Lets take this blog to the next level

If you have a photo of crappy show riding, know of a jerkwad trainer or judge, or someone in the show world that is an abusive piece of shit then send the info to me. This blog is not anti-showing, it's anti-abuse. So there is no truth to the claims from the TWH, ASB, western pleasure and dressage zombies that I'm trying to shut showing down. Instead I'm trying to make showing more honest and to get abusive practices out of the showring! Email me at shameinthehorseshowring@gmail.com

I have a request for my readers: If you have successfully rehabbed a show horse, or gotten a rescue and taken it on to a show career then let me know, I'd love to feature you here!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Best/worst things about breed associations

I'm working on some of the longer posts I had planned on making, but they aren't quite ready yet, so on that train of thought I would like people to list the best things they like about ApHC, AQHA, AHA, APHA, USEF or whatever horse organization. List the best and then see if such a thing can be positively implemented for the horse industry.

Then list the five worst things that need to be addressed and let's see if we can come up with solutions.


Ponykins said...

Here's one that you haven't mentioned - The Pinto Horse Association. Coming from the Arabian Horse Association, I was thrilled with the PtHA's lower costs for everything.With AHA, if you win a lifetime achievement award, you have to both pay to nominate your horse for it and when you win, they send you a letter of congrats - and then a bill. With the PtHA, they keep track of that for you for free and when you win an award, it comes to you in the mail - free. What I really like is that the PtHA is more exhibitor friendly with the emphasis on the family. With the AHA, the show world seems to revolve around the few big name trainers.

Carrie Giannandrea said...

Since I am an Appaloosa person, I would have to say I am partial to the ApHC because it IS THE place to register my horses..........period!

The 5 worst things about the ApHC??

1. Showing and Judges.........these go hand in hand.

2. Drugs

3. Registrar who doesn't know shit from shinola when it comes to registering the colored Appaloosas.

4. A mostly crappy organizational system that caters to the show members.

5. Not enough for the middle of the road folks to participate in, riders/breeders/members.

PS....glad you are back, hope your Mom is doing well.

Carrie Giannandrea
Dances with Horses
Formula One Farms

Aly Carm said...

Welcome back! Hope everything is doing good, what a joy to come here and see a new post.

I am a life memember of AQHA but neither breed (anymore) or show.
Having friends that still breed though, my peeve is the lack of correct color registering. Seriously, what a crock. I am very interested in genetics (although not good at it) and it blows me away what they allow you to "color" your horse as.

And on that note, WTF is up with the TB industry?! Friends of mine got into thoroughbreds for the race track, and they tell me there is no such thing as a "black" TB. You seriously can't register them as black. These are little things that do bad stuff to my blood pressure.LOL

Enjay said...

I was never big into showing, I couldn't afford it. However, I did show with the POAC and really liked the club, most everyone was welcoming and I was able to win without a trainer, using good quality used tack. Same thing with the ApHC youth association. As an adult I still wanted to go have fun but the classes were geared toward serious competition and I was told that if I wasn't prepared to make serious investments in show equipment I shouldn't bother coming, even when I was entering classes that are performance based. I didn't see what advantage little jewels glued to my tack would make in spins and stops, so I started showing with a local open club instead.

an American in Copenhagen said...

The paint registry's color options are completely f'ed up.

Genetically speaking there are three distince patterns--frame overo, splash white, tobiono, and sabino.

However, your registration options are overo, tobiano, and tovero (a combo of the two).

This hampers effective tracking of the different genes through the generations and encourages mixing of the two which is bad both for color breeders and for people trying to avoid breeding a lethat while (double frame overo).

To fix the problem they need to change the registration options and require photo verification of the horse to be registered. Also, they'll need to put out a lot of educational literature to help people figure everything out.

Anonymous said...

As a TWH owner, our only USDA-recognized registry for the breed is the TWHBEA. So, here's my best and worst.

1. They still allow soring at all their venues.

2. Their fees for everything are outrageous.

3. They are a business entity, NOT a non-profit organization. Therefore, they ACT like a business agency and do not cater to their largest audience: the layman trail rider and amateur show persons. They know where the money is (big-time show trainers that sore all their horses) and continue to cater to those people with no regard for the welfare of the horse.

