Joined: 18-June 03
Member No.: 548
Well, Hansi, you have a point, in all that you have just said...and I agree, I am a "layman", clueless, spiteful, a writer of fictions, novels and fables. It is never about the horses for me, I have been pretending to be passionate about Egyptian Arabian Horses, in order to get "personal" with you. Have I missed anything else? Obviously, there are eligibility requirements that I was never made aware of, in order to express an opinion, that is, for the number of horses bred, shown, and awarded champion in order to post. It is so frustrating to post an opposing view and to be constantly reminded, over and over again how I don't measure up. Many thanks to some of you for making Egyptian Arabian Horses such an exclusive society. It makes one get tired, throw their hands up in the air, and shout.
CAUTION, that's all I wanted to express, as we move forward in an era, where the focus seems to be more on movement and conformation, and less on breed type. I am skeptical of this latest movement of sporthorses, as I was with all the others that have come before this latest one.
I withdraw all my posts and bow out of this discussion, which is fruitless. I apologize to all whom I may have offended with my strong opinions, including Hansi.
Joined: 17-March 03
From: Switzerland and Hungary
Member No.: 80
Born to perform ?
How gentle are theses horses to let us ride - they are not born to perform - they are born as personal individuums. They are just so honest, gentle and friendly to let us do all this riding stuff!!
Or do you think because you pay for and also their barn and food and trainer and show-shine - they are your "personal property"?
Our responsability is to ride a horse just to what it´s built - from the point of view of his body conformation and his gaits. And an arabian horse can look very arabian typy with huge different conformation points - an endurance horse needs completly other conformation points than a cowwork arabian or a dressage arabian - for that reason it´s a bit ridiculous to say we have to bred what comes from its origin - here we do not have desert circumstances, we do other types of sport competition here than in the desert, even a short speed horse looks completely different to a long distance horse,.
Yes the arabian horse can be used for al type of sport but when he is used to be sucessful in certain disciplines than it needs special points of conformation to be able to go to the top without risk of health problems
We have to see what our horse can us offer an than we have to thank our horses for their kindness that they let us do for what we have fun.
A horse doesn´t has to be ridden per se - but when it gets ridden than it has to have a correct conformation for that discipline we ask for.
A little progressive idea I know but my personal opinion.
Ralph, don't stop posting. Others share your views too but we don't all speak up. You've I am also worried about the Sporthorse fad wiping out whatever gains we've made in type in the last couple of generations. When the Saddleseat craze was big, Arabians were bred to look like Saddlebreds. When Western Pleasure is hot, people breed Arabians that look like Quarter horses. Many Dressage people also seem to want their Arabians to look more like Warmbloods than the original Arabian. I understand what you mean about everything getting bigger as you look from back to front. It is a light hind end and big front end, something like a bull-dog build. That isn't meant to be an insult at all, just an observation.
Joined: 18-March 03
From: Vale View, Toowoomba, Australia
Member No.: 117
Most of the regulars on this forum will appreciate my take on the Arabian Horse. The attached image includes photos for Joe Ferriss’ article on strains. Original photos were taken by both Joe and Judith Forbis (the article can be read in a couple of magazines and on my website). The purpose of this image in this thread is to highlight these were examples of the original and perhaps first generation from the desertbred Arabians to be exported to the west. (I’m unsure of all the individual’s names)
LOOK at how far the Breed Standard has refined the thinking and breeding of the Arabian Horse! The western focus has changed the Arabian – there are at least 7 types of Arabian Horse represented here. How many other types were there? Why is there a persistence to have the Arabian Horse look almost identical?
Newer people to Breed see only the newer identical image, can’t recognise or don’t want to recognise the other types as ‘genuine’ because according to the Breed Standard (image), they are not credible – they differ from the image generated through the Breed Standard via the showring.
Each one of these horses is a capable performance horse, a requirement of their original breeders – the Bedouin. REMEMBERING, essentially, all the Bedouin needed was a horse to get them in and out of a raid. ALL of them should win first prize in a halter ring – THEY ARE ALL ARABIAN, they are Born Arabian, born to perform – one way or another. This is how it was possible for the Arabian Horse to be the progenitor of so many different Breeds with different focuses.
