Sometimes the ads are just pitiful, like this one for a five year old untrained Stallion with an incomplete pedigree attached.
"Beau" is spunky with Parelli training. Has awesome movements, a quick study and very tolerant to "human error". Selling Ranch - Everything goes. Make us an offer we can't refuse. We may even take payments. $5,000.00
Are they completely insane?
No, probably just desperate. But $5,000.00? Holy cannoli. Offer eight hundred to one thousand and beat the meat market if you're desperate to sell. Also, um, if you're selling him as a breeding prospect, could you make him look a) well built and b) attractive? Forgot to add--his name is Dances with Wind. His brother, also in the clearance bin, is Dances with Thunder. Yeesh.
OK, so those ads are very common, and it's like shooting fish in a barrel to point out all the backyard errors. But then I came across this one. Oy yoi yoi.
Magnum Psyche DaughterIn the details section of the ad she is listed as in the "Halter champion discipline"--unclear whether that means she could compete for halter championship or if she has already won one. Her sale price (Good God!) is $25,000.00.
Maggie is truely beautiful, and a dream to live with. She is a push button halter horse with lovely motion and you just cant help but love to look at her. Awesome manners! Sweepstakes entered. Sells in foal to A-Jakarta for a spring 2007 foal.
I'll show you her pics in a second, but let me explain who Magnum Psyche is and how a horse could be sold on his name alone.
Magnum Psyche made an enormous splash on the show scene in the late nineties--in halter only. He was shown by two brothers who dominated every single show they entered. Magnum Psyche was also famous for having had plastic surgery on his throat, which should have disqualified him from competition, and then coming back into the show ring looking really bizarre. (Well, he looked a little bizarre beforehand too.)
My friend uncharitably, but accurately, describes this pose as the "startled goose look." To me he looks as if he's a plastic toy horse that someone has melted and then streeeetttched along the back and also where the head attaches to the body. Halter Arabians tend to have very straight toplines (between the neck and the tail) and very straight hind legs (Magnum's look OK, but they could be a lot shorter and beefier). His neck is just flat out weird. I'm sorry, but it is. And it contributed to a trend in Arabian breeding which is most unfortunate. I really dislike it.
Oh. By the way. Remember Michael Brown of Katrina fame? This was the horse, and these were the trainers/owners he was brought in to slap around when he was made head of Judges and Stewards for IAHA (International Arabian Horse Association). He was brought in *because* he had no connection to Arabians in the show ring, and he tried to get these owners banned for showing a surgically altered horse. The judges rioted against him, everyone sued the organization and him personally, and then he left, and the IAHA folded. During Brown's tenure, Magnum went to Argentina to show, but apparently he's back to the US. Let's take one more look at Magnum Psyche, just for perversity. This one's from 2003:
Yuck. Seriously, how does he breathe through that tiny throat? Furthermore his ears are minuscule. He's the Michael Jackson of the Arabian show world.
OK, so if you're really into fashionable showing, Magnum Psyche represents an ideal "type". He's known as being "typey."* So, while he's controversial, his get and grand-get are not. EXCEPT, and here's the problem with this scheme, there are a lot of Magnum Psyche children. Can ALL of them win the Nationals in Halter competition? Every year? Something like 300 have competed successfully. And he's still producing. Hmmm. Somewhat resembles a pyramid scheme if you ask me.
So if you go online and search horse ads, you find a lot like dear old Maggie. Remember Maggie? The one I said I'd show you pictures of before I went off on this long-assed tangent?
OK, here's one from the ad taken by a well-known professional photographer (I recognize the signature). She was probably a two year old, still in training at her Daddy's barn. (I hate these head on shots. They make the neck look crazily long and straight, even if they're not. These are not gun dogs or giraffes, people. They are riding horses. I've been brained by the back of a horse's head before. Don't like to be reminded, thanks.) This was probably part of a larger advertising campaign for Midwest Arabians, not a portrait of this mare in particular.
She looks sweet, but I can't tell a damn thing about her as a riding horse, or even as a halter horse. Her chest looks narrow, but if she's quite young, that wouldn't matter. She's up to her knees in flowers, so I can't tell if her legs are straight and clear and whether her cannon bone (lower leg) is thick and short. Also, it's probably a camera angle, but her back leg where the gaskin (upper hind) goes into the hock (back knee) looks like it's at a weird angle. Maybe her toe is pointed out? Anyway, nothing egregious, but I can learn nothing from this photo other than the barn had enough money to hire Sparagowski and that the horse is chestnut.
So. Let's see what other pictures the sellers include. This is where I start laughing:
You have all that lovely fenceline and you set her up UNDER A TREE??? (Thanks for grooming her though. She does look healthy and lovely.) But um, what's going on with her back end?
Her front legs are straight; they look decent where they aren't hidden by flowers. But you've got her "parked out" in this shot, with her hind legs angled behind her rather than under her. When "parked out" the hips drop, which can make the back look as if it dips. Carriage horses "park out" and have a straight topline because they tend to have big butts.** This mare don't have one.
Oh. Look. The seller put another photo in the ad:
You moved her out from the tree shadows and plonked her in a clump of flowers so that I STILL cannot see her hind legs. Um. Guys? Are you hiding something? Because, um, you know, for $25,000 I'd like to see the mare's legs.
She's not a bad looking horse, but she's definitely of a style that I don't like. (Arabian sport horse enthusiasts uncharitably call it the "sausage on toothpicks" body. She doesn't quite deserve that, but her neck in this second pose does not flow smoothly into her shoulders, her shoulder is small and upright, her back is a touch long, and her butt needs to be bigger. Overall, especially with the small shoulder and the poorly angled hind end, she'd be a sewing machine to ride. But I've definitely seen worse.
I just can't get past the idea that for a sale price of $25, 000 the owners could have spent the time to take proper pictures of her. Considering who her father is, and his troubled past, I wouldn't ever put up photos of a dark horse under a tree.
I kind of feel bad for Maggie's owners--they know not what they do, I think. But if they DO know what they are doing, posing her under a tree to lure in someone all bedazzled by the Magnum Psyche name, then a pox upon them.
Anyway, I enjoyed the chuckle just the same. Here's a pic from when she was a baby. Here's a pic where you can't see her entire hind end, and here's another where you can't see her legs. Want to spend a cool 25K on her. Do ya? Huh?
* This mare Namusca, is supposed to be typey too. I'd put her picture up, but it causes legal problems for people who use her image and then point out that she has a deformity known as "monkey jaw". You judge if she's an excellent example of horseflesh and should be used for a breeding program. I wouldn't euthanize her if she showed up, but I'd certainly never advertise her as "one of the most exotic Arabian mares of all time" as Midwest Arabians does.
** Here's a picture of a champion Morgan horse, HVK Radiant Flaire, "parked out".
And here's a picture of a different Morgan, Santa Fe Renegade, also a champion, showing the great big butt that you need to have in order to achieve a level topline if you were to show him "parked out". By the way. He's extra yummy. Check out how every contour flows into the next. Mmm. Check out his site above for some other lovely pics. (And there are Arabians who have this type of conformation--they're just not winning halter classes anymore.)