Why is it many horse people become "shhhhh" over

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Well-Known Member
Sep 4, 2003
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Muncie, Indiana

Why is talking about it a no-no? Couldn't that be considered education in some form? We'd all be learning from each other. But if we are not suppose to talk about it, pretend it doesn't exist, how do we learn?

I am not sure who said it is all good and/or perfect in the horse world, but someone needs to go back and let them know it isn't the case. Although I would wish for it to be.

I have had a few of these conversations of the years, one very recent and I can't help but think, what's wrong with talking of problems, sharing ideas.

If you do not talk about it,,,,,does it make it not so?

Should I be ashamed? Lock them up in the barn for no one to see?

I was not being mean towards anyone at all, stuff can happen and will.

I am not saying to go out and announce it to the world, or post here,,,,,but never talk about it, especially to another horse person? In a related conversation?

Example: Just in a casual conversation was talking about one of my horses who has grown to be a big ole guy(love him) and the person I was talking to said,,,,,Oh, I can't believe you said that, he came from a nice breeder. Well heck yes he did, but it was not the breeders fault in any way shape or form, I know that, did not say that. This horses siblings are all 33 or under, it would be no ones fault, he just grew. Maybe I just fed him too high of a fat content in his wheaties.
It just happens.

Was in a 4 way conversation a while back and another person got about the same response when talking about one of their IR horses. The conversation was about things to do to help that horse, not about the famous sire, or the famous breeder,,,,,,,,,not either of their faults. We we still got a few

It's all out there, and at some point, most folks will deal with a lot of it.

Will it hurt sells? I don't think so to an educated person.

So hush hush on,,,,,IR, Stifle, Dwarfs, and what ever else?

Again, I am not saying to advertise about it, but why the tabboo?

All the cases I am speaking of,,,,it was a casual conversation, about what is best for the horse or just about the horse. Had ZERO to do with the breeder, bloodline, or anything else you could relate it to.

Somewhat of a vent,,,,,,,,,sorry.

But I will get up on my pedistal and announce, my horses are not perfect! and, it's ok.
My horses are not perfect either! I admire other breeders that can acknowledge that, because it's the first step of improving a breeding program. It's funny because I love my horses dearly, but when friends and family are out at the farm with me and compliment a horse, I have a bad tendency to go, "Yes, but I wish he/she had more/less/better..."

I will admit that I'm more likely to be positive about my horses on here, but I think it's just the guinea pig syndrome in all of us. We are afraid if we say "My horses are not perfect," then everyone else will feel comfortable saying, "Your horses are not perfect." It's one thing to admit it to yourself and another thing to have someone else rub your face in it. It's kind of like the taboo over criticizing someone else's family. YOU can complain about them, but if someone else does...

Now I'll wrap this up and just say I agree--we should be able to talk about imperfections in an abstract sense at the very least. How else will the beginners on here learn that they ARE imperfections?
My little guys and gals are not perfect either, there is no "perfect" horse.. The key as a breeder is to find horses that "click" even with their imperfections.. While I know they're not "perfect" to sight and there's always room for improvement, they are perfect in my heart
I've yet to see a perfect horse.....and I've been at this a long time.
I've seen a few that were darn close LOL, and I have some horses in my barn that I adore but I can still pick most of them apart in one way or another. I've never though it was taboo to talk about the imperfections, after all that's how we improve the breed is to recognize those strengths and weaknesses and tailor our breeding program accordingly. I don't make a habit of posting my horses here and asking for critiques, but I'll be glad to talk individually about any of my guys.

Just wanted to add:

I wish some people could seperate the horse from the breeder. So much CAN happen, does not make it the breeders fault each time, I think that is some of the problem.

You talk about a horse, but some people can see it as talking about the breeder.

are afraid if we say "My horses are not perfect," then everyone else will feel comfortable saying, "Your horses are not perfect." It's one thing to admit it to yourself and another thing to have someone else rub your face in it. It's kind of like the taboo over criticizing someone else's family. YOU can complain about them, but if someone else does...
Good point
Yep, I pick mine apart all the time.

