Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Equine/Archive 5

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RFC at Talk:Copulation#Should_the_Copulation_article_exist.3F[edit]

You may want to participate in the RFC at Talk:Copulation#Should_the_Copulation_article_exist.3F --Philcha (talk) 13:50, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Finnhorse -1 red link...[edit]

Anyone care to assess Reipas? :) Pitke (talk) 20:34, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Haflinger and Avelignese[edit]

When I was a kid / teenager, these two were recognised as distinct and separate breeds, with the Avelignese being described as a bigger, heavier animal of a very similar type to the Haflinger. The Haflinger was, at that time, considered to be an Austrian-origin breed, and the Avelignese an Italian-origin breed, both breeds almost certainly having the same ancestral stocks, but of slightly differing phenotypes depending on their (current) location and (local) breeding policies.

Does anyone else remember anything of this kind? My 'sources' for this stuff are buried behind decades of life! At the moment, Avelignese redirects to Haflinger, but if there is / was a clear distinction between the two, should we possibly split them, point out the differences, and put a see also into each one for the other breed? Pesky (talk) 09:58, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

We once had two separate articles, which were merged somewhere along the line. Dana did the final work for the FA on Haflinger, and she has the source material. All I know is that this was done after careful research and with solid sources. But ask Dana the full scoop, or check on the talk page for past discussions of the matter. Dana happens to be one of the most careful writers we have here, so when she makes a change, it's for a good reason. Montanabw(talk) 19:17, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
At this point, all expert sources I can find on the breed treat them as one. There has been an ongoing discussion on the Haflinger talk page as to what to do with the fact that there were at one point two different types (a heavier type and a smaller type), although both types were found in both areas. The main problem with this is that it's rather hard to find reliable, high quality sources, which are what is needed for a featured article and is a more stringent requirement than simply "reliable". Another issue is the national one - the area where the Haflinger/Avelignese developed was originally (when the breed started developing) owned by Austria-Hungary. Then, post WWI, it was transferred to Italy. Because of the locations of breeding stock when the land was transferred, the breed developed almost simultaneously in both Austria and Italy, as well as spreading to have a significant population in Germany. Aveligna/Avelengo (from which Avelignese comes) is simply the Italian name for the village that is in German called Hafling (hence Haflinger). So, if people can find me reliable, high quality sources for the fact that there were once two different types (which no modern (i.e., post 1990ish) author seems to recognize), then then information should obviously be put in the article. However, none of my sources (including books that spent 100+ pages simply discussing the various bloodlines for gosh sake) even mentioned this, so I'm a bit stuck on this... Dana boomer (talk) 20:06, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
The way I see it, Dana is correct. Everything else is probably as mixed up with nationalistic politics as anything. For example, think of the "Alsatian/German Shepherd" thing with dogs -- during WWI in particular, no one wanted to describe anything with a German name due to wartime sentiment, so they changed the name. Some of the linguistics continued on for decades. I remember seeing "Alsatian" being used well into the 1960s. Montanabw(talk) 20:30, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Dana made a good suggestion on how to resolve the vaguely similar dispute at Neapolitan horse by presenting the information from both groups of sources and then stating clearly that no source explains the evident conflict between them. I see no reason why a similar approach shouldn't work here. I assume that since the Italian team responsible for reporting to the FAO, led by Prof. Giovanni Bittante of the University of Padova, has identified a critically endangered population of about 13 "traditional" Avelignese horses, there will soon be some research published; but until then the 'conflicting and unresolved' approach ought to work. Avelignese and Avelignese Tradizionale are listed separately in DAD-IS. Not that it has any relevance here, Alsatians are still called that in Britain; the queen's family name is still Windsor, too.
Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 17:14, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Wild guess: "trad. Av." = purebred Av. Pitke (talk) 17:48, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Ah well [sighs], lol! I was hoping someone else might have something - I'm almost sure I don't, and most of my books (including a couple of ancient 'breeds of the horse' books I had when I was a kid, are packed up in boxes awaiting suitable storage space to appear in mother's house. The pics I remember seeing as a kid showed two types, clearly quite different (the Haflinger pics were of 'almost pony-looking' Haflingers, and the Avelignese pics were of a much more 'substantial' and draught-ish type animal). Hmmmmm. JLAN: it will be really interesting to see what comes up from Prof. Bittante - please keep us posted on this if you find out before we do! A<d I have a dog which I still think of as 'mostly Alsatian', though I'm learning to say 'mostly German Shepherd' instead! (The other bit of her is Newfoundland ...ish. :o) ) Pesky (talk) 20:54, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Article search help[edit]

As I've probably mentioned before, I don't have JSTOR access at the moment. Could I ask if someone who does would very kindly look for a published article similar to this: "Analysis of genomic component of Maremmano „Romano‟ horse by means of microsatellite markers, Matassino D., Costanza M.T., Incoronato C., Occidente M., Pane F., Paoletti, F., Pasquariello R., Ciani F.", which is the title of a talk or paper presented at the 12th congress on “New findings in equine practice” held at the International Horse Centre, "La Venaria Reale", Druento (Turin, Italy), 11–13 November 2010. I'd be truly grateful
Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 17:22, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

I can do this, but nag me if I don't get to it in the next couple days, I get distracted; it's very a mild PITA (pain in the ass) for me to get into the subscription databases -- not difficult, just annoying things like a gateway web site, passwords, all that... Montanabw(talk) 15:54, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Did a search, no luck, maybe too soon for publication. Matassino has also researched the "Czech Dachshund" and spotted sea bass, however! I checked JSTOR, EBSCOhost, WIley Interscience CABdirect and Science Direct. I did notice on CABDirect that a paper given at the Proceedings of the ASPA 17th Congress, 2007, was published in the Italian Journal of Animal Science supplement a little later the same year. A few articles I found, though only abstracts of some, included Genetic diversity in the Maremmano horse and its relationship with other European horse breeds Felicetti et al. Genetic diversity of the Maremmano.By: Felicetti, M.; Lopes, M. S.; Verini-Supplizi, A.; Da Câmara Machado, A.; Silvestrelli, M.; Mendonça, D.; Distl, O.. Animal Genetics, Dec2010 Supplement 2, Vol. 41, p53-55, 3p; DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2010.02102.x; Genetic diversity and admixture analysis of Sanfratellano and three other Italian horse breeds assessed by microsatellite markers. Zuccaro, A.; Bordonaro, S.; Criscione, A.; Guastella, A. M.; Perrotta, G.; Blasi, M.; D'Urso, G.; Marletta, D.; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, Animal, 2008, 2, 7, pp 991-998, 42 ref.; Genetic characterization of the Sanfratellano horse population in the equine Sicilian biodiversity. Bordonaro, S.; Guastella, A. M.; Perrotta, G.; Zuccaro, A.; Marietta, D.; Malfa, G. la; Gentile, A.; Continella, G.; Società Ortoflorofrutticoltura Italiana, Firenze, Italy, Italus Hortus, 2006, 13, 2(II), pp 820-822, 5 ref.; Genetic characterization of the Bardigiano horse using microsatellite markers. Stasio, L. di; Perrotta, G.; Blasi, M.; Lisa, C.; Edizioni Avenue Media, Bologna, Italy, Italian Journal of Animal Science, 2008, 7, 2, pp 243-250, 18 ref.; and Morphological characteristics of "Monterufoli horse". Tocci, R.; Sargentini, C.; Lorenzini, G.; Degl'Innocenti, P.; Bozzi, R.; Giorgetti, A.; Macciotta, N. P. P.; Battacone, G.; Enne, G.; Marongiu, L.; Pais, A.; Pulina, G.; Rassu, P.; Edizioni Avenue Media, Bologna, Italy, Italian Journal of Animal Science, 2007, 6, Supplement 1, pp 657-659, 8 ref. Also some on other breeds. Anyway, not precisely what you needed, but a notion of what's out there. PubMed and Wiley Interscience usually have abstracts online for free, if you find a tantalizing article, I can't always get on to search this fast, but put it out here and someone else might. Montanabw(talk) 21:59, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Thank you! This is frustrating; if I had access I would glance through every one of those to see if there is stuff that should be included in the relevant articles here. But I really don't want to put other people to trouble just so that I can glance at something. Right this minute though, I would dearly like to know what is in this about the correlation between the Sarcidano horse and Spanish horses, something to do with transferrin E. Anyone sitting in front of a university computer with nothing better to do?
Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 10:34, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Found it! Wiley is, well, wiley about not letting you get stuff easily. I downloaded the entire .pdf, which has multiple articles. I did get your email, let me know via email reply if the message I sent you arrived and if so I can send the whole pdf to you via that email address. The piece you are looking for appears to be pretty short, though: Montanabw(talk) 23:31, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

"A069 Analysis of protease inhibitor (Pi) polymorphism in a local Sardinian Horse population C. CRISTOFALO’, P. VALIATI’, M. CANCEDDA2 & P.P. RODRIGUEZ GALLARDO’" : "Sardinian Horse population named ‘Sarcidano’ by starch gel electrophoresis (STAGE) at pH 4.6 and by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) at pH 8.7. The following international recognized variants were detected G, I, L, N, P, R. S, W. The last one showed a similar migration behaviour to Andalusian Horse reference samples. Among the breeds reared in Italy we only found it in Lusitano (0.142) and Anglo Arabo Sardo Horses (>0.001). The W main band was between L and N main bands in STAGE; it was like L in PAGE. A variant [L3] was also identified that was confirmed by comparison to #36 ISAGIHCT 1993. Two more phenotypes with an unrecognized variant named [MI were reported. The STAGE migration of [MI main band was between L and W main bands; the PAGE migration was like F. Three samples showed a N[M] phenotype while one crossbred horse, not included in gene frequencies calculation, showed a[M]U phenotype. The migration of W and [MI variants were compared to several alleles by STAGE and PAGE. Gene frequencies were: Gz0.007, k0.138, L=0.130, L3=0.051, N=0.443, P=0.007, R=0.007, S=0.101, W=0.094. [h/rl=0.022. The data suggested that a genetic correlation could be present between Sarcidano Horses and ancient Spanish horses as reported by historical documents about horse breeding in Sardinia."

Convert template[edit]

Everyone except me probably knows this already, but the Convert template is not working correctly for hands. I've posted on the talk page for the template to ask for help or a fix. Here's some of what I said: "{{convert|115|–|135|cm|hand|1|abbr=in}} gives me 115–135 cm (11.1–13.1 hands), just as I would wish; but trying to wikilink hands by adding in |lk=out as in {{convert|115|–|135|cm|hand|lk=out|1|abbr=in}} gives me this: 115–135 cm (11.1–13.1 hands) [some gobbledegook in red]. Is it broken, or is it just that my syntax is wrong?

