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: 18-March 03
From: Vale View, Toowoomba, Australia
Member No.: 117
Information to share : recently subscribing to the Equine Studies Institute run by Deb Bennett (the exchange rate was good) and in so doing very promptly received their current newsletter the "Inner Horseman". Now as newsletters go, this has to be a book! I'm seriously encouraging anyone who believes in equus to subscribe for the current year (yep, there's not much time left!) and receive this most informative newsletter even if the subscription which has other benefits is only to get a copy of this newsletter! The theme for this year is horseshoeing.
The newsletter comes on CD in pdf and includes Part 1 and 2 of an essay which Deb Bennett calls "Principles of Equine Orthopedics: Stance and Biomechanics for Every Horse Owner" (2003). Hopefully to whet your appetite for this informative essay, the following is a quoted from the introduction
Yet an understanding of the principles of orthopedics remains the indispensable basis for good farriery. Indeed the orthopedist regularly does something - something which I am so anxious that farriers learn that I am willing - nay I insist - that they be taught it: in recognition that the body is an integrated whole, the orthopedist focuses not merely on what is going on in the limbs, but also on what they are connect to: the back, neck, skull, jaws - even the hyoid bones of the throat and the ossicles of the ear. In gait and performance problems and lameness, what is going on in the upper body is often primary and causative rather than secondary and compensatory, and both the veterinarian and the horseshoer must understand integrated functioning "above the ankle" before the use of any trim or any applicance may be deemed effective or wise.
Its very well illustrated and goes into detail (an ordinary dictionary and an equine atlas would be beneficial to have on hand). It's listed at 194pp all up and its a worth while read for anyone owning horses, particularly Arabians, and especially considering the topic of this thread re changes (if any) to the Breed Standard.
The author also makes the perhaps brazen statement:
This realization naturally brings up the subject of what the normal conformation and stance of a horse's hind limb actually is. A nation full of "halter winners" who are rarely good performers more than sufficiently deomonstrates that our licensed judges (and the owners who promote and condone their standards) have very little understanding of the difference between "cow hocks" and normal hindlimb construction."
To find out what the author is actually referring to, along with its full implications ~ well, you'll need to obtain this newsletter