I actually like tracking, its useful from finding isolated enemy lords and destroying them. Likewise Jatu / Noldor warbands for cash. It's not something I train myself, nor do I invest points in it, but I do miss it when Diev is not in the party.
Persuasion is the one skill I never find myself using. I don't like doing quests for lords, and I don't run parties with conflicting companions (beyond the 1 "allowed" with a friend).
Obviously, my quip about riding comes from my preference for infantry armies, but I can see the same argument being true of Athletics (which for me is a must-have skill) for those who prefer cavalry-heavy armies.
You make a very good point about Horse Archery though, it is pointless above 6 (7? I forget).