Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Island Horses, Spot the Mustang Answers, Horses of the North "Breed" Registry & More

Hey folks, hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend! I mentioned this last year, but it's worth mentioning again: Traunstein, Germany has an Easter tradition of parading horses up and down its streets decked out in flowers, braids and native costume. Go Google some pictures, they're worth it!

Speaking of Easter (but not the holiday), I just ran across this neat mini-documentary about a mysterious Mad Horse disease that was plaguing Easter Island. An American vet on vacation found out about it, pitched in and spent his "leisure" time dissecting horses to find the cause. What a hero! I hadn't even known there were horses on Easter Island. Apparently there are twice as many horses as there are people actually... to the point where all the local vegetation is disappearing. You can read more about them here, and read and watch a video about a horse race on Easter Island here.

Spot the Mustang Quiz Answers 

The correct answers were B, E and H!
B and E are "Spanish mustangs." H is a BLM mustang.

"Consistency in type is important and the Spanish mustang should be immediately discernible upon sight by anyone familiar with the breed." -Spanish Mustang Registry

Three quite different horses, aren't they? B is a more leggy fellow, who looks fairly quarterhorse-ish. He's weak/awkward in his hind-end coupling and post-legged, but I think he's not absolutely awful. He's got an okay shoulder and pretty good hip, he's proportional and his topline is okay. E is a mess and looks more like a grade paint. 'Nuff said. H is a plain old BLM mustang, but looks incredibly sturdy- she probably has draft blood in her. Other than being slightly downhill (and she's only two) I think this gal looks awesome. All the correct angles, few faults. If you're not into heavier-boned horses she may not be your cup of tea, but I guarantee she will stay sound for years. She'll be up for adoption on the BLM website in April!

If you're wondering what breed each of the horses in the quiz was, here you go! You can click on each link in the list below to be taken to the sources of the picture.

A Welsh pony/grade mare
B Kiger "Spanish" mustang
C Registered Morgan mare
D Hackney Pony gelding
E Registered "Spanish mustang"
F Registered Estonian stallion

G Registered Polish Arabian mare
H BLM mustang filly (soon to be up for adoption on the BLM website)

Fun fact: I owned horse G for a very short while, years ago. Lika Tiger Lily was the most petite, sweet little thing I had ever seen. She was sold at a tiny backyard auction because her former owner owed so much on boarding fees, and the barn owner just wanted to get rid of her. I was there, the auctioneer was begging for a bid, and my hand rose up of its own accord, I swear. I took her home in a daze and admired her beauty, but quickly realized I had no earthly use for her, registered or not, and sold her on. Dear little Lika, I hope you are having a nice life.

Hey, you know what, if people are founding a breed registry based on the idea that some horses may have lots of "Spanish" blood, or are a bit Freisian, or have a small percentage of "warmblood" in them, why can't the rest of us have our own breed registry too? How about Horses of the North? It could be a registry open to any horse in the Northern Hemisphere with European blood. Breed requirements would include having four legs, and a long flowing mane to prove how mystical and virile the horse is. Okay, DONE! If you want your horse to be registered, just head on over to this page.

 Moving on, it's time for another brief Wisconsin Craigslist free/cheap horse roundup.
  • Free Lamas & Cheap Miniature Donkeys (Twin Lakes Wi) Call only 262-945-0202 

  • Free 13 year old dun Mustang gelding. Ad here. Milwaukee.

  • 10 month old registered Arabian filly. $150. Pics here.

  • Thin Arabian colt in Watertown with embedded halter. Pic to the right.  Ad here. $100

  •  Free 10 year old QH gelding in Fountain City free to good home. Light riding/companion only. Ad here.

  •  Free scrawny, underfed yearling horse and mini pony, near Seymour/Greenbay. Ad here

  • Free young big palomino pasture pet. Sounds like he could be make sound with proper care. Green Bay. Ad here.

  • CUTE young bay pony/small horse mare. Was a broodmare. Free. Lafayette County.

  • Free 6 year old mini gelding, broke to lead/pony kids. Green Bay 1-920-897-5492

  • Free 20 year old mini pony stallion here. Not broke. Clarks Grove

  • Ancient toothless horses, dead broke and free to good home. (Goddammit, euthanize them!) Crivitz, WI. Ad here. Free ancient pasture muffin here. A broke one, still rideable but needs weight here. Another old-but-rideable here

 *sigh* I went and looked at some free ponies myself last week. They were well-fed... too well-fed. Years and years of founder issues. Owner chick dumped them on her mom before going to college, then got married set up house an hour away and got nine other horses... but never retrieved her ponies. Years passed. Mom did okay, nice facilities, no active abuse, but had not clue one about founder, not feeding grain to fat minis, or proper farrier visits. Result: terribly deformed hooves. Guess who's breeding more horses? The daughter. I fucking hate people. Sadly, I did not take the ponies home-- I have far, far too much pasture to risk it. I have enough trouble keeping Mr. Strut from eating too much, and he can't duck under fences.


