A Gray MerryLegs?
|November 4, 2014||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
ML really really wants to be gray.
The grey hairs on her face, body, and legs have multiplied as her winter coat grew in.
Her baby pictures didn’t overwhelming suggest that she was going to be grey. At two years old she doesn’t look like she’s going to be grey.
But she’s a weird bay.
Who knows. Maybe in 5 years I’ll have this!
This would not be an improvement. I think grey is a fine color for other people’s horses. I personal would prefer to not own a grey horse.
Then I would have a tall, grey horse who very sneakily squeezed past my major requirements of SHORT, DARK, FEMALE.
Can you imagine me with a 10 year old grey MerryLegs trying to tell people I thought she was a bay? No one would believe me that she was bay at 2 years old. I can visualize it now….Pssst….don’t you know grey horses gradually develop as they mature. But she was BAY at TWO! I swear!
If you missed it on my October link love post, here is a really interesting link on some of the more unusual coat patterns in horses, as well as links to the stories some of the more famous examples (like the chimera brindled QuarterHorse!)
Obviously the white marks on her back are the result of trauma, but I’m curious what is causing the other grey hairs in an otherwise ordinary bay coat. I’m only half-way jesting about her turning grey, could she at this late age still actually be a grey? Seems unlikely.
Arabs do not carry the “roan” gene but can have the white hairs that resemble roaning through other genes. It’s a dominant trait (does not skip generations). With many of the horses on MerryLeg’s dam’s side being greys, it’s possible all of them would have had this “roaning” gene and not be noticed.
I looked at the possibility that she has the Rabicano gene….but it seems to manifest mostly on the flanks, sides, belly etc and in this case it’s most noticeable on her head.
Any other thoughts out there?
This is totally the opposite, but just to illustrate that every horse is different: I knew a gray arab gelding who had COMPLETELY grayed out by age four! Mane and tail and everything! I was always told it took years for that to happen… So who knows, maybe MerryLegs will just take her sweet time.
Tig was completely grey and she was four, so that’s more what I’m used to. I REALLY hope that ML doens’t grey out, so if she takes her sweet time…say thirty years or so…that would be FINE with me! 🙂
Actually, Tig still had a dark main and tail so not complete. But yeah, I get your point, TOTALLY individual.
I love a pretty gray, but if you want a bay I hope she stays that way! My horse, truly a bay, also has the dorsal stripe and light leg barring, though I think it’s called countershading. He also has white hairs throughout his coat, and getting more each year. He has gray on his heels, down the back of his legs and across the top of his tail and in his mane. It is more apparent in winter, the tail gray/white goes away completely in summer (so far). I was hoping for full rabicano, because those tails are gorgeous, but no such luck.
Merry Leg’s roan patches are interesting, and I sure wonder what caused the white on her back, maybe a rain-rot type of thing when she was younger? Mainly she’s cute (jealous of that forelock!), and genetics are odd!
The white patches on her back and neck are from trauma – an older horse got into the yearling pasture and beat the crap out of a couple of the youngsters, including MerryLegs. Some of the horses grew back with out white scarring, while others like ML ended up with white patches.
It really seems like she might go gray. It could just be reaaaallly slow, though. I agree with you, I’m not a fan of owning a gray horse!
Rabicano shouldn’t show up on the head at all, or the side without coming up the flanks. It also has that very distinctive barring pattern above the tail – is she showing any signs of that?
There’s a coming two year old at our barn who is a dark almost seal bay – but has two gray parents. Genetics seem to say she’ll gray out, but she has not a single gray hair yet!
Oh now THAT’s interesting about that coming 2 year old.
Sabino..I don’t know about Arabians but sometimes we see it in Morgans. Look it up..
Aside from the risk of Melanoma, grey horses have always been my favorite, and especially a Long legged grey TB is my eye candy/ I always wanted one of my own, now I have one.. but.. I am sure that Otto’s cool blue/grey color he has now will eventually change to almost white or fleabitten. His dad was bay and his mom was grey.
It’s the melanoma risk that scares me to death. Besides I just like how a bay looks. But I wouldn’t be so picky if it wasn’t for the fact that if I remember my statistics correctly over 80% of grey arabs will have some sort of melanoma growth before they are 20.
