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49406Re: [MarvWalkerHorses] Faith Figgerin' Focusing, Finally

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  • Margo Nielsen
    Oct 27, 2013
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      I have had experience with both "in your pocket" Arabians and the more high strung and reactive Arabians. I think part of the dichotomy is that some are being bred for disciplines which maximize those characteristics. Down here in SE Texas there are relatively few Arabians as compared to East and North Texas.
      Half of the Arabians down here are bred for show and/or pleasure and have that working horse attitude and are very safe. My own Arabian mare, Toffah, was a Polish bred Arab, and was one of the mellowest horses I have ever been around.

      The other half are race-bred Arabians (yes there are Arabian race tracks here). They seem to be the high strung horses which are not focused on the people working with them, but more on instinct. It is not just that they are not used to being handled... they are bred that way. I have a few friends who have bought horses like these, and the horse calls the shots because the human never knows when there will be a blow up. The result is that the owner is afraid of the horse. The horse's behavior can be improved with training and consistency, but probably not with that owner.

      One friend's horse is so reactive that no one has been able to trim his hind feet in 10 years (she's had him since he was 2), and that includes very professional farriers who have a variety of methods to get the horse to stand long enough to behave. Fortunately the horse is ridden almost everyday and self-trims his hinds.

      No breed is safe from narrow breeding goals which become problematic and can harm the breed's reputation. It is possible that Marv has not had enough experience with the reliable Arabians to see what Arabians are really about and that that the majority of his experience is with "problem" horses, hence the low opinion of Arabians.

      My daughter rode Toffah in local and 4-H shows annually for 6 years, including an all Arabian show. She was 12 at the time. 70% of the show was children and teens on Arabians. They were all responsive, mellow with varying degrees of training and never a single accident or injury.


      On Sun, Oct 27, 2013 at 12:56 PM, Marv Walker <Marv@...> wrote:

      At 08:09 AM 10/27/2013, you wrote:

      I have been a list member since, oh maybe the vary beginning. I have a "way" with horses. Marv gave voice to what and how I did that. When he was "talked" into the DVDs. I always became herd leader. That being said the old timers might remember I have Arabians, none, without exception were "flighty-wired" my stallion was my lesson horse. I believe that Arabs are just so smart and sensitive. (Like the dogs Basenji's) that mistakes are made. My show mare can and is ridden in a hay bale string, my colt ( her son) is green, but anyone can climb on him and go. Guns, dogs, 4wheelers, whatever we cross, they look to me. Like any breed you can fry them. But I truly don't think that the "crazy"Arabs is what they are. They were bred to live with people. 12 year olds can show stallions. These things (if Tony was still here would back me up on) are the norm, fancy barns and high fluten trainers do more harm then good.
      Kathy in sunny Naples FL

      I tell people, "If you do not have a lot of horse experience there are some horses you need to stay away from horses that are bred for a particular characteristic."

      Do I include Arabs in that group?  Yes.  Along with Apps, Appendix horses, color horses, gaited horses, drafts, etc.  Does that mean they are all clinkers?  No.  On a percentage basis they can be difficult to deal with.  Why?  Because the only thing that matters to the great percentage of breeders and backyard geneticists is the characteristic.  Look in the breed journals and you'll see practically  every stallion ad contains the same blurb, "He shore throws pretty (high-lickin', you fill in the characteristic) babies!"  He can have all four legs going to the same spot on the ground and be meaner than a snake and they'll still breed him.

      Talking about fancy barns and high-fluting trainers, ala Wayne Newton, Kenny Rogers, Eugene LaCroix, et.al, you see them with high stepping, flowing, "sensitive," horses and whammo!  The low information horse folk has to have a horse like that.  Time after time I deal with Arabs that are so sensitive you touch them in one spot and their whole body shudders.  "The Bedouins keep their horses in their tents with them, you know," is what I often hear.  No, not horses like that they don't, unless they want their tents trashed.  Their horses are bred for a social characteristic.

      I first met Tony years ago when he brought his Arab to one of my New York clinics.  She had ripped his foot off, well, not off, he did say it was hanging on by some meat, and she was downright dangerous.  Fortunately, we were able to quickly overcome her problems and she became his bragging horse.

      Yes, some like Kathy, for whatever reason are able to overcome the Arab breed "characteristic" or come across Arabs that act like hers.  But on a percentage basis, not so much.  I am to the point where I can look at a horse  and it's handler coming toward me and I can tell what the problem(s) is going to be.  Clinic hosts want to know if I need case histories of the clinic horses and I tell them, "No."  No brag, just fact.

      And when you have a half and half horse from two dissimilar breeds, your odds of problems increase dramatically.

      Marv "I go with the odds.  If 90% of 100 blue eyed horses brought to me are problem horses and Number 101 comes at me, I always think, trouble free horse.  Nope.  Too bad Las Vegas doesn't do that." Walker

      Margo Nielsen
      View Margo's Architectural work at: www.nielsenhausdesigns.com 
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