Saturday, June 30, 2007

If these were cars, the wheels would fall off

Today I'm going to talk about a personal pet peeve conformational defect known as "back at the knee." If you've ever bent your knees to lift something heavy, you know that your legs are stronger when the knee is bent slightly in the proper direction. What if the knee were built so that even at rest, it was actually behind the position of the lower leg? It is easy to imagine what an ineffective leg that creates. In horses, it creates a weak leg that is at high risk of tendon injury, a horse who is not built to stay sound and won't. I knew I could count on the Internet to turn up numerous examples. Just to horrify everyone further, I limited my choices to stallions standing at stud.

The foreleg here is a classic example. If you drew a straight line upwards from the front of the pastern, the knee isn't going to meet it. It isn't even going to come close enough to wave hello. (And while we're talking about this stallion, where is his neck?)

OK, obviously there is just all kinds of shit wrong here but check out that front end! Wow, that is really something special, because we appear to actually have some variety - the right front is back at the knee and the left front is over at the knee! And of course both feet point out, because when you have a barrel racin' stallion, it helps if they have some duck blood. It makes 'em keep their footin' good when it rains at the rodeo.
Along the same lines, they are either trying to grow his feet to resemble a duck's, or they are just too ignorant/cheap to get him a hoof trim. I'm voting for #2.
P.S. Feedin' and dewormin' yer stallion is highly recommended, y'all! Best to do that afore you take his pitcher.

Ha ha, nice try on the selective photography! In this picture - the only one posted of this allegedly palomino (sure looks sorrel to me) stallion - the feet are lopped off but, sadly, the knees are still in the picture and boy is he ever back at the knee. Look at the front left. Textbook example.
The best part on this one is their advertising slogan for him. Allow me to quote: "Impressive bloodlines!! And he is very impressive!"

OK, you guys are kidding about this one, right?

April Fools was three months ago. Take down the pictures of your yak.

DAMN, that wouldn't even make a decent gelding. In fact, I may have to make a banner for this site featuring this horse. He is the poster child!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Hey Mustang breeders? Here's what's wrong with breeding Mustangs.

A friend of mine likes to say that breeding Mustangs is like breeding mosquitoes. In short, why would you breed something there are plenty of already that no one wants? Now, the Mustang breeders are horrified if you say this, but here's a well known Mustang breeder - giving them away for free on DreamHorse.

(Oh too funny. He deleted his ad. Do you think he got some hate mail? Hey, I found an interview he did for some moron reporter - check this out...)

"Rick Littleton started breeding kigers in 1987 and now has 100 on his ranch in Alfalfa. He has sold Kigers for as much as $13,000 - not much for a top thoroughbred, but a high price for horses once hunted for dogfood. So, $13,000 You've got a bit of a range going there.

His top stud is Steens Kiger, who sired Donner, the model for "Spirit." DreamWorks and Littleton won't disclose the price paid for Donner, but the purported number is $50,000, which Littleton allows is "in the neighborhood." Spielberg needs to make better business decisions. Perhaps he should read DreamHorse and see he can get one for free?

"When I first started this, no one wanted these horses," Littleton said. and apparently this is still the case if you are GIVING THEM AWAY. "But within a couple years, people were selling their picking numbers (from the adoption lotteries) for thousands of dollars. Guess the rush is over, ya think?

"Most of my customers are romantics," Littleton said. "The horses are part of American history." No, most of your customers are suckers and I fear you are running low on them.

Seriously, my head is going to explode one of these days. Why would you breed something you have to give away? What is the point? Are you truly so stupid you don't comprehend there aren't enough good homes for all the horses already out there? GOD. This just makes me furious.

I'm seeing spots...and all kinds of other shit.

Today's Darwin nominees...or at least someone who is gonna get a manure hat.

Parents, parents, what are you thinking?

