Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Ridiculous Showmanship Trends

I was reading a thread on the PH forum the other day about showmanship. It honestly surprises me, after the reading the comments and hearing about how "well" some of these exhibitors do in their showmanship classes, how they even win at all. Don't get me wrong. I love most of the people on the PH forum, but the trends are killing me!

Let's talk about some really stupid trends. Let's see. First there was the pivot on the left hind foot. Now it's the right hind foot, yet a pivot on either hind foot is acceptable. This is bullshit and AQHA nor APHA should allow it. It should be a pivot on the right hind foot. The reasoning? A pivot is a FORWARD motion; NOT a backwards motion. When a horse pivots on the left hind he is moving in a backwards motion. The tendency is to cross over incorrectly with the front feet, however, there are some horses that cross over correctly in the front yet maintain a backwards motion, pivoting on the left hind foot. This is incorrect and should be penalized. It should not even be considered a "trend." This is generally common knowledge. The APHA rule book says a pivot on either hind foot is acceptable but a horse pivoting on the left hind should not place higher than a horse that pivots correctly if the patterns are equally nice. I'm thinking I need to write to APHA about this. It's crap. The horse should be taught to pivot correctly.

Then we have the "where to stand" debate. Some exhibitors state it looks better if you stand facing the horse... as in straight towards the head. Incorrect again. Showmanship is NOT supposed to be about trends. There is a STRUCTURE that should be followed. You are supposed to stand angled towards the horse... not straight. Your feet should be pointing towards the horse's opposite front foot. Honestly... get over the trends people and learn the proper way. Hell, it even states in the APHA rule book the exhibitor should stand ANGLED towards the horse's opposite front foot. So why is this a debate? If you can't figure out where to stand and you are standing incorrectly you should not be placed over an exhibitor that knows where to stand. Then someone asked "Why stand angled? It looks stupid!" No, it really doesn't. The purpose is to give the judge a completely UNOBSTRUCTED view of the horse. When you stand in front of the horse straight on the only one that looks stupid is you. Basic horsemanship 101: never stand directly in front of a horse. Didn't we learn that in 4-H? Read the rule book.

Next is the "should the pattern run all together or should there be pauses" dilemma. Seriously? Showmanship is like dancing with your horse. You have to COMPLETE your maneuvers. They should not all flow aimlessly one into the other. I've seen exhibitors go from a 360 degree turn into an immediate trot off. Number one, you have no time to make sure your horse is straight. Showmanship demands straight lines. Second, it looks like you are rushing. When I am in a class, I complete my maneuver, count to three quickly, then move on. Crisp, clean, and straight. When you rush a pattern it looks as though you have no confidence in your horse. Judging by some of the APHA world show videos of showmanship, there are exhibitors that rush the pattern, flap their elbows, and just look plain bad. I also see a lot of exhibitors using their shanks... a lot. A big no no. Train your horse to move off your shoulder and listen to your body language. When I show a showmanship class, my lead shank hand does NOT move. At all. Not even to ask for a back up, pivot, or set up. It does not move. But, my horse works off my shoulder, as she should.

And why is that fakey fake puff your chest out when you do your quarters shit still going on? This isn't Broadway. This is showmanship. The handler should be businesslike. Not like a Vegas Show Girl. Hell, at the last show I thought one of the girl's was doing the "bend and snap" maneuver from that movie Legally Blond! Give me a break.

Showmanship should be clean, precise, complete, and businesslike. The trends are ridiculous. Exhibitors need to stick to the rule book and show the class properly, or learn to decipher the pattern correctly. Either one will work. It's a very basic class; yet it demands attention to detail, straight lines, and flawless patterns. Thankfully, classic is back "in" and the fakey fake exhibitors are not doing so hot. At least in my neck of the woods. Classic needs to stay "in" and the trends need to buried along with all the other shit that gets swept under the rug.

Tomorrow we will discuss deciphering a pattern correctly.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

A Nice Place to Live... Horses Welcome

I don't have time to make a traditional blog post today but I wanted to put this up for a friend of mine.

