Are Chestnut Horses Crazy? Not Necessarily, Scientists Say
Whatever you’ve learned through tradition or horse culture about chestnut horses, it’s time to put the stereotypes aside. European researchers recently reported that there’s no scientific basis to these preconceived notions—and they might even be endangering these horses’ welfare.
“I have no idea where the stereotype came from, but I’d imagine all it took was a couple of high-profile chestnut horses that misbehaved,” said Brandon Velie, BSc, MSc, PhD, a researcher in the Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, in Uppsala, who was previously affiliated with the University of Sydney, in Australia.
“From a welfare perspective, my concern is that instead of re-evaluating equipment fit, training practices, stabling practices, etc., people will continue to assume a chestnut horse is kicking and rearing and so forth just because ‘that’s what they
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