OK, back to your regularly scheduled I'd like to talk about the latest craze: Spotted Saddle Horses. These may be Paint and Tennessee Walker, they may be Paint and Saddlebred, they may be Paint and PMU Mare. Like many of the "new" registries, they will take anything and unknown parentage is okay! It's just gotta have spots, because spots make it valuable and are useful for distracting the buyer's eye away from the myriad of conformational defects and the fact that someone has bred a fugly grade mare to a stallion with spots and now has, unsurprisingly, produced a fugly grade foal with spots.

Wow. Get a load of that head. That is one heck of a honking roman nose/pig eye combo, even for this kind of horse. Here's a hint: this is not the kind of horse who is shown to his best advantage in a bridle with no cavesson.

This girl appears to be a barrel race rider and the overall effect is that of a guy named Possum who has hotwired someone's Porsche, painted it camouflage and installed a horn that plays the theme from "The Dukes of Hazzard." Picture this horse in a normal Saddlebred color with someone on him saddleseat and a big blinged out browband distracting the eye from his huge convex nose. Better, right? Spots do not always make everything better. Really. I know you tobiano breeders find this hard to imagine, but it's true! OK, in this case I almost do have to agree the spots make it better because they may save this unfortunate looking filly from a spot in Mr. Kill Buyer's doubledecker. Other than the spots, she exactly resembles hundreds of yearlings I have seen go on that truck over the past 20 years. She toes out fore and aft (there was also a butt picture helpfully taken and posted to show how much!). I think her head is actually longer than her neck. She has a very short croup. While it's actually hard to see the line of the shoulder because she's so narrow that there's little to no definition, I can already see it's not going to be a pretty one. If you can afford a nice arena like this, you can afford better breeding stock. Try to find some.

Have $3500 burning a hole in your pocket and no idea what to do with it? Why not pick up a horse you will have no idea what to do with, either? Gah...look at this mare. This is the most pronounced lack of a butt I've found since the earlier posted appaloosa filly.

She's got a big honking head, and her legs have big bones but no muscle. She, too, toes out significantly. Is this a SSH trait? Has there been an infusion of duck into the breeding program? This is another "mystery bred" SSH who has "papers" but no pedigree... the real mystery is why someone put her dam and sire together in the first place.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fugly horses jumping badly!

What happens when you combine horses who are not particularly athletic (and certainly aren't attractive) with the intermediate-rider daughter of a horse dealer? Well here you go. *shakes head*

A week ago or so, I discussed the "old style" Appaloosa and described the square head with small pink eye. Here ya go! For only $3500 you can put him in your barn. BTW, when your NOSE is lower than you KNEES over a 2 foot jump, that is not a good thing. He is probably losing his sight like so many Appaloosas and is trying to figure out where the hell the ground is so that he can land.

This adds new meaning to "hanging knees." What is with that leg position? I know the rider often doesn't release properly and every single horse jumps with that nose-in "holy shit I'm going to get popped in the gums again" look, but this is ridiculous. This kind of looks like that snowcap Appy from yesterday, except that one had a prettier head. Gah.

In all fairness, I don't think any of these horses have been schooled o/f. This is more like "let's see if he'll jump! Go jump them thar barrels! If he'll jump, we can sell him for $3500 too!" Most of the horses on this guy's page have that fresh-from-the-auction look. In fact, we found one that still had the butt tag on it but I forgot where the picture was.

If your leg is this weak, you should not be jumping at all. And much like the bad parenting pictures, why do we post these pictures on the internet? If I had a boo-boo jump and looked like that, it would be deleted the second it hit the preview mode of the camera.

This is a sweet horse who clearly is not the least bit naturally talented o/f and does not (from his many other pictures) have the best looking set of legs and probably shouldn't be jumping in the first place. I hope he gets sold while he is still sound. Another $3500 special (that I can pick up at any auction for $400).

I know this is somewhat of a mixed post as it's half about the fugly and half about the scary riding, but I had to share after being tipped off to the existence of this site last night.

When the horse has his eyes shut because he can't bear to watch, you know you are in trouble. That is all I am going to say.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

To whoever bred this horse: You need a new hobby

This eight year old gelding's accomplishments according to his sale ad include being "shown in yearling lounge line" and "getting along well with other pasture horses."


