Mix n Match

Today, I’d like to tell you a story.

Once upon a time, there was an asshole who thought he was smarter than genetics.  He bred two horses with cute ears and out popped his little miracle baby.  The baby that was going to save his farm and put food in his 10 illegitimate children’s bellies.  Unfortunately, true to its nature, genetics produced this regrettably  fugly creature.  The asshole backyard breeder realized this horse wasn’t going to be a goldmine after the first prospective buyer came by and promptly turned around, making a hasty retreat, laughing so hard he almost drove off the road.  Fancying himself a cunning businessman, he dumped the now yearling off at auction and skipped merrily away with his shiny new $5 bill in hand.

I desperately want to find this little guy and hug him and never let go.  He is just about the epitome of fugly and gawd awful breeding, but… he’s so gosh darned ugly, he’s cute!

This little guy is obviously going through an awkward phase, and it doesn’t help that he’s standing on a hill.  He’s not unlike the skinny, pimply, snot-nosed boy we all had in our class at one time or another.  However, unlike that kid, this ugly duckling has no hope of ever turning into a handsome swan.  He looks like at least three different breeds all mashed together!

The head: Draft.  That one’s pretty obvious.  The roman nose is a dead giveaway.

The skinny neck reminds me of the Thoroughbred babies I used to work with.  We know that neck isn’t from a QH because they’d have already been fitting him! (Similarly, we know the hind legs aren’t QH because they’re not posty nor screaming “we’ll be useless past age 3!”) -although those are some upright pasterns!

You may find this shocking, but I kind of like his bum (not the first time I’ve said that today, although that is the first time to a non-human).  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not great, it just seems to be the best least horribly put together part of him.  Which is almost horrifying as the point of hip, point of buttocks and stifle don’t form that equilateral triangle that the proverbial “they” tell us non-experts to look for.  Furthermore, the stifle looks like it’s sitting pretty high, which could affect the range of motion of his hing legs.  Keeping in mind, of course, that this is a young, still-growing boy.  Some calcium, vitamins and protein shakes and he might just grow up to be a strapping young lad!

I can hope, right?

Here’s a link to a decent overview on conformation.  It’s pretty rudimentary, but it’s always good to review the basics once in a while!

Perhaps the most concerning issue we can see in this picture, is the line on his gut – indicating heaves (aka COPD = chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

So, asshat breeders, as per usual, we’d like to thank you for continuing to cause horses undue pain and suffering, for helping to populate the clearly struggling auction houses, and for putting food on the plates of rich Belgians.  Because without you, it would be nearly impossible to sustain these practices.


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Posted on March 22, 2012, in Conformation, Snarky Rider Awards and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 46 Comments.

  1. Oh my God. I agree, I just wanna hug that poor ugly thing! Maybe he’d make a good lesson horse…? No..? Poor thing. I just pray someone with a good heart finds him and gives him SOMETHING to do that his horrid conformation won’t make too uncomfortable.

  2. Poor guy; he does look like the work of Dr. Frankenstein. 😦

  3. That’s not a heave line, just muscle definition, which matches the degree of definition in his butt and shoulder. Quarter horse hind legs run the gamut.

  4. Aww, he’s just so damn cute XD Ugly, but, adorable.

    If that scrawny neck got muscled up a bit, he might not look half bad though. And in my experience, unless it’s causing actual health problems, conformation doesn’t mean squat when it comes to lesson or trail horses, or hell, even low level competition horses.

    My coach seems to have a talent for making the fuglies into awesome (and descent looking) school horses. We’ve got an unknown mish-mash with the longest neck I have ever seen on a pony; A horse-turned-pony due to malnutrition; and a thoroughbred “pony” who was the smaller of twins and basically looked like somebody took a thoroughbred head, neck, and body, and stuck it on pony legs. They all eventually turned into pretty good looking horses, all of them are reliable and barely bat an eye at barking dogs, screaming kids, and loud, brightly coloured toys. They’re all descent jumpers with good foundations in dressage (And the mish-mash regularly places in the ribbons at eventing competitions, and somehow looks damn fine in a frame despite looking like a giraffe the rest of the time)

  5. I’d love to see a blog on this guy, if he doesn’t head to slaughter asap. Poor thing. The kind of horse that inspired Fugly, for sure.

  6. Can you write a post that doesn’t bash quarter horses? They’re not all bad. Many quarter horses last many years competing well into their 20’s in many events. Don’t let your view of halter horses ruin the breed for you.

    As for the colt, does any one else think he might be part saddlebred? Hopefully he didn’t end up as dog food.

    • Thank you Sadie! as an owner of a well conformed, sound non-halter quarter horse I appreciate someone sticking up for the breed once in a while.

    • lol sorry – I guess the tone didn’t come across as intended. Those comments were meant to poke at the halter people – the bad breeders/trainers who contribute to the ruination of the breed/individual horses. Shoulda added a winky face or something! QH’s are gorgeous and the ones I’ve had experience with outlast the Warmbloods that are oh so popular in the english disciplines these days – that is, when they’re not bred for the horrible standards of the halter ring (the straight, posty hind legs, teeny tiny feet – I also disagree with fitting a yearling, but that’s probably a separate topic).

