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Not quite sure what to title this.....
  • SO I got to go to the AQHA world show this past weekend which was amazing! It was my first horse show I have ever been to and I had an awesome, very horse savvy friend go with me to kind of act like my own personal tour guide and to answer the millions of questions I had. I got to see the finals in reining and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen on horseback. I find it something that I wish and want to work towards in my life. That being said I was pretty much dreaming of my filly and I training to do reining, probably more for fun than anything else, but I was grounded by the words "but she's a halter horse". Lillie is an APHA three year old filly. Her sire is Dontcha Luv Magic and her dame is I Mighty Impressed (Yes, an Impressive bloodline. Don't make the face.) She is a beautiful sorrel overo and she is my baby (Well, one of them, anyways). I am new to horses, pedigrees, and disciplines so I feel pretty ignorant sometimes so I like to research things online. What I came across last night just made me feel sick so I am posting on here to kind of get an idea what people think. In my internet wanderings I have found that people think there is no room in the horse world for Halter horses and that they are a waste of time and money. People had some pretty strong opinions. I find it hard to believe that Halter horses are just throw away horses and that they have no career besides breeding past their second or third new years. Lillie is an extremely smart and athletic filly. She is at the point in her training where she could go any direction with her training and I believe she could be a good working cow horse but I don't want her label as a Halter horse to hinder her if it very well should. She is sound and has an amazing personality. She has a lot of spunk and seems to have a lot of cow sense. She moves very well and beautifully. What are some of your thoughts on training a horse to be "multi-use" I guess you could say or just using a horse for what it was specifically bred for? With some of the negative stuff I read last night it makes me want to take Lillie and go far with her as a working horse and show closed minded people who multi-talented horses are. Is that realistic? Who knows. Will it happen? The jury is still out on that one too.
  • Find what you and Lillie enjoy and do that.  Breeding doesn't mean much.  A horse can be bred in the blues and still be crappy.  There are way more well bred horses that can't do a single useful thing than you probably realize.  The reining horses you saw weren't depending on their bloodlines to win, they had dedicated riders and trainers that got them to where they were.  You can buy the most expensive and well bred horse in the world but if you let him sit in the pasture and get fat all year you'll be lucky to even get him in the trailer when it comes show time.  
    That being said, do set realistic expectations based on her physical limitations...example: she's probably not going to win the Belmont Stakes.  She probably won't win at a draft horse pulling contest either.  But, you want her to be a cow horse and she seems to be good at it?  Start doing cow work.  See where it takes you.  There's a lot to be said for having a solid, versatile, working ranch horse and some of the best ranch horses I've seen look like they we're put together with pieces from the spare parts bin. I've got a fjord...a breed that was developed for many uses but not stellar at any of them*.  They do draft work well, but they're not going to be competitive against a Percheron when it comes to how much they can pull.  They're not a fast breed so, they aren't going to win many races.   They're not very tall so the higher level jumping courses are pretty much out.  There is one fjord competing at higher level dressage (Super Guus -google or YouTube him he's amazing).  Yet, despite all of this people have been training their horses to jump, draft, barrel race, do dressage, chase cows, and pretty much anything else they fancied.  They take their horse as far as they can and they have fun in the process.  At the end they have a very well-rounded pony and that's nothing to sniff at.

     *Fjords are pretty wonderful trail and family horses, they're level headed (usually), sure-footed (most of the time), and smart.  A number of them excell at therapy work too. Unfortunately, there aren't many contests for this.  

