Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Leading the...oh shit, get out of the way, TIMBER!!!

Today I'd like to announce the formation of the American Halter Horse Association, which I think we might as well retitle the American HYPP Horse Association since it's pretty obvious that's the real reason for its formation. Their slogan is "We aren't along for the ride; We're leading the way!™" A snarky but accurate poster on another board already observed that the subtitle should be ..."Cause we're afraid to get on our horses in case they fall down!" Oh, touche. You see, this is a new registry created in March of this year to promote halter horses of any breed. They compare it to the way NCHA promotes cutting horses of any breed. Except, well, it's pretty obvious from their web site that they're only interested in stock type halter horses. And when you get to their FAQ, the reason for the creation of this new registry becomes abundantly clear:

Q: What is the AHHA's position on issues like HYPP?

A: The AHHA is not limiting registration to exclude any genetic abnormality
Well, yay! Now the H/H stud at left can just keep splashing around in the gene pool, spewing his defectiveness far and wide. Lovely pasterns, too, and could his hocks be any further under his body?

Congratulations and welcome to the We Don't Give A Fuck, We Just Want To Make Money Registry. Got a genetic abnormality? Come on in! Bring your money! Come to our horse shows! We already have four scheduled for next year! And we don't have no stinkin' rules against stuff like your horse falling down and having an attack in the halter class. We understand that these things happen. We are thinking of having a year-end award where you get a humongous case of Karo Syrup. (OK, I made that part up, but seriously, I see a real promotional opportunity for the ACH Food Companies here. Not to mention Wyeth for the acetazolamide. Hell, Wyeth has such a great record with humane treatment of horses anyway, I figure they'll sign right up!)

Oh hell, it gets better. Their rule book notes they believe in "Keeping our events as family events with solid Christian values at our core." Their rule book actually quotes Scripture. OK, can anyone out there point to the part of the bible that says "be fruitful and multiply defective horses likely to suffocate to death?" What happened to the good stewardship over the animals part? Apparently, along with all the little children, Jesus loves the big money halter horse industry. Who knew?

Here you go, straight from their rule book - as I like to say, "folks, I don't make this shit up!:"

"To ensure we “Repay no one evil for evil
but be honest, proper and noble –
aiming to be above reproach in the sight
of everyone” - Romans 12:17
Amplified Bible. Texas translation – We will not
be ugly, even when people are ugly to us. We will be
honest, trustworthy and fair so that no one can say we
done them wrong."

WTF is so honest, proper and noble about allowing the registration of genetically defective stock? Exactly WHAT noble and honorable lesson are you teaching the next generation when they get to watch their horses die in front of them, gasping for air? You ARE ugly if you think it's ok to keep breeding HYPP horses. You need to re-read that part of the Bible about how money is the root of all evil. Believe it or not, that is not meant to apply to people other than you. Giving HYPP positive horses an opportunity to show and breed apart from the regular registries that kicked them out for a reason is not doing the Lord's work.

Here's another H/H broodmare who I'm sure will be producing many AHHA horses in the years to come. Love those front legs. Those are awesome.

But it's not just the AHHA that is continuing to promote HYPP positive horses and act like it's no big deal. An alert reader sent me some recent ApHC minutes in which the Board voted unanimously to approve the use of acetazolimide as a legal drug to keep those HYPP positive Appies showing. Yay ApHC...because everybody needs a spotted horse flailing around on its side in their barn!

A little more research sent me to another site about HYPP. Unlike Bringing Light to HYPP, this one "doesn't take a side." As they say, "We support all views on HYPP and neither is considered right or wrong." Their bulletin board was down (damn! You know it would have been a sea of idiocy!) but I did find this brain donor on their "letters" page. Based upon his e-mail address, he appears to work at a school - we'll hope it's not as a teacher, based upon his poor logic. His words in black, my comments in blue.

"Hypp is exactly that "hype" Wow,did you think that line up all by yourself? Sure it is something that serious breeders should concern themselves with, but it isn't any different than any other genetic deviation that people have been ignoring for a very long time. Well, most people are not ignoring it, and most genetic deviations do not result in the horse falling over, unable to breathe. This is not like, say, being born with one floppy ear. In my opinion, it seems to be the only ones making noise about Hypp, are those who aren't affected. I have yet to meet an Hypp bandwagon jumper who have ever owned a positive horse. Clearly he hasn't been to the other site to read all the stories from people whose horses died from it, or to Youtube to see the sad "memorial videos" from teenage girls who lost their pet. Again it is my opinion that this is probably the new way people who do not like the entire halter aspect of the stock horse industry. "horses are too fat..., not usin'kind of horses..., etc." The new way of what? Hey if you don't like halter horses fine...don't show halter. What about all of the breeders who breed N/N halter horses only. Do they just not like halter horses, either? I personally don't care for Fords so do I lead a boycott to get rid of,I don't buy one. Um, they stopped making the Ford Pinto after they determined they BURST INTO FLAMES on impact. HYPP positive horses are the equine equivalent. We're not talking about strawberry versus vanilla here. We're talking about a healthy horse versus one that has a potentially fatal defect that may cause it to die a horrible death. Like anything else with horse people this is a heated issue. Everybody takes things so personally. Oh yes. Those silly N/N people, they're just overemotional and taking it personally! I don't own an Hypp horse. But I am not afraid of them. Because I am hoping my competitors' horses will fall over dead and then I can win everything. Yay me! I also really enjoy great pleasure horses so I am not partial to any one segment of the industry. There are those who have many complaints about pleasure horses too. But that is another story. I guess we need to go back in time when the same horse was used to rope calves in the morning, show halter, and ride in all the performance classes in the afternoon because those were the good old days! While we are at it lets all quit using the telephone, get rid of our computers, and walk everywhere we go. In the good old days, we also had no way of testing for and thus avoiding genetic defects. "Progress" allows us to do so. Oh, you mean you didn't mean that kind of progress was good? Personally I don't want to return to those days. Why go backwards? Ignoring genetic defects we now know how to avoid is going backwards, duh! Yeah those horses did a lot, but how much of it did they do well? I wasn't there to watch and neither were you, but one thing I will note: They did not need to have a rule to disqualify halter horses who fell down in the class in those days. I defy anyone to prove to me that yesterdays reining horses were better than todays modern reiner, or cutters. So if that can be true for horses in those disciplines, why not halter? The whole point of ever having a halter class used to be to critique conformation with performance in mind. Now it's got nothing to do with anything else; it's an end in itself, with generations of horses who never get broke past the ability to lead, horses who are lame with trembling legs over at the knee by age 6, horses permanently crippled from overfeeding, falling over and suffocating seen as an "acceptable" risk. That's the difference between specializing in halter and specializing in, say, working hunter. Finally let's remember the consumers rule the market place, if the modern halter horse wasn't what a majority of the people want then who is it buying all of them. We're not talking about the modern halter horse, we're talking about HYPP positive horses. If none were available, halter horse devotees would buy N/N horses and life -and halter class- would go on. Tim McLochlin"

However, Mimi Michielsseni got it right, after sadly experiencing the death of her young mare who was purchased before everybody knew about HYPP: "My view on the subject is no one should beeed any horse knowlingly with HYPP. Anyone who does is a Jackass. "
Mimi, I could not have said it better myself!
At left, a 2007 filly ... born HYPP H/H.