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?