My Little Pony or Workhorse?

My Little Pony or Workhorse?

How much should we pamper our horses?

A couple of days ago, I stopped at a tack store to buy a few things for the horses.  A lot of horse people will know what I mean when I say that tack stores are like candy shops to me.  I absolutely can't walk into one without buying something I didn't actually need (and, half the time, forgetting what it was that I did need).

And so I ended up walking out with a brand new purple halter and lead rope for my younger gelding.  My trainer has been harassing me because I decided that purple is his color -- I think it will look the best on him year-round, since his coat changes color with the seasons (he's a roan).  But my response is that he doesn't know purple is supposed to be a girl color -- he's just a horse.

Of course, then I made it even worse by braiding his mane.  A purple halter and a braided mane!  Of course, the braids are for a good purpose -- to train his mane to all go the same way -- but that doesn't make the My Little Pony effect any less obvious.

In my experience, horse owners fall into two camps -- those who take the My Little Pony approach to caring for their horses, and those who prefer the workhorse ideal -- Buster has a job, and it's not to look pretty!  Because after all, it's just a horse!

Of course, from there it's a sliding scale, from the horse who isn't loved and is hardly even appreciated for his hard work, to the primped pony who hardly ever sees the light of day, let alone -- gasp -- precipitation.  I think I exist somewhere in the middle, but with definitely leaning toward the My Little Pony side.  My horses get brushed, bathed, and spoiled with treats and kisses, but I draw the line at vacuuming their coats, painting their hooves, and other such nonsense.

What about you?  Is your horse a pampered My Little Pony, or a workhorse who earns his keep?  Or is he a pasture ornament who doesn't work, but doesn't really get pampered, either?