Color Blind: A Highly Unscientific Classification of Horses

Whatever, we’ve all done it.


Have you ever bought a horse for its color? (Come on, we all have.)

We all soon realize you can’t ride a horse for color, so then the next time we to go shopping, we end up buying something more suited to our needs. Over the years I’ve sold/worked with/known a ton of different colored horses and mules, and while we shouldn’t always judge a book by it’s cover, these characteristics are what I’ve found in most of them.

This is tongue in cheek, so don’t be too offended if I didn’t describe your horse’s color based on your personal experience.

Buckskin/dun: Every buckskin/dun horse I’ve worked with have been extremely smart and willing to please. Even if they don’t know what I’m asking of them, they catch on real quick. It’s like they know you paid a buttload for them, and they don’t want you to be disappointed.

Chestnut/sorrel: Hard workers, pretty loyal and predictable. Sometimes headstrong and stubborn, but easy to figure out. Even the cranky red mares will get down to business and work for you, if pushed hard enough. Red horses know they’re vanilla, but sometimes still need a match lit under their butt.

*Red is my favorite color, maybe because most of the free horses I’ve received over the years have been red. That’s my favorite kind of discount.

Gray: Gray horses tend to be real honest and simple. Gray mules tend to be sneaky and conniving, but easily influenced by food to behave.

Pinto: The flashier they are, the crazier they are. It’s like each splash of color was God’s apology for loss of brain cells.

Appaloosa: Solid horses with blankets tend to be good, beginner-safe mounts. Horses with head to tail spots will try and murder you, but not realize their actions, so they can’t be held accountable.

Palomino: They range for super ditzy to super smart. Some play the dumb blond card; some will outsmart you. A good palomino horse is a keeper.

Palomino mules are the devil incarnate, unless they’re a Belgian cross, and then they’re like a giant, cuddly teddy bear that will double as a breathing couch.

Bay: Bay Thoroughbreds don’t develop a brain until age 11. Other breeds of bay tend to be solid and sane. In mules, the darker the bay, the squirrelier they are, unless the mule is over age 20 — then this rule doesn’t apply.

Roan: Roan horses like to buck and buck hard. They also like to fart when they’re bucking. If they don’t send you airborne, they will stop testing you and turn into good mounts. They’re very judgmental.

What colors did we leave out? Let us know in the comments section and give your horse the tongue-in-cheek treatment. Go riding!

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