Where do I even begin? It's easier to list the parts of him that are ok. He has good length to his neck, and a good throatlatch area. For an Appaloosa, he has a decent tail. Um...and his pasterns have, um, a nice slope. Oh, and his ears are not too big.

And now I think I'm done. Everything else is just awful. He has that FrankenHorse look of different parts from different horses being put together and no balance. His front legs are so far underneath him that my first impression was of a goose. Downhill, straight shoulder, terrible topline, no muscle, hay belly, looks extremely narrow chested, toes out, teeny little pig eyes.

Maybe you could stand him up better and the back legs would look ok, I don't know. All I know is that someone in Texas needs a new hobby, and breeding ain't it.

Monday, June 25, 2007

We interrupt this blog for a detour into the land of bad parenting

Looking at horse ads gives you a glimpse into another world...the world of backyard horsepeople with absolutely no f'ing common sense. Inevitably, they have reproduced and are now passing along their deep desire to win a Darwin Award to their offspring. (It is a real design flaw with human beings that people too stupid to have kids are also too stupid to master birth control.)

I have a gentle weanling too. I am proud of how quiet he is. But I'll be damned if I'm going to sit on the ground and snuggle with him like a kitten. Much less barefoot. He's still a horse. If he sees a horse-eating groundhog or someone drives by with a trailer with flapping plastic, those two morons are going to have baby-sized hoofprints on their unprotected heads. And she's got him turned out in an all-nylon halter. Man, she's like the poster child for Gypsy Vanner Breeders, and that's not a compliment.

Oh for fuck's sake. I'm not a parent and I know this is negligent. What is that, a two year old? Maybe? Standing on a pony with no helmet. Look, Ma, no hands! Hope y'all have got a cell phone handy for that inevitable 911 call when Buster the farm dog blasts forth from behind the shed chasing a chicken and Pony goes batshit.

You know, when I do stupid things, and someone takes a picture, I endeavor to keep those pictures in my private collection (like the time we were all doing jello shots at a political convention in D.C...ok enough about that). But no, Mother of the Year here has no shame. This picture is up there on DreamHorse for all to see. *shakes head*

Cute pony. MORONS for owners.

OK, mom? I see you are right there on your own horse. Do you think you might want to do something about the fact that the pony's reins are actually dragging on the ground by his feet? Maybe you'd like to do something about that before he steps on them, cranks the crap out of his mouth with that long-shank child-inappropriate bit you have on there, and flips himself over backwards with your helmetless child on him?

C'mon. You don't get to claim ignorance. You obviously ride yourself. Is lopping off the ends of the too-long reins really all that complicated a task for you? Or putting a helmet on your very small child?

And I thought the fugly horses were giving me a headache...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Well, we're at war, so that's why I need a war horse!

My title today is as good an explanation as any for the desire of many Americans to breed Friesians to freakin' anything. Appaloosas, Clydesdales,'s all better with a little black hairy war horse added!

The creature on the left, which I am ashamed to say was apparently bred and is offered for sale in my own home town, is Friesian and Clydesdale. Check out those ears. They are really something special. They look like a stripper's boobs with the tassels hanging off of them.

Say, backyard Friesian-cross breeder? Usually when horses are offered for sale, we make an attempt to, like, catch them and clip them and stand them up so people can see what they look like and stuff. And you want $3500 for this animal? For that, I can go pick up five OTTB's that actually are sporthorse prospects.

You just know you're in for some entertainment when you read that a horse's name is Prince Valiant of Cashmere. This is a Friesian/Saddlebred cross. Why you ask? Well hell, why not? We seem to have managed to breed out any elegance normally associated with the ASB, while maintaining the high set neck and facial shape. However, the ass end doesn't look like either a Friesian or a Saddlebred (except for the tail ) so I can only assume there was a helping of Low Quality Ranch Horse in there as well. But hey, who cares? He's spotted! And flashy! And we don't know WTF we are doing anyway. Hell, you're lucky we didn't breed him to a camel - we've got those too. Prince Valiant can be yours for the low, low price of only $9000. Don't all run for your checkbooks at once!

