Monday, July 9, 2007

A rant, and Today's Know Your Breed: Paint

We'll begin today with a rant. There was a horse auction this weekend. In case you were wondering about what sells in this world for $300 or less, here are a few examples. (Sorry no pics. Most of the auction yards will throw you out if they catch you with even a camera phone.)

30 year old palomino appaloosa gelding with a bad knee: $5

30 year old appaloosa gelding, fat, sound, blind in an eye, child safe: $50

21 year old registered, very well bred Arabian mare, gray, with melanoma around eye: $300. Since I'm sure someone thinks they can get one more baby out of her before she drops dead. My $300 says that eye never gets looked at by a vet.

Clean legged, sound registered loud colored tobiano APHA mare, in foal for 2008: $300

Moral of story on the first three: Stick a crowbar into your wallet and euthanize your old horses, you cheap, miserable, worthless sons of bitches. I truly hope you spend YOUR retirement living in a refrigerator box in an alley until you freeze to death. Yes, I know I am bitchy on this topic. Seeing 30 year olds at auction makes me very, very angry.

As to the latter mare: Let this be a wake-up call about the actual value of a crappy quality paint horse. Spots alone DO NOT make them valuable.

Now that we've seen that, let's do today's Know Your Breed on Paint (APHA) horses. I have fantastic examples to use. An alert reader sent in this Paint who is an example of pretty much everything that can be wrong with one!

When the word "fugly" was invented, they had this horse in mind! WOW. The head is almost totally square. Where is its eye? Is it pink? We have laid-back ears, a horribly ugly ewe neck coming out of a straight shoulder, huge withers that resemble a camel's hump, and four of the weakest, longest pasterns I have ever seen. Apparently it injured both hind legs at one point (still looks like DSLD to me) but jeez, the front pasterns are almost as bad. This horse could not move well if its life depended upon it. It's front legs simply don't have much range of motion, which is why you are seeing so much knee action. I should also mention its dam is also it's great grand-dam. It's like a Jeff Foxworthy joke! Its saving grace is that it is a gelding and will not breed on.

This horse is also a gelding, but I would not mind a bit if he weren't. I know a lot of my readers are from the h/j and dressage world and do not care for the level headset, but it is what is desirable in the APHA show world and this horse is physically built to comfortably carry his head at that level. He has a lovely shoulder and look how easy it is for him to reach out and have a beautiful, flat, hunt seat trot. I love the length of his hip. Sure, he has a goose rump but so do a lot of great jumpers. His ad says he likes to jump and I will bet he is good at it. This is a classy, lovely, all-around type gelding. Whoever bred him gets 2 thumbs up from me. I actually realized after I already selected him that his dam is sired by a stallion I used to ride a lot of offspring of, because I worked for the stallion owner. They all jumped, had great minds, and were youth/amateur friendly. Again, breeding and genetics are not like winning the lottery. You really can, a lot of the time, predict what you are going to get. And I do not need a crystal ball to tell you that at least ONE of the first horse's parents, probably both, look a hell of a lot like he does.