Apparently more than a few people were thought-provoked with Mugwump Chronicles' recent Mouthy Monday post on pretty horses. It got SillyPony thinking over at Diary of the Overanxious Horseowner who wished to see what our not-for-sale horse ads would look like, but I will get to that in a moment.
I will fully admit, when my first horse Koalt was listed on DreamHorse bound for a new home, I had been looking at horses for sale, and I did have a criteria: it must be pretty. I wasnt stupid and ruled out good plain horses, but I didnt go and look at any. I thought if I could pick any horse to be my own, I wanted one with color. I also wanted another boy but if the right girl came along then I would be ok with it. You all probably know the story of how I got Milo now, if not you can read my lengthy series on it here and the unfinished one here. I also made a post about the day I met Mr Milo, here.
But as it turns out, I did fall in love with a "pretty" horse, although he wasnt exactly what I was looking for. I have never been a huge fan of tobianos (not for myself anyway - all that white!), and didnt like bald faced horses. If it had a blue eye, it must be lined with black around it. I really wanted a dark bay overo, blue eyes not necessary. I didnt want a red horse - everyone had red horses. My best friend at the time had a horse who looked like Milo's identical. But, Milo charmed me, and the qualities he had that I had believed I wanted ruled out, seemed to fit. The symmetrical bald face (and not overly bald, his jowls were still brown) with the white forming a perfect triangle up on his forehead, the brown eye had full liner but the blue only half, but it was enough. His white spots were perfect: not over powering like a tobiano, not too much white like a frame overo, but just right. I loved his personality too, I believed I hit the jackpot.
Is it wrong to have color as a criteria? Well, no. You like what you like and if color is what is desired then there is definitely one out there for you. BUT in no way should color be the deciding factor over the absolutely perfect plain horse, or the rogue one with pretty spots. But I would HOPE that would be a given (sadly, we all know it is not...)
Honestly, I love my pretty sorrel overo with a blue eye, but there are many-a-solid-horse out there who has grabbed my attention. Beautiful conformation and a solid color is just as pretty - take Sarah's Wesley for example, I love that boring bay!
NOT FOR SALE
2004 APHA Sorrel Overo Gelding 15.3h (16h on the butt)
Western inclined, but did some English in 4H, does not like to move out at the trot. A jog to die for, working on the lope. Prefers only Mom to ride him - is a sass to anyone that doesnt ask like her. Hates giving lessons, is bored by small children riding around, takes boyfriends and other unsuspecting friends for a ride, but decides his own path, gets angry when they try and correct him. Lunges but doesnt need steam worked out of him, prefers to jog on the lunge-line must coax for the lope, will only lope for Mom. Goes on the trail great, prefers a friend but can go alone, must be in the front. Jumps puddles prefers not to get his feet muddy. Loves to work cattle, but likes to bite them. Working on reining, no slide plates on. Learning to get his butt under and use his rear end. Beginner level. Trailers great, prefers the trailer be absolutely level before getting in. If traveling with a buddy (particularly a mare) may get attached to her at final destination - do not stall next to her. Same goes for buddies at home: gets attached to mares, better turned out with another boy. He be-friends everyone, is confused if they dont want to be his friend. Is also confused when mares in heat pee in front of him. Good for the vet, good for the farrier (sometimes will kick him unsuspectingly, but generally ok). Learning manner in his stall, still need to keep an eye on him during feed-time, has a history of being aggressive, but coming along better. Can touch him anywhere, gets a little offended for sheath-cleaning, but lets you. Has had full-body clips, but hates his ears done. Takes baths, prefers warm water. Prefers sponge bathing for the face with will accept hose water if on a low stream. Loves his blankets and jammies (prefers Camouflage); if its going to rain you better get a sheet on him or he will defecate in the stall when you didnt prepare with bedding (but will do that anyways when the weather is bad). Takes body work very seriously -gets upset if it is forgotten about. Very vocal (obnoxious) to the body worker and seriously expects his ribs put back in place. Stands well in the cross ties, likes to grab the lead rope if left on the halter, if not, will grab the cross ties. Prefers Orchard Grass to Timothy hay, will use the insufficient other as bedding or will simply ignore it. Enjoys sunflower seeds in his grain, loves peppermints. Knows carrot-stretches but should not be regularly fed by hand (never by anyone new). Does not crib, but will chew if bored, requires toys (prefers giant purple balls). A clown, everyone's favorite, will be your best friend and will even play fetch.