Focusing on particular attributes has been detrimental to the Breed as a whole. They are becoming less and less credible as a Breed in the eyes of others. To my mind, until this is realised there’s not much which can be done to ‘save’ the desert bred horse of the Bedouin. Westerners will have successfully generated the modern Arabian Horse.
On another topic – “MODERN” dressage – ouch Ralph!! Dressage is just about as ancient as the Arabian Horse, and like the Arabian it too has been bastardised for the sake of competition, promotion and financial gain, full of wannabes. Any horse completing any and all movements within Dressage is a credible performance horse. Some do it easier. Ralph - do keep posting, it can be a joy to read your posts written with so much passion
A final question.......... how do you teach someone to appreciate and judge each individual in this image as equals???
I´m from Germany and speak for the German breeding: isn´t it the easiest thing in breeding to get a pretty head ? And isn´t it a very very difficult thing to really improve the conformation,the movements and the disposition of a horse ? I once heard Mrs Patterson ( breeder of Negatraz) say, that even to keep a standard needs hard work. And improvement even more and also lots of intuition and talent.
I am sure, the original arabian horse (look at the photos of the Blunt´s imports for example, or the Bahrein horses today) were merely as typy as the most arabians today, but the rest of the horses was better. So, where ist the real progress ? Can we really be proud of what we reached ? How can I ride on a pretty head ? I feel, that our arabians here in Germany are as bad as never (except pretty heads) in the whole history of the Arabian and that´s a pretty long time. And we here reached this in maybe 20 years or so and also missed to give the Arabian a place in the riding market. Most riders in Germany just laugh about Arabians. It´s very sad. I´m really glad to see, that in the U.States there are so many athletic arabians under saddle and the breeding is not so much concentrated on a pretty head. Please go on this way !!! And I don´t think, Arabians are consciously bred to look like saddlebreds(as some people say), no - this is coincidently the look of the old Polish Arabian ! Look at so many old pictures ! I am very sure, that these fantastic gene-pool would have died out, if the Americans wouldn´t have preserved this oldfashioned type ! Americans always liked saddlebreds, so - they loved this type of Arabian and preserved it. In Germany you can´t come with an Arabian like this to a halter show, they will give you a kick .... But I personally love this, what I call "Bask-look" so much, much more than the little puppy and doll-faces . And the athletic ability is of the very best !!! Many greetings from Germany !
To be honest, I don't really understand the craze about sport horse classes in the US. If you want to prove the athletic ability of your horse, why not ride it competitively, instead of showing it in hand? In know of no sport horse in hand classes in Europe, but there are many arab-only sport competitions, most of them on a very high level. Isn't that much more important for proving what your horse can do?
By the way, to compete very successfully in top dressage, a horse needs very special gaits, at least in Germany. The trot has to have extreme extension, with the foreleg nearing the horizontal. Like it or not, that is what is wanted here, but it is certainly not typically Arabian.
It is too bad , that there are no sport-horse in hand classes in Germany, because of the emphasize on "pretty head", as I said before. The "arab-only sports activity" in Germany is absolutly ridicoulous. In the U.S. you have 18 Regionals and many others like Scottsdale and the Nationals with about 2000 horses. In Germany there are just a few events with just a handful of horses and the level is not at all high, except Aachen some days ago, but also not so many starters (maybe 50 ?) The heavy trot you mean in dressage is not so much unnatural as you think, many Arabians have it naturally. By the way, if they don´t have it, they can also compete at a high level, as can be seen at the success that some Andalusians have in Europe at Grand - Prix Level , although the Andalusians have no good trot at all, they convince with the other parts like piaff and passage for example. Germany is dressage-land number one, but only for warmbloods, as I said before, every "normal" rider laughs about Arabians in Germany, and maybe they are right.
Joined: 21-March 03
Member No.: 192
Your idea is excellent, except for one thing. who is showing their halter champions under saddle, at a show or at home?
the sportshorse on hand classes give each exhibitor a score sheet. In it all good and bad faults are specifically mentioned and such is signed by the presiding judge.
