First I must point out that choosing a horse is more a question of choosing an individual than a specific breed, but you must start in some end of the rope. While searching for horses to add to our family we looked at many different horse breeds. (Now I´m going to step on some peoples toes even though I’m fully aware of that every horse breed has it’s enthusiasts that love their horses. We´re no experts in any kind of horse breeds, but even a layman must find a way to make up his mind.)
Neighborhood crossbreeds was the first to get kicked off the list, like betting on an unknown horse with the same odds as one of the favourites.
American Quarter Horse, the Corvette amongst horses? Well, you get what you pay for and a handfull of Babcock-Quarter´s is definitely out of reach and besides, that Belgian-Blue- kind-of-feeling you get is hard to overcome. Of course there is a wide variety of Quarter horses and some breeders that keep their horses in a healthy semi-wild way and have a nothing less than, out of this world, fantastic way with horses, amongst them my relative Darrell in Tooele Utah, friend of Buck Brannaman, have my deepest admiration. But Darrell has retired and sold his horses and the right kind of Quarters are hard to come by elsewhere, so we kept looking.
Then there is the Nordsvensk (North-Swede), a robust old Swedish cold blood breed with a wonderful trusty mindset, our oldest daughters absolute favourite, maybe slightly too robust and too cool though, but certainly not a bad choice.
The Icelandic Horse is another robust horse, but not always that healthy when it comes to hot summer days and insect bites. They can also be quite stubborn and tricky to communicate with, so I´ve been told. The female part of our family likes them a lot, but when I told them about a bad dream I sometimes have that wakes me up in the middle of the night, seeing Clint Eastwood, in full cowboy gear, riding tölt on an Icelandic Horse across a field of tumbleweeds, they finally agreed to spare me from that.
Then there is the Arab Horse and the Andalusian horses, PRE (Pura Rasa Espaniola), Lusitano and so on. Again there is a big financial difference between the best quality individuals and the problem horses that sometimes turn up for sale in this remote barbarian part of the world. The same goes for the black dutch Frieser, our youngest daughter’s favorite.
British thoroughbreds and the Swedish half blood and horses alike are primarily sport horses bred for one specific purpose, manmade so to speak, where nature’s own perfect ability to choose what is healthy and what is not has been completely set aside for a hundred horse generations. Not my favorite for a lifelong commitment. We wanted more than just some sporting equipment; we wanted something real, raw and unaltered, a kind of horse with a straightforward way of communication that we in time could learn to understand. Maybe I am exaggerating but what we did not want, were horses with mental and physiological health problems caused by bad human interference and spend years fighting ghosts.
At one point I thought; Well, why not just cut the crap and go and ask someone who knows these things and buy some horses, it doesn´t have to be that difficult, if you don´t like´em, sell ‘em. Then one day our youngest daughter found something unexpected….