4. Getting a horse registered is like jumping through hoops. If the stallion report has been turned in or if the owner of the mare wasn't a member at the time the mare was serviced AND foaled, the foal owner has to pay THEIR f-up fees.

5. They say roan sabino is a color. WTF?????? Either a horse is sabino or a roan with white markings--it's not both! The worst is that they worked with Dr. Spoonberg, who wrote that Eqine Color Genetics book, and they came up with this weird hybrid color that doesn't exist.


Um, can't think of anything. How sad is that?

Oh, here's one: the first horse registry to recognize champagne as a color. Woohoo. But it is my second favorite horse color, next to black and white tobiano. :)

And how can we fix it? We've been trying for the past 20 years--unless the Big Lick industry goes bankrupt, their reign will never end.

Anonymous said...

Oops--I mean if the stallion report HASN'T been turned in. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

And I forgot to say welcome back, and I hope all is going well with your mother.

Hidalgo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hidalgo said...

Oops saw some typos, fixed them. I was saying...

When I have voiced a concern, they have responded quickly and efficiently, incentives for beginners and non-competition oriented people, their magazine does cover topics of interest or concern on breed genetics,program for "non-traditional" sports like endurance/CTR

On the downside, they still do not make testing for HYPP PSSM OLWS or other genetics problems mandatory, HYPP status is not on the horse's record even if the horse has been tested, HYPP horses can still be registered, overweight bulked up straight-pasterned halter horses that can't do anything else are still winning

Hidalgo said...

Also, I'd have to double check the rules, but I think APHA permits tail blocking, which I despise.
It's normal for a horse to move it's tail, big deal! And if it's moving it so much that it's lashing it back and forth, there is a problem! Resistance and/or pain. Fix it instead of masking it.

One other upside I forgot to mention is their fees are quite reasonable

Hidalgo said...

Actually there are roan sabinos. :)

They are two different genes acting on a coat pattern. Sabino provides the white legs, white on the muzzle and belly (and it can be expressed loudly so that the legs are white to the elbows, the entire belly is white and the whole bottom lip, chin etc. or it can be minimal - "different degrees". Roan acts on the colored portions of the coat. There was a roan sabino Kentucky Mountain Horse at our barn.

an American in Copenhagen said...

I meant to say there are FOUR geneticaly destinct paint patterns.

Anonymous said...

hidalgo said: "Actually there are roan sabinos. :)"

Well, yes, there are, I agree. But TWHBEA means that it is an actual separate color type, separate from roan and sabino, not a combination of the two. I'm sure you can agree with me that a horse can be sabino and NOT have any roan in it's coat but still have mixed colored hairs. The sabino gene can cause that mixing effect. I used to own a mare that was a sabino and had white hairs mixed in with her color hairs. There were no true roan horses in her background, only sabinos. I also had a mare who was a tobiano, but she also had sabino in her as her sire used to produce tobianos and sabinos. She produced a minimal tobiano filly that had roaning on a dollar-sized spot on one of her flanks and nowhere else. We figured the only way this could have shown up was she received the sabino gene--if she'd gotten the roan gene then she'd be roan. Genetically, we know that true roan (regular color on head, legs, mane and tail; color mixed with white on body) is always visible on a horse and never hidden.

Overall, most TWH people call sabinos roans. They don't know what the distinction is. So when we have a roan horse, we have to be specific and say it is a TRUE roan. I used to have a true blue roan gelding with no white markings--damn, was he a sight to see! He won in the show ring, too! It was great!

So, that's the point I was trying to make. TWH people are idiots when it comes to color--they still accept "yellow" as a color choice in the registry! How back-woods is that?

CutNJump said...

Tuffy/Trojan hope the family is well and not wacked out like mine.

It's been a while since I posted too.

AHA, AQHA, POAC,- the people, fees, politics & judging

For the most part, the people are nice enough, but the horse world seems to attract and contain more than it's fair share of whacko's of the extreme rating.

