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A Horse Is A Horse? Essay

1229 words - 5 pages

Popular opinion is that the Quarter Horse is the best overall western style competition and pleasure horse. Conversely, in the past I have talked to other active horsemen who said that one or another of their various breeds of horses performed better than the Quarter Horses they owned. I have 4 horses: 2 Quarter Horses named Buck and Scout, 1 Thoroughbred named Bugsy, and 1 Rocky Mountain Ranger named Jack. For the purposes of this paper we will only take into consideration the two horses that are in condition for, and train to compete; Scout the Quarter Horse and Jack the Rocky Mountain Ranger. The only slight differences are their ages, sizes and breed specific abilities. ...view middle of the document...

They each get run through warm up, poles, circles, lead changes, and barrels. These are typical events in western horsemanship. Each of them has their stronger points during these events. Scout’s lead changes are flawless and if he takes a barrel to close and clips it; that has no effect on him. Scout is not elegant, he’s more about brute strength and power. Jack is a gaited horse. He runs in a single foot gait meaning one foot is always on the ground. It’s a very unique gait and not suited to lead changes. However, Jack’s poles and barrels are amazing. Even at full gallop he very seldom touches one, and hasn’t knocked any down in years. When he does touch one, it causes him some hesitation which costs a small amount of time and points if added up for competition. Scout isn’t as nimble as Jack. At the gallop he usually bends a few and knocks one completely down every few weeks; also costing some time and points. So, as you can see when it comes to talent; while not even, they are pretty close.
Jack is twelve years old; he is approaching the apex of his conditioning and abilities. Scout is fourteen years old; he is at the top of his game. They are both of an age that is common amongst equitation competition in western horses. They both live in the same barn. They each have a twelve foot square stall attached to a twelve by twenty-four foot outdoor run where they are kept at night. During the day, they are pastured together on four acres of cleared land. They are both fed the same daily diet of alfalfa hay and beet pulp mush with added grains. There are multiple feeders for the horses in the pasture and Scout and Jack normally eat together. Both their eating and sleeping arrangements are identical, and they are almost the same age.
Scout is 16 hands tall and weighs one thousand and eighty pounds. His color is a standard bay. He is a classic example of a Quarter Horse. Despite being taller, his body conformation is very good. Besides having to be shod since his feet will bruise on the rocks; he is a very easy keeper. Quarter Horses got their name by being the fastest horse in the quarter mile. Quarter Horses can exceed fifty miles an hour in a quarter mile race. The only animals on earth faster in a short distance race are the cheetah and the pronghorn antelope. Quarter Horses are a cross between Thoroughbred horses and...

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