If ML DOES end up grey, I’m hoping for fleabitten. It hink it’s so cool!
I *think* there is sabino in arabs but its rare….no one should quote me on that.
It’s going to be so much fun to see the colors change on Otto!
I don’t know diddly on the topic, but I DO know a lovely bay arab with “roan” (I know that’s not right, but what is it really?) marks on his face and legs.
Several of his siblings have the same marks.
Fiddle has given half-hearted efforts at roaning. I think she’s up to about 50 white hairs now, mostly on her barrel, and about 3 or 4 white hairs on her left flank at the surgery site. She also has a star that nobody knows about — less than 20 white hairs under her forelock. Surprise!
Aarene – do you have a picture of that horse? Would LOVE to see a real life example since my exhaustive (ie watching TV) internet searches have turned up diddly squat for arabs with roaning on their face (as opposed to the flanks etc.)
Sheza has always had white hair flecked through her coat..but she has a pink lip and high socks that indicate some sort of color something..sabino? I dunno. Don’t really care..but yes still paranoid my chromey chestnut will magically turn grey…highly unlikely in my case I’d say! I guess…time will tell for ML? I love your coat coloring, bahhaah!
My planned red on white colors for her are going to look mighty stupid on a grey!
My plain bay standy has an identical roan patch on his side. He’s 16 now. My brown one has an ‘almost’ sock on a hind, with a 50/50 split of brown & grey hair.
I work at a TB stable, and we do get horses with a bit of roaning occasionally. Being TBs, it’s usually obvious if they are greying out by the time they are 2-3 years. There is a 6 year old dark bay with a mostly grey tail at the track too.
A lot of bays grow in more grey hairs in their feathered areas in winter, and the winter coat will also grow in more grey hairs around any markings, like the one she has on her face. If she was greying out I’d expect her flanks to have increasingly large amounts of grey ticking/roaning.
Fingers crossed she stays bay!
I’m scared my chestnut is going to turn pinto. She has white hairs all through her coat and mane, so my lesser fear is that she’ll turn roan. But her father being a pinto Arabian Trakhener mashup, I have no idea what will happen. Not that I’d ever breed her, but I wonder what the chances are her baby would be spotted. *shudder*
ML is gorgeous. A dream of a horse in my favorite color. So happy she’s feeling better. I’m with you, if it has to be grey, at least be fleabitten. Best is when they’re slightly fleabitten.
What’s funny is as a kid I thought paints/pintos were so PRETTY and that’s exactly what I wanted. Now, that color pattern is a real turn off for me. Even more than a grey. I’m just not a fan. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve met so many bitchy ones that have been allowed to do all sorts of crap because they are “pretty”? or there’s more poor examples out there because they are “bred for color”. Not sure when/why that shifted. I do think a chestnut with some white/grey hairs through the mane and tail is *so pretty*. How old is your chestnut? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a solid horse developing pinto like spots…but after looking at that color website there was a *lot* I’d never heard about so I’m not super confident of anything now!
Mel, I know the melanoma risk is scary – I’m from NZ and we have the highest UV levels of pretty much anywhere. My first two ponies were greys, and they lasted into their 20’s really well, they had small amounts of melanoma but both had other problems that were the CoD for them.
I have known a few greys since that have been in their 20’s before they had any issues – they were well cared for, and like humans, had sun protection and shade in their paddocks. I know it’s a risk, but it isn’t always as bad as you think it could be!
Were your two ponies arabs or non-arabs? The latest thing I saw is that in some grey horse populations by breed (like grey quarterhorses) have a much lower incididence (rate? ) of melanoma than the grey arab population, and so there’s a hypothesis that it’s genetically driven as well as color/UV exposure.
Does CoD stand for Certificate of Death? If so…that’s very clever.
CoD = Cause of Death 🙂
One was part arab, one was an unknown mix of small pony – welsh mountain was part, the rest who knows! He was supposed to be 10 when we got him, but his teeth said he was a good few years older, was very prone to laminitis and ended up with arthritis. The part arab probably had a heart attack – the people she had a semi retirement home with went out one morning and she didn’t stand up, just looked like she dropped where she stood.