She needs a roommate to help her out with the house payment. She has a very nice 2500 sq foot 3 bedroom home in the Caddo Mills, TX area. She also has a 4 stall barn with plenty of pasture. Horses are welcome. No smokers please. She is asking $495 per month and if you have horses an additional $125 per month per horse for self care. This is in a very nice area and she is a very nice hard-working lady. If interested please email Tracy at

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Evicting the Denton Texas Hillbillies

This is soooo not horse related but it's really irritating me so I'm going to go ahead and bitch about it.

About a month ago we finally got some tenants into our house. It had been on the market for sale or lease for a few months so we were happy that we finally had someone moving in. Little did we know they would closely resemble the Beverly Hillbillies with a little less class and even worse hygiene. Our realtor handled the background check, job and income verification, the lease agreement, and the collection of the deposit, pet deposit and pro-rated rent for the first month so we never got to actually meet the paper (except on paper) until the day they moved in and we went over to install extra interior locks and a peephole (required for rental properties in Texas). Needless to say, the realtor assured us that everything checked out, and he had checked with the property managers and everything was cool. The people paid on time, kept the house nice, etc. No problem right? Ha!!

The day we signed the lease agreement there were to be three people living in the house. The man, the woman, and the man's mother. We were thinking it would be great since I had spent 2 1/2 weeks painting EVERY room in the house before we moved out. (The house is only two years old anyway, but we figured the house would sell or rent out faster if we painted and did a few other updates). So we are thinking "cool, no kids to mess up the walls". Not that we are against kids, because we aren't. But you know how messy little kids can be. My husband and I are young and this house was a major investment for us. We just want to keep it nice. Thus the reign of the tenants from hell begin.

My husband and I go to the house to install the peephole and door locks. We arrive, they were aware of when we would be arriving. I walk up to my front door to find three boys (14 ish in age) SKATEBOARDING OFF MY FRONT CEMENT STEPS! No helmets, no gear, no nothing! One fell down and hurt himself and went home. Greeeeeaaaaaat! So I ask the remaining two boys where the adults are. He happily replies they are at the other house getting another load of stuff. Ok, no big deal. Two HOURS later, the tenants show up and not just themselves. Every greasy haired, rootin tootin, redneck neighborhood hick kid came with them. Seriously, there were two girls that had what I ascertained to be blond hair. However, I would make a bet that those two girls had not washed their hair for at least a week because it was actually orange. Like... orangutan butt orange. In total, there were 10 children of various ages running amok through the house, slamming shit into walls, hanging off my banister, etc.

So my husband pulls the man aside and asks him how many kids are going to be living there. He replies "three". Oh gee... were you going to put them on the lease or were you just going to lie about them? So, since they conveniently left the kids off the lease (they have to list all the people living in the house) I addressed the situation with my realtor and he had them sign an updated lease listing the three kids So now we have six hillbillies, some with teeth, some without, living in a 2,500 sq foot four bedroom house. We brush it off and go on about our business.

March 3rd rolls around and we haven't received a rent check. My husband calls the man and reminds him rent was due two days ago on the first. He says they had some "unexpected" bills (WTF did they go buy a shit load of soap, shampoo, and conditioner and clothes that don't look like they have been slashed by jack the Ripper)? Ok, that was mean but Jesus. You know the rent is due on the first. Can't you pick up the phone and tell someone you are going to be late? He stated that we would have the rent money plus the late fees between the 6th and the 10th. The tenth rolls around... no rent. The 12th, no rent. The fifteenth... no rent. I call the realtor (I'm at a horse show) and asked him if he would be kind enough to call the hillbillies and pick up the rent. He says yes. He said he called them 20 minutes before he arrived and told them he was going to be there in 20 minutes. They said ok. He gets there and the little bastards made him sit out there and knock for 20 more minutes before they answered the door. Then, he said he waited another 10 minutes before they wrote a check. (Oh, and by the way... isn't it funny how the tenants said they were putting a check in the mail on the 10th when I called, then my husband called, then the realtor called)? So it was confirmed, by all three of us on the 10th, he was putting a check in the mail on the 10th. Surprisingly it never came. Gee! What a surprise! So anyway, the realtor picks up the check. Guess what? Those late fees they accrued are not on the check. Another coincidence? I think not. So after being pissed for a few days I got over it and moved on... until tonight. You'd think that a family that brings in over $5000 per month could pay $1,199 in rent on time.

