Monday, December 29, 2008

QH Bloodlines

Ok.... Blast that Melanie! She is going to make me think today! *gasp* The injustice!

Here is her question:

" have sparked my interest in QH lines again, and I have been playing catch-up on the stallions of the last 10-15 years.....

.....It is interesting to see how the lines have definitely become more specifically refined over the past 20 years. You can almost tell what their breeding is, just by looking at them. How are most QH's when it comes to hardiness, endurance/stamina, and lameness?? I know there were issues with those qualities about 15 years ago, and was wondering if it had straightened itself out yet?...."

Of course I am no expect but am certainly never short on opinion, so here it goes:


QH and Paint bloodlines have becoming more and more discipline specific.

Generally speaking, if a horse is "well bred" (meaning that the horse has a significant number of performing and producing ancestors that relate to his intended discipline (the closer to the sire and dam the better)) the better a horse will be suited for a specific discipline.

For example....
(Twentyfour Karat Kid)

In the Halter world names like Conclusive, Kid's Clu, Impressive, Skippa Lark rein supreme....these horses, I dare to say, are not suited for much more than standing in a halter and lookin' pretty (though beauty would be in the eye of the beholder...) but these bloodlines, apparently, do that exceptionally well and it would be difficult for you to compete in Halter without some form of them...

Some bloodlines cross over to disciplines that are related in the form and style of their horses such as in HUS, Western Pleasure, Trail, Showmanship etc.. These horses have different breeding and "looks" within their genre but to the untrained eye these horses look similar in movement, type, and breeding.... I am sure Stephanie will slap me silly and call me Suzie for saying so....but till I stand corrected (correct me, please!) that is true in a general sense...


That is also true for reining, cutting and reined cow horses'. Each sport have bloodlines unique to the other, but in general they can and do crossover regularly. For example Smart Little Lena, Peptoboonsmal, and Hollywood Dun It all have offspring that have made significant money in reining, cutting and reined cow horse.

With that being said, of these discipline specific bloodlines, rarely does one "type" cross over to the other without decreasing the quality of the horse within its target discipline.

(Gallo Del Cielo)

Abby, my reining mare, is out of the Top 4 Reining stallion of all time, Gallo Del Cielo... Gallo Del Cielo is a FULL brother to a Top 5 Cutting stallion, Gray Starlight and to a top Reined Cow Horse Sire (Paddys Irish Whiskey) so I could within reason breed her to a reiner, cutter or cow horse without decreasing her ability to bring something to that cross, however Abby just happens to lack a bit of refinement in her movement for a reiner, so if I were to breed her with the intent of producing a reiner, I would breed her to the reining stallion with the best movement possible...
(Nu Chex To Cash)

....though no to a WP pleasure stallion....though WP (Western Pleasure) horses have far superior movement to reiners. I would not improve her chances of producing a top reining prospect by breeding her to one because I may loose other important factors in the process like speed or the ability to break in half..... Did that make any sense?

So over time bloodlines have become more specific because the horses have become more set in "type" and you need to conform to that "type" in order to compete successfully.

(Smart Little Lena)

While conforming to type does tend to increase their ability to excel within a specific discipline, it does not always ensure that other characteristics that we should value as horsemen have been refined or improved along with it. For example, Smart Little Lena has had a MASSIVE impact on Reining, cutting and RCH. His get are EXPLOSIVE in their athletic ability and have made a tremendously positive contribution to the breed as a whole...his offspring have earned over 27 Million dollars in NCHA, NRCHA and NRHA events!!! And, he is still living and producing!....but....

Smart Little Lena also just happens to throw horses with incorrectness in their front legs that would make a Halter horse cringe. We forgive him for it because, in general-though incorrect, his get are clearly unaffected in their ability to perform because of it. But none-the-less, we should, as responsible horsemen, breed horses to be as correct as possible...

