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Those special Chestnut mares

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  • Those special Chestnut mares

    In another post, someone mentioned that the sterotype of nutty chestnut mares is just wrong - I wanted to post a poll, but don't know how to - I wonder if others have found that chestnut mares do have a tendency to be:

    Drama queens on the ground
    Very stoic - ie: their leg can be cut open to the bone, but they will act like nothing is wrong - yet if they think a new horse is arriving in a trailer - they throw a hissy fit like the sky is falling
    Actually very nice to ride under saddle - very much a mare (do it right please) but a strong work ethic.

    This is my very limited experience. I have about 10-15 horses (depending on how you count), didn't search out chestnut mares, but have owned 3 - all three were just like this.. Different breeds (WB,TB, and QH) - fun and good to ride, but w/o a doubt, they stood out in the herd, and were the ones who made the most noise and caused the most "upset" in daily life. I would not think twice about getting around one if it was the right horse for the job, but also wouldn't hesitate to describe mine as "your typical chestnut mare".


  • #2
    I have three chestnut mares. My big TB jumper mare is what I would call a blonde. She is solid and steady but she is also an airhead at times. Mostly like "oh my gosh where did my foal go!?". I have a cute little 13.2 hand Welsh/QH chestnut mare that is more opinionated. She is steady and easy to handle but in the wrong hands was proven to be a disaster. She also has a double whorl on her head. Then I have my last TB broodmare. She is hard to catch in an open field but in your pocket other times. "If" she explodes she does it with a purpose. But other then that is calm and quiet. But when "that"something spooks her watch out. One day it was the vet pulling a coggins. The mare was besides herself and we had to blindfold her. Maria PA USA
    Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
    Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
    & FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt


    • #3
      Originally posted by f4leggin View Post
      Very stoic - ie: their leg can be cut open to the bone, but they will act like nothing is wrong - yet if they think a new horse is arriving in a trailer - they throw a hissy fit like the sky is falling
      Actually very nice to ride under saddle - very much a mare (do it right please) but a strong work ethic.

      You have just perfectly described my gray Arab mare (born bay). Having no more experience with Chestnut mares than any other I don't have any answer to your question about them. In fact, I had never even heard of the theory until now. Just thought I'd offer that little tidbit. Sounds just kind of like a general mare attitude to me.


      • #4
        This is exactly how I would have described Foxen.


        • #5
          Do not ask me how, or WHY I ended up with 4 chestnut girls, but, they are all "strong girls" in the most traditional CHESTNUT way. My 16.2 retired First Edition TB mare is now 22 and still a royal pain in the butt. But she redeems herself by gently sipping bourbon from any fool at a party that ventures into the barn to "pet the horses". She will back anyone into the corner of her stall until they scratch her behind.
          The other is a wonderful pony broodmare that is a SAINT, until she gives birth, and then get out of her way for the the first 48 hours or she will slap you like peanut butter against the stall walls (then she gets tired of the baby, and let's you do whatever you please with it!).
          Our yearling, by said broodmare went to the VPBA futurity last weekend, having NEVER been in a trailer or off the farm for that matter, and acted as if she owned the place (she actually was one of 12 fillies called back!)
          And, last, but not least, is our wonderful old girl, Farnley Electra. She allows any kid to crawl on her, lay down next to her, put their hands in her mouth, and basically hang from her like little monkey's. This 12.1 pony rules the roost, and I can assure you that the 3 huge warmblood geldings on the farm are scared to death of her. When Electra squeals, we ALL listen!
          All red heads, all tough cookies, and very strong "girls", so... YES I do believe in the chestnut mare theory .
          Kelly, Ballingard Grove
          If you tell the truth, then you don't have to remember anything. Mark Twain


          • #6
            I have not owned a chestnut mare for years and years. Did breed one but sold her at 2 weeks old. The stud farm where her dam was sent to be rebred did say that she was the hardest foal they had ever halter broken but she is a doll now. Odd that I haven't owned another chestnut mare in over 20 years!
            Ladybug Hill--Hunters and Ponies
            WWSD? (what would Suerte do?)


