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Who has seen Baske Afire ? Is he really as extraordinary as people say ?
Does anyone have pictures of him or his offspring ?
Thanks for your comments !
Liz Salmon
The foals I have seen so far do not impress me, but then I'm not into the Saddlebred type of Arabian. As I have only seen photos and videos of Baske Afire, I reserve judgment on him. Liz Salmon
luck at this page, there are picture from him and his foals.

Bask Afire
Do not loose your time with this horse (Baske Afire). He trots like a Saddlebred (...edited...). They say he bred 300 mares until now, but where are the nice ones?
I have looked at this horse and he does not look like a donkey. I think everyone is entitled to their own opion but at the same time there is no reason to be insulting. It is all personal preference. I am a SE breeder but I always keep an open mind for all breeds and types of horses.
Patricia Hampton
I have heard that there is a new genetic test that will soon be available to the public that can tell if an Arabian has Saddlebred markers in its DNA. Given the number of "Purebred" Arabians with plain, straight heads and Saddlebred motion, that should prove quite interesting and could open one heck of a can of worms.
Dear Patricia,
Many old polish and polish/crabbet bloodlines are known for plain, straight heads and the ability to trot very high ( although the park horse trot is surely trained with weihgts.) Also many old Egyptians had plain heads.
Look at historic pictures ! The American horses are all blood- tested, so its ridiculous to think, there could be saddlebred in them. Look for example at Huckleberry Bey and his ancestors and you will definitly know why he is looking as he does. And so the same with Afire Bey. Baske Afire has never been shown, but already about 400 get because he has a very small very typy head and therfore does not look like his ancestors but has this tremendous trott. Everybody is looking for such a horse, that combines a pretty head and extreme good athletic ability. Even pure halter people like the Boggs bought many (I think 25) breedings from Baske Afire. I don´t know what will be in some years, time will tell, if he is really this "superhorse" . But even, if his offspring is not so typy a he is himself, I believe that they will be fantastic riding horses, because of the bloodlines.
I personally love the oldfashion faces with their beautiful big eyes and the best dispositions one can imagine, hearts so loving , peaceful and patient and as big as the moon.
Tell more about the "saddlebred test", I am happy about this, because it will show, that these fantastic horses have a totaly pure origin.
Greetings Sylvia
What I forgot to say is that Baske Afire is born 1999. I am sure that there has never been a 4 year-old stallion (who never was shown) wanted so much as a breeding stallion.
Patricia Hampton
I will update you as I learn more.
I agree with you Sylvia. I think too many people let themselves be blinded by the "get up" of the horses. They are not born with a saddlebred trot you know! They are not born with their whiskers shaved off, with their heads miles up in the air, with hellishly long curbs in their mouths or with buckets of grease in their faces... These are Arabians, but some people seem to want to make saddlebreds out of them. I bet lots of them would look a lot more arabian if they were left just a bit more natural. Take *Ganges for example. One of my favourite stallions ever. He doesn't have a very extreme head, but overall very masculine, with a very powerful trot. Now if you nailed weights to his feet, strapped his head up and slapped lots of grease into his face, he would very soon look like the "Saddlebred" mode. Pray to God that never happens, because for me that is taking away all the natural features of the Arabian. But everyone to their own taste I suppose.
Liz Salmon
It's horrendous what they do here to the breed. Thankfully, the Purebred Saddleseat classes seem to be dwindling somewhat. I don't have much of a problem with the Arab/Saddlebred crosses doing all that stuff. Now we have even the Hunter Pleasure horses having to have knee action—it's ridiculous. Many Purebred owners are turning to dressage and sport horse classes and endurance to enjoy their horses in a much more relaxed way of showing. Liz Salmon
Since when did high knee action ever belong to the arab breed standard? If people want high steppers, why not breed hackney horses???
Since when did high knee action ever belong to the arab breed standard?

