Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Color Isn't A Crime

I don't tend to write "opinion posts" on my blog... I blog about my sweet girl and keep my comments on other horse related items to myself. It's just safer that way. Everyone is so touchy about things, especially horse people, so rather than running the risk of offending someone, I stick to the topic at hand, which happens to be the amazing horse this blog is named after. :)

That being said, I read Mug's Mouthy Monday post about buying a horse based solely on color, and some of the comments rubbed me the wrong way... just a little. Okay, so technically it was about buying "pretty", but it was really all about color. I guess chestnuts, sorrels, and bays aren't pretty? AJ would disagree!

It must be because I have one of those "horses of color" that I get all puffed up sometimes when I hear people speaking ill about my breed, and color breeds in general just because they're a color breed. Honestly, I don't think anyone buys a horse just because they're a certain color. Might they overlook a bay horse if they absolutely hate bays? Might they look only at Paints or Appys if that's their breed? Sure, but for the most part, you're not going to buy a horse in your favorite color if he waddles like a duck and bites every time you get near him. Has anyone ever bought a jacked up horse just because he was the perfect color?

My absolute favorite color is blue roan. *drool...

Star Hancock
"Stone is 1300 pounds of cow working muscle..." Yes, please!! Add some tobiano spots, slap it with an APHA registration certificate, and you'll really see me go crazy. You'll notice I don't own a single blue roan, though, nor have I owned one in the past. Instead, I have a sorrel and a palomino. Will I ever be lucky enough to own a horse in the color of my dreams? Probably not... and I'm okay with that. Besides, Lilly is going to live forever, so chances are, I'm never going to need to buy another horse EVER.

If I find myself looking for another horse in the not so near future, I'm not going to buy a sorrel, a chestnut, a bay, a black, or a brown horse. I'm just not. I'm going to purchase a regular registry Paint mare in any color other than those mentioned. That's right, folks... I'm going to be buying a so-called "PRETTY HORSE". *And the audience gasps in horror!*

What if I happen to find the perfect horse in solid chestnut? I won't, because I'm not going to look at any solid chestnut horses. When I purchase horses, I expect to have them for life, and while I have sold a couple in my lifetime, generally if I'm looking for a horse, I'm looking for a horse to keep forever. Some of them might not work out, but the goal is to duplicate what I've found with Lilly and AJ. So why not look for a horse that I find absolutely gorgeous?

Is giving preference to a horse because it's pretty, or because it's a dilute color and that's your favorite, really any different than saying you only want to look at OTTBs? Or you only want something that has been ridden in endurance events? Or that you only want a horse that's 16 hands or more because you like the look of tall horses even though you're only five feet tall? We all discriminate against one thing or another, so why does color and "pretty" get such a bad rap?

I blame the krazy kolor breeders for this whole anti-color attitude. When you start crossing Paint horses and Appy horses for no other reason than you want something sooper speshul that's going to bring you a gazillion dollars because there's nothing else out there that looks like him, you do nothing to promote each individual breed. An anonymous commenter over on Mug's blog said, "If it's got spots, or is something other than a variation on basic brown, I'm less likely to look because I assume it's got something wrong with it." What in the world??

I was lucky enough to find a horse with brains, personality, AND color. She's put together nicely, is the sweetest thing on this planet, and is worth her weight in gold. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me I have a beautiful horse, I could pay for our entire show season. Not only is she gorgeous, but she has a heart of gold. Maybe she's the reason I get so upset hearing people talk poorly about "color breeds"... because I know that you CAN have it all!


  1. Blue roans are lovely!

    Yeah, I think Dixie can't help being so flashy, and I didn't buy her because she's flashy. The color is just the icing on the cake.

    Part of me really wants to go back to bay for my next horse, and part of me wants another beautiful flashy mare. Here's hoping that I (and you!) don't have to decide on another horse for years to come.

  2. That comment really urked me too. WTF? Sorry, you can find fault in ANY horse. Just because a horse had color does NOT mean that its breeders bred just for that.