            • #7
              I have one that I would consider very much a "chestnut mare". She is generally a saint on the ground, as long as you keep her in check regularly. She is a joy to ride, if you really know what you are doing and can stay on when she inevitably tests you by trying to scrape you off on a fence or run around like a moron until you lose your seat and fall. If you get thru that the first time though, she will not give you more real issues. You just have to know which corner to steer her into

              She is a very complicated ride, overly sensitive, and completely loses her mind when asked to do something new that she thinks is beyond her. As in she pitches a hissy fit and flat-out refuses. Not dangerous, just cannot possibly comprehend moving her butt over, or whatever she has just been asked. She cannot be argued with. But for a very diplomatic rider who can keep the frustration away, she is a lovely mare to ride.

              She is also the boss of the pasture. She no longer tries to kick, but she currently has no need because her pasture mate is clearly submissive to her. She looks funny in his general direction and he scurries off to find different grass to munch.

              Her 2.5 month-old BAY filly is a lot like her. The main difference is that this filly is outgoing, and the mare is stoic to the point where she seems to *tolerate* being petted. But they are both hot, sensitive, claustrophobic, smart, and like to pitch hissy fits. The filly is already plotting to take over the herd and boss my gelding around.

              Really, I think it's just a mare thing. All of my filly's dad's babies that I have met have been people-lovers with that wow factor, so the filly got that from him. Everythign else is from her mom (personality-wise). Since filly is bay, I am voting that it's totally a mare thing.


              • #8
                I don't think color has anything to do with a horse's behavior.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
                  I don't think color has anything to do with a horse's behavior.
                  GreenGate Stables


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
                    I don't think color has anything to do with a horse's behavior.
                    Color has little to no impact IMHO beyond the myths that go along with the hue. They are horses - each one is an individual just like people and the last time I checked the color of my hair didn't prejudice people/horses/dogs/cats/etc about interacting with me.
                    Watermark Farm
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                    • #11
                      It's the people and how they treat a chestnut filly versus a bay filly. Horses are one of the greatest animals for picking up on body language. If you expect a chestnut mare to be different than a bay mare than she will, but it's you that caused the difference, color can't make them act different. Too bad people have such unfounded predjudice. I guess all red-headed people are ill tempered, hmmm. Funny because my sister that was a red-head was super sweet and kind and so was my son's one girlfriend (wish he'd stayed with her). As for chestnut mares I owned, they could of been painted black and they would of been no different. I have mares here of all different colors and my most ill-tempered is a bay and even she isn't bad, just more opinionated than the others.

                      Ask me if there is a difference between a mare, gelding or stallion...then I may agree there is a difference, but not based on color.


                      • #12
                        I have not found chestnut mares to be any different temperment wise than any other color of horse. The only thing I have found to be an issue with chestnut horses is that they seem to get rainrot easier than other colors of horse and their skin may be more sensitive (ie. don't like stiff brushes or lots of scratching).
                        Altamont Sport Horses
                        Trakehners * Knabstruppers * Appaloosa Sport Horses
                        Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
                        Birmingham, AL


                        • #13
                          I adore my Don Alfredo chest. filly. So sweet & easy.

                          I actually like chest. horses....mare or gelding.

                          I do own one chest. mare that is exactly like f4leggin's.



