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iDressage 10-16-2013 09:55 PM

My somewhat philosophical/angry rant on breed racism
 
So, basically, this has really been bugging me lately just in general not because I've had any horrible experiences with it but because I know it exists and I know that it affects too many horse owners in one way or another, whether they realize it or not.

I just think that there are way too many judgments based on horse breed. Agree with me or not, challenge my opinions, whatever you want to do. But I'm personally sick of how people base prestige off a horse's registry (or lack thereof), and a horse's worth is based off their receipt rather than talent.

Of course, I think that there are some valid parts to such generalizations. When one thinks barrel racing, statistically one would probably lean towards a quarter horse, whereas dressage lends another hand towards warmbloods. But who is to judge which sport is most prestigious, and which breed has the most worth?

BEAUTY IS SUBJECTIVE. It extends beyond what the horse "market" has to say. While one may prefer the tall sleek thoroughbred, another may prefer the miniature horse, another may prefer the stockier strong quarter horse. Who is to judge and who is to say?

Yes. Of course price of a horse often has deeper significance due to factors such as training, pedigree, etc... clearly, or at least most likely, a horse with a broken/inbred pedigree with a chronic health condition will not be sold for as much as a Triple Crown winning racehorse. But in God's eyes, or in the eyes of the earth (whether or not you're religious, this conversation does not regard religion), does that really make a horse worth more? Do our opinions really change what things are realistically?

I think it's a shame that many horse-people (I consider myself a horse-person obviously) have consciously or even subconsciously defined their breed stereotypes and opinions in their head and make no effort to conquer those generalizations, maybe because we think they're actually valid.

Quarters horses DO dressage, DO race on the track. Thoroughbreds DO dressage, DO western. A warmblood could barrel race. Yeah, it might sound weird because it isn't something we are used to...

And for anyone who tells me you can't get a good horse for less than a few thousands dollars, heck with that statement. You can get an amazing and incredible horse for free.

Like I said, you don't have to agree with me, but this is how I feel. I'm open to *respectful* argumentation and dialogue regarding my opinions and I hope you'll consider my perspective on this quite valid issue. :)

Sahara 10-16-2013 10:36 PM

What a silly notion. Everyone knows Paints are the best.

GamingGrrl 10-16-2013 11:22 PM

Any breed can do any discipline. They just can't do it well. A warmblood may be able to run the pattern, but you won't see one at the NFR anytime soon.
I think people should be allowed to have their own likes and dislikes for breeds. I personally am not a fan of most gaited breeds, but I state that with total respect for people who own them and I can appreciate a good horse of any breed or discipline. It's not so much about the opinion, it's how it's stated and expressed.
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Saskia 10-16-2013 11:23 PM

If horses were pets then what you are saying would be true. You can get an excellent pet horse for free or very little. Horses aren't just pets though, they're a hobby, an industry, a lifestyle.

Sure warmbloods can run around barrels but that doesn't mean they'll be any good at it. In the same way you don't see many Quarter Horse or western breeds competing at high level dressage. An Arab can jump a 2 ft jump course fine, but you don't see often them jumping 5ft courses.

Breeds are there for a reason. They're not just there to show that people are elitist or snobby, they represent generations of careful choosing and training, evaluating skills and abilities and finally creating a horse that should have similar skills and attributes. These horses are almost created by people, not just a chance encounter of throwing random horses in a paddock.

When you pay thousands for a horse your not paying for just "the horse" in it's value of meat or as a pet. You're paying for the time that has gone into it, not just it's training over the years, but also the years of breeding and training that people put into it's parents, and all the others before that.

I've had off the track thoroughbreds retrained to do jumping, or other random crossbreeds I'd bought for a few hundred dollars. Recently I bought a horse who was purpose bred (although not registered) and I paid close to three times what I normally paid. So far, it's good. He's got great basic training, a lovely level temperament and things are just going smoother than with all the other horses I was trying to turn into something they weren't meant to be.

There are a place for all sorts of horses. But breeds form an important part of the horse world, and being prejudice against them isn't any better than being pro a particular breed.

