Tuesday, February 13, 2007

As if to prove a point

Adding on to my commentary about having and expressing opinions, we come across this little gem:

A commenter wrote on this post:
You have no right bashing Namusca. I happen to own one of her older foals, and find it unlawful what you're saying. And bashing Magnum; who do you think you are? Just because you're not fortunate enough to actually own an Arabian, or probably any horse, does not give you the right to slander the breed. Grow up.

I'm thinking this person does not agree with me. And look. I'm not supposed to express my opinion. Wow. I'm chagrined.

Here's my response:

I'm not slandering the breed. I think the older lines of Arabians are fantastic examples of all-around riding horses. They have excellent attitudes, wonderful athletic abilities and engaging personalities. Perhaps you noticed my link to the CMK Arabians on my sidebar. I fully support those bloodlines.

And yes, even within the "Preservation" bloodlines, there are examples of horses I do not like. There are some examples of Al Khamsa horses I do not like. I do not believe it is unlawful for me to say so.

It is not unlawful for me to post a picture of Magnum Psyche and say that to my eye he looks to be a victim of too much plastic surgery.

It is not unlawful for me to comment on Namusca. Certainly others have done so. She's the most discussed Arabian mare on internet message boards. About once a month another poster somewhere in the world posts a picture of her saying, "Oh my god. I can't believe this is real." To which the rest of the board says, "Oh not AGAIN! Please search the archives--we already did this dance." You do know this, right?

What I do not like in modern-day Arabian breeding is the attempt by Midwest Arabians (amongst many, many others) to promote horses which are useful ONLY for halter competitions. And I am not alone in that assessment. It's a fairly widely held view in the non-Arabian community. And it's even a widely held-view amongst Arabian owners. You know, those owners who enter their Arabians in open shows without disclosing that they are Arabians simply because they do not want to deal with the prejudice the larger horse community has against those "goose-necked, sickle-hocked Arabians"?

But you enjoy them. Excellent. Please go ahead and enjoy them. Please get them out in the public and compete them.

And in terms of who "I think I am" to make these statements. I am a person who grew up around Arabians, Quarter horses, and Welsh Ponies. I have owned Arabians (and a Morgan and a POA). I worked as a stud manager and I have researched pedigrees. I come from the "Preservation" movement, and am a supporter of Al Khamsa and CMK and Davenports. And I still have every right to write what my opinions are of David Boggs and Midwest Arabians. He was suspended for five years for entering animals who had had cosmetic surgery in competition. You do know this, right?

Here's a summary of the proceedings if you are unaware: From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

It's public knowledge. You do know this, right? Fat sucked from mare's croup to make her topline level, another horse (Ace of Bey) who had his tail nicked to correct a "wry-tail", etc. Seven horses were shown to have had surgery.

You do know this, right?

But really. I'm not competing. I'll never go into a halter class. I'm no threat to you or yours. Enjoy your horse. Nariadni and Musca (Namusca's parents) were good horses. Enjoy your program.

But don't ask me not to have an opinion about the horses I see in front of me, or about the way in which people choose to frame their "For Sale" ads.

This theme of the week thing has got to stop.

Next week I'm writing about water balloons and bubble gum. I bet we can get some great crap spewed about how terrible it is that I, as an adult, really like bubble gum and really dislike water balloons. Lawsuits to follow...

Edited to add: Since I tend to take anonymous posters with a hugish grain of salt, I would like to point out the futility of all that. There's not much point in hiding behind your anonymity if you are going to identify yourself as being "the owner of one of Namusca's older foals". She only has eight registered offspring. We have the 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2002, and 2004 models. Say we throw out the last three foals; that narrows your identity to one of *five* people in the world. I subscribe to ArabDatasource, as do a number of pedigree reaserchers, where the names and addresses of owners are listed. Why be anonymous? I'm not getting it. 5:41 pm 2/13/2007


...dance? said...

Horse people. Don't you just love them? ;)

I don't know whether to be relieved or worried that these wars happen in other parts of the horse world; although, I can't imagine why I'd think this only happens in h/j-land.

meljean brook said...

"Grow up" indeed.

Good god. You are much more level-headed than I would be, Suisan.

Suisan said...

Dance--It goes with owning horses, I'm afraid. I don't know of a more opinionated bunch. And somehow most of it reverts back to, "My trainer's better than yours" and "My trainer says to do it this way" and "I hate your horse, but mine is the perfect wittle pony wid her wittle sparklie shoesies."