There's another little problem, too: the figure after the point in hand measurement is not decimal but base 4, i.e., it goes 14.0, 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 15.0. But it looks like the converter is outputting decimal, such as 115–138 cm (11.1–13.2 hands)".
Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 22:45, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, the convert template has never worked properly for hands. That's why we use the {{hands}} instead, which was created especially for the base 4 weirdness that is hands. Just input something like {{hands|12.3|to|14}} to get 12.3 to 14 hands (51 to 56 inches, 130 to 142 cm). Dana boomer (talk) 22:50, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
And if you need to convert a metric standard that falls in the middle or a horse that really IS 14.1-3/4, you just have to do it manually and add the convert template. :-P Such as 14.1-1/2 hands (146 centimetres (57 in)) done by typing 14.1-1/2 hands ({{convert|146|cm}}) Officially a PITA, but the hands template ( Dana somehow got someone to make it go!) works for 90% of our articles, so it's a blessing! Montanabw(talk) 23:36, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, you've got it, I need to go the other way. I don't see why they shouldn't fix it, they seem to fix everything else they're asked to fix.Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 00:03, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm impressed: the linking thing was fixed within minutes. The code to fix the conversion is written, but to be put in place it seems to need (a) some sort of confirmation/consensus that the height hands should output as, e.g., "14.2 h" (IMO, it should, those who know what a hand is will not be confused, those who don't will follow the link) and (b) an admin to OK modifying a fully-protected template. Dana?
Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 08:08, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Huh? I'm confused...? I just tried to get 14.2 to convert to 158 cm and it steadfastly continued to give me 157 cm. 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm) works really well, but not for 14.2-1/2??? Anyway, I did the hack at your Sarcidano horse article, you can toss it if you want, but one convert template gave a result of 14.6, so something had to be tweaked ... ;-) Montanabw(talk) 22:02, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Well, yes, I saw that it was outputting 14.6 h. That's why I left it there, so that I could see when they finish fixing the template, which I think they are still working on, and check that it then outputs correctly. Please, would do me this favour: check with me before messing with stuff? I don't mean just adding a link or something, but if it's stuff where I've obviously gone to trouble to do it in a particular way, could you please ask first, OK? It'd save so much of everyone's time.

Confused? So am I now. 14.2 h is about 147.3 cm, so any attempt to get it to output as either 157 cm or 158 cm is doomed to failure, or if it isn't it ought to be. It should be 147 or 147.3, depending on how you set the significant figure variable.
Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 22:42, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

The convert/hand template seems to have been very hard to fix but is almost done I think. It works OK almost all the time, though I did get one anomalous result (15.4 hands!). I've only used it for cm, but presumably it will convert to feet, parsecs or East Anglian barleycorns if that is your pleasure. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 00:32, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Under these circumstances, I'll let you see if you can make it go. However, this is a great example of when hidden text is handy; saying "I know it's 14.6, give me a couple days to tweak the template" would be fine. Or you could sandbox it on your talk page for experiments. Nonetheless, you certainly have my support: If you can do it so that it translates cm into hands, rounding down (148cm=14.2, not 14.3 as it is actually about 14.2-1/2, and I doubt even barleycorns could explain base 4 and fractions together!), you will have succeeded where the rest of us have failed! Montanabw(talk) 16:14, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Stud book v. Breed register[edit]

Can some kind soul help me understand this (bureaucracy being yet another area that is not my strong point, yes, I know there are a lot of them). What exactly is the difference between a stud book and a breed register? The stud book article here is mostly about dogs, I read it, and I "came out, no wiser than when in I went". Here's an example of a breed that has both. I do understand the difference between an Italian Libro genealogico and a registro anagrafico; admission to the first is determined by ancestors, to the second by recognised similarity to the 'correct' type for the breed. But I'm hazy as to how they translate. It sometimes seems almost as if the two terms were treated as synonymous here.
Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 23:04, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

In the US, they are pretty much interchangable. Slight usage leaning towards a published record being a "Stud book" and "registry" being for the new modern-style ones where it's all electronic and there is never a published work any more. And then you get the AQHA (which has to be the 20 ton gorilla in the room) which published their breeding records as Official Stud Book and Registry. US usage is never to use "Register" but almost always "Registry", I'm not sure on UK usage. I've not got around to dealing with the morass that is stud book, just like I'm totally ignoring the fact that stakes race is almost exclusively concerned with Thoroughbred racing (and which is wrong, as QHs, Arabians, Paints and Appys in the US at least have stakes races also...) Only so much time in the day... We do at least have decent stubs on American Stud Book and General Stud Book (and an interesting but utterly-only-for-the-truly-devoted-article on Jersey Act) Ealdgyth - Talk 23:16, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Like Ealdgyth said. And "stud book" redirects to breed registry here; I think there were once two articles that were merged because one was a stub, or else they were duplicative. My humble opinion is that it's a mess because the dog people wrote the original and we horse people sort of merged in our stuff from several different articles so it all had a unified place to live. "Morass" is a good word. On the topic of terminology, though, there is also the thing with some warmblood breeders that not all warmblood breeds are really breeds, so their registration via studbook selection (a kind of neat article that could use expansion) isn't really a "stud book," per se, except for the animals accepted as breeding stock. To be honest, the whole European registry/studbook/licensing system is an area that would benefit from a good overview article that explains it. The USA basically does not license breeding stock AT ALL, unless individual registries insist on it, which usually results in the disgruntled whose horses don't pass stomping off and forming an alternative registry! (Don't get me started on that topic, it drives me nuts!) Montanabw(talk) 23:43, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
That explains a lot, thank you. So, gentle 'world view' reminder: the two are seen quite differently in some countries, it'd probably be good to keep that in mind when writing about non-US horses. What about unmerging stud book from breed register/ry? Even four lines of explanation would be better than an unexplained redirect; line 5 could say that in the US there isn't much of a distinction. From my question above, you know I'm not the person to write those 4/5 lines.Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 00:11, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Probably better to explain the difference in one article for now, WP tends to favor one longer article over a bunch of stubs, at least until there's enough content to do a spinoff. What's lacking is a good explanation of the difference as opposed to the other way around. I'd actually be more than glad to support an explanation of the difference if someone who knows the topic would care to add it. Down the road, there could be enough material to split it back out again. Montanabw(talk) 22:09, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm practically holding my breath waiting to see a registry for American Swan Necked Log Headed Calf Knee'd Backyard Horse, which of course is more loaded with intelligence, endurance, elegance and in-bred lethargy friendliness and calmness than any imaginable horse, especially those damn [insert here a breed registry that enforces some sort of quality control]. And where's my American All-Breed All-Color All-Discipline All-Equine Association? Oh, I guess I won't be seeing it because if everyone's horse was registered with AABACADAE, no one's critter would be any more special than if AABACADAE had never existed. *pokes Monty gently* How about AABACADAE Acceptable Conformation, Disposition And Performance Association? Now that would be special. Pitke (talk) 05:31, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
You really DO want to get me started, don't you? LOL! The nominees are: [1], [2], [3], and [4]. There are also some really bad photos [5] and [6] plus our international nominees: [7]. But I shall defer to my favorite blog to pick the winner... The spotted yak from South Africa! Montanabw(talk) 16:32, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Of interest...[edit]

This may be interesting... Ealdgyth - Talk 21:49, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Interesting, wonder if they compared Y to mtDNA, the "one stallion, many mares" theory appears to still be holding, though it will be interesting to see if Iberian y-DNA haplotypes still trace to the same batch. Apparently a Chinese haplotype has been unearthed, but ancient stallions who allowed themselves to be tamed still appear to have been few and far between. Montanabw(talk) 22:09, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Hmmmmm. I think they may be missing the fact that the UK is separated from the rest of Europe by quite a lot of water. And we have post-separation, pre-domestication horse remains. And I really don't reckon much to the likelihood of them having swum across the channel, really I don't. And we have mtDNA types shared with Norgie types and Icy-types, all as a nice little bunch in what was the north west peninsular, and is now north west mainland Europe and the British Isles. And .... does any of it tie in with all those dinky diagrams Kim had us all looking at and so on? Loadsa circles, remember? :o)

I shall read through the whole thing tomorrow and compare with all the other stuff we were looking at earlier. Would be a good idea to get Kim's view on how it fits (or doesn't) with the other studies. (I know she did say that PLoS ONE stuff wasn't always 100% 'with it', too.) Pesky (talk) 21:07, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Ahhhh! Since the true parental populations (i.e. European populations of wild horses) are not available, we chose the Hucul, a breed which has been bred in the Carpathian Basin since the thirteenth century [21], to represent the genetic component of non-Middle Eastern breeds. The relative genetic contribution of the Middle Eastern breeds to central European/UK breeds was established by individual comparison of each of the three Middle Eastern breeds with the Hucul breed. I wonder if that decision caused any anomalies. Pesky (talk) 21:31, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Untilfurther notice, or evidence, I'm with the "one (or very few) stud, many mares" theory. The Anthony book was discreet enough to gently say that the only way a mild-mannered stallion would get any girls was to be domesticated...hmmm, could this be applied to teenagers, somehow?? Domestication BEFORE reproduction???  :-D Montanabw(talk) 16:36, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
Quick response. This is a Plos ONE article, which means, not peer reviewed. Maybe they mention it, but the pattern as described is also consitent with local extinction in ice ages and recollonozation, which can explain the lower number towards the north of Europe. Later more. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 18:04, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Okay, more extensive response. The whole stuff seems to be fine. They talk about refugia 6000 years ago, which is not that long after the separation of Britain from the rest. if the British islands were recollonized after the ice ages, the number of horses contributing to it would be low and hence have low genetic variation. So, that makes sense. Once you get the domesntictae animals transported to the islands, you have a limited genetic variation of your domestic stock as well as from your wild stock. Combined, this is a bit more variation, but not to the same degree of a refugia that contributes with a huge genetic variation behind it. So, my conclusion, the article confirms what we already know from the British islands. As for the remaining area's, it makes sense as well. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 16:31, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

I figured Kim would set us straight on the article, and if it was bogus, we needed to know so as to be alert to it being used, and if it wasn't bogus, we could either use it or not freak when it was used. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:53, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Pesky, you there to look at this? Any relevance or lack thereof for your stuff? Montanabw(talk) 20:44, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Finnhorses and Appies and stuff, oh my![edit]

Congrats to Pitke for an GA for Finnhorse! Hooray! Hooray! Also, sending word out that we are very close to taking Appaloosa to FA and could benefit from any further helpful comments. About five people have weighed in and there has been a TON of work done by the team, but I, for one, am now so fried that I can't view the article with "new" eyes. If anyone has some constructive comments or a willingness to tell us where we've possibly screwed up, holler. I'd rather hear it from here first than from an FA reviewer. Montanabw(talk) 21:32, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Now, to expand as needed and push it to FAC so I can *finally* translate it for fi.wikipedia! lol Pitke (talk) 06:59, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Anyone up to come up with a hook for a DYK?[edit]