                          • #14
                            The old thoroughbred rule when I was growing up was grey for jumping and steeplechasing, bay for stamina and chestnut for brilliance. Man O War and Secretariat proved the male part of the brilliance. Historically, Hanoverians were chestnut, Oldenburgs were black and Holsteiners were bay. That has all changed since I started breeding warmbloods in the seventies. Now everyone just breeds. Odd that way back when blacks were undesirable because they were considered stubborn and willful when I was a kid. Now they are the rage, but the only horses I have had with horrible skin problems were black, not grey. The back to the chestnuts and mares especially---they are the best!!!
                            "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist


                            • #15
                              We've had plenty of chestnut mares and there is no difference! I, too, don't see how a color could affect anything. That would be like saying all people with brown hair are xxxxx....
                              Signature Sporthorses


                              • #16
                                My chestnut mare is my soul mate. She is an alpha and sometimes a bully in the field, but she is nothing but loving and respectful with people. I can do anything to her and she never offers any fight. She is green under saddle, but was super easy to start and tries very hard to get it right. Her biggest fault is she can get distracted easily. Shes a super Mom as well
                                Epona Farm
                                Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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                                • #17
                                  I agree with what others have said - color of the horse has no bearing on personality! I've had three chestnut mares - all three very different personalities! Georgia is a saint both on the ground and undersaddle. VERY trustworthy and she's the one that I'd put young kids on or people who don't ride much. She follows you around like a puppy dog out in the field and, if you stop for long enough, will "groom" your shoulders and neck with her upper lip. Georgia is the boss mare out in her field - I just watched her get in a Chestnut Mare Hissy Fit with another chestnut mare. Georgia won.

                                  Peanut is a total princess. She prefers to be in a stall or shelter and out of the mud. She's my oldest mare at 23 but is probably the most sensitve to ride - she WILL test you to see what you know. She supposedly was ridden through 3rd level dressage, but I'm not sure of that (though she certainly remembers her lateral moves and flying changes!). When I bought her at age 16 she'd been a broodmare/pasture potato for the past few years. She is very sweet and kind on the ground - whenever I had people horse-sit, they always wanted to stuff Peanut in their car and take her home. Peanut used to be top of the pecking order when I first got her - then she got pregnant and miserable and just seemed to not care anymore, so Georgia moved up the ladder and refused to come down. Peanut's now in a different field shared with yearlings (inlcuding her own), 2 and 3-year olds. She is very happy.

                                  Rosie is Georgia's half-TB daughter and is absolutely certain that she is right all the time. She could be pushy and would try to assert her dominance, but would back down if you were more assertive and established yours. She was brave brave brave - would jump anything and do it with absolute joy. Not spooky at all (the brave part fit in here, too) which is why I think she'll do very well in her new eventing home. She probably still has attitude oozing out of her pores, but she is still a very sweet mare. When we had her listed for sale, we described her as "brave as a lion" which is absolutely true. Rosie shared a field with Georgia here at Dodon and they were actually quite cute - if Bisquit (gelding boss man) would lay his ears back at me when I went to get either one of them, the other would rush in to defend. Strangely, even though Rosie has a strong personality, she's not the boss mare; in fact, she was lowman on the totem pole.
                                  Dodon Farm Training Center - on Facebook


                                  • #18
                                    I dunno, but you described my chestnut mare to a T!!
                                    We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by f4leggin View Post
                                      Drama queens on the ground
                                      Very stoic - ie: their leg can be cut open to the bone, but they will act like nothing is wrong - yet if they think a new horse is arriving in a trailer - they throw a hissy fit like the sky is falling
                                      Actually very nice to ride under saddle - very much a mare (do it right please) but a strong work ethic.


                                      Jill - You have described my 2 girls to a "T". Amelia, a chestnut Han mare is so stoic I can't believe it, but if she can't see the filly that she considers her foal (she didn't have one last year), watch out! Top Secret, my TB, is a joy under saddle, but DON"T bounce! You must do it right! She has no patience (unless you are her foal and then you can do no wrong).
                                      Oldenburg foals and young prospects
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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Signature View Post
                                        We've had plenty of chestnut mares and there is no difference! I, too, don't see how a color could affect anything. That would be like saying all people with brown hair are xxxxx....
                                        Ditto that. Kudos to the OP for perpetuating this myth.