Jul 12 2006, 11:51 AM
My brother's 100 pound plus, female Rottweiller, decided to crawl under my house last night and sleep directly under my bed, and, apparently, in response to the coyote chorus, decided to add harmony at approximately 2:30 am., so after defibrillating myself, I thought I might while away the rest of the night reading the type vs. conformation issues.
Personally, I think this issue has been resolved. We should be aiming for horses which are as well conformed as informed breeding permits, given all the variables of both genetic and chance; and upon which, reasonable taste differences aside, most people would agree looks like an Arabian Horse.
Even given this rather simplistic formulae, some of our brethern are still breeding horses, while pretty enough in the head, neck and topline, have bypassed the pastern and gone directly to attachment of the hoof to the fetlock joint, thereby eliminating the issues being coon footed or too upright.
Other members of our fraternity are continuing on the quest of the most beautiful Arabian, by bringing into the show ring, animals who are out grazing in the South Forty, for twenty minutes, before the horse's loin had left the stall.
But ugly, that is an entirely different question. Many of us, must love our children, even if they were a result of the night, and the music and five too many mojitos.
(Which makes me wonder, how many children will enter the primary grades in the next few years, named Mojito Jones, but that is a different matter). That is no excuse, however, for intentionally breeding ugly horses.
Today, for the cost of a gallon of gas, and some discount tickets, one can buy a relatively sound and attractive purbred Arabian, in many parts of the US. That being, so, why are we breeding some of the ugliest Arabians and half-arabians, I've seen in the last 40 years. And, even more incomprehensible, we are paying big bucks to advertise them, in full color, in slick magazines.
Heads the length and width of a medical examining table,, in poor imitation of saddlebred action, some of these animals, when born, must have had their dams, pounding on the stall door, trying to get out. While flipping through the latest issue of "What is wrong with these pictures?", it is apparent we need to get back to breeding beautiful, sound and useful Arabians, which look like Arabians and which should be admired for their own inherent qualities of being the finest hot blooded horses in the world.
If you like saddlebred motion, go buy a wonderful saddlebred. How about a warmblood? They are marvelous animals and there are some great lines around
which are perfect for the purposes for which they were bred. These horses were manmade for these purposes and a lot of breeders put time, money and love into the development of these animals, which should be applauded. The Arabian may have been used to enhance the development of these horses, but it should be bred for itself, not an imitation of that which is already fully available for a partiuclar function or functions.
Don't bother to flame me, I'm older than you and I have more insurance than you.
Loved that line.
Jul 12 2006, 12:42 PM
Ha Ha!! Very funny, but I agree wholeheartedly. It's really rather sad, just that you, LMG have a very funny way of putting it down. How and where does one start? most people have their own views and a lot don't like being told or try to educate themselves.
Jul 12 2006, 12:42 PM
"I'm older than you and I have more insurance than you." Fried Green Tomatoes is one of my favorite movies.
Once again another thought provoking post.
There is not anything there to flame you about. Personally, I don't like the shallow almost tubular bodies that we are seeing today on some of the "big name" horses. Pretty heads? Yeah, we got 'em. BUT, where is the rest of the horse. I prefer a horse that looks like an arabian, a well conformed individual with good conformation and movement to match. Athletic and pretty. Although with so many people with so many differing opinions on HOW an Arabian should look, I guess that is where we get the diversity in type from.
There is a start, I have to get back to work.
Jul 12 2006, 01:08 PM
I remember someone bieng annoyed on this forum when I described a lovely stallion as being "workman like" when it was actually meant as a compliment!!!! Perhaps I should have said a functional horse but that too might have been regarded as an insult. One of the stallion I would apply those comments to is Imperial Kamill, not only is he a beautiful and correct horse and a typey arab but he looks like a horse that you could ride all day, put him to bed at night and get up and start again in the morning, not too many of our show champions you could say that about.
To me all the parts of the horse have to be in harmony, so many of them look like two or three different horses stuck together where all the bits don't match.
Jul 12 2006, 01:39 PM
I am not sticking up for the ugly ducklings out there, but.....We've all heard the expressions Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and Beauty is as Beauty does and Beauty is only skin deep.....etc.
We have a very plain mare in our barn who transforms on entry to the show ring, to an amazingly beautiful animal. It has amazed lots of people and we never fail to hear the puzzled who is that?
I also own what I consider to be a fairly ugly purebred Arab gelding. He makes himself even more charming with the permanently pinned ears and his nasty habit of coating himself in mud and burrs. I love him to death! Would I breed him (yes I know a moot point) no. He would add preformance and athletisim but his diposition and "look" are not, in my opinion, worthy.