Possibly everyone on this board knows what I do and don't like about my horses as far as their shortcomings.

If we all think they are perfect, then there is no point in trying to improve anything, what is the goal?

I have yet to see the 100% perfect horse, especially in Miniature...

Liz M.
Now hang on a minute!

My horses are PERFECT!

PERFECT for me.

I say that because during one of my own insecure moments, I told my husband that I'm not perfect. He said "yes you are! You are perfect for me".
nootka said:
If we all think they are perfect, then there is no point in trying to improve anything, what is the goal?
As someone who doesn't breed I try not to focus too much on what's "wrong" with my horse as there's nothing I can do to change bone structure in that individual. It would be sort of like someone constantly focusing on how they wish their boobs were bigger or their butt smaller or their chin less pointed, etc. etc.! Okay, so there's surgeries for that
but barring going under the knife there's not much you can do about those things. Do they affect who I am and whether or not I should like myself? NO! So I try to focus on things I can change like how weak my arms are (pushups, anyone?
) and dressing to accentuate my good features and otherwise accept my faults. I do the same thing with my horse- I focus on what I CAN change about his conformation (the way he's muscled, his weight, the way he's turned out) and how he's trained and take pride in improving those things to the limit.

On the one hand, ignoring reality does not make it go away. On the other, it's not healthy to focus on the unchangeable negative to the exclusion of all good features. I try to be aware of my horse's faults and always learning about how those faults affect performance but realize that I bought that horse for a reason and boy I sure love him.

I agree- it's stupid to think acknowledging faults means you're somehow demeaning the breeder! Honestly folks, get over it. :DOH!

I talk about non-perfect horses all the time. My non perfect horses include Destiny, DunIT, Monkey, Hope, Flirt, Lou, Double, Sweetie, Khaki, Bomb Shell, Maddie, Passion, Ducky, Cover Girl, Sunny, Bacardi, Derby, Skipper, Eclipse and Blue. I think that names off all my minis. I think they're all pretty nice, but none of them are perfect
I have had horses nearly all my life. I have seen very few that were "perfect", but some have come close. It seems there could be room for a bit of change or improvement in almost all... afterall, isn't that what breeders strive for? Improvement of the breed? A better head, more color, a bit longer leg, but small in size, etc?

When I was selling one of my two stallions, a respected breeder called me and spoke to me at legnth about my stallion. I sent many pictures. The best question that I was asked about my stallion was.... What do you think is his weak point or flaw... what would you improve in him if you could? Wow! I thought, what a question! I told her. She bought him and was and still is very pleased.


I think for me, it is that I don't want people to get the wrong idea about what is good breeding. I for one, have a favorite horse. She is also, probably the ugliest horse on my farm! She was the result of irresponsible breeding. However, she was my fourth horse in the search for a nursing home pet therapy animal and from day one she was perfect. Yes, I said my ugly horse was perfect. She began her job at one day old! (I know, don't scold, but like those of you who imprint, this was part of my quest for the perfect horse for the job). She never has bit or kicked. She lets people pet her rough or scratch her or accidentally poke her eye or pull her hair. She goes weekly or bi weekly and is at home there.

People ask me if I will breed my girl(gasp) My answer is, much later in life, I may try for one foal, who will hopefully have her sweet quiet personality. But I usually say she isn't good horse quality, but she has a great horse heart.

People can tell me that there are many horses out there that can do what Goldiie does and they look correct too, well that may be true, but I have tried with many and found a true nugget in Goldie.

She will never win a halter class, but I bet she would clean up in an obstical course!

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There are no perfect horses. The best we can do is to breed as close to the standard as possible* and try to correct faults. I also am one who constantly picks my horses apart. I feel I have a couple that are real close to "perfect", and even one that I have never been able to find a conformational fault on..but it has to be there somewhere.