Meljean--I have some very real opinions about bubble gum. I think this means that I am a kid at heart and must never be relied upon in an argument. Because I'm likely to just toss bubble gum in your face and be done with it.

(And to the horse topic at hand, the man commisioned Plastic Surgery for his competetive halter horses. The man was sanctioned. The man continues to promote an extremely odd looking horse as being an eptitome of his stable. All of this is Public Knowledge, but I'm immature if I write a post about this stuff for my mostly non-horsey readers? *Shaking my head*)

...dance? said...

"-It goes with owning horses, I'm afraid. I don't know of a more opinionated bunch."

So I keep finding out. What's the saying? "The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions."

And the trainer card comes up way too often (or conversely, not often enough, when one comes across those who try to do everything themselves or ask all the wrong people for help).

I can't imagine doing plastic surgery on horses, although perhaps it's not so far off from injecting joints or removing non-interfering bone chips... it also comes down to removing cosmetic blemishes or masking soundness issues usually due to problematic management, training or breeding.

Bubble gum - my horse chews it better than yours. :D

Rising Rainbow said...

Geez, it sounds like you're just having so much fun here, I'm going to have to go back and read what got this all started.

In the meantime let me add my 2 cents worth. I'm an Arabian breeder but I don't breed within the flavor of the month club. I have my opinion of what an Arabian horse should look like and what it should be built like and I breed based on that.

I've been told that my horses have a high percentage of CMK but I haven't really gotten into that. What I have done is keep track of the horses that I like and what's in their pedigress to figure out what crosses that I like and I go from there.

With that being said, there are certainly at least two camps in the halter versus performance line of thinking. As strongly as the two camps are divided, the odds are we will end up just like the QH's with two totally different types of horses. Maybe more, with the straight this and that's - the only problem I see with that straight thing is the gene pool issues. The Arabian horse gene pool is the most closed of any breed, the smaller the gene pool the more likely you are to get bad recessives showing up - for instance the straight Egyptian horses have the Lavendar Foal Syndrome. The longer that gene pool breeds within itself the more likely other such maladies will be seen. Other than that I think we're all entitled to our opinion.
Unfortunately, you are right about the altering of horses. Even after Mr Boggs suspension there are still unscrupulous trainers that are cosmetically changing horses from tatooing eyes, slimming throatlatches, correcting tail, padding croups, braces to correct bites and so on. Personally I'd be afraid to breed to one of those big time horses because there is no guarantee that what you see it what you get.
What's the way to fix all of this crap? Well, to my way of thinking it starts with what we're doing right here, talking about it. So instead of quitting and going onto ballons and bubble gum, I say, keep up the good work. Just don't worry about those people who don't agree with you. Besides being controversial will get you a lot more hits ;-) Glad I found you!!

Suisan said...

rising rainbow--depends on where you take straight. I'm fairly involved in Davenports, which is a tiny group, so yeah, I understand your concerns about the small gene pool. However, most Preservation breeders (unlesss they are doing the "living work of art" crap) DO outcross quite frequently.

The point of preservation breeding is to keep the old bloodlines going into the future, which you can only do if you breed old line to old line. But you do not have to exclude--CMK doesn't ask that you exclude.

Al Khamsa used to be a lot more generous towards "Al Khamsa plus" horses, but that organization has changed in recent years.

Two types of Arabains? Two camps? We've already had that for a looooong time. Ever since GBE redrew the silhouette for the markings on the registration papers and made the hrose look like a cartoon character in the 1970s. People started breeding to look like the cartoon, and ba dum dum, we get really weird heads. The old IAHA loga was embarrassing--the profiles on those horses were ridiculous, and everyone slapped those stickers on their trucks with pride.

Personally, I'd rather test for Lavender Foal Syndrome (or SCIDS, which appears throughout the breed) and breed away from it than step into the muck that is the "show ring" Arabian. But see, that's only my opinion.

Mailyn said...

OMG Suisan, I do believe your blog has GOT to be listed somewhere where all these wacky people meet. Either that or you are very lucky to attract the idiots. WTF?!?! When did it become illegal to have an opinion on ANYTHING!?!

I guess I'll wait for that bubblegum post. Let's see what they can come up then. LOL!

Kristie (J) said...

LOL - wow - you are stirring up the waters aren't you? First the ultrasound pictures and then angry horse people. I can't wait to see what the bubble gum people have to say *g*