I have to take a moment to share some of my favorite comments from my readers, found far and wide across the web. My responses are in blue.
"The breeders should be flogged, covered with bacon fat and tied to a fire ant nest which you then stir with a stick." I like you. You're very creative! Want to guest blog?
"Not every horse who is fit only to be an ugly pasture ornament is lucky enough to be a pasture ornament; bless the ones who are, and God help the ones who aren't. " Truer words were never spoken. I could fill 500 pasture ornament spots if only I could find them. These days, people can get a broke, rideable horse for free. It is only a small percentage of special people that are willing to take in the elderly or crippled from an injury horse - nowhere near the number of not so special people who are dumping those horses daily.
"Based on her comments about Gypsy Vanners, I looked on one of the sale sites - I found a blk/white Gypsy Vanner colt (2007) for $45,000! Don't they know these horses are a dime a dozen in the U.K., and have very little breed status here? The colt's parents didn't even have a show record! Yikes! Wonder if there were a few too many 0's, then I found an ad from the same person advertising a bay Gypsy cob for $12,000! Jiminy Cricket . . . " It's a good idea to do a bit of market research and comparative pricing before buying anything in this world. This is a perfect example.
"IF the mare owners would RIDE THE MARE instead of breeding her, it would be a better horse world all the way around." True, unfortunately a lot of times she is bred because she doesn't ride, or rides poorly! Hence perpetuating the cycle of unrideable crap.
"If you don't know what you are doing, you need not breed... exactly the reason I have 4 geldings- I don't know anything about breeding, so I'll leave it up to the people who do... " If only everyone had your self-awareness, we wouldn't have this blog. I suspect that if you ever do breed, you will educate yourself and be the sort of breeder I respect.
"If they see that their peers ie: other horse people, are upset with their decisions regarding breeding inferior animals and horses with known genetic defects, maybe it will help effect some change in the breeding habits of people and get them to STOP having Missy the grade mare with terrible conformation bred to Junior an auction reject just because they think babies are cute." Exactly the point of this blog. Shame does affect human behavior. We all need to gather up the courage to tell people NOT to breed Missy and Junior. Sure, it's a free country and they may ignore us! But if you SAY it, at least you are doing your part and they may think twice.
"Just because it has a uterus or balls and you are emotionally attached to it does not mean it needs to breed." Correct. It's the year 2007 and we can make these choices. Birth is not as uncontrollable as it was 500 years ago. I don't want to hear "oops my mare got pregnant because I turned her out with my 2 year old colt, WOW, I didn't know he could breed already!" C'mon, please. We have the internet. Call your vet. This information is so easy to come by. There is no excuse.
"I am still in awe that people think it is okay to breed a horse who is not a good representative of its particular breed. I am not saying that these horses should not be a loved companion, but for goodness sake do not breed them! " Exactly the point.
"My street alone is FULL of horses, and owners, like that. Pity me. Please. " Yes, they are all over.
"I think that is absolutely the greatest thing since sliced bread. I love it. Backyard breeding sucks." Thank you.
"They will either A) go to kill somewhere, B) be bought and bred again creating some other sort of conformational nightmare or C) misguided souls like us will keep trying to find them homes." That's about the size of it, and the "misguided souls" are all broke, stretched too thin and far more upset about the fates of these horses than the people who created them and dropped the ball.
"As much as I would have *loved* to have bred my first horse and hoped for a baby with her temperament and amazing hocks, we just couldn't look past her poor neck, long back, and well less than spectacular front end. " Perfect example of someone who LOVES a horse and yet can EVALUATE that horse objectively. The two things are not mutually exclusive.
"As the owner of FUGLY crooked legged horses, I could be offended. But I'm not because I'm not breeding them. Reality is people need to STOP breeding horses whose legs can not stay sound for a long healthy life, whose backs are so wonky a saddle will never fit, and who are just plain ugly and bad movers. " Absolutely. What I've seen is that the knowledgeable people are not offended, and know the point I am making, and the BYB's are horrified and write posts that go OMG FUGLY HORSE IS SOOOOO MEAN! ALL HORSES R BEATEFUL! (Sometimes followed by "Barbaro Forever"...lol. Sorry, folks, great horse, sucks what happened to him but he's gone and he's not making spirit visits to any of you...if you want to honor his memory please go rescue a $200 OTTB from the auction that doesn't have rich owners who love him...but dear God stop blathering online about seeing Barbaro in your backyard, you sound like you need to be committed.)
Of course, there are also many, many comments from people that think I am (a) rude (my 2nd grade teacher would agree) (b) don't know what I'm talking about with their particular breed (certainly possible, though I try to note which breeds I haven't had as much experience with and I have been thinking I may bring in some guest bloggers who are experts on, say, gaited horses to put in their 2 cents' worth) or (c) mean and going to hurt someone's feelings (as I've already said, I don't care about human feelings as compared to horses' lives. The pain of hurt feelings is hardly comparable to the pain of being hauled for 3 days in a double decker, no water, bitten and kicked, chased down a chute...you all know about the slaughter process by now.)
(By the way, you think I'm rude? Google fugly horse and you'll see how many people write things like "Elizabeth Hurley is a fugly horse faced cow." Oh, come now. You wish you looked like Elizabeth Hurley. I wish I looked like Elizabeth Hurley. Give me a break.)
For those of you who hate me and disagree with my opinions: Just think, for once you can talk back! After all, at the shows you pretty much have to accept the judge's opinion with a smile, even if you think he or she is stone blind and wouldn't know a good horse from My Little Pony. Not so here! Here you can comment and say exactly what you think, even if you think I'm a fucking moron. You will not get in trouble with any breed association or saddle club, and you can do it anonymously. Nifty!
Keep up the comments, whether they're good or bad, they all make for interesting reading!
PSA of the day: Why is it I know horse rescuers who have unfixed dogs and cats? Small animals are no different from large ones in this regard: If you don't have a top quality registered animal, it does not need to have babies. There is an endless supply, and I do mean endless supply, of cute orange kittens, Lab mix puppies, etc. at your local shelter. You do not need to produce more, and it is totally irresponsible to do so. Failing to spay or neuter your small animals is inexcusable. Get off your dead, lazy butt and get them to the vet. It's a myth that spaying/neutering early is bad for them. And don't tell me they're registered with TICA or CKC unless you're standing close enough that I can smack you upside your silly head. Those are like the American Warmblood Society, which I will address in a future post.
One final question today: Is this a new therapeutic riding thing for people who can't handle a regular saddle?