As if my day has not had enough stress; I get a phone call from my neighbor. I gave my neighbor my phone number the day I installed the peephole and door locks and asked her if she would let me know if they caused any trouble. She agreed. I was wondering just how long it would take her to call. Well, it only took about 37 days. My neighbor is a wonderful Southern Baptist lady. Three awesome kids, well groomed, respectful, eloquent, and polite. She NEVER bitches, nor does she curse. Until today. I seriously think my neighbor is going to set her some lil redneck traps in her yard! LOL! First, she came home this evening to find the light on in one of the upstairs bedrooms. It was dark outside so she could see inside the house. Sadly, she reported my mini blinds are no longer mini blinds. Instead, she said they look like some cracked out Asian child attempted origami with them. They are destroyed. But that's not all folks! Apparently, they keep their dog outside at night (ha ha... at the beginning the dog was listed on the lease but the kids weren't... lmao). This wouldn't normally be a problem but I guess the dog barks and howls all night long and her kids can't sleep. I hope the tenants dog does not go missing. LOL! Nah... my neighborhood isn't like that nor is my neighbor, but you get the idea of how pissed she is. Then, she said last week she came home to find several kids sitting in the middle of her yard pulling the grass up with their hands. (She's meticulous about her yard and she is trying to sell her house so I see her frustration). Not only this, but apparently the 17 yr old son that isn't on the lease but lives there anyway (now we are up to 7 people in the house) has been parking directly in front of her house with his truck. Not that big of a deal until he started pulling up on the curb and into her grass! She had a showing on the house the other day and the kids truck was parked in her grass. She politely asked him to move it. Be called her a "nigger bitch" under his breath, and didn't move it for another 35 minutes. Then the man came out and apologized. she asked them to please park in the driveway and he said ok. They still haven't complied. So, tomorrow she is taking a picture of the origami work that used to be my mini blinds and emailing the picture and her complaints to me so that I can forward them to my realtor. If they can't comply with the rules... their asses are getting evicted. Why can't someone normal move in that doesn't cause a disruption? WTH? Am I flypaper for freaks or what? So now the dog making a disruption is a violation of the lease as well as the 7th person living in the house that is not on the lease. I could have evicted them the day they lied on the lease but I like to think I am not as cruel as that and I gave them a second chance. Fool me once shame on you... fool me twice and your ass is evicted. Gaaaahhhh! I want to pull my hair out.


Thursday, 19 March 2009

The Ammy Vs. Open Status

For all the plans that Fugly has for the VLC, she just shot herself in the foot yesterday. I'm not sure if she planned on showing him Open or Amateur, but with her recent post of accepting money to do the groundwork on some mustangs, she just ruined her shot at an amateur card. If she is only showing him open, then there is no issue. But if she wanted to show him in AQHA Amateur classes, she just blew it.

The Reason I Am Useless as a Mother... At Least I Managed the Reflex Gagging!

So I had this nice blog entry typed out and ready to post and all of the sudden my mouse completely froze. (Damn wireless mice). So I decide to use my arrow keys to close out the application and the damn thing deleted my entire freaking post. It was a good one too and yes... I'm pissed. A perfect ending to a crazy night right? So here was my day.

I get up and take my truck to the dealership because there was a recall on the camshaft sensor. There was also a recall some time ago on the cruise control switch but I can't find the paperwork. I talk to the lady on the phone and she says she sees where they recalled it and it would be no problem to fix. I get to the dealership and the jack off behind the counter says in his Droopy D voice... "I can't find the recall on thaaaaaat so you'll... um.... have to pay $95 for us to diagnose the problem and then it will be... um... additional to fix the problem." I tell him I already know what the problem is. The cruise control sticks and there is a recall on the switch. He says he can't find the recall... fucker. So while I had no problem finding the recall online when I got home, and the lady at the dealership had no problem finding it in the database, this little pencil dick couldn't find it so he wouldn't fix it. That's a man for ya.

My husband and I go get lunch, go home and hang out for a bit. I read another 500 pages of psychology, he goes to work, and I decide to go to the barn...

I get to the barn, have a wonderful ride, redressed Marilyn's leg, and go home to do some more damn psychology work. I talked with my mom for a bit. (Yes my husband and I live with my mother. My stepfather died of colo-rectal cancer last year and my mom's bills were too much for her to pay on her own. We rented out our house and moved in with her).

