| When Bonanza's producer, David Dortort and actor Lorne Greene looked
over a dozen animals in 1959, they found the Buckskin horse, a superior
animal, and fell immediately in love with him. The horse is a true
Buckskin horse, denoted by his black markings; the mane, tail and the
legs, where the Dunny horse has reddish-color markings, a common
misconception with the horses, that are a result of the dilution gene. In short, there is no such horse as a Buckskin breed. Many horse breeds, from a wild Mustang to a domestic horse, can have the Buckskin color. Sometimes they are considered a color breed.
The tan color is a sign of the horse's superior genetics; stamina, very fast runners over a short distance, placid temperament, hard feet and hard-boned, with a long lifespan. Like "hard, wet leather", there is no such thing as a bad Buckskin and they have superior characteristics. Lorne's horse was 12 years old, stood 15.1 hands high and weighed 1,100 pounds.
The series was cancelled in 1972. Lorne bought the horse from the stable because he was fond of the animal and was fearful something bad would happen to him. That year, Lorne donated the horse to the Fran Joswick Therapeutic Riding Center in San Juan Capistrano, California, where he would spend the rest of his life at--instead of going to the glue factory, where horses are turned into glue. The facility is specially for mentally and physically challenged children and the children loved Buck. He had many good years as a therapeautic riding horse until his passing in 1992, at the ripe age of 45 years old. Buck's legend lives on as does his following!
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