows every now and again. So I'm not looking for a performance horse or something that can go through the levels in eventing. Just want something that will hold up alright and be more a horse for relaxing riding than heavy training. The main reason why I'm even considering her is because she just has such a great temperament.

                    And I apologize for not posting pictures, I just never know who's on these forums and I would hate to put up the conformation photo of a horse I don't own, for fear of the seller being on here and getting upset that I've put a horse they own "on blast". For that reason I've cropped some of the picture out, just to help protect identity at least a little.

                    https://ibb.co/copAFK

                    The filly could use some weight, but that's usually easily remedied. The horse is within my budget, papered, UTD on everything and has an excellent temperament and coloring. Her feet seem solid. The main conformation issues I see are post-legged in the hind and the longer pasterns in the front, but of course feel free to point out anything else you see. Second opinions can't hurt.

                    Like I said, not looking into heavy showing or hard jumping or reining. Not a performance project, just light showing and trail riding as my relaxation riding horse.
                    Image Halter Horse Cropped hosted in imgbb.com
                    Last edited by necryptonix; Sep. 3, 2018, 01:11 PM. Reason: Link didn't work, added a new one.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by necryptonix View Post

                      I've bought horses for competition in the past, but have strayed away from that lately. I'm less interested in competing heavily and more interested in trail riding and doing just small shows every now and again. So I'm not looking for a performance horse or something that can go through the levels in eventing. Just want something that will hold up alright and be more a horse for relaxing riding than heavy training. The main reason why I'm even considering her is because she just has such a great temperament.

                      And I apologize for not posting pictures, I just never know who's on these forums and I would hate to put up the conformation photo of a horse I don't own, for fear of the seller being on here and getting upset that I've put a horse they own "on blast". For that reason I've cropped some of the picture out, just to help protect identity at least a little.

                      https://ibb.co/copAFK

                      The filly could use some weight, but that's usually easily remedied. The horse is within my budget, papered, UTD on everything and has an excellent temperament and coloring. Her feet seem solid. The main conformation issues I see are post-legged in the hind and the longer pasterns in the front, but of course feel free to point out anything else you see. Second opinions can't hurt.

                      Like I said, not looking into heavy showing or hard jumping or reining. Not a performance project, just light showing and trail riding as my relaxation riding horse.
                      I completely understand not wanting to post pictures of the filly!
                      I guess the point I was trying to make is its hard to say "yes" or "no" if she'd work for what you want to do if we can't see what she looks like as far as how post legged she really is. Thank you for clarifying!

                      Looking at the picture you provided, for me, I'd keep looking even if she was intended just for light riding. I think there are plenty of nice temperamented horses out there that are built better. Admittedly I like a lot of angle to hocks but that is just too straight for me. Something else I'd consider is her ability to sell if you decide to get something different down the road.
                      Just my opinion again, I'd just assume have a grade horse who is more correct if that's what's required to stay within my budget.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a impressive bred on both sides mare, 15, and aging well. While bred for Halter, her heart lies on speed events, she loves to run, and runs well. We do barrels, and puts her full heart into them. No soundess issues, she's as sound and hardy as a rock. As a user said above, you can't ride the papers. She just wasn't meant to be a prissy show mare, while my friends deeply cattle ranch bred mare prefers showing halter. I've known countless halter bred horses making it to world, barrel racing for one.

                        cheers from me and Jen
                        ~~~

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          “Halter bred” doesnt really mean anything other then some relatives were successful there. It’s all about the individual and what it’s conformation and temperament will allow it to do,

                          Was around when Impressive was at his peak as a sire, they were actually quite athletic beside very correct. Not all direct offspring were beef burgers. Likewise other Halter lines produce various types with various skill sets depending on how the genetics of both parents combine. Where you get into trouble is extremely heavy bodied, tiny footed Halter only horses that never work under saddle getting bred to other Halter specialists, often very closely related and breeding out the traits that allow good performance under saddle.

                          Look at the individual horse with the job you need it for in mind. Look at the whole pedigree on both sides. And keep in mind your own skill set, some shining examples of versatility were only ever Pro handled and Pros, especially those with multiple World Champions in their speciality, can get a horse to show better at either Halter or a riding event then most of us could. Sometimes a horse excells in two or more areas because they are handled by two or more different super star trainers.

                          So, ask yourself if this horse has the physical ability to do what you need. I like a smart, agile horse regardless of breeding built slightly uphill with an easier, longer step and the conformation to produce that is not currently fashionable in the Halter specialists. Like a decent size hoof to match the rest of the horse too, not a platter foot but not a ballet slipper either.

                          So,would I look at a Halter bred horse for a performance career handled mostly by an Ammy? You bet. . I look at anything ,always have, always had some budget challenges. But I better see whats needed physically for the job or it’s a pass no matter how royally or fashionability it’s bred, or how common and unfashionably bred. Look at the horse in front if you, not a pretty picture of a grandparent in magazines or online.

