Ellison is a professional horse trainer and riding instructor. She runs a summer camp program and offers kids a safe introduction to horses.
A grade horse is a horse of unknown lineage—a crossbred. Saying a horse is a grade horse is the equivalent of a dog being a "mutt." I'm not using the term "mutt" in a derogatory way either! Some of the best dogs and horses that I have ever owned have been ones that were not purebred.
Is a Grade Horse Less Desirable Than a Purebred?
If you are just looking for a safe riding partner or trail horse, a grade horse versus a purebred really doesn't matter. If the horse meets your requirements of non-negotiables but isn't purebred, it doesn't matter!
Some people just prefer certain breeds of horses, which is why they buy purebred horses. Some purebred horses are bred for specific talents, for example, a thoroughbred for racing, or a quarter horse for cutting cattle.
If you want to compete in a discipline that has a breed organization you would like to be involved in, like AQHA for example, you will not be able to participate in those unless your horse is a registered horse.
Many people who participate in disciplines that are specific to a certain breed have no problem with riding an unregistered horse. As long as the mount is sound and has the skills they need to get the job done, that is all that matters!
The Advantages of a Purebred Horse
As I mentioned above, one main advantage is being able to participate in breed organizations' competitions. There are shows specific to quarter horses, off-track thoroughbred's, Arabians, etc.
If you want to participate in a discipline that a certain breed excels in, getting one of those purebreds allows you the opportunity to compete in those breed-specific shows. Whereas, if you chose a horse of unknown lineage, you won't be able to do those show circuits. There are tons of shows and disciplines open for any breed. So, if you find your dream horse and he doesn't have registration papers, you should not let that deter you if he really fits your needs.
Another advantage of a purebred horse is that if you get a mare, she can have value as a broodmare. This benefits the owner of a purebred horse that gets injured and is no longer sound to ride. If she is a quality registered horse, she still has some value as a broodmare. Whereas a grade horse generally would not be used for breeding purposes.
Another fun advantage of having a purebred horse with registration papers is being able to research their lineage. It is fun to see pictures of your horse's parents and read about their competitive accomplishments! That is one thing that you definitely will not be able to do with a grade horse since you most likely will not know who their parents are. It is a fun thing, but not enough of a factor that should sway your decision when buying a horse.
How Old Is He?
The main disadvantage that many see with a grade horse is that without registration papers, it is hard to verify a horse's exact age. Obviously, you can get a generalized idea of an age range by looking at their teeth, but you may not be able to tell exactly, especially with horses that are older.
Many times with grade horses that are older and have had many owners, you may not get an accurate age on them (simply because of the fact that things get mixed up and time flies by). Not that someone would intentionally mislead you about a horses age. Sometimes, with no paper documentation, it is just easy to get mixed up over time.
To say that purebred horses always cost more than grade horses would not necessarily be accurate. The cost of a quality grade horse that has a strong competitive record can be more costly than a registered horse in some situations. Generally speaking, a well-trained purebred horse will cost more than a grade horse with an equal amount of training. Not always though!
There are so many factors that go into pricing a horse for sale. Things like how fast they need to sell the horse or if it has any physical limitations. The expensive horse is not always going to mean purebred. Just as cheap isn't necessarily going to mean the horse is grade horse.
Some of My Best Horses Have Been Grade Horses
Some of my best horses have been grade horses. When I search for horses for my lesson program and for pony rides, safety is my priority, not breed. If it meets all my non-negotiables, and I feel it will be a good fit in my program, lack of registration papers will not deter me from buying it.
If you are a new rider or first-time horse owner, having a safe and positive experience is first and foremost. If that horse happens to be a grade horse, so be it.
If you have your heart set on a purebred of a certain breed, there is nothing wrong with that at all. It is just personal preference, really. Not to mention if you only want a certain breed that is going to reduce the number of choices when horse shopping, it may take longer to find the perfect horse at the perfect price. If it is what you really want though, it will be well worth it!
