Jul 8, 2011

This End is Not a Bad Thing

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The Fugly blog is being auctioned to the highest bidder; its writer confessing to no longer having time to keep it up.  I am sure to many, this is a great disappointment.  To me, it is not a blip on the radar. 
First launched around 2007, it appeared to be a venue for addressing conformation of horses just not quite up to par and made some good points for not breeding mediocre horses.  It also focused on what is proper care and why we need to be good stewards to our horses.  I found the writer not only witty, but educational.  Sometimes a bit harsh, but I could appreciate it for its humor.  It was a fun read.  It also brought attention to serious cases of horse neglect and abuse such as the Three Strikes Ranch here in Nebraska, where horses were suffering and needed immediate aid. 

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I won’t deny that I wasn’t captivated by this blog when it first came out. It seemed its author said what everyone else was thinking: “Why in the heck are you breeding that ugly horse?” Though blunt, those early posts were quite entertaining. She educated me on the finer points of conformation and got me off my duff to work with a horse that we didn’t ride so he would be more marketable in an overpopulated horse market. And if Windy wasn’t so darn pretty, I would be embarrassed to admit that she was the result of our “back yard breeding”, a practice Fugly often criticized for good reason.
It seemed as the popularity of this website grew, the entertainment aspect waned as she went beyond being simply intolerant to almost spewing out hate.  Rather than just being critical of “fugly” horses, she went as far as picking on the owner’s choice of clothing or saddles or perceived lifestyle. While it is her blog and was admittedly “snarky”, I thought a lot of it was in poor taste.  Heck, how many of us love horses but lack fashion sense? I do occasionally ride in a synthetic saddle and have contemplated a pair of those “pajama jeans” just might make good riding pants. I’ve worn sandals to the barn and hopped on bareback in shorts. So even though I tend to resemble a redneck in some ways, it doesn’t make me a bad horse person. 

Reading the comments of those who tuned in, many who have become sort of disciples to the blog, it had the essence of being nothing but a bunch of “mean girls” jumping on the bandwagon; bullying her targets and loving to hate.  It made me rather uncomfortable. 
Although I would pop over to the Fugly blog occasionally when surfing the net, I stopped reading her column on a regular basis.  She was no longer entertaining and her rants grew tiresome. In addition, I do not support her stance on anti-slaughter. Granted, I don’t like it any more than the next person but I believe eliminating it in our country has added a new level of cruelty that we cannot control. I don’t have a good answer for it but anytime we apply a blanket effect to all causes, it is rarely what we envisioned.

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I realize that by voicing my true feelings about her blog, I am probably making myself a target; perhaps not of hers, but of her fans. So let me just say that although my four grade mares may not be show quality, they aren’t put together too bad and I have no intention of breeding any of them for any reason. What my gelding lacks in conformation, he makes up for in heart.  We have hay in our barn, our horses are well cared for and our horses can do a job.  My best is good enough. 
It would be nice to see someone pick up that blog and go back to the educational aspect of its roots without the harassment. There is a need to candidly discuss conformation and breeding choices. There is a new population of horse owners all the time who could be educated on proper training, feeding programs, defining good rescues, advocating adoption, and euthanasia choices. If a person is a good enough writer to make it fun and entertaining, that would be a bonus. But regrettably, I think it has lost its flavor for that a few years ago.

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In the end, if we learned anything from Fugly, I hope it was about good horse care.  I hope she also demonstrated to readers how easily horse ownership can get out of hand when you start increasing your herd size without being financially or properly prepared for the additional expense and responsibility of multiple animals.  And perhaps those of us who were uncomfortable with the more recent posts on the Fugly blog recognized that you can’t fix stupid with a public flogging and instead should practice tolerance and education.


  1. Where you reading my mind?
    Well written.

  2. Very nicely done Tammy!! I think you spoke for a lot of us.

    And if anyone decides they want to mess with you? Well... they might have to wade through a few other folks to get there first ;)

  3. Well said, I agree completely. Started out with good info and slowly deteriorated. Maybe someone will do as you said and bring it back to the original intent. One can only hope.

