By Tzviah Idan
Posted on September 12th, 2009 in General
Joe Ferriss wrote: “But perhaps now is a good time for some of us to free ourselves from the temptation for compartmentalized thinking about asil bloodlines with the aim of producing more Waddudas, or Sindidahs or Old Speckled Jellabis.”
I couldn’t agree more.
I think that we, and those who came before us, have done a wonderful job of both educating the public and preserving the various AK/asil lines over several decades. Dividing them into sub-groups by various criteria in order to preserve the uniqueness of the various groups was certainly the right way to go, and the Craver model with the Davenports, which created even more possibilities within a limited pool, sheer genius.
It has occurred to me from time to time that perhaps we have now reached “Stage Two” where we should be deliberately blending more of the subgroups in new ways. I’m not saying we should stop doing what we’ve done, only starting doing something new alongside.
Certainly some of it should be well-planned and done in the ‘Western mode’ of thinking, with specific goals in mind, but I can’t help thinking that some of it should be done ‘haphazardly’ [in comparison to our Western, compartmentalized way of thinking] just to see what might turn up, such as breeding together asil horses that complement each other phenotypically from unrelated bloodlines, or choosing horses as far removed genetically from our own as possible from within asil choices.
Wouldn’t it be neat to do an experiment where volunteer breeders each ‘donate’ a breeding season from one of their mares, during which time she would be bred to something unrelated, that is from a different source or combined sources from within the asil/AK fold? Throw the name of volunteer stallions into a hat and then somehow draw an unrelated stallion for each mare?
This type of experiment, repeated every few years, might really shake things up. Then again, it might not, but we’d all learn something from it. And if it creates just one truly exceptional horse it would help us think about our horses and how we think about preservation models.
I know there are economic considerations but I would guess that it would intrigue enough breeders that some would donate a stallion breeding or breedings even if they could not afford donating a mare.
Certainly I personally find it challenging to try to breed the best horses possible from within what we have defined as the Babolna-source Egyptian pool. That’s all part of the fun of being a breeder; and I’m sure that other asil breeders feel the same about breeding within their own groups.
But shouldn’t we also be thinking about what might result if a few of us choose to ’step out of the box’ and do something new?