  1. Wow, that previous post's comments were too much for my little pea brain. Trolls suck...

  2. Well, interesting I was spot on that horse B was a Kiger. Kiger's are not registered by the Spanish Mustang Registry (and never have been) and are not the same. Kiger's were actually developed by the BLM, and their registry (they have their own separate one) was started I think in the 80's or 90's. Horse E - she is not a registered Spanish Mustang - she is Registered with the American Indian Horse Registry - she is half Spanish Mustang. Her sire was a BLM mustang. So no of course these two horses wouldn't be the same type. BLM mustang type varies widely.
    Her pedigree - even though she is listed as a Spanish Mustang she is NOT registered as one. Like I said in my previous post - I know who the horse is and know for a fact she is a part bred.
    Her dam was a purebred Spanish Mustang.
    So really the horses being compared for type aren't Spanish Mustangs.....

    No we aren't trolls. But we are passionate about our horses and our breed. I know there is good and bad breeders in the registry. Part of the problem is there are a lot of BLM mustangs trying to be passed off as Spanish Mustangs. In my mind, SM's are so far removed at this point from "mustangs" as most have pedigree's going back 70 some years. They go back to isolated herds, and also Native American herds (Lots of Choctaw and Cherokee breeding) as well as private ranch herds (ie McKinley Ranch horses).

    I don't think there are really "purebred" breeds, we humans have surely messed up most breeds. You can't tell me horses haven't been passed off as something they weren't. However, I do think that for the most part those outside "bloodlines" probably didn't do much to any breed - and now with the advent of parentage DNA testing (which I personally think every registry should require) we can pretty much eliminate outside unwanted influence in any breed.

    1. All the Kiger mustang registries claim that the Kiger has quite a bit of Spanish blood. Steens Mountain Kiger Registry even says, "Blood testing performed by Gus Cothran at the University of Kentucky clearly shows that the Kiger Horses have a strong Spanish connection. Dr. Cothran's study in the early '90's indicated that the Kigers, while genetically diverse, have a higher degree of relatedness to Spanish domestic breeds than do most other wild populations."

      Why is their claim weaker than yours?

      I think the owner of New Moon would be quite upset to hear that someone didn't consider her mare a "Spanish mustang." After all, she has "Spanish mustang" blood going back seven generations, and she fits the SM registry's breed standards. Why is her claim weaker than someone's who has a "Spanish mustang" with no proven ancestry at all?

      In fact, breed DNA testing doesn't work (I'll address that next blog)and it seems no one in the mustang world can agree on just what makes a "Spanish mustang" so different and special. Your Spanish mustang is someone else's grade horse and conformational nightmare-- someone else's "Spanish mustang" isn't good enough to join your club.

    2. "True" Spanish Mustangs go back to the horses preserved by the original breeders (whom based their selection on type as DNA wasn't available back than - horses that were rounded up pre - BLM management and horses from ranchers and native herds that still bred the Spanish type), you can't take a BLM mustang and register it as a Spanish Mustang. New Moon does not fit the registry's breed standards - she is NOT registered as a Spanish Mustang.

      Why is the Kiger claim weaker? They were selected based mostly on color (dun) - they were selected from BLM horses that are known to have morgan and QH influence. Are they probably "more related" to spanish horses that many other feral populations. It's very possible. But they have been selected to their own type in breeding and bred for that and also have known outside non-spanish breeding.

      DNA testing only works with parentage verification. It doesn't tell you breed or even percentage of blood purity for ANY breed. It only identifies certain "markers" that have been identified in certain populations. You can't use it to identify purity - but you can use it to identify the fact that spanish markers do indeed persist in populations of horses in the US. Therefore there is an influence there.

      Bob Brislawn, Gilbert Jones and the others that assembled the foundation stock for the Spanish Mustang spent years studying paintings and writings about horses from Spain.

