A personal note: Some folks figure that if a horse is a 'fancy' colour, then that's all we care about and are breeding for. But to paraphrase an old adage - ‘a good colour ain't
necessarily a bad horse’. Breeding for colour is not a new idea - back in the day, King Ranch bred for sorrels over bays, which is one of the reasons why today there are
more sorrels than bays in AQHA despite the fact that, genetically speaking, it should be the other way around.
So-called ‘colour breeding’ helps modern breeders produce horses that have the eye appeal many horse owners are looking for these days. It's just an ADDITIONAL way of
producing horses that are wanted, used and valued by their owners - it isn't intended to replace critical attributes, such as great conformation and kind disposition.
Past breeders patiently used the methods available to them to discover ways of consistently reproducing the quarter horse’s best qualities. Today, new breeders are doing
the same. DNA testing, whether for colour or disorders, is a wonderful new tool available to us now that the 'oldtimers' didn't have, but you can bet your bottom dollar that
the best breeders would have used it if they did!
The Foundation breeders of the American Quarter Horse granted us a legacy of proven bloodlines which we have the privilege of promoting today, and science has given
us additional ways to build on that legacy. Testing for genetic disorders may have put some of us in a painful position when a horse comes back positive - but in the long
run, it WILL be better for the breed.
Despite a thousand different ways of raising, training, using and breeding these wonderful animals, horse people often seem convinced that 'their’ way is the only way, and I
think many breeders are feeling the growing pains of adjusting to an industry that has rapidly changed with the advent of DNA testing. But at the end of the day, I think most
of us have the same goal - to produce quality animals that people will value and enjoy.
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Website Last Updated: MARCH 1, 2017
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