© 2018 Ellison Hartley
What Is a Grade Horse? - pets
Monthly Read and Color Books
Read and Color Books: Grades K-2
Random selections from the downloadable books (grades K-2) section:
Grade 1 Daily Themes
|A Big Change|
|The Perfect Soup|
|Healthy Habits for Kids|
|The Secret Ingredient|
|Aidan Is Angry at Alan Again|
|An Elephant's Eye|
|Bubble Bath Time|
|Writing a Letter|
|The Oatmeal Ogre|
|Somewhere Under There|
|Ours Is Better|
|A Big Yellow Monster|
|Miss Sparkles Sparkles|
|A Bird on My Arm|
|To Be an Eagle|
|What makes you happy?|
|Jasmine's Big Problem|
|Oatmeal for Breakfast|
|A Trip Down Under|
|Pop! Pop! Pop!|
|Mark Is Too Busy|
|Skates for Stacie|
|A Place of Her Own|
|A Prickly Angel|
|What a Face!|
|More Nutella, Please!|
|The Rainbow Ribbon|
|A New Coach|
|Poking a Cake|
|The Little Red Schoolhouse|
|Your Name Is What?|
|Oh, Me! Oh, My!|
|Around and Around|
|Gumdrop Q & A|
|How Many Birds?|
|I Don't Want To Play|
|Aim for Fame|
|Prince Tuesday's Gift|
|The Great Clam Chowder Fight|
|Sweet Potato Pie|
|How Chili Got Its Name|
|A Poem by a Dog Biscuit|
|Hot! Hot! Hot!|
|I Wish I Was a Polar Bear|
|Is She Real?|
|What on Earth?|
|Those Fanciful Tales|
|What Did You Say?|
|Thank a GI|
|Jo and the Yo-Yo|
|The New Girl|
|Fighting a Giant|
|Marching to Glory|
|Naming a Hamster|
|How to Be Awesome|
|Stop Clowning Around!|
|I Can, Can You?|
|A Family with No Lips|
|Ginger's Visit to the Vet|
|A New Favorite|
|One Too Many|
|At Last, a Corn Dog|
|I'm Not Sick!|
|Jamie Gets a Puppy|
|Bree's Bubble Trick|
|The Wooden Egg|
|I Think I Want to Be a Kite|
|McKayla 1, Weeds 1|
|Talking Around the World|
|Very Curious Music|
|Kara's Kite and the Big Wind|
|A Magic Place|
|"It's Hard Work!"|
|I'm a Poet and I Know It|
|Music on a Platter|
|The Morzov Tree|
|Ellis Island Family History Day|
|Yes, I Can!|
|The Great Jelly Bean Hunt|
|Tinkertoys and Tiddly Winks|
|The House of Ruth|
|Adrian's Worst Day|
|And It Is Free!|
|A Day for Mother Goose|
|Like Everyone Else|
|My Favorite Teacher|
|I Love Trains|
|I Hate Socks!|
|The Biggest Hamburger You Can Buy|
|The Runaway Snake|
|Not Like Yours|
|Jump Right In!|
|Chicken Lips and Lizard Hips|
|The Family Reunion|
|Bikes, Boo-boos, and Band-Aids|
|The Patchwork Doll|
|The Taffy Pull|
|I Didn't Know That!|
|My Best Friend|
|Grampa and Ben|
|A Great Gift|
|It's A Bird, It's A Plane|
|Eat Your Vegetables Day|
|Happy Birthday, Garfield|
|Cold, Tingly, Creamy, Sweet|
|Fawn's First Summer|
|What Do They Build?|
|The Watermelon Thump|
|When Can We Eat Beans?|
|A Day to be Free|
|A Big Mistake|
|A Calf for Marti|
|Amelia Earhart: A Woman of Adventure|
|A New Spot for Spot|
|When I Grow Up|
|Hooray for Family Meals|
|The World's Best Fruit|
|Two of a Kind|
|A Special Dog|
|Okay to be Lazy!|
|Drinking a Rainbow|
|The Trouble with Being Left-Handed|
|In Honor of Feet|
|Born on a Mountaintop|
|Angels with Dirty Faces|
|Carrie v. Haley|
|The Bugs' Plan|
|Salt or Herbs?|
|Bobby and the Buzzy Bees|
|The Queen and I|
|Two Happy Mushrooms|
|Call Me Dan|
|Icky and Sticky|
|Not Even a Blizzard|
|A Nose for America|
|9-11 Search Dogs|
|Not on Our Team!|
|Rob Is a Bully|
|Trail of Tears|
|Katie and Curly|
|Guys or Gals?|
|Jamie's New Neighbor|
|The Best Dog in the World|
|Mrs. Nelson's Neighbor|
|The Shamu Show|
|The Great Can Stomp|
|The Ants' Picnic|
|Not Just a Geek|
|A Card for Jen|
|World Space Week|
