Choose Your Horse’s Favorite Apple Variety & We’ll Describe Their Personality

You can totally trust this highly-scientific comparison because we like both horses and apples, and that’s all you need to know… right?


It’s apple season!… at least up here in my personal corner of Horse Nation in New York state, long known as a hotbed of apple production and varietal development. The arrival of local apples is a legitimate season up here — at our family farm stand, the giant bins start wheeling out with various varieties taking center stage as they come ripe; last year, I actually ran an apple tasting to let customers try all the different kinds. (We’re a wild bunch up here, let me tell you.)

While to some, “apple varieties” might mean red, green or yellow, rest assured there are as many different varieties as there are breeds of horses in the world. And your horse’s choice of apple says a lot about his personality*.

*in my imagination. There, I said it.

Here are eight.

Cortland: Horses who love Cortlands are reliable souls who don’t need to be in a regular program; you can pluck them out of the field and go for a ride without lunging first and won’t have the feeling that you’re taking your life in your hands. Cortland horses make great lesson mounts.

Fortune: This horse can get a bit spicy — he or she is brave to the point where you may start to believe they’re suicidal, but they’re also prone to crow-hops, bolting or that cool sideways-buck-spin maneuver that’s really good at pitching riders sideways. Put the work in and take your time, however, and you’ve got a partner for life.

Gala: The horse you tend to forget about in the pasture because they’re just always… there. He gets along with everyone and is also happy to keep to himself; under saddle he’s fairly middle-of-the-road for everyone. He will adjust his attitude based on his rider: he’ll take care of a beginner, but can still challenge a more experienced hand.

Honeycrisp: This horse is a diva with extraordinarily deep-entrenched opinions about pretty much everything. You must groom this horse a certain way; you must put the halter on a certain way; woe betide you if you ask for a transition with too little or too much leg or everyone within five counties will know about it.

Jonagold: This horse doesn’t look like much on the outside, but he’ll dazzle you with his athleticism and heart when you really put him to work. He’s versatile with just the right amount of spunk. Basically, he’s the underdog everyone loves to root for.

Macintosh: Commonly described as a “schoolmaster,” this horse is everyone’s perpetual favorite, even though he’s a little past his prime. He’s not a beginner’s mount, but he’s a great step-up horse to pack people around the course or the pattern like a professional, and he thrives in a busy barn where he gets plenty of attention.

Red Delicious: This horse just loves to eat and will accept anything you give him, which is why he likes Red Delicious apples, which are indistinguishable from the wax fruits you find in hotel lobbies.

Twenty Ounce: The gentle giants of the horse world, the Twenty Ounce lover is a draft, draft cross or benign warmblood with the characteristic floppy ears and unflappable nature. Everything they do, they do with a lot of premeditated thought, whether it’s moving forward, coming to grinding halt or kicking you in the thigh.

Go riding.

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