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It seems like most people have been using our Face Book page instead of the message board to communicate with us. So we will be discontinuing this board in a few days.
Please go the Horse of the America face book page and keep in touch with us there.
I think that you have to join the group but its pretty simple, if I can do it, I'm sure that all of you can.
Sorry to see that this message board is soon to become history. Economics dictates a lot of change, but beyond saving whatever money is required for this venue, I cannot imagine that a facebook page will take its place. Long periods of silence hereon do not, in my opinion, justify the shutdown which Tom proposes.
Quickly, though, I will cut to the chase (because this little billboard will be taken down within a few days, Tom says). I read Vol. 12, number 1 newsletter a while back. I find it interesting that although the subject crops up in a couple of the opinion pieces, there appears to be no significant agreement among newsletter participants that having very well broke horses is an uber important preliminary step to promoting the animals in question.
That term "uber important" means way far huge great big massively important. For my money it is THEE most important consideration. Ancient history and personal devotion and public education and breed uniqueness and all the other approaches outlined in newsletter Vol. 12, number 1, hinge literally on whether or not there is a supply of well broke horses (to meet the demand you are trying to create). It seems to me that without that supply of very well broke individuals, the rest of whatever one proposes is quite insignificant, is meaningless, has no chance, and is wasted effort.
Please take note of the outstanding young rider programs in both Virginia and Texas (and perhaps elsewhere) which literally show (via photographic evidence at both websites) many HOA horses being ridden in group settings. By youngsters, no less. If this were a courtroom, the attitudes that give rise to such strings of well broke horses (Virginia and Texas) would be "Exhibit A" in evidence of how to promote "our" horses to a new horse-owning public. You gotta have broke horses in order to promote the breed. Without broke horses, we may as well try to convince a "new" market to become enthused about the joys of hairless rat ownership. If you're not going to ride them, why feed animals as big as horses? They eat way more than hairless rats, and they require a good deal more grooming, too.
I believe that more than a few breeders of HOA horses do not feed many well broke animals. I'm talking here about stallions and broodmares, and however shoddy this opinion is, I can back it up with more than anecdotal evidence. I don't know if people who decide to become breeders actually do the arithmetic on how many years it takes from mating of stallion and mare to actually sitting astride the resultant offspring, now a well trained riding horse. It's a whale of an investment in both time and money. It appears to me that somehow along the way, an interest in HOA horses validates a decision to become one who supervises procreation of these neat little horses, and too often breaking or training takes a back seat to the business of making more horses. Of course it is expensive to train or pay for training. So is horse feed and veterinary care. Try doing without either feed or veterinary care in a horse breeding program. I believe a ready market - even a sometimes miserably cheap skinflint market - has always existed for well broke horses. I suspect it always will.
It sure looks like to me the breeders in "Exhibit A" should be emulated by the rest of us. Those "Exhibit A" folks ride their horses. They use their horses for something other than procreation. If I'm not mistaken, they ride their stallions and they ride their broodmares too. I think we should all try to have the ratio of unbroke to broke horses (which we own) be a very small percentage. And I don't for a second think that Steve and Vicki are automatically having an easy time selling horses for very high prices. If they were, they wouldn't be experimenting with ways to appeal to new buyers. That said, Steve and Vicki at least own broke horses to show to prospective horse buyers. One cannot argue with a "come on and try it" invitation to actually ride a horse. And one cannot make such an invitation if the horses being marketed are not well broke.
In Tom's grumpy finale to newsletter Vol 12, No. 1, he refers to Bob, Ferdy, Gilbert, Ilo, Emmet, Susan Banner, and a few other unnamed persons from the past. The HOA breeders of today would do well to look up biographies of those folks. Pay particular attention to the photographs in which the people in question are shown riding their horses. Their stallions did time under saddle, as did their mares. Times back then were just as tough, economies since then have often been crappy, and whether it was called a Spanish Mustang, a Southwest Spanish Mustang, a Spanish Barb, an American Indian Horse, a Sulphur Horse, or a Colonial Spanish Horse, it was always the new kid on the block. Whatever the founders selected for a name, their horses had to compete with bigger, more established and better funded breed organzations. Every one of those folks Ol' Grumpy refers to rode their horses.
Wow! I had a hard time finding the message board. I just came from Facebook via a link from there thinking I would post something here about the video I just watched since it's been several years since I've been here.
How times change along with the tech. I'm sorry to see the message board is about to be no more. I "requested" to join the facebook HOA group.
I just watched a video about the Cerbat herd in Arizona that was posted on Facebook. Awesome. I just came in from turning Rebel out to graze. Hard to believe he turns ten years old in a few days. You can see the Cerbat influence Midnight Special had in his confirmation. That video is great and am so glad to see someone produced it.