Sorrel or Chestnut? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 34 Old 12-10-2009, 09:30 PM
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I'm going with my sweet pea is a sorrel. 'cus that's what's on his coggins! I say the ones that don't shine as much... are chestnuts... teehee... that's my 'splanation!

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post #22 of 34 Old 12-11-2009, 01:21 AM
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>>>>I ride western and I have yet to find sorrel a broad term for red horses, most I know, know the difference.Sorrel is not just a western term nor was it developed by western riders, it came across the sea like the rest of 'em. If you want to get really western you don't use sorrel or chestnut, you call it a red horse regardless of mane color, it is red...

I didn't mean used by those RIDING western, I meant use of the word in "The West". I lived in Utah for 14 years-- unless you had Arabs or TBs, chances are, you called red horses sorrel, even if you rode English. (but then who rides English in UT unless you have an Arab or TB--- JK JK JK )

>>>> It is also explained this way in Cherry Hills books on basic horsemanship.

And Cherry Hill is entitled to her/his opinion/experience just like every other horse person is. Although I daresay the 'ol cowboys "out west" that called all their red horses sorrel regardless of mane or tail color
(Y'know, like the famous progenitor of the QH breed, Old Sorrel, foaled in 1915 and definitely not flaxen) had been alive longer than Cherry Hill and wouldn't take kindly to being told that a comparatively recent book was right and they and their pappys' and grandpappys' ways were wrong.....




>>>>Technically a chestnut has more true red pigment to its hair than a sorrel(they tend to be more strawberry colored...), and due to a dilution gene that also causes the light mane and tail, a sorrel has a more more "orangey" naturally occuring coat.

OK then just to throw a wrench into the above, what would you call this? Because I would call it a flaxen chestnut----




....While this one could arguably be a flaxen sorrel (If I used any other term besides chestnut-- I tend to use chestnut for all of them and just add the M/T color if it is significantly different).... .



The above would sort of follow the AQHA and APHA registry definitions. (Chestnut being dark or brownish red, sorrel being reddish or copper red-- regardless of M/T color)


But your definition of chestnut is more like this one then?



But you also said,

>>>>>Sorrel has lighter mane and tail. Chestnut has same or slightly darker mane and tail.Period. It all has to do with the mane and tail color, not the body color at all(besides that it is red of course)


OK so this first one is chestnut (M/T same as body)--------but these next 2 guys are sorrel strictly on M/T color?

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Last edited by Eastowest; 12-11-2009 at 01:28 AM.
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post #23 of 34 Old 12-11-2009, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastowest View Post
>>>>Technically a chestnut has more true red pigment to its hair than a sorrel(they tend to be more strawberry colored...), and due to a dilution gene that also causes the light mane and tail, a sorrel has a more more "orangey" naturally occuring coat.

OK then just to throw a wrench into the above, what would you call this? Because I would call it a flaxen chestnut----




....While this one could arguably be a flaxen sorrel (If I used any other term besides chestnut-- I tend to use chestnut for all of them and just add the M/T color if it is significantly different).... .



The above would sort of follow the AQHA and APHA registry definitions. (Chestnut being dark or brownish red, sorrel being reddish or copper red-- regardless of M/T color)


But your definition of chestnut is more like this one then?



But you also said,

>>>>>Sorrel has lighter mane and tail. Chestnut has same or slightly darker mane and tail.Period. It all has to do with the mane and tail color, not the body color at all(besides that it is red of course)


OK so this first one is chestnut (M/T same as body)--------but these next 2 guys are sorrel strictly on M/T color?
First- That is a darker sorrel, but if you notice the coat is still orangey, maybe enhanced with really good feeding or a supplement, but I can clearly see an orange cast to it, not a more strawberry red. Sorrel can have a light or dark body, It doesn't mater as long as it is red and the mane and tail are lighter. If it was a true chestnut(genetically different than a sorrel or whatever you choose to call it), the whole horse m/t included would be the same color(well not counting any white markings on the legs and face...).

As for the last three horses, you did not read what I said, I said m/t IF THEY ARE RED, those horses are liver and brown, thank you, so they are not sorrel.

The bottom line is that if a horse is sorrel to you, it is a sorrel, if it is a chestnut to you , it is a chestnut. It is what you chose to define it as.

I was merely explaining that technically it is genetics that makes a true sorrel or chestnut(though I have always seen and heard of sorrel and chestnut as I described), if you would go to the link I posted you can see what I mean.

Sorrels on that website are called either flaxen chestnuts, sorrel chestnuts, or just sorrels(so I guess It could be either of the three). Flaxen chestnuts(or the other names for it) are different than other(true) chestnuts because of a recessive(sorry in an earlier post I put dilution, oops) gene that affects their coat and m/t color. They are genetically 2 different colors, but what you choose to call it is your choice.

