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Showing Thoughts on Showing

blackarrow

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Well, you're lumping together a lot of things. I do agility, tracking and rally competitions with my dogs, and they're absolutely thrilled to be out there with the others, doing their thing. They get at least as much attention and enjoyment out of it as I do. Same when I showed my horse - it's good exercise, many horses (mine among them) enjoy being around others of their kind, and she particularly enjoyed jumping events. It isn't hard to tell when a dog or horse is enjoying themselves. Dog conformation shows? Less exciting for most of them than something like agility, but still likely enjoyable for them. I do border collie rescue and I am not the slightest bit upset at the notion of people breeding dogs deliberately - there are unfortunately more border collies bred by people who know nothing about what they're doing than people know what to do with, but that doesn't mean there isn't a place for a responsible breeder, and I do know they do exist. Guinea pigs, I see less of a point.
 

Delaine

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. I do agility, tracking and rally competitions with my dogs, and they're absolutely thrilled to be out there with the others, doing their thing. They get at least as much attention and enjoyment out of it as I do..

My dogs also loved agility.
 

Paula

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Showing a guinea pig, for the typical owner, to see how it stacks up against other pet guinea pigs and how attractive it is in comparison, is pointless and probably selfish. But a breeder cannot be a responsible one (yes, they DO exist here and there) if they don't submit their animals for judgment by a third (more experienced) party. That type of show is important, because breeders who do not show can become "barn blind" and have no idea whether they are producing quality animals or not.

The idea that showing promotes breeding is correct, but ideally it promotes responsible breeding by weeding out the animals unsuitable to reproduce. Unfortunately, especially with guinea pigs, that is not always (or even often, perhaps) the result.
 

Frapplove

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:eek:hmy: There are even more homeless doggies out there than guinea pigs!
 

pocketmonster

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Horse showing, for the majority, is not about breed. There are certain breed sections for owners to show their horses in, but the majority is based on the hours of training spent by the horse and rider TEAM. When you spend endless hours training for soccer, or football, or baseball, or ANY sport, you want to see a good outcome in competition. Your team includes other people.
For equestrians, the horse is your partner. After riding for hours every day, doing mundane things like working on collection or riding a line quietly (not galloping over hills like a cowboy), some people like to see if their abilities, not how beautiful their horse is, match people in their same riding demographic.
It is a sport. Horse showing is not a parade of pretty ponies in sparkly saddles.
And really now, you clearly have never had a personal relationship with a horse and then take them to a show environment — as one person said, they thrive. They absolutely open up. My mare Lizzie would turn into this beautiful version of herself, where she, not I, was proud of herself. When I got this mare from an owner who mistreated her, she would have behaved like the prey animal she is. She was skittish, flighty, and would have run for cover at the sign of anything unusual (just like a piggy). My handling calmed her down.

As far as the "breeding" aspect of showing you are thinking of, it derives from when horses were work animals and, like sarah0712 said, work animals needed to have certain conformational attributes. They needed strong legs, powerful haunches and a developed topline. Work horses made money, money kept families alive, families keep the world turning.
This "jumping" you're thinking of derives from field hunting, where horses were used as a means of acquiring food. It was also a practice in military training, where horses were used as a means of defense.
Food and defense.. those are pretty important to human survival.
Now, we have the technology and the use of horses have diminished to showing, where we continue the traditions laid down by humans before us. If you were to go into a top show barn, you wouldn't see the environments of show cavies and rabbits. You would see happy, sleek horses in stalls deeply bedded, full of hay. Most would probably have an attached paddock. Each horse is fed a highly specified diet. Each is groomed and handled daily. Each is exercised daily.
I will agree that it is highly different from cavy showing. I will not agree that it is inhumane.
 

blackarrow

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:eek:hmy: There are even more homeless doggies out there than guinea pigs!

Probably, which is why I don't breed dogs. All of mine are rescues. It has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not I show them. (I don't show them in conformation, but I do in agility, tracking, rally and obedience.)
 

bpatters

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The only thing I'd object to in that equipment is the fence -- too easy to scratch the pig's stomach, or for the pig to land on the points.
 

CathiiPiggie

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As long as the guinea pigs aren't forced to do anything they don't want to do or put through something that makes them stressed, I don't see a problem with it. Some piggies don't mind being handled and touched by a million different hands, but then again most of them do, so it's a difficult one...:eye-poppi

I completely disagree with excessive breeding for shows though, and putting the sows through loads of litters that they really don't need.
 
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