Made Eri-Aaroni tonight, and it's totally DYKable. The problem is, the hook I coined for it in Finnish just doesn't work in English. It would depend on words such as evacuation and refugee that don't quite have the same connotations to an English reader and might lead to confusion and even claims of a factually misleading/incorrect hook. But anyways, the article is there, it's not terribly long. Ideas for hooks are very much welcome. Pitke (talk) 21:02, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Oh, and c/e and assesment would be great too O:) Pitke (talk) 21:03, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Feel free to assess it yourself, most of us tend to under-assess our own stuff, and so just check the criteria and pop in what you thing works. Eri-Aaroni is probably B-class (FYI, MTBW's quick-and dirty assessment criteria: B=lotsa good footnotes but not ready for GA. C= some footnotes at least, but still kind of rough around the edges; Start=too long for a stub but few or no footnotes!) Almost all articles, including most horse "biographies," will be "importance=low" unless the topic is something of major significance to all horses in general, where they might be mid or better. I'll put a hook idea on your talk page. Montanabw(talk) 04:08, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Pfft, I'll miss all the "OMG GAN immediately" comments :> No, actually I do assess WPEQ and WPFi articles, but not my own, because an assesser will be at least one pair of extra eyes on my work, and because I tend to commit stupid blunders when I'm tired, i.e. late at night, when I'm at my most productive. But in all seriousness, that article contains not a single piece of info not supported by sources. Would it be a silly idea to pop it into GAN? Pitke (talk) 08:24, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Btw, am I correct to assume that WPEQ lacks any A class articles because any qualifying article either is short of an interested editor to request A class review, or has an interested editor that will push it to GAN or FAC? And that this project actually lacks A class culture? On that note, I'd like to request that someone impartial look at Eri-Aaroni with that in mind and leave an A class review sort of comment while assessing... :> Pitke (talk) 08:39, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, it's a weirdness, but as the WP criteria for A-class is virtually identical to GA, we just go to GA. I think about the only wikiproject that does an independent A-class review is WP Military History. Basically, none of us can assess higher than B class on our own, A-class requires totally outside heads. As for putting up Eri-Aaroni for GA, I suggest asking Dana or Ealdgyth to review it and comment, they have taken a lot more of these smaller articles to GA than have I. Ealdgyth would be particularly good, as she's done a bunch of the "horse biographies" for various Quarter Horses. In fact, if you want to compare your article to similar ones that are GA-rated or better, look at the ones listed here: Portal:Horses/Selected_article Several are FA, but the GAs include the articles Skipper W, Poco Pine and Garrett's Miss Pawhuska. I am no good for a pre-GA assessment because I stopped caring what the criteria was about three years ago because it kept changing all the time. I just ask others who stay up on such things to give it that neutral view and then decide how far I feel like bending over to get an article there. GA is usually within my comfort zone, but I don't like to take anything to FA without a team behind me to peel me from the ceiling because I've had to deal with too many stupid reviewers who want ridiculous changes like "don't use technical language like stallion and mare, call it a boy horse or a girl horse." I'm exaggerating a bit, but I am basically not the person to do those reviews; I'm fond of wordsmithing, verifying that a source says what we think it says, and generally getting the content right. Things like formatting refs into whatever form is the Only Proper Way this week drives me insane (and hurts my eyes).  :-P Montanabw(talk) 16:13, 24 April 2011 (UTC)


I began adding portal links to various WikiProject Equine articles. I believe that all of the horse breeds and the other articles need to link to the Equine portal.

BTW at one time I proposed a bot which could mass-add portal links to various pages, but the proposal went nowhere WhisperToMe (talk) 00:50, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Per conversation on my talk page and elsewhere, we already have the horses portal on our WPEQ talk page template, so it is on the talk page of all 2000± articles tagged for WPEQ. Unless we also want to add it to the {{Equine}} navbox and then put THAT on every article page (it currently is on most all of the breed articles but few others), I don't see any practical way to add this portal, and further, question if we need it on the article page or not; I'm willing to go with whatever decree on this the wikigods handed down this week (far be it for me to care about such lofty discussions), but I really don't want to see the portal put willy-nilly on some pages and not others. Though I suppose there IS an argument for having a link to the portal on the article namespace, I am also not going to be the one to manually add it to a couple thousand articles. Thoughts, anyone? Montanabw(talk) 16:36, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
I think having the portal on the wikiproject banner is a smart idea, and have proposed it at wikiproject Italy. The two-portal box that Whisper put on that horse page was neat and unobtrusive, I myself would not have removed it. And I personally would not be worried about inconsistency, but would just let people get on and add them if they want to, with the general idea that the more linked up stuff is, the better this thing works.
Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 00:17, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
I also agree that having a portal link on the WikiProject banner is good - I've noticed that many WikiProjects do exactly that WhisperToMe (talk) 16:12, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I'll agree with unobtrusive. For me, a lot of this is burnout talking, having survived things like someone who manually removed the equine template from all 350+ breed articles and then someone else who then re-added it, with an edit war both times. I believe the whole thing started with an argument over consistency. So never mind me, just not wanting another round of that sort of thing. Montanabw(talk) 01:12, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Help with WP:NOTE stuff and general cleanup of new article[edit]

Magic (horse) please. It's a mess. I tried to fix it a bit but it's just too much for me. Wikimagic can has y/y plz =_= Pitke (talk) 21:11, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

I say prod tag it; it looks like promotional advertising to me. Montanabw(talk) 04:07, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Categories problems[edit]

We have an overenthusiastic new user ( Nirame) going in and changing around categories without any discussion or consensus. I got him/her to stop removing horse breeds from the horse breed parent cat, but there are now two people adding nation categories to everything, which I guess is OK if they care, I just don't want all the horse breeds disorganized where we can't find them all again when new articles get created. But the biggest problem is with the extinct "breeds" or "types" or whatever they call them, a bunch of new categories are getting created, some of the taxonomy stuff that Kim worked on is getting changed in the horse article, and in general, the whole thing is getting messed up. It isn't that the horse categories are great as is, the problem is someone going in and screwing things up even more by creating a bunch of unneeded categories. I tried to straighten things out, but was on the dialup and it was too complicated. I just need this user to STOP recategorizing everything and start talking to people here to get ideas and seek consensus. Can anyone help out? Montanabw(talk) 18:17, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Images found (Finnhorse + stud action)[edit]

Ok so I imagine I've hit the gold here. Correctly licenced images of grey and palomino Finnhorses, AND a few good shots of a controlled serving situation. Will be adding to Commons right now, I'll be back with highlights. Pitke (talk) 12:29, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

We can't wait, let us know when they're on board. Montanabw(talk) 19:34, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Nice additions, I put the newborn into foal, though that article is now kind of image-heavy (we can always add more text later, I guess). It will take someone braver than I to figure out how to get the um, "servicing" images into either the stallion or horse-breeding articles without making them into vandalism targets (we get enough guff for the castration image in the gelding article... =:-O ) I'm working the chestnut foal into chestnut (coat). Montanabw(talk) 03:57, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

New article out there[edit]

Interesting article shaping up out there: Racehorse injuries. Just FYI to all who have an interest on the TB racing side. Montanabw(talk) 20:49, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Horse behavior does not qualify as a B-class article[edit]

While there is a lot of content on the page for Horse behavior, and it is written fairly well, the majority of the information on the page is unsourced. I've tried to look around the Internet and research publications for independent sources that investigate horse behavior, but as I'm not an equine expert, I had little success. I put a notice on the page in late March this year noting a need for citations (I was under an anonymous account), but so far nothing has changed.

First, at this point, the article isn't a B-class article. It may have been at one time, but as it is right now, that can't be right. Far too much of it is completely unsourced (e.g. the "Horses and humans" section has no references).

Is there someone in the community who can work to address these concerns? The information will have be removed if it cannot be sourced. I Jethrobot (talk) 05:30, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Don't tear down the house while it's being built. We'll move it to C-Class, not a problem. It probably hasn't been looked at since about 2007, but it's in the queue. We only have about three thousand articles to get to around here. Montanabw(talk) 19:00, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I sympathize with the amount of work ahead, but it is one of the few lower-quality articles rated as a "Top priority". I Jethrobot (talk) 22:29, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
And one of the most complex and time-consuming. Our immediate priority is probably bringing horse to featured article status. Big wagon, not many horses. (smile), and I appear to be the only person around here who is interested in the equine science and management stuff.  :-P Montanabw(talk) 15:46, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
I am, too! But so bogged-down with Real-Life stuff at the moment ... as and when I can muster up some energy and motivation, I will try to remember to take a look through things wot need to be done - Montana, if you could drop the occasional reminder onto my talk page, that would help to nudge me along (it's the first page I go to when I wake up in the morning, lol!) Pesky (talkstalk!) 07:25, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Untangling a mess[edit]

OK, we now have a blocked user and need to fix some minor messes they caused, but I want to do it right. I already restored all the articles categorized as "wild horse subspecies" to just "horse subspecies" (same difference) with a note on the page as to what we are talking about. All of this is probably a Kim question, but we really should have these categories line up with the proper taxonomy and I'm willing (for once) to do the grunt work. We currently have the following category tree: Equidae-->Equus-->various subspecies (i.e. "horse" donkey", "asinus", etc) I need someone to point me how to correctly nest these. For example. I am unclear on where we draw the line between equidae and equus (prehistoric ancestors seem to be all catted in equidae, equus is all living representatives of equidae but not all equidae were equus... help...?) And should we keep all the articles on the various asses that are in Category:Equus there, or move into "asinus" and, for that matter, should "donkeys" be a category separate from "asinus" or if we dump the scientific names, should the cat be "donkeys and asses"? I frankly no longer give a rat's rear end WHAT we call these categories (scientific names or common names), I'll go with whatever the wikigods' consensus is this week, I just want them to nest properly and to help put each of the relevant articles into the right place. So, taxonomists (Kim?)? Help? Montanabw(talk) 17:33, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

I would keep it simple.Top cat: Equidae, with subcats for large genera (say more than 3, 4 species) and ditto for subspecies. The cat Equus is then added to cat Equidae in a nested format. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 19:13, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
If no one disagrees, I say just do it or explain to us non-taxonomists exactly what we should do. Also See talk at Template:Equus too. I think we are untangling, in part, a 2-3 year old mess left by a certain user who got herself banned for tenditious editing (wink). Montanabw(talk) 20:35, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Units for height measurement[edit]

What follows ("Measurement dispute") is a discussion from the talk page of Mountain and moorland pony breeds. Since it is relevant to the whole project, I'm copying it here. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 11:52, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Measurement dispute[edit]

OK, there is another round of disagreement between myself and JLAN, easily viewable by comparing diffs. In short, my understanding of the situation is that JLAN thinks the measurements in this article should ONLY be stated in the form used in the UK, because that's what their breed standards say, while I prefer to use the {{hands}} template that provides measurement in hands, metric and US measurements for the benefit of worldwide readers. We seem to be at an impasse on measuring shetland ponies, as I think the hands template is still relevant, though JLAN states that Shetlands are only measured in inches in the UK. So I'm just going to slap a cn tag on it until the issue is clarified. To be fair, I think JLAN's position is that to convert into other measurements not used by the breed standard is OR, but I'm not sure. Anyway, that's the issue and I'm sick of revert wars about it. Montanabw(talk) 21:21, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Hmm, not quite. Here's what I think: SI units are preferred in this wiki, except in special cases, such as aeroplane altitudes. Horses are a special case. They are measured in hands in a few English-speaking countries, in metric units (usually centimetres, it seems) in the rest of the world. In my opinion, whichever is used should always be converted to the other. At minimal trouble to myself and a quite considerable deal of trouble to the wizards who maintain it, I got the Convert template fixed so that it works flawlessly for hands to metric and vice versa. I believe that in order to follow WP:MOSNUM#Which_units_to_use:
  • the heights of horses, mules & ponies from UK, US and other hand-using countries should be given in hands, with conversion to metric, using Convert
  • the heights of all other horses, mules and ponies should be given in metric units, with conversion to hands using Convert
  • the height of Shetland ponies and UK/US donkeys should be given in inches, with conversion to metric using Convert
  • the height of all other donkeys should be given in metric units, with conversion to inches using Convert
The Hands template gives redundant information; inches are not used in measuring horses, hands are not used in measuring donkeys and Shetlands. The template is obsolete now that Convert has been fixed, and can be discarded. I've added a citation for the measurement of Shetlands in inches, but it really isn't needed, it's a fact that every child knows, like 'Paris is the capital of France'. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 22:39, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
The template needs to convert everything, really. Even though we tend to measure in hands or cm, the fact that some breeds etc. are measured in inches still remains. Also ... there are still people who aren't "fluent" in centimetres, and don't know what a "hand" is! So the "inches" option is good in those circumstances, just to give them an idea what we're talking about. I vote - it has to say showing all options, really. Absolutely no benefit to taking the inches option out of it, either. Pesky (talkstalk!) 07:20, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

I noticed this debate because Montana just now insisted on using hands in horse artillery.[8] I checked the contributions for signs of other discussions and found this.

