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Monthly Archives: November 2011

10 ways to get featured on Snarky Rider

10.  Post a grammatically incorrect atrocious or information-low ad on craigslist

9.  Use crappy pictures in your ad, including, but not limited to, 4 + year old photos, photo of a photo of your horse, group shots, shots so far away you can’t tell if the horse is grey or just really, really dirty

8.  Breed a poorly conformed mare just so she’s not sitting in a field and call yourself a “breeding farm”

7.  Offer a fugly stallion up for stud even though his balls should have been chopped off the second they descended.

6.  Post pictures of yourself or your toddler doing stupid, irresponsible things with horses and priding yourself on your stupidity – leaving the rest of us to hope that natural selection will do away with you shortly.

5.  Riding like an asshat and posting the pictures/videos on the internet to say, and here I’m paraphrasing, “haha look at us, we’re so stupid we think putting ourselves and our horse in danger is funny and don’t care about the consequences of our actions!”

4.  Spouting tired, sexist rhetoric and blaming women for 99% of the problems in the horse world just because you can’t get laid.

3.  Your “horse” looks like it may belong to a different species – such as  a moose, a dog, a mountain goat, a yak, a chipmunk, a swan, a giraffe, a cow, and last but certainly not least: an alpaca!

2.  Using an old, ailing horse to reenact that scene from Star Wars because you’re either completely frakked in the head or you’re so desperate for fame and attention you think this is acceptable behavior – actually I think “or” is the wrong word to use, “and” seems more suitable.

and the number one way to get yourself featured on this blog?

1.  Starving or abusing your horse – or horse(s) in your care because you’re apparently old and senile and/or “didn’t know”.

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HEART OF GOLD BLACK STALLION – $1

I was browsing through craigslist and saw the above ad title.  I clicked on it thinking it was probably an ad for a Breyer model; picturing something like this:

How I wish it had been!  But no, instead I found the following ad.

Hello and THANK YOU for your time. I have a solid black pony stallion. He is a full size, not a mini. He has a HEART OF GOLD! He is very loveable and even tempered. He DOES NOT have a mean bone in his body. He bathes, clips, loads, ties, and is easy to handle. He has been hand bred, and pasture bred. All without any injuries to the mares he has bred. He has produced many black and white pinto ponies,
bred to a couple of blk/wht pinto mares. He has also produced a Gruella, bred to a Quarterhorse buckskin mare. He currently has an AWESOME black/wht pinto Quarter Pony colt available for sale. (Should mature to 13-14 hands. Mare is 1,000+ &over 15H Paint.)

***All of his babies have been sound, and easy to handle. (And easy to sell)

This guy loves attention. He will steal your heart! It’s breaking mine to part with him. My budget won’t allow me to keep any of my horses. I have been parting with all of them. 4 horse B bar A stock trailer
is going next.

Serious inquiries only! (I want a good home for him with girlfriends! I swore he would never get gelded!) He has been tooooooooooo good for that!

This pony’s main accomplishment seems to be not injuring the mares he breeds.  I have no idea of his conformation, since they didn’t provide a photo (or any information regarding height/age/breed/training), but I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume it’s nothing special – certainly nothing so redeeming that he should be allowed to keep his balls.

If you were to think of this pony as a man, I think his personal ad would go something like this:

Well hey there.  I’m a nice guy seeking a sugar momma as I gots me no employable skillz.  Should you decide to take me for a spin, I done promise you I’ll sit around on the porch all day, leave all the cookin’ and cleaning to ya, I know how you women-folk like that.  I ain’t never beat nor branded a woman – there was that one time up in Alabama but thoz charges was dropped.  Oh and I is reeeeeeal fertile – I gots me 7 lil ones that you’ll just lurrrv to take care of.  All eight of us gots all our own teeth.

Apparently “priceless” and $750 are the same thing!

“DELTA WATCH” Broodmare – Priceless Bloodlines – $750

Proven brood mare with an impeccable pedigree – DAUGHTER of DELTA FLYER. Grand daughter of Watch Joe Jack. Many more big names in her pedigree http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/delta+watch . We have two of her babies on the property, both are tobiano fillies. She has good ground manners, is an easy keeper, and an excellent mom. Sound and healthy. She was saddle broke when she was younger, but she has been a brood mare for years. Please call xxx-xxx-xxxx.Thank you.

Excuse me a minute here:

AAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*deep breath*

Ok, that’s better.

Bloodlines alone do not make the horse.  There are many, many, many other mares with the exact same “big names” in their pedigrees; it’s really not that special!  (Or “priceless”!  Which you obviously know, since you’re selling for $750!)  You still need to include her age and height in the ad.  And I don’t care how excellent of a mom she is, nobody needs more of this mare!