    Case in point: the barn I used to have Milo at focuses on the Paint horse breed, and they breed Paints. In the last few years the owner has gotten nothing but solid babies. But because she still looked at the breeding and quality behind the babies they have turned out fabulous and found great homes. She didnt give up her breeding criteria because her last few foals had no color. It just so happens that this year she got 2 colored babies. But the point is you can certainly breed correctly and be rewarded with color, it doesnt mean that paint breeders 100% breed for color alone and disregard anything else.


  3. Yeah, I don't buy off of color, nor do I think anyone should. There are more important things to look for when horse shopping!! Brandy was given to me, and I didn't turn her down because she was grey, and she has conformation faults. Even if I had to pay money for her, I still would have bought her, faults and all.
    I, of course, have my preferred horse colors, but the next time I go out horse shopping, color will not be at the top of my list. I love blue roans too and would love a blue roan in my backyard! But I also love bays, actually I have always wanted a plain bay horse. I think they are beautiful! I think the next time I go Mustang shopping, I will check out the pretty bays!

  4. I love bay's and roans, if I could pick my dream horse it would be an outstanding blue roan! All my horses have picked me and have been wonderful stepping stones, each one has taught me so much and I am forever great-full for each and everyone of them. I don't care there color I care about there willingness and there heart.

    However, I agree with you on your post. Saying I am gonna go buy a barrel horse is just like saying I am gonna go buy a dun. Your being specific on what you want.

    My foster mom has been breeding Appy's on and off for years, just recently has she started getting flashy babies. However, she kept the solid over the flashy because of the better type. She bred 2 loud colored Appy's and got a solid hence how the horse became This Jokes on Me!

  5. Everyone always tells me how beautiful Missy is, and I like to agree, however I didn't buy her for her color. It was the icing on the cake, sure, but she's the most amazing horse I've ever had the priviledge to work with. I love her for her personality and willingness to please AND her color.

    While I didn't go into buying Missy because of her color, I, like you will only ever look at Paints if I never decide to get another horse. I've fallen in love with the breed and I do love their spots. Priority for me first and foremost is temperament and then flashiness comes into play. I don't think it's wrong to buy a pretty horse as long as you do it also for the right reasons:)

  6. I admit. I'm that person. I bought Page because she was a buckskin filly. And sadly I managed to find the poster horse for all of those ignorant opinions about color out there. Do I hate buckskin now? Oh heck no! I'd buy another in a minute! Or a dun. No! Grulla! I freakin love grulla. While I'd never make the mistake of picking a horse by color ignoring all else again (no kidding, I really did that), I'd sure not turn my nose up at a color. I'd be an idiot to blame a color for anything else a horse might be.

    There was a trainer who told me he hated (yes he said hate) paints. I asked if he liked Arabians. He said he liked them even less than paints. So yeah, as an Arab person I know all about the senseless prejudice thing.

    Funny, I almost bought an Arab/paint :)

    Anyway, you are so right. There is really no difference between saying I want this color or I want this breed or I want this sex or I want this size or I want this temperament or I want this age or... a good horse is a good horse. They come in many forms. What's wrong with them being pretty too?

    1. Wow, that was a really long rambly way of saying, people sometimes buy the wrong horse, not the wrong color lol.

  7. A wise person once said to me that it costs just as much to feed an ugly horse as it does a pretty one, so you might as well buy the one that looks good.

    While I don't think someone should put safety or usefulness over color, it does add to the package of a good horse.

  8. Oh, they're just jealous of our pretty horses, lol!

  9. I am partial to buckskins and bays. The blue roan I have never seen... and wowzers! But when it is all said and done, mind, confirmation and color. That is my order. Horses are very expensive, and I think people need to dig deep and figure out what is important for their skill level and expectations/aspirations. It is all up to the buyer, as far as I am concerned. And when it comes down to it, doesn't our heart usually win out over our mind?