Monday, June 2, 2008

"What we have here is a palomino Trakehner"

My sincere apologies to all the talented equine photographers out there, but this is the best shot I could get of Cowboy, now that he's a month old and living with him mom in a very large paddock. Plus, he's very friendly, which means that whenever I tried to take a snapshot of him I ended up with a close-up of his muzzle stuck in the viewfinder. But as you can see by even this photo, he's not exactly taking after his sire, who is-- conformationally speaking-- your typical working American Quarter horse. At just 4 weeks old, Cowboy's back is at my chest, and I'm nearly 5'9". So I'm thinking he's going to be a bit taller than his dad, who was barely 15.2. Plus, Cowboy is definitely built uphill, which is again taking after his dam's warmblood side. And he struts around his pen like a sport horse. So much for our desire to produce just an all-around riding horse. Though things can certainly change over time as he develops, it appears that what we have here, as my sister says, "is a palomino Trakehner."

Now, Cowboy really isn't technically a Trakehner. His granddam was. His dam is half-Trakehner, sired by a Dutch Warmblood (and branded as an Oldenburg). How's that for being confusing? Believe me, raising warmblood sport horses and managing their registration possibilities can be a dizzying process! But Cowboy does look the part of his warmblood ancestors. And that's okay. He'll still be a lovely, useful horse. However, he's a living example of what can happen when you breed two horses of dissimilar conformation together: you get a foal that's representative of either one or the other parent, and often you get neither. You get a throwback to some great-grandsire lurking in the genetic gene pool. Rarely do you get a foal that is an optimal blending of the two disparate parents. Which is why it's best to keep in mind that old horseman's saying: "Always breed type to type." I'm guessing that means that next time around we should either breed April to an actual warmblood. Yet no one in our family presently wants another warmblood. Or my mom (who loves doing the "foal thing") could get herself an AQHA broodmare. As for me? I'll just stay on the sidelines. With my gelding.

Just click on "comments" below or email me at to share your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

aw, Cowboy is sooo adorable. he is going to grow up to be a big gorgeous fella for sure ^_^

Anonymous said...

Cowboy'll be the handsome-est Trakehner look-a-like ever when he grows up!


Cindy Hale said...

Thanks! Yes, he really is very handsome. If it were 10 years ago... even 5 years ago... I'd be thrilled that my mom and sister had put together a breeding that produced what looks like a wonderful future sport horse. Now? I'm more of the "mosey down the trail on a stock horse" kind of gal. But you never know. Honestly, Cowboy may yet begin to look like his dad's side of the family. But a lot bigger, LOL!

Anonymous said...

I think cowboy is just so cute! I'd like to see a palimino sport horse.I show childrens hunter and Jumpers, the 2'6 and 3'6.I am a boy and think it would be neat to see a Palimino sport horse.