More specifically- in the case of the Impressive line in the Halter world and the absolute incomprehensibility of breeding HYPP positive horses as some breeders continue to do in the name of winning. WTF?? These horses DIE!! because of this decease! ....Though the whole concept of breeding horses that are to be judged on their conformity to a specific type.... a type that allows them to be good for NOTHING..... Is a little lost on me in general.... Form to function people?

Wow! That was quite the rant!

I will have to leave off for today.... Hold on to your ponies! More tomorrow!


  1. Oooohhhh...this is great Chelsi!!! I feel another e-mail coming!!!

    This refined, specific, breeding is what has me somewhat baffled. It seems like it narrows the gene pool down, and before you know it, they are all going to pop out looking like super horses, like wild Mustangs, or like Fuglies. (Not sure which is worse in terms of preserving breed characteristics)
    I'll have to chew on this for awhile....

    The scary thing for me is that I remember when this whole thing started 15-20 years ago!!! I guess the refinement is ok, as long as you don't loose certain breed characteristics, such as stamina, hardiness, and soundness. I am awating your next post with bated breath....

    About those cursed books...NO store within 50 miles (that I have both called and been to!!) has Eclipse or Breaking Dawn!!!!!!!!! I am told that ever since the movie came out, different book manufacturers cannot keep up with the demand. I am getting really desperate, and I am starting to go through withdrawls. What can I say??? I am!!

    PS-Glad you liked my art choices! Your words describe my thoughts on the pics also! I didn't want to use fancy art jargon and throw people off!!! Put me in an art museum anyday! (I know, I am a hopeless!!)

  2. That's all pretty interesting stuff. I always wonder if my two quarter horses Dusty and Blue have any good bloodlines. I know nothing about QH bloodlines so I'm pretty lost there.

  3. WOW That is alot of great information! As well as some very beautiful horses! I have to admit I was unfamilar with a couple of the horses. Thanks for the great narrative. I wish you a wonderful New Year!

  4. No Chelsi - you doing fine on the breed specialization explanation. There is nothing to correct - you are doing fine.

  5. I would like to add though - you were kind of going through the categories of specialized breeding with AQHA, you hit:

    -The Halter Horse
    -The Reining Horse
    -The Cutting Horse
    (and although these groups are interchangeable it seems like it you want to be a big player in the group you get your self an reining horse with a reining sire and dam - same with cutting) (while certain cross here are desirable for people heavily into the reining cow horse stuff)
    -The Western Pleasure Horse
    yes although you can get specific within the WP breeding world, most Showmanship, Western Riding and Trail horses are usually sired with WP specific breeding which is why they all look similar - cause they are. It's like maybe some colt wasn't quite good a enough jogger or loper to compete in the WP ring, but that same quality makes him great in a Trail class cause he can pick up his feet better - so you find him there, ya know?

    I would like to also add:
    -The Hunter Under Saddle Horse
    (because the large amounts of Thoroughbred blood we are dumping into our QH in this ring I think they look strikingly different that the rest of the specialists)

    And there is also:
    -The Ranch Horse
    (most commonly found with heavy foundation breeding) FHOTD is not fond of this faction of QH's at all, as they tend to get Fugly looking and bad traits are brought out through line breeding by people desperate to hold on to lines like Poco Bueno or Doc Bar or whatever the case, and they tend to be unremarkable in the show ring (other than the Ranch Horse show ring). Again I know there are exceptions to every generalization.

    -The All-Around Horse
    (This group includes horses like Rugged Lark or Artful Investment that are bred to successfully compete in a wide variety of events) Because it is becoming more and more rare to even see this specialization trick work out in the show ring there is not a whole lot of successful studs like Artful Investment breeding all-arounders. Oh they try, but their stats will most often show they are breeding more winners in specific English events than All-Around winners.

  6. If you would like some good examples of Quarter Horses in the Western Pleasure and/or Hunter Under Saddle categories just let me know. I can include some pictures of some "who's who" in HUS and WP and some foundation bloodlines for each...