What I'm getting at is there must be people out there who have fallen in love with a beastie of lesser refinement, donned thier rose coloured glasses and bred them.
Throw in the fact that breeding is not perfect as Mother Nature gets a say and Voila you have ugly or bad conformation or both.
Jul 12 2006, 02:31 PM
All well and good, but if your karma decrees that you be reincarted as an Arabian horse, which you would prefer to be? A beautiful one, with a life as a top international modern halter show horse? Or a plain one, with a life as a one-horse-owner's trail horse?
Jul 12 2006, 02:33 PM
I'm not knocking the results of a genetic lineup, that came out a bit askew. I once traded a runway doll of a filly for a mare , who, when she came on the place, the goat left in disgust.
But that mare, with some impressive older bloodines, had accomplished a fifty miler in good time, and was carrying a foal at the time. And, despite some of us thinking there might be the necessity of putting her head in a sack to get a date, she was considered a rather hot number by several males on the place and she was a dependable, "let's put the amateur on her and all go on a trail ride." And that, was worth the price of a pretty face.
What I am, inartfully, saying is that many us remember when the "Park" horse Arabians were not in sufficient numbers that a class and a horse had to be manufactured for a market, which was hopefully to be another moneymaker or perhaps it was based on some old manuscripts of desert raiding parties mounted on park horses, I'm not clear about that.
What many don't remember, is and was, that many of the early Crabbet bred horses, could trot a house afire and look good doing it, and it was unncessary to blend these Arabians with something else to get a pretty impressive moving and typy purebred Arabian in the show ring.
What we want, is still there. Although it may be hidden somwhere in the DNA, in our purebred horses, we do not need to breed the Edsel of Arabian crosses to get it.
Jul 12 2006, 02:39 PM
Think I would prefer to be the one-owner's trail horse, that is used and enjoyed..loved on daily, and treasured for its companionship! For its entire lifetime!
TOP Of The Hill Arabians
Chatsworth, Georgia USA
Jul 12 2006, 02:44 PM
Since, I don't anticipate coming back as a horse, although one never knows, may I restate your question Would I rather live the life of jet setting, staying in the best hotels, wearing Prada, etc., or living on my income?
Jul 12 2006, 07:16 PM
I agree with LMG. The arabs today look a lot like saddlebreds. I think an example of a good arab that was beautiful, had confirmation, and excelled in halter and performance was Morafic. True, he was a bit weedy looking but he was gorgeous and he managed to pull of becoming a halter champion, performance champion and great sire. I also think that Imperial Egyptian Stud is doing a great job of breeding beautiful horses that are also athletic and have great pedigrees.
Jul 12 2006, 09:56 PM
I would absolutely pick coming back as the trail horse! When you get to my age it sounds so much easier!
I don't know if I agree that today's Arab's look like saddlebreds. I think, left to her own devices Mother Nature would not have chosen the route humans did with the look of horses. I also think people each have different opinions of what is "pretty".
IMO each intrest has driven a market for an Arab that looks classic and one that looks saddlebred-y and ones that are big etc. As long as different people use Arabs for different reasons there will be someone breeding them to suit tastes. Is that sorta what you mean LMG?
Jul 13 2006, 12:32 AM
There is a great deal of plasticity in the genetic material in most groups, and breeders, can usually pick and choose stock that suit their own idea of what a horse, dog, chicken, or goat should look like (phenotype). Many times this is determined by contemporary public opinion, shows, meat or hair or fur production
Arabian Horses in general, and SE's and some of the other preservation groups are somewhat more limited in the pool of genetic material to which a breeder may have access. And, as some lines disappear, because they do not have the "present approved" look, the pool, like water in the desert, becomes more and more shallow.
My concern is that over the last twenty or thirty years, some of the efforts, from the show ring, has been toward influencing breeding in a direction in which the purebred arabian blood enhanced the development of specialized breeds, but, arabians, in themselves were merely generalist.
For those of us, who watched the development of the so-called Park horse from some very good, but not saddlebred, way of going, into partbreds with artificial action and some arabian blood, has made us, reasonably ask, wouldn't one be happier with the breeds of horses which were developed for these specialized gaits and shows and celebrate the arabian horse for itself, not for that which it is not.
This is particularly true, when one sees horses, with little or no "arabian type" (whatever that is) being the Arabian Gaited horse, and the purebred Arabian being rarely ridden or shown under saddle.