  • I was raised in the English world but I know what people mean by halter horse because they will proud cut a stud so he continues to muscle up as he matures. That's about all I know about halter horses.
    I think anyone who tells you a halter horse, as they seem to have labelled your horse, can't do anything else is (1) ignorant (2) mean (3) jealous. One or all of those.
    Of course it's possible! You should go for whatever you want to do. Even if she's muscled all to heck she can still jump, dressage, pull and anything she's capable of learning. She might not be competitive (or she might) but it will stretch her brain, and yours, and you'll be a great team.  I think reining is amazing. I think there's an element of dressage in there so that would be cool to learn.
    I saw where dressage and reiners swapped horses and the dressage people had trouble doing the reining stuff but not vice versa. [':D']
    One thing I wouldn't do is argue. Just smile and say "you think so?" Then prove them wrong! Can't wait to hear how you do with her!
    (I'm sure she's had the blood test for the Impressive line, right? That's important. I think those problems have been abated.)
  • DO get the HYPP test done if you ever think you want to breed her (unless you know that both parents were HYPP/NN).

    As regards her being a "halter horse", I think you need to look at how she actually *does* look. The AQHA *halter* horses tend to be too muscled and have tiny feet relative to their size. Because of that imbalance, their weight is excessive for their feet and legs which *tends* to make them unable to do reining or any other athletic sport easily as well as tending to injury and unsoundness when used that way. 

    The best thing I can think of for you to do is have a knowledgeable EQUINE vet do a vet check (same as one would do for a pre-purchase exam) and tell him/her, "I are interested in doing reining on the horse - would she be a good candidate for that?" It will cost you a couple to a few hundred dollars, BUT you will have the information you need. Since using her if she's not actually fit for the work will cause her injury, pain and lameness...and YOU money. It will be money well spent.

    If she turns out NOT to be fit for reining, ask what she should be able to do and remain sound. Also, if she's not fit for reining and you still want to DO reining, go get a horse for that (or a mule...or a donkey...or a pony... I have seen each of those competing in reining and doing a nice job). [8D]

    Good luck. I hope she turns out well for you.
  • Makes sense, Kathi. She's 3 remember. Does that make a difference?
  • Thank you so much for all the input! Lillie was shown in halter as a weanling and a yearling but she hasn't stepped foot in the show ring since as far as I know. I have another halter horse named Daisy and Lillie has a very different build than her which is why I believe that she would be more capable in other genres than other halter horses out there. I completely agree with getting a vet check done on her and I am actually planning on getting one done on her pretty soon to verify her soundness and just make sure she is just good and healthy all around. I try to do this on a semi-regular basis with all three of my horses. Their welfare is my main concern and I would never put them through anything that could hinder their well being. They are pretty much my children and usually get treated as such as much as my family (and bank account) doesn't like it. I do not think I will ever breed Lillie, which is sad because I think she would be a great mom and pass down her amazing personality to her foals but I believe the risks associated with the Impressive bloodline and the LWO factor, which she has not been tested for yet, lead me to that in my opinion the risks out weigh the benefit and I don't want to cause any undue stress. She is a beautiful girl! If you google her registered name you can see a few of her, what I like to call, baby pictures when she was being shown in halter and I think there are a few videos floating around too.
  • Oh and I have a lot of respect for the english discipline!
  • I'm not finding her show name/registered name in your post. Did I miss it? I'd love to see her baby pics! 
  • Her registered name is DontchaLuvLillie. http://www.thunderstormpainthorses.com/pastfoals.htm If you go to that link she is about halfway down. http://youtu.be/wuyzkd7O84Q There is a youtube video of her. I don't know what is really going on in the video as it was shot well before she fell in to my hands.
  • She looks gorgeous, well balanced, not bulldoggy or downhill so I would think she can do anything you want her to do!
  • Can you get some well-set up pictures of her (on a level spot) and also picture(s) of her feet? She looked a little downhill to me, but I don't know her age in the photo, and I can't tell if the ground is truly level. 

    I think in the video, the person was just trying to get her going so that people could see how she moves. 
    If she's only 3 right now, she will still have some growing and filling out to do. She's very pretty!

  • Watched the video.  She looked good.  Then I checked the date.  She was only a yearling in that video.  WOW.  She is not only nicely put together, she is listening to her handler.  Would love to see an updated picture of her now.