Just to show that I don't think all Friesian crosses are a bad thing, here is a Friesian-Lusitano cross. Hooray! Two breeds that make sense together and whose conformational qualities complement each other.
This is a good looking horse who is put together to be pretty athletic, and looks like he might actually be able to perform a sport (hence the term SPORT horse). The irony is, he's half the price of the spotted horror above.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Fugly does not just happen!

Observe mare.
Observe foal.
I don't know what the daddy looked like, but there's no stud on earth whose semen is magical enough to overcome the head, neck and shoulder on that mare. And those are just the parts I can see.
Breeding is a science. It is not some big crap shoot. Sure, there are variables but, as with most things, the garbage in = garbage out principle applies.
Please stop. Please.

"Not stallion quality" does not begin to describe this

Allow me to share the ad copy with you:

"Shetland stallion chestnut/white 5yo with blue eyes, not reg. Need exp home, not much handling and needs more. $900 firm."

Between that and the picture, I think we have encountered the ultimate depths of how f'ed up this business can be. I've seen a lot fancier PMU foals than this thing. The #1 form of handling this creature needs is a gelding operation. Do I even need to go over the myriad of conformational flaws? I will be typing all day. I'm sure that you, dear reader, can see it all for yourselves.

Since we are on the topic of Shetland stallions now, allow me to share this one. This is actually a good one, despite the poor choice of picture angles and total lack of grooming or any attempt to make him look desirable. I'm sharing this because the ad copy is appalling. The pony hopefully will wind up in better hands, perhaps even with someone who will actually train him.

"I would like to trade this pony for something that I can use like, trailer, truck, 4x4, 4wheeler, brush hog, guns, cash, electric wench, ect." You want an electric WHAT? Well, damn, I didn't know they had electrified the blow-up dolls these days. See, it's hard keepin' up with all that new technology!

[insert a bunch of stuff about pony's show wins manymanymany years ago] "He has been out in the pasture for 7 years no breeding (he wants a girlfriend)no handling."

This begs the question "can you even catch him?" And who are these people who let horses sit for 7 years without handling them? "Hey, Ma, is that black and white pony still out there with the chickens" "Yep, Paw, he ain't run off yet but he keeps tryin' to breed your sheep." "Well shit, I wonder if I can trade him for a 4 wheeler? Or mebbe a six pack?"

Just for comparison's sake, here is what a modern champion Shetland stallion looks like. You will note absolutely no resemblance between this and today's horse #1.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Some things are rare for a reason

Recently, I was pointed to the latest trendy phenomenon in the equine world - the Sorraia Mustang. This isn't your garden variety, $125 from the BLM and $42 at your local killer auction mustang. Oh no! This is a very rare sort of a mustang that traces back to a total of eleven horses that some dude on a huntin' trip met up with in 1920. From reading his account, I suspect he met up with some adult beverages first! Allow me to quote:

"in 1920, on a hunting trip in the region of Coruche, on the lower Sorraia (river), on the ‘Sesmaria’ estate, I saw a herd of ca. 30 individuals, more than half of them were light duns, some were grullas, many with superabundant stripes, and generally in all aspects absolutely wild, or primitive, as if they were a species of zebra, or a hemionus (halfass) species."

They're a half-ass species? Well hell, that certainly explains a lot. However, as a horsewoman of some decades experience, all I see here is a fugly, badly conformed and admittedly inbred horse that someone is trying to preserve. Look at the herd below. We see uniformly bad shoulders, long backs, short croups and fuuuuugly heads.
Unlike the American Warmblood Society, which embraces diversity like a bunch of university professors at a rally for Gay Left-Handed Taiwanese Victims of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (watch for a future entry on that topic), the Sorraia mustangs do have a breed standard, and thanks to all of that inbreeding, there is no deviation from it. It's just fuuuuugly and I don't see how it is structured to actually be able to do anything. (The web site shows its talent at sliding down a hill and chasing cows with a stick, both things I can accomplish with a $325 breeding stock paint from the local killer auction). But that's ok, it doesn't have to do anything. It is a rare and special breed and, much like Paris Hilton or Leona Helmsley, both of whom believe the same to be true about themselves, should therefore only have to exist and be waited upon.

