Who doesn’t want a pretty horse? I’m sure we all do to a certain extent. And granted, if the horse is to be a halter champion, then certainly beauty and perfect conformation is a priority. But as a general rule a horse’s beauty should never be at the top of the list, particularly when it comes to a pleasure horse. Personality should be foremost; more specifically, the horse’s personality when relating to people, us humans. I won’t single out any particular breed here, but the reality is there are certain breeds known for their exquisite beauty, and along with that, their challenging personalities. These horses can be very high strung and a little on the fickle side. They may like you one day and not so much the next.
I’m not implying that a not so pretty horse can’t have these negative personality traits. They can. I’m only pointing out that when one goes out to buy or lease a horse, they should put beauty further down the list. The beast, could very well just look like a beast and have the heart and temperament of a gentle giant. The big jug-headed too-high in the withers horse with an ugly coat, the proverbial Ugly Duckling, may just be underweight and lack muscle tone. It is amazing what a little tender loving care, good food and exercise can do to transform a horse. He or she may not ever be the halter champion in your state but that Ugly Duckling or Cinderella of a horse might just turn into a dashing swan or a beautiful princess in front of your very eyes.
Look at the horse completely. Look deep and not only see, but feel. What is that horse saying to you? What is their body language relating? Is he or she saying, trust me, love me, I will try my best to please you? Does he or she convey kindness, spirit, spunk, athleticism, whatever you desire? Does the horse have balance? Talent? What do your instincts say to you? He or she doesn’t have to be the perfect horse; the most important aspect is that you want that horse to be your horse. Beauty will follow.