Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas...let's see who's been naughty and who's been nice!

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays, everybody! I hope you are all having a great one and Santa brought you and your horses everything you were hoping for. Yes, I've had a great one and I'm finally over my bronchitis, for those who inquired.

Now, since Santa's busy, it's up to us to determine who's been naughty and who's been nice. If life were fair and I were running the universe, some of our featured breeders would find a nice new aluminum gooseneck with living quarters in their stockings...but some of them would find a lump of well-deserved coal.

I like this Akhal-Teke stallion. As Akhal-Tekes go, he's pretty nicely put together and actually has a hip. What I don't like is that the breeder - who otherwise has nice horses - has decided she is the one to produce a grand and wonderful NEW kind of "sport horse." (Since there are not enough of them sitting around not selling in this market) She's going to do that by - are ya ready? - crossing this guy on Wiescamp bred AQHA mares. Say what? Why? Why? Why? Well, she thinks she is "ahead of her time" and "I hope decades from now...I will be remembered as the pioneers of a whole new line of sport horses, talented, and prize winning in both the hunter and dressage arenas! " I hope decades from now I'll be remembered as the largest lottery winner in American history, but I'm not holding my breath. While, again, I think this lady has some very high quality horses and overall there's nothing wrong with her breeding program, the Akhal-Teke thing is like when you turn 40 and your stylist tells you that you'd look good with "funky" short orange hair and your friends say all the appropriate things and avoid telling you that you look like a dork. I have no such restraints on my behavior. In this case, you have an overall good breeding program but are having a moment of hopefully temporary insanity and I'm going to call you on it and give you a lump of coal.

The ad text: "Spokey is an extremely sweet stud. Very good with kids!! He carries the gene for homozygous black and white. We can send you pic of Mother and father also he might can be REG. A must see!! "

He might can be registered? Is that lolspeak? Where's the kittycat? Fine, I will respond in kind. You can has gelding. It can has bath before being posted for sale. You can has child protective services come vizzit. You needz smack upsyde hed.

(Is that a stock removal truck in the background? Well, how fitting would that be?)

The ad text: "His name is Fleet. He`s jet black with 4 white feet and he Registered Paint. Easy to ride. Age is 7yrs. He`s 15 to 17 hands high. He`s a stud. For more information call 1-419-929-1211"

He's also $4,000, since totally unaccomplished breeding stock Paints with fugly necks are in such huge demand out there. And WTF is 15 to 17 hands high? What, 15 at the back and 17 at the ears? 17 if you're using the metric system?

And WHAT is up with that FENCE? It looks like an abstract art project. Is that a loose piece of barbed wire dangling diagonally across the equally shitty wire mesh? Awesome.

More lump of coal winners:

Jumping lessons, they are your friend

Now here's an interesting pedigree (AQHA will help you with that, you know!)

Tax court determines you are a clueless BYB with more money than sense! My favorite part: "Temptation's stud fee was generally $500 if the owner did not want registration papers and $1,000 if the owner wanted registration papers" Lady, you are a prizewinning asshat.

Now, here are some breeders that I hope Santa brings a shiny new gooseneck to!

A FHOTD regular visited these folks and was very impressed. They have a 28 year old stallion in excellent condition. Their breeding stock is good quality and most have show records. Their young stock for sale are all appropriately trained for their age level which includes the fact that you do not see their 2 year olds under saddle yet. They get a gold star!

Here's what I like to see in a stallion. I want to particularly point out the shoulder. If you want to know what a great shoulder looks like, Artful Move has a great shoulder and it's why he could perform and his get can perform. I know not all of you like the AQHA headset - but look at the conformation. Uniformly good shoulders, hips, compact build, free from the shoulder. Compare this to some crippled up, can barely trot anymore nasty-pasterned halter horse and then tell me that Thoroughbred blood does not improve the Quarter Horse breed. B.S. The introduction of the right Thoroughbred blood has given us a modern Quarter Horse who combines an elegant look and free movement with a quiet, amateur and youth friendly disposition. It's a good thing.

Look, here is someone who actually got off their ass and cleaned up their broodmares for pictures. Makes a difference, doesn't it? Don't these pictures make you excited to see the foals, as opposed to some poor, muddy mare who hasn't had her feet done in a year and has a mane that looks like Britney Spears' weave? And isn't it nice to see absolutely zero crap, junk, shitty fence, children's toys, etc. in the background. People, really. It is not that hard to take a nice picture, and look at the difference it makes. (Yes, the fact that they're quality mares is helpful, too!) Anyway, another gold star. Hope Santa brings you something good.

Another breeder I love...for many, many years Sheila Varian has been not only breeding Arabians but - gasp! - DOING something with them. Her horses work cows and win at the Arabian shows with equal ease. She has specifically bred for disposition and performance and, shazam, that is what she got. I am the first to admit I am "not an Arab person" but I've ridden some horses of her breeding and they were just good, sensible working horses. There was nothing not to like about them. You did not know you were on an Arabian - i.e. they did not go OMG IT'S A BUTTERFLY HOLY SHIT MUST SPIN AND RUN FARFARFAR AWAY! Sheila has a ten commandments of breeding on her site that should be required reading for anyone considering creating an equine life. You can learn a lot just by looking at a picture pedigree of one of her horses and seeing how she has improved upon them, generation after generation.

All right, it's long past time for me to find coffee and breakfast...happy holidays all and I really do hope whatever you wanted is under your tree today! Enjoy this day off to spend with your family and your horses and tell me all about your day in the comments!