Big Muddy rancher wrote:I was going on mostly the reputation they had in this country and the one I owned. I bought him as a 2 yr old stud and cut him in the fall after he had run with some mares where I got him from. My son broke him easily but he didn't have a lick of cow in him. I sold him to Tam's uncle for use in the Shriners Black horse patrol as a 3 yr old. He never had a mishap for 3 or 4 years after riding in all kinds of parades and drills until indoors at Hardin he blew up and broke the uncles pelvis. They never knew why but that's how it seems to happen with them. I don't think he was ever tested.
Well, I won't even begin to speculate why a horse would come uncorked the way he did. Could be a lot of different things. I'm sure it wasn't fun being Tam's uncle for a while, though.
I doubt, however, that the bucking was caused by HYPP (if the horse was positive for the defect in the first place). If anything, HYPP (Hyperkalemic Partial Paralysis) will tend to knock a horse down because an attack will cause uncontrollable muscle spasms; a horse with a severe attack will tend to lose control of his back end first, and end up falling over. A horse with a mild attack looks like there are a handful of critters fighting under its skin. It's fairly unpleasant to watch, but it's a long ways from a bucking episode, since a horse with an attack won't have the muscle control to actually do much of anything other than stand there.
And I'm not saying Impressive horses are perfect, or that every horse that goes back to Impressive in his pedigree is great. Shoot, I'm not even saying that every Impressive horse is a baby sitter or that they don't buck. Believe me, they can and do buck, just like any other relatively sensitive horse. That big, gray horse my little girl was riding in the picture? Three years before that photo was taken, he bucked so hard and for so long the first time he was saddled in the round pen, that he wriggled the saddle pad loose, out from underneath the saddle. I have never seen a horse buck like that, before or since. But, of course, his only contact with humans prior to that (as a two year old) had been to rope him and knock him down for branding, to poke him with shots and stuff a hose into him for tube worming, and to run him into a trailer to go to a new home. And once he figured out that we weren't going to hurt him, he turned into a giant puppy dog, much to my daughter's (and my... ) delight. He could rope both ends (if you didn't mind heeling from so high up there) out of the box and would have been a really competitive team roping horse if we'd kept working with him in that regard. He'd do bridle less sliding stops, was one of the best pasture roping horses you'll find (faster than you would believe a horse that big has a right to be, could jump over anything you wanted to clear, and was absolutely fearless), and I never did find his bottom end on the endurance side. Shoot, he was so good-natured I could take him to breed a mare with nothing but a string around his neck, let alone a halter with a stud chain; that horse was so willing to please that I once pulled him away from a mare to which he was trying really hard to cuddle up to, with nothing but my hands and a strong vocal reprimand.
Anyway, I've been bucked off (this is just bucked off, not even bucked with...) horses with breeding to Doc Bar, to Skipper W, to Impressive (including that big gray stud before he finally settled down... and he was big, too... 16.2, probably over 1400 pounds... that hurt, too, but fortunately there weren't any real injuries), been bucked off horses that are racing bred, and that are God-knows-what bred. Had a couple of close encounters with a Two Eyed Jack bred horse, too. I think any of them can buck, with or without reason.
But I will say this: I've never seen or had an Impressive horse buck for no reason (yet); I've always known why they bucked, and it was usually for a relatively good reason (of course, knowing why they bucked didn't keep me or some other folks from getting bucked off, but I've always known why they bucked when they bucked). And we haven't yet had one that just liked to buck and did it for sport or for fun (knock on all sorts of wood....). BMR, I know yours bucked for no apparent reason that one time, but we've had close to 40 of them in the past 15 years or so, and have never had that happen to us. Maybe we're just lucky. And I've neer had one come after me or anyone else aggressively when they pitch a rider (I've heard plenty of stories about Peppy San Badger and Hancock horses not just pitching a rider with a bucking fit, but taking a shot at them with both hind feet while the human was still airborne and rapidly en route to a close encounter with the ground).
So, are the Impressive bred horses perfect? Not remotely. Are there bad ones out there? Absolutely, though I don't think that percentage is higher than with other bloodlines. Are there a lot of them out there that look like beached whales, thanks to people trying to breed for a show horse? Yup, that's true, too. But most folks with real sense about a using horse can spot that one in 10 seconds and head down the road, and after you've had some practice you start to get a feel for which Impressive descendants are better built (and wired in the head...) for riding.
And, FH, this picture is for you. A different stallion, also Impressive bred (sire is Western Impress, daughter is by Mr Conclusion), being led by a then-5-year-old (maybe 6-year-old) girl, past a pen full of mares 15 feet to the left of where they're walking. Hope you guys have a great weekend.