SUCCEED® Blog:

Where #SeriousHorsePeople come to better understand digestive health in horses and its impact and management.

Achieve the Ideal Quarter Horse Body Type for Halter

Equine Contestant displaying a horse’s structureA champion halter horse wins not just on exceeding the Quarter Horse conformational ideal, but on a presentation that displays the horse’s structure to its fullest. Healthy weight, balanced muscling, and a shining hair coat are necessities for showing off a horse’s perfectly conformed underlying bone-structure.

Tom Robertson is one of the AQHA halter greats as a breeder, trainer, handler, and judge – and has the Congress and World Championship wins to prove it. He and his wife Mary are dedicated to the overall wellness of all of their horses and have made SUCCEED a part of their daily program. Enjoy this look inside Tom Robertson’s feed program for a glimpse of how he prepares his winning halter horses.

What Makes a Winning Halter Horse

Halter horse classes are all about identifying the optimal breed body type in terms of overall structure and balance. The AQHA has detailed this conformational ideal in their Judging Halter (PDF) handbook. Key elements include:

  • Overall balance in equal thirds (head/neck/shoulder, barrel, and hindquarters)
  • Neck set high with a 2:1 ratio in length (top vs. bottom of neck)
  • Sloping shoulder
  • Short back and long croup
  • Level topline, or slightly higher at wither
  • Good legs
  • Pretty head and throatloatch

In addition to initial bone structure, which Tom says is the about the only thing that can’t be improved with feeding and conditioning, overall muscling and condition play a significant part in reaching the Quarter Horse archetype.

Feeding for the Optimal Halter Horse Body Type

Along with a good conditioning program, feeding is an integral part of achieving the right physical look for a halter horse. A horse’s nutrition obviously has a direct affect on its weight, but can also influence how and where muscling develops.

Feed a high-quality alfalfa hay

As is true for any breed in any discipline, Tom says that offering a quality hay is the best way to feed a halter horse, especially for promoting a healthy weight. He feeds the best alfalfa he can find in the area (he’s based in Michigan). Alfalfa hay is nutrient-rich and high in protein – making it a good choice for both nutrition and weight-gain. And don’t worry about the old wives tale that “alfalfa makes horses hot.”

Evaluate concentrates for each horse’s specific needs

Performance horses have different nutritional needs in addition to constant access to quality hay or pasture grass. After trying many different types of grain-based feeds, Tom has found his horses do best on steamed crimped oats, or Omelene for the youngsters and picky eaters.

Tom avoids pelleted feeds because it is difficult to know what is actually in them. While he doesn’t mind sweet feeds, he prefers something higher in protein that helps develop a leaner look.

Support joint and digestive wellness

Longing work commonly used to condition halter horses can be difficult on the equine joints. Tom manages his horses’ joint health with several good supplements, including a good potassium and calcium balance.

He also says that, “We put these horses through so many more challenges than people even know. We see a huge difference when using SUCCEED. I love SUCCEED because it helps the horse use its feed to its optimum efficiency – and cuts down on the grain budget.”

Leave a Comment:

One Response to “Achieve the Ideal Quarter Horse Body Type for Halter”

  1. Judy Caricofe

    How much grain should be given to a mule?? Have 2 and they have some grass, some hay and sweet grain, alfa pelelts and some cracked corn, I feed 2 cups cracked corn, 1 scoop(avarage) of sweet grain and 1/2 scoop of pellets. Spuse says they should only get 1 handful, they do not get enough grass for thay amount and they do not like hay , will eat it only when hungry enough. thanks for any help.
    Judy

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Related Articles:

+
All-Around Competitor Emma Charleston’s SUCCEED Story 

Reeds, Missouri cowgirl Emma Charleston is no stranger to the rodeo world, competing since she was just 4 years old. While some people feel pulled toward specific disciplines, Emma had her heart captured by both […]

+
Meet Kassidy McKee, Professional Barrel Racer

Oklahoma native and barrel racer Kassidy McKee is no stranger to the world of rodeo. While most people must wait until they are 18 to hit the professional rodeo trail, Kassidy’s had a front-row seat […]

+
How to Feed Speed Horses

Your horse’s diet plays a pivotal role in how fast it can be and how consistently it can run at its best. If you and your horses are barrel racing, breakaway roping, or competing in […]

+
In Memoriam: Dr. Kenneth Hill

By John Hall I’m sad to report the passing of Dr. Ken Hill, the last of the triumvirate that developed SUCCEED. Ken was Professor of Equine Sports Physiology at Limerick University in Ireland. He ran […]

+
Can I Feed SUCCEED on Racing Days?

SUCCEED is a nutritional approach to managing your horse’s digestive health, including the stomach and the hindgut. It’s designed to keep your horse’s entire GI system healthy, which positively impacts many aspects of wellness as […]

+
Pro Rodeo Barrel Racer Sissy Winn

Texas-based WPRA barrel racer Sissy Winn is the 2021 Texas Circuit Finals Championship, and she’s already starting at the top for 2022. Her sights are set on qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo—and she’ll feed […]

SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program is a nutritional approach to managing the horse’s digestive health, including the stomach and the hindgut. Learn More

succeed veterinary formula

SUCCEED Veterinary Formula, available only from veterinarians, is an advanced version of SUCCEED and comes backed by the SUCCEED Healthy Gut Commitment. Learn More