Discouraed but not giving up

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Dear Discouraged, Don't be! As we speak members have been nominated to help change the way things are to the way things were. Your mare should be able to be registered with KMSHA unless she has ASD, are you sure she doesn't just have cysts? ASD her eyes won't dialate. As for the white belly spots, how in the world did they show up on film? or are they in plain view? Perhaps they are old wounds healed over and white hairs grown in. These are things to consider. Is she a Certified grade mare out of a grade mare or out of two fully registered RMHA mares? last but not least, try for the spotted saddle horse registry. ASD will not be a serious problem if people breed clear eyed to cyst or ASD horses and those offspring to clear eyed horses and so on. Its only when they breed for color that will create serious problems for the horse. As for price on horses, unfortunately we live where when demand is high human nature takes extreme advantage, think about current lettuce prices and this will give you an idea of what my meaning is. Chocolate colored horses will always bring a high price, when I think of the hours and hours I put in my small herd, by myself, well a good price on a chocolate foal helps ease the workload not to mention the high veterinarinan costs and the cost of feed and farrier. Prices on a well broke horse with the temperment that the gaited mountain horses have is priceless! When I think back to how many stock horses that almost killed me at a price of 2500 to 5,000. dollars, well Gaited Mountain Horses seem cheap! These are not you regular old riding horses, they are very special! I have never ever had such a horse before, and I have had horses for 35 years. All my horses are priceless, that is to say I don't price my adults or the foals I intend to keep. They are much too difficult to come by. I guess my advice to the gaited mountain Horse buyer is this, A gaited Mountain Horses of either of the three registries will be a true companion for a lifetime, and will be the last horse you will ever buy. Consider that when you spend the money for your next 2500.00 well broke trail Quarter Horse that you will sell within a year. There are no bargain horses, Quality horses of gentle temperment and easy natural gait are a rare gift. So pamper yourself and buy a friend to grow old with.

-- Kathy Naylor (knaylor@proaxis.com), May 06, 1998


Thank You!!

You are so right about them being priceless and I should never complain about cost of such a wonderful horse and I never will again. I just want another one soooooo BADLY. I wouldn't take $10,000.00 + for my mare right now. I've rode other horses (even Mt. Horses) and I can't find any that ride the way she does, which I know I'm probably being prejudice. I just wish I had a good $7,000.00 to buy another one with normal eyes, but I don't. There is a half sister to mine that my husband and I are grieving ourselves to death over and would love to have. The thing is last year we could have got her for $3,000.00 when she was young but now I don't know if $7,000.00 would even buy her. If I could just find what I'm looking for in the $3,000.00 range. I know I'm dreaming. O'Well.

I'm glad we agree about the ASD. I just get upset when I hear people that don't want an ASD horse to be bred to normal horses or won't accept them to an organization. Next thing you know they'll be wanting those horses to be put to sleep. I'm exaggerating. But I was very fortunate to get the one RMH/MPH that I have and unfortunately from my understanding she has ASD in one eye and cyst in another, no cataracts or no vision problems. Dr. Ramsey checked her a few weeks ago but I CAN breed her responsible and get rid of ASD in a couple of generations. I do hope to breed her and from there get a start on my dream of owning a RMH/MPH farm.

As for the white spots, I havn't filmed her yet. I was told that she would not be registered because of them. She is a sorrell with a mixed main/tail. Her main has a lot of white in it. She also almost had four white socks. Her white spots are very small and probably would show up. There are three or four that range from an inch to inch and half under her belly toward the underneath side and also smaller ones between her front legs underneath her chest. They kind of remind me of freckles. They are not that noticable to me, because I don't look for them. Maybe I could give it a try. What the heck, all they can do is say no, and I'm getting used to that.

She is out of two certified Rocky Mt., Mt. Pleasure and I think KMSHA parents. I have already got her blood typed for Mt. Pleasure. I just keep waiting for this rain to end, so I can get her filmed. She will be three in August and still growing. I could go on and on about my mare, she's everything and more that I ever hoped to get from a horse. I never owned a horse till last year and I'm 34, but I've rode different ones and I hate feeling that I'm about to be bounced out of my saddle and will never own a breed that is rough gaited. She is actually a big red dog but don't get me wrong she's not a dead head, she has lots of spirit also, shes just not crazy with it. My husband says I would have her in the house if he'd let me. But I wouldn't go that far. :) Enough about my horse. I really Thank You for encouragment and getting my head straight.

-- Della Justice (della@eastky.net), May 06, 1998.

Thank you.

