Breed Choice: Is It the Horse, or the Association?

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Many of us who have horses reach a stage where we become pretty breed-specific and breed-involved. Thus, we have Quarter Horse people, Arabian people, Appaloosa people, Friesian people, Miniature Horse people, etc., etc., etc. If you're a Something-Person, I have a question for you:

* Is it the horse itself that earns your loyalty and involvement? Or, for you, is it more about the association and what it offers--a competition scene, a strong marketplace, a "this fits me" social network, or whatever?

I'd like to hear your story about why you chose the breed you did, and what keeps you with it.