Then the shit literally hit the fan. I'm upstairs typing away on a paper and my mom screams... literally SCREAMS for me. She had gone to bed about an hour before so you can imagine my alarm. I go flying down the stairs. Did y'all know I could fly? I made the first 10 steps without a problem. But for some reason I tripped down the last 15 and hit the tile HARD. I don't like flying anymore.

I run into her bedroom yelling "what's the matter?" I find her sitting on the toilet shaking uncontrollably. She's yelling "Help! Help! Help! Now this is not a humorous situation in the least. However, you have to understand something about me. I am scared to death of vomit. I can't see it, smell it, hear someone doing it, etc., or I panic and barf all over the place. So here is my poor mother, sicker than a dog, sitting on the toilet with her head in a trash can barfing her brains out, and all my pathetic ass can do is run out of the room to get a cold wash cloth and a fan. After running in and out of the bathroom several times between her heaving noises, I finally successfully plug in the fan. I ask her what speed she wants it on and she just barfs again. So I blast it and run out of the room again gagging! (Thinking, when I'm sick I like lots of cool air). Seems reasonable right? Ahhhh.... my poor mother. So now she is colder than shit, shaking, and barfing. I hear her stop and I run back in and turn off the fan. She is now laying on the floor. She's still shaking. I'm panicking. Thinking... should I call the squad? Yup, that's me... when it comes to vomiting for no apparent reason and shaking uncontrollably... all my dumbass can think of is calling the squad. Great motherly instincts right? Apparently, when it comes to vomit, I lose all ability to reason or think clearly. Poor mom. I couldn't even hold her hair for her. I feel so bad. I already feel sorry for my unborn children because there is no way in hell you can get me to go within five feet of puke. I can't even clean up dog vomit for cryin' out loud.

So now that we have determined that I am completely worthless to anyone that is vomiting, feels like they are going to vomit, or looks like they are going to vomit; I can at least say this. I managed to stomach all of this, get her out of the bathroom, get her cleaned up, back in bed, sat with her until she was ready to go back to sleep, and gave her a Phenergan. I admit I gagged a little, but I didn't throw up. Thank God, because if I had then there would have been nothing I could do to help her. I am the biggest baby in the world when I throw up. So apparently I'm not THAT bad of a daughter right? Poor mom and her vomit-a-phobe daughter. At least we have my husband. He is man enough to hold both of our hair back when we are sick. Too bad he's working tonight. It's sad when your hubby has more "mommy" skills than you do. LOL!

So all is well in the house now. I just checked on mom and she is fine. It must have been what she had for dinner. I'm not sure because I didn't look in the trash can to find out.

On an equine related note; Gertie and I went to our second show of the season last weekend and completed our Showmanship ROM. We now have 15 points in just two shows. Pretty spiffy if you ask me. It was a good show but it was colder than a witch's titty outside. I just hope we can keep up with the success we've had so far.

Friday, 13 March 2009


In light of my previous rant on tail blocking, I have discovered there are quite a few other topics of controversy that I would like to address; however, I'm not in the mood to bitch right now. I would much rather laugh at the reviews of a book a friend of mine found on Sorry folks, this book is not horse related, but I thought today's post needed some humor.

Keep in mind I am not one to make fun of someone's religion or beliefs. I do, however, think the reviews of this book are absolutely funny as hell. Ya got that? This shit is funneh funneh. I think I actually may have peed a little from laughing so hard at what some of these people had to say. Is it wrong to laugh? Maybe... but I've never claimed to be a saint. So here goes... copy and paste this link, click on reviews, and be prepared to laugh your ass off.

I promise I really do have horse related articles that I am working on, however, I figured this might tide some people over for now. I have an APHA show in Athens this weekend and I have been busy prepping the horses. So enjoy the read for now, and wish us luck on completing an ROM this weekend.

Saturday, 07 March 2009

So You Want to Block Your Horse's Tail? Allow Me To Show You What it Will Feel Like!

Today we are going to talk about something that really, really pisses me off. I know this is a topic that many have covered before; but too bad. Now it's my turn to bitch about it. I forewarn you right now, my language in this post is going to get very "colorful" for lack of a better word; but this is a topic that warrants such language for the dumbass that thinks it's OK to block a tail.

