Monday, September 3, 2007

Hooked on Phonics for Horsepeople 101!

Thanks to Forthefutureofthebreed for supplying today's guest blog, which should be saved as a reference for anyone writing horse ads who isn't quite sure about terminology. Taking a little time to learn makes you look much more professional and helps get your horses attention from the kind of good homes you would like for them to have.


“Yup, that little filly colt is out of my best stud…”

Why can’t horse people figure out how to use correct terminology on their websites and in their stallion or sale ads? The amount of effort you put into your web site or sale ads (not adds; ad is short for “advertisement”) are equal to the amount of effort you put into the breeding and care of your horses. If you are an illiterate, stupid idiot, and use misspelled words and lame terminology, no one with any class is going to do business with you - only other illiterate, stupid idiots.

And, it’s horses for “sale”, not “horses for sell”. You consign your horse to a sale to sell him. I see people write, “I’m going to sale my horse”. It’s “sell”, you uneducated, backwoods moron. At least it’s only four letters…

How difficult is it to remember that a horse is BY a stallion, and OUT OF a mare? Horses are NOT out of a stallion. Foals literally come out of a mare. I’ve seen some people actually say “by a mare”, too.

How hard is it to spell “CONFORMATION” correctly? I mean, there really IS a difference between the definitions of conformation and confirmation.
Conformation – The shape or body structure of a horse.
Confirmation – Verification, evidence, or proof of something.

If you’re referring to the breed of a horse, it’s spelled “breed”.

It’s spelled “bred” if you mean, I bred my mare, or that mare is well-bred.

“Bred” is also found in the word, Thoroughbred. It’s not spelled Thorobred, Throughbreed, Thorobreed, or Thoroughbreed. FHOTD in: Also, Thoroughbred is a breed, not a synonym for "purebred." You do not have a Thoroughbred Appaloosa unless of course it is a cross between Thoroughbred and Appaloosa.

“Bread” is that stuff you buy at the store to make sandwiches with.

Horse colors and parts are not difficult to understand or spell, either.

“Sorrel” is one word used to describe a red horse. It’s not spelled “sorrow” or “sorrell” or “sorel”.

A “palomino” is a golden horse with a white mane and tail. It’s not a palamino with a white main and tale. Sometimes they are “gaited”, not gated. A gate is one of those things with a latch that lets you go from one side of a fence to the other.

All horses have “pasterns”, not pasturns. You know, the part between the fetlock and the hoof.

They also have “withers”, not whithers.

And what is it with people who use the phrase, “half-brother to so-and-so”, meaning they only share the same sire? How many other foals are by that stallion? Possibly hundreds? How many foals does a mare usually have? One a year, maybe? Do you think that saying “half-brother to” would provide more information if we all knew it meant they shared the same dam?

No, you’d rather pick the name of some famous, well-known horse by the same stallion and call it a half-brother…it makes your horse appear to be so much better quality than he really is, doesn’t it? Many horses who only share the same sire can be as different as night and day; horses who are out of the same mare tend to resemble each other, in phenotype and ability.

Horses are not people, and the relationship terminology is different.

Half-sibling – A relationship of two foals out of the same dam, but by different sires; does not apply to horses that only share the same sire.

Another very common, misused word is “produce” to describe what a stallion has sired. Mares produce, not stallions. Stallions sire; sometimes their foals are referred to as “get”, “progeny” or “offspring”. I don’t know how many times I’ve read, “My stud produced a champion.” No, your stallion sired a champion.

“My stallion is a homozygous black Tobiano”. Great. Which is it? Homozygous for black or homozygous for Tobiano, or both? You really need to be more specific if you’re going to use big words and fancy genetic terms. And you should have a test from a reputable genetics testing lab to prove your claims. Your Tobiano with a QH or TB parent is NOT homozygous for Tobiano. It is impossible.

FHOTD in: Also, there is no such word as homogygous. Really.

Not all foals for sale are “halter prospects”. People who show quality halter Quarter Horses and Paints really can tell if they’re halter prospects or not. Your weanling from foundation working horse stock isn’t going to be a competitive halter horse. Just because he is stocky right now, it doesn’t qualify him as a “halter prospect”. Most of them are not.

Why are all your colts “stallion prospects”? I’d love to know the answer to this one. Just because they haven’t been gelded (not gilded) yet, doesn’t make them “stallion prospects”. That little dun colt you raised that you’ve priced at $1,000 isn’t stallion quality. And you ranch horse and foundation QH breeders: all of your male foals are NOT stallion material. They really aren’t. Truly excellent weanling stallion prospects are registered, and worth at least $5,000, usually more. True stallion quality colts are only among the top 5% of any breed; the other 95% needs to be gelded. Just because he’s a popular color or by some famous stallion doesn’t mean he deserves to remain intact (not in tact). His dam is probably a no-name, low quality, do-nothing mare of undistinguished breeding. Most great stallions have great dams and even greater pedigrees, and they are capable of actually being competitive at the top levels of the breed.

WHY are all of your fillies (it’s not spelled phillies or fillys) and mares, “broodmare prospects”? Must you breed them all? Just because they are capable of having a foal, doesn’t mean they should be bred. Do you know that a mare really worthy of being a broodmare should be, in the very least, the same level of quality as a good stallion? Most mares will be bred at some point in their lifetime, just because they CAN be bred. That cheap stallion down the road isn’t going to magically fix your mare’s crooked legs. And, no, having a foal isn’t going to “settle her down”, either. She’s still going to be a crooked-legged nasty bitch after she has her foal, and that foal will most likely be just like her.

Also, why is it people say that “nothing matters past the first three generations” of a pedigree, yet they will use a name “just off the papers” to make their horse sound better? You know, if your horse doesn’t have anyone worth a shit in the first three generations of his pedigree, he’s probably a piece of shit, too. The true value of your horse is probably quite different than your idea of the value of your horse.

And, what moron decided that the term, “tri-colored” applied to horses? What you consider “tri-colored” are just bay Paints or Pintos! You know, brown and white body, with a black mane and tail and legs. Would you call a bay horse with white socks “tri-colored”, too? Tri-colored is a dog term.

Finally, can someone tell me the difference between an “own son of” and a “son of”? Is an own son better?