Tough, resilient, reliable and brilliant fun. Of course no horse is perfect, but cob owners and riders have got a pretty good deal. Here are 18 reasons why H&H's showing editor Aimi Clark thinks they are so much better than thoroughbreds. Thoroughbred lovers — get ready to fight your corner...
1. No time to ride today? No matter – your cob will still be as safe and chilled out as he normally is tomorrow. And, come to think of it, next week. But pity the girl on your yard whose thoroughbred has been on box rest — aren’t you glad you don’t have to get on that?
2. Box rest isn’t something you’ve ever given much thought. Cobs don’t break as easily as thoroughbreds.
3. Admittedly thoroughbreds go faster, but when it’s stepped on a stone and hopping lame, your cob will plough ahead. Remember the hare and the tortoise?
4. In fact, barefoot is an option for your mighty cob’s strong feet.
5. You don’t have to hold your breath when you bring your cob in from a muddy field, because he rarely loses shoes. His legs don’t swell to twice their size at the first sign of mud fever either.
6. While your friend spends a huge chunk of their pay cheque on hard feed for their thoroughbred, your cob looks great on little more than hay and grass.
7. You also don’t have to waste lots of money on rugs to keep him warm in winter. He doesn’t sulk because he’s thin-skinned and cold when it rains in the summer, and he is far more tolerant of pesky flies.
8. Your toddler, mum and 80-year-old grandparents can all ride him. He’s a truly safe all rounder, but still brilliant fun when you get on to go hunting or cross-country. Put a novice on a thoroughbred and see what happens when they hold the reins too tight and let their lower leg slip back…
9. When you take your cob to a show, you don’t have to allow extra time for calming them down just to get a saddle and bridle near them.
10. No need to factor in time for plaiting either — we’re team hogged manes!
11. And those awkwardly narrow, high withers on thoroughbreds that often require a made-to-measure saddle? Pah!
12. You don’t need several layers of thick pads underneath said saddle either, because your cob’s saddle truly fits, and he isn’t prone to allergies or rubbing.
13. Hacking out in a group is fun. Your cob will go first or last, and you don’t panic when another horse (probably a thoroughbred with questionable brakes) gallops past.
14. That thoroughbred was probably fidgeting, leaping around and generally being a bit too excitable earlier, while your bemused cob stood perfectly square.
15. Your cob is not sensitive skinned and he loves a good groom. No bared teeth or flailing limbs to be seen!
16. Vices — what vices? Chewing on wood is not usually a cob’s idea of fun.
If you glance at the cob entries in…
Beauty comes in all sorts of different shapes…
17. And he’s definitely not a fussy eater — nor does he ever get so stressed that he goes off his food.
18. Admittedly cobs tend to have a cheeky streak — that loveable cobby charm and charisma — but when they get to the point when they might hurt themselves, they stop. They’re quite clever like that.
We could go on but you get the message — cobs are great! Can you think of any more reasons?