Friday, February 26, 2010

The Rotten Scottsdale Arabian Show Edition

If someone here that was new to the horse world were to ask me how I would describe the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, I would have to say that it is totally fake. Full of some of the most shallow people that have ever walked the face of the earth.

Yes I have to admit that I did show the Arabs for several years because I was drawn to the glamour and the glitter. That is natural I suppose, I like shiny things and I always thought that the Arabs were shiny. Our 16 year old daughter calls the attraction to shinny things, ADDOLS, Attention Deficit Disorder "Oh Look, Shiny". And while the horses are really shiny and wreak of show sheen, the people that show them really do lack the same luster as that of their mounts!

I as usual am really disappointed in the amount of over bridled horses as well as all of the jerking and spurring that goes on. About 90% of the horses that are being ridden at the show are behind the vertical, and if that is not bad enough the trainers are all using bats to drive them forward. I hate to be the one to break it to them, but the horses can only go so far forward when their chins are tucked to their chests.

There is one particular trainer that could not get his western horse to pick up the lope and I pointed out to him that his horse was too far behind the vertical and that made the horse too heavy on the forehand. I even videoed it on my iPhone (love that thing) and showed him what his problem was. Needless to say he did not even thank me for the advice. Perhaps he will pay the bill when I send it to him. But I won't hold my breath.

One other thing that struck me as odd, was how many Scottsdale Top Ten Jackets were being worn by the people that were there. It seems as though everyone had a jacket. Am I to assume that is the prerequisite for showing at Scottsdale, that you have a top ten jacket. I can only imagine the participants at the show greeting & introducing themselves to each other. 'Hi my name is Bob and I have a horse that is a Scottsdale top ten, that sure is a lovely jacket you are wearing'.

I wonder, do they have a secret handshake?

But it was soon pointed out to me that you can buy a Top Ten jacket in the vendor tents.

Perhaps it is true, that I am becoming far too cynical as I grow older. I really have seen the changes to the Arabian horse industry that are not good. But the cold hard reality of the horse industry is that the changes have occurred in all breeds. The trainers are younger and have more have access to more and more gimmicks that come on the market.

I was asked by a reader today if I am going to continue this blog. At first I pointed out to her that I am not sure if I am helping anyone or even reaching anyone. She assured me that I am.

This blog was started with the intention of helping people reach their horse training goals and will continue on in that function. All of your input is a big help and appreciated.

So I will continue, though probably not a post a day. Maybe we can start with one topic a week.

But want to ask you all a question..... what changes have you seen in the horse show and horse industries that turn you off?

And what positive changes have you seen?