In a general encyclopedia intended for a wide audience the use of specialist measurements like hands is definitely contrary to our purposes to be available to everyone. I don't know how Anglophone horse experts feel about the issue, but I'm extremely skeptical that anyone would be incapable of understanding height measurements that are comprehensible to the average reader. Because using hands is quite obviously only to their benefit, and simultaneously ignores non-experts and non-Anglophone horse aficionados. If we're to use hands at all, it should be in parentheses, not as the primary unit.

Peter Isotalo 09:14, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Well, for starters, wikipedia IS read by children, and even some of them are learning for the first time that Paris is the capital of France! I agree with Pesky that we need to use ALL conversions so anyone anywhere in the world can read and understand what is meant. This is ENGLISH wikipedia, we are writing for English readers and to the best of my knowledge the entire English speaking world uses hands as a measurement for horses. But this isn't the place to discuss the convert template, that is an issue for WPEQ. The only issue here is what we do with this article. I am for correct measurements and conversions so that anyone knows what height we are talking about. And the last edit I made sourced to what I think is the UK's main breed society, so I cannot imagine a more authoritative source, certainly more than some horse show's web site (which is better than nothing, but not as authoritative as a breed registry) Speaking as a lifelong horse person, I for one cannot visualize a horse height given in centimeters OR inches without converting it to hands, but if you say "16 hands" I know immediately how big a horse is mentioned. Montanabw(talk) 04:42, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Knowing how long a hand isn't necessary to understand the article, so saying that we have to educate people about it doesn't have anything to do with making good editorial choices. I'm not a horse expert, so I'll take your word for it when you say that English-speaking horse aficionados all know it, but you're talking about a very small minority of the English-speaking readers. While WP:EQUINE is the place to discuss more general matters of the layout and content of horse-related article, the most relevant guideline here is Wikipedia:MOSNUM#Which_units_to_use. If sources use hands or not is at best a technicality; it's up to us as editors to present the content. Following sources slavishly can also lead to the rather absurd result of using different units of measurement in the same article. And how the template is formatted seems wholly irrelevant since it's not actually nor does it constitute a guideline in of itself.
Btw, I'm obviously used to the metric system, but I have at least some sense of feet and inches. However, giving height above 2 ft only in inches seems to me to be confusing. I would guess that the same would go for many US readers.
Peter Isotalo 09:44, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
The first sentence there makes my point precisely: "If a quantity is defined in a given set of units and is therefore exact in them, put those units first. The exclusion zone is ten nautical miles (about 11 statute miles, 18.5 km) in radius" Hands + inches is how horses are traditionally measured in the English-speaking world. Though there is movement toward use of metrics, notably in continental Europe, and in some small specialty breeds measurement in inches is seen (minis do this too), the reasonable approach is to do what will best make the article readable to EVERYONE, and conversion templates that include hands, cm, and inches are ideal for this. Montanabw(talk) 18:38, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Except the place you quoted comes after general recommendations about "Familiarity" and "International scope". But I guess that will never be as important to you as writing out of the perspective of a horse expert.
Peter Isotalo 19:02, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Let's just take this to your talk page, not worth arguing with you here. Montanabw(talk) 20:33, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

My penn'orth... I really can't see what's wrong with giving hands/in/cm for all equines. Personally I think of all equines in hands, so giving a Shetland or donkey only in inches is meaningless to me, and I'm no good at sums so I have to find a calculator to work out what it really means (for everything else I think in metric, except fish come in pounds and people in stone...). People who are not used to horses are unlikely to be familiar with hands and so metres or inches are appropriate. By giving all three we ensure that the heights are meaningful to all readers. What's the problem with that? Richard New Forest (talk) 20:50, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Well that's also my view, but I think the problem is that we have a personality conflict now going here that has nothing to do with the article itself. JLAN was the original person who raised the issue, so maybe Peter and I ought to just butt out and let you, Pesky, and JLAN sort it out. Montanabw(talk) 21:29, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
And mine, again - "hands" absolutely has to stay! It's been the 'standard unit of measurement' of horses for centuries; converting to cm has been a relatively recent change (circa 20 - 40 years ago, depending on where in the world you live). And anyone wanting to learn about horses, whether they know the firt thing about them or not, absolutely has to know that 'hands' is still the most commonly used measurement in general conversation / writing; cm measurements are far more likely to be encountered in competition rules and so on. I'm sure Montana's right about the 'do the conversion' thing - if I see a horse's height given in cm, I have to divide by 10 to get an approximation to hands before I can visualise said horse! Pesky (talkstalk!) 04:34, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Montana, I'm commenting here because of a wider interest in the issue and since I perceive your forceful attitude in this, but since I haven't been involved in this particular article before, I've refrained from editing. Considering that pretty much applies to your relationship to horse artillery (which you've taken a sudden interest in), maybe you shouldn't be telling others to "butt out". Unless, of course, you're willing to do the same.
Peter Isotalo 05:33, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Gently, Peter! :o) The WP:EQ team, on the whole, will be in agreement about the "hands" issue. It's what all horsey people (including 8-year-old pony-mad kids who have never sat on a horse but just read books) use in Real Life. In the horsey worlds, it's only when folks actually become 'more expert' that they start addressing the cm and inches versions of horse-measurement. Kinda the opposite way about to many situations. See Horse and Hound classified ads - the 'choose height' button on the search page uses "hands". Pesky (talkstalk!) 07:12, 27 June 2011 (UTC)


I've put an RfC tag on this page in the hope of attracting some outside comment on the above. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 12:28, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Template:Convert with hands and other units[edit]

The use of hands in Template:Convert has been corrected to round 0.35 hands up to 1 extra hand, while showing other units. Some examples:

  • {{convert|14.2|hand|in}} → 14.2 hands (58 inches)
  • {{convert|14.2|hand|in|0}} → 14.2 hands (58 inches)
  • {{convert|14.2|hand|in|0|lk=in}} → 14.2 hands (58 inches)
  • {{convert|14.2|hand|in cm|0}} → 14.2 hands (58 inches; 147 cm)
  • {{convert|14.2|to|16.1|hand|in cm|0}} → 14.2 to 16.1 hands (58 to 65 inches; 147 to 165 cm)
  • {{convert|2.0|m|hand}}   → 2.0 metres (19.3 hands)
  • {{convert|2.03|m|hand}} → 2.03 metres (20.0 hands)
  • {{convert|58|in|hand}}   → 58 inches (14.2 hands)

We are still working to implement the Royal Egyptian cubit (royal cubit) and other related units, but the hand also goes back to 3000 BC (source: Canada, so expect horse heights in hands from that time period.

  • {{convert|1|royal cubit|hand}}   → 1 royal cubit (5.1 hands)
  • {{convert|14.2|hand|royal cubit}}   → 14.2 hands (2.8 cu)

The royal cubit (524 millimetres, or 20.62 inches) was subdivided. There were 28 subunits, known as "digits" or a finger's breadth, in the royal cubit. Five digits equalled a hand, four digits, a palm. -Wikid77 (talk) 11:46, revised 12:02, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

We probably should always have the word "hands" bluelinked to the article about hands. Also, hands NEVER uses two units after the point. So it IS workable for some of us to still be lazy-butts and keep the default {{hands|14.2}} as 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm) (read: 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm) as always)? and simple form of {{hands|14.2|to|16.1}} to 14.2 to 16.1 hands (58 to 65 inches, 147 to 165 cm) Simple form for us simpletons? I'm groovy with additional parameters for those who need them when they might be needed. Still disagree with doing ONLY cm or in, not both, however. AND, we still haven't solved the problem of Theodore O'Connor being 14.1-1/2 to do that? Montanabw(talk) 18:24, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
{{Convert}} defaults to lk=off. Making an exception for hands in not completely impossible but I'm not sure it would be a great idea (we're striving to keep within a set of pretty tight template limits). However, I wonder about the idea of always linking to Hand (unit). Sure, it's not a unit commonly recognised outside of horse circles and the use of the undecimal point is almost certain to puzzle the unfamiliar so a link would generally be handy. However, if the unit is used repeatedly in the article, defaulting to lk=on (or lk=in) would likely lead to overlinking. JIMp talk·cont 23:58, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Agree with Jimp that the overlinking issue is an issue. A "code" on or off would be OK with me. I'd prefer the default was "on" so that we who care to clean up articles for GA or FA could do the work of cleanup while the newbies (or the lazy) could at least use the template in its most useful form. Montanabw(talk) 02:47, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, of course it would only need to be linked at the first occurrence in the article. My objection to the Hands template is that it does not permit of any parameter control, of which this is a good example. I can see no value whatsoever in reducing the flexibility of Convert in any way; we already have a totally inflexible template in Hands. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 00:12, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Except for the stuff Wikid77 has done in the Sandbox version, that is. I can't myself see the point of having two templates to do one job, but if you guys have the time and energy to make Hands flexible and configurable in use, then I'll withdraw all opposition to it as well as my suggestion that it be deprecated. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 00:17, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
No, as far as I'm concerned there is no point in keeping two templates for the same job. If {{convert}} can do the job, why keep another template? Why? For simplicity? Montanabw, when you say you hate complex templates I suppose you mean templates which are complex to use (as opposed to templates whose code is complex). It is true that {{convert}} requires an extra parameter ({{convert|15|hand}} vs {{hands|15}}) but I suggest that it's worth the effort for the flexibility that convert has to offer (e.g. you can't turn the linking off with {{hands}}). Sure {{hands}} can be reworked to increase its flexibility but why have us do twice the work? JIMp talk·cont 01:11, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Convert seems to not do well with hands without using pretty complex syntax. I'm for a separate template, though for specialized uses, those who want to do all the complicated syntax wouldn't be discouraged if they had a good reason for it (like the 14.1-1/2 hand horse problem, or the cm standards of the FEI that fall between inch measurements. Montanabw(talk) 02:47, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

