Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It Happens Every Year!

My mare gets darker and darker every year after she sheds out her winter coat! I tried to get some good photos of this year's color yesterday, but this is the only one that really showed what has happened to her coat this year.

She's got these dark patches all over her body. Her jowls are very dark (like in the picture), the left side of her neck has a pretty large dark spot near her poll, her forearms are very dark, and her flanks are quite dark as well. She's actually got some black circular spots, almost like black dapples. I just can't believe how dark that hair is! This picture really shows how interesting the color is too. You can clearly see where the dark patches end and her "normal" color starts right there behind her halter. She didn't have any of these black spots last year. She was quite dark when she shed out, but she was all the same color and none of the hairs were black like I'm seeing this year. It almost makes her look dirty! She's still got some winter hairs on her sides and belly, so I'm anxious to see how she looks when all the light hair is gone.

Earlier, I was starting to think she was maybe really a dun, rather than a palomino because of how flaxen her tail is and how much darker her coat was becoming, but now I think she's turning into a chocolate palomino. She doesn't have any of the dun factoring needed to be a dun, but she's just an odd shade of palomino. Horse genetics are so cool! And actually, her dam was registered as a palomino QH and her sire was a black and white Paint, so according to my research, assuming her dam was registered correctly (and I'm not totally off base), dun isn't a possible outcome from that cross. Palomino and buckskin are, though, and I'm certain she isn't buckskin. So from now on, I'm sticking with palomino!

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