A sort of continuation of the slaughter post; HJK posted this:
Sadly, for every quality breeder there seems to be another 10 crappy ones. I think the long-term solution is education.
It’s tough, as tough as arguing slaughter with a horse meat eater, or maybe even tougher. Have you ever met this person? I have….
The conversation went about the same….:-P
People have so many reasons for stupidly breeding, there’s barn blindness-overlooking a million faults because they love the horse. And it darn well might be a wonderful horse, with awful conformation.
There’s plain old laziness, letting a stud run with mares as it is easier than building a separate enclosure. Or stupidity, I actually saw an ad where the poster was blaming the stallion for mounting the mare, as if he shoulda known better (or used a condom?)! We have greed, a la puppy mills. And, like puppies, it tends to happen more with the breeds that are trending at the moment. We have breeding for color only, at the expense of conformation. There’s the age old “But foals are so cute!” that often goes with “I want my kids to see the miracle of birth!”.
We have people standing stallions like this:
For the whopping fee of $200 you can have one just like him! AND he’s a purty kolor!
Then there’s people who think any mare that has become unsound or was never trained is a broodmare prospect. Unsound especially bothers me, an injury to an otherwise good horse is one thing…but many causes of unsoundness can be hereditary or trace back to conformation, for example overly long pasterns. Just because she can’t be ridden is NOT a good reason to breed her. If she is unsound at 4 that just may be a red flag! Never mind the fact that the extra weight of being in foal may be uncomfortable for the poor mare…
Educating people is hard, they get offended easily. People do not want to hear that their mare is fugly, or their kids can see birth on Youtube and they don’t need to go creating a foal. They get mad when you tell them no one is going to want their unhandled grade fugly 3 year old and they are just making more food for people in France. I know, because I do say these things! Helping horses is more important than a popularity contest to me, and if it changes one mind and stops one poor fugly horse from going to slaughter, well…I’ve done something (ok, along with offend the would-be breeder and get labeled a bitch and a snob haha)!
So we can speak our minds, some of us blog our minds and reach a few more people…but it seems the people we reach are also on the ball. If the BYB’s come on the blogs (I saw it on Fugly Horse many times) it is to angrily defend their horrible breeding practices or fugly foals, and call the blogger mean for pointing it out.
We can speak with our wallets, and many of us do. Even when the badly bred unhandled horses get purchased/rescued they have often been through a few hands and the BYB is not the one making money.
If you look through ads for a lot of these BYB’s they are selling their young stock for 2-3-400 dollars, I can’t see that as much of a money making venture. Even worse, many say they are making room for this years crop. REALLY?
Is it ego? To be able to say “I am a horse breeder”? How do we tackle that? Ego is a powerful thing, and combined with stupidity will always trump what is best for the horse/child/dog/anything.
The Warmblood registries have a good idea with their inspection policies. Just because both parents were papered is not an automatic pass for the youngsters, they have standards. This only works for those who care about papers, however, and we don’t seem to see a lot of BYB’s involved in warmbloods.
Unless it is a Percheron/App/Saddlebred/Arab stallion that they are touting as a Warmblood 😉
Humane societies push the spay/neuter policy and have educational campaigns about it, but they tend to stay on the small animal side of things. Bob Barker always told us to spay and neuter our pets at the end of Price is Right, but I never heard him sign off saying “And geld your stud colt!”.
Seems to me the people out there who need educating the most are the ones who push away any form of education or constructive criticism…their mare is perfect, the discount stallion they used was just up the road and foals are so cute.