I was of course drawn to Arabs first, since I do have a soft spot for them.
There was the Platypus, you all know him, but my very first pony was in fact an Arab cross as well, and what fun we had together. Without her, I would have never experienced the exhilaration of true, XTREME horsemanship - things like rearing / flipping / being crushed.
(It is best to do this all when you are 10 or 11, and still fairly likely to heal. Physically in any case).
Also, there was the fact that there are a lot of Arab dressage people out there. They even have their own shows where they wear real dressage tack and are awarded complex strings of punctuation after their names to mark their wins.
( I don't know the details of this secret code beyond some of the basics. For example.... *%$*# YOU PLATYPUS ... is a bad thing. Conversely, PLATYPUS +++// is actually very good. ).
They can’t all be wrong, can they? (Oh – they can? Well, never mind this point then).
Lastly the coach with Mr. Limpy (remember him?) actually had a really cute young Trak x Arab at the time that I kind of liked and that was apparently going to go on to great things (blah..blah..blah..uhh...yah. I have now seen the finished product and am thoroughly underwhelmed. Is it the horse? Rider? Hard to tell. But they both seem to have their miserable ears pinned and teeth gritted every time I see them go. Perhaps better suited to Wessage?)
And c’mon – when you look at the conformation of the average Arab, do they not just scream DRESSAGE SUITABILTY? Their perky little croups pointed to the sky, hocks set high above the ground and way out behind, straight shoulders for good jackhammer action...
However there are actually not plethoras of WB x Arab crosses out there, which I found kind of surprising. There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of crappy Arabs incrusted in burrs occupying nearly every barbed wire paddock across Canada. People could be using them to breed to excellent stallions to crank out “fine” sporthorses, as is done with Thoroughbreds.
Perhaps the reason is because...with their baby seal eyes and punched in little faces, they are like crack cocaine to the first time, totally ignorant horse buyer.
One theory I have is that when this first time, totally ignorant horse buyer brings their Arab mare home from the St. Jacobs auction and releases her into the wilds of the local “pasture board, $150” farm, she is actually able to outsmart the owner for the next 20 years and is never caught for riding, breeding or any other purpose, until the day she drops dead and can then be captured with a winch and flatbed truck. This would explain her absence from the eligible mare pool.
|Just try and catch ME sucka! I got the moves, ooo-AAY -oooh!|
Or at least from the warmblood baby daddy + mare pool – because chances are actually excellent that the totally ignorant horse buyer also brought home a stallion, and the two of them will doing their best to make beautiful pasture ornaments for years to come.
(No, no...The MARE and the stallion. I realize the wording is not entirely clear here)
More likely the reason is that even if you bred the most athletic, magnificent Arab on Earth to Popeye K, the majority of hunter people would not touch it with a 10 foot pole.
So, if a breeder chooses to create an Arab cross, they had better pray (to Allah? God? Not sure here) that the face and tail are both flat, because even a whiff of Arab is problematic. Say what you would like about dressage breed prejudices, but we are positively kumbaya when compared to the Apartheid which reigns in the Hunter ring.
(This is not entirely true for hunter ponies. Whereas for horses you can fatten up your TB and say it “looks like a warmblood” – you can fatten up your Arab pony good ‘n’ juicy, weigh down its anus-displaying tail with a big tacky fake one , and longe it until nearly dead and rideable by the average child – voila, problem solved – “welsh pony”).
|Step away from the round bale, Sir Porks-a-lot. It's weird how ponies founder sometimes, isn't it.|
I did find one that sounded quite promising though. Ha ha ha. Ha.