I also want to add this. I understand that many people that own horses that have had their tails done did not know the procedure got done. Some people were fooled by people they trusted into thinking it was legit and "the only way to go". I know judges like to see nice tail sets. I know they deduct points for excessive use of the tail. But please people, now that the info is out there about tail blocking... do some research. Hell, ask your vet about the effects! You can't change the past, but you can change the future. I understand that when this started many people didn't know the effects. Now we know what can happen. I am not angry with the people that have had it done in the past and now understand it's not the kosher thing to do. I am angry with the people that know the effects and still do it, thinking a botched job will never happen to them.

First let me explain something to you. I have been showing for a very long time. I have NEVER, EVER, had to or felt the need to block a horse's tail. And guess what, ALL my horse's USE their tails. It's a fucking horse! That's how GOD created it. And here man is, holier than thou, thinking it's cool to just deaden a horse's tail. I don't give a rat's ass if that horse jogs or lopes around the pen with it's tail straight up like you stuck a firecracker up its ass. You are NOT GOD. I don't give a shit if you "Own" the horse. I don't give a shit if it's your right as an OWNER to block a tail. You are a vain son of a bitch if you can stand there and watch someone inject a tail with alcohol so you can go win a class. You are a bigger asshole if you are the one doing it. And you are a coward if you don't watch yet give permission for someone to do it. I don't care if "everybody" else is doing it. I don't care if you are a World Champion trainer with 800 titles and a wealthy set of clients. I don't care if you are a judge. I don't care if you are an amateur or novice amateur. And to the parents that inject your child's youth horse's tail, GET A GRIP. I don't care if the judges don't place a horse that uses it's tail. If that's the case, quit showing to them and report them to the association. Get some new judges that can actually fucking comprehend that a horse uses its tail for balance. It's not natural for a horse to have it's tail packed into its ass cheeks.

I'm going to say it right now. If you come here and try to justify this saying "well the way we do it the horse still has some movement" or "the way we do it; it wears off and the horse is fine"; I promise you I will find out who you are and I will report your ass. You can tell me till you're blue in the face that a horse that packs its tail will place better than a horse that uses its tail. I call BULLSHIT. If that were the case that mare at the top of this blog would not be placing. Grow a set of balls. Stand up to your trainers that allow this; take a stand against the judges that place this shit. A horse that is a 10+ mover is going to move a lot more fluidly and prettier if his/her tail wasn't sucked into his/her ass so far that is was wrapped around his sheath or stuck to her teats. And honestly... do you know how ugly it is to see a pleasure stallion jog into the pen all sweaty, balls slappin, with his tail stuck to his balls?

For those of you who try to justify blocking a tail. I wish I could personally take you to the vet clinic. I would love to watch you wipe the shit caked onto the horse's ass. I would love to watch you care for the abscesses. I would love to watch you care for the horse who's skin sloughs off from bad tail jobs. Then, I would love to give you the same courtesy. I will gladly inject your tailbone with alcohol, put you in a diaper with some tail hair (for added comfort of course) and let you stand around; only eating, pissing, and shitting for a few weeks. And no, the diaper is not allowed to come off. Then I would love to take you out of your room, take your diaper off, rub your ass raw with some Nolvasan and water, put you in a pair of skin tight wranglers with no skivvies and make your ass line dance all night. And you know what? If you don't dance pretty enough I'd love to do it all over again.

I actually just read a thread where someone asked where to go to get a good tail job done. Are you fucking kidding me? Kudos to this person who has decided to go with a weighted tail instead. And MAJOR kudos to all the folks that told this person EXACTLY how wrong it is to "do" a tail.

I have no problem with fake tails. Hell, I show in one. However, mine does not bear metal weights. This is another thing that I simply don't care to do to my horse. My fake tail is merely to enhance my mare's tail. It's thin, sparse, very fine and she has a big ass. Her fake tail is only to accentuate the overall picture. It doesn't keep her from using her tail in any way. If she wants to put her tail over the top of her back... yup, she still can. While I don't like the idea of metal weights, I think they are much more humane than blocking a tail. At least the weights can be removed. Of course you always have one or two (or more) assholes that are going to go overboard and try sticking 5lbs or more of weight onto the tail which sucks, but hey... at least they can be REMOVED. As it stands, APHA only allows 3 lbs of metal weight, which I think is a little excessive. AQHA allows NO metal weights. Good for AQHA!

