Return of the Tongue-in-Cheek Pros & Cons Guide to Breeds

Because it’s no fun having so many breeds of horses if you can’t exploit their strengths and weaknesses every once in a while. The Tongue-in-Cheek Pros & Cons Guide to Breeds is back!

The first Pros & Cons Guide to Breeds was so popular, it made our Best of 2015 list — and it’s back, baby! (Remember, this is all in good fun.)

1. Haflingers

Wikimedia Commons/Jean/CC

Pros: these stocky shorties can do the work of a full-sized horse, without the food bill of a draft. To the eye the look like a mini Belgian. They are hearty, personable and very cute.

Cons: Their unpredictable nature gets overlooked by their cute conformation. Their flowing blond locks hide the crazy in their eyes and EVEN though they look like a Belgian, they are anything but calm in nature.  They like to misbehave and then when you call them out on it, they always pull the cute card. Your friend will own the perfect Haflingler, so you’ll think they’re all like this. You will be wrong and in for a cruel surprise.

2. Mustangs

Public domain

Pros: hardy, smart, surefooted. These horses can be trained to do anything. They come in all sizes and colors. They are the jack of all trades. Owning a mustang is like owning a piece of the American West.

Cons: most all mustangs in captivity ended up there because they either weren’t fast enough, or were too lazy to fight for their freedom. They’re quitters. Expect to be let down on a daily basis with these couch potatoes. Remember, they quit on the American West and they’ll quit on you. Hopefully you end up with a flashy one to counterbalance their poor work ethic. These horses are very easy to train because learning things the hard way takes too much effort.

3. Appaloosas

Wikimedia Commons/Jean-Pol GRANDMONT, Kersti Nebelsiek/CC

Pros: beautiful, flashy, tons of spots. Willing and very personable. They can excel in any discipline.

Cons: just because they CAN excel, it doesn’t mean they WILL excel. For every spot God gave them, he took away 10 brain cells. Those really flashy apps will make you question how they got so far in life. They’re like a single celled organism trying to pass as a horse.

4. Paso Finos

Wikimedia Commons/Arsdelicata/CC

Pros: they have a comfortable gait, they excel in a lot of different disciplines and are brave and very willing. They have a great work ethic and very trusting of humans.

Cons: have you ever watched them move? They are exhausting to the eyes. For every one step of a normal horse, these horses execute about five wild flailings of their hooves. They probably would be good swimmers if you were stuck at sea, and you’ll definitely get your daily steps on your fit bit with these moves. Their gait resembles that of the neglected horse that hasn’t had his feet trimmed in years and has to compensate by paddling to keep his feet from hitting each other. If you’re looking for that “feel sorry for me, I have a rescue horse” get a Paso Fino.

5. Miniature Horses

Wikimedia Commons/Crystal Holt/CC

Pros: so cute, so fluffy. Hair that goes on for days. They can be trained to pull carts and cart your kid around. They are literally a miniature version of a horse.

Cons: your farrier will charge you double for having to climb under one of these to trim. They’re too small to ride, so basically worthless. Might as well get a dog — at least a dog will play fetch with you. They’re so cute that everyone will want to feed them treats (because that’s what people do to all cute things) yet they founder on air. Your full-sized horse will become so buddy sour to them that you’ll wish them dead, but they live forever.

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