Clipping and critiquing

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Well-Known Member
Jul 26, 2005
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Is it just me or do you guys feel like whenever we have topics on show clipping or when people critique your horse upon request, it gets heated? There will be like 30 responses to a topic called "What blade should I use"...they start out mild, and pretty soon it starts sounding like arguements and it feels heated...Then people get sour on each other. When I read them i just want to start chanting
!!! LOL...sorry, i couldn't resist. I know when people critique my horse I end up getting angry...because they'll say something like 'it looks like his rear ends high', even though you tell them he needs to be trimmed and hes standing on the decline of a hill. Why do we always get so protective of our methods and conformation? We get offended and everything gets least thats what it feels like to me...what about you guys?
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Perhaps its because right now it's major show time, the heat is on! The AMHA Championship shows are going on, and Nationals and World is coming up quickly! People I think IMO have more of a competitive nature right now. Once showing ends more people will have calmed down lol.

Just the way I see it and think it.
Well, the problem, as I see it, is usually this:

Everyone here agrees that each and everyone has opinions, and many of those opinions will be different than other opinions. Nearly everyone here will even admit that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. Unfortunately, while there are those of us who have our own opinions, when we state them there are those people here who feel it is necessary to point out why our opinions are just so TOTALLY WRONG.
Because to a lot of horse owners their horses are their kids- they're a VERY personal issue. No one wants to hear that the way they groom/dress/raise/teach their kids is wrong or substandard, or that their kids aren't good enough/smart enough/pretty enough/talented enough.

Think about it like the spanking argument: I think a quick swat is acceptable. Others say break out the paddle. Still others say physical punishment is never acceptable. Do we all agree that age-and-punishment appropriate discpline is important for kids? Sure- but the descion on what form that discpline takes is an entirely different manner and can quickly become into a VERY hot debate!
I have to admit, I can be very sensitive when it comes to my horses. I work hard to buy, breed and raise the very best horses I can. It wouldn't help for me to have my horses critiqued by the general public-- I know what their faults are, all too well.
But no horse is perfect, and I DO dare put my horses out there for judges to judge.

I know that my friends are sensitive too--- last year I got un-ending grief from a bunch of them because my horses were fat. Then this year, when one of THEM had their horses fat, they got peeved with me for pointing it out, and denied it, lol!!
As my dad use to say when my mom and her friends had coffee everyday at 10 and 2. He would head out the door and say

[SIZE=14pt]"Too Many Hens in the Henhouse"[/SIZE]

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OMG that's pretty close to the truth.
Basically, if you want people to say "Oh I LOVE your horse, she's SUCH a pretty colour. You are SO lucky" Then that is what you ask them to do!! If you want to know what is WRONG with the horse, that is what you ask, and you accept the answers, you do not argue!! If the horse is standing butt high in the picture DO NOT POST THAT PICTURE!!! Get one that is a good photo as we can only go on what we see. I have just had a photographer do most of my horses, some mares I usually never photograph as the are broodmares. If they come out well I may well post some as I don't think, apart from Rabbit and some foals, anyone has seen any of my horses and I am proud of my plump darlings. I shall NOT ask for, nor shall I expect to receive, a critique on any of them!!! When I go on threads that say "Here is dollyplop, isn't she gorgeous" and I see a cow hocked, ewe necked little thing, I either say "Oh she's sweet" or I say nothing, and go away!! My Mother always said "If you can't say something nice say nothing at all" If I listened to her I would not spend as much time attempting to extract my foot from my mouth
I would have to agree with rabbitsfizz.

I do critiques, though I run a disclaimer that I am a: working with photos, which is imperfect and limiting in itself, and b: an amateur and prone to making mistakes/misunderstanding!

I usually do compliment the horse, as I can find good in just about every horse, and for whatever I don't like about them, I have yet to find a horse that I LOVE EVERY FEATURE OF!

My own herd is full of flaws and shortcomings which I have personally posted about and critiqued, myself. That does not mean I don't see their potential, but I also realize their limitations and hopefully, in recognizing the actual faults as in things that could cause unsoundness vs. the aesthetics (such as head shape), I will make better breeding choices.

I never critique in a mean spirit. I am only saying what I see and hoping others can either see that also and understand, or perhaps see it and realize that I am mistaken. I fully admit my fallability and I am also learning!

I think it's important for those who ask for critiques to please remember the difference between serious faults (as in causes of unsoundness, for example bad cowhocks or buck knees) vs. aesthetics (heavy bone vs. light bone, head shape, etc.).

If someone comes on asking for advice, and to not give it is just as bad as someone asking and getting upset about the advice given. You have to realize it is an opinion, and one you asked for. I don't critique horses when I'm not asked, and when I ask, I don't get upset, I do more research and learn about why things were put the way they were, and what might be in error, or maybe I've been "barn blind" and missed it, myself.

We go over this a lot, but again, try to post the best photos you can of your horse. If you have photos that show things you'd rather not have critiqued (such as a pose where your horse has his legs splayed making him look cowhocked when in fact he is not, etc.), don't use them, or just understand that that is what we will see and put in the critique. No need to get upset about it since you yourself know the truth, and can add it to the description. Usually when I do a post for a critique, as in one of my own, I will critique my own, first, and let others see if they agree w/me, or explain why I see what I do, etc.

You say you get angry when someone says something about your horse, and yet you recently posted one for critique, admittedly, with a reason why the said criticism might be true, but no reason to get upset, again, you know it's not true and you also asked for the critique w/the understanding that you wanted it.

Best wishes,

Liz M.

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