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Can someone please explain to me the chestnut hate?

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  • #21
    I don't have any chestnuts in my barn....not my favorite color either. I tend to not select chestnut stallions for the same reason. Although, I did want to breed to one liver chestnut stallion, but breeders at that time, where not being successful with his frozen so I chose his bay son instead.

    That said, I have a bunch of grey, bay and black. I no longer favor black...poor things seem to get very hot on summer turnout so I have to manage them more closely. My grey ones stay amazing clean on their own...not sure why. I did have someone come up to me at a show while I was holding my grey mare with her championship ribbon and tell me they didn't like grey horses...until she saw my mare I am waiting for that vaccine against melanomas. I think grey horses might become more popular if the vaccine works. Maybe...maybe not.


    • #22
      JB, my mother (RIP) wasn't a chestnut fan AT ALL. When I asked her why (a million times, lol) she never could give me much of an answer other than "it's so common"...

      That being said, my personal favorite color is LIVER chestnut (which I've only been able to breed three times in all these years). I adore bay, brown, all the dark colors and a well colored pinto. My heart mare is a chestnut!!! I hardly can see her color for looking at her beautiful expression, eyes and head.
      Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


      • #23
        I too strong favor dark colors (even hubby is dark-haired ), and this includes the lovely liver shade. I don't necessarily dislike chestnut, but there certainly are shades I am not fond of - the lightest ones are just not to my liking. Rich copper? Love it. Chestnut's appeal increases the more white there is

        But since I could not remotely predict a shade of chestnut, and since I COULD choose a stallion, I wanted to guarantee no chestnut.
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


        • #24
          Am I the only one who is getting tired of the eternal line-up of black/dk brown dressage horses? All dressed identically. When another colour shows up I pay attention.

          Greys - they show up, too, in the ring. Because there are so many related greys that can jump the moon, with names beginning with "C", we see a lot in the jumpers.

          In defence of chestnuts, I think it is a self-perpetuating saying that people are buying into....real horse people don't discriminate, but professionals may do so
          because of percieved buyer aversion.

          Brentina - the poster girl of chestnut mares.
          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


          • #25
            I've never understood the chestnut bias, either. I always thought I would end up with a dark bay with no markings, because I was an eventer and my budget & taste led me to TBs. So many TBs are dark bay. Anyway, my first TB ended up being a chestnut. He was the exact build I was looking for at the time. 20 years later, even after getting into breeding, I still haven't owned a single bay horse! We've had buckskins, black, greys, chestnuts and palominos. The chestnut foals were definitely harder to sell. I even had a potential buyer say that she "never liked chestnuts. It's the devil's color." WHAAA?? I love our chestnuts, in fact both foals that we've kept are chestnut. I also love greys. Because these foal colors are harder to sell, I might choose to breed to a non-chestnut or non-grey stallion if there were others that complimented our mare equally though. Just a business driven tie-breaker, not because of personal preference, and it would not keep me from using a chestnut or a grey stallion if they were clearly the best fit for our mare.
            Blacktree Farm
            Lessons, Training & Sporthorse Sales.
            Blacktree Studio
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            • #26
              Another mystified by the bias - my worst ride was a bay WB gelding. My chestnut mare was a wonderful, forgiving Irish mare.

              My mares are bay, but can produce chestnut, but I prefer to find stallions that are bay or black. Because my goal is to sell, I try to follow the market for my stock. What I hear the most - no greys and no chestnut mares. Since I can't control sex, I try to stack the odds in my favor for a non-chestnut.
              Epona Farm
              Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

              Join us on Facebook


              • #27
                Greys are best! Over the past 40 years I've probably have had 60 of them. All have lived to ripe old age, none have had melanoma. (It has actually been found that melanoma in grey horses is a safer version then found in other color horses, so colored horses with melanomas die more for it )
                I also find the prejudice agains mares ridiculous. I run a lesson program and I always have more mares than geldings. Right now I have out of 32 horses only 12 geldings.


                • #28
                  There is a lot of chestnut prejudice around me. I think it is a novice/ammy thing. I have a great gelding that people have turned down simply because he is a chestnut and does not fit the color bill. They would opt for the worse behaving more expensive bay. Chestnuts are my personal favorite.
                  Derby Lyn Farms Website

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                  • #29
                    Although I tend to favor darker colors my favorite mare I own is a gorgeous orange chromy chestnut whom I adore with the most liquid sweet eyes. I go completely mushy when I look at her.

                    I will say that a beautiful chestnut, when truly beautiful, is the nicest of them all. The average bay is better than the average chestnut but an exemplary chestnut will win in the show ring every time. Ex Jersey Boy

                    Not to mention the all time hammer Secretariat...nuff said. SWOON
                    The rider casts his heart over the fence,
                    the horse jumps in pursuit of it.