      • Thanks for the explanation – I get a little sensitive because although I love your blog, Fugly (Which I read from the beginning and had to quit reading) and its commenters have quite a reputation of hating on QH show people. Glad to know you guys aren’t as biased against the western disciplines. 🙂

        • No problem 🙂 I harbor no specific breed hatred here. My general thinking is that each breed has its strengths and weaknesses. I do, however, have huge problems with people who breed for poor conformation just because it’s popular in the show ring (for gawd knows WHAT reason) – the poor little halter babies practically have no futures due to their horrible conformation. I can’t remember what the stats are but the TB’s and QH’s supply the greatest numbers to the slaughterhouses 😦

      • Thank you for adding is reply. I love your blog, but I got all huffy this morning about your QH comment. I love my QH, but I agree that halter horses are a whole ‘nother issue. It’s also like there are at least 3 different breeds within QHs.

        • Yaaa, in my head it was totally clear that I was talking about halter horses – I just forgot to write that. It happens sometimes. I write anywhere from 5-12 blog posts per week so sometimes my editing not so good lol I love writing for the Fugly blog, but I’ll be happy when I can focus on Snarky Rider again 🙂

        • ps. thanks for the love! 😀

    • Thank you for defending the quarter horse..

  7. Thanks Sadie and Sarah! Really only serves to evidence how little the Snarky girls know about either QHs or Western Riding.

    • Aww come on now, I didn’t even mention anything about western riding for you to poke fun at! At least wait until I *prove* my ignorance! 😉

      • You’re right, not in this post……but I do seem to recall very recently comments about all of our “chair seats”.

        • I’m not sure which post you’re talking about… I don’t remember saying anything about chair seats. Do you recall the title of the post you’re referring to?

          • I couldn’t find it…….maybe I saw it elsewhere or it was a lot longer ago than I thought. Hell, maybe I need to switch to a higher grade of crack. LOL

            It was some Belgium cross being advertised as a dressage prospect. Poor thing was wickedly cranked behind the vertical with a shanked bit, in a poorly fitted barrel saddle. Rider looked in desperate need of a wonderbra and wearing hog boots.

        • I remember that too! I was a little irked by that comment as well – no chair seats at my barn! (dont remember the post but I will look)

  8. Aww..I think he’s cute and I’d take him, if I didn’t already have a barn full. I really don’t see anything that would turn me off about him. The head looks more Standardbed to me rather than draft. Some of them have some pretty Roman-ie looking heads on them. Personally, I am a sucker for a Roman nose, they always seem so wise. Just goes to show, not everyone’s tastes are the same. I’d rather ride him than one of those peanut rolling, tropping, zombie-acting show horses any day.

  9. There’s no Saddlebred in that boy. Nor does he have heaves.
    Roman nose does not immediately equal “draft” influence. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were full QH.

    Back before they started heavily crossing TB’s and whatnot into the QH (and before “baby-doll” Ay-rab style head that became the trend) the majority of the horses had either a straight profile or a roman nose.

    He looks like a throwback to the original cayuse cowhorses.

  10. P.S. I wasn’t bashing the “good” show horses, only the ones ruined by the hand of man. To those who train, ride, and show their horses correctly, I tip my hat to you. I’ve shown for over 40 years, and some of the bad things I see done in the show ring ( and the warm-up pen ) just to win a ribbon really frosts me.

  11. He may have a lot of breeds in him because he’s a MUSTANG! Wow! None of you knew what that number tag around his throat is? It’s a BLM # tag. Also he has a freeze brand on his neck. Goes to prove how much people know about American horses. By the way. He does have QH in his rear. And honestly I bet he’s a helluva mover because he has to be to survive out in the wild. Geesh.

    • It does make me a little happier to hear this creation wasn’t intentional. Poor little guy.

    • I think you could be right, but I have seen tags like this at sales all over the place. Not to mention, that little white spot under his mane could be anything.

      • No that is a BLM brand under his mane. You can see the first symbol. And he’s not a purebred of anything other than mustang. I know what I’m looking at since I own 3.

  12. Paso: the difference between the poor fugly seen above and the pics you posted is that the curve starts at the poll for the fugster and his face at about his cheekbones sticks out further than either his poll or the end of the bone in his muzzle. There’s a distinct arc (as I see it) along the entirety of his skull. The ol’ foundation type QHs/cowboy ponies you linked (except for maybe the Joe Moore one), their faces are all flat as a board in the gap between the eyes and the nose bone. I suspect if you put a book down between the eyes and nose bone of the fugster above, you’d see air either top or bottom or both.

    Or maybe that blaze is just throwing off my perception of his face….

    • Not really that much difference, tbh. Perhaps a variance in how extreme, however a roman nose is a roman nose. 🙂
      It can be said that this guy has a “roman head” versus the actual definition of “roman nose” which would have a flat forehead with the arch starting further down.

      I don’t really think it matters all that much.
      You don’t ride the head and it really doesn’t make any difference in how a horse performs.