Ever since the judges began pinning them as winners in the show ring to the point that it became the number one requirement.
Yes, that´s definitely the way it happend.
Twenty years ago the Park Horse Class had the knee action that today the English Pleasure Class has .
Baske Afire get garner high prices due to demand and interest in high knee action and saddleseat.

As long we state the facts, observations, and complaints, nothing gets done. Either retrain the judges for the existing venues to pin the horses properly or establish other venues.
I just went to the website. I have nothing against this horse - I was just browsing the discussions so I had no opinion to start with. I have to say...when the first page comes up - he looks exactly like a Hackney stud to me and can you ever imagine a horse moving like that in the desert?

Again, just my personal opinion and I'm sure he's not alone because of the demand for wining show horses who are getting pinned for looking just like that.

An aside note to the one who mentioned Boggs - is that the trainer who got suspended by the registry?
IAHA suspended DB.
I like most of the Afire Bey V's I've seen and granted I've only seen limited photos and video footage of this colt, but I am not horribly impressed so far. I would need to see him in the flesh before I made my final decision on what I think of him. He looks very well put together and is a beautiful animal obviously, but as far as my personal tastes in Arabians, he just doesn't really seem to fit that for me. It just depends on what you like I guess. smile.gif

Hi all,

This high-knee action is absolutely a no-no in Europe and i think people of the Middle East feel the same way. As stated in previous posts, it just does not belong to the Arabian. This kind of movement comes with training, not naturally, no matter what their fans proclaim. And you might want to ask yourself if it is really so healthy for an Arabian to have such extreme action. They're very tough, but the body is not made for that stuff, while other breeds are.

For me, an absolute no-no. I love the natural flow of movement the Arabian comes with and whenever riding one, I imagine riding through a desert (mmm).

Gotta go and dream, biggrin.gif
Agree, Stephanie.

The high knee action is also frowned upon here too (Australia). And so it should be.

Although, my mare will perform a high stepping trot when she is showing off (naturally) but it isn't that often and certainly not when being ridden or shown.

I actually attended a small A' class show recently and there was a stallion who had a high knee action and the judge held that against him because it was not in "the breed standard".
Patricia Hampton
Sadly, in this country a small group of trainer/judges are trying to redefine the breed standard. I truly don't understand why they simply don't migrate to a Saddle Seat type of breed if that's what they like and leave the Arabian alone. Instead, people who love true Arabians are leaving the breed in droves or at least dropping out of any Arabian activities. The truth is, the Saddle Seat image is becoming THE image of the Arabian horse in the States because of all the high priced glossy ads and the small group promoting them. They do not have wide appeal and never will have - they are just chasing people away from Arabians.
Liz Salmon
You are so right Patricia, I just hate it. Judging by the entries at the Sport Horse Nationals, many Purebred enthusiasts are turning to that for a fun and fair showring. There were some lovely Purebreds there who moved with the long floating movement that should epitomise the Arabian's trot. Liz Salmon
Hi All,

Maybe the judges that love this movement and promote it by adjusting the breed standard should be removed of judging. It is the judges who are responsible for the move as they start giving higher marks for such movement. Trainers, handlers, owners, breeders or riders follow the example. I don't feel such judges belong in the Arabian show arena. If they like it so much, they should move towards the breeds that are meant to move like that.

I looked at some videos on my pc last night together with some friends. A general "YUK" was there when seeing that Saddlebred moving Arabian (several by the way), a general "WOW" when seeing the videos of for example Muscat, Nariadni, Enzo, Padrons Psyche and others.

My friends are in the league of dressage, jumping, endurance, eventing, western and fun riding. Pretty varied range of disciplines and they all have Arabians. They are well-placed to give their comments and they stayed kind (allthough biggrin.gif , some harsh comments were made) in their judging of the "Saddleseat Arabians". Guess we'll all have to sit back and see what comes of this strange move.