At any rate, if you block your horse's tail, now you know what I think of you. I think you are a sick son of a bitch that only has winning on the brain. If I were judging the class, you'd win a freaking piece of coal to put in your stocking at Christmas and a trip to court for abuse. There... I said it... yup, tail blocking is abuse. Why? Because you are injecting a foreign substance into a creature that has NO say so, you cannot guarantee the outcome, and you are deadening an area that is vital to a horse. Last time I checked we still had flies in this country. Last time I checked a horse still lifts it's tail UP to shit (saying well the horse can lift to the side is no excuse). Last time I checked a horse still uses its tail to balance. Now, I know not all tail jobs go bad, but A TON of them do. If you allowed your horse's tail to be injected or you injected the horse yourself, you should be charged with animal cruelty. When and ONLY when you can show me a legitimate MEDICAL NECESSITY for injecting a tail will I think about changing my mind. But wait... there are NONE!

For some reason I just can't fathom a vet ever coming to a barn and saying "Hey Larry, let's inject this horse's tail with some alcohol so it can shit better. You know... I hear it's great lubrication for the butt cheeks". "Gee Bob, I'm glad you mentioned it. I've been looking for a way to keep my horse's ass lubed naturally".

Point blank. Blocking a tail is not natural. It's not a breed standard, and it's just not right... or safe. I don't want to hear stories about how you were "peer pressured" into getting your horse's tail done. Peer pressure is a bitch but if you give in to something that ridiculous you may want to think about going back to school and taking a critical thinking class because you obviously cannot think very well for yourself, or the animals that are in your care.

Folks, I am really sorry for the language in this post but it's shit like this that made me decide to stop training for the public. As a matter of fact, I actually lost a customer once because I would not show their horse if they got it's tail done. But hey, I'm all about the legit way... not the shit way.

Wednesday, 04 March 2009

ROM = Breeding Quality???

Many boys and girls dream of owning their dream horse stallion, making it big in the show pen, and retiring rich with a wonderful stallion, and watching his babies compete. The reality is that when you grow up, it doesn't always happen. Today, it takes an incredible stallion, a good trainer, an incredible show record, and money to create that stallion that makes mare owners say "I have to breed to THAT stallion". You can't make the money if you don't spend the money in the first place. My discussion today turns towards AQHA stallion, Big Yellow Caddi, and his owner Cathy. This discussion is not to determine if he is worthy of his balls. This discussion, is in fact, about whether he is going to become a big enough name in the pen to be the stallion that Cathy thinks he is.

While I cannot agree with everything that goes on in the AQHA show pen in halter, western pleasure and hunter under saddle; I do know what it takes to make it big. Sometimes what it takes to make it big is not what the owner wants to do nor can afford to do. For example, I have worked with many top halter barns. I know what it takes to fit an AQHA or APHA halter stallion, go win the world, and stand him at stud. However, I do not agree with getting them as beefy as the judges like to see them. I don't want my horses to be overly fat. I want them fit. I have fit on over 15 AQHA and APHA World Champion halter horses; however, when it comes to fitting and showing my own; I choose what is right for MY horses over the "winning way". Alas, I have yet to win the world in halter with one of my own horses because I don't get them as big as the horses that are winning; despite the horse having as close to ideal conformation as you can get; but I digress.

The point I am trying to make is that what wins and becomes successful is not always the way we, as owners, want to do things. This is where Big Yellow Caddi comes in. While I think Cathy's goal is a great goal; I do not feel that she is going to reach that goal within the unrealistic time frame she has described. A basic run down of the goal she hopes to achieve is to: get an ROM on Big Yellow Caddi within one show season if possible, and stand him at stud. While it is possible to get an ROM on this horse, I highly doubt it's going to happen in one season and here is why.

