Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Baby got back...but it ain't a good one!

This creature is not being marketed as a breeding animal, I just thought it was one of the best examples ever of a severe swayback! While swayback is not a condition that keeps a horse from being pleasure ridden, it does make it difficult to find a saddle that fits the horse comfortably, leading to an increased likelihood of back soreness and related problems. Therefore, it's a fault we should attempt to avoid breeding on. If a horse only develops this fault at an advanced age, it is understandable, but I've seen young stock that already have a back shaped like a big U. Not good.

(See, you all thought I was going to make a crack about the rider but I am taking the high road...for the moment...)

Now this one, alas, is being marketed as a potential "sporthorse broodmare" and they brag that "She produces foals with size, great temperment and athletic ablility." Dear sweet Jesus, look at that back! I have seen ladybugs that are less convex. Hey, I guess you'd save money on not having to buy riser pads, since she has one built in! Seriously, though, a roach back is a severe defect. It makes is hard to fit a saddle properly and restricts the horse from being able to bring her hind legs under herself and use them effectively. It is a much more serious defect than swayback, in my opinion, as it is always there and is not something that merely develops with age and may not appear until the horse has been retired anyway. Obviously if you are choosing a broodmare, you want a horse that has neither flaw. There are plenty of them out there!

The gray mare is probably a nice sweet mare but not breeding quality. What is so wrong with marketing a mare like this as a nice, low-level youth horse or Pony Club horse? Why MUST we try to throw in that "you can breed her!" as an additional selling point when that is totally and completely inappropriate?