  4. I absolutely agree with everything you said. Used to read it once in a while but then the "mean girl, mob mentality' turned it ugly. Don't really agree with taking people down and getting overly hateful and insulting. Thanks for having the nerve to disagree with a lot of "fans" of that blog.

  5. I agree too. I'm glad to see it go, people were absolutely hateful. I'm very interested to see if it will sell for the price she's asking.

  6. Well I had no idea she was moving on...maybe to a mental hospital, perhaps?

    Like you, I started off reading her blog over 4 years ago and really gleaned quite a bit from her, especially about conformation and proper horse care.
    But then things went south and I avoided her blog and especially all her pit bull like followers. I ended up with a few growling down my neck when I left a couple comments that weren't in total approval of one of her posts and that was it for me. And I hope you don't get any flack from them either. Those are some scary bullies!
    What will they do now that Fugly is moving on?
    I kind of like a place where they can gather like flies on sh*t, and leave everyone else alone.

    The difference between you and the typical backyard breeder is that you bred for keeps, meaning that you had full intentions to keep, train and ride your horse's offspring.
    And you've done good by her, too.

    Farewell, Fugly blog!


  7. Well said Tammy! I read it for a while, and found it to be, very discourteous, angry and terribly bound by a tendency to shout others down.

  8. I'm glad you took a stand, as you are more well versed than she ever was. If you ever do hear from her, or one of her followers, I know you can give them a piece of your mind. You have written an excellen description of what you are about and how well you take care of your horses.

  9. It stopped being about horses long ago. It was a contest to see who could be the meanest most judgemental nasty-mouth.

  10. It's been a very long time since I've visited that blog. I prefer to seek out the blogs that are more positive. Good post.

  11. well said. i was never a huge fan to begin with, but i stopped reading there altogether for the same reasons you mention. i don't think it's any great loss :-(

  12. Good post. I came across Fugly 3 years ago when I was looking for horse conformation info. There are awful people out there and I appreciated her chutzpah in outing the bad guys. However, IMO there wasn't a balance with the positive. I stopped reading her regularly a while back. Her blog was just getting old and repetitive.

  13. Yea, that won't be a missed blog in my book either. I never did have any use for her or her opinions. I will say that any good information that was ever gleened came from some of the original commenters. And I always found it disturbing that she always managed to insert herself into the rescues by using the grand 'we'.

    I do have to say that I found fuglys' conformation opinions amusing. Unless it was a truly horrid horse, that even the greenest of horse people could tell was all wrong...the only thing she ever managed to say was they 'had straight shoulders and a nest'. In all the years she tried to give conformation critics, she never did learn a thing from the readers she had (at one time) that actually knew how to judge a horse.

  14. I have never read the blog, but it sounds like a lot of bull, people can’t get there point across by insulting others over the internet, I think it sounded good at first but now will not be missed.

  15. I also agree with what everyone said. You really hit that nail on the head. I ran into that blog a while back and thought it was a good idea because it "outed the bad guys," like someone said, and I also hate "breeders" who let any old Rusty in the backyard make babies. But then it turned into people simply being mean to each other. We've got enough of that in the world. I don't need it for entertainment. Why don't YOU start a similar blog that's done right? YOU are a great writer and an educated horse person.

    By the way, the answer to slaughter is the same answer we used to improve the situation with dogs. Stronger laws and education. You starve or abuse a horse, you get punished for it. People used to think it was okay to drown puppies. Just like what they say about slaughter, that it's a necessary evil, they used to say about drowning puppies. Or gassing dogs. That was real common. Then people, most people, got educated. We learned the importance of spaying and neutering, we learned it's NOT necessary to let a dog have ONE litter, etc. It's the same thing. You don't slaughter the victim because he's being victimized. You make stronger laws to protect him.


I am so glad you stopped by and look forward to hearing from you! Do come again.