Monday, July 16, 2007

Blue unicorns

When you get to the web site for a breeder, and there is a painting of a blue unicorn on the main page, you are put on alert that this is a person who may perhaps live in the world of fantasy, romanticize their horses, and refuse to apply any logical reasoning to their breeding program, or, well, anything else. The blue unicorn smiled at me from the main page before I got to the "homozygous Perlino tobiano stallion" within. Alas, the unicorn had better conformation.

The picture on the left is proudly hailed as the stallion's first ride. Although this stallion does nothing for me as a stallion, I must say he is a saint to have tolerated the riding seen at left. Unfortunately, the overall effect is "shaggy mixed breed beginner friendly pony" as opposed to "APHA stallion I would want to breed my mares to." I don't care if he's double dilute, homozygous and can walk and chew gum at the same time. Not breeding quality.

I know some of you will say I am picking on him because he is poorly presented. OK, let's look at some of the foals he has sired!

I have never seen a baby before that looks like it should come complete with a lifetime supply of Pergoglide. This truly is the most hideous neck I've ever seen on a baby in all these years. Definitely a case of "nest" but weirdly topped off by a huge thick crest normally only seen in Cushing's horses and elderly ponies. *shakes head in wonder*

Think that was a fluke? Want to give the breeder the benefit of the doubt? Believe they are breeding for something other than color? Here's another!

Yes, another hideously ugly thick, short neck flowing into yet another nonexistant set of withers. But hey! It has spots! Because when you breed to Mr. Homozygous Perlino Double Dilute, you can only get things with spots that are colored. This is a grulla! Isn't that just the most exciting thing ever?

This breeder is my classic example of Everything That Is Wrong With People Who Breed ONLY For Color. They have 2 stallions with totally undistinguished bloodlines, no show records, and significant conformation faults that should have turned them into nice geldings. I counted 22 mares on their broodmare pages. They have a dozen or more foals for sale. And now the announcement comes, and I quote "Unfortunetly due to circumstances out of my control, I am forced to sell a large portion of my herd as quik as possible." No! Really? I can't believe it, a backyard breeder of crappy horses getting into money trouble and having to dump a ton of horses quik-ly? All sarcasm aside, this happens all the time. They will desperately try to sell horses. They will sell some, but not enough, and not at the prices they had thought they would sell them for. They will learn that people who have $3000 to spend on a baby can buy a baby out of parents who are proven show horses. Fall will approach, and with it, the cost of expensive hay. And sure as shooting, some of those babies are going to the auction. This is the kind of thing I've seen happen a lot, and it's why this blog exists.

To review: If you don't have excellent conformation, excellent disposition and proven athletic ability, don't breed it and I don't care if it's a double dilute purple stripped leopard print with irridescent streaks! Breeding animals merely to get a trendy color with no thought to any other consideration of responsible animal breeding is as irresponsible as it gets.