                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If not pushed hard and worked in deep sand they are just as sound as what is being bred for riding.


                            I'd own a posty hocked horse over some of the hocks we see bred for the WP pen any day.
                            Last edited by roseymare; Sep. 3, 2018, 06:43 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, arguably, the WP specialists have the same conformation created restrictions on athletic movement as the too specific Halter conformed horses, they don’t move well or freely enough in the shoulder, take anything but a pity pat little step or reach up and under far enough to push off of. That’s fine for WP or Halter. Not so much for Performance classes.

                              Look at the horse if you are buying for performance, not what the papers say it can or cannot do. Know what you can live with and what just won’t work for you..
                              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by necryptonix View Post

                                Like I said, not looking into heavy showing or hard jumping or reining. Not a performance project, just light showing and trail riding as my relaxation riding horse.
                                Personally, I'd keep looking. I don't like the look of her back legs. Too posty for my tastes.

                                It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Have any of you had to inject the hocks on a posty horse?? Doesn't happen much.

                                  ​​​​​It isn't the issue everyone seems to make. I'd take a posty over a sickle any day.

                                  If the postiness affects the stifles than yes you have an issue.

                                  And off course if it afffects stride length but that is a shoulder and topline underline issue for the most part.

                                  OP can the horse stride like you want? Like findelight says look at the horse not so much the papers.


                                  I would not by a halter horse who had been in a halter barn where they worked in deep deep sand. Or one who had been fitted from weaner on with no time off. I think that is not as common as it once was.

                                  My halter gelding had a great stride because he had a great shoulder and good topline to underline ratio but alas he was before his time Twenty years ago when we were showing he was not bulky enough now he would have been a star.

                                  As to WP horses, they have chosen for a deep tie in to the neck, club footedness and hocks prone to arthritis. Mostly because of trainability and also the optical illusion the deep tie in gives.

                                  Hocks on the HUS horse aren't much better and the trend towards Giants concerns me as well.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by roseymare View Post
                                    Have any of you had to inject the hocks on a posty horse?? Doesn't happen much.

                                    ​​​​​It isn't the issue everyone seems to make. I'd take a posty over a sickle any day.

                                    If the postiness affects the stifles than yes you have an issue.

                                    And off course if it afffects stride length but that is a shoulder and topline underline issue for the most part.

                                    OP can the horse stride like you want? Like findelight says look at the horse not so much the papers.


                                    I would not by a halter horse who had been in a halter barn where they worked in deep deep sand. Or one who had been fitted from weaner on with no time off. I think that is not as common as it once was.

                                    My halter gelding had a great stride because he had a great shoulder and good topline to underline ratio but alas he was before his time Twenty years ago when we were showing he was not bulky enough now he would have been a star.

                                    As to WP horses, they have chosen for a deep tie in to the neck, club footedness and hocks prone to arthritis. Mostly because of trainability and also the optical illusion the deep tie in gives.

                                    Hocks on the HUS horse aren't much better and the trend towards Giants concerns me as well.
                                    Postiness as you call it does affect the stifle. Post-legged as a term is usually referring to the entire relationship of the hind end (stifle hock cannon) and isn't referring to just the hock. Post legged is when all three of those are on the same line. Not ideal for sport.

                                    To a degree all horses are sickle-hocked. Many jumpers are.

                                    We have a halter-bred, halter-type QH. He is croup-high, very low-necked, good bone, but small clubby hooves and while not an extreme post-legged horse, has a straighter stifle/hock ratio than I would prefer. He was not a superstar halter horse, which in retrospect is a good thing because he has mostly-working parts.

                                    While he has been a wonderful horse in so many ways, is a total dreamboat to ride, anyone can look good on him, he was not free of physical complaints from a young age. He had some coffin bone rotation at 6 and required time off and special shoes for a while. He has had a light riding career, is a wonderful trailhorse, but would need a lot of maintenance if, say, he was to do 2nd level dressage regularly again.

                                    I do see a lot of horses, post-legged, that cannot stay sound. It is not something I would breed for, but if I inherited the horse in some way, would not throw it out of my barn either.

                                    The filly in the picture, to my eye, is not terrible but will straighten out further as she ages.
                                    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I agree if you are using the term to include the stifle. Absolutely upright stifles cause issues. And most horses with upright stifles do have hocks with littke to no angulation. But when you look at many halter horses whom people term post legged it is an optical illusion and the stifles are aligned and angled properly. The drop off the hip into the gaskin due to musculature can trick the eye.

                                      I don't think the picture of the OP horse is at an appropriate angle to really guage her hind leg conformation. It could go either way to my eye due to the angle of the photo.

                                      I have never noted one way or another if an unangulated back limb gets straighter with growth. I am going to watch for this. Thanks for your observations.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Oh and the halter horses tend to have shorter tibias than the classic post legged horse with upright stifles and hocks.

                                        Comment

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