|My Favorite Teacher|
|Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat|
|When He Was My Age|
|Who Was First?|
|Music! Music! Music!|
|A Day on the Wild Side|
|What in the World?|
|Tick, Tock! Eddie Gets a Clock|
|A Frog's Eye View|
|Oscar the Grouch|
|What Can I Do?|
|The Dictionary Mouse|
|I Don't Want to Go!|
|My New Friend Sandy|
|Sammy's Big Problem|
|An Underground Festival|
|The Chocolate Museum|
|My Best Friend|
|Candy for All|
|The "doptid" Dog|
|Tis Time to Write to Santa|
|Kate's Veterans Day Poster|
|The Books I Like|
|Nick and the Teddy Bear|
|"Take a Hike, Mike"|
|Have a Bad Day!|
|The Reason Flag|
|On Pins and Needles|
|Susie's Sixth Birthday|
|Cookie Cutter Shark|
|I HaveANT Got Brown Shoes!|
|A Winter Surprise|
|Up and Down, Up and Down|
|The Sweetest House|
|Hooray for the Underdog|
|Fawn Meets Winter|
|Don't Be a Fruitcake!|
|Cookies for the Neighbors|
|Nan Makes Up Her Mind|
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What Are Thoroughbred Horses?
A Thoroughbred is a breed of horse developed for jumping and racing purposes. This breed of horse originates from Barb and Arab horses produced in England around the third century. Although, the word "thoroughbred" is often mistakenly used to mean purebred, the correct usage is to describe a specific breed of horse with impressive jumping ability, agility, speed and spirit.
In the United States, a horse that has one Thoroughbred parent is known as a Grade Thoroughbred. In Great Britain, this type of horse is known as a half-bred. Grade Thoroughbreds are generally used for riding or as hunters and polo ponies. Thoroughbreds are horses with short backs, subtle heads, broad chests and slim bodies. This breed of horse has short legs that offer a longer and effortless stride. Thoroughbreds are high-spirited and sensitive horses that range from 16 to 18 hands high. At full maturity, these horses can weigh more than 1,000 pounds. Thoroughbreds are generally gray, bay, black, chestnut or brown. This breed of horse has exceptional speed and stamina as a result of the mixture of qualities from several different breeds of horses. The English Thoroughbred is located in numerous countries around the world and is bred to improve the local breeds and for racing.
9 Steps of a Professional Pet Dental Cleaning
Not all dental cleanings are equal, so veterinarians need to understand the important components.
By John Lewis, VMD, FAVD, Dipl. AVDC
Dentistry is an exacting science that requires attention to detail. Not all pet dental cleanings are created equally. This article discusses the important components of the professional dental cleaning.
This will be a topic of an upcoming stand-alone article, but for now, suffice it to say that no self-respecting dog or cat will allow you to do a thorough subgingival scaling, a complete oral and pharyngeal exam, and dental radiographs when awake! Click here to read tips on how to make anethesia safer.
Risk vs. Benefit
Much of what I do as a veterinary dentist involves assessing the risk vs. benefit for an elective dental procedure in a patient that may have an inherently higher anesthetic risk than a healthy patient. Veterinary dentists tend to surround themselves with people and machines that help minimize that risk.
Click here to watch a three-year-old miniature schnauzer undergo a dental cleaning and extraction.