"All Sorraias descend from only 11 or 12 animals that d’Andrade secured in the 1930s, and inbreeding is therefore extremely high. "

OK, so the gene pool is the size of a plastic kiddy swimmer from Wally-Mart? Why do you think this is good? If that was what your family tree looked like, you'd be appalled. (And probably cross-eyed and knock kneed to boot.)

The one question you can tell the Sorraia "preservationists" have not asked themselves is why this critter was still running wild and basically in the process of becoming extinct in the early part of the 20th century. Could it possibly be related to the fact that it's a low quality, inbred, badly put together, primitive looking horse who has no athletic ability which would warrant its upgrade to a life of Burberry-print fly masks, visits from the equine chiropractor, and Mrs. Fields' Horse Cookies?

If you don't think deliberately inbreeding wild useless creatures together with no purpose is a bad idea, I want you to imagine the results if we mated Lindsey Lohan and that moron son of Rod Stewart's who just got in trouble for assault and then mated their children together for the next 80 years. Oh hell, at least those would have better noses...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Slices, dices, tells your fortune and can dance!

Many of the knowledgeable horsepeople on the Internet have already observed that the currently trendy "Gypsy Vanner" is actually an $400 spotted cart horse from Europe which is imported and sold to dumb Americans who don't know any better. And that, like most drafty types, it's intended use, for which it has been bred for centuries, can be roughly described as "pulling heavy shit." It is not a "sport horse" unless the sport you're thinking of is an alfalfa eating contest.

Well, if the original "purebred" Gypsy Vanners weren't bad enough, now we have the crosses. This critter is a Gypsy Vanner - Missouri Fox Trotter cross. Could it be more fugly?
You know, when I was a snooty suburban high school kid, my mother set two glasses of water in front of me and dared me to taste and tell her which one was the Evian. I bet I could set this colt next to a $75 pinto from the local killer auction, and most people couldn't pick out which one is the Trendy Eurotrash one and which resulted from Joe Bob's Appalooser stud gittin out of his pen and visitin' with Princess Misty, the BLM mare.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

He's a stallion prospect, and we have a statement to prove it!

OK, this is a bad picture. And I'm not calling the horse fugly, exactly, because I can't see enough from this picture. It's so dark that his front and hind leg have morphed together into something that looks like a piece of driftwood washed up on a beach.

The reason he's featured today is this priceless statement from his description. "Although X is a stallion prospect(as the vet stated in writing last year),he can be gelded to be your next stunning riding horse." The VET stated it in WRITING? Oh come on now. What'd he do, predict that one day your colt's testicles would indeed emerge into the light of day, and you translated that to mean the vet called him stallion quality?

The second reason he's featured here is another classic example of equine mix-n-match breeding. He's a cross between a Peruvian Paso and a Tennessee Walker. I'm trying to figure out exactly what kind of gait you get when you cross those two, but imagining it is making my head hurt and I fear the poor animal may resemble an eggbeater with balance issues when he moves. Maybe they were trying to breed a bilingual horse for the growing Hispanic-American equestrian market? The mind boggles.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Good conformation holds up in the long run...

One important reason to be picky about conformation is that good conformation results in a horse who is just as usable at twenty years old as he or she was at five years old. Some horses are built to stay sound, and that is exactly what happens, whereas others are built to break down and...ditto. Check out the examples below.
Here we have two Thoroughbred mares listed for sale in the under $600 range. The one on the left is four years old. The one on the right is twenty four years old. Which would you rather have a baby out of?

Everything about the first mare looks uncomfortable. That shoulder angle certainly doesn't make for a long stride or a comfortable one. Look at how inflexible that neck looks. The back has a mild roach to it and at the young age of 4, this mare's front legs already have that "rode hard and put away wet" look to them.
In comparison, the second mare has a lovely balance to her. Her topline does show her age a bit, and she has a long head but I'm not very critical of that in a Thoroughbred. They aren't meant to have the same sort of head you'd want to see on a stock breed. Mare #2 has an overal look of quality that Mare #1 lacks. Her withers and croup seem to be exactly level, which is perfect. With her short back, lovely shoulder and overall balanced look, she would be suited for a number of athletic disciplines. She does have a goose rump and a high set tail, but again, I'm not as critical of that in a TB as I would be in a stock breed. Different disciplines, different priorities. Mare #1 looks very sweet, and I am sure she is, but her conformation faults doom her to being unable to stand up to hard work. I hope she will find a light riding home that will not overstress her. The ad says she is no longer breedable, which is probably a very good thing.
Creating horses who are not built to stay sound does a huge disservice to every horse breed, and it happens all the time because people look at their lame f'ed up mare and go "hey, let's breed her!" No. No. No. Unless she is lame truly through no fault of her own (i.e. an accident leading to an injury or somebody riding the crap out of her at age 2), don't breed her. One of the main purposes of controlled breeding is breeding OUT defects. If you can't wrap your mind around that idea, DON'T BREED.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Today's Know Your Breed: Appaloosa Broodmares

Today, let's look at two registered Appaloosa broodmares. The Appaloosa is a breed which had made a lot of progress in recent years. Infusion of Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred bloodlines has resulted in a more elegant horse who lacks the hammerhead, pig eye, stick for a tail look of traditional Appaloosas. Except, of course, that some folks insist upon still breeding the fugliest ApHC stock they can find. I am not sure if this is a deliberate attempt to preserve everything that used to be wrong about the breed, or if the owner of the first mare is simply blind.

From her square head with an eye that I can't even see in this picture, to her thick undefined neck, to her upright shoulder, to her unbelievably short croup and her high set 'stick tail', this mare illustrates everything I remember about the Appaloosas I grew up with in the 1980s. However, her ad brags that she has produced "3 bay blanket hiped foals , 1 buckskin with white spots on hips and one black so far."

Yay color! Perhaps the "blanket hipes" will provide a distraction from the complete and total lack of a hip. Of course, she is selling as a 3-in-1 package. Put a little fugly in your barn for the low low price of just $1,000!

Although this would not be my choice of a picture to show this mare off to her best advantage, it is immediately obvious that she is a much better example of her breed than mare #1. Look at the overall balance. She has a nice chest, a compact look to her and the sort of hip you should see on a stock breed horse. Her tail is set on properly and you will note it drags the ground. She has a cute, attractive head and little foxy ears, although I do wish it wasn't wearing a nylon halter in the turn-out. Her feet cannot be seen but you can see she has big bones appropriate to her size and my guess is the feet are nice also. Unsurprisingly, she has successfully produced several point earners in ApHC competition. This is a breeding quality mare. Yes, you will have to pay four times the price of the first mare to get her, but if you don't have that kind of money to spend on your breeding stock, I highly recommend breeding something more budget-appropriate, such as guppies.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Can there possibly be any excuse or explanation for this?

Thanks to Snotegon of the Manure Pile Message Board for contributing this perfect example of what this blog is all about...namely, asking breeders "What the fuck were you thinking?" And yes, I do mean this gelding's legs when I say that, although it's also true that Clinton and Stacy would have a field day with his handler's unflattering wardrobe choices.

This is quite possibly the most upright set of legs I have ever seen on something that is not a member of the Okapi family. Could those pasterns be any straighter? And of course they lead down into teeny tiny double-ott feet that couldn't successfully support a Breyer horse, much less this one.

Moving up, witness the unbelievably weird way the gaskin attaches to the rump. I'm guessing this is a yearling, so perhaps the front end will actually reach the altitude of the back end one day, but every growth spurt this unfortunately boy goes through is only going to put more weight on legs that scream "I'm going to be dead lame from navicular by age three, tops!"

