What Breed, What Discipline? A guide to what horses excel at what.
Riding Discipline is based on two main Disciplines, English and Western. They both require different skills, and different tack. They also usually require different uniform. They are each a different lifestyle. They both then divide down into smaller disciplines, which vary but stay in the same saddle and idea.
I'm going to begin by saying that pretty much any breed can do anything. But you really don't want a small pony or a draft for barrel racing, do you? They would not excel at that. For barrel racing you would want a light and fast breed with good movement.
When looking for a horse for a specific Discipline, you need not to look only at the breed. Look closely at confirmation, temperament, and ability. Breeds only have good qualities that help in a sport.
Dressage: For dressage you want a good mover, as that is what dressage is about. The most common Horses are Hanoverians, Haflingers, and Andalusians (Lusitano). German/Danish Warmbloods are also very popular in that category. However Friesians and Lipizzaner’s are growing in popularity.
Show Jumping: Show Jumping horses are usually preferred with good legs and lots of muscle. The horse should also be very surdy and good on its feet. Thoroughbreds, Irish sport Horses, and most warmbloods to very well in this activity.
Cross Country: For Cross Country you want a sturdy, good moving horse known for Endurance. Arabians, thoroughbreds, and warmbloods are all good choices. Australian stock horses are also good and gaining in Cross Country popularity. Fjords and Hanoverians are also gaining in popularity.
Hunter Jumper: You generally want a light, sturdy horse for Hunter Jumper. Common breeds include the Welsh pony, Oldenburg, Thoroughbred, American Warmblood, Duch Warmblood, Hanoverian, Holisteiner, and quarter horse.
Vaulting: For Vaulting You generally want a sturdy, draft breed. It should have a nice wide and flat back. The horse should also be calm and durable. Most Draft Crosses will work, but belgians and Percherons are very popular breeds for vaulting.
Barrel Racing: For Barrel Racing the horses must be agile, and be able to chage leads quick. You also need a muscular, athletic Horse. Barrel Racing Horses should also be fast. Quarter Horses are by far the most popular for this sport. Quarter Horses have always been noted as the best. Other Breeds include Appaloosas, Paint Horses, and Arabians.
Cutting: Typically Quarter Horses are used for cutting. But you don't as much look at the breed for cutting. You just want an agile and quick horse that is okay with calves. Cutting Horses have to chase down and rope Calves.
Reining: For reining you want an agile, nice moving horse. The horse has to practice many movements, and perfect them. The horse should also be very responsive to the rider's commands. Temperament is also a key. Again, Quarter Horses are very popular in Reining.
Endurance: Endurance can be any saddle, but usually western. you want a horse with strength, most importantly, stamina. It should also have very good attitude. Morgans, arabians, and trotters are very good breeds.