I hope you will be able to enlighten us as to what you mean by not doing well and pretty complex syntax. I've read a a couple of claims that {{convert}}'s dealing with hands is flawed but have no details (except those I've discovered myself). Currently the difference between {{hands|15}} and the ever so slightly more complex {{convert|15|hand}} is that the first one links to the hands article (which I'm suggesting isn't really the best default) and the second doesn't give inches by default (which could easily be changed). (Note also that {{convert}} can do what {{hands}} does using parameters but not vice versa ... sorry, no, it can't abbreviate "centimetres" and not "inches" ... but why you would I don't know.) .... but you're actually inadvertently hitting the nail on the head when you talk of specialised uses ... fancy stuff like the 14-hand-1+12-inch horse (indeed even the whole undecimal point bit) is where a separate template might come in handy (though Wikid's got that working with {{convert}} ... so think up something more fancy). JIMp talk·cont 04:44, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Updating Template:Hands for fractions and lk=off[edit]

I have a proposed new sandbox version, in Template:Hands/sandbox, to allow unlinking "hands" by lk=off, and to support fractional horse heights, such as Theodore O'Connor being 14.1 34 hh (or 12?). There is no rounding of inches, yet, so 3/4 adds 0.75 inches. Examples:

  • {{hands/sandbox|14.2}} → 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm)
  • {{hands/sandbox|14.2|lk=off}} → 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm)
  • {{hands/sandbox|14.1+3/4}}   → 14.1 34 hands (57.75 inches, 147 cm)
  • {{hands/sandbox|15.2+655/1000}}   → 15.2 6551000 hands (62.655 inches, 159 cm)

Note how the 34 of an inch is coded as "+3/4" combined with the number "14.1+3/4" in hands. The wikilink for "hands" will default to "lk=on" so to get plain text, use "lk=off" when showing many horse heights in an article. The current Template:Hands is unchanged, at this point, but if there are no other suggestions, then I can update it from the sandbox version. -Wikid77 (talk) 05:15, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Wiki markup syntax boggles my brain, but as Dana did the work on the original hands template, I'll wait for her to assess this. Montanabw(talk) 02:47, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I like the updated template, and I generally think that having a specific template like this helps flow, and ultimately is probably easier for users (especially new ones) that using the syntax for things like {{convert}}. OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 07:09, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Easier if they only ever want to convert hands to inches and centimetres. If the new user wants to do other kinds of conversions, I'd suggest they get used to {{convert}}; it's not really that hard to use. Certainly there will be exceptions but, in general, it seems to me that having a different template for each unit is an approach which would make WP more difficult. JIMp talk·cont 08:28, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • For the abbreviation of "hands" units, would "h" be better than "hh" (horse height)? Also, when using Convert, please feel free to ask at Template_talk:Convert, if there are any questions about the options: many people respond daily at that page, so answers can be expected within a few hours, not days. As more options are added to Template:Hands, we can try to keep them the same as in Convert, so that users could better learn one template from the other. -Wikid77 15:13, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
If abbreviated, it would be "hh" for "hands high", but i think it should be an option for long or short version. OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 18:19, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I've been on wiki for over five years and convert template syntax still confuses me, I have to keep specific instructions for those three or four times I've ever needed to do the in-between measurements. The hands template has been a godsend. As for the rest, big debate over h (hands) and hh (hands high) at Talk:Hand (unit), though basically the two are used interchangably, I don't know how difficult it would be to get to a consensus. May be best to just say "hands" with or without the option to wikilink.
  • New options for abbreviation and rounding: Keeping Template:Hands with the same simple results, I am also adding optional parameters (in the Hands/sandbox version) for abbreviation (abbr=on or abbr=hh) and rounding (r=2, rinch=2, rcm=1). We need to round inches in the rare case of 1/3 inch (0.333333333):
  • {{hands/sandbox|14.1+1/3}}          → 14.1 13 hands (57.333333333333 inches, 146 cm)
  • {{hands/sandbox|14.1+1/3|rinch=1}} → 14.1 13 hands (57.3 inches, 146 cm)
  • {{hands/sandbox|15.3|abbr=on}}      → 15.3 h (63 inches, 160 cm)
  • {{hands/sandbox|15.3|abbr=hh}}      → 15.3 hh (63 inches, 160 cm)
With option rinch=1, inches are rounded to 1 decimal place, to show "57.3" rather than 57.333333333333 inches when 1/3 inch. Remember, all those new parameters are optional, and Template:Hands will still default to the simple inches/cm as before. The plan is to keep Hands simple for most cases, while allowing rare options, when there are several heights in one article. -Wikid77 14:02, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Testing: 14.1 to 14.3 hands (57 to 59 inches, 145 to 150 cm) , 14.1 12 hands (57.5 inches, 146 cm), yep , I think that works. Montanabw(talk) 20:04, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

  • UPDATED (from /sandbox). I have updated Template:Hands to allow the new options (I was beginning to forget what to change); if any problems, revert the update. This is the first update since 23 August 2009. The updated features include:  allows fraction as 14.1 34; new options: abbr=on (or abbr=hh for "hh"), lk=off to not wikilink; r=1 to round inches/cm as 1 decimal, rinch=1 for inches, rcm=1 for cm; fixed for ranges, omits spaces if hyphen/dash or comma in the range; shows more examples, etc. -Wikid77 (talk) 13:23, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

List of dressage terms[edit]

I did not find a "List of dressage terms" (or "List of dressage terminology") which could help spot missing articles. I looked in "Category:Dressage terminology" and did not find the dressage salute, perhaps covered in another article. When wondering why many thousands of topics are "missing" from Wikipedia, I realized that if there were a "List of terms" for a specific subject, then items in that list could indicate which articles are missing, while most terms (in the list) should wikilink to articles giving more information about a term. Hence, from a list of dressage terms, it could be easier to detect some articles to create, as major articles for the list. -Wikid77 (talk) 15:24, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm interested in your idea. IF it's done correctly from the outset. We have Glossary of equestrian terms, which has EVERY entry sourced, but it doesn't touch the dressage stuff much and probably shouldn't. We also have a specialty glossary, though maybe slightly too regionally specialized Glossary of Australian and New Zealand punting, which is also well-sourced but maybe should become an overall horse racing glossary, not geographically confined. (Dunno, just putting it out there) So, personally, I'd be OK with a list or Glossary of dressage terms and I'd help put it together IF we sourced as we went, as happened with the other Glossary projects. Last thing I want to deal with are the kinds of editing wars that could start over things like whether travers and renvers are properly performed on three or four tracks (which is hotly debated in classical literature...)  :-P Montanabw(talk) 18:26, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

RFC: what units should be used for horse and pony heights?[edit]

What units should be used when showing and converting the heights of horses and ponies in order to comply with WP:MOSNUM? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 12:03, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Threaded discussion[edit]

There's already some discussion of this question at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Equine#Units for height measurement below. At the risk of repeating myself, here's my own interpretation of WP:MOSNUM#Which units to use:

  • Unequivocally, when a quantity is defined in a specific unit, that unit is given first; thus hands for Cleveland Bay, inches for Shetland Pony, centimetres for Bardigiano
  • Hands are used in the USA and UK and possibly some other English-speaking countries, and are there a "primary" unit; articles about horses and most ponies in those countries should use hands, and convert to metric for the benefit of the rest of the world; they should not use inches as inches are never used for the measurement of horses
  • Inches are used for donkeys and a few small ponies in those same countries, and are there a primary unit; articles about those animals in those countries should use inches and provide conversion to metric for everyone else; they should not convert to hands, as hands are never used for the heights of these breeds
  • Articles about all other breeds and kinds of horse worldwide, and all horse articles that do not specifically relate to one of the few countries where hands are used and understood, should use metric units, and provide conversion to hands (for horses and most ponies) OR inches (for Shetlands, mini-ponies, donkeys etc.)
  • Three-way conversion is unnecessary, superfluous and indeed tends to create confusion. The Hands template is obsolete, and may be discarded.
  • Conversion to feet and inches, as in Horse artillery, is equally superfluous as these units are never used for the heights of horses.