Think I'm kidding? Years ago, someone brought me their 2 year old AQHA filly for training. She was two. She was already sixteen hands. She was a pretty gold color. And as soon as I began teaching her to longe, I realized she was lame. So we called the vet. She had navicular. I was horrified. Nothing had ever been done with her, but she had straight pasterns and little feet. Of course, her moron owners took her home - to use as a broodmare. Because, you know, the world needs more horses who are so badly conformed that they are crippled before you ever do ANYTHING with them!

I am not anti-halter-horse. I have friends who breed halter horses, but they are also horses with good feet and normal pastern angles, who halter as a prelude to their riding careers, which they do have. (I have had to edit this post after learning that what is shown above is actually what is winning now. My friend who breeds normal looking halter horses says this is why she doesn't show a lot anymore - she sees no point in going out and wasting money getting beat by things that are this structurally incorrect because it is the current 'style.' I suggested to her that we start a new trend, of halter horses who can jump courses, since hers could without going lame or falling over.) I actually broke out, many years ago, a horse who'd been top ten twice at AQHA world in halter. He was sound. He was a butthead but he was sound, and he got over being a butthead and went on to a successful 4-H western pleasure/horsemanship career. Sure, he was musclebound but the basic structure was correct, which in this horse, it just ain't. Not even close.

Just for comparison, I'm going to add a picture of an okapi. See the resemblance?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Anything can be a purebred!

Have a horse you can't sell? Backyard filled with misbegotten, mixed-breed mistakes? No problem - just make up a new breed! You can start the registry yourself. It is kind of like becoming a minister from that ad in the back of Rolling Stone. Anyone can do it!

Example #1: Have an unregistered, narrow chested filly that rotates out starting at the knees and hocks? Is she out of a grade mare that you bred for some ridiculous reason? Worried she will go at the local meat auction for $75 to the killers? Never fear - all you have to do is call her a "German Riding Pony" and now you can put her on the Internet for $3500.

This mare is advertised as a Campolina. While I have no freakin' clue what that is, it is kind of an appropriate name as she is more camped out than Paris & Nicole on this season of The Simple Life. Her underline is so long that she actually appears to be u-shaped, a look that is somewhat minimized by her mutton withers. She has a classically formed "nest" growing straight out from her front legs, thick and short. In this pose, with her front feet so far out in front, her shoulder should look awesome. It doesn't. It is as straight as that paint horse from the other day. Yuck, yuck, yuck. And someone will probably breed her because she's a "rare breed."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Form and function and a lot more...

Wow. I have to say, this is the worst shoulder I've seen so far. This is, thankfully, a gelding who someone was smart enough to ensure couldn't reproduce. Check out that shoulder. It is almost straight up and down. This horse must ride like you are sitting on a jackhammer. At least this one is out of the gene pool, and we can only hope he was an "oops" baby from a one-time breeding of his parents.

Here is a sweet old mare advertised for sale. The only problem is that the ad brags that she has had a few foals. Dear Lord, why? Because she is gray? This mare has short stubby legs and tiny feet which don't look even marginally capable of holding up her bulk. She has big old head and appears to be cowhocked. Folks, just because a horse has a nice disposition, that doesn't mean you should breed it.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Know your breed...please

Today's class: Know your Breed: Arabians.

This mare is being advertised as one that would make a "perfect broodmare" even though they admit they have no papers on her and will sell her for $250. OK. Now let's look at her conformation.

Today I'm not even going to point out all of the things that are wrong here. I'm just going to post a picture below of a breeding quality Arabian who is the same age as this mare (to be fair). Take some time and look at the differences for yourself if you are unclear about what a breeding quality Arabian should look like.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

So you're a rescue, huh?

Some 501(c)(3) horse rescue in Oklahoma has this mare up for sale...with her colt at side by a registered AQHA stallion. What are they doing, trying to breed their own future rescues? This mare is as long as Britney Spears' hair extensions. She's downhill, short necked, crooked in front and post legged behind. She isn't a terrible horse but she isn't a breeding quality horse. And then they choose to breed her to a Quarter Horse with no show or race record. Why? Why? Why?

