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

~Anna Sewell

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's a... llama?

I want to know why the modern halter Quarter Horse is so trendy. In my opinion, they're as ugly as sin. But hey, that's just my opinion. I'm a Thoroughbred person from the realm of general English riding, and my idea of a good horse seems to be the exact opposite of what halter QH people look for. The stock breed halter industry in general seems to like the same kind of conformation.

Massive, chunky bodies and tiny everything else. Short, skinny necks, tiny heads, and teeny little feet. It looks like their little legs can barely support their bodies. I believe the horse in the first photo is only a 2yo. I think.

They also have really steep croups and their huge butts make their tails look tiny. And they're downhill. In most disciplines, a downhill build is a no-no. Most people want a horse that's well-balanced and athletic, and I can't see any halter horse being either of those. Those horses aren't big boned, yet they have that insane muscle tone and it's not a good balance. I really want to know, can these horses do anything other than stand in an arena and square up? It looks like they have a hard time moving because they're so massive.

Halter Stallion.

I just don't see how that could be desirable. He's tanking around on his forehand and he looks really stiff. Kind of like his legs are toothpicks.

You'd think that horses like this:
would be more desirable. The gray horse looks a lot more athletic and well-proportioned than the other ones. He could easily go English or western, and just about any discipline. I wouldn't worry about his legs giving out if he tried to trot. ;) He's got nice muscle tone and the bone to support it.

I want to see a halter horse doing something besides halter. Can you even ride them? Maybe the weight of a rider would be too much for their little feet.

Where have the good hunters gone?

Hunters are stereotyped as goofballs who can't ride out of a wet paper bag. Well, there are a lot of hunters out there who look like frogs going over fences and are famous for sticking their butts out and lying across the horse's neck. It's a broad generalization, but I think hunters have lost a lot of respect in the horse community. Could it be because hunter-type disciplines are popular with novice and young riders? Whatever the reason, I think it's sad. The talented hunters out there don't get enough recognition and the discipline's reputation suffers for it.

Let's run a comparison.

Here's a good hunter:
And a goofy one.
Good hunter:
Goofy hunter:

Good hunter:

You're getting the picture, yes? See, there are some good hunters in the world. At least, I thought the good ones in the pictures looked pretty good. It's time to bring back our sport and restore its reputation. I'm tired of hearing, "Hunters don't know anything" and "Hunters can't ride".