"Sooty" Palomino? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 04-20-2010, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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"Sooty" Palomino?

I have a pony mare, don't know her actual breed (I've assumed her to be a welsh/shetland cross, but my vet and farrier both strongly believe she's a pure section A welsh.) She's a 10 year old mare. When I got her late last summer, her coat was a typical palomino. I noticed she had a few black hairs mixed in her mane and tail, but just a few. Her "roots" on her mane seemed dark.

She's shedding out her winter coat now, and looked really grubby so I gave her a bath this morning. What I thought was "dirt" is actually a couple dark patches of back/brown hairs growing in a dapple pattern across her shoulders and rump. It appears to be typical to what I have seen with sooty palominos, but why didn't she have it last year? Can their be environmental factors?

I know very little about the history of the mare, I purchased her from a family who had picked her up at auction a few years before. I know nothing of her parentage, and only know she's had at least one foal (a bay) that was at the auction with her, sold as a yearling.

She's definitely in better overall condition and better fed than when I first got her. She wasn't seriously neglected when I got her though, just a bit rough, poor coat condition etc. but she had had regular wormings, dentals and care etc. I called her previous owners (we've stayed in touch) when I noticed it, and they don't remember her ever displaying such markings. I assume a sooty gene wouldn't normally fail to surface until at 10 years old?? Any thoughts about what is making them crop up now? (I'll get pictures on here as soon as she is dry)


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post #2 of 25 Old 04-20-2010, 12:12 PM
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I have a QH gelding who is just turning 3. I got him in the fall and he was a very light coloured palomino with heavy dappling on legs, rump and shoulder. He is shedding out to be a VERY dark, sooty palomino. I too thought he was dirty until I looked closer. Some of the hairs are pretty much black and he has what seems to be webbing appearing on his face. His Sire is a sooty buckskin and his dam is a dunalino. I have similar questions to yours - when he came to me he was underweight and wormy. Would good nutrition and care cause such a difference in coat colour, or will he get back the same very light colour again in the fall? Are "chocolate" palomino and "sooty" palomino the same thing? I'm not good with colours, but I know there are some members on here who are...

~Lindsay~ Mom of 2, wife to the goldsmith, doula and childbirth educator in training, life-long horse dork
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post #3 of 25 Old 04-20-2010, 12:53 PM
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My mare is a sooty palomino. They tend to have some dark hairs in the mane and tail, as well as tons of dappling. I'm putting a link below to show you how much the sooty gene can effect a palomino horse. Sooty palominos change colours from season to season.
Morgan Colors- Palomino Morgan Horses
And as for chocolate palomino, I would say that's just a dark palomino. A horse can be a dark palomino without being sooty. That page shows a ton of different shades of palomino.
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post #4 of 25 Old 04-20-2010, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Here's some pictures of Misty, now that she's dried off. The pictures don't show the brown/dappling near as dark as it actually looks in person - my camera is getting old, I think. But you can kind of see how her "roots" on her mane are dark, like a bleached blonde. (Her roots look about like mine do at the moment, I need to get my hair done again *lol*)

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post #5 of 25 Old 04-20-2010, 01:43 PM
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I forgot to mention, palominos with the sooty gene will generally darken with age. She looks like she might be sooty to me, especially with the dappling and grey hairs in the mane. In one of the pictures on the link I put up, there is a palomino with a darker grey mane as pretty much the only sign of the sooty gene.
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post #6 of 25 Old 04-20-2010, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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They WILL darken with age. Okay, that pretty much explains it then, I think. I guess up until now, they only real manifestations were the dark roots in the mane, and it just took a long time to start showing up in the rest of her coat. I was just curious what would cause her to go dark after 10 years! Thanks!


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post #7 of 25 Old 04-20-2010, 02:32 PM
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Beautiful pony!

A good horse is worth more than riches. ~ Spanish Proverb
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post #8 of 25 Old 04-20-2010, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aneternalflame View Post
I forgot to mention, palominos with the sooty gene will generally darken with age.
Not necessarily.

We have a palomino mare that only gets that dark when she is bred - then lightens out again to a nice light gold. The vet said hormones. Really odd when she carried her only colt. Chocolate that year.
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post #9 of 25 Old 04-20-2010, 03:36 PM
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But does she have the sooty gene? And I said generally, not that they all will.
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post #10 of 25 Old 04-20-2010, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mls View Post
Not necessarily.

We have a palomino mare that only gets that dark when she is bred - then lightens out again to a nice light gold. The vet said hormones. Really odd when she carried her only colt. Chocolate that year.

Okay that's fascinating! Misty is having some whacked hormones right now. She tried a couple times to "steal" Freyja's 2 week old foal (who is taller than she is, it's ridiculous), then started getting a little edema in her udder area and bagging up slightly. She cycled all winter long, and was last in heat right before Freyja foaled, plus I have spoken to previous owners so I know there is no way she is bred, but she having a bit of false pregnancy brought on by being around Fiona, I'm guessing. Maybe that is influencing it? This is why I was asking if there could be environmental factors to the coloring. That's really interesting!


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