Anyone want to know about greys and roans...?

chev

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She's pretty! She's also black going grey, not roan.

Have a look at the little blue roan chap Wally posted above; see how his head, legs and mane are all unaffected by the roaning? That's a true roan.

Millie's greying is uniform; it affects all parts of her body. She is iron grey right now, but will get lighter and lighter as she gets older. Grey horses do often get much darker to start with - to begin with, early in teh greying process, dark pigment (dark grey or black on black based horses) is added along with the paler grey and white hair. As she gets more grey though, less and less of the dark hair will appear, and she'll get more and more pale grey and white.

For a horse to be roan, at least one parent must be roan - so they can pass the roan gene on. You do get roans hidden under grey, but even if a horse carries both roan and grey, teh roan will make sure that more pigment if retained in the head and points, until the later stages of grey take over.

She'll probably get some really interesting darker grey patterns on her head and legs over the next couple of years - almost reminiscent of appaloosa roaning. That again is part of greying out.

(Is she yours...? :D )
 

shandy84

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Yes she is Chev, Dave and I got her about May time this year :) she belonged to a friend of ours who had her from 4mths old from the New Forest pony sales (have included pics for you) and they did a brilliant job taming her and she is a lovely happy little pony now. I think however we may end up having too many soon as we plan to breed Bramble next year :D

Thankyou for your help on the colour, so there is a real possibility she will end up light grey at some point?

Can I ask what you think Bramble's foal could be if she (chestnut out of chestnut and Dun parents) was crossed with A Bay Roan stallion (solid head)?
 

LMS

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Ooooh I'm so glad someone brought this subject up again!

I'm confused about Heidi.

The vet wrote her down as being a chestnut appy with flaxen mane & tail with frost.

But if she's just a chestnut, why does she have white hairs all over her body? Is that because of her appy background?

Sire was a varnish roan appy & dam was a bay standardbred

Heidi has dark points (I believe)because her knees look darker,the inside of her ears and the bridge of her nose, she looks like she has "eyeliner" around the eyes, .

Heidiabitsnowy5.jpg
[/IMG]
DUNDASVET_20060926_1298.jpg

Brownlee2_20060717_0576.jpg


I know these pictures aren't the best. The last picture is a bit washed out. in the summer heidi looks like a copper penny.
 

chev

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Bless her Shandy - she's come on really well! Love the blaze too - nice sabino markings there :D She will definitely lighten up as she gets older; all greys do. :)

Bramble has to pass chestnut on to a foal. She may or may not have a bay modifier hidden in the chestnut somwehere from the 'dun' parent (which will have been buckskin - bay with cream - rather than dun). The sire will have black, bay and roan for definite; maybe chestnut too. So you have a chance of black, bay or chestnut foal, and a 50% chance it'll be roan on top of that. :)

LMS - your vet is right; she's flaxen chestnut with frost. The white hair is the frost (part of the appaloosa complex of patterns) and she'll have got that from her sire. Darker points on chestnuts are relatively common - it's not unusual to see them with legs so dark they're almost black to the eye. But chestnuts can't produce black pigment; really close examination will reveal very very pigmented red coat.
 

LMS

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So if someone asks me why she has white hairs all over her body, I reply because she's an appy and not a roan?

I guess that's why i was a bit confused, I assumed that the frost was only on the top and not throughout the whole body.

i also assumed that chestnuts didn't have flaxen manes & tails. But then again the roots are chestnut on her.

So then what's the difference between a chestnut and a sorrel? And I guess a palomino who do have the flaxen manes.

Oh and also: if a chestnut has dark points to almost being black, how come it's really red? ohhhh I'm sooo confused!
 
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chev

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Appaloosa roan is a strange one. The varnish roan gene usually causes extensive roaning all over the body, legs and head, usually with darker areas ('varnish marks') on the bony features - nasal bones, canons, and hip.

Frost appaloosas are like a much more subtle version; frost scatters white hair along the topline, which can be nothing more than a subtle frosting along the back or it can be much more extreme and spread right down the sides - it can look very similar to early stages of varnish roan.

The difference is that frost remains pretty stable through the horse's life; varnish roan acts much as grey does and gradually overtakes any other colour or pattern present, until the horse is mainly roan with just splodges of colour on the legs, nasal bones, and hips.

Frost can vary from just a sprinkling of white on the topline rigth through to roaning that covers the horse right down the ribs.

Next is teh difference between sorrel and chestnut. Basically, there isn't one! Both refer to red horses, and are local terms that can mean different shades or can be used to describe the same thing. Some areas call a bright red horse with red mane and tail sorrel; others class only those red horses with flaxen mane and tail as sorrel. Chestnut basically covers anything from a pale, light red right through to deep copper coloured horses. Both terms just mean 'a red horse'.

You can indeed get flaxen chestnuts! Hafflingers are all flaxen chestnut. Nobody knows yet what governs mane and tail colour in chestnut horses, but it seems to be a gene apart from the actual red body colour gene that dilutes the pigment in mane and tail hair.

A palomino is a red horse that also carries a cream dilute. The cream gene dilutes red body colour to a shade of yellowy gold, and mane and tail hair to white or near-white. Some dark palominos can be mistaken for flaxen chestnuts - but generally a chestnut will have a reddish colour while a palomino will be yellowy, regardless of how dark they are.

As for how dark some chestnuts can be; some of that is governed by modifying colour genes like sooty (or smutty) which cause much darker pigment to be produced in the coat. Most of it is really still in the realms of the unknown... but basically a dark chestnut has more red pigment in teh hair than a light chestnut. The more loaded with pigment the coat, the darker it appeasr visually. But it is just lots of red pigment; red horses, however dark they appear to the eye, cannot produce black pigment at all. They can have points that are so pigmented they look almost black; but it's not black.

