How often do we hear that a certain breed is good or bad for a specific job? Cobs are great if you want a docile, safe horse but thoroughbreds are crazy and only good for the most competent, bravest riders.
We have always thought that this is utter rubbish, you only have to read our 'About' section to know that!
This is confirmed in our minds when we get a case like Charlie in. He was an ex pointer who had spent three months chilling in a field and not been ridden at all. After being at Little Hesteyri a day, it was clear that he didn't understand electric fencing, nothing naughty or nasty, just not seeing it (it was green) so we didn’t want to risk him getting tangled and we had space at our other field anyway.
The field is just down the lane, about a ten minute hack. We usually ride to and from in just a head collar as it’s all on private tracks and tiny lanes!
So we set off, meaning to ride Tom and lead Charlie but we hadn’t put Tom’s boots on and he’s not long had a file so he was being pathetic on the big stones and having a meltdown!
Cue us riding the off track thoroughbred after months off work... bareback in a headcollar down a brand new lane after he had only settled in for a day!
This just highlights the point that every horse is different! You have to assess each individual situation and how each horse reacts to things.
So many people write thoroughbreds off as too highly strung because some thoroughbreds are. People say ‘typical’ thoroughbred when they’re loosing their minds over simple things. We have had so many thoroughbreds in, probably talking over a hundred, at Little Hesteyri and out of those, two have been ‘typical’ thoroughbreds.
Anyone doing the maths is probably thinking the same thing: “that’s not typical then.” and they would be right. Based on the horses we have had here, it's actually atypical for them to be hot headed and highly strung.
In our time, we have also ridden two 'typical' cobs! That's not because we don't have cobs in, they just aren't always docile and safe. We've had a lot of cobs with quirks and have also had cobs who can out strip thoroughbreds in every aspect, mentioning no names but a certain junior rider may know who we’re talking about!
People have to treat all horses differently because no two are the same and if you go your whole lives thinking that every cob you meet is safe and every thoroughbred you meet is crazy, you're going to end up putting yourself in danger!
I’m not saying that it’s wrong to have a favourite breed but look at the horse underneath! After having show jumping cobs, eventing welshies and hacking thoroughbreds, we would never discount a horse because it was born into the wrong body!