Folks who are not willing to acknowledge faults are just not being honest with themselves and will do the animal an injustice by not breeding to correct the fault(s).

I understand your frustration with not being able to rationally discuss various topics, but, it really does need to be done to help the breed.

*please note that I say "standard"..not what is popular in the show ring at the time...THAT changes quite often..the standard doesn't.
Well my take on it is that anyone hushing faults or defects that have come from their breeding does not want others to know that is what they or a specific horse has produced. If they didn't mind we would have allot more people sharing the breeding history of their animals. For instance I have gone and looked at pedigrees to research height. I have found in some AMHA pedigrees allot of animals that have not been brought permanent and very few registered as over height in some of these really famous lines. That tells me that allot of these horses have gone over height for AMHA. I am sure that someone trying to promote a specific stallion for breeding doesn't want it known that the horse is producing 50 to 75% of his offspring that are going over height. I would say that would cut into the use of this horse at stud. Also if he has thrown a dwarf are they going to share that about there multi thousand dollar stud? It is a guessing game when it comes to anyones animals that they have purchased as to the absolute background of the animal just because the breeder isn't going to tell you all the baddies with the goodies.
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I agree that I too have not had the perfecr mini. I have had some that I think are very well put together but there is always something I would like to improve on. Often I have said to myself "now if I could take so and so's head and put it on so and so's body I would have the ideal mini and so it goes. But what I do have to keep in mind is what one would call "perfect" may not be so for another and that may be why some people won't talk about the faults of their horses....they don't see them!!! Most of us have strived for the perfect mini but it can present a real challenge. Even judges don't always see [or agree]as to what is the most perfect, the eyes can see different things. I know there has been a handful of minis that I have thought "oh that is the perfecr mini, for me"
I have to laugh, I would love to breed a perfect mini, I think ( or at least hope) that is what we are striving for. I too am over critical about my horses, with that said,......

I am completely amazed with the photos some people and photographers can take. They truely can capture a horses best features. There is nothing like seeing photos of some horses, then seeing them in person, and saying, wow, my horses really aren't bad looking ........ (please keep in mind, I pick my horses apart in my head all the time and have a huge complex about my horses and my tiny little hobby/farm).

It is nice, on occasion, to have one of those brief moments of satisfaction, then of course I go right back to criticizing my horses. Thank God they aren't kids, they would have some major issues right now, with a Mom like that!!!!

Not perfect how?? Just conformation??

I have a mare that is the old style - built like a tank. But she is a "perfect" broodmare. Produces lovely foals, much better quality than her, and is a great mom.

I have another mare that is "Perfect" in that my daughter could start training her as a yearling when she was 8 years old and make her into a top show mare

My gelding is also "perfect" because anybody can drive him.

My stallion is "perfect" to me because he's gorgeous in my eyes, and in a few judges eyes also.

So if someone says their horse is perfect, it's fine with me!!
Nope.......Perfect Horse???? NO SUCH THING. "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder".......and that goes for horses too.

What is great is when someone comes to see what your breeding program has produced and admires them..... even better, likes them so much that they BUY and find a use for them -- AND LOVE THEM. The horse may not be "perfect"........but what's more important the horse is a "Perfect FIT for THEM"!!!!

On our place we have a 21 year old 33" gelding who has won every performance championship at the AMHA National level possible. He TAUGHT my husband how to drive (neat story in itself), put up with my daughter on his back until she was about 7 or 8 years old and then allowed other little ones on his back after that.......No, he will never win a ribbon in a halter class........We even had someone think he was a miniature "burro"!
But in OUR eyes he is beautiful and priceless.
And the crowd goes "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"
So cute

Now hang on a minute!

My horses are PERFECT!

PERFECT for me.

I say that because during one of my own insecure moments, I told my husband that I'm not perfect. He said "yes you are! You are perfect for me".

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