Friday, August 10, 2007

A good horse is never a bad color, but a bad horse can be a good color - Part III, Cremellos

Ah, cremello. The color that makes every color breeder's heart go pitter-pat. Since we've seen a fair bit of misinformation out there on the topic, here is a chart that will show you the possibilities when you breed color x color. As you can see, the cremello, unlike the palomino or the buckskin, will not give you a plain red matter what you breed it to. For this reason, cremellos are very appealing to people who breed for color, especially the low-end color breeders who have learned that a $300 colt becomes a $1200 colt when it's a trendy color!

Color is clearly the only explanation for this stallion still having possession of his testicles. While I am not an expert in Tennessee Walkers and do not pretend to be, I have boarded at a TWH barn and have some understanding of what a show quality Walker looks like. Even cleaned up, this ain't it. The complete and total lack of any muscling at all is stunning. He's got no butt and a short little peaked croup - I know that isn't the breed standard! His neck is thick and his head and neck appear oversized for his body, though I think this is due in part to the fact that he actually is underweight. He's back at the knees, too. The only thing that could be nice about him is his tail...if someone would wash it!

Not a cremello but I had to point this out as one of the mares bred to him. This mare doesn't need to be bred. SHE NEEDS TO BE FED. Good God, if they look like this on pasture, SOMETHING IS WRONG. Call the vet, you cheap miserable jackass. I can only imagine what this poor mare is going to look like in February. She will put everything she has into trying to grow that baby, and look like the walking dead. Ugh. But as the website says, and I quote "Palomino foal are guaranteed." I think I'm just going to send out some Hooked on Phonics gift bags or Passing the GED for Dummies to some of these people...

Back to topic...yes, another wonder of the gaited horse world. You don't have to be a horse expert to know this isn't a fine looking animal - a non-horsey friend of mine saw this and her reaction was "Ew, what's wrong with that horse?" Touche.

What's wrong is everything from a ewe neck and a head longer than Indiana to front feet that point two different directions. The only muscle I see is the one holding up the underside of her neck. But hey! She's a cremello!

Just for comparison's sake, this is a cremello Saddlebred. OK! Now we have something that looks like a quality gaited horse but just happens to have a great color, too. Yes, this horse is clean and well presented, but look at the overall conformation. Even if you added shaggy fur and filth to this horse, it still would not look anything like the horses above. It has the long elegant neck desirable in its breed, a gorgeous shoulder, elegant head, and a flat topline. (Yes, I know, it would look different if it wasn't parked out BUT it would still not look like cremello stallion #1. Look where the croup is in relationship to the tail and the rest of the back.) While the page this horse came from does specialize in colored Saddlebreds, they are breeding from high quality stock to begin with. They don't have anything on their site that looks like the fuglies shown above.

Here's another cremello stallion that I like. This one is a Welsh Cob, and he is a great example of one. From his pretty head and cute, foxlike ears to his exemplary shoulder, overall compact and balanced appearance to his powerful hip, this is what a Welsh Cob should look like - it's just that he has color, also.
I'm not at all opposed to color breeders. All I ask is that you start with horses who would be excellent examples of their breed, even if they were plain chestnut. If that is not the case, do the right thing and sell them to riding-only homes.

It bears noting that EVERY breeding program, no matter HOW good, will have culls. As has often been pointed out here, you can start with 2 phenomenal horses and get something that will be lucky to win the 4-H english pleasure. It is up to you to evaluate your horses and honestly determine which are not breeding quality and which need to be targeted toward riding careers and, if male, have "brain surgery" at the earliest opportunity. Anyone who says they are producing 100% breeding quality horses or keeps all of their colts intact as "stallion prospects," is deluding themselves. It simply does not work that way.

I think tomorrow we will just have to make another foray into the land of bad parenting. I have such a collection of pictures piling up that it's not funny. I'm not a helmet nazi or anything but, c'mon, why is your BABY on a STALLION that is LOOSE? And then you put that on the Internet. If Britney Spears can get in trouble with CPS for putting her baby on her lap in a car that she is in (we hope) total control of, what do you think the authorities will think of some of the dangerous, foolhardly crap some of you put on the web in an attempt to prove your stallion's wonderful disposition?