Shoebox 10-16-2013 11:34 PM

Everybody has their favorite breeds. Everybody. And everybody has breeds they don't like. I don't like Arabs, whatsoever. That doesn't mean I think they're useless, or whatever. They have their place. I don't like them, but I can appreciate a good arab-y Arab. Am I breed racist? No. I'm well aware they have their place in the horse world.

And you're completely right. Any breed can do any discipline. But some breeds are better than others - just like, say, dogs. Yes, a team of wiener dogs COULD pull a sled, but you won't see much besides huskies doing it. A lab COULD learn to herd, but collies are really bred for it. Just like some horses are bred for specific types of events. That doesn't mean it's 'breed racism,' it means you want a horse that can do what you want to do. If ALL YOU DO is race barrels, a big bootied quarter horse will be worth much more to you than a Percheron. If you want to pull carts, that draft team will be worth more to you than an Arab.

I will agree with you on the fact that I don't think a horse's worth should come from pedigree so much as talent, but like you said everything is SUBJECTIVE. Not all horses are created equal. They are all wonderful at the thing they were bred for. I don't show, so I wouldn't go out and look for a Grand Prix Dressage horse - it would be worth less to me than a good, solid trail horse. Does that make me breed racist? Absolutely not. It's silly to say so.

Stereotypes are stereotypes, but they were created for a reason and most have a grain of truth. Quarters run barrels because they're good at it. TBs race because they're good at it. Fresians pull carts because they're good at it. Stereotype? Yep. Truth? Yep. Can all of them do any of the other events? Yep. Will they excel? Probably not. Not breed racism at all.

GamingGrrl 10-16-2013 11:37 PM

Also, it's not really breed "racism" it'd be bias an personal preference more than anything. I don't really like using such a strong word for something that is just reflecting people's opinions on breeds. Racism is a thing that still affects people today and it doesn't apply to this situation at all.
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Golden Horse 10-16-2013 11:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sahara (Post 3888170)
What a silly notion. Everyone knows Paints are the best.


It's not so black and white though is it?? :rofl:

JCnGrace 10-17-2013 01:16 AM

Shoebox is right on. If I ever say I don't care for a particular breed of horse it's not because I think they're useless in general, they are just not the type of horse I personally like. I love quarter horses and paints because they suit me and my preferred riding discipline, doesn't mean I think everyone should love them, doesn't mean I think they are the best at everything, doesn't mean I think they are the only breed that can do what I like to do. it just means I find their overall picture pleasing to MY minds eye.

In my dream world I'm rich enough to own at least one of every breed. In reality I'm not rich so I have to pick and choose.

SorrelHorse 10-17-2013 01:32 AM

Of course a warmblood could barrel race. Would it have the speed or the physical ability to dig in and turn like a quarter horse? The answer is an undisputed no. They are not built that way and it would be unfair to expect that of them. Same way you couldn't expect my little cow pony to jump 4ft out on a cross country course, and you wouldn't ask a cart driving pony to have the cow sense a cutter would. And quarter horses race on the track all the time - But they sprint. That's why they make incredible barrel horses. The speed they have over a short distance surpasses any horse out there.

Breed stereotypes stem from the truth. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but you have to think realistically.

Kayty 10-17-2013 03:31 AM

Urgh. This has been done to death.
Each breed has its place. Whether it's a horse, a dog, a goat, a cow....
Horses, pedigree does increase value in many cases. Being a Dressage person, I will use warmbloods as an example.
European lines have been extremely carefully developed through generations of selective breeding, to produce top competitors and breeding stock in the fields that they have been bred for. Stallions such as Jazz and Donnerhall have produced countless international Grand Prix horses and are well represented in large international competitions such as the Olympics and World Cup, WEG etc. They have also produced top class breeding stock with many of the broodmares and stallions by them coming high up the ranks in the tough classifications that they must go through.
To purchase a youngster, by one of these stallions or their sons, out of an equally well bred and performed brood mare, is going to cost you quite a bit.
Why should you pay the same amount for a draft cross because someone had a pretty TB mare and their neighbour has a clydie stallion, and they think the youngster moves alright and is therefore a warmblood Dressage prospect????
Its not 'breed racism', it is buying to a purpose. If you are a competitive rider, you will buy the mount that is most likely to assist in achieving success. If you are not so competitive and just want to have fun, then go crazy and buy whatever breed you darn well want.
It is all relative.


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