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Can someone please explain to me the chestnut hate?

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  • #61
    I also don't know where the chestnut story comes from... All I know is while I prefer bays, I seem to collect chestnuts and it doesn't bother me one bit.

    I breed the best horse I can; regardless of colour. Though if I am breeding to sell, with everything equal, I won't seek to breed for chestnut because of the buyers' bias.

    But as said previously, while it may be frustrating at times for me, I fully understand that if a buyer is putting down a hefty sum on a foal, they may as well get the colour they want. Chances are, with the number of foals born each year, that their "perfect" horse exists, in the colour they want. What's wrong with that?

    For most, horses are a leisure. If I'm buying anything else, I'll fuss and try to get the colour I want too!
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    • #62
      Originally posted by JB View Post
      Well, not really - buckskin and dun are genetically different, while the chestnuts vs sorrels are still ee
      i am not sure why all the fuss is made of folks that use the term dun? they have been using the term dun for ages... maybe it was the person studying the genetic aspect of this that got it wrong?

      maybe it should of been called dun and not buckskin considering that most in the world use the term dun. ?

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      • #63
        Originally posted by mbm View Post
        i am not sure why all the fuss is made of folks that use the term dun? they have been using the term dun for ages... maybe it was the person studying the genetic aspect of this that got it wrong?

        maybe it should of been called dun and not buckskin considering that most in the world use the term dun. ?
        Well, the genetic difference aside (and that's a pretty important difference), duns and buckskins have different characteristics. A dun has leg bars (stripes), zippers, cobwebbing, and a strong dorsal stripe. A buckskin without the dun modifier doesn't have any of those things Calling a buckskin a dun would be like calling all roan horses grey -- they may share similarities, but they're not the same thing. Dun Central Station has some great info. BTW -- I only learned this because by a twist of fate, I ended up with two duns -- a grulla and a dunskin.
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        • #64
          Originally posted by mbm View Post
          i am not sure why all the fuss is made of folks that use the term dun? they have been using the term dun for ages... maybe it was the person studying the genetic aspect of this that got it wrong?

          maybe it should of been called dun and not buckskin considering that most in the world use the term dun. ?
          Why do you think the people studying the genetic aspect got anything wrong? A typical red dun does not resemble a buckskin, for example.

          Thanks for the explanation and link DFF.

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          • #65


            i know they are genetically different - i am speaking only of the naming convention....

            i meant that since the word "dun" has been used for generations for a certain color, criticizing that usage now seems a bit mean spirited.

            perhaps the person who named the genetic color should of taken into consideration the fact that the majority of the world uses the term "dun" for a buckskin - and perhaps they could of used a different name for the genetic "dun" ?

            do you get what i mean?

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            • #66
              Not really, because duns come in so many different colors and may not resemble buckskins at all, and the term buckskin is pretty entrenched in this country. I guess the term cream bay may be a better one.

              Besides Connemaras aren't buckskins mostly found in American breeds?

              Fwiw I once knew a mare that was both buckskin and dun (with the prominent dorsal stripe and zebra stripes on the legs) who had a foal by a gray Irish TB that turned out to be a leopard Appy (which rather sadly turned gray). How's that for some wacky color genetics? lol

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              • #67
                Buckskin and Dun are frequently found in German Riding Ponies. They are 2 distinct colors genetically for sure as outlined above.
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                • #68
                  I get teased for having a chestnut mare with chrome (I'm an adult amateur AND only 2 years in the saddle). But she is the most accomplished mare at my trainer's barn, which is mostly dressage and eventing, and before her career ended due to an injury, she was going Prix St George. Every once in a while she has a "moment" and people laugh and shake their heads and say, "chestnut mares" in a very knowing way. However, she is safe and these moments consist of tossing her head up and blowing, never bolting, and a spook is small jump to the right or left. In the meantime I see their bays, blacks, and greys bolting, kicking out, and being downright naughty while I sit happily and safely on my chestnut mare who is watching them and wondering what all the fuss is about. My confidence grows with every ride. Love my chestnut.
                  A horse will save me

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                  • #69
                    Thank-you, NWE: I always feel I have to jump in to stick up for the wrongly convicted, and the chestnut mare theory is one of them!

                    Besides the buckskin/dun theories - I dunno and my eyes glazed over!
                    If it is in an English discipline I'll call it a Dun, if it is western I'll call it a Buckskin and risk it.
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                    • #70
                      Many years ago I was scribing for an "O" level judge (it was my first time so I was a bit star struck). All day I hung on her every word. At the end of the day we went out for dinner and she proceeded to tell me that red mares are hot and tempermental, bay horses sweet tempered, black horses stubborn, etc. etc. I thought she was having some fun with me so I laughed - which she did not appreciate because she was dead serious. I was a Biology major in university at the time so I knew the whole idea of colour effecting temperment to be ridiculous (it is just self fullfilling prophecy) - but I juist politely agreed with her because she was sort of scary, LOL! It was a lesson for me that being an expert in one field does not make them an expert in all.
                      Be firm, fair, kind, clear, consistent, patient, and, above all else, maintain a sense of humour.
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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by JWB View Post
                        It's actually a recessive color, not dominant. That's why a chestnut to chestnut breeding will ALWAYS guarantee a chestnut foal. Assuming you don't specifically know what color genes your horse is carying, you can breed bay to bay or black to black (or any combination) and potentially end up with a chestnut foal.
                        Yes I said Chestnut is a dominant color. Doesn't recessive mean a hard to get trait?....My theory that chestnut is a common color because it is a dominant color. I have the theory that some riders may want a rarer color since that may seem more special to them. I offered that up because the OP wondered about chestnut hate.