      What makes a the Spanish Mustang different and special? Well it's the type of horse that was once common as a land-race in the United States and Mexico. When crossbreeding occurred it began to disappear as TB's, Morgan's and Drafts were used to breed up the small hardy horses (that had Spanish Ancestory). Several ranchers decided that they preferred these small hardy horses and wanted to preserve them. They collaborated and culled. What you have left is horse with generations of breeding - that is hardy, has good feet, generally free of genetic defect that was selectively bred. One that will hold up to use....

      Just because someone else decides to call their crossbred or BLM mustang a Spanish Mustang does not make it one. Nor does it make it register-able as one, no more so than I can go out in my pasture and claim one of my grade horses is a quarter horse because it looks like one so therefore I should be able to get AQHA papers.

      And just like with AQHA there are poor examples of SM's out there, there are bad breeders in every breed.

      New Moon's Spanish Mustang blood only goes back 7 generations on her dam's side - all that proves is her dam was a Spanish Mustang. No history at all on the sire's side. AIHR is a divisional registry - they look at horses that are descended in any way from native herds. Therefore you can double register horses with them that are AQHA, APHA, and ApHC in their "M" category. They have different divisions based on type and breeding.

    3. Kigers and crossbred horses cant be in the registries (not a special club) for the EXACT same reason that Belgians cant be registered as quarter horses. Morgans look like quarter horses sometimes. They are still morgans because they came from morgan parents. Go back beyond the first-ever morgan and its anyones guess what breed those horses were. Any morgan today is a morgan because they were selectively bred to be morgans. Same with any breed. Or maybe "morgan" isnt a breed either?

    4. Andrea, the Cayuse Ranch has several BLM branded horses that they registered as SMs and are heavily incorporating those lines into their herds. Europe already has a bunch of horses that go back to Nevada Mustangs.

      Dr. Cothran hasn't been able to decipher whether the Kiger has direct or indirect Spanish influence. Facts are is that they have the same Spanish markers that the Quarter Horse or Morgan has. The Kiger people took the Spanish markers facts and ran with it. Any horse of Spanish influence can have Spanish markers, but that doesn't make the horse Spanish by breed.

    5. Kim - Yep I know the Cayuse has those....most of the SM people I know won't buy a Nevada line one or even acknowledge them as SM's - I honestly had forgot about them as I don't even consider them part of the gene pool that I would use (along with most of the SM owners in my area). I did NOT realize though that Europe had them. I know the dam of one of my mares is now in the UK and she is MP bred - I think that's mostly what that SM owner over in europe has is MP bred horses. One of the reason's I joined AHHA (American Heritage Horse Association) because they wouldn't allow them (the Nevada horses) I actually have a BLM mustang from Nevada that looks more like an SM than the ones on the Cayuse - but you can really see the Morgan influence in her also. I like HOA also - but they are very broad in registration - which is fine, they are an "umbrella registry" - I do like the fact they do strain percentages - makes it easy to assess on the papers if there is something you don't like there!

      My main issue was we were supposed to pick out SM's and then the horses being represented to pick out weren't even SM's - a Kiger and a half SM.

      I don't really consider the SM pure "spanish" I consider them to be the close to the "landrace" of using horses that were once plentiful (of course with spanish influence - but I'm sure other stuff is in there!) I do think the history of the breed is interesting and it is more "unique" than the average breed out there. I think some of the breeders and lines are very typey and they've done a good job - others haven't. But you have that in all breeds. I know of a farm (now out of business) that bred Arabians that were horrible looking - they actually looked more like odd built ponies than arabs - they had papers...but...they were just terrible looking - very angular (almost cartoonish) with oversized heads (actually had a drafty like - roman nose, convex type profile) , high jutting withers and pasterns that were very weak - and high rumps. Someone could have taken one of those in a photo and array like above and never have guessed they were purebred arabs!!! And I think arabs tend to be more "consistent" in being recognizable than most "breeds".

      I guess I've seen more SM's that look like SM's to me than you have Kim, it is perhaps the ones I've seen in person - I know each area of the country has different lines that predominate. I have Nancy R, Jane G. close by so most of the horses I've seen have been mostly from the same bloodlines or breeder or stock with the exception of the ones I saw in Texas last summer and the ones at the SMR meeting in 2010. - interestingly some off the horses I didn't like so much in photo's, when I was there looked very different in person - or in some cases I decided I didn't like them as much as I thought I did! LOL!

