"Now I say that with cruelty and oppression it is everybody's business to interfere when they see it."

~Anna Sewell

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I was a good girl this year!

I was very pleasantly surprised to find brand new gators, field boots, a show hat, breeches, and art supplies under the Christmas tree this morning. That's not all. My mom ordered a hunt coat and 2 show blouses but UPS wasn't cooperating and they're arriving late (oh well! I can't use most of this stuff for 5 more months anyway XD) But it'll be worth the wait. I can't wait for show season, though. I'm excited and scared to death because it'll be my first show ever. English halter and maybe some showmanship. Hopefully bring home a couple ribbons. *wishful thinking*

So, yeah. It's cool.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Nobody knows what quality means anymore.

This stallion is not breeding material. This is where I have a problem with the damn color breeders. They overlook all the other aspects that make a horse truly superior all in the pursuit of color. This stallion is a woppin' 15 hands and has no hip to speak of. The hocks are too upright and he has short pasterns. The front end is pretty enough, but the back end is mediocre at best. He'd make a nice gelding.

Now, if we were to compare him with this gorgeous example of another piebald stallion (as to avoid bias), note the difference. Nice, filled out hindquarters, good muscle tone, broad face, solid legs, compact build. He's a decent height, too. 16.1. It's impossible to tell his temperament or general health from a picture, and he's not absolutely perfect, but he's a good overall example of a quality stud.

As I've said before, I only believe in breeding top quality horses. Especially in today's economy. Top quality doesn't simply pertain to successful show careers and boxes upon boxes of ribbons. Now, a lot of quality horse owners show their horses because that's what they're capable of, but the number of rosettes doesn't necessarily determine a horse's quality. Top quality means being above all others in conformation, health, temperament, athletic ability, everything. These are the horses that you breed. Not poor quality/ grade horses.

I've been browsing Craigslist lately and I can't believe the horses that are going for $500 or less. Most of them being broodmares or yearlings. None of them were even close to breeding quality. And the owner are trying to sell them because the tough economic times, when the horses aren't even trained to ride. Hmm... let's see. You breed them as many times as you can started when they're 3 years old and you didn't even bother to give them any kind of decent training? When are they going to realize that there are no homes for these horses? Nobody wants a couple of unfortunate looking grade mares that are barely halter trained. It's the sad reality. Every horse deserves a good life, attractive or not, but it's anybody's charity case. Don't they realize that horses like that usually end up with dealers or already overflowing rescues? And yet they keep breeding more. It defies all logic.

If breeding was regulated and kept on a tight leash, we wouldn't have this problem. Instead, horses are allowed to reproduce indiscriminately and therefor adding to the death toll at the slaughterhouse. Very sad.

Why don't people put any thought into things like this?

I've seen some horse names that just make me wanna kill whoever named the unfortunate animals. I saw this one mare for sale and her registered name was Dry Soap. Yep. Wouldn't that just scream "Pick me!" in the show ring? Gag.

And that's not all, folks. Taco, Nosey, Wizzer, Doug. The list goes on. I thought Vic's registered name was boring. Classic Victor. Not very creative, but 100% better than Poopsie. My draft horse's dam's name is Toot's Buttercup. Can you say "ew"?

I've noticed that a hefty chunk of the horribly named horses are western. Especially Quarter Horses. They all have "Dun it" and "Bar" in their names. They make no sense to me. Can't they be more creative than that? But that's not the worst of it. I actually saw a mare for sale named Paris Hilton.

The horse was pretty enough, but that name... I can't get past it. That alone might prevent me from buying that horse. I'd be embarrassed every time they'd announce her name at shows. Some of these people need to be whacked over the noggin with a 2 x 4. There's no reason to give your horse an awful name. Put some thought into it. Their names stay with them for the rest of their lives and make huge first impressions.

For instance, if I come across a horse named Penelope, I'm immediately going to assume that her owners are dimwitted hillbillies that live in a trailer park and keep their horse in the front lawn tethered to a beer keg. Come on, people.

On the other hand, there are some names I absolutely love. Alibi, Breggo, Onyx, Tigress. Vic's dam's name is Social Charmer. Love that one. Native Dancer, Thorn Song, Picasso's Finest, Whispering Thunder, Luminaria. Those, ladies and gentleman, are names. Don't submit your horse to a lifetime of mockery. Put some thought into naming them. Your horse will thank you. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Natural horsemanship is fine and all...