Let’s take a closer look, shall we?  That is one loooooong back, with an incredibly weak loin.  Her shoulder’s quite upright, and her head and neck are approximately the same size.  She’s standing slightly uphill in the first picture, but in the second one it’s clear she herself is downhill.  She’s light of bone, camped under in front, slightly behind at the knee and has overly straight hinds.

She’s not scary ugly; she even has a cute head, but everything about her conformation screams “I’m not particularily comfortable to ride and I probably won’t stay sound in heavy use!”  Which is likely why they’re breeding her instead of riding her.

And this brings us to one of our favorite phrases:  Just because it has a uterus, doesn’t mean it needs a baby!

If you really want a mediocre young horse, there are many available at every auction.  Hell, just spend an hour on craigslist. You’ll find plenty!  Please quit making more, especially if you have no intention of keeping them.  Pretty please?

WDC: Cowabunga, Dude!

This dog is so awesome!

We all screw up sometimes…

We’ve been picking on dressage a bit lately, so today we’re going to give some attention to jumper riders instead.  One thing that is disturbingly common in the jumper ring is people (and horses) trying to do a whole lot more than they’re capable of!

I (Jumper Girl) get it.  I really do.  I get that this is an outtake video and showing the worst of the worst at your barn.  I also get that jumping is fun.  A hell of a lot of fun!  Way more fun then spending hours at a time working without stirrups, doing transitions and serpentines and leg yields and all those other things that make your seat and leg more secure and your horse more responsive.

But can I let you in on a little secret?  Jumping is even more fun if you do the other things first.  I promise!  Correct that swinging lower leg and stop pinching with your knee and all of a sudden you won’t lose your balance so easily!  Get your horse responsive to transitions, especially within a gait, and it will be way easier to rate him and adjust your distance to a fence.  Hell, just train your horse to move straight and forward first and jumping will come a lot easier.

Then maybe people won’t give you such a hard time about your bloopers video.  For one, there won’t be nearly as many of them and, more importantly, they won’t be the result of such blatantly bad riding.  There will still be screw ups; nobody’s perfect, but at least they won’t happen again and again and be so painfully predictable.

 

Comparison Shopping

It always amazes us how out of touch with reality people can be.  We know, we know, we should be used to it by now, but sometimes we still get surprised.

These two APHA mares are for sale in the same town.  They both come with young girl riding bareback in a field sales pics and are being marketed as very safe horses that can take beginners to the show ring.

Mare #1 is 14 years old and 15.1hh.  Her basic description: Registered APHA 14 year old mare show horse 100% safe.

Mare #2 is 12 years old and 14.3hh.  Her basic description: Extremely Safe Performance Horse for Beginners and Intermediate Riders.

Sounds pretty similar, right?  The main difference seems to be that Mare #1 is privately owned and Mare #2 is owned by a trainer and has been taught some tricks.  Oh, and the price.  We can’t forget the price!  The first girl is a fairly reasonable $3,000.  The second horse?  SIXTY-freaking-THOUSAND dollars!  Seriously, what are these people smoking?  (And more importantly, why aren’t they sharing?)

According to her ad, “If necessary, she will follow the aid of the instructor on the ground while a rider is in lesson on her back.”  Oh wow!  How incredibly rare!  A school horse that has figured out that when the instructor says “Prepare to trot!”, she should start trotting soon!  I’ve only seen that in just about every school horse ever.  And really, I don’t care if she can read the instructor’s mind, she still ain’t worth sixty grand.  Especially since they claim she’s a hunter jumper and yet she jumps like this:We know the pic is tiny, but could those knees point any further down?  Not exactly the safest jumper in the world!

Know what else you can get in that town for $60k?  This 2 bedroom, 2 bath 1600 sqf. townhouse.

It even has a decent kitchen with stainless steel appliances.

All for a hundred bucks less than that second little paint!

You’re special. Like, stop eating the paste special?

Since when did competing at first level dressage become an achievement?

Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and take a look at the key movements in First Level Test “D” (the hardest of the first levels).

There’s some leg yielding, some 15 meter circles, some lengthening of the stride (at all three gaits to boot!), a loop, a simple change, some stretching at the trot and jazz hands for the big finish because you’re done! That’s it! That’s all she wrote!  The fat lady has sung!

At this level you can get away with a leading shoulder in the leg yield or a faster gait instead of an actual lengthen and still make up enough points to score in the 60’s.  -not too shabby.  So, to me, this seems like some pretty basic training.  As in, any horse that can walk, trot, and canter off a rider’s commands can compete at this level.  Agreed?  Good.

So then why are studs being advertised as “Trained and shown in first level dressage and winning first place”?  That’s like saying your kid is the smartest in the “special ed” class – what do you want? a medal? Con-fucking-gratulations.  I don’t mean to be insensitive (ok, I do, but only a little bit) but that’s not really something to brag about.  That factoid doesn’t make your horse a more valuable stud than any other riding horse.

