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Susan Allen Wrong Color Right Horse
by Susan Allen, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: August 31, 2010


Want a tough horse? Then do what the cowboys of 1800’s did, pick the right color. I’m Susan Allen stay tuned for Tuesday’s Open Range.  I know I’ll get in hot water generalizing a horse’s durability by it’s coat color and make and make no mistake,  in today’s market a  horse of a different color; palominos, blue roan or greys are sure to bring  top dollar at a sale over a common sorrel or bay. Historically though  ranch  hands in the west that depended on a horse day in and day out definitely had their color preferences, as many good horseman still do today. In harsh deserts of Arizona the dun or buckskin was coveted not only for their tougher hide that could withstand the cactus and pucker brush but the fact that dun hair has good light refraction keeping a buckskin or dun cooler then a darker horse. Out in  California,  vaqueros often opted for chestnut or sorrels.  An infusion of red with  a silky coat meant Thoroughbred blood, think Secretariat... “Big Red” translating to a faster more sensitive mount, perfect for a the astute technical rider who desired a finished bridle horse as even the chestnuts hide and mouth are more tender and responsive then other typical horses.  Young girls might dream of their prince on a white horse but a savvy cowboy wouldn’t want to deal with a white horses tendency towards skin cancer, sunburn, eye issues  and soft hooves. Today for many a horses color is a  cosmetic preference but I belive wecan still learn from old cowboy wisdom. I’m Susan Allen

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