Fees are out of hand. Not only do you have to be a member of the registry, but also USAE, as well as the discipline of choice: Dressage- USDF, Cutting- NCHA, and so on. So you have to pay membership for the breed, the sport, USAE, club dues/memberships usually $50 or more per year, per club. Then office fees per show on top of entries, stalls and all the travel expenses.

Politics & judging pretty much hand in hand there. We've all seen it in action...

OldMorgans said...

Welcome back Trojan. Hope your mom is doing better now.
I have not been active w/ AMHA (Morgans) for some time. But for the over 2 decades I was, it was the same problems. Staff who knew nothing about horses, decisions from the Board of Directors that were just dumb, and a definite perception from most members that the organization was slanted towards the small minority of the show people. Good--some very nice & hard working staff; some important changes to the registry forms including much better color standards; rescinding the white rule; and a few things I have forgotten right now. I still love & have my Morgans, but am glad to be out of the intensity of that part of the horse world.


OldMorgans said...

PS--to Cutnjump
Good to see you. Hope that things are not too wacked for your family. I would guess that two new babies takes some getting used to??

ZTIG said...

Well I will stick with AQHA

1. Their (via web site) horse look up

2. Whenever I called, their staff was VERY friendly and knew right what to do.

3. Some of their articles from the Journal were well written

4. I liked the trail riders program they started before I left the association

5. I like the idea of the "Professional Horseman" tag but question the validity of the trainers due to the things I don't like about AQHA


1)training/promoting/showing of 2 & 3 year olds advocated and encouraged

2) Won't take a solid stand on HERDA and HYPP and condemn the breeding of such horses

3) encourages breeding and over population

4) Judges & trainers are suspect and many are corrupt and make it high in the association (just look at what is winning)

5)style of clothing/tack is more important then the horse sometimes - this is where I think Foundation reg has got it right - "bling" shouldn't be acceptable it is a horse show not a fashion/money contest

6) most current halter horses are so conformationaly faulty they should never be in the ring to begin with and still make it to the world

I can come up with more but I will follow your request :) - well over by one I had to add the fashion thing.
I hope your mom is doing well and you and your sister are not wearing yourselves out to much.

The Half-Assed Blog said...

My only experience being a member of something has been the North American Saddle Mule Association.

1. Having a saddle that's not covered in silver doesn't dock you any points- i.e. we don't care how much you paid for it as long as it's proper and the rider is wearing the correct attire.

2. NASMA realizes that mules are mules. There's wording that they can't be docked for swishing tails in (I think) mulemanship and western riding, because frankly they do it a lot regardless of mood.

3. Wording that the western pleasure lope must be "free" and unimpeded. Thank the Lord.

4. The people are great. Everyone knows each other and mule shows really wind up more like family barbeques.

5. We've got lots of cool events, from cattle to driving to feed team racing to pack team races to whatnot.


1. In attempting to distinguish ourselves from the fashion show that is stock horse showing, NASMA hasn't really set standards, or adhered to them, or at least, I haven't seen them in action.
People show up in western pleasure classes with suspenders over Coors t-shirts and sombreros on their heads. They don't clean the shit off their mule. We don't want people calling us yahoos so stop looking like it!


3. Because everyone's friends, I've seen judges pin their buddies. Stop that, right now.

4. Organize more prizes- I know times are hard but c'mon- a $20 entry fee and no jackpotted classes at some of the biggest shows in the country? I realize that $20 is chump change to other associations but that's a lot for us.

5. We have a nice classlist but I'd like to see more reining at shows. It's not that hard to judge and there are no jumps involved. Throw another cool saddle class in, will ya?

Carrie Giannandrea said...

Half assed.......

Kudos to you on your Mule organization!

I would like to see less bling and better riding in the shows. I am all about my horse, not me or my attire. I try to dress according to the class, but I'd rather see folks spend their $$ on riding lessons and better moving horses than $400 shirts and $3000 saddles.

I am partial to English basically because the horse is expected to have forward movement and better communication with the rider. I am learning that reining CAN be a rewarding discipline, but I will in no way rush my horse into it.