What do others think?
Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 12:28, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Adamantly oppose: I fail to see the harm in conversions to both inches and cm in all cases where we use hands as a measurement? To exclude them makes the articles less comprehensible. The hands template ({{hands|15}} looks like this: 15 hands (60 inches, 152 cm) was specifically designed to convert hands into measurements that non-horse people understand. It is ridiculous to NOT explain to non-horse people what "hands" means in both US and metric measures, just like we do for everything else.. But it is equally ridiculous to NOT use hands as a measurement, as it's the way horses are measured. The first principle is that wikipedia widely uses conversion templates so that everyone can know what a given measurement is in terms they understand in their own nation. Second, wikipedia clearly acknowledges the use of alternative forms of measurement when relevant to a topic, Nautical miles as an example. Third, the hands measurement is used THROUGHOUT the English-speaking world, this IS English wikipedia, and as two of our UK editors, above, have stated, metrics is a relatively new phenomenon, mostly seen in continental Europe and driven mostly by those who are in international competition. "Just a few countries" includes the USA (300 million people) the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and so on -- hardly an obscure or irrelevant impact. As for (some very small) ponies and (some very small) donkeys, hands can be used as well as inches, as aficionados may use one set of measurements, but the horse community in general is familiar with another. This entire discussion is a complete waste of time, IMHO. Montanabw(talk) 18:30, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
If hands was actually commonly used for things other than horses, this would indeed be an Anglophones vs non-Anglophones-type of issue. But that's clearly not the case. The applicable groupings here would appear to be "English-speaking horse fans" and "virtually everyone else regardless of native language". At least that's my experience of how commonly known hands are as a measurement.
Peter Isotalo 19:22, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • A general question from someone who has grown up metric: how would a person from the US (who isn't talking about horses) give the height of something that is more than a foot high? Peter Isotalo 19:22, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Depends on the context, but the military records height in inches without converting to feet/inches.Intothatdarkness (talk) 18:17, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Use hands template - I would strongly support the use of the hands template, as this seems to satisfy all requirements, maintains consistency between articles within the project. I would say, being UK based, that the measurement in inches for the (miniature) ponies is not universal, I've seen near ponies described in hands and inches, inches only, and more commonly recently in centimetres (which is what I believe is on some of the breed passports now?) For the anglophones argument, this is english wikipedia, so I would generally go with the EN usage, and disambiguated using the template to SI and metric. OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 19:29, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Use hands template - Hands is the most commonly used unit of measurement in the English-speaking horse world, and it is the one that every horse person I know of (and most people in the English speaking world) use to describe horses. WP:MEASUREMENT says "Put first the units that are in the most widespread use in the world for that kind of measurement." Hands is definitely the most widespread measurement of horses in the English-speaking world, and it is arguable that it is the most widespread measurement worldwide, because of its extensive use in English-speaking countries as well as non (including India, see the various standards of the Indigenous Horse Society of India, and others). I would also support having conversions in both inches and centimeters (or feet and meters, I'm not really too bothered by this point), but feel that both are necessary. I do understand that some people will not understand the meaning of "hand", and so converting to both standard and metric is necessary. As Montanabw points out above, Wikipedia does recognize the use of specialized measurements (nautical mile, troy, etc) in other areas, and so I don't see why the most common measurement of horses in at least the English speaking world (and this is, after all, the English Wikipedia) can't be used in all horse articles. Dana boomer (talk) 20:06, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Don't push standards I can't really see that trying forcing every editor who ever gives the height of a horse to use a particular template is beneficial to anyone except horse fans. The pointless dispute going on right now at horse artillery is a textbook example of how not to treat each other's ideas about how to best write an article. And while it's good to seek general consensus, the merest suggestion that it should eventually have "jurisdiction" over any and all related content in any article mentioning a certain type of fact is as petty as it is antithetical to the spirit of collaboration on Wikipedia. I've also noticed that the idea of the universality of nautical miles is turning into absolute truth, even though that's clearly not the case (see the FAs Battle of Tassafaronga, Battle of the Eastern Solomons and Battle of the Nile for example). As for using templates, I can only say is to let that be up to the people who's been most active in articles. There's been plenty of disputes about the benefits and shortcomings of templates elsewhere, and the consensus has in the end always been that barging in from left field and trying to force a change is always a bad idea. Peter Isotalo 20:32, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I think I must have mis-stated something. I am not trying to force the use of a template - either the hands template or any other - and I don't think anyone else is either. I'm certainly not running around changing the few hundred articles that had the conversion done manually before we had either the hands template or the proper conversion working in the convert template. I am stating my opinion that the measurements "hands" should be in all horse articles, and should generally be the first measurement, i.e. xx hands (yy inches, zz centimeters or cm then in), per my arguments above, as well as those of Montana and Owain. It's just easier to use the template, IMO, because I don't have to get out a calculator; it's not necessary, however. In this same line, I don't think the hands template is "obsolete" and should be deleted, as per JLAN. Dana boomer (talk) 20:44, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
consistency is important, and of course 'horse fans' are likely to be some of the highest users and editors of WP articles on horse related subjects. It seems needless to exclude them from easy reckoning of facts in an article when a perfectly adequate alternative exists with the template. To me the spirit of collaboration for WP means expanding it to as broad an audience as possible, and avoid being exclusionary., which is why templates are popular, and there are worse de facto rules on the encylopaedia! In this case, keeping a chosen set of units is exclusionary to a large group. I would prefer not to, for sake of consistency, but you could consider creating a new template in the reverse order with inches (hands, cm) or something similar. OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 20:47, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Dana, I'm glad if you're not in favor of forcing templates on any article, but it does seem as if others are. I've seen it happen before, and it seems to result in nothing but a bluster and bickering before winding down to a pointless stalemate. I was hoping to nip some of that in the bud by pointing it out. I also think it's relevant to know if any article containing any type of horse information should be considered a "horse article".
I don't really understand the whole argument about using hands just because it's used within a certain community and in specialized references. In a general encyclopedia, the point is always to simplify and condense information in a way that is readily available to as many readers as possible. No matter how you look at it, the hand is a pretty something pretty obscure to the overwhelming majority of readers. It's not comparable with knots or nautical miles, something most people at least have hard of, and which obviously isn't considered necessary everywhere. I wouldn't be as adamant about this if hands were only used in fairly specialized horse breeding articles, but when it's in use in basic article like horse and pony and those sharing the subject with other disciplines, like horses in warfare, I just don't see what the point is. Most people who read those articles obviously don't belong to the horse aficionado crowd.
And I'm still very curious about someone answering my question about how a US reader would generally understand the height of something: feet and inches or just inches alone? I think it's a very relevant question here, because I can't recall ever hearing an American describe something higher than a foot only in inches. It just seems to me like a very obvious, and unnecessary, source for potential confusion to a lot of readers.
Peter Isotalo 00:43, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Hands should be the first unit used in a horse measurement, as it's the way horses are measured around the world, but conversions should also be made into centimetres and inches.Cgoodwin (talk) 21:35, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose:This looks to me like yet another example of Wiki-reality trying to force itself onto accepted standards. If there's a working template to show conversions, just use it. I've seen the term "hands" come in to non-equine specialist writing about the Civil War, the Frontier Army, and any number of other areas. It's accepted outside equine specialist circles, and does on occasion appear without conversion of explanation. Hands should be the default, with other units added with the template.Intothatdarkness (talk) 21:40, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose: Hands is the default unit for horses. Get over it. Converting for people unfamiliar with it by means of template is not only a good idea, it's plain common sense, the same way any other unfamiliar unit (stone, frex) would be. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 23:22, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Hands are used here in Oz, and should be the first unit used in a horse measurement - I do think it needs conversion to other units (maybe as a footnote ???) Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:38, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose un-standardising - Hands is first option! This absolutely has to stay, and it does look as though we have strong consensus on this one, at least. As I've said above, the template is useful in that it makes the 'hand', as a unit of measurement, easier for non-horsey people to understand. It also, obviously, gives the inches and cm alternatives so that it is dead easy for application to Shetties and so on, where those units are used more often. Having said that, 'hands' is also used for Shetties - though not in the 'official competition world', so much. I should imagine that many people have heard of a ten-hand Shetland (and I'm talking about Standard Sheltands here, obviously, not miniature Shetlands). I'm certainly not going to volunteer to bung the template in on every article, either - far too lazy, and far too much going on in Real Life! But it would make a nice little job (I almost said donkey-work, do forgive me ...) for someone, if they ever felt like doing same. I'd say that the vast majority of horsey-people in the English-speaking world are likely to be more familiar with hands as a measurement, in day-to-day talk, than the other measurements. We all know that if we say "ten hands" we're talking "dinky pony", "fifteen-two" and we're talking about a convenient-sized riding club horse / leisure horse, and "eighteen-two" and we have instant mental image of "effing great humungous big horse". (And I've never, ever heard of horses being measure in feet-and-inches.) We know what these mean, without having to put too much thought into it. Sometimes these arguments - on subjects like this - do have the appearance of arguing for the sake of it - let's not start letting WP:EQ get polluted by snittying! Pesky (talkstalk!) 07:06, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Educate readers: It would be beyond ridiculous to censor the use of "hands" and not use a very handy and simple template. Horses are measured in hands, just like wind speed in knots, and a nautical mile isn't the same as a regular mile. We also have specialized terms elsewhere like parsec and light year. Not everyone uses the metric system, and even those who do will benefit from understanding that there is a cultural and historic use of other units. JLAN's original issue, which I think was the question of whether to use hands as a general rule and to convert hands to both inches and cm (or to just follow whatever measurement from each breed registry uses, without conversion to all units, no matter how inconvenient to the reader) has been hijacked by Peter, who seems to have an agenda of eliminating the use of "hands" as a measurement altogether. Montanabw(talk) 16:21, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
MY actions? Excuse me, Peter, but you are the one making tendentious arguments and inserting yourself into issues. I respectfully ask that you lay off the accusations, avoid further personal comments and discuss the issue, which, by the way, isn't even the issue you are trying to argue about. As for "my behavior," well, my reply: On horse artillery, you deleted the standard hands template that has been there for quite some time, and did so with an edit summary about hands being an inappropriate measurement. I reverted it and reviewed the source material to be sure how it was used, tweaking the citation a bit. I've had that article watchlisted since sometime in 2008 when I made a minor edit or some sort, I kind of remember finding that source material, so either I added it initially, or else someone else moved it in there from something I wrote elsewhere. We then went through a couple of revert rounds, and it went, as it should, to talk. You then proceeded to argue about it there, make arguments about the same as your ones here, inserted manual conversions into the article that were incorrect (15 hands is neither 150 cm nor 4 feet 11 inches), changed my citation, then went to two other articles and made more comments about hands as a measurement, and now you are here. You clearly can do anything you want that is within policy, but no one has to agree with you. Montanabw(talk) 19:53, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Wikipedia is for international public, and hence it has to be readable for everybody. I can see an argument to modify the hands template such that the order of the measurements can be customized as to give the most used version first and the remainder in parentheses. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 20:07, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
(reply to Kim). I think "hands" should always be first, and if we wanted to have cm come before hands, I don't think us Yanks would object. I'm personally enough of a template luddite that I'd have a hard time using variants to swap the order of hands or cm, so I favor simplicity. Montanabw(talk) 20:28, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
I would say that in this case "hands" would be the most used version, followed by other units for conversion/illustration purposes.Intothatdarkness (talk) 20:32, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose using only hands makes no sense. This is a general encyclopedia, not a horse-fan-only encyclopedia. Hands are not widely known outside of the equestrian world, so should always be explained in a more accessible unit (say metric, or Imperial). Hands are also not the traditional unit of measure for the entire world. What does a European "hand" have to do with an Ancient Egyptian horse, or Samurai cavalry horse, or Genghis Khan's hordes' horses and ponies? They did not use that unit in their native measures. Further, why do we have "hands" as a template? We have {{convert}}, which everything should use. (talk) 05:28, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't think anyone's suggesting that hands should be the only measurement used - but it should be the standard, first, measurement, with the hands template giving the other measurements. I'm sure that if you wanted to volunteer to add in the conversion template showing the cm and inches equivalents, to every article where "hands" is currently the only measurement given, nobody would be likely to argue with that. Pesky (talkstalk!) 07:37, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
  • What does it have to do with ancient egyptian horses? Quite a lot as it happens... see articles here, here and here. Whilst the standardisation to match SI units may (or may not) have occurred in Europe, the actual origin of hands is in it being an ancient method of measure, that anyone could use, so that being the case, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest to find that Genghis Khan or the Samurai cavalry used hands or a variant like cubit. OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 08:18, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
  • A French foot (obsolete) is not the same as an English foot, a Chinese mile (the li, also obsolete) is not the same as an English mile. It appears you're suggesting the English hand is the same as the Egyptian. The English hand has nothing to do with the Egyptian unit, they are different values. (talk) 05:39, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
  • What units were used centuries of several thousand years ago doesn't seem pertinent to the issue. If anything, it's highly doubtful that it can ever be estimated with the same exactness as the modern hand. Pre-modern societies simply didn't have that kind of exactness or level of standardization. It's also highly doubtful to assume that European measurements were the same as those in Central Asia or Japan, at least without some very concrete evidence. Peter Isotalo 09:45, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment on confusion I think we need a clarification of what suggestions we're actually discussing here, because everyone claims to be in opposition, but clearly have very different ideas of what they're in opposition of. The only thing that appears to be an almost unanimous opinion (as far as I can tell) is that hands should never stand without clarification. Justletter's starting post tried to cover multiple aspects of the issue, but it seems to be rather difficult to condense into any one concrete suggestion. Perhaps Justletters could try to briefly summarize it with one or more concrete suggestions for solutions? Peter Isotalo 09:45, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Use hands template. Clearly the preferred measurement for horses in the English-speaking world (and this is English Wikipedia) and with the template defining the measurement there is no problem. -- Necrothesp (talk) 16:20, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

