Thread on Bill Moroney's Hunter Breeding Comments?
Did I miss a thread that is talking about this? Is it in one of the other hunter-related threads? Or on the h-j forum instead of here?
If it's just not out there yet, I'm most intrigued by what he says about breeding and "realism":
Seems to me that what he's saying is that the problem with breeders here is that we overprice our stock. I think his justifications (the economy and European competition) are quite valid and might also apply to stud, handling, shipping and other add-on fees. Like the housing market, which Moroney mentions, somethings gotta give. I wonder how many of us will still be at in when we get to the other side of the country's "economic downturn."
If breeders in this country set realistic prices for the quality of horse they are trying to sell, then we should see an increase in sales in this country...The most important part of this equation is realism....You don’t want to insult the intelligence of a potential buyer by overinflating prices because someone else has higher prices...Anyone can ask a king’s ransom for a horse, but it’s only worth what someone will pay for it.
I also agreed with Moroney when he talked about how the 3-year-olds in IHF competitions were being warmed up/schooled. I recently made the mistake of mentioning that my 3-year-old was doing his changes nicely--which got him drilled over and over again by one trainer whose rider simply didn't have the timing/touch (and outside rein contact, alas) needed to let a naturally balanced baby do his changes comfortably. What bothered me wasn't that his left-to-right change suddenly evaporated (although it did). What really bothered me was exactly what I think bothered Moroney: that a three-year-old was even being ASKED to do so much!
And like him, I'm sure the IHF babies were talented--just like mine. But it's a huge, huge problem for our industry, IMO, when talent encourages babies to be overworked. Moroney emphasized how, at the IHF, many babies seemed underschooled and THEN were overworked as they warmed up to go in the ring (because they hadn't had enough schooling before going to the show).
IMO, USEF/USHJA would do the industry a huge favor by keeping statistics on horses, not just when and where they won, but how old they were and how long their careers lasted (horses and ponies alike). I appreciate what he wrote, but I also think something objective--empirical, if you will--is needed to reinforce the negative implications behind his arguments:
How many of the horses who have done the IHF do we really see going on to be champions at our major competitions over fences 3'6" or higher? I don’t think there are many compared to the number of horses going through this program. That’s a sad statement.