At one time, the half-arabian was registered and shown in Arabian Horse shows, in order to encourage the use of purebred stallions to improve mares of mixed blood, and to allow individuals who could not afford to purchase a purebred to participate in arabian horse events. The classes, were English Pleasure, Western Pleasure and Park Horses, among others. Since the so-called, Park Horse, was quite exciting and often was purchased and sold for more money than the other performance horses, there had to be a way to exploit this.
As we all know, if something is good and worth money, there must be a way to generate something better and worth more money. And so, those with the most to gain, encouraged the development of another "get rich" scheme in horses, a saddlebred with arabian blood. I saw breeders with horses so tall, one needed a step ladder to mount, and heard them tell me that this was the "new" market for individuals who liked the idea of having a show horse, liked the idea of owning an arabian horse, but the purebred arabian was too small and not very exciting. When I asked, why the prospective buyer didn't buy one of the more specialized and better gaited breeds, I was met with silence.
I know there is a lot of disagreement as to what "type" is in the Arabian Horse, but the breed is apparently in a decline in numbers. and it seems, to me, that we need to be more concerned with that which our horses are and enjoy them for these qualities, rather than trying to shove a 14 - 15 hand horse into the skin of a 16 -17 hand gaited horse. And, I must be excused, if I feel that often the left over is stored in a head which could be used as a pile driver. But, I'm old and we elderly sometimes find it difficult to embrace the new and improved.
Jul 13 2006, 12:54 AM
Most of the halter winning American horses look like saddle breds, somewhere on this forum is a silhouette example that proves it. At least the SE looks like an Arabian.
Probably as most Americans grow up with this saddlebred type see it winning at major shows they think it is correct type, or true type they do not know any different.
Then Europe and Australia bring the American trainers and judges over to show their horses and judge their shows and soon this type starts winning in these countries it is like a cancer, and is spreading fast.
How do we stop it.
Jul 13 2006, 01:09 AM
LMG, you are not old, and neither is your logic. We are new to breeding, and we are picking all of our girls to be typey. We are picking crabbet/ russian lines as a base, then mix in marketablility (Marwan and Gazal) which have won in the European arena also.
Our girls are not huge. Kharolina, which is a Dakharo offspring, will probably only be 14.5,
Duette, russian/crabbet, maybe 15, she's a yearling. Gazillian, Gazal al Shaqab breeding, has the longest neck and came from the same dam as Kharolina and Duette. We are not giving up hope in the US that the typeyness (spelling?) will come back around. Just look at 2005 National Futurity Winners, Giovanni and Arbitratur (spelling?) Reserve
Avalondales Egyptian Arabians
Jul 13 2006, 10:44 AM
I too would have to say one owner trail horse... That is another Arabian characteristic loyality without fault to owner...Life as a top show horse truly isn't all it is cracked up to be...There is no equation in the quality of life...Plus many horses that do show under saddle use trail riding as a way to condition...Tracy
Jul 14 2006, 02:20 PM
I wish to apologize to those who have less than perfect horses, who felt that my statements were directed towards anything other than an animal who is/was the Super Model of the halter world. No, not so. We all have horses, of which we have had to explain to our friends, that the horse has a "great personality" and like some ex-boy friend of our youth, we loved madly, passionately, truely.
And, disproportionate horses are not a new phenomena. I recall going to a farm in the east, a century or so ago, when I wanted to see a horse which was advertised like mad and which had some of the famous blood lines of the time.
This horse bore the registered nick-name of a former US president, and had an extremely lovely head, neck and forehand.
However, when the manager of the facility, brought the horse out of the stall, our interests waned, we went to lunch, and after dessert, we came back to view the hind quarters still exiting the stall.
This animal was not the result of a complete lack of knowledge of the necesary conformational components in breeding animals, but rather an unfortunate lineup of adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. However, the then, contemporary owner and budding breeder of horses, did not appear to recognize the fault and continue to use the horse as a breeding animal.
Within the various camps of Arabian Horse breeding, there are lovely, well conformed horses which could only be misidentified as another breed by someone who could not tell a sheep from a goat (although, I've seen some breeds, one had to stop and look at twice) and these horses may be variations on the "one standard fits all" belief system. From Delicate Sylph to Thunderbolt the Wonder Colt, they are viariations on the theme, and, IMO, I see, at this time, little reason (unless the highly touted market forces) to promote other than the purebred arabian, to insure it's existence as a breed, and at the same time, maintaining our camps for the pleasure of throwing stones at each other.
