One of the biggest problems I see in the horse show world today is the dishonestly of people trying to promote their horses.
I see stallions advertised as 16 hands that you can tell are barely pushing 14.2.
I see 3 year olds advertised as "finished". Which could be true, as in: "we rode this baby too young and now he's finished as a show horse."
How about this one: "mare is a babysitter, guaranteed walk/trot winner" Read: " we showed this one too young too and now she can't go faster than a trot, so she damn sure can't run off with your kid."
And here's my favorite: "Unshown due to injury." Yeah, he was injured by a feed bucket that had too much high protein feed in it and now he can't show because his epiphysitis crippled him.
And lest we forget: The "color" factor. How many horses have you seen advertised as some "rare, special, unique" color that in reality is just a sunburned version of bay or dun?
My sister has rather a snippy wit and a few years back she composed this list of advertising “warnings” and after massive begging, as well as an entire bag of cherry cordial Hershey Kisses, she has allowed me to reprint it here. See if you recognize any of these “warnings” from ads you have read in the past.
16 hands ( in any non-draft or warmblood breed) = 14 hands, with shoes, standing on a 2X8.
18 hands ( in the draft and warmbloods)= 16 hands
Guaranteed to win= runs over all the other horses in the class and is the only one left standing.
Judges love this horse= It makes it easier to place a class with such an obviously low scoring animal.
The real thing= Except for the fake tail, mane add-ons, dyed legs, water hydrated muscles and cosmetically trimmed ears.
Champion sire/dam= they were the only horse in the class.
Bridle wise= You won’t catch this horse, EVER.
Great mover= Away from you, as you try to catch it. See above.
Homo-zygous sire= likes other stallions.
Homozygous sire= we will breed ANYTHING in order to collect a stud fee.
HYPP negative= We’ve heard all the negative press so we’re going to deny our horse has HYPP.
HYPP positive= We’re positive you should buy our HYPP horses so we can continue to breed this defect.
Halter winner= Not trained to be ridden
Versatile= Flunked out of halter, so had to be trained to be ridden.
Judges love this color= The horse’s markings make it easy to remember as the horse to dump in the class
Trained by a pro= Get a blood test for drugs
Ridden by a child= Time-outs just weren’t punishment enough, so we put the kid on this horse
Not ring sour= YET!
Goes English or western= sucks at both
Of course the list is tongue in cheek, but I think we all get the point. Within the last few years I have seen one of the most blatant forms of false advertising in the Appaloosa Journal breed magazine. There was a farm advertising horses that been obviously photo shopped, to the point that the blanket hipped mare had two dorsal stripes. The muscles had been pumped, the necks and heads reduced. It was just awful. The horses looked outright deformed. Why would someone use such hideous ads for months? And why would any self respecting breed magazine let them?
My next favorite fraudulent ad was in the Equine Chronicle. It had everything: fake back ground, cropping, reducing, photo shopping and ridiculous claims. There is no “real thing” with that much crap in the ad.
So tell us about an obvious fraud you encountered, and how it made you feel about the people committing the fraud.