Thanks to Lara Knight’s awesome “You’re Going to Use That Thoroughbred for What?” piece earlier this week, I finally found personal validation on an idea near and dear to my heart: That mares with big ears are superior athletes and competitors.
Big-eared mares? What the heck is she talking about?
This is a pet theory of mine that has arisen out of the past several years of watching fillies and mares dominate the horse racing scene internationally. Mares likes Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra, Royal Delta, Danedream (GER) and Havre de Grace all dominated their competition, with their big ears a-flappin’ all the way down the stretch. But, like most things I notice while endless watching race videos at 2 a.m. on my iPad, I tossed my theory aside as just another random thought. Tossed aside until I asked people who might actually know something.
First it was Lara, who is a top level competitor in the eventing realm. With her supporting the idea, I got brave enough to try the concept out on a few other horsey people that I consider to “know what they are doing.” The answer? They have noticed it as well! People from all circles: Eventers, race trainers, dressage riders and casual competitors. Almost everyone it seems has noticed the muley-eared mare effect.
So what’s with the ears? I did some checking around and we might just all be stumbling onto something the Bedouins have known for a 1000 years or more. In their quick description of the ideal Arabian war horse, we get this:
Three things short: the dock, the hind legs and the back.
Three things broad: the forehead, the chest and the croup.
Three things LONG: the EARS, the neck and the forelegs
Three things clean: the skin, the eyes and the hoof.
Did you catch that part in the middle about the ears? Since the Bedouins managed to create the breed of horse that went on to found every other light, athletic breed in the world (including, of course, the Thoroughbred), it seems to me they just might have been on to something.
So, Horse Nation readers, have you noticed it too? Have any big-eared mare stories of your own to share? Tell us here!
Big-Eared Mare Honor Roll:
Go riding… on your big-eared, fiercely competitive mare! 🙂
Heather Benson is a former racetrack executive, professional handicapping analyst and owner of a Triple Crown winner (well, at least a horse that played one in a movie). But far more importantly, she is a is still that girl who gets giddy when the starting gate opens and cries every time she watches a replay of Secretariat’s Belmont Stakes. Join her each month as she takes you on a journey through the world of horse racing, from top to bottom, with a little bit of everything in between! Heather also operates Back Forty Media and Marketing, a full service marketing firm focusing on telling story of equine ventures around the country. Go to her website for more info and to follow her on Facebook at www.backfortymarketing.com