“ONE OF A KIND GYPSY STALLION.Trained and shown in first level dressage and winning first place.Maximus is just like riding a gelding and handles like one as well.Maximus is a proven stallion with many fine gets on the ground.Serious inquires,approved home only.Call for Price,photos and more info.”

(The above ad is from Dreamhorse and if you’re familiar with their format then you know this horse’s stats were in a chart.   I didn’t feel like copying it over.  It’s useless for the purpose of this post anyways.)

Then again, you could choose to go this route…

“Tucumcari has excellent dressage movement, is a good jumper, and always works with his hocks well up under him. He loves to work and truly enjoys interaction with people. When his first crop of foals were born they were FANTASTIC!!! His foals are tall and elegant. They are gorgeous movers, and they all have Tucumcari’s incredible upright Friesian neck and Friesian looks in a pinto package. All of Tucci’s foals have been pinto with exception of one foal that is a beautiful black (looks Friesian!). Tucumcari is very easy to handle and ties, loads, is ridable and jumps, and is current on shots/coggins. We are getting out of breeding and looking to sell him to a good home”

…and not mention any competitive accomplishments.  That’s a viable option, I suppose.  Although not a very good one.

Oh and just a tip for the first owner: a Gypsy Vanner competing at first level dressage isn’t exactly a rare commodity.

Dominance should not be the goal.

Random thought:  We wish the powers that be would make one small change to the dressage score sheets.

In regards to the third collective mark; instead of calling it submission, could it not be called co-operation instead?

We know it’s largely semantics, but it would hopefully lead to a shift in mindset.  We’ve just seen so many riders lately (like this one!) who seem to be focusing so much on making the horse “submit”, they completely lose sight of what the word actually means in relation to the discipline.

Submission in dressage is characterized by suppleness, looseness/fluidity of gaits (or “lightness and ease of the movements”, if you prefer), the horse is responsive to rider aids and moves forward into a proper contact (not leaning on the reins, not behind or above the bit).  It should mean a horse that is relaxed and highly responsive; it has nothing to do with how well you can force you horse into highly unnatural positions.  To ask for submission you DO NOT need to crank the horse’s nose in to his chest!  Notice we used the word “ask” for submission – this is accomplished through soft, steady contact with the horse’s mouth, correct leg aids encouraging (not nagging) the horse forward into the contact and an independent seat.  Too often we see riders using obvious shortcuts to force the horse into a parody of what submission should be.

While an open mouth is typically a sign of resistance, cranking the horse’s jaw closed does not fix the problem; it simply masks it.  Similarily, a horse going around with his nose in the air is usually moving heavily on the forehand and is hollow through the back.  Forcing his nose in does nothing to fix the actual quality of movement, but it’s how many riders choose to deal with the issue.  We found an excellent article on how to develop “submission” here.  It emphasizes many times the importance of keeping the horse relaxed through the process, and to reward progress with release.  The end result should be a horse who is happy to respond to every signal his rider gives him.  Not a horse who simply has no other choice.

And that’s lunch…

We left off with Bobby-Joe looking around all stealthy-like.  To which Marge responded by giving his head a love-tap with a two by four.

Marge: You idiot! You’re going to draw attention.  Remember: we ain’t building no bomb shelter, this is just a lil ol’ shed to hold our moonshine.

It may have taken a few hours, but eventually Bobby-Joe and Marge successfully built their moonshine shelter and it looked a little something like this

They never did figure out the Ikea directions.

But now, thankfully, Bobby-Joe and Marge are safe from impending doom that the non-posting on Snarky Rider indicated.

Actually, they’re not safe.  But no one’s going to tell them because we’re all hoping the shack collapses on their dumb asses.  Because – you guessed it – Bobby-Joe and Marge are BACKYARD BREEDERS! and deserve to have hell rain down on them – or at least a shed.

——–

Yup, made all that up because I thought someone else was posting today and apparently our signals got crossed.  We’ll get our shit together for tomorrow.  Have a good one!

Cockroaches and Twinkies

Marge: Holy jeez there was no new post on Snarky Rider this morning!

Bobby-Joe: I reads me somewhere that there’s one of the signs of the apocalypse.  Marge, we need to prepare.

So Bobby-Joe and Marge prepared for the upcoming apocalypse.  They store bottles of water, jugs of moonshine and enough toilet paper to last them a month.  They then proceeded to build a bomb shelter which they bought from Ikea.

Bobby-Joe: Dang it, Marge! I can’t find part “C”!  Hand me that allan wrench, will ya?

Marge: I don’t know what you’re talking at there Bobby-Joe but I sure don’t see no one named Allan here! It’s just you and me.

Bobby-Joe: Let’s make sure to keep it that way, we don’t want no one else stealing our supplies.

Bobby-Joe looked around in a stealthy manner – or at least what he thought was a stealthy manner from his experience in the movie watching biz.

—— Want to read more about Bobby-Joe and Marge? You’ll have to wait for my lunch break…———-

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