Originally Posted by Jolly Badger
I was at the Walking Horse sale at Tattersall's (in Lexington, KY) over the weekend. One of the things I noticed was that there were some nice, natural-moving horses going for low prices. There was nothing spectacular about their looks, but their movement just "flowed." They were going for under $1000.
But then, there were people bidding into the thousands for what I call "color and tail." The horse wasn't much of a mover, but it was slick and shiny with unique color or markings, or had a long flowing mane and tail. I guess that's all that's important to some people.
If you want a good gaited horse, focus on the gait and the temperament. Color, flash, looks. . .that's all secondary stuff and it doesn't matter a bit when you're out on trail all day.
There's an old saying: A good horse is never a bad color.
It's surely not true the other way 'round, though.
The reason this is such a tragedy, however, is those people buying "bling" will breed those poorly moving (often poorly conformed) horses as they will be the ones with the ribbons and the genetic base of the Walker will continue to deteriorate.
I'm not just "picking on" Walkers, here. It's true of any breed whose primary utility is to look good in a show ring.