Joined: 17-March 03
Member No.: 64
Shalom and greetings from Israel!
I have been lurking and reading quite carefully the BORN TO PERFORM discussion, and so well understand many of the points of view reflected there. Much of what, for example, both Hansi and Ralph say make sense - I know that Hansi doesn't mean that good type isn't necessary in a good Arabian - I don't think that Ralph wants Arabians that are purely typey head and neck and tail carriage and the ability to trot in a showring but are not fit to be using horses. ( Nor do I believe that this was the goal of the RAS/EAO with their goal of breeding classic horses.) Ralph is a rider. Hansi is a rider. Both love and breed the same breed with a singular passion.
The instructive comments in this thread reminded me that about a year ago, I looked all over the internet for a more or less universally accepted written breed standard for the Arabian horse and couldn't find one. I mean one that describes the standard from "head to foot" , correct conformation, action, charcter, etc - point by point. I was both fascinated and mortified. (I wanted to publish a translated breed standard for our Hebrew/Arabic Breeder's Cup show program. )
The thread about Sport Horse Championships and the commendable judging system used there, got me thinking even more....
So many things are subjective (the terms typey, classic, brilliance), or difficult to define, Where is our common ground? What can we agree upon about the Arabian horse? What can be crystallized about our breed, defined, and described sufficiently well in words? Each of us individually know what we are referring to when we refer to a good Arabian horse. Are we speaking the same language?
Seriously, Who has an Arabian breed standard of 5000 words or less that would be acceptable to us all? Or, perhaps to say the great majority rather than all of us. (Not looking for a fight, only for data).
Now obviously there are complete books on the subject - many of them in my library, but I am wondering whether it is possible to find a succinct, written breed standard that is of perhaps a few thousand words in length that would keep (almost) everyone happy. Seriously. Something that could be published in a show program for "neophytes" as to what are the hallmarks of the breed, or handed out to people who have no previous knowledge. And something to make available on the web - (perhaps even on this exceptional website) for anyone looking for basic information starting from "zero?"
20-25 years ago I used to see this type of information published in general horse magazines. I apologize if I am wrong here about it not being available currently on the web - please set me straight if anyone can find it.
And, please... Anyone with a written example of such a standard, please present it here. Also if there is a date tagged to the standard.
To think about....if there are examples of standards from, lets say 40 years ago and standards from 10 years ago.....what has, if anything, changed in terms of what appears in the accepted written standard? When, who, how modified?
Perhaps a logical place to start to look for a standard would be from the judges on this forum who study before being licensed.
Years ago there was an article in some printed mag - showing how the Gladys Brown Edwards' images of the breed standard (in America anyway) were changed and refined over the years to show a more "modern" type of Arabian. The picture was changed to a more upright, had a longer neck, and a more "modern" croup. Anyone remember ? Any comments? Can anyone post these images? Anyone willing to guess whether a 2003 image be modified in other ways?
So, this post is, I guess, asking three things:
Serious part -'this is my quest', in the immortal words of Don Quiote 1)Is there today a written (more or less) breed standard that we can agree upon ?
Curious part: 2) How is (or Is this) standard different from what that would have been (or was actually) published in, let's say, 1960.
Pragmatic part: 3) What is the acceptable written breed standard that judges study today?
Any takers? LIz, Alia....anyone?...What would you use (or how would you write) the breed standard for the Arabian horse today?
Thanks for listening. Sorry for the rambling. And, as always, all the best!
Joined: 21-July 03
Member No.: 636
I have agonized over the defintion of the Arabian horse in relation to type (or sometimes the lack of it ) and what is displayed in the show ring. It sometimes seems that one of the poorest places to see *type* displayed is at shows? I have to admit that I, after reading all these 50-some posts, agree with Tzviah that it is something one instinctively knows when one is presented with it. When that certain horse appears before you and you gasp and say, "Now THAT is an Arabian." I have seen excellent examples in backyards, breeding barns, and albeit occasionally in the show ring! Carol, the definiton that you gave is close to my heart too When I arise early to go to the barn to feed, when I turn my horses out for a play session, I have this feeling that I am part of a scene that has been played out for ages. These Arabians have a timeless quality that has to be felt, as well as seen. How can one see sharing ones life with an Arabian as anything other than a Blessing? Hansi, you make so much sense with your comments about *proving* durability and stamina with Arabians. Would it not be interesting if one day we awoke to find all that is modern, gone away? Suddenly we had to once again rely on these horses for transportation, and even survival? How many of our *modern* Arabians would survive being used? Or for that matter, would it not be interesting to see how well some of the owners survived if they actually had to ride and use these horses for other than their beauty? I suspect that the show ring horse who actually is sound, healthy, with a good mind and functional conformation would wind up being the *Champion* in this scenerio. I also have to say that one has to breed horses to please themselves. I think a breed standard may be an intangible thing, with various interpretations based on one's own concept of *type* JMO