      A roman nose isn’t an indication of “coarseness” or poor breeding as many people seem to believe.
      Many a roman nose/roman head can be found on prized well-bred, non-draft horses from breeds such as: Lipizzaners, Campolinas, Criollos, Lusitanos, Kladrubbers, Paso Finos, Peruvian Pasos, several QH lines, old style Appaloosas, TWH’s, RMH’s, MFT’s, STB’s … etc.

      I prefer a distinguished looking horse. 🙂

      Btw, go look at photos the old, high-end, prized, foundation Arabian horse stock. 🙂
      It’ll be a surprise.

      The fetishism of the equine head is a recent thing.

      • My Arab had the traditional (read ‘old’) typey head… before they started breeding for the curve/tiny nose/bugg eyed look. His profile was rather straight over all with very wide nostrils and pronounced wide eyes. It was -that- which made the end look more curved… not an actual dish in the face.

  13. I also don’t think this colt is that bad, I quite like his butt. My quarter horse gelding also has that muscle definition that looks like a heave line and he hasn’t coughed a day in his life.

    • I find that very intersting – how did your colt get muscle definition like that? What kind of exercises were you guys doing?

      • Lifting their back as someone else said. But I think some horses just have good muscle tone there, kind of like some people have nice abs without trying. My paint has it, my quarter horse gelding has to work and he has it, ain’t seen nothing like that on my former broodmares. Which would go along with my abs metaphor. Haha.

        • I’ve always found that exercises that lift their backs will get you a gorgeous topline (and buttocks as those muscle groups typically work together) but I’ve never had a line like that on either of my horses. Maybe it’s a breed thing?

  14. I dunno about the draft head, it’s looks awfully small. The roman nose could be the result of cross (gone wrong) with and Iberian horse, or even Friesian type. whatever it was, poor fugly little thing, makes me want to go save him (and GELD him!).

    Now what I really don’t get is this: this critter is already seriously butt high, so why the hell did they put him on a hill, with the front feet facing down??

  15. So do you have any idea who got him? He is adorably useless.
    But I don’t think he is necessarily part draft. I know a JC registered TB with a roman nose and I’ve seen it in QHs.

  16. My QH cutting mare also has that abdominal muscle line, at least she does when she is in shape and not in “broodmare mode”. Its actually one of the things I use to gauge how her conditioning is coming along. I condition her with lots of trot sets up hills while encouraging her to stretch low into the bit and lift her back. We also trot and lope over raised ground poles. Great exercises for building butts and abs!

  17. I’ve seen a dozen breeds with Roman noses: Saddlebreds, Standardbreds, Thoroughbreds, Andalusians, Lusitano (some of the most extreme), Hackneys, Dutch Harness Horses, Lipizzaners (also extreme), Quarter Horses, Mustangs, etc.

    Foundation QH mare:

    Lusitano cremello mare:

    Long yearling Irish TB:

  18. This looks like a photoshop job. That is like 2 different horses, and not very good ones at that. Doesn’t it look like this poor creature had some serious mal-nutrition issues while in-utro? And during the very 1st part of life? Then at about 6-8 months someone started packing it to him. Look at how much the long bones in the hind end have grow vs the front long bones. Also make note of how Tight those back tendons are, can you see how it’s starting to pull him up onto his tip toes?

    This may be a feral horse with a bit of draft in him. Pity for him. He had exactly the wrong start.

  19. I know nothing about conformation, so I’m not going to comment on that, but I can say you don’t have to be a “rich Belgian” to eat horse meat in Europe. In Italy you see it in normal supermarkets, next to the normal trays of meat, and it’s not dear at all (cheaper than lamb). They eat horse here in Germany (where I’m currently living) too, and there’s a lovely mare at my barn that’s about to be sold for human consumption because she’s got some serious behavioural problems and her owner won’t take the time to work them out – very sad.

  20. Hehe, even my non-horsey boyfriend was like ‘huh… if I block out this *puts hand over whole front half of the horse* it looks like one horse… and the rest another.” XD

    Poor little ‘stang got the fugly end of the stick in natural selection. But hey, he’s probably a really sweet soul who’d be incredibly durable and honest with training. Many little fugly beasts end up being (contrary to the laws of physics that dictate conformation) really sound and tenacious buggers!

  21. Well, to me the jury is still out – he’s a yearling, so that’s prime time for his “ugly” phase. Like when yearlings get warts. Poor babies. Really, if a horse looks GOOD as a yearling, I’ve found that they don’t grow so great after. Butt-high at this age usually predicts a nice growth spurt wherein he’ll catch up in the front end.

    That being said, I think he kind of looks like some kind of… um… weird warmblood experiment. He appears to have some good solid bone, a nice change from most AQHA breeding today. I actually love long heads with Roman noses – they look so noble and classic.

    I copied him into Photoshop & rotated the photo so that the gate bars were level, and he improved muchly. I think any “neck” issues are due to his awkward age, and he’ll mature/train out of most of it.

    I dunno. I believe that yearlings should be judged by totally different standards than weanlings or 2-year-olds: you have to be good enough to gauge what point in their growth pattern they’re at.

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