    6. I have seen over 100 SMs in person and have handled and ridden them. I have seen Kim K lined stock, Many Ponies horses, Lucy Roda's horses, Neil Brislawn horses, Cerbat, etc. If you stood a MP horse next to a Chato horse I don't think you would call it the same breed. They are so vastly different in appearance (no, I am not just talking about color). Geronimo's Warrior is 25% Nevada Mustang. The way that the original horses were selected to be SMs is also disconcerting. Selecting horses from reservations where maybe one or two horses the old timers thought looked Spanish and said that their family/herd did not look Spanish is an interesting way of choosing horses to represent Spanish stock. The old time stallion that is in virtually every SM pedigree is named Salty. He was part draft and mustang or part Morgan and mustang. Nobody seems to remember which, but he was not "pure" Mustang. Honestly, I think that the entire point of preserving the Spanish Mustang was to preserve the old Indian type ponies that Bob B. and others grew up with that they saw was dying out. I don't think that it was specifically to preserve the old time Spanish horses. Neil Brislawn's horses are not even consistent in type across the board. I don't mean to sound like I am being negative or saying this to bash the SM, but I find it very hypocritical for the SMR to bash BLM Mustangs when they have actually incorporated BLM Mustangs or wild caught Mustangs whose herds were turned into HMA's when the BLM took over and then turn around and say that the BLM Mustang is somehow of lesser quality or vastly different from the SM.

  3. You hope horse G is having a nice life! You had no use for her so you sold her!

    1. So selling a horse is now bad? You are ridiculous. I had a horse that wasn't suited to the sport I wanted to do, so I sold him into a home that could actually use him and make use of his incredible talents. Shame, shame on me... fucking horrible.

    2. By ridiculous you mean I took a small piece of information and applied it to my own skewed agenda? Kind of like calling a stranger a scumbag without being familiar with ANYTHING that person does. Kind of like saying a breed isnt a breed when they have ALL the credentials of any other breed. If an SM is not a breed, neither is a QH, TB, or any other horse.

  4. North horse- what is a breed specificly. QH, TB, other? On oct 29 you say registration is important. Oct 30, registration gives a better chance for a home, dec 20 you reference breed standards & registration requirements for fresian sport horses & say nothing is wrong with mistique. On may 8 you promote using a contract to sell horses but you hope horse g is doing well. On june 26 you state conformation is subjective. When you attacked a university, they accused you of not defending your claims & poor research. On may 16 you created your own show. You have contradicted yourself a lot. Your research is incomplete at best. Your tactics are being recycled. The only posts that have gottrn much interest are the ones where you seem to be wrong. You quote the SMR but didn't use a single SMR registered horse in your quiz. Still no word about your FSLSE accusations about Steve. I understand you dont like BLMs. Lots of people dont. Their loss. You fancy yourself a horse judge but dont know about (or wont at least look up) breed standards until someone cslls you out on it. I still cant see why breed X counts and breed Y doesn't. Why the arbitrary decision? Please tell us what breeds you do recognize. Sorry for the rant but it is up to people to spread knowledge now since apparently they are hiding all the information in books these days.

    1. I am delighted you have become a dedicated reader. However, you need to work on your reading comprehension. I will address just one of your erroneous points: I do not hate any breed (or "breed") of horse, and have never said that I do.

      Horses are innocent creatures. Even when they have poor conformation, they are worth of love. My own much-loved horse is a too-long-backed, cow-hocked, huge-headed grade mare.

      I hate humans. I hate puppymill breeders and those who churn out grade horses. However, the often unhealthy dogs and horses that result have not done anything wrong at all. It's not their fault. I. Hate. Humans. NEVER horses.

  5. You can earn a judges card in the HOA registry if you're interested in opening your mind. Even if you dont like the breed the information is useful in the horse world. Im sure the endurance riders in our group would love to assist you with your tevis hopes. I KNOW Steve would help place unwanted grade horses. He has a few of those too. I know a few breeders have proven endurance horses for sale( you mentioned the possibility of a horse better suited to endurance). Hell, I could probably get you a half or full sibling to Dan de Lion for a reasonable price. Im pretty sure both his parents are in Wisconsin. Dont register it, call it a grade & enjoy it. A polite request will get you access to piles of info on spanish mustangs & horses in general from most registry members. You dont have to believe it but its still good reading and will further your horse knowledge; never a bad thing right? Lots of history on horses in general is hidden away in spanish mustang themed research and writings.

  6. I used to look at Lika Tiger Lily and her sisters all the time on the crapola website the twins who were her breeders had. I think Lika sold at the Addis Equine auction when they ran the "Great Lakes" madison auction at the Alliant Energy Center.. it died after about 4 years.
    I am glad the Oldenburgs are stringent in their breeding standards