Thanks for your frankness........it is refreshing!

Carrie Giannandrea
Dances with Horses
Formula One Farms

cattypex said...

"mulemanship" !!!

I lol'ed.

Hidalgo said...

I got caught up in other things and got behind, but yes, andrea, I agree...the way the TWHBEA characterizes roan and sabino is weird. For sure, there are sabinos that are not roan and just have a few white hairs here and there. Actually my tobiano mare who also carries the overo gene is tobiano but does have a few white hairs on her butt and flanks mixed with the sorrel. But she is not roan.

One thing about APHA is that on the papers they will only indicate tobiano, overo or tovero, when in fact "overo" includes sabino, frame, splash white etc. and they acknowledge this but won't put it on the horse's record. It would be nice if they would get a little more specific.

Geekslair said...

I will ditto the pinto registry. The fees are incredibly affordable and the shows tend to be more like family reunions. Sure, every family has it's crazies but overall people tend to get along and help eachother.

Their website is also decent for finding out show records. I do wish it listed offsping as well as pedigree however.

What I don't like is how stock type centric it can be. Saddle/pleasure types rarely are given a fair chance when shown in the same class as the stock types. The relaxed regulations for breeding stock I think are nuts. It is a COLOR registry.

The other registy I am familiar with is saddlebred. Way way to expensive and a lack of accessable shows (in the pacific northwest). I wish they would accept that not every ASB was a saddleseat horse and provide more opportunities for other disciplines. They do have a great members website though.

CutNJump said...

I too will add a Kudos to Pinto horse for the affordable fees.

I must say though there is a pinto club sponsored show here that is geared towards beginners, which is a good thing, but...

For anyone wishing to go and use it as a practice show or learning experience- it is no more than a lesson in patience. It is more or less, walk/trot hell!

As in 2-3 walk trot classes, per every 3 gaited class. Hooray for them sponsoring a show for those wishing to 'get into showing', but they overdid it a touch on the two gaited classes.

Half Assed- glad to see that the mule people are doing something for the mules. I see a few die-hard mule folks showing locally. As nice as they are, well behaved, well trained, flawless rounds- they often do not get pinned against horses. Judging is not always fair. The judges need to open their eyes and their minds on this one!

Old Morgans- The family (within our house) is doing well. It's the rest of "The Rel's" (mine) I would like to take a stick to the head to. Nothing like a crisis or major event (wedding, funeral, etc.) to bring out the best or worst in people.

Anonymous said...

So the AQHA has an online horse lookup? The TWHBEA does too...but you have to be a member ($60 yearly membership fee) AND pay a $50 fee each year to use it. I hope the AQHA doesn't charge for theirs. It's sad, because TWHBEA is one of the top money-makers in the horse industry, yet they don't pass on that money-making to their users. AQHA definitely has it going on for their members as far as fees!

TBlvr77 said...

I just stumbled across your blog and find it pretty interesting. You have bashed just about every horse in every discipline yet I haven't seen a post that shows what you believe is good conformation for a halter horse, a good frame for a HUS or WP horse, or a correct dressage horse. What do you want to see in horses?
A lot of you're posts also don't make sense...like you said a WP horse can't have its head past the vertical...why not? its much more comfy and natural for a horse. also, the horse in the same pic I'm talking about had its ears tilted backward but you said it was mad because of this. This is untrue. If a horse is mad, its ears are FLAT and PINNED backward. The horse in the picture was simply paying attention to its rider (a clear sign of abuse or unhappiness? I don't think so...)

Anyway, if you want to make yourself credible or helpful to the show world, I really think you need to point out and congradulate horses and trainers who do things right.

TBlvr77 said...

*In the nose and verticle, I am talking about a horse whose nose was outward, away from its body.

ZTIG said...

TBlvrr77 said: "Anyway, if you want to make yourself credible or helpful to the show world, I really think you need to point out and congradulate horses and trainers who do things right."

Why on earth would congratulating someone make a blog about the problems in the show ring, any more or less credible?