But there is a line to be drawn. I like Pat and Linda Parelli just fine. I've seen them in person and their horses adore them. Nevertheless, I'm at the end of my rope with NH worshipers. "Stop abusing your horse and use Natural Horsemanship!"

Well, aren't I a bitch? Everybody knows I beat and starve my horses and work them into the ground on a daily basis.

Not using NH isn't abuse. It has a lot of good points, and I incorporate a few of Parelli's methods to my training, but I don't use it, per se. And my horses like me just fine. We're buddies. :) I invite any NH elitist to come out and see them.

Furthermore, the way they desensitize those horses to the point where they can beat it with a tarp and hang lawn chairs from the saddle is just ridiculous. Why would you subject a horse to that kind of aggravation? Sure, they stand still and tolerate it, but I imagine they're pretty darn annoyed. And who wouldn't be, after having various pieces of lawn furniture and sheets of plastic flung in your face?

But you know what I absolutely hate the most? What positively makes my skin crawl?
When they stand up on the horse's back. It puts too much strain in a small pressure point and it looks stupid. Take the picture as an example. What good comes out of that??? Why would anyone want to do that? What good does that do the horse? My TB would take off if I tried that, and I wouldn't blame him. So your horse tolerates you standing up on his back like the freakin Statue of Liberty. Woohoo. I wanna see them jump a 5 foot fence bareback. Then I'd be impressed (I saw Linda jump a picnic table with her Danish Warmblood, and it was incredible).

My Thoroughbred was trained with NH, and before I had him, he had never been lunged. The barn he came from was a TB racing barn and they don't lunge or cross tie there. O.o WTF? They did that goofy thing on a long line where the horse runs around in circles until the handler looks at him, and then he stops and turns to face the person. I had the hardest time getting Vic to not turn in when he halted. How can you exercise a horse when you're not looking at him? Vic was a mess when I first bought him. No muscle tone, no self carriage, no collection or impulsion. You fix that with lunging. Side reins help, too. But ooohh noo! Side reins are evilll! Psh. Oh, and because I use a kimberwick I'm abusing him, too. You know why I use a kimberwick? Because he plows right through every snaffle I put on him. He's a hot blooded Thoroughbred. What do you expect?A kimberwick is not a cruel bit when used correctly. In the wrong hands, sure.
I wouldn't use it if it hurt him. I would never use any training method or tool if it caused a horse discomfort. I rest my case.

Why, WHY???

Why would you take pictures of your horse for a sale ad when they're caked in mud and look like fuzzy bears? Being dirt poor is no excuse for your horse to be filthy for pictures. All this tales is elbow grease, for all the lazy bastards out there. You wouldn't show up at a job interview wearing sweats and a stained T-shirt. same thing with horses. If you're asking $5,000 for a horse, make it look like they're worth it. Mr. Bay Stallion up top happens to be $6,000. This isn't the worst I've seen, but it'll serve as an example. This horse would look so much more appealing (1) if the photo was taken at a proper angle and (2) if he was nice and clean and there was a decent background. It seems trivial, but it says a lot.

Now, horse #2, we have a lovely Andalusian gelding . Notice the spotless arena and his squeaky-clean coat. You don't have to have amazing camera skills to take a decent picture. It doesn't have to be an action shot. A decent conformation shot would suffice. Riding shots are great for horses that are trained to ride. Se how much of a difference it makes? I'd pay $7500 for this horse if I had that kind of moola. Like I said, taking good sale pictures make all the difference in the world. No excuse for yucky pictures. Kthnx.

These are the people that need a bullet to the head.

Are they serious? Are they really serious? This is why so many horses are being packed onto stock trailers and shipped off to Mexico. Can they not see the difference between a champion reiner and a klunky-headed mass of fur? Not the horses' fault. It's these shitheaded breeders who keep breeding their mediocre horses to other mediocre horses only to create more "decent enough" horses. As if there aren't enough of them waiting in line at the butcher's already.

I don't have a problem with responsible breeders. The ones that breed quality horses. Quality meaning superior in conformation, temperament, athletic ability, health, the whole 9 yards. The colt to the left has a short neck, no hip, angled pasterns. Not breeding quality. A good trail horse? Sure. Not a stud. Many of you might be asking why this horse is still a stallion. That's a good question. I'm baffled over the same thing.