CLARIFY: I believe JLAN's original RfC had to do with an issue that began on the Mountain and Moorland pony article, which, basically, was twofold: JLAN asked if we should dump the {{hands}} template for one he worked on that converts hands to inches OR cm, but not both, with the goal to primarily use whatever measurement form (hands, cm, inches) a given horse breed registry or nation uses -- and no others-- without conversions, or possibly with conversions only to inches or cm but not both. (?) At least I think this is JLAN's position, but he's not been around for a couple days and I don't want to misstate it. My position was to KEEP the prevailing consensus of WPEQ which is to encourage (not force) a general guideline to use the hands template for horse height that will automatically show the conversion of hands into inches and centimeters, giving ALL THREE measurements. I think (again, not wanting to misstate) that with Peter's comments, the discussion moved into a general discussion of the value of using hands as a measurement at all, with the template issue also a part of the discussion. I don't think that anyone -- including the horse people -- think we should just say "hands" without explaining what it is, and Wiki MOS would say no to that anyway. My own personal position, previously stated, is to keep and strongly encourage use of the hands template to always convert hands to both inches and cm so everyone knows what's being discussed. Thus I "oppose" both JLAN's proposal and (as I understand it) Peter's variant. So what we have here is one of those situations where "oppose" means KEEP. I think. Clear as mud now?Montanabw(talk) 18:51, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

FURTHER ATTEMPT AT CLARIFICATION: Thanks to all who have responded. I wish I knew what you have all responded TO! I understand that there is unanimous opposition to something, and people are in favour of hands, but that's all. Thanks also to those who have attempted to clarify what it is we are talking about. Clearly I formulated my RfC wrongly (I've not done this before). My question was "what units should be used for horse and pony heights?", and, as a result of formatting the discussion badly, I'm not finding it easy to see how "oppose" is a more useful answer to that than, say, "forty-two". So I'm going to try to break down what I wrote above into several subsections, in the hope that not everyone will be already too bored by this to comment on one or more of them. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 23:49, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

WP:MOSNUM is OK[edit]

WP:MOSNUM#Which units to use is I believe OK, and does not need to be altered. My hope here is to understand how it should be applied. It says

"Put first the units that are in the most widespread use in the world for that kind of measurement. Usually, these are International System of Units (SI) units and non-SI units officially accepted for use with the SI; but there are various exceptions for some measurements, such as years for long periods of time or the use of feet in describing the altitude of aircraft."

I believe that horses and horse stuff may be such a special case. Horses are measured in hands in a few English-speaking countries, in metric units (usually centimetres, it seems) in the rest of the world. In my opinion, whichever is used should always be converted to the other. What do others think? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 23:49, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

In a general encyclopedia, I believe it would be best if dumped just about all specialized measurements, including knots and nautical miles, in favor of common units. But at least those two examples are quite well known outside of specialist circles, even to the extent that a lot of non-experts know at least the rough conversion rate. I recognize the pragmatic need for some compromises for "special cases" on Wikipedia, but hands is to me particularly problematic since it appears to be virtually unknown, even to English-speaking readers. As far as I can tell most have probably never even heard of it.
Peter Isotalo 09:16, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
I do not disagree, and the use of hands is pretty much universal in the literature we'd use to write the articles on horses, so thus hands should be used as well as converted to other units. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:10, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree that we need to always convert, and I believe that the conversion needs to be threefold in ALL relevant units used in modern English: Hands, inches, and cm. It is irrelevant to me which comes first as long as the conversions are done, though I hate complex templates and like the simplicity of {{hands|x}} without the need for a lot of additional parameters. My position is also that hands is far from "virtually unknown," in the English language, though perhaps it is alien to young city-dwellers who have never been in the country and know nothing of rural life. These people probably have no idea what an acre is, either. To the best of my knowledge, hands is used not in "a few" English-speaking countries, but ALL English-speaking countries. I have no clue what words were used for measurement in, say, German prior to the development of the metric system, and as this isn't German wiki, it doesn't matter. Ditto, say, China. I believe that Pesky noted above that metric measurement for horses even in the International realm is something commonly seen only within the last couple of decades. Montanabw(talk) 18:04, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Is this supposed to be an English-language wiki, or an English-POV-and-screw-the-rest-of-them,-dammit,-they-don't-even-speak-English wiki? As already noted on more than one occasion, I find these jingoistic slurs against people of other nations and nationalities offensive. I doubt I am alone. Matters regarding Germany or China are just as worthy of our attention as any others. Regarding "ALL English-speaking countries", how many countries are there where English is either a primary or an official language? Thirty or forty of the 200 or so worldwide? I know I don't know. In how many of those countries are hands used as the primary unit for horse height? How certain are you about Malawi? Fiji? Guyana? And what sources do you have for this draconian statement? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 00:40, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Ah, this IS the gist of the matter. You have had this hostility to WP:ENGLISH issue across multiple topics and articles, JLAN, but let me be sure I am correct: Is it indeed your view that every breed should ALWAYS be called by its foreign language name, even where there is a logical English translation, (Except for Haflinger and Avelinese, apparently, where a content fork is preferable to a GA-quality article), and that EVERY measurement should be measured by the way it is measured in the "right" nation, even when it confuses half the readers. But I think it is YOUR approach that is rude, elitist, and draconian: Foreign language names, other than in certain appropriate contexts, are not workable in all situations in an English-language publication. (That's why there are wikis in dozens of languages) To me, it is the height of snobbery to deliberately insist on terms without translation or conversion, just to prove how smart you are and how ignorant everyone else is!!! How could you expect every reader of English wikipedia to have to have a zillion foreign language dictionaries so that those of us who don't speak multiple languages can understand an article, particularly when you seem opposed to any possible, logical translation as WP:OR? This issue, however, goes well beyond the hands issue that is here, and in fact it goes beyond WPEQ, That issue is properly discussed at the talk pages linked to WP:ENGLISH. As I have said (repeatedly) before, when we title the Munich article München, by consensus of wikipedia editors, then you will have a point. Until then, your position goes against a consensus that is way bigger than all of us. Montanabw(talk) 03:02, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I do have to agree. Non-English-speakers have wikis in their own languages. The English Wikipedia should be - well - English! It's not some kind of exclusionism or snobbery; other countries have their own wikis. Deal with it! Horse breed names, in the titles, should be in the English format, until (as Montana says) we have a consensus of calling Munich München, and all the rest! Horse breeds can have their 'native language' names in the text, sure, pointing out that that is what they're called in their own country - but English speakers, looking them up, will be looking for their English name. Stands to reason. Provided, of course, that we are being reasonable about this. We don't give Highlands and Shetlands their Gaelic names, and we don;t give the Welsh ponies and cobs their Welsh names, either - and those are languages from the same island group! We use English in the English Wikipedia. Pesky (talkstalk!) 04:33, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Agreed completely. If there are issues relating to other units not being into account, you can always create a conversion template for them. Rather than asking hypothetical questions, JLAN, you might like to actually find out how widely used "hands" is as a unit of measurement before acting as if it's an issue. Ironholds (talk) 04:43, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Good idea, Ironholds. There are about 135 nations in the FEI. Hands are used, at least some of the time, in about 6 of them for sure – Australia, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, the UK and the US – and probably in a few more, such as India and Malta. Every country in but world but about 3 – Liberia, the US, and I can't remember the other one, maybe there are only two now? – uses the metric system. So does Wikipedia: "Put first the units that are in the most widespread use in the world for that kind of measurement. Usually, these are International System of Units (SI) units and non-SI units officially accepted for use with the SI". That is completely clear, right? It most definitely and distinctly does not say "put first those units that are in the most widespread use in Britain and the United States", for example. That said, I personally believe that the use of hands is a fully justifiable exception, for reasons which I have already attempted to explain above and below: regional considerations, for horses closely associated with a hands-using country or region; and "primary unit" considerations for those horses whose height is defined in hands; and conversion when those two don't apply. I agree with (nearly) everyone else here that the hand is the standard unit of measurement for horses in several English-speaking countries. I have suggested that a conversion from hands to metric or vice versa be given for all equines that are normally measured in hands in those countries, and that a conversion from inches to metric or vice versa be given for all equines that are, in hand-using countries, normally measured in inches. Is there, in your opinion, any conflict with WP:MOSNUM in any of that?
Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 15:29, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, the template could be Template:Horseconversion or something; you stick in the amount in hands, followed by either |in or |cm, and it'll convert into imperial or metric depending on which one you input. That way we can vary by breed - a US breed can be hands|in, a UK breed can be hands|cm, and so on and so forth. Some form of conversion is certainly necessary - sure, horses are measured in hands in most sources I've seen, but a lay reader can't necessarily relate to that unit - and I think a customisable template is the way to go on this. The crucial element, however, is that this template start with a common root; in this case, hands. Simply divvying up horse measurements by nation is certainly not helpful. Would people support such a customisable template as a middle ground that works for everyone? Ironholds (talk) 12:02, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I think the main problem is that the majority of people here think that pretty much every horse height conversion should have three pieces - hands, inches (or feet/inches as argued by some) and centimeters. This would give context/understanding to all readers, instead of always leaving out some portion of the readership by only including two of the three. It would also make things simpler - if a breed was developed in the UK but has a majority population in the US, but there are also a bunch in Japan and Australia, then which number do we use? We have a template (actually two templates) that can convert hands into both inches and centimeters. JLAN is just arguing that we shouldn't include one or more of the pieces in many breed articles, which I (and many others above) disagree with. Dana boomer (talk) 13:10, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Primary unit[edit]

WP:MOSNUM#Which units to use also says

"If a quantity is defined in a given set of units and is therefore exact in them, put those units first."