But risk is present even in healthy patients. Appropriate preoperative diagnostics help to assess risk.
Step 1: Safety First
The cuffed endotracheal tube is checked prior to starting the dental procedure. Care should be taken to inflate the cuff to prevent leaks, but we need to avoid filling the cuff excessively to avoid tracheal rupture and necrosis.
How many milliliters of air are required to fill the cuff of a typical cat? Approximately 1.6 +/- 0.7 milliliters.1 How many milliliters of air are required to rupture the trachea of a cat? Approximately 6 milliliters. 1
Therefore, using a 3 cc syringe to inflate the cuff is more appropriate than a 10 cc syringe for a cat. The eyes of the patient are protected with copious amounts of eye lubricant. The operator wears a protective mask and eye protection. The mouth is rinsed with 0.12 percent chlorhexidine solution (much less concentrated than what is used on skin) to decrease bacterial aerosolization.
The patient is positioned to provide optimal ergonomics to prevent acute and chronic injury to the operator.
Step 2: Oral Examination
Start with an examination of the extraoral structures including palpation of the mandibular lymph nodes, salivary glands of the neck, retropulsion of the eyes, inspection of the nares, maxilla and mandibles. Intraoral structures are evaluated, including the tongue, palate, pharynx, tonsils, buccal, labial, and alveolar mucosa.
Each tooth is evaluated for presence/absence, mobility, fractures, discoloration, abrasion, attrition, caries (cavities), resorption and pulp exposure. These findings are recorded on the dental record.
Each tooth is evaluated with a probe and an explorer. The probe checks for periodontal pockets in six areas around the circumference of the tooth. The explorer is particularly important in evaluating the gingival margin in cats to assess for subtle tooth resorption, and for evaluating whether a fractured or abraded tooth has pulp exposure.
These observations, as well as comments on degree of periodontal disease, are noted on the dental record.
At the University of Pennsylvania, full mouth radiographs are obtained in all cats and most dogs. Multiple studies have shown there is significant diagnostic value to obtaining dental radiographs. 2, 3 You are only seeing approximately half of the tooth structure without dental radiographs.
Step 4: Clean Supragingivally
A laparotomy sponge is placed in the back of the pharynx to absorb liquids, and the nose of the patient is pointed down in relation to the neck to allow fluids to flow outward instead of into the pharyngeal area. An ultrasonic scaler designed for supragingival use removes heavy calculus from the crowns of the teeth.
Avoid using the scaler on a single tooth for more than 20 seconds to avoid thermal or vibrational damage to the tooth.
Step 5: Clean Subgingivally
Next, an insert intended for subgingival use (with a “perio” tip) is utilized within the gingival sulcus of each tooth to remove any subgingival calculus. Hand curettes may be used subgingivally in areas where periodontal pockets require subgingival curettage and root planing.
Hand scalers may be used in areas where calculus is adherent in developmental grooves of the tooth crowns. Perform appropriate periodontal therapy, periodontal surgery, and extractions as indicated by clinical signs, radiographs and oral exam.
Polish the Teeth Well, But Not Too Much
Polishing allows for removal of microscopic etches on the surface of the tooth created by the cleaning process. Enamel loss may occur due to excessively frequent polishing, and overaggressive polishing (too much pressure or excessive RPMs) may result in thermal damage to a tooth.
Use light pressure, just enough to flare the cup of the prophy angle, and polish for one to three seconds on each tooth surface, returning to the surface for another one to three seconds as needed to polish all surfaces. Rinse the polish off by a gentle rinse of water from the air-water syringe.
Step 7: Consider Applying Something
I do not typically apply fluoride to the teeth after a cleaning because caries are rare in our veterinary patients. Barrier sealants are available that may be applied to the teeth after a professional dental cleaning. Sanos is a liquid sealant that is coated on the teeth and subgingival area after polishing. This product has received the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of acceptance for plaque and calculus reduction. OraVet is a plaque and calculus prevention system that has been shown to significantly decrease plaque and calculus formation at four and eight weeks after application. 4
Step 8: Show Owners What You Did
Show clients dental radiographs and before-and-after photos of the work you did on their pet. The educational values of images cannot be underscored enough!
