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RE: [RC] Proving Stallions (or mares for that matter) - heidi

The majority of endurance horses today weren't bred specifically for 
endurance.   They are the progeny of backyard breeding or "culls" from halter 
breeding that don't make halter standards, but are really nice horses.  Like 
having a good old German Shepard with good solid hips vs. the AKC version 
which is a slim shadow of the original dawg.

On the contrary, the endurance horse IS the original "typical" Arab (as you 
point out with the "good old dawgs") and are not merely "culls" from halter 
breeding.  The best endurance prospects tend to come from programs that never 
did buy into the fads of the halter ring, and who stayed true to "using 
breeding" through it all.  

Since halter breeding is basically an aberration that sprung from selecting 
atypical horses from traditional breeding, occasionally one does get a "cull" 
that throws back to the old ancestry and has the necessary traits.  But no, not 
everybody tried to breed the extremes--many conscientious breeders have stuck 
by their guns and continued to breed traditional Arabians all along, which have 
the traits needed for not only endurance, but for other riding pursuits as well.

While you may be correct that the majority of the horses on the trail are 
"culls" from other types of programs, the majority of SUCCESSFUL horses (be 
success be measured by wins, longevity, mileage, or whatever) tend to be 
largely traditionally bred.  Sadly, the extremes that have been "bred in" for 
the halter ring tend to affect the culls as well--long backs, disproportionate 
bone lengths, etc.--and many such horses that go to the trail have very short 
and sometimes painful careers as they struggle with back pain, lamenesses, etc.

I would wager that back issues have increased 10-fold or more since I started 
vetting in the sport over a quarter of a century ago.  It isn't hard to figure 
out why, when one looks at the conformational problems that are now so common 
on the trail, that we rarely saw two or three decades ago--and they are due to 
the influx of riding "culls" on the trail.

And sadly, too many very well-thought-out programs are labeled as "backyard" 
simply because they have stuck by the "typical" and have not followed the fads.



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