Sunday, December 2, 2007

I'm a celebrity, get me out of here!

I've kind of addressed this in the past, but I want to go over it again as the topic came up in comments. Someone was horrified that someone else was "breeding rescues." The logic seemed to be that once a mare is found at a low-end auction, despite her breeding, conformation, show record, production record or any other factor, she is automatically a rescue who should never reproduce because her offspring might end up in a similarly Bad Place.

To which I say, hogwash.

Don't get me wrong. If you sign an agreement with a rescue organization and agree not to breed a mare, you had better abide by it and I will be the first to rip you a new one if you don't. Some rescues have strong feelings about this and while I don't always agree, they have a right to set any conditions they want for their adoptions and they have a right to expect and enforce compliance.

However, the mere fact that a horse winds up in bad circumstances does not, and has never, made him or her a bad horse. I guess that classifying every mare who's ever wound up at a low end auction as not breeding quality is way easier than actually developing an eye for conformation, understanding pedigrees and sitting down and doing the internet research on her performance and produce record - which is why so many people do it! But really - circumstances, totally irrelevant. There are a ton of crap mares in glowing, glorious, mirror-coated condition in beautiful barns all over the world...and there are a lot of top quality mares standing in some auction pen somewhere, shaggy and skinny and full of rainrot and scared, like an exiled princess in a fairy story, hoping that Prince Charming will come along and recognize their royal blood before they wind up a steak.

"Paris" is a great example, and I'm going to post her today because I know there are a number of you here who are in Arabian horses and we really want to I.D. this mare. Several years ago, Paris was dumped at the Enumclaw, Washington auction with no papers. We think her barn name given at the sale was "Misty." She was completely bat shit and of course they only planned to lead her through so we all know where she was heading. A friend of a friend saw her and, fortunately for Paris, that friend had "the eye" that I talk about here. She immediately recognized that "exiled princess" in Paris - and called my friend, who used to show A circuit Arabians. Of course my friend bought her and brought her home. She is most likely in her late teens now.

Paris has literally thousands of dollars of training into her. She knows it all and could teach a course in it. We would be shocked to learn she didn't have an extensive show record. However, she is a very hormonal mare and until my friend put her on Regumate, really wasn't good for a damn thing except jumping out of the pasture - something she is excellent at. Paris does not like to be alone, and does not like to be away from the barn. She is a stall baby (yet more evidence of a prior show-barn existence). She absolutely loves to be groomed and fussed over. Her training seems to be mostly western pleasure, but she could have also been ridden hunt seat. She doesn't have the movement of a saddle seat horse. Probably her most recognizable feature is that she is a bad ear-pinner. She will never take an aggressive action toward you, but her ears are pinned a great deal of the time. She also has a habit of rushing through narrow spaces unless she is reminded that is not acceptable.

We are terribly curious to I.D. Paris, but all leads have gone dead. Someone knows this horse, and both her owner and myself are pretty sure we not only know her quality but have guessed her bloodlines! We are dying to know if we are right. If you know Paris/Misty, please e-mail me. I'll never tell anyone it was you who fessed up! (And seriously, we understand why/how this mare got dumped. I'm not looking to find out the original owner so I can out them on the blog. We just want her history for our own information and to see if we are right with our bloodlines guess!)

If you have an "exiled prince/princess" story, feel free to share! One of my all time favorites is the story of Champion Lodge, who is a gelding, but would have otherwise been another good example of a breeding quality horse who wound up in the wrong place. (Minor gloat on this - early on in this thread on COTH, after his pic/video was posted but they had not ID'd him, I posted that I thought he was a really high quality horse. That's what I mean when I talk about having the eye. You can learn to have it, too!)
For those of you who enjoy them, watch for an auction report later today! I have to start writing on the blackboard now...
I can go to a Thoroughbred sale and not buy any Thoroughbreds
I can go to a Thoroughbred sale and not buy any Thoroughbreds
I can go to a Thoroughbred sale and not buy any Thoroughbreds
I can go...