Best regards,
Patricia Hampton
Your idea of removing them is sound, Stephanie, the problem is they control the organization. There is no way to remove them, so people are just leaving them. They are making their money from a few rich clients who value only prizes, not the breed.
Liz Salmon
This big problem started I believe, in the 1970's when the Saddlebred breed was having great financial difficulties, and the market dropped. Many of the trainers came over to Arabians at that time, as it was a growing breed and a lot of money was coming into it—I remember expressions such as 'living works of art'. The sale prices were rocketing sky high. I remember going to the Lasma sale in 1980 in Scottsdale. Then encouraged by Lasma, these trainers started to try and train Arabians to replicate the Saddlebred, using some of their abusive and stressful methods, such as stretchers, chains and fire extinquishers. Numerous lovely Arabians had their minds fried by these trainers—and still do. I came across many that I tried to retrain, but most were too nervous to be anything but be a broodmare or pasture ornament. So many of these trainers are also judges—doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

This obcession with knee action has ruined the Shetland breed, and now threatens to ruin US Arabians—it's so sad. Fortunately, it does not affect any other country since the Saddleseat way of riding is virtually confined to the US, and it's fine with those breeds designed to move like that, such as the Saddlebreds, Morgans and Tennessee Walkers. This is so frustrating to the many US breeders who are breeding true to the Arabian type and standard. Many have already been sold to countries who appreciate them. I don't find this problem anywhere else in the world, thankfully. Liz Salmon
Guest sylvia

there is no reason to panic. All the Arabians that are doing the Englsh Divisions are normal trotting horses when not under saddle. I do have about 50 Bask sons and daughters on video and they all have a normal trot, beside its very elastic .
Although, if some Arabians can be trained to go like saddlebreds, they are still Arabians.
Or would you say to a good Arabian Reiner, he´s not a real Arabian, because he is doing the quarterhorse thing ?
The Arabian Horse has so many different "looks" and abilities.
Here a clip of Bask trotting : wink.gif

My Webpage

I was also just thinking of this..I was talking with Liz awhile ago about how the American-bred Arabian is starting to lose it's true standards. BUT. As you have said, some of this movement is trained by weights. Yes, you may never know how this horse really moves, but is it really fair to overlook such a horse if it's movement was TRAINED and not inherited? I do have to admit, I don't appreciate these "Saddleseat" type of horses..but if some of these horses had never been trained to move like this, what might you think of them?
Hi Sylvia,

Who's panicking? I'm not, as I'm pretty confident Arab people will not loose the true Arabian out of sight here in Europe, nor the Middle East for that matter.

Ah, but there's the difference my dear Sylvia, reining is a discipline which doesn't require artificial movements of the Arabian horse. The Saddleseat classes, as I prefer to call the so called English Divisions, have nothing to do with natural movement of the Arabian. And in some years time, I would like to see some X-Rays of these Arabians that have been entered into Saddleseat classes. The body of the Arabian has not developed throughout time and ages to move like that (Saddlebreds, Morgans are bred for this). The normal movement is totally adapted to what life asked of it. Arabians have lots of abilities, but artificial stuff shouldn't be made one of them. If you want the movement of the Saddleseat, stick to the breeds that have been developed for it.

Besides, why call it English Divisions? The English riding style has nothing to do with Saddleseat. In fact it is totally different as you probably already know.

Hi RomeoQ,

Yes, these movements are trained into the animal by using different methods. This tells me something else, if you need all these different methods to make an animal move like that, is the horse really meant to do it then? Each discipline takes training, asks for different moves, but even the highest standard of dressage does not ask the horse to work against its natural movement. I do not hate these horses, they are still Arabians to me. I dislike what some people think the Arabian should be or become. I see this very much as an American thing, future will tell what these people are really after.

I'm pretty sure I know the answer, and many people with me. Time will tell.

