I could list several excuses, but the truth is that I simply lacked the motivation to post much of anything on this site. That is something that came to a head – or saturation point – after the WEG experience last year. Other happenings within the horse industry as well as with some of the magazines in which I am published did nothing to improve the situation.
But any lack of motivation is on me. It is up to me to get over it or move in other directions. I have done some of the latter as of late.
Watching the ParaPan Am Games on TV reminded me that mindset plays a huge roll in what one can accomplish and what one can overcome with a willingness to adapt.
Recently, I have been watching the IAAF championships in track and field with an eye towards the bone structures most suited for the various sports. There are correlations between the mechanics of certain human sports and the mechanics of various equine sports. Therefore, I consider the time spent as research and not purely enjoyment.
Usain Bolt is a prime example. No doubt he is an ideal sprinter given his record, but, at one time, he was considered too tall to be a sprinter and was steered towards middle distance running. Aside from his height, he is, to my eye, built exactly like a sprinter when it comes to bone structure and proportions.
This serves as a lesson regarding how we determine in which direction to send a horse. I seem to recall that Gifted at nearly 18 hands was considered to be too tall for dressage and that Touch of Class at just over 15 hands was considered too small for jumping. Hickstead had several knocks against him, including his height, but he won Olympic gold anyway.
So…guarding against making inaccurate assumptions should be important, right? I hope that is the case with the recent Young Horse competitions, but I find the lack of objective measures to still be a hurdle to accurately predicting future excellence and, more importantly, long term soundness. I think using more objective measures would benefit the horses, the breeders and the buyers. In addition, the Young Horse programs would benefit through an increase in more precise predictions.
It is important to remember that maintaining the status quo is usually a human decision. Nothing stays stagnant in nature. Some people have positions to protect, some have egos to guard and so on, but if you think using objective measures is a better idea, it is up to you (singly and cooperatively) to affect the required changes.