In Defense Of Thoroughbreds
I don't want anyone to think I meant to give a bad impression of Thoroughbreds by yesterday's post. As a matter of fact, I love Thoroughbreds. Given my choice of any breed, they are number one as far as I am concerned.
Many are good, quiet, solid kids' horses. I have just had the luck of getting ones with tricky personalities. But I even love those quirks. Yes, they are sensitive creatures and yes, they do mentally overload, but that too is part of their appeal. They are the perfectionists of the horse world, always ready to offer maximum effort when it counts.
They are also extremely intelligent. Again, that can make for a difficult train. As a rider/trainer of a sharp Thoroughbred, you must be able to out think your horse. Riding becomes an intellectual sport where you must ever be conscious of what you are doing and what you are communicating. One international trainer told me you always have to be careful of drilling a Thoroughbred on exercises. They learn quickly and build muscle quickly too, so knowing when to quit is an important skill.
Getting a Thoroughbred fit for sport is not a huge challenge. Bred to be the ulitmate athlete of the horse world, these horses are prized for their strong wills and determination. They have the will to win, to succeed, and the heart to match. Remember, they were not bred to be compliant, submissive, or a gentle companion to man. Their breeding is all about running as fast as they can no matter what happens. And that spirit translates as they become riding horses.
I think too, that matched with the right owner, they can become fiercely loyal partners. I know my Russell was, and I developed nearly as strong bonds with PJ and Toby. I am also sensing a deep bond of mutual respect with Tucker as if we are sharing this world with each other instead of his being my servant.
A agree that every Thoroughbred is not a horse for everyone. But there are many Thoroughbred that are the kindest, gentlest, and wisest horses you would every want to know.
Despite the challenges, I love them.