Saturday, September 10, 2016

Colors of Horses Do, Sometimes, Change

Long ago, I had a bay roan mare.  She had produced seven foals before she became mine.  No matter what color stallion she was bred to, she had always dropped a foal that shed out it's baby coat to be a black horse.  I wanted a black baby from this Quarter horse mare.  She was taken to five different stallions, ans stayed for three months each time, but she never got pregnant.  The vet finally shook his head and told me she was barren, and was too old to have another foal.  When our black thoroughbred stallion "came of age" the vet wanted a mare who had been bred before, and who wouldn't fight, for the young stud to practice on and to learn his breeding manners.  My old mare was chosen.  And she became pregnant, to everyone's great surprise.  Since she had produced black offspring in the past, and since this stallion was black, I planned for a black baby.  Stupid me.  She threw a blood bay with a dorsal stripe....  but I loved him dearly.
   The coat color of horses can change over the years, and can vary greatly between seasons.  During the winter, my bay roan mare's body turned almost white, with her black mane and tail and legs, but with a red face and white jaws.  In the summer, she was a copper and white mixed body with a black mane, tail and legs, and a copper face.  
   Our stallion was born a gun metal grey, but when his baby coat departed, he was gleaming black.  The chestnut filly that I purchased as a buy-back from the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company is slowly becoming a sorrel, with a much lighter mane and tail than her body color.  
   One of the most spectacular changes can be seen in the following photos of Mystic Warrior.  His sire is a black Friesian; his dam, seen in one of the photos is a leopard Appaloosa.  Look how his coat changed as he's aged...

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