It is often possible, that folks sell horses with detrimental faults to a layman/newcommer and such run into problem when trying to train such horse under saddle. If the seller- other then experienced and reputable- would present such score sheet/sheets to the prospective buyer , it would be a fairer method. This means that a horse with poor conformation, especially legs, or one which can not move, hardly be selected to be trained in stress performances. that would be insaine in my opinion.
the same goes for an inexperienced person, wanting to aquire breeding stock. Such person now can evaluate far better, can research if faults are hereditory or not, etc.and can also take further advice from their equine veterinarian
I really dont understand why such fuss is being made for honest exposure. What good are accumilated points, as given at a show, when we still do not know what indeed the judges marked up or down. Have you ever seen "I gave 15 points because the horse has bad front legs, or whatever? This present point system without explanation is exactly the culprit for continous complaints, anger and the likes. I like to see Halter champions examined in the proper manner, AS ALL HORSES SHOULD BE, and what the results will be.
If there were no such complaints, because these horses indeed present their abilities under saddle, we would be much further ahead and the wheat is dived from the shaff.
I also dont understand why the grading system of the master breeders internationally are froned on, not adheared to or duplicated, and then complaints issued, why such win more than often. These wins are well derved in most all cases. they dont send a poor legged horse, or one which cant move to run on the tracks? Beyond that they also grade as to he\she is the fastest. Many of these "Racers" became outstanding sportshorses here in the USA/Canada. And many of them are also extremely type- look like an arabian horse.-
there are a number of farms who test at home, owned or led by experiened horsemen/woman. One does not necessarily race a horse, to ascertain what is what.
Please name me one breed, which is not testing their horses. The Spanish Riding school brings their offspring in at age 3,5, grades and puts into training what they feel will do. The TB's do that on the track. the warmbloods also do the same, and start selling "remaunts" at age 3,5-4, which had primeliary training and is offered with remarks of finding. You dont hear "this Hannoveranian" will be fast and a winner on a flat track, do you? Or a Belgium a prospect for endurance racing!.
If there are folks who only want a halter horse, breed for one, that's their business. How long such market will last, time will tell. Chances are, not very long anymore.
Joined: 17-March 03
From: Texas USA
Member No.: 94
The US Sport Horse classes are not just in hand. They have Sport Horse under saddle, as well as Sport Horse Show Hack, divided into Purebreds and Half Arabs. It has to be remembered that there are a great many new owners and riders in the US, who have not had the early back ground in horses that most European horsemen/women have had. We have many people starting to compete for the first time in their forties and fifties—more power to them. The Sport Horse in hand classes are very educational for these new owners to learn the faults and virtues of their horses, from the scores and written comments from the judges. One woman at Scottsdale after collecting her score sheet said "I didn't know my horse had a club foot".
At the recent Sport Horse Nationals, I don't think that there were more than a handful of horses who did not show in either dressage or jumping as well as the Sport Horse classes. It is really helping educate, as well as being as fair as any judging can be. Arabian type is not left out in the scoring of the in hand classes either, but correct conformation and movement is the primary concern. There were some really stunning horses there. Liz Salmon
After reading Diane's post, I deleted what I had already typed - since she said it much better than I did.
It seems to me one of the biggest obstacles facing the Arabian breed (at least here in the U.S.) is the issue of going to the "extreme" - either people seeking an extreme in "type" traits or an extreme in performance...IMHO the Arabian breed was developed as the epitomy of balance between the 2. Judging is VERY subjective and Diane did a great job of raising the issue of there being more a single type of Arabian horse.
Changing the minds of the popular breeders out there is a hard thing to do. Sadly, a similiar fate is befalling Thoroughbreds in America. Just in the past 15 to 20 years, the Thoroughbred racehorse has gone from being bred to race, to being bred for breeding. Look 20 years in the past, and you can see robust muscular racehorses who can run 30 or more races in a career spanning up to 5 years or more. These days you'd be lucky if a horse races past the age of 3, and runs more then 15 lifetime races. They look like they're running on toothpicks and their muscular structure isn't the same. But try to convince any breeders out there who can earn millions on one of these stallions to start breeding for endurance and strength, and they won't do it.
So I really hope the Arabian breeders out there learn from other breeds mistakes, and try to find an equal balance between beauty and performance that works for everyone.