Step 9: Recommend a Custom-made Home Care Strategy
Daily or twice-daily brushing is the gold standard of home care. Many pets will tolerate brushing with some practice. Some keys to pass along to pet owners:
• Pets don’t like having their mouths open, so lift the lip without opening the mouth to allow for access to the outer surface of most upper and lower teeth
• Use a soft-bristled brush with nothing on it but warm water at the beginning
• Use a circular motion with bristles angled toward the gingival margin to allow some bristles to sweep beneath the gingiva
• Save the inside surfaces of the teeth for the last part of brushing
• Give the pet a treat after brushing as positive reinforcement.
Not every pet and pet owner can form a compliant brushing team, for a variety of reasons. Rinses and gels are available that may provide anti-plaque and anti-calculus effects. Special dental diets have an effect either mechanically or due to chemicals that retard plaque or calculus accumulation.
Chewing on appropriate chew toys and treats may help in chewing-motivated patients. Water additives are also available. Some of the above products have received the VOHC seal of acceptance for either plaque or calculus reduction, or both. See www.vohc.org/accepted_products.htm for a full list of VOHC-accepted products.
I am commonly asked how frequently a dog or cat should receive an anesthetic dental cleaning. There is not a “canned” answer to this question. Patients are different in how quickly they develop calculus, plaque and periodontal disease. Most patients will benefit from a yearly professional dental cleaning some may need more frequent care. Some patients may need less frequent cleanings, especially if effective home care is occurring between cleanings.
John Lewis, VMD, FAVD, Dipl. AVDC, is assistant professor of dentistry and oral surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in Philadelphia.
REFERENCES and RECOMMENDED READING
1. Hardie EM, Spodnick GJ, Gilson SD, Benson JA, Hawkins EC. Tracheal rupture in cats: 16 cases (1983-1998). J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1999 Feb 15214(4):508-12.
2. Verstraete FJ, Kass PH, Terpak CH. Diagnostic value of full-mouth radiography in cats. Am J Vet Res. 1998 Jun59(6):692-5.
3. Verstraete FJ, Kass PH, Terpak CH. Diagnostic value of full-mouth radiography in dogs. Am J Vet Res. 1998 Jun59(6):686-91.
4. Gengler WR, Kunkle BN, Romano D, Larsen D. Evaluation of a barrier dental sealant in dogs. J Vet Dent. 2005 Sep22(3):157-9.
Holmstrom SE, Bellows J, Colmery B, Conway ML, Knutson K, Vitoux J. AAHA dental care guidelines for dogs and cats. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2005 Sep-Oct41(5):277-83.
Lewis JR, Miller BM. Dentistry and Oral Surgery. In: Bassert JM, McCurnin DM, eds. Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians, 2010. Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, MO, pp 1093-1148.
Greyhounds: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em
Greyhound temperament, personality, training, behavior, pros and cons, advice, and information, by Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Behavioral Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books
The Greyhound belongs to a family of hunting dogs called sighthounds. The slender, long-legged sighthound hunts by spotting the movement of a prey animal across a vast distance, then running the animal down with lightning speed.
The Greyhound, though, is a unique sighthound developed more for track racing than for hunting. Greyhound racing is a high-stakes, brutal industry that is fortunately being banned in more and more communities.
Greyhound racing dogs who are past their prime, or who simply lose too many races, would face quick deaths if it weren't for rescue groups who take them in and foster them. Greyhound Rescue groups teach these ex-racing dogs (who have lived their entire lives in kennels) how to be good family companions. The vast majority of Greyhounds found in family homes today are ex-racing dogs.
With their quiet dignity and independence, Greyhounds are calm and quiet indoors, moving lightly and gracefully rather than toppling your lamps. They are comfort-loving dogs who want to snuggle on a soft couch or under a warm blanket.
The fastest of all breeds (a Greyhound can outrun a horse in a sprint), once he has exploded into his powerful driving gallop for a short time, he is content to sleep for the rest of the day.
