By now most of us know that a word that ends in "ism" is generally something bad. Racism, sexism, ageism... But there is an ism that affects a LOT of horse people, breedism.
No matter what discipline a horseperson is involved in there seems to be breedism. From the backyard horse owner to the hunter princess. From the roper/cutter/can chaser to the Olympic jumpers. From dressage to combined driving.
Now I understand that certain breeds are better suited to some disciplines than others. What I don't understand is why (in some people's opinions) that makes any other breed useless. Or even certain breeds useless. For example, I personally ride Western. I trail ride and barrel race. For my needs a stock type horse is best. That doesn't mean that I think anything not bred to handle my needs is a crap horse. I appreciate a good horse of any breed doing its job and doing it well. And in my opinion there are good and bad horses in every breed. (just like I know good and bad people from a variety of economic/racial/religious/cultural backgrounds)
There are some breeds that seem to be commonly disliked by those that aren't aficionados. Arabs are the first that come to mind. Saddlebreds too. Thoroughbreds are often mentioned in the negative if not out-right disliked. Colour breeds like Appies & Paints and gaited breeds seem to be a love or hate.
Arabs, yup... they get a lot of haters. Which is kinda amusing when you consider they are one of the oldest breeds and have had an influence on a LOT of other breeds. Quick, how many can you list of the top of your head? Percheron, Thoroughbred, Welsh, Friesian, Morgan, Quarter Horse, Appaloosa, Paint, Saddlebred, Trakehner. That's it for my "top of the head" list. I'm sure I could find more.
I will admit that I wouldn't want an Appy with a little stick tail. I know, pretty is as pretty does, but I feel SO sorry for them during fly season. So when/if I were to shop for an Appaloosa I would stay away from the bloodlines that tend toward the "stick tail" trait. Other than that I like Appaloosas.
I would have to say that I can't think of a breed that I hate, or even strongly dislike. Yeah "my" little Appy will never be a Grand Prix dressage horse. But I have a feeling those GP dressage horses aren't exactly going to burn around the barrel pattern. My (beautiful) thoroughbred mare isn't going to be out there winning a horse pull. But those Shires, Belgians, et al aren't setting any speed records. It all comes down to a good horse is a good horse.
My favourite personal story of breedism:
The horse I happened to have when the following happened is my dear Cessa. I didn't have a lot of money and was lucky to have one horse, any horse, and not about to be picky. I was working in a small town store (my home town) when a girl (let's call her Cindy) came in and we started talking about horses. She was local, although I didn't know her that well. I'm not 100% sure what started the conversation. I kind of think that perhaps Kimfer had just been in the store and Cindy overheard us planning a ride.
So Cindy and I are talking horses. We talk riding, where we like to go etc etc. Gets around to more specifics and she's telling me about her wonderful quarter horse. Then she asks me what kind of horse I have. Oh the snitty look on her face when she hears the word Thoroughbred come out of my mouth! She tries to make reason with it... asks me if I ride English as well as Western.
Nope, just Western I tell her.
Then, in a really bitchy voice, says "Why don't you get a REAL western horse? Like a Paint or a Quarter Horse."
Now I was a very shy, timid girl at the time. And I was at work, and it had always been drilled in to me 'be nice to customers'. But I couldn't help it. I spit back as 'friendly' as I could "Go home and do a little research on your papered Quarter Horse. Then come back and tell me how much thoroughbred he has in him."
I will give Cindy this much credit. A week or two later she came in and sort of apologized. She also said that she didn't realize how much thoroughbred blood was in a modern Quarter Horse.
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