Assessment of performance traits in breeding horses in the context of the operation of Training Stations in Poland
2015, 16 (1) p. 197-207
Breeders and horse trainers have long been concerned with the problem of assessing the utility value of young horses, in particular their suitability for breeding, sport and recreational uses. The purpose of use is determined by physiological, genetic and morphological factors, as well as the resulting performance traits. The actual value of the horse is reflected in many characteristics such as health status, conformation, constitution, origin, performance, and value of offspring. Therefore, extensive performance tests play a crucial role in horse breeding and methods of performance evaluation are still a subject of considerable research. Training Stations give horses a good start in their sport career. Horse training arouses the characteristics and instincts that are beneficial for the rider while suppressing others that are often unfavourable. The purpose of breaking is to make the horse acquire new behaviours and to produce the required mental state. Research to date has clearly shown that the mental characteristics of horses used for recreation and sport (and evaluated in performance tests) are highly correlated to their performance results because they are highly heritable.