Whether you choose to believe so or not, getting points in AQHA in any event is no easy task. This stallion is already four years old and has never been to an AQHA show. He should have already been in the pen in at least a halter class. Now that he is our, it will be extremely difficult to get halter points being that he is an aged stallion and the class sizes are generally smaller. Why are the class sizes smaller? Well, most; not all, but most people that are serious about promoting a stallion start showing halter as weanlings and yearlings. The class sizes are larger and there is a greater chance of accumulating points in a small number of shows. I'm no sure what the average aged stallion class size in her neck of the woods but here in Texas... it's not very big. That says something! There is a huge concentration of halter horses here in the Aubrey/Pilot Point area; yet the aged stallion classes are so small people are lucky to get one point for winning the class. While it is possible to accumulate those points on an aged stallion, she is going to have to go to quite a few shows. This means spending money. And more than likely it will be more than what she has budgeted for. So lets recap here: we have a four year old unshown stallion that would now have to go in aged stallions if competing in halter, costing a lot of money. Now lets dig a little deeper. Like I said, it is possible to get those points, but does Big Yellow Caddi look like what's winning halter at the AQHA shows? No. Why? He's not a very balanced horse per his photos; he's long, and under muscled, and not up to weight. Do I think he's a decent horse... sure do. Do I think he's a halter winning horse... nope. The fact remains he is not a representative of what is winning in the halter pen which will make it much harder for him to even earn halter points.

Now let's get down to western pleasure and hunter under saddle. Cathy is like me in that she does not want to conform to the ideals that the western pleasure and hunter under saddle industry want to see. I don't want to see a head between the knees. I don't want to see a painstakingly slow lope that is unbalanced, uncadenced, and four beating. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to conform to this. ( And yes I know the rules are calling for a head and neck no lower than level and a nose that is slightly in front of the vertical. I also know they are asking for an extenion of the jog and a lope with forward motion. The problem is that the change is ever so slowly happening and the head bobbers, and four-beating over canted horses are still winning). However, in my opinion, even if this horse did conform to these trends, I don't think he's going to be a winning horse. The reason? After studying some photographs of Big Yellow Caddi being ridden, he is not cadenced in his gaits. He is big and clunky looking with a head that is too low and a nose that pokes out well in front of the vertical. Add the fact that his first year in the pen may very well be this year. A lot of other stallions are already being campaigned and shown. Where does that leave this stallion? In the background. I'm not saying that in the right hands this stallion couldn't shape up and do some great things in the pen; I'm saying it's going to be hard for him to get the recognition. Add another 12 shows to start accumulating points and you have even more money spent.

Now, Cathy has stated numerous times she is not going to breed this stallion unless he proves himself. By proving himself, she means earning an ROM. I personally would like to see some Superiors, maybe a World Champion or Congress title, etc. The reason is that while he may be able to perform well, his conformation lends him to looking like every other buckskin gelding out there competing. For my taste, he just does not catch my eye as a breeding stallion. He's average to me. When I look at him, there isn't a wow factor. There is a "oh, he's nice enough" factor. So let me ask you this. Since it is fairly easy for many horses to get an ROM, as long as you show enough to get the points, how does this stallion earning an ROM make him worthy as a stallion? There are tons of geldings out there with ROMS, Superiors, World champion titles, etc. and they are obviously not breeding. They lack testicles. But how in the hell can anyone think that just because a stallion earned an ROM he's going to be the next best thing since sliced bread?

Standing a stallion to his full potential means campaigning, advertising, showing, and dedication. It takes years to create a sire. Here is a perfect example. A friend of mine owns Impressive Proposal, an APHA Champion with numerous ROMS, Superiors, and points in a variety of events. He started his show career as a two year old. She has advertised him heavily, and showed him heavily. He is now twelve years old, still 100% sound, and siring the same. It has taken years to create this stallion and produce the incredible offspring he has on the ground. They have solid bodies, bone, and minds. They also have versatility. While she gets plenty of customers, they are not beating down the door. This stallion showed the APHA circuit until 2003. It took him time to make a name for himself and he has indeed made a good one. My point is, how is Big Yellow Caddi going to compare if he only shows one or two seasons? We all know it's harder to get points in AQHA than it is in APHA because there are more horses competing.

Again, I'm not saying this horse couldn't be a success; but rather that with Cathy's goals and stipulations in mind, I don't believe he is going to be as big of a success as she hopes.

What are your thoughts?