Which brings up an important requirement for owning a Greyhound – you should have a good-sized, fenced area in which he can spring all-out at least once every few days. Greyhounds are not built for endurance, so they don't want or need hours of jogging exercise.
This sensitive breed prefers peace and quiet and soft-spoken people. He does not do well in an environment with chronic tension or loud voices.
Most Greyhounds are politely reserved with strangers, and prefer to lean against their owner's leg rather than approaching people they don't know.
Greyhounds are peaceful with other dogs who are medium to large in size. But because of their heritage, they can be a serious chaser of cats and tiny dogs. However, many individuals can learn to coexist with these smaller pets.
Greyhounds are nonaggressive (they tend to freeze when challenged or attacked) and they can be touch-sensitive (startling when touched unexpectedly). Because they are so docile, they must be trained with a very light hand and much more praise than correction.
This quiet dog seldom barks. (But many individuals take great delight in stealing and hoarding food and toys!)
- Has a tall, slender, elegant build
- Has a sleek easy-care coat that comes in many colors
- Is extremely athletic and graceful – can run swiftly and jump great heights
- Has a calmness and quiet dignity that is often likened to a cat
- Is polite with people and other dogs
- Is readily available through the many Greyhound rescue organizations for ex-racing dogs
A Greyhound may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with.
- Providing a safe enclosed area where he can occasionally gallop
- Strong instincts to chase other living creatures that run
- Potential for fearfulness or timidity if not socialized enough
- An independent "what's in it for me?" attitude toward training
- Emotional sensitivity to stress and abrupt changes in schedule
- Slowness to housebreak
A Greyhound may not be right for you.
Keep in mind that the inheritance of temperament is less predictable than the inheritance of physical traits such as size or shedding. Temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and training.
- You can avoid some negative traits by choosing an ADULT dog from an animal shelter or rescue group. With an adult dog, you can easily see what you're getting, and plenty of adult Greyhounds have already proven themselves not to have negative characteristics. Indeed, you can adopt a wonderful Greyhound from rescue groups that specialize in finding homes for ex-racing dogs who desperately need a home.
- If you want a puppy, you can avoid some negative traits by choosing the right breeder and the right puppy. Unfortunately, you usually can't tell whether a puppy has inherited temperament or health problems until he grows up.
- Finally, you can avoid some negative traits by training your Greyhound to respect you and by following the 11-step care program in my book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy.
More traits and characteristics of the Greyhound
If I was considering a Greyhound, I would be most concerned about.
- Providing enough running exercise. Greyhounds don't need miles of running, but they also can't get by with a small yard and leashed walks around the block. They're content to be couch potatoes, yes, but only if they have regular access to a large fenced area where they can gallop for a bit – fenced because these dogs are chasing addicts with sharp eyesight for movement. Outside of a fenced area, if something catches their attention on the horizon, they will take off and not come back.
See if there is a dog club in your area that offers an activity called lure coursing, which is chasing a mechanical lure in a controlled setting. This is an appropriate outlet for the full-speed galloping behaviors that are "hardwired" into your Greyhound's genes.
Chasing other animals that run. Greyhounds are usually fine with the pets in their own family. But they are lightning-fast, and individuals with a strong prey instinct could seriously injure or kill any small running animal.
Fortunately, most Greyhounds today are placed in their new homes by Greyhound rescue organizations. These groups have already done rigorous screening to evaluate each dog's behavioral tendencies. They are experienced at predicting whether any given Greyhound will be reliable with your cats, for example. Honestly, though, I don't know that I would feel comfortable keeping a Greyhound with one of my cats or toy-breed dogs.
Should you consider a Greyhound if you have young children? It depends on the individual dog and the individual children. These sensitive dogs often feel overwhelmed by the loud voices and quick movements that children can't help making – and stress and shyness may be the result. Realistically, the final decision won't be up to you, since Greyhound rescue groups have their own policies about children. Personally I prefer to recommend Greyhounds for adult-only homes.
About the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.
To help you train and care for your dog
Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.
The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.