Jul 14 2006, 04:53 PM
Well I am about to embark on a long journey to help an "ugly" arabian horse. I found him at a rescue last weekend and the sight of him absolutely broke my heart. A walking skeleton, one eye gouged out, the other non-functional.... At the moment there is not enough of him to say if he has decent conformation because all I see infront of me is this poor pathetic looking creature BUT the true spirit of the arabian breed still shines through this animal, which is a miracle as far as I am concerned, with his soft nuzzling of your hand and of your face. To me the "beauty" of the arabian horse is not solely in the "look" it is what is in their "heart" and no other breed reflects that as well as arabians. I too have seen the glamour type, long faces, hyped to the hilt, long long backs, etc. etc. I own a saddlebred for that reason, because those are characteristics of that breed, it should NOT be a characteristic of the arabian, IMHO. I recall quite a few months back I received a private message on another equine forum with regard to my reaction to a post that individual had placed with regards to arabians and to basically what "types" of arabian were shown a the "local" level. The individual's post was that most were garbage. I took exception to it. I received a pm basically saying "do you know who I am and who I work for?"..... I believe this person also frequents this message board as well so the individual will see this. I did not answer that pm because of my initial reaction to those words, even through the writer went on to try and explain what those words meant... If I was perhaps younger I might be impressed by who a person is or who they work for but at my age it's something that truly is not important. What is important to me with my horses, whatever breed, is good conformation, sound mind, etc. Just because a horse is at Nationals does NOT mean that they have these attributes and no amount of "makeup" and goop and sometimes less than stellar methods of training will change that. I would rather have a true arabian horse, meaning one that is not only pleasing to the eye (looks arabian) but one that is functional and can be ridden. I just finished reading the book "The Devil Wears Prada" which most of you probably have heard of as it's now a movie. I laughed alot reading that book and found the world of fashion spills over into the equine world as well with the what I call "high gloss" arabians. My definition of "ugly" arabian means more than just confirmation, it also means an arabian that does not have the true "nature" of the arabian horse whether it never had it from birth or whether it was because the animal was so abuse by a human that it's heart turned "ugly". So I guess that means that the arabian rescue horse I am going to be dealing with may be one of the most beautiful arabian horses - at least he has 1/2 of the criteria when I think of beauty - he has a HUGE heart and once the weight comes on then we will see about the confirmation, once the bones aren't showing everywhere.
Jul 14 2006, 05:57 PM
Ah, abuse - that is a horse of a different color. There is and has always been such an inordinate amount of it practiced by the higher species, that it is always one's hope that it can eventually be located within the human genome and, if not bred out, then perhaps microspliced and replaced with a compassion gene. It is apparent that we can not teach nor legislate it out of existence.
And, I congratulate one who owns a saddlebred for the enjoyment of a horse which was bred for it's specific attributes. At one time, that was a horse which would have been a thrill for me to ride, however, I'm am more at the Peruvian Paso stage now (that is also a wonderful horse to ride when one's get up and go has gotten up and gone).
Unfortunately, the addiction to Arabians is one which rehab. does not seem to prevent relapse.
Jul 14 2006, 06:12 PM
I hear ya loud and clear MB Shafeena! I totally agree. I have a boy that sounds just like yours! Came skinny and pathetic. I have fed him up gained his trust and he is prince charming to me. I also recognize he doesn't have the most beautiful head and he is a tad long in the back I would never breed him, but rumour has it that is how he started out life, as a breeding stallion.
I also wanted to add that other breeds also have similar issues. I remember 25-30 years ago you could stand back a pick a QH out of a crowd easy as blinking. I have seen QH's in the last few years (now that I'm back in the horse scene), that I would have guessed to be another breed. Our barn has a QH youngster I would have sworn was a Thoughbred!!
I still think as long as there is demand, however poorly educated, there will be a supplier. I also think as long as Sally who thinks her beautiful mare/stallion is worth breeding and has the means she will do so regardless of faults or inconsistancies.
PS MB Shafeena where are you from? I also owned an "MB" mare.
Jul 14 2006, 06:23 PM
Sheri, I am in Ontario (Canada), a small community (Oxford Mills), just outside of Kemptville, approximately 45 minuites south west of Ottawa and 35 minutes to the NY border. I finally 4 years ago decided to move to a property with acreage so I could bring my then 4 horses with me and not in a boarding stable. I now have 10 horses
Jul 14 2006, 06:42 PM
I am really close to you then. I am in Belleville 1 hour from that Gananoque crossing into NY.
Do you show any of your horses here in Canada?
Jul 14 2006, 07:33 PM
I will send you a pm Sheri