Scientists Test Quarter Horse Personality Scoring System

The ability to select Quarter Horse breeding stock for behavior traits might improve equine welfare and human safety, researchers said.
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Good personality is essential in Quarter Horses, researchers say. | Photo: iStock

When you choose a Quarter Horse, what are you looking for? Nice hindquarters; bright, observant eyes; that muscular upside-down “V” between the front legs; solid hooves? Those are critical qualities of this stock horse breed. But what about personality?

Good personality makes up a vital part of the Quarter Horse, German researchers say. But personality judging still isn’t part of the overall assessment at breeding inspections. That’s why their team is developing a reliable personality scoring system that judges can integrate into their evaluations.

“Equine personality traits are of major importance to training success and equine welfare,” said Sandra Kuhnke, PhD candidate at the University of Kassel and breed manager for the Deutsche Quarter Horse Association, in Aschaffenburg, Germany. “So personality traits are part of our breeding goals

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Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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