Why are chestnuts harder to sell as dressage horses?
Why does everyone want a black or dark bay horse for dressage? Why are chestnuts so much harder to sell?
I'm watching the WEG right now and so many of the top horses are chestnut. Exquis Nadine, Warum Nicht, Mistral Hojris, Parzival. Since many breeders actively breed for bays and blacks I sometimes wonder if there are proportionately more talented chestnut dressage horses than there are the more popular dark coloured ones?
1st People read on forums that chestnut geldings and mares are hard to sell...so they don't buy chestnut horses...so chestnut horses are hard to sell.
2nd Trainers find or their customers bring them nice horses and they train them on. Their customers buy all the black and bay geldings and then all the black and bay mares and the trainers keep training the chestnut horses so they end up at the WEG and Olympics.
3rd Ambitious upcomers go horse shopping and the blacks and bays are all too expensive...the chestnuts with bling are gone...the perfectly nice plain chestnuts are left. Ambitious upcomer gets to WEG with poor plain chestnut.
I love chestnut as a color on any horse and see absolutely no temperament or soundness difference between that and any other color. I won't help perpetuate this apparently self-perpetuating myth in any way. The one thing I have noticed is that chestnuts can blend in and not stand out in a sand-based show ring, but put them on grass and they look great! Other than that, "The Gods Must Be Crazy"!
I love chestnuts, and looked at many for my last purchase. The ones I found were either too pricey (deservedly) or screwy (also deservedly). It's like all the size 30 breeches, 34B bras, or 78 blankets. The good ones go fast. What's left over is, well...leftover.
All things being the same I would choose chestnut. I like chestnut and there are just so many bay sport horses. I'm happy everytime my bay mare spits out another chestnut (3 for 3). In the end it doesn't really make a difference because you should choose a horse based on talent, conformation, temperment, etc....and that has nothing to do with coat color.
It's along the same lines as petite-to-average women wanting 17hh dressage horses. Completely unnecessary and unrelated to ability.
I personally don't see just the color, but it ended up my last two horses were black bay and black. However my (2) previous chestnuts are always fondly remembered as my favorites temperamentally. I was very open minded to color in my last shopping search (and always have been), and I do love blacks, but I would have taken a chestnut in a heartbeat if it were the right match for me. And in fact I tried out 2 of them, they just weren't "the ones".
As a rider who rode many many horses in WP the bays especially when they are almost black go great in almost any color and combo. Chestnuts are a bit harder on my color palette. However unless its the arab mare I ride now or A Fine Romance I will not buy a bay(Love me some romance but I am so not deserving of him). My favorite color is palomino with chestnut with flaxen mane and tail a close second. TBs I prefer gray and I am just OCD enough to keep one clean.
Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
Originally Posted by alicen:
What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.