Gray question! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 01-09-2010, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Gray question!

Hi! I just joined the forum! I have been researching about horses for a couple of months now. I never really got interested on them until some months ago. My favorite breed so far is the Andalucian, specially the dappled gray ones.

Now, I was reading the "grays" are born with darker coats and eventually take a lighter tone. My question is... do all turn completely white? Or some are able to keep some of their gray coat? Are there any horses that truly stay GRAY?

In the wiki said that most of them are white before 10 years... but I found this picture of a 8yr old dapple gray and it seems to me its going to stay that way...

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post #2 of 23 Old 01-09-2010, 02:02 PM
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8 is still young as far as grays go. More than likely he will get even lighter than that. I know a gray that is in his mid-teens who has kept a lot of his dappling, but his is also kept inside all day during the day and only let outside at night, so his coat never gets bleached. It really depends on the individual horse.

That is kind of the curse of the gray. They are SOOOO beautiful when they are grayed and dappled like that. It is my most favorite color. But almost all of them turn white or near white eventually (which just so happens to be my least favorite color. Is it possible for grays to be both my most favorite and least favorite? I guess so). They are out there, but you never can really know for sure. Another horse I used to know was the same color as the horse in your picture when he was 8, but now at the age of 13 his is completely white (save for a few flea bits that you can barely even see).

It does not always work, but if you keep a sheet on them or keep them out of the sun they usually will stay darker longer. But eventually they will turn white.


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post #3 of 23 Old 01-09-2010, 02:03 PM
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Lipizzaners turn 'white', by the time they turn 10 usually. But, yes, horses can stay dapple grey like that. Or just a straight grey color. White horses are the ones with pink skin, so Lipizzaners are really grey forever. lol Hope that helps.

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post #4 of 23 Old 01-09-2010, 02:11 PM
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My mare was completely black with little white dapples when she was born but now at 24 she's the complete opposite.

Luckily for me, she's very fleabitten so in the summer she's absolutely beautiful with all her little dark gray spots. In the winter she tuns completely white which is pretty darn cute too. Haha

Here's a picture of her in the summer and the winter so you can kinda see the difference. =)


Here's a close up of her shoulder:


And here's her shoulder:

I'm a fan of grays. Haha

And welcome to the forum!

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #5 of 23 Old 01-09-2010, 03:46 PM
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In my experience, they all turns nearly white in their teens - some keep fleabites though. My stallion is white at 3!

I wish the dapples would stay though. Love LOVE love Dark grey dapples!
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post #6 of 23 Old 01-09-2010, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Aww, what a shame. I really hoped them to stay like that. they are just so beautiful!!
I was really concerned because I was writing a fantasy story and the main character's horse is dapple gray. He can be a "new race" then. xD
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post #7 of 23 Old 01-09-2010, 04:11 PM
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The horse in your story can still have dapples, just make him around 8 or 10 in the story and he can still have them. Any older then that the dapples will be much lighter. It's your story, do whatever you want with it. If you want to make a new breed that stays dappled forever than go for it.

I refuse to let adventure leave me in the dust. The time of my life is out there, I just have to go get it.
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post #8 of 23 Old 01-10-2010, 05:19 AM
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There's also silver black, which can look grey (often with white "starburst" dapples) who never loose their color. Found often in minis and ponies. Silver is also common in gaited horses, but in them it most often (if not always?) looks different: the "chocolate" Rocky Mountain horses are silver black.

This is caused by the silver gene, not the grey gene.
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post #9 of 23 Old 01-10-2010, 11:46 AM
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My first horse was a flea-bitten gray QH mare; at 15 she was mostly white. I loved her sooo much and she was so beautiful. And I adore grays.

The one sad thing about grays, and I haven't seen it mentioned in this thread, is that they have a predisposition to "gray cancer." It doesn't matter what breed, either. I know first hand about this horrible disease because at around 20 I found small lumps under her tail, and when she came my vet found more in her mouth. She told me that it could stay just like it was forever, or metastasize at any time. At 25, after retirement, she started dropping weight in late summer (and oh! what a pig was she!!), she ate constantly but within 3 or 4 weeks was racked out. I called the vet to put her down, but she died in the night before the vet came. My dad (she was at his farm) dug a hole and had her buried before I had to see her like that. But, not all grays get it, which is the wonderful part!!

"Bread may feed my body, but my horses feed my soul." ~~anonymous

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post #10 of 23 Old 01-10-2010, 12:27 PM
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I got my grey when he was 5 and he was already almost compleatly white except for some slight dapples on his butt. A couple years later he started getting flea bitten on his face and every time he would shed it would spread further back. Now he's so flea bitten he's starting to look like a strawberry roan. I need to change his name from Smokey to Pinky.
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