Assumptions About Bloodlines

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Horsepeople have a lot of interesting tendencies, and here's one of them: making assumptions about bloodlines based on personal experience with only one or two individuals from an equine family. As in....

"The Doc Bars are hot. I had a Doc Bar granddaughter, and never did get her to calm down."

"Don't get a Driftwood if you don't have a lot of patience. They make good horses eventually, but they're hard-headed, like my gelding."

"The Dynamic Deluxes are busy-minded. I had two of them, and I swear, they sat up nights thinking of trouble to get into."

"Quincy Dan-bred horses are beautiful, but have a screw loose. My Quincy Dan mare walked by the same mailbox every day for years, and spooked at it every time."

I'm not sure where this stereotyping originates, but I find it odd that horsepeople will take it at face value when it's about horses, but will stand up and bristle if someone paints all Italians, all Irish or Polish descendants, all people of color, or whatever, with the same brush.

I just keep thinking about the equine full siblings I've raised--horses that couldn't be more different from one another in the temperament department if I'd planned it that way. Foaled in the same stall, handled exactly the same way, they exhibited their unique ways of behaving before they'd even dried off and stood up for the first time.

Just an aberration? Did I raise one baby typical of its bloodline, and another one that's a freak? Or is there more room for expression of individuality within a bloodline than popular wisdom might have us believe?