Sunday, 16 October 2016

How the Numbers Stack Up

This blog site went 'live' November 2011; nearly five years ago.

So much has been achieved in this time.  In November 2011 we were in the process of pulling together the funds to pay UC Davis for the genetic research.

10 January 2012 the news came through that indeed HWSD was genetic in origin.  All of us who had been of this persuasion felt vindicated.  Especially in view of the abuse that some had been exposed to.

Fast forward to August 2014 and the meeting at Clifden with Dr Finno, Ray Knightley and the rest of the CPRG team.

The HWSD test at UC Davis became commercially available the week of the Clifden meeting.  What super news that was!  Now not only was the meeting about the 'problem' of HWSD but it also came with the basis of a solution.

The meeting in Clifden in March 2015 brought the issue of  HWSD  into perspective for a large number of local and international breeders of Connemara ponies.

The CPBS made the decision in late 2015 that all foals born in 2016 had to be HWSD tested as part of the registration process.

Today the number of  hits on the site has reached 99,883.  
The number of hits on the HWSD tested ponies page has gone over the 10,000 mark.  The tested ponies page was first available in September 2014.

Friday, 15 July 2016

The latest statistical information on HWSD is available via the HWSD facebook page. This is report is about the current information on HWSD in the Connemara Pony population of Australia. 

What is happening in Australia has implications for the rest of the world. 

Because of the fragmentation of test data across multiple laboratories it is no longer possible to produce HWSD analyses for the various jurisdictions where Connemara ponies are bred . 

The information supplied previously from VGL is very useful from a retrospective perspective and has been used in this analysis.  The current data from VGL is no longer indicative of the HWSD testing situation worldwide.

Only the Connemara Pony Breeder's Society of Australia (CPBSA) have seen fit to provide their raw data on HWSD testing. Thank you CPBSA.

It is sad that there has been such a distinct lack of co-operation to release raw data from other breed societies and testing laboratories.

The report has not be reproduced here because it is not possible to secure the document on this platform.  Sadly, previous work presented on this site has been selectively copied and pasted in an attempt to present alternate views to that which was originally intended.  Thus this report is only available as a secure pdf file.

As there is no download facility available on this platform, you will need to use the link in the first paragraph.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Arguing without arguments

This article says it all.  I have to say though that on the whole the the majority of any on-line discussions about HWSD I have seen, have been 95% positive with no signs of overt personal attacks.  Keep up the good work on HWSD education to the uninitiated. and spread the word. 

Original text:

Arguing without arguments

Written by Julie Taylor on 23.10.2014 in Welfare 

Some horse folks still think you have to do research and construct logical arguments in order to take part in online discussions about horses. Nothing could be further from the truth. So as to leave no equestrian behind, I have written this five step guide to arguing without arguments. Whether you are new to stating your personal hunches as rock solid facts or have been doing it for years, here's how you can improve your technique.

Argumentum ad hominem

This is fancy speak for attacking the person with whom you disagree instead of addressing their opinions and arguments. If someone writes something you don't like on the internet, the first step is to google them and find their social media profiles and look for any evidence of incompetence as you perceive it. You just need to find that one thing this person did in their life that, according to you, was stupid or wrong and you are free to discount everything they ever say again. Even if they quote a string of published, peer reviewed scientific studies which contradict your personal, home brewed philosophy of horsemanship, all you need is that one photo of them at a Nickelback concert which alters the fabric of the universe and renders all this evidence invalid.
Even if you come up empty handed and it seems like your opponent has never done anything wrong in their life, you can always find someone who holds a similar view to your opponent who did do something wrong and use that person's mistake as an excuse for dismissing the arguments of your opponent. When applied correctly, this technique makes your opponent so uncomfortable that they don't want to continue talking to you because you are behaving like a sociopath. Tell yourself and others your opponent went away because they ran out of arguments.

Change the subject

When faced with information they don't like, some people try to deal by making sense of the opponent's claims, examining the evidence and critically reviewing their own attitudes and habits. You don't need that kind of hassle in your life. Instead, make yourself feel better by forcing those who are making you uncomfortable to talk about something else. For instance, if you like to hit horses hard with sticks and someone else says that is wrong, point out that there are worse things in the world. Demand that your opponent deals with everything else on the planet which you deem to be worse than their concern before they can have your permission to proceed with their discussion. If they insist that they have a right to discuss anything they want, regardless of your preferences, accuse them of hypocrisy and not caring about horses who starve or are kept in PMU barns. It is not necessary that you are yourself involved in addressing any of those things that you think are worse than your opponent's concern. You need never have donated a penny to charity or put in a single hour of volunteer work. Just point out everything that's wrong with the world and blame your opponent for not having solved all these problems before getting to the one with which they are currently involved. In many cases, you will be able to shame your opponent into red faced silence, pondering all the ways in which they're not helping horses.

Repeat as needed

Tired of hearing about how there is no evidence to support your strongly held beliefs? Don't shy away from online discussions. Just keep repeating what you hold to be true as if your views were actual arguments in a real discussion. Start by pointing out that your opponent has revealed their ignorance by stating an opinion contrary to yours. Nobody likes to be called ignorant and it will put them on their back foot, wondering whether they should be refuting your allegation or just ignore it. Then carefully account for your beliefs as if you or someone else didn't just make the stuff up. Remember: You read it in a book, so it must be true. When someone points out that the evidence available all contradicts your belief, repeat what you read in that book. If your opponent points out that the book you read might be wrong, explain that this can't be the case, since the author of the book said that everything in the book is true. And he or she should know. They wrote the book in which it says that they are telling the truth. Repeat ad nauseum, while rejecting any science quoted by your opponent. After all, scientists are just people.

False dichotomies

”I am allergic to peanuts, so I have to live entirely on watermelon.” That's a false dichotomy. It assumes that the only alternative to ingesting peanuts is to exclusively eat watermelon. Stupid, isn't it? Yet, in a horse context, this rhetorical cheat can often come in handy. For instance: ”You think it's cruel to keep horses locked up in stalls for 23 hours a day? Well I disagree, because leaving my horse to die of starvation in a muddy field with slipper feet and sweet itch is just not an option for me.” See how that works? You wilfully ignore all the options which neither involve starving to death or being locked up all the time. Like free choice stabling where horses walk in and out as they need to. Or turnout during the day or night and stabling during the other 12 hours. You pretend there are only two options: Yours and one other really bad one. You might think this is too transparent and that your opponent will catch on, but don't underestimate the shame associated with being accused of wanting your horse to die of starvation in a mud hole. Go to any horse discussion group and you'll see how routinely this trick is used and how well it works even though it is a completely invalid way of conducting a debate.

Pull rank

If you're an ignorant, opinionated horse person with a pathological sense of entitlement and a complete inability to change your mind about anything ever, chances are you've been in the game for a while. This is probably your strongest card. If someone states an aversion to a common practice of yours, remind them that you have been doing it for 40 years. In a startling number of cases, your opponent will back off rather than point out that doing it wrong for 40 years does not make anyone an expert. New and inexperienced horse owners are especially vulnerable to seeing things from the horse's perspective. Keep them in their place by accusing them of having ”pet horses”, thus inferring that you are yourself a professional and that their choice to have animals for the love of said animals and a desire to give them a good life is somehow inferior.

Follow these five, simple steps when you're talking to other horse people on the internet, and you will never have to back up your opinions with fact, let alone accept that you've been wrong and need to change. Good luck people and be careful out there.