Your experience of not being able to find a horse, even other Mountain horses, that ride like yours is not unique. There is a great deal of variability in these horses because they have not been bred for consistency of type, which is not a criticism, just an observation. However, what is a criticism is something the people on this forum have heard me state before: the single biggest problem with Mountain Horses is a weakness of gait genes that makes the majority of them moderately to very pacey. I generally say that 80% of them do not meet my standards of gait, from the perspective of being a KMSHA Examiner, a NASHA gait judge, and an owner of Paso Finos for 8 years before coming into Mountain Horses, and now a breeder of Mountain Horses since 1990. So, if your horse is one of the approximately 20% that has strong gait, your perception that you have been unable to find one that gaits like her would have less to do with the wide variation in execution of gait that is found in Mountain Horses and more to do with the weak gait that is the norm in them. It has taken me 8 years to collect three mares that have made the cut to stay in my breeding program, and one of those is KMSHA only. In that time I can think of about 10 other horses that would match them in gait that I have seen or ridden, out of 20 times more than that that I have seen or ridden. I have turned down an offer of $12,500 on one of my mares, because I know I could not replace her for that.

As to the prices, it costs me about $100 per month to maintain a horse. Hay here costs $10 per $100 lb bale. So, to maintain a mare for a year waiting for a foal is $1200. I have about $1700 in a foal when it hits the ground, what with maintaining the mare at $100 per month, and allowing say $500 for the cost of a stud, even though I have my own, I figure that if I took a mare to a stud, it would be a minimum of $300 for the stud fee, and $200 for travel and mare care expenses, and those are conservative estimates. AI would actually be higher what with vet fees at each end and transportation costs of shipping the semen, and those expenses could be much higher if the mare doesn't settle the first time. Add $100 per month to get the foal to a year old, and viola! you have a minimum of $2900 just to break even on it as a yearling. Add another year of waiting for it to grow up, and you have price of $4100, another $650 for two months of training, and you are at $4750. People have got to understand what it costs a breeder to bring up a quality well cared for horse just to age two and under saddle. That's why I say that all I try to do is not lose too much money!

As to those who don't want to breed ASD to normal, yes there are some out there that believe that, but that attitude is in my opinion unrealistic. The gene pool is too small to start with, that is what lead to the problem in the first place. We literally can not cut out all of the ASD horses in one swoop. We have to eliminate it gradually, and then we have to decide if we are also going to eliminate even the carriers, which could mean eliminating all the chocolates. Time will tell what direction the solution to the ASD problem goes in.

If your mare has ASD in one eye and a cyst in the other, she is ASD, period, AA. Every foal you get from her will be at least a carrier, and if she is bred to another AA or Aa horse, you could get another ASD horse. This is unfortunate, and my heart goes out to you for being one of the victims of this genetic problem, but you like the rest of us that also have horses that must be subjected to restricted breeding have to do what we can to prevent any more ASD horses from being born, so that more horses and people like you are not victims in the future. That is what this forum and the people who support it are working for.

Re white spots and registration. Even if they do not show up on a tape, you have to point them out on the registration application. Those are the rules, and whether we like them or not (I for one do not) they have to be abided by. If both her parents are KMSHA registered, she is eligible for KMSHA registration in spite of the ASD. I believe it is only mares who are coming in under open books, not under both parents' registrations, that are not going to be accepted, and even then, I believe she would be accepted even with ASD until January 1, 1999. I would suggest that you email Irene Mullins at KMSHA, E-mail Address: kmsha@kih.net and ask her. It may take her a couple of days to respond, but she will. She is also eligible for MPHA registration and certification, if both her parents are MPHA registered and certified, and they don't care about spots any more than KMSHA does. You have to understand that what all the associations are trying to do is avoid breeding spotted saddle horses or competing with the spotted saddle horse registries, which consist largely of Walker based stock, and allow gait modification.

And lastly, your comments about how wonderful your mare is, and her temperament and spirit are typical comments of Mountain Horse owners about their horses. In that respect these horses are remarkable consistent, all the more so since conformation, size and gait ability are so very variable. The calm, gentle, kind, affectionate, "puppy dog" spirited yet willing and safe temperament is something that I certainly have never found in any other type of horse, and is what makes these the horses of my heart, in spite of my criticisms, often very strong, of lack of attention being paid to understanding the genetic underpinnings of gait and the use that can be made of them in improving the genetic strength of gait of these horses, and the very strong criticisms I continue to have of the political policies that have led and continue to foster the fragmentation of the gene pool into small closed segments, no one of which is genetically viable over the long term. The horses, and the people who love them, like you, deserve better than that, and I and the people who support this forum will continue to try to achieve better for both the horses and the people. Please feel free to email me privately, as well. People who know me know that I support and encourage all who contact me, attempt to answer questions and help in any way that I can.

-- Annette L. Gerhardt (gerhardt@sinosa.com), May 06, 1998.

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