22 hours ago
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Follow up on today's post......A Baby Running the Show
As much as I see wrong in today's open shows, I see just as much right. Those are the ones I reward. I know the rules, the standards for the baseline and through tons of practice, I believe I can apply them to the class at hand and rate them accordingly.
The biggest 'festival of ugliness and impurity' in my opinion has been big money thrown out there for people to win with the youngest of horses. You'll see plenty of 'wrongs' in the show ring but the worst of all, again, in my opinion, is the youngest of horses being harvested for the almighty dollar. These are not show cars to be fixed when their gaskets blow. A good horse, no matter how it is built, is a good horse for the long haul.
Case in point....I have a friend that has shown her mare in lower level dressage for over 15 years. That mare cannot move up past 3rd level tests due to conformation flaws but my friend and this mare still show. Still get excited about having a new judge assess them. She has done right by the mare by not asking her to pinch, pin, strap and sizzle up into 4th level or higher. She knows her mare is at her peak at 3rd level. Why continue to show her? They have fun together. The mare is physically and psychologically healthier staying in this niche. I believe she still scores in the 60's on occassion at the ripe old age of 24. This mare didn't get to that age and still be able to do 3rd level because she was started as a yearling and pushed into a high dollar futurity at the age of 2.
My personal opinion is that all classes for 2 and 3 year olds whether western pleasure or hunter on the flat (or under saddle as some ridiculous organizations thought it ought be named) should be banned. If high dollar amounts be paid out to anyone, it should be a reward for taking the time to allow the horse to mentally and physically grow into a specific discipline and performance. That's not to say that I do not think a 2 or 3 year old should never be ridden. It's how much and how high of an impact any horse should have to endure for the purpose of showing.
Many will try to equate the argument to the thoroughbred racehorse who is started as a yearling, raced as a two year old and sometimes retired by the age of 3 and usually by the age of 5 or 6. That argument doesn't hold much water for me since the entire industry of racing is based on money and the horse is a commodity. That is completely different from the show horse although a show horse can contribute to many bank accounts throughout its' lifetime. You must also know what happens to thousands of thoroughbred racehorses every year when their careers end. They don't all get to stand stud or produce foals for regenerating the racing industry. So again, the argument of the thoroughbred racing world in comparison to the show horse is again squelched. Another point to ponder is the early growing cycles of stock horses versus the thoroughbred.
I cannot ever see the justification of pushing a stock bred horse into the show ring to be rated on the standards of a mature horse. There are plenty of dollars to be had from a horse that performs well into his teens or twenties but what is to become of the horse asked to endure so much at such a young age? It is ridiculous to consider that this baby horse will move accordingly to the standards set forth for mature horses in certain disciplines. Equate that to asking a twelve year to conduct business at the executive levels of a fortune 500 company and you'll have your answer.
Ask Mrs Mom who sparked this very post. I'm sure she could share a few stories seeing as she is one of those who attempt to rehabilitate those mature horses who were asked to an adult's job when they were only babies.
I guess you could say that out of my pet peeves, those high dollar 'festivals of almighty ugliness' shows for the youngest of horses, are number one on the list of my pet peeves.