My interpretation of this up to this point is that:

  • hands will be the primary unit for, say, the Cleveland Bay, a UK breed whose height is defined and discussed in hands; conversion to a metric unit should always be given
  • centimetres will be the primary unit for, say, the Bardigiano, an Italian breed whose height is defined and discussed in centimetres; conversion to hands should always be given
  • inches will be the primary unit for the Shetland Pony, a UK pony breed whose height is, exceptionally, defined and discussed in inches; conversion to a metric unit should always be given

Comments? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 23:49, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

I would like to say instead that using hands (converted to other units ALWAYS) should be the presumption and exceptions would need consensus on the specific articles. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:11, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Ealdgyth. A policy to keep jumping around would be absolutely impossible and edit war central. What would we do with an article such as [{Thoroughbred]], there probably could never be a consensus because no one nation "owns" the breed. If someone was just insistent that a particular breed HAD to be measured in a particular way and that its aficionados would be mortally offended if it were not, we could make exceptions on a case by case basis. Montanabw(talk) 18:04, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Also: Am I correct, JLAN, that your position here is the same as it was at the M&M article in that we should NOT convert to BOTH inches and cm if a breed or nation doesn't use one of the other? If so, I must -- again-- adamantly oppose that position and note that no matter what else we do, we really must convert to BOTH metric and US measurements. (This is, I think well-supported by wiki MOS) Montanabw(talk) 18:04, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
To Ealdgyth: it's OK with me, I don't have any specific agenda here; but how will you reconcile that with WP:MOSNUM, specifically the bits that say "SI units are preferred", "use the units the thing is defined in" and "regional articles use regional units", which I have quoted in this discussion for reference? To Montana: yes, I think Thoroughbred will be a sticky one; but the regional association with Britain is still strong. Fully agree on metric and imperial/US units. For all but the smallest equines, those are the centimetre (or metre) and the hand (for which, as has been amply shown above, there is unanimous support); for the small ones, it's centimetre (or metre) and inches. Yes, my position is still, as in M&M and elsewhere on this page, that conversion from hands to inches or vice versa is totally unnecessary. If there's a bit of WP:MOS that states it to be required, please go ahead and quote it here and I'll shut up about it forthwith. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 18:31, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
I already explained this in the M&M section, where I DID cite the MOS, that just as knots or nautical miles are used in seafaring articles, non-SI units may be appropriately used in other places as well."Preferred" does no mean "mandated," but here it does mean we know what we are talking about. Hands is appropriate in an English language publication, particularly when ALL the members of WPEQ who have weighted in here, from the USA, the UK and Australia, are UNANIMOUS that we use "hands." If you look above, Peter cited [[Wikipedia:MOSNUM#Which_units_to_use and I commented: 'The first sentence there makes my point precisely: "If a quantity is defined in a given set of units and is therefore exact in them, put those units first. The exclusion zone is ten nautical miles (about 11 statute miles, 18.5 km) in radius"'

Regional units[edit]

WP:MOSNUM#Which units to use further says

"For topics strongly associated with a given place, put the most appropriate units first."

It is my personal opinion that many regional horse breeds, horse sports and so on are strongly associated with their region of origin, though things like the Thoroughbred have acquired transnational status. This would I think mean that:

  • the heights of horses, mules & ponies from UK, US and other hand-using countries should be given in hands, with conversion to metric
  • the heights of all other horses, mules and ponies should be given in metric units, with conversion to hands
  • the height of Shetland ponies and UK/US donkeys should be given in inches, with conversion to metric
  • the height of all other donkeys should be given in metric units, with conversion to inches

Any comment? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 23:49, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

No. Before I'd agree with this, we'd need to see a lot more sources that prove these sorts of things. I have a number of sources that give Shetland height in hands, rather than inches, so I'd rather not set down some hard and fast rule without seeing more sourcing for this information. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:13, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
I've also known Shetland heights given in hands, so really they're not universally measured in inches. It's more common, these days - but not universal. As mentioned above, the Horse and Hound Classified Search page uses hands, including "11.2hh and under", on its search. The current hands-conversion template works just fine for pretty much every case. In the few instances where inches is a more common measurement, those could be decided on an article-by-article basis, after discussion. Pesky (talkstalk!) 07:31, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Per my comments and reasons under Primary units above, I agree with Ealdgyth and Pesky on this for the same reasons as above. Montanabw(talk) 18:03, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Ealdgyth makes a very good point about hard and fast rules. I hope I'm as much against rules as the next person, if not rather more so. I've no wish to establish any here, I'm merely to try to gain some collective understanding on what to do about this, given that a lot of articles within the project do not currently appear to be compatible the MOS on this topic, and at least one editor seems to be totally happy with that. The thing about Shetlands seems to have assumed disproportionate importance. I don't know how many sources "a lot more sources" would add up to, but here are three for now:
None of these specifically states that Shetlands are measured in inches (thoughs loads of sources do, some of them perhaps even vaguely reliable, despite POV slurs from one user). All three use inches in the breed description. The UK one gives centimetres too. Pesky, if you look at a print copy of H&H instead of the web one, what do you see? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 18:51, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
JLAN, Pesky breeds ponies in the UK, I think she knows what she's talking about. Montanabw(talk) 03:13, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

I've also been a British Horse Society-qualified instructor since 1977! (And I don;t get hard-copy H&H - it wasn;t the content of the ads I was referring to - it was the fact that H&H uses hands as the standard search format). Pesky (talkstalk!) 05:10, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Three-way conversion[edit]

Three-way conversion, as generated by the hands template (which outputs hands, inches and centimetres), is not called for by WP:MOSNUM#Which units to use.

  • Conversion to inches is not needed for horse measurements because inches are never used, anywhere, to measure horses, hands are widely understood, and are in any case routinely linked to the relevant WP article
  • similarly, conversion to hands is not required for donkeys, as they are not normally ever measured in hands
  • nor is conversion to feet and inches (such as "15-16 hands (c. 150-160 cm or 5 ft to 5 ft 4 inches)") ever appropriate, as feet and inches are never used in the measurement of horses

Comments? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 23:49, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

You just said above that inches ARE used for Shetlands though? Three way conversion is fine, in my mind. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:14, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Indeed I did. "The Shetland is always measured in inches rather than hands, although the metric measurement is increasingly used" (Edwards, page 176). Inches and metric units should be used here, three-way conversion is not just unnecessary but incorrect in this one exceptional case, I believe. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 23:30, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Support three way conversion Three way conversion is not only OK, but if we use hands as primary (as a general rule) , then it is critical. I will agree that horses are never measured in feet and inches, but other than that, I could not disagree more strongly!!! We must provide inch and cm conversions for all hands measurements; on this point, I actually DO agree with Peter (Peter: I'm agreeing with you on something! LOL!) that a lot of people don't know what a hand is, and need the conversion, and because a lot of people ALSO cannot easily visualize inches if they use cm or cm if they use inches, then the inch to cm conversion is also needed. Before we created the hands template, we had literally hundreds of articles where both bots and live editors went through and added the inch/cm convert templates where they did not exist. The idea of not doing a three-way conversion is ludicrous. And by the way, actually, Mammoth Jacks ARE measured in hands some places -- the only equines where inches appears to be (sometimes) primary are the mini breeds, with Shetlands in a gray area. Edwards may have a POV stated as fact, but as he is not God, it's only one verifiable source, not the Gospel. Montanabw(talk) 18:11, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, I'm also rather astonished that Montana and I actually aren't at odds here. :-) Not providing a conversion to the two most common units of height used in the world today would exclude too many readers. However, I disagree with the idea that inches without feet should be used in conversions. Yes, horse people use either hands, cm or just inches, but as far as I can tell no one who uses Imperial/US standard units recognized height above a foot or two in just inches. I've tried to point this out once before already and have even posed the question about what people outside of the horse world would recognize, but without receiving a reply. I can only interpret this as meaning that measurement of height in just inches is something that is highly convenient to horse fans but probably very confusing to everyone else.
Peter Isotalo 10:38, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm not completely sure that "no one who uses Imperial/US standard units recognized height above a foot or two in just inches." is true. When reading seed catalogs (one of my favorite January activities!), I often see plant heights of up to 5 or 6 feet given in inches, rather than feet. While I'm not disagreeing with your overall point (that generally heights over 24 or so inches are given in feet), I am disagreeing that horses are the only area in which this happens. Dana boomer (talk) 23:33, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I'll revise my statement. Still, I doubt the use of inches would as standardized for plants as it is for horses, and probably not in that many other fields either. And I assume that the use of metric units is common even with English-speaking biologists, given that it belongs to the natural sciences. With fractional units that aren't decimal-based, the limit for what most people would consider a meaningful number of inches is probably pretty low. 2-3 ft sounds like the best estimate. That would be above the height of just about any adult horse except for very small pony breeds, no?
Peter Isotalo 09:37, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Peter, we do this in the USA for many things under about four to six feet: horses, plants, small children (check out laws for when children are required to use car seats, for example), and before skiing went to the metric system, skis. Montanabw(talk) 02:47, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Can anyone else confirm that this is the case? And by that I mean that height over 2-3 ft would regularly and commonly be expressed in just inches in the US.
Peter Isotalo 17:42, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Which template[edit]

The Convert template works flawlessly, is extremely flexible, providing control over many details such as abbreviation of unit names, level of precision of the output, linking of unit names and the like, and is actively maintained by a remarkably helpful group of experts. The hands template is totally inflexible, and may give absurd results such as "around 15 to 16 hands (60 to 64 inches, 152 to 163 cm) high", where the level of precision of the output exceeds that of the source; it does not appear to be maintained in any way. I suggest that, over time, it be phased out and eventually deprecated. I suspect that some of the "Oppose" votes above may have related to this suggestion. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 23:49, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

The convert template does not work flawlessly for hands, and the hands template, while certainly not immune from improvement, works fine in my estimation. No need to get rid of it. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:15, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Agreed (with Ealdgyth). The convert template does not work right for transforming hands into multiple other units (inches and centimeters for instance), which needs to be done. Dana boomer (talk) 20:36, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Ditto Dana and E. Montanabw(talk) 02:47, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I have discovered a flaw in {{convert}}'s handling of the hands to inches conversion. It is defaulting to a 110-of-an-inch precision though the input is not as precise. This, of course, can be fixed on the user's end by setting the precision manually (e.g. {{convert|15.2|hand|in cm|0}} → "15.2 hands (62 inches; 157 cm)") but that's not what I consider satisfactory. I'll look into fixing this. This might not be the problem you refer to above, though. If there are other flaws with the template, please describe them.

P.S. When it comes to hands what looks like a decimal point is not. "15.2 hands" means "15 hands 2 inches" not "15+210 hands" (this could potentially confuse those unfamiliar with the convention but let's leave that aside for now). I'm wondering what something like "15.22 hands" might possibly mean. I suppose it means nothing at all. Hypothetically, though, what if you measure your horse to the nearest 14 inch (or 5 millimetres), what could you write; "15.2+14 hands", "15+916 hands" ... ? JIMp talk·cont 01:18, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

For the most part, horse heights aren't given toa quarter of an inch, simply because the hoof can grow or be trimmed by that much every few weeks. Some people will bung the half-inch in there, sometimes, but on the whole the height tends to be rounded to the nearest full inch, in most cases. Having said that, some competition rules are a bit stricter and insist on a horse being "not over x-hands", in which case the extra part of an inch is a no-no for that class. Pesky (talkstalk!) 07:16, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Keep hands template but improve. No such thing as 15.22. It's hands, then inches (and fractions of an inch if that much precision is needed). There are some occasional instances where the half-inch thing is a problem (I noted it in the Theodore O'Connor article, he was, apparently, 14.1-1/2 hands high, i.e. just a hair under being officially 14.2). There are also some instances, particularly the rare breeds and the FEI, where the only verifiable sources use cm and the hands measurement falls between and won't convert perfectly. FEI rules for measuring ponies are a good example. (one cm difference allowed with or without shoes) If we could pop in an instruction in the hands template as to how to manually hack it, I think that solves the problem. If someone really wants to go to all the work of using the convert template every time for a three way conversion, go for it, we can occasionally ignore all rules here on WP, but as a general rule or guideline -- which we are doing here -- I say the simpler the better. Hands with the ability to increase precision manually as needed should do it. Montanabw(talk) 18:20, 1 July 2011 (UTC)