I have heard this said before and still I do not understand why this is a basis for your criteria as to whether or not something is credible. Would not the information being factual be a little more important? Or does it hit a little too close to home (as I have seen in the past)?

As far as being on or off the vertical I will let TJM handle that one as she probably knows the exact articles to quote to back up her statements.

cattypex said...

I for one am SO SICK of the nose/vertical thing. The terms "frame" and "headset" should never be part of a trainer's vocabulary!

It's yet another symptom of the backwards "training" that produces peanut rollers and rollkur.

Horses are built for "rear wheel drive." Their energy comes from the HINDQUARTERS. It's called IMPULSION. It drives every horse, whether it's Western Pleasure, Dressage, Showjumping, or Trail. Or running around in the pasture.

You can use the reins to CHANNEL and DIRECT that energy, and often when a horse is on the bit, it just so happens that its face is verticalish (though not always).

My point here (and I do have one) is that the vertical nose is a side effect, NOT the goal.

Judges in ANY discipline or breed would do the world a favor if they were required to study basic equine mechanics and get tested before they're awarded a card.

I'm so sick of seeing strung-out horses with their heads and necks parked in a weird position. It just ain't right.

To be a little on-topic here, at least the AQHA is doing a little bit more education for their judges when it comes to this, but it's still not enough. It will take a monumental paradigm shift, and some ballsy judges willing to pin natural-moving animals that look like fun to ride.

cattypex said...

PS Why the hell are Quarter Horses supposed to have big powerful hindquarters, if they're not allowed to use them!?!?!

ZTIG said...

"Why the hell are Quarter Horses supposed to have big powerful hindquarters, if they're not allowed to use them!?"


TBlvr77 said...

Alright. If the author of the blog wants his WP horses to have their noses perfectly perpendicular to the ground then whatever. A horse can be collected and engaged if his nose is sticking out a bit, and I believe this gives the horse a more relaxed, pleasent appearence. And, the AQHA is trying to fix the "peanut roller" WP horses. Check out this youtube vid: http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=WVZfC-uGMOo (If the link doesn't work, just go to youtube and search AQHA Western pleasure, and it is a video from the Aqha) The association is now promoting more forward, entergetic performance horses. Hmmm...and you say they don't care about their horses?

If it makes you happy, then keep on complaining about the horse industry. However, you sound narrow-minded and jealous. If you actually pointed something good out, you may actually gain some credibility. Just my opinion, take it or leave it. I'm assuming you're going to leave it, so have fun bashing everything! ;)

cattypex said...

TBlvr I see what you're getting at, but actually TJM HAS posted some decent examples of correctness here and there.

Lots of the commentors have had their say too. I blather on and on about what I DO believe is correct and good as well as what I DON'T like, and so do other folks here.

Ya just gotta wade through it all.

Also, I've learned a lot in my life by having "WRONG" pointed out to me as well as "RIGHT."

I'm glad that AQHA is beginning to address the WP stuff. I didn't make it to Congress this year due to a death in the family, but I'm still willing to bet that the peanut rollers are still placing high. I hope that does change, and soon.

The other crap about AQHA: HYPP ... 'nuff said.

A bunch of stuff has already been said by folks who are actually active within their organizations right now, so I guess I should just... SHUT UP ALREADY, ha ha.

Trojan Mouse said...


It's obvious you don't read for comprehension. I have pointed out good facets of the industry. Wp is the one most complained about, here and in Europe. The Europe Horse Industry does not even nderstand why we have such sorry moving horses being shown.

The mare in the photo is pissed, look at her lips, they are wrinkled with aggravation. Her ears are back, not listening, they are showing she's uncomfortable. A comfortable horse listens to the rider with one ear and pays attention to what is ahead with the other. You and the rest of your horse forum buddies are nothing but whiners trying to continue with your crappy methods and poor riding.

ZTIG said...

Again I repeat...

Why on earth would congratulating someone make a blog about the problems in the show ring, any more or less credible?

I have heard this said before and still I do not understand why this is a basis for your criteria as to whether or not something is credible. Would not the information being factual be a little more important? Or does it hit a little too close to home (as I have seen in the past)?