It occurs to me that I learned one really weird and disturbing factoid in my trip. (I also saw “the Ring” and stuff, but I’ll comment on that later.) Was talking to James’s boss’s wife, who’s a vet that works on horses. She was telling me how “paint” horses are much more desireable than solid colors. Much more desireable. Monetarily lucrative. As in, when a paint horse throws a solid foal, unscrupulous breeders will sometimes try and fix the matter. There’s tattooing, cold branding, bleaching, all kinds of things. Naturally, as fast as people invent these things, buyers get canny to it and look for the signs on the horse to make sure they’re not getting screwed. So now, the latest thing is to get a vet to do skin grafts on the foal to fix the coat.
As a result, naturally, breeders buying paint horses require extensive documentation, practically from birth, that it really IS a legitimate paint and not doctored. The whole thing is so bizarre, and a weird little insight into a world I am generally ignorant of that I just had to shake my head and go “Weeeeeird.”