Have a nice evening,

I completely agree, and I don't think that Arabians should move that way. But, I was just wondering if it's all movement people don't like about these horses .. I would really like to know what attention the Saddleseat type of Arabians would get if they moved as they would have without human input, and if they would be more respected as an Arabian. Another question, do most of these horses have good Arabian conformation?

Liz Salmon
If you look at some of the threads on American forums, you will also discover that many of the enthusiasts of the Saddleseat divisions, also don't care about type in the head or the tail carriage either. At a judges seminar a few years ago at the Egyptian Event, one of the clinicians was heard to say that he wanted long cannon bones, as this enabled the horse to bring his knees up higher !! Princess Alia, I know you were present on that occasion too. This fault is now very prevalent among young US Purebreds today. So now we have some people trying to breed for higher knee action and long cannons without regard to type in the head, tail, short back or movement. Some of these horse do indeed move with knee action when turned loose without the rider and in some cases without shoes. This is what is concerning many of us.

I remember in Lady Wentworth's book, 'The Authentic Arabian' she said that the first sign of degeneration in the breed, usually shows first in the head. Go to any Arabian show in the US and you will see long, straight, shapeless heads with no cheek definition, high set, small eyes, large ears and thick muzzles. In my travels all over the US, evaluating many of these horses, I have seen this so many times as well as in the showring. Thankfully, there are still many great dedicated breeders who are still breeding true to type, particularly the SE and Egyptian related breeders. Liz Salmon
I have definitely run into this problem showing my stallion at the regular arab shows here. The Judges (also trainers) seem to pick the saddlebred type arabs, even if their conformation is worse then my stallion. (had this problem just last weekend, also didn't see the high tail carriage) the only shows where I feel the judges opinion matters is at the event (because of the European judges) and at the dressage shows. The judging was so bad at the show, that I think I will only show the stallion at the dressage shows in stead of the arab shows. but I feel bad about this, because I don't want the general public to think that what they see placing is a typical arab, and they will go to the trainers they see at the shows for their horses and it will just add to the problem.

I wish there was a way to have the judges not be trainers too.

Hello Liz and everyone, I haven't been here for awhile...But have to add my two cents to this discussion also...I still think ,and hope, the registry will split the Arabians from the Half Arabians. I think the halfs are doing fine for themselfs and should go it on their own...Use to, it was how closely the half Arab resembled the Purebred to show that the Arabian could inprove anything. Now it seems,since the halfs have become so popular, that the saddleseat people want to see the pure breds doing what the halfs are doing...Even in the half Arab halter classes, the one who looks the most like a Saddlebred is the one who wins, I thought it was supose to be the other way around?? I think we owe this to Gene Lacrox.

Do you all know what they have started now in the US?? Hackney/Arabians, even have there own show for them. The Renali...This is OK by me...but move it AWAY from the Purebred Arabians....I see the Hackney stallions for stud in the mags now and I don't think they belong there...They should also give them there own Magazine.. ph34r.gif
Liz Salmon
You have only to look at one of the popular US Arabian forums to see what is happening. Several posters on there are claiming that anyone who doesn't breed for Park and English Pleasure are ignorant and 'missing the boat'. It's appalling, well known and successful breeders are ridiculed—many never seem to have heard of the Blunts or Lady Wentworth and don't even care to hear about the history of the breed.

Other countries that breed and show good Half Arabs such as the UK and Australia do so very successfully, without denegrating the Purebred or wanting the Purebred to resemble any type of Half Arab. The big problem we have with the judging in the US, is that many of the Saddleseat trainers are judges. They go from judging Half Arabs with their extreme long necks and knee action, to judging the Purebreds , and try to place those that most closely resemble the Half Arabs as their winners. It always used to be the other way round. Now the typey Half Arab that is a Western or Dressage prospect doesn't stand a chance. This is one of the big reasons that so many exhibitors are turning to the Sport Horse classes, because it is fun, fair and they can show their own horses without the ultra and stressful conditioning or training. Liz Salmon
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