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February 10, 2021 11 Comments
I'm not partial to one breed or another. And... no way in heck am I going to open the heated discussion, qualifying one breed over another. When some folks get into horses, they get stuck in one small part of the industry and as a result, one of several emotions most likely shows up when horses are compared. Genuine curiosity for some. Morbid curiosity for others, they might be thinking, "Oh boy, this guy is gonna get himself in some trouble here. This should be fun." Anger and defensiveness might pop up for others.
But why would a simple discussion about horse breeds bring up negative emotions like anger and defensiveness? Believe it or not, some people read the title and said, "Uh... No way! I'm not even going there!" and didn't even click on the link to read more. The same emotions would have come up for some people if I titled this article, horses vs mules, or warmbloods vs pleasure horses, or goats vs sheep. We all love our animals and most of us have favorites.
I find all of these emotions fantastic and curious. I love human emotion and the people that so willingly express them. I think we all need to embrace emotion from time to time rather than run for cover. I admire folks who wear their emotions on their sleeve. And I admire them even more when they can roll their sleeves up and allow spaces to learn and grow. Just food for thought anyway.
So back to the question about quarter horses vs Arabians. Truthfully, it's like comparing pink lady apples to gala apples. They're both apples. What flavor do you like? It's okay to prefer one over the other. It's your right and no one should take that away from you because you like the flavor of something different. Whenever people start arguing about how quarter horses, or other breeds, are smarter, or how Arabians are more sensitive than other breeds, I just tell them, they've not seen the whole spectrum of animals. I've met mules that will safely guide you over a mountain pass and I've met mules that will throw you away before you get a chance to dream of riding in the mountains. I've met quarter horses that will safely carry a child and quarter horses that will kick you in the teeth. I've met Arabians that will spook at butterflies and I've met Arabians that wouldn't spook at the apocalypse.
The point is. Breeds don't matter as much as people think. Unless you think they do. In which case, you have the right to. I believe in helping people find the right horse for their dreams, and I often start with breeds as a generalization but I never pass up a horse because he's the wrong breed. Arabians can make extraordinary Western performance horses, and quarter horses can make extraordinary English performance horses. So, just in case you're looking for a new horse... stay open, you might just find a diamond in the rough.
Look for horses that catch your eye and your heart. Look for horses that show a connection to humans. And when they don't, look for ways to help them learn to connect to humans and human goals in a positive way. Stay open, have fun, don't judge too quickly. Don't let the opinions of others sway you too much either. Many trainers are biased. Guess what, me too. Listen to the messages, but don't buy into any form of religious-like beliefs about horses, and maybe even other topics, without examining the whole picture yourself.
Thanks for reading. Comment below. Tell me your story of how a particular breed pleasantly surprised you.~
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