Monday, June 4, 2007

All babies are cute!

I made that statement but after perusing some more sale ads, have thought better of it. First, we have this sorrel filly who really looks just pitiful. She is thin, dull coated and looks wormy, but even if she was good weight, she'd still be calf kneed, cow hocked, and (I suspect, it's hard to see from the angle) long backed. And now she is being ditched on Craigslist. Why breed if you're going to (a) breed crap and (b) not even take proper care of them? This is just sad.

Oh my. I am afraid I may never again be able to say that all babies are cute. There is something about this filly that just reminds me of a spider or something. Her hooves are yellow. Her head is huge. I sincerely hope her eyes aren't as small as they look. She doesn't look very happy, and if I popped out looking like that, I can't say I'd be happy either.

It's just as well there's no picture, my head hurts already

Today's Craigslist gem:

1998 TB Stud Has Seattle Slew bood lines, His name is Foespike if you want to look up his lines . Not ridable. Not set up for a stud need to find him a home. I have his transfer papers. The lady I got him from tossed his papers by mistake. So he can be registered. He has not Raced. He is a Black Bay. He injured his leg is why he didn't race. Please email for more information and pic's of him. Rehoming fee $500.00 To a good home only. There is one foal on the ground that is his. Stop flagging this ad! I am not asking a high price for rehoming. Just need to find him a good home. I see people that ask over 2000.00 for horses and they don't get flagged. WHATS UP???

What's up is the world doesn't need another unraced, non-performing, totally undistinguished in ANY way Thoroughbred stallion producing more mediocre foals.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Don't toot your horn so loud unless you're driving a Ferrari

A friend forwarded me an advertisement for this filly, described by her optimistic breeder as "flawless." I am not sure what the word means in their world, but their picture shows a filly who is going to have some training issues as her right front leg wants to go in a different direction as the rest of the horse. That can be a real problem, although it does make leg yielding easier, at least on that side. Like the colt we saw yesterday, this filly has a "nest" - her neck seems to grow straight out from her forelegs with little definition, and it isn't any longer than her head. While she may somewhat grow out of her downhill conformation, I doubt she will grow out of her post legged back end and short, thick neck.

This opinion is reinforced by the picture of her dam, on the same web site. Note that Momma has the same post legs behind and thick, short neck as the daughter. In addition, she does not look like she ever made it to level - her croup still appears higher than her withers.

This filly is not just going through an awkward baby stage. These folks bred a mediocre mare and produced a mediocre baby in the most common color on earth for absolutely no good reason.

But wait, there's more...

The most stunning example of "WTF, WHY did you breed THAT?" on their web site comes in the form of a buckskin gelding who is the most stunning example of "nest" I have seen lately. Not to mention, his back end makes these mares look like excellent stadium jumping candidates in comparison. If this critter is still sound by his sixth birthday, I'm going to be big-time surprised.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Missing body parts

Today's lesson is about missing body parts - or at least body parts that are wildly undersized in comparison to the rest of the horse, giving the horse the appearance of a FrankenHorse monster which has been assembled from a collection of non-matching pieces.

This sad filly, for example, has no butt. She has a long back and a long underline that looks like it should culminate in a butt, but sadly, does not. Who is responsible for breeding this thing? I'm not sure she's going to be athletic enough to do 4-H walk trot.

You've probably heard of "cankles" before...well, this colt has a "nest." His neck runs straight into his front legs. Where is his chest? We think it's there, but we can't really see it. If he were a chick, he'd be a AA cup. His general weak, wormy appearance does not help his overall look and it is no surprise his owner, who clearly thought they were in the money because he popped out grulla overo, is now ditching him for cheap on the Internet.

C'mon gotta THINK before you breed. Both these horses are for sale for less than $500. You aren't making back the cost of feeding your mare for the year much less stallion service, vet, etc. So why? Why do you continue to breed these crappy horses?