(Feel free to read this to yourself, in Morgan Freeman’s voice)
I remember seeing a photo, not long ago, of the Arabian colt discussed in this article. His chiseled features beautiful, to the point of fragile. I actually wondered if the image had been photoshopped, it almost didn’t look real, but it is.
El Ray Magnum RCF
In spite of a full Veterinary exam proclaiming him to be in top health, you still can’t help but wonder, “is that okay?” When you see his father, it seems slightly less unimaginable…
The parentage is obvious, but the decision by humans to “create” horses with these features isn’t so much. I’m not asking the question as an accusation, merely as curiosity, “where’s the line between breeding for what’s best for THEM, and what’s best for US?”
The Telegraph asks the same question here; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/10/13/extreme-horse-breeding-leaves-animals-looking-like-cartoons/ as well as Martin Clune discussing the subject, albeit about dogs, in one of his documentaries; “A Man and His Dog,” currently on Netflix. In his conversation with a Veterinarian, they look at a menagerie of taxidermied dogs of various breeds, discussing the differences between the breeds then, and now.
In their conversation the subject of hybrid breeds was also discussed, and again questioned as to the necessity, or simply desire, for something new. Overbreeding is a common problem with many animals of recorded pedigree. At what point do we finally say, “enough,” or do we continue to tweak the model to suit our own personal taste?
When you look at this stallion advertisement from 1973-4, it’s hard to imagine what decisions humans made to arrive at the “ideal” we currently accept.
I can understand the effort to breed out undesirable characteristics, like health issues, conformation flaws, etc. But I’m curious as to what the mindset is when humans are all but creating their own, new and improved version of what was already working for so many years. Is it reinventing the wheel, or is it something much bigger? Where’s the line, and have we crossed it?