Genetically, a red-based horse will have two alleles (an allele is the code in a gene that tells the cells how to develop - in colour genes, they govern what pigment is produced where) that prevent the production of melanin (melanin is black pigment). All they can produce is red - but how much and where depends on what other genes are present and what they do.
 

LMS

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Holy cow! That's a lot to sink in as there seems to be a fine line of difference and to the naked eye; it's just so confusing. No wonder I was!

Anyhoo, thank you very much to clearing this up. I don't think the white has changed much on her in the 7yrs I've had her.

So I guess if I bred her: who knows what the foal would look like! but I bet it would be colourful!:D
 

shazzel61

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Hi there,
Last bit of info....done some detective work, my mare (palomino sire, grey dam) is registered PBA and her registration cert says she was "chocolate dun/grey" at registration as a foal. The stallion is black but has a bay sire and chestnut dam!! Any further ideas to add please with this info? Thanks very much for your help.....
 

chev

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She was more than likely born bay and greyed out then shazzel. Dark bays especially in this country get registered as all sorts of odd colours when they start to grey out - roan being one very common mistake made. 'Cocolate dun' is one of the terms I dread - mainly because it seems to be used here to describe just about everything *except* dun! :D What happens is that a dark bay foal destined to go grey is born a much deeper shade than a dark bay foal that will stay that colour. When they then start to grey out, they do go some very odd dilute shades on the way, which unless the breeder has a grasp of colour genetics tends then to get them misidentified as roans and duns.

It is still possible that she was some kind of buckskin (that's bay with a cream dilute) but that's nearly always (mis)identified as 'golden dun' in the UK, so I'm not convinced. If you were desperate to know, you could actually have her tested for the cream gene (send off a sample of tail hair with roots and they'll tell you whether she has cream or not - costs approx £20) but I suspect she doesn't carry it.

We know she has one red gene, from the palomino sire. We guess (thanks to the chocolate dun registration) that she was maybe born dark bay; so in that case she also has one black and one bay from her mum, as well as the grey.

The stallion's parents make things much easier to predict; he's heterozygous for black (he has one chestnut parent, who must have passed chestnut on - so we know he has one red and one black gene) and doesn't carry bay or any other modifiers.

So - that means you have a 25% chance of chestnut base. If your mare has only one copy of bay, you also have a 37.5% chance of black, and a 37.5% chance of bay. If however she carries two copies of bay (possible; palominos can hide bay and pass it on) then you have a 25% chance of chestnut, and 75% chance of bay.

And then on top of all that, you have a 50% chance that the foal, whatever colour it's born, will go grey. :)
 

shazzel61

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Many thanks for all that Chev...its really interesting and a lot more complex than I ever imagined. I'll wait and see...cant change things now shes in foal any way. If the foal is anything like mum or dad it will be gorgeous (but I am biased!!!)...thanks again.....
 

chev

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It's not that complex really, honestly. It's just a case of working out what modifying genes each parent carries. :)

Who is the sire? (I have a passion for Welshies...) :D :D
 

The Flying Irishman

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Chev

My boy is a fleabitten grey 10 years old, his passport shows him as "grey piebald". When his coat is wet he actually is blue and white, why would this be and why when he is fleabitten grey would the vet have him down as grey piebald

Thanks
Kath x
 

chev

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He was probably born black tobiano (piebald) and greyed out later. The grey gene causes the black to grey out and end up white, and hides the piebald pattern - you'll see patches of dark skin and patches of pink skin if you look closely though.

Some greys do develop fleabites - coloured horses who grey out will do this too.

The vet probably did his passport while he was still in the early stages of greying, when he would have had obvious patches of grey and white (sometimes called blue and white too).

The grey in Wally's signature did the same; he's a piebald who also had the grey gene. He was born black and white and now he's gone grey, the piebald pattern is almost completely hidden.
 

chev

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Yes, definately. At six months he'd have shed his black baby coat out and grown in the first stage of grey, which would have been quite a dark iron grey. So at six months he'd have been a dark grey and white foal.

Each coat change would have seen him get gradually lighter and lighter grey, until eventually his coat is totally grey.

Then he'd have started to get the fleabitten markings, and ended up teh colour he is now. :)
 

neen

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Is he going grey?

My share pony Fluke is dun, which is a colour I love. He's got a sprinkling of white hairs throughout his coat, and it's hard to be sure, but I think his face has got slowly greyer since I've known him.

This is him in April, then in July, and today, November. It could just be the light in each picture, but to me it looks like there might be a slow progression of greyness in his face?

greying1.jpg
greying2.jpg
greying3.jpg


He's 4 years old -- chev, do you think he'll eventually grey out completely? And if so, how long might that take? We don't know anything about his parentage; he came from the New Forest sales as a foal.

Not sure if I'm just imagining it -- I was so pleased he was dun, I don't want him to go grey just yet!
 

Wally

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There was a GORGEOUS blue dun filly at the sales this year. I am a sucker for a blue dun! However, the owner/vendor knew this and said, "this one ain't for you, she'll grey out like her mother did" I was gobsmacked as her mother was white grey, but started life as a blue dun! This little foal was a good strong blue dun too, until you looked closely and on the face was the tell tale trail of teddy bear hair! :D :D :D going grey!
 

neen

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Oh, don't say that, Wally! Dun's such an easy-care colour, all the stains just blend in. Brush the lumpy bits off and he's ready to go! I don't much fancy spending hours polishing up a white pony... although maybe I could just leave the stains and tell everyone he's still dun? :p
 

chev

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He looks like he's greying out there neen. He's unlikely to have been dun to start with; more likely buckskin, but I'm almost certain from those pics that he's greying. Sorry! (But he will go some lovely shades in the years before being white... :D )
 
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