                    –Hans-Heinrich Isenbart


                    • #30
                      My only concern with chestnut, especially unmarked chestnut, is that on some footings and in some indoor arenas, they are a little bit harder to focus on, blending in a little more. That said, a good judge is a good judge, so the judging of a chestnut in a class, as opposed to bay, gray, paint, black, etc., is totally outside of the exhibitor's control!

                      That said, against grass or summer woods, nothing to me is as pretty as chestnut!


                      • #31
                        I'm a card carrying member of the "mares are for making babies and pulling ploughs" club, yet funnily enough, I've never met a nasty chestnut mare! They've all new level headed ladies with work ethic.

                        My chestnut SF gelding is a sensitive but sane gentleman. My next horse will most likely be chestnut or grey.
                        chaque pas est fait ensemble


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by dianehalpin View Post
                          My only concern with chestnut, especially unmarked chestnut, is that on some footings and in some indoor arenas, they are a little bit harder to focus on, blending in a little more. That said, a good judge is a good judge, so the judging of a chestnut in a class, as opposed to bay, gray, paint, black, etc., is totally outside of the exhibitor's control!
                          I have heard similar musings from some Dressage folks who won't look at horses who have uneven/asymmetrical leg white, saying it gives the illusion of uneven movement.
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                          • #33
                            I will take a dark liver chestnut anytime, looove that color
                            www.rainbowequus.com Home of stallions that actually produced champion hunter, jumper and dressage offspring and now also champion eventers


                            • #34
                              I prefer dark bays and greys, but have owned and trained many a chestnut mare. Chestnut isn't my favorite color, but a good horse is a good horse.
                              Piaffe Girl -- Dressage. Fashionably.


                              • #35
                                All of my horses have been chestnuts. All of them have/had variations on the connected star-blaze-snip theme. All of them have had white on their left hind ranging from half coronet to stocking.

                                It's coincidence! I swear it is!

                                But I do love the bright red chestnuts that have the metallic copper highlights under a summer sun...


                                • #36
                                  I must really have a few screws loose then. I'm purposefully breeding my liver chestnut mare with lots of chrome to a chestnut stallion with chrome, in hopes of a chestnut filly with chrome as a personal horse for me.


                                  • #37
                                    I love chestnuts as well. But, then again, I'm biased since my chosen breed is chestnut with white or flaxen manes and tails! :-)

                                    I personally prefer golden chestnut to a more reddish chestnut, and am not a big fan of liver chestnut coloring (all which are acceptable within my breed's color standard). But, I do have one mare that turned very dark liver chestnut after she foaled. (I chalked it up to horomones, since it only lasted a few months.) Interestingly enough, almost everyone picked her as their favorite color when we were out at shows that year!

                                    I joked that I was going to try to double register her as a Rocky Moutain horse, as she was the perfect color as well as tall and leggy with a long neck. :-)
                                    Mary/New Horizons Haflinger Sport Horses
                                    Standing Stellar TVR, 2013 N.A. Stallion Testing/lifetime licensed WE, RPSI, AWS, AHR


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Snowfox View Post
                                      Greys are best! Over the past 40 years I've probably have had 60 of them. All have lived to ripe old age, none have had melanoma. (It has actually been found that melanoma in grey horses is a safer version then found in other color horses, so colored horses with melanomas die more for it )
                                      I also find the prejudice agains mares ridiculous. I run a lesson program and I always have more mares than geldings. Right now I have out of 32 horses only 12 geldings.
                                      I now have TWO greys. And I'm breeding one of them this year, so there's a good chance of more greys in my future. I'd say maybe 25% of the people that looked at this mare when I had her for sale last year turned her down for being grey. It doesn't help that she's essentially white, now and no longer that pretty dappled color everyone likes... even though she is relatively clean despite living out 24/7. My other grey is not yet 3 and still VERY dark, fortunately. I like the color, but am not so good at getting and keeping it clean enough for shows.

                                      I personally love chestnuts. I'd take that over grey. My plain bay has developed melanomas between his hind legs, just in the last few years (he's 15). No signs of them so far on my coming 11yo grey mare.


                                      • #39
                                        I don't really get it: there are so many shades of chestnut. You can have one that is red, orange, tan, brown (not horse brown, brown brown), dark. How can someone make the blanket statement that they dislike chestnuts?

                                        My two favorite horses, ever, were my least favorite color. Unless someone was avoiding a grey b/c of melanoma, I can't imagine choosing a horse based on color.

                                        Yes, I describe my fantasy horse as a red bay, but that would never be something that I honestly included in a search.


                                        • #40
                                          "There is no bad color in horses but the best ones are chestnut."
                                          "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist