When it comes to weekends at the rodeo, riders and their horses must be equally athletic. Particularly when it comes to the rodeo’s timed events-barrel racing, steer wrestling and calf roping-athleticism is essential. The success of the rodeo cowboy is measured as much by having the right horse, as it is by the cowboy’s athletic skills and timing.
Many run races thanks to their speed, of the registered Quarter Horses. Many others are participants in horse shows. Others work on ranches around the world. Still others-thanks to the Quarter Horse’s compact body-are employed in working with cattle, calf roping, barrel racing, reining, cutting as well as other riding events. But do not think of the Quarter Horse as only a workhorse: the Quarter Horse is equally at home in other equestrian events.
Sport and speed both create environments in which the American Quarter Horse feels at home. With Thoroughbred, Arabian and Morgan bloodlines all contributing to the genetic pool of the American Quarter Horse, it’s not hard to see why the Quarter Horse excels in most situations.
Because of this, the American Quarter Horse is often seen in show environments, in racing events, in rodeos as well as on the ranch, and even in stables that are home to horses that are held by individuals and families, who want a horse that they are able to take out for enjoyable rides on trails. It’s important to remember, however that just because Quarter Horses are used for ranch working purposes as well as for trail riding does not mean that they do not serve other purposes as well; for example, many quarter horses have been used for dressage and for jumping competitions.
Not all Quarter Horses are created equal, as with anything else in life. Most grow to between 14 and 16 hands high with some growing to 17 hands. Stock Quarter Horses are agile and muscled, however they seem to be compact and a little stocky. Halter Quarter Horses, on the other hand tend to be taller and have similar smooth muscling to the Thoroughbred.
Regardless of whether or not the horses are of the stock or halter variety, you are likely to discover that Quarter Horses are available in a variety of colors. Most commonly, you will find them listed as sorrel-a brown-red, chestnut brown shade. That, however, does not mean that you will not find Quarter Horses listed that are described as black, bay, gray, dun, palomino, red roan or a series of other shades. All of these colors-along with spotted or pinto colors-are found to be acceptable when it came time to record a horse with the American Quarter Horse Association, provided the horse’s parents were registered as well.
If you’re searching for a family horse, lineage and registration with the American Quarter Horse Association may not be among your top priorities when you are looking through listings of horses for sale. Instead, you may be covered a child’s request for ‘a brown one,’ or on finding a Quarter Horse that is closer to 14 hands rather than 16 or 17. This will make it easier for even the youngest members of your family to ride.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for an American Quarter Horse because you’re looking for the right animal to assist you around the ranch, when it comes to reigning in cattle, you may actually want to find out if or not the Quarter Horse is from a working line.
In other words, when you are making an attempt to research Quarter Horses for any purpose, focus on your needs first and foremost. You will be most likely to find a Quarter Horse that will meet your expectations if you see what your expectations really are. This way you’re sure to find exactly the Quarter Horse you need and want.
In timed events, horses must be ready and able to respond well to their riders, make quick turns and be able to burst forward at full speed, when it is essential to do so.
It is most often the American Quarter Horse that is used in rodeo events as a result of their strong hind legs and muscular power. Given that the American Quarter Horse got its name because the breed clocks the fastest quarter mile runs, it’s little wonder that, when it comes to timed events in the rodeo ring, Quarter Horses are used for barrel racing and steer wrestling and are deemed to be great calf roping horses as well.
Calf roping horses are not just in the rodeo ring for their speed and precision; they play a more important role in the event as well. For those who’re unfamiliar with calf roping, the event involves his rider, the calf roping horse, and a calf. The roping horses are brought up to a full gallop; the rider throws the lasso around the calf and dismounts. The horse then backs up enough to keep tension on the rope while the rider ties the calf. When he returns to the horse, the rider mounts and the tension on the lasso rope is eased to determine whether or not the calf will remain tied.
Calf roping horses, therefore, not only need to be trained and athletic in order to work together with the bursts of speed and sudden stops, but also they require to be able to respond well to their riders. The relationship that calf roping horses have with their riders is critical to the success that will be had during this exciting competitive event.
Therefore, when most riders look to buy a horse as a calf roping horse, temperament and intelligence are characteristics that most horse buyers are looking to be found in a horse. Calf roping horses-as well as all American Quarter Horses that are going to be employed on a ranch and in similar settings-is expected to have a calm disposition. They should be able to react quickly to their riders and the case where they’re used.
As with shopping for most products, when you’re looking at any horse, you will want to explore how you’ll be using the horse. Those who’re going to be riding in rodeo events on a periodic basis-in other words, a rider who’ll be taking his calf roping horses from one rodeo to the next and competing as a professional athlete-will probably be looking at a horse differently than someone who intends to compete only in some events during the year.
In other words, those who’ll be training their horses for a couple of weekend rodeos are most likely to be looking at American Quarter Horses that aren’t only good in the rodeo ring, but that also are comfortable working throughout the week at the ranch. Of course, other individuals may be looking at calf roping horses that they have seen during rodeo events and may elect to choose a Quarter Horse as a cattle horse, exclusively for use on their own ranch without the intention of competing. Many ranchers find that the calf roping horse is well-trained and well-suited for average, everyday work in the ranching business.
The right calf roping horse for one rider is not always going to become the right horse for another, of course. When looking at horses for sale, if you’re looking at Quarter Horses particularly for calf roping, it is important to choose a horse that a good fit. In some cases, that will mean choosing a horse that’s solid and gentle and he’ll be great for those who’re learning the sport. In other cases, it will mean a taller horse, for others it will mean a shorter horse: it is a matter of personal comfort and preference.
As always, you will want to ensure that the horse is in good shape, that its legs and back are powerful enough to carry your weight, and that the horse you choose either is already in great shape or can easily be conditioned for your chosen competitive sport or other use.