I can understand issues over grey. Not everyone wants to risk melanoma issues no matter the horse. I don't feel that way but there are other people who if it came down to grey or not grey they'd avoid it.
"I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"
Here in NZ chestnut is associated with being a bit firey in temperament. Chestnut mares are especially susceptable to this type of thinking - hot-headed and quick-tempered. Chestnut fillies are much harder to sell than any other colour/sex combo. There are exceptions though - chestnut with tons of bling is quite acceptable, and liver chestnut is positively desirable, but liver with flaxen is the ultimate!
Personally I really like a plain, deep orange chestnut, with beautiful head and no white but I would never breed for this as they would be harder to sell.
Do I turn down a stallion because of his colour? No. But all else being equal I aim to breed other-than-chestnut foals where possible.
It really is a bit of a joke the whole red mare = fire breathing dragon. Worst mare I ever dealt with was brown/black. I do not personally think a real horse person thinks this way but you should remember colour is also a buying factor lovely black mare all things equal will sell quicker than the same "red" mare.
Yes, the TK breed used to have designated "herds" of the various colors and the Chestnut herd was actually the more athletic ones if memory isn't failing me now. But that isn't the case now days that was the days of Pre-War Trakehnen.
The red head prejudice is just that - a prejudice. Just like "all Trakehners are crazy", "Greys are dumb", "blondes are dumb" etc.... I personally LOVE chestnut and my favorite heart mares are both red heads But to each their own. <shrug>
Chestnut is one of my least favorite colors, however it doesn't stop me from using them in our program. Infact 3/4 of our farms personal horses are chestnut. When I posted pictures on FB of my new 3 year old gelding (chestnut), I had several people say..."WOW, you sure have a thing for chestnuts" I laughed and said, "it sure seems that way, doesn't it?"
My preference is for a bay first and a gray last however two of my last three horses have been chestnut (and mares) and I REALLY wanted to buy a particular gray but it didn't work out.
I may talk about my color preferences if all other things were even, but really??? Has any horse shopper ever had all things be so even that it came down to color preference? These are horses with unique personalities, not cars.
It may be about lack of education for some, but to make that a blanket statement is pretty demeaning to people in general. I do agree it probably factors more into the ammy decisions, but since the huge, vast majority of horse owners ARE ammies, it does pay to pay attention to that for many breeders (which is why many SO's now make a point to say their stallion is EE). Ammies are usually looking to buy, or to breed, for themselves to have fun and possibly even show. Showing and getting to the top is not always the goal, and is often not the goal. So when you can be choosy, why NOT get the color you want?
Most people want a certain color car - it's a preference, not ignorance, the car still runs the same.
Do you know how many sporthorse breeders/buyers absolutely stay away from spots? THAT is far more ignorant in most cases because of the stigma of "if it's got spots, it must be from Paint blood and that just won't do".
I know one breeder who adores chestnuts, but will not REMOTELY consider any pinto WB stallion, no matter the quality. It's not about resale value for her, it's because she *does not like spots*.
It's no different from people who want nothing but a plain bay, no chrome. Not uneducated. Personal preference.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
I used to have trainer that had done a period of time as a rodeo cowboy. One of his sayings was "Red coated horses and red headed women - I stay away from them!". That said, my absolutely favorite horse was an OTTB chestnut mare that I had for 18 years. I LOVE chestnuts!
Growing up, I mainly rode chestnuts (thats the majority of what my trainer had!) then my first two horses were chestnuts. I just wanted something different after that! So I ended up with a bay then a grey. At one point, my ex SO and I had: a dark bay, a bay, a grey, a roan and a paint!
I just prefer other colors since ive ridden SO many chestnuts!
Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)
Have to agree with JB on this one. I've personally known three wb breeders who said "a good horse has no color" and predominantly bred chestnuts. All three are now out of the breeding business. Granted, they also didn't recognize a few other things buyers might be looking for (refused to put their mares through MPTs, didn't show much, that sort of thing), but they never recognized color preference as something buyers *might* be considering.
When I shopped for my second broodmare, I was specifically looking for a laundry list of things, and one of those things was "not chestnut" because I already had one chestnut mare at home. I got a lot of crap for this, but I like a bit of diversity in the herd and I stuck to my guns, ending up with a black mare. Now, color was the icing on the cake -- she also had a stellar pedigree and all the rest of it -- but the color part is a piece of it. Some things matter to certain buyers and some things don't. I want to be able to offer something that appeals to my market.
Look around. Is it pure coincidence that some dressage breeders have all black mares? Or mostly blacks and bays? I don't condemn anyone for this; to me, it shows a certain awareness of the ammy market which most of us breed for.
That said, I happily replaced my original chestnut mare with... another chestnut mare! And I'm breeding her to Sir Gregory, so the only color option on that foal is chestnut. :-) Oh well, I may just have to keep that foal!
I don't hate chestnuts but it's not my favorite color. That being said I've owned several over the years, most with chrome; but, one of my favorite stallions was a solid red chestnut with nary a hair of white but his attitude and presence was what caught my eye. Later, I noticed what color he was. My favorite color is bay which makes it easier for me since it's a fairly common color; but, I do not buy or pass on a horse based on its color. I have owned most colors as a result over my 40+ years of owning ponies and horses. Oh and with having just sold a beautiful red head, that leaves 5 bays, 2 buckskins and a grey (who I will be breeding next month) and I'm an ammy.
Ammie here (hate the disparaging ammie comments). My favorite color is bay, never owned one. Currently competing a grey (least favorite color) who is the most fun to ride of any horse I've had; and a chestnut mare who is hot and a sports car! Also own a black. So I don't buy for color. Love my chestnut.
Regarding the ammie bash comment: My favorite mares to date were both chestnuts, one a light beauty w/only a star, 2nd was a liver w/a ton of chrome. One of the most UNeducated comments/bias I've ever heard was from a local breeder, who actually put some very nice animals on the ground, but often said she "wouldn't breed to a chestnut". She was even concerned that all the socks, if there were any, were perfectly matching. Ridiculous.
I don't have any prejudice against chestnuts but it is my least favorite color. Saying that though, my most favorite color is grey and when I purchased my last horse in-utero I made absolute sure there was no way I was going to end up with a grey because I just didn't want to have a dirty horse all the time. Now, if I were out looking for a horse to buy and found a chestnut or a grey I loved I definitely would not have turned them away because of their color. I'm an ammie, I work really hard and I want to come to the barn and see a horse I love to ride and look at. I don't think there is anything wrong with that.