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                        • #72
                          My spectacular jumper pony from my youth (50's and 60's when pony jumpers jumped BIG fences ) - Liver Chestnut mare - named "Not Guilty" - showed hunters too over outside courses

                          Great appendix mare "Rory" - chestnut - beautiful girl and owner who bought her adores her - no "red head" nuttiness there - I got her from the Clemson breeding program as a youngster.

                          And if breeding for great JUMP? I sure wouldn't and didn't take GREY off my list! Plus, my one and only jumper that I showed? A Grey NZ TB - Capitol Hill - wonderful horse!!


                          Said over and over I am sure - have a good horse? Color blind
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                          • #73
                            Well shoot, I have 2 ponies one I call a dun and one I call a buckskin, now I don't know if I'm calling them the right thing. The one I call a Dun is a light peanut butter color all over. She has pink skin on her nose and eyes with a little freckling (which makes me think she might have some appy in there somewhere) the one I call Buckskin is slightly darker but has black mane, tail (although with some red in it) legs, and points. He may have the slightest of dorsal stripes and is really beautiful dappled.

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                            • #74
                              For years I swore I would never own a chestnut, not because of their colour or anything but because of my “bad luck” with them (multiple horses!)…all of it was pure coincidence and that is all (I was young what can I say!?) …fast forward a few years later…I would not and have not refused to buy a horse or breed to a stallion based on colour. I have bred to a chestnut and now own a chestnut. I really love their colour variations especially if they have chrome!
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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
                                Thank-you, NWE: I always feel I have to jump in to stick up for the wrongly convicted, and the chestnut mare theory is one of them!

                                Besides the buckskin/dun theories - I dunno and my eyes glazed over!
                                If it is in an English discipline I'll call it a Dun, if it is western I'll call it a Buckskin and risk it.
                                I can only state what I hear, being surrounded by western culture, Calgary Stampede, and the bazillion cowboys who live around here - they distinctly separate a dun and buckskin color.

                                I have an imported Swedish WB mare who the ASVH (Sweden's registry) called Buckskin and she truly is a buckskin. If she didn't get her cream gene from her sire, she would have been a bay.

                                This site is helpful:
                                http://www.ultimatehorsesite.com/colors/index.html

                                Personally I love all colors, but the prettiest color (to me) is the smoky-blue shade of the Grulla which in some countries like Iceland, they call it a Blue Dun.

                                I also like the high-sheen shades of the Teke's - their coats seem to glitter like fire or gold.

                                I guess I'm weird. I just like 'em all! Personally, when I hear someone state they won't look at a horse because it's X color, I think it's their loss because they could be missing out on a really nice horse; however, everyone is entitled to have their favorites and opinions.
                                Last edited by rodawn; Mar. 16, 2013, 05:27 PM.
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                                • #76
                                  That is an interesting site.. I'll just have to just keep my mouth shut in future before showing my ignorance Thanks.
                                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #77
                                    I was surprised to learn that chestnut is recessive as well... so I googled it. It's my understanding that although chestnut is recessive, the majority of horses carry the chestnut gene, which is why they're common.

                                    This explains it very well: http://www.ultimatehorsesite.com/colors/chestnut.html

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                                    • #78
                                      I don't get it either. Looking at a chestnut gelding for resale this week! I have been on a bay binge for quite some time... not my favorite color only because it is all I see in my pastures! My FIL has two chestnut mares and two chestnut geldings and a palomino mare... no big deal and none of them are that stereotype. Probably more of a self fulfilling prophecy.

                                      As others have said, a good horse is never a bad color to me. If it's all that conformationally, movement, jump, and temperament... I don't care if it is green with purple spots. I think if people were more objective in their horse shopping (about what makes the horse, not the wrapper) they'd be much happier.

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                                      • #79
                                        Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                        i am not sure why all the fuss is made of folks that use the term dun? they have been using the term dun for ages... maybe it was the person studying the genetic aspect of this that got it wrong?

                                        maybe it should of been called dun and not buckskin considering that most in the world use the term dun. ?
                                        It's a fuss because the genetics are entirely separate. Separate, not linked, not just different terms for the same thing like chestnut and sorrel are.

                                        "Bay duns" who produce palominos means they are buckskin, not dun. "Bay Duns" who produce cremellos means they are buckskin, not dun.

                                        Yes, dun has been used in place of buckskin as a whole some areas, ie Connemaras, and *it's wrong*. Dun is dun, buckskin is buckskin.

                                        Just because someone has always "dun it" doesn't make it right.

                                        It's the same thing with the QH world calling their very very light Grullas "Silver grulla". They use it to describe the shade, but it's WRONG because there is no Silver gene at play, and Silver Grulla is genetically different from just being a very pale grulla.

                                        Even the Haflinger world has a color called "gray dun" to describe the color, but gray does not exist there, so genetically that is incorrect.
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                                        • #80
                                          Originally posted by DancingFoalFarms View Post
                                          Well, the genetic difference aside (and that's a pretty important difference), duns and buckskins have different characteristics. A dun has leg bars (stripes), zippers, cobwebbing, and a strong dorsal stripe. A buckskin without the dun modifier doesn't have any of those things Calling a buckskin a dun would be like calling all roan horses grey -- they may share similarities, but they're not the same thing. Dun Central Station has some great info. BTW -- I only learned this because by a twist of fate, I ended up with two duns -- a grulla and a dunskin.
                                          Actually, the only requirement is they have a dorsal stripe They don't have to have the leg or wither barring, or face mask/cobwebbing. Even the dorsal stripe doesn't have to be so strong, and if it's a pale color, it might not be easy to see
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