'You can't ride papers'

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by JStorry, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. JStorry

    JStorry Senior Member

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    Putting this in training because I do think training has a lot to do with it


    Often I hear people say 'you can't ride papers'. I used to say it myself until I got into quarter horses. I've come to learn that papers matter. They matter for resale. They matter when evaluating a prospective horse for a particular job. There may be duds, but by in large papers are a large factor in what a horses potential should be. Conformation is a large factor as well but that is often influenced by breeding.

    For instance my mares. My broodmare is cutting bred top and bottom. She lives up to it. She would just as soon eat a cow as look at it. My filly is cutting bred on the bottom and her sire is a reined cow horse. She's taken to cattle like a duck to water and has a natural deep stop. She's been on the flag twice and is already drawing naturally. I lightly exposed her to cattle over the summer and she has shown an incredible instinct to mirror them, boldness when going into the herd, as well as desire to cut them. That's been bred into her. I've trained her myself, everything she knows is either natural instinct or taught by me. Her training had been geared towards working cattle but I'm working with an ingrained desire to do so. You can't train a horse to want to cut. That has to come from the horse. Which comes from the breeding and is nurtured by training.


    I also own a grade gelding. I'm not saying papers are the only thing that matters. But they do matter.
     
  2. GreyFeather

    GreyFeather Full Member

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    I agree - they do matter and can be a good indicator of a horse's traits and suitability for various disciplines. In an ideal world all horses should be registered.

    However I don't think they're the be all and end all, and a lack of papers doesn't guarantee a bad horse (and vice versa). I actually have two horses, one of known (and very good!) breeding and one of unknown (but suspected) breeding who are both unregistered and who are both fantastic horses. They are unregistered through no fault of their own. Luckily I'm not really into any type of riding/competition where this is going to matter but I'm trying very hard to work out a way of registering my youngster just because I see the value in it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  3. 2spotslast

    2spotslast Senior Member

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    They can also give you an idea as to the genetic health of a horse. I cringe when I see someone buying a grade stock breed without any way of knowing it's HYPP or PSSM status.
     
  4. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

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    With a skill as specific as cutting are there non cutting bred horses that simply by chance have talent?
     
  5. endurgirl

    endurgirl Senior Member

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    I do believe you already know my opinion on this. I cannot stand to see sale ads in the cutting horse for sale Facebook groups with the only cutting horse recognizable as Peppy San Badger or Doc o Lena.... Both of my current show horses have money earning and proven sires, Tex's dam won over 60k. Chloe's dam had no earnings, but as you can see, Chloe definitely has the ability, which I knew before I bought her. My yearling's sire is an NCHA champion and has already sired a Futurity champion (Dual Smart Kitty). I won't buy one unless it's known I at least have a chance to make them a cutter.

    Even High Brow Cat has produced some horses who have not won a penny in the show pen. It happens, but I'd rather take my chance on a High Brow Cat offspring than a non papered horse.

    Those who live by the mantra of you can't ride papers have never needed a horse specialized in a sport like cutting or racing.

    One of my smartest horses was a grade. She's the paint I lost to cancer a few years back. So I'm definitely not saying non papered horses are useless.
     
  6. endurgirl

    endurgirl Senior Member

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    To be competitive in the show pen? Highly unlikely. To be something to hold a cow on the range? Sure.
     
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  7. 2spotslast

    2spotslast Senior Member

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    YES! My brother had a purebred Arabian mare who held her own against Quarter Horses. She was a cutting fool. Too bad she was also bat poo crazy.
     
  8. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    This^

    They don't matter if all you want is a horse to pux around on. Don't matter at all. If you want to show in a Breed show and you want a horse with some kind of history so you don't have to guess where they came from or post a thread on: what breed do you think he is? You want a horse with papers.

    Hey, I even have my Mule registered and he's just a Molly out of a donkey (nobody knows which donkey) and an Appy mare. Again, nobody knows what Appy mare. But she has papers and if I, or the next owner wanted to show her in a Mule Show, ................there ya go.
     
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  9. prairiesongks

    prairiesongks Senior Member

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    While papers can help with knowing the horse's potential in a specific discipline, concerns about his future health and any genetic disease, and influence resale, the papers often don't tell the whole story.

    I owned a 3/4 Arabian who was very competitive in the hunter and jumper rings---I swear he had springs in his legs to get us safely over those jumps! Our foundation bred TWH mare is a talented jumper and also has enough "cow" to make a decent mount for gathering cattle. Hubby and our show bred, trained as a Big Lick TWH, gelding are very competitive in roping, and the gelding makes a great turn back horse for cutting. This gelding also managed to impress a noted reining trainer at a 2 day clinic, enough that she asked to try him to see what he could do after the clinic ended---she handed the reins back to me, saying "this horse can do everything but trot!" (He's hard-wired to gait) Both TWHs also are fantastic trail horses, scrambling up and down buttes for hours without wearing down, while leaving the other horses in their dust---not too bad for a breed that was developed to carry a rider comfortably at a good pace for miles on roads.
     
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  10. JBandRio

    JBandRio Senior Member

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    There are 2 ways to look at this:

    1 - Papers don't matter if it's a gelding (or mare you don't intend to breed) who's already doing the job (well) that you want to do with him. At that point it doesn't matter that he's Dressage bred but is an AA Hunter, or that he's a fluke from a nothing-pedigree. And he can't reproduce :D

    There are some eagle eyes who can pick these guys out as young horses not competing, or even under saddle, sure, and that's how a LOT of the old OTTB Hunters and Eventers were picked - obviously they were not bred for those disciplines, they weren't doing that sort of work, didn't even yet know how to be ridden "normally", but that was a cheap source for those types of horses.


    2 - Papers matter if:
    - it's a youngster who you want to target at a high level of a specific discipline - don't pick a pretty HUS-bred Appendix if you want a GP Jumper, though of course in that case the liberty movement would clue you in. Don't pick a straight Hunter-bred foal for a GP Dressage prospect. Don't even pick a Hunter-bred foal, no matter how nice a hunter mover he is, if that stallion's (or mare's) offspring reliably prove they don't have the mind for Hunters
    - you're breeding with an eye towards a particular discipline - don't breed to Jazz if you're aiming for an Ammy Hunter
    - you're buying a mare with the intent on breeding

    Papers matter if you don't have enough information about what the horse may do or how he is likely to behave, or you want to breed. They matter in helping predict with at least some reliability the future, either performance or generations. They matter in terms of keeping track of diseases, growth issues such as a club foot, in whether a program is improving a line or not, in learning which lines work well together and which most definitely to not. There's a reason the best breeders spend countless hours studying papers and performance results.

    They don't matter if all you need/want is WYSIWYG
     
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