Do you notice a marked difference in the brain and trainability of the well bred reining horse?

“Hi Stacy, just to follow on with this a little, I have been following your Jac series with interest. Very thought provoking and inspiring stuff. It got me thinking about the differences between a very well bred horse like Jac’s brain and others without such amazing bloodlines. Do you notice a marked difference in the brain and trainability of the well bred reining horse?-Scott”

The best way for me to try to describe it is to compare the horses to dogs. A horse like Jac that comes from a line of horses that has been breed specifically for reining is like buying a border collie that has come from a line that was bred specifically for herding.

Big breed associations like Quarter Horses have bloodlines in them that are well known for certain traits. Training theses horses has a familiar feel because they have been breed for physical and mental traits. Just as a collie will work livestock more naturally that a doberman a reiner will often train easier than one not bred for it. It makes the training easier…but doesn’t necessarily mean that the horse is more intelligent, just that it excels in that area.

Buying a horse with unknown bloodlines or bloodlines that aren’t sport specific might be like going to the pound and adopting a dog. The unknown factor doesn’t mean that the dog is less intelligent or less trainable and amazing animals pop up in many places…..just watch this bunny rabbit!


  1. Gardsbacken on May 1, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Hi Stacey!

    This is Dan and Paula at Gardsbacken in Sweden. We are the ones that made the video of Champis – the herding rabbit, and we are honoured that you put our video on your blog. You have a very good reputation in Sweden, and “horsepeople” here think very highly of you.
    Champis still lives here on our farm Gardsbacken, located near Ornskoldsvik, in the north of Sweden. He spend his time with both chickens and sheep and is now very busy controlling the lambs, who are three-four weeks old, and have started to run outside

    Champis with the lambs:

    An answer to Johanna’s comment:
    Champis did not grow up with dogs. He moved to a farm when he was two, and has since then lived among the sheep. He came to us a couple of years ago, and we have Border Collies ( we breed, train and compete in sheepdog trials with our Gardsbacken dogs), but he had learned most of his herding skills before that, and he has never seen our dogs working. But he truly is “the king of the barn” !

    If you want to see more of Champis, our dogs, and the other animals at our farm Gardsbacken, please visit:

    • johanna on May 22, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      tak for den anden video af kanin Champis-
      i’ll say it again–that is an awesome bunny :))

  2. johanna on April 19, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    awesome bunny 🙂 i ask myself if it was raised as a kit with the BorderCollie in the video and learned herding that way :)?

    re: work dog brains and lines lines:
    So for dogs, (i can’t speak for horses), a Border Collie bred specifically for work would often be better than a Border Collie bred from a ‘Pet Line’ (not always though). However both of these would generally be better at herding and easier to train for it –esp initially- than for ex., a Doberman, Rottweiller, American Pitbull Terrier or other non-herding, working breed. That said, any dog can be taught herding, and I have personally seen some amazing herding work done by both Pitties and Rotties, as well as mutts from the shelter.
    Personally I don’t feel it is intelligence that is in question at all, rather it is aptitude for a certain subject, way of working, or kind of work.

    I don’t know if that corresponds to Quarter Horses of reining vs. non-reining lines vs. other horse breeds?

  3. Marlene Harrell on April 19, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    I think that the rabbit’s behavior was reinforced by the owner. If you watch…even with food, the owner acts as if the rabbit was in control, and runs from him.

  4. Annie Gass on April 19, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Definitely one of the funniest animal videos I’ve ever seen!

  5. Nikki B on April 19, 2014 at 9:00 am

    That is classic, maybe a sheep dog in a former life?? LOL

  6. Roseanne Coggan on April 18, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    That rabbit is almost as good at sheep herding as my Border Collies are.That was one determined rabbit.

  7. Lesia Lowe on April 18, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Guarding its nest of babies maybe????? …..I would NOT mess with that rabbit!!!! ……it meant BUSINESS…

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