Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Curious Thing about DNA

Curiosity is a willing, a proud, and an eager confession of ignorance. ~S. Leonard Rubinstein, Writing: A Habit of Mind

There has been talk going around the Internet of the need for me to DNA Argo, to satisfy others curiosity. I for one am here to say, not ever going to happen!

The following are direct quotes posted on the Internet that are directly related to the subject of DNA from Argo, and my decision not to submit samples of hair for DNA.

"I would be very curious myself to know if he indeed was your stallions sire"

"I'm just very curious and interested in this...I also wonder why you wouldn't have any intention of DNA testing him. Is it just because you cannot yet get hair pulled? I had my mare done.... she is a matriarch in the Kigers and has quite a history. I think she deserves to have her DNA on file for comparison reasons even though I do not expect to get any foals from her. Who knows how many babies she had out there in the wild?"

"I also hope that you might consider DNA testing at some point in the future. It might just provide clues about Kiger herd behavior, history and gentic influences may advance inclusion of grey in the registries. There have been several noteable greys in the breed, and they deserve recognition for their contributions."

My thoughts on the matter of DNA are: it is an invaluable tool to a breeder, whether it is to determine color markers or to verify parentage, this is in my opinion, is the only reason to DNA a horse. As far as the Wild Kiger herds are concerned: they are wild, part of the beauty of owning a mustang is the unknown parentage. Further, I have no plans of breeding Kiger Mustangs so therefore there is no need to DNA Argo. I have no care as to what his parentage is or what he possibly sired. I just truly want to give him a place in the world where he has no worries and can enjoy a peaceful, quiet retirement and be where he is truly appreciated for what he is; a senior aged wild Kiger Mustang. His color is what attracted me to him, when others scoffed at it, and then his soulful eyes pulled me in further.

The world is full of fools and faint hearts; and yet everyone has courage enough to bear the misfortunes, and wisdom enough to manage the affairs, of his neighbor. ~Benjamin Franklin

The history of Argo that has been told to me thus far has been extremely interesting. Stories of the "Gray Ghost" abound in Oregon. Does his DNA have anything to do with that lore, absolutely not, so why on earth would I feel that pulling some hair would somehow complete me or complete Argo? Do you think he really cares? Why does Argo need to be put out there for dissection into an already hugely conflicted Kiger community? I have no desire to enter that arena. I have enough drama in my life as it is and I do not need to invite more of it into my life. The Kiger Mustangs never asked for or wanted the spectacle that surrounds them. Seven separate registries represent a breed of I believe less than 1500 horses. Why do you ask? Got me, no one can seem to agree on anything. Most of the Kiger registries will not even accept Argo, purely based on the fact that he is gray. The KMA though has accepted horses for registry whom aren't even Kigers, who were not born on Riddle or Kiger Mountain, but elsewhere, some even from states other than Oregon, because they had the desired color and markings. Go DNA those horses and find out who their parents were. The KMA is one of the registries who would refuse Argo registry solely based on his color. From their website:

To be eligible for registration in the Kiger Mesteno Association, there are several factors that are considered. First, the horse must be the offspring of a registered Kiger, or must have documentation that it was gathered from the Riddle Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) or the Kiger HMA. Secondly, the horse must then pass an inspection based on both conformation and dun factor, and must be one of the acceptable colors (Dun, Red Dun, Grulla, Bay, Black, Claybank and Roan). There are many Mustangs from other BLM Herd Management Areas, as well as other breeds that have the dun factor but are not considered a Kiger.

But yet it has been proven several times that they have allowed what has been termed "Found Horses" (horses who have been gathered from HMA's other than Riddle and Kiger Mountains) to be accepted into their registry all because they have the right color.

*Note: I have no care either way about the Found Horse issue; it is a non-issue to me. The issue has been literally beat to death and is for people other than me to debate it. I only present it as basis for Argo's exclusion from registry, based on color alone.

No, I will not submit Argo to be the Kiger Communities' sacrificial lamb. Neither he nor I ever signed up for that. I saw a horse that had been ripped from his only home, the wild, at the age of 17, because from what I believe was the greed of breeders worried about their precious dun color being diluted; that being a big part of the reason he had been gathered. I hoped and prayed someone would take him home at the adoption last November. I could not stand by and wonder what his future would hold if he would have stood day after day in long term holding, reduced to a mere number because of human greed. I will certainly not feed into or continue that greed by allowing him to be put under a microscope by pulling hairs so that others can satisfy their own curiosity.

So, in closing, I am sorry that I may have offended some readers, but I have been tremendously offended by the words written about Argo and me, about what I should be doing and what a travesty and shame it is that I will not DNA Argo. To the Kiger owners and Fanciers out there who appreciate what they have without the need to delve into what others should be doing, Thank You for being you.


Tracey said...

Good girl. Stick to your guns! We love Argo here. In fact, Darling was sitting on my lap just a moment ago watching his video and saying how that was her pony...he's who she wanted to come home with last fall (good thing I was there to stop her, what with 2 mares here at home, lol!)

kigeranne said...

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. Know what I mean?

SkyBar Farm said...

Tracey, I fully plan on "sticking to my guns."

Yes, I do know what you mean Melissa. :)