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Last edited by Honeysuga; 12-11-2009 at 03:40 PM.
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post #24 of 34 Old 12-11-2009, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastowest View Post

I think the Appaloosa Horse club went to "Chestnut or Sorrel" as one color choice a few years back to alleviate confusion, since depending on their experience/opinion of which was what, assigning one or the other might be confusing or frustrating to people registering.
This (Chestnut or Sorrel) is what it says on my appy's papers.
So you are accurate, they consider it one color.
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post #25 of 34 Old 12-11-2009, 08:42 PM
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>>>> I was merely explaining that technically it is genetics that makes a true sorrel or chestnut(though I have always seen and heard of sorrel and chestnut as I described), if you would go to the link I posted you can see what I mean.

>>>>Flaxen chestnuts(or the other names for it) are different than other(true) chestnuts because of a recessive(sorry in an earlier post I put dilution, oops) gene that affects their coat and m/t color. They are genetically 2 different colors, but what you choose to call it is your choice.

ALL of the pictured horses would test ee, meaning homozygous for non-extension, no black pigment, which is why there are many folks that would call them all chestnut. (just like bays test at least A-, and there are many shades of bay, but they are all called bay.)

As far as I know there are no other genetic tests differentiating sorrel and chestnut from each other. Do you have a reference for the proposed recessive gene that makes chestnut genetically different than sorrel? I have not seen difinitive evidence of one. I HAVE heard of flaxen being proposed as a recessive trait, but recent genetic speculation about flaxen is that it is a polygenetic trait. Here are a couple quotes from an article on the inheritance of the flaxen trait on thehorse.com (and note the researchers use the term chestnut throughout the article even when flaxen is present)--

"The flaxen trait in chestnut horses does not appear to be controlled by a single gene, even though some reports have been published stating that flaxen manes and tails are the result of a single recessive allele (reported as Ff for flaxen). The many shades of flaxen suggest that it is not simply a single gene trait which is present or absent, but more likely a polygenic trait (controlled by multiple genes simultaneously). A study in Italy by Vacchioto and colleagues in 1991 concerning the flaxen trait in 1,714 horses of the Haflinger breed concluded that "the flaxen character in the Haflinger does not appear to be due to a recessive gene, and the mode of inheritance appears complex." Similarly, our data suggest that the flaxen trait does not follow patterns of inheritance characteristic of a singlerecessive gene. "

"If flaxen were a simple recessive trait, breeding two non-flaxen chestnut carriers [of flaxen] would be expected to produce one flaxen chestnut foal for every three non-flaxen foals in a large sample of such breeding pairs. But this pattern does not fit with studies tracking the flaxen trait. Researchers believe that the flaxen trait is not likely controlled by a single recessive gene within chestnut-bodied horses."

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post #26 of 34 Old 12-12-2009, 01:19 PM
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Did you go to the link I posted? They go over color genetics on that site.

I am not saying this is an iron clad law, it is just what I have always known and what I have read, I could be wrong(and what I have read could be too). But for the sake of argument the results of one study(or 2 or 50) does not make something 100% true either. Like in your pp, there could be a factor they are not seeing, considering they only used one breed of horse, the results are biased to that breed IMO and not a good representation of every breed and their genetics. So who is to say which is more correct?

Whether or not they have not black, they are not red horses, so IMO they are not chestnuts or flaxen chestnuts(though according to the site they are in fact chestnuts and sorrel chestnuts, so technically I am wrong hehe, but my opinion still stands), which is the point, if it is chestnut to you, it is, if it ins't to you then it isn,t. This is a basic sociological theory.

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Last edited by Honeysuga; 12-12-2009 at 01:24 PM.
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post #27 of 34 Old 12-12-2009, 02:58 PM
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We had this same debate on another forum I'm on...

They're both the exact same thing. Red.

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post #28 of 34 Old 12-12-2009, 03:18 PM
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With a genetic trait that makes them different, hehe.

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post #29 of 34 Old 12-12-2009, 03:51 PM
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Yes, I went to the link. The very first 2 paragraphs there say:

"Chestnut and sorrel are essentially the same color, genetically speaking. These horses are red, yellowish red, or reddish brown, and they do not have black points (the points being the mane, tail, and legs). Chestnut and sorrel are determined by genes at the E locus. Horses that are ee at that locus are chestnut/sorrel; horses with an E gene at the locus are black (absent other modifiers). Chestnut is recessive to black, meaning that a chestnut bred to a chestnut will always produce a chestnut foal. Two blacks bred together can produce a chestnut foal if both blacks are heterozygous (Ee). In that mating, there's a 25% chance of a chestnut foal, and 75% chance of a black foal. A black horse who is homozygous (EE) will only produce black foals.

The difference between chestnut and sorrel is somewhat controversial. Some people call the redder versions sorrel; some call the redder versions chestnut. Some people (such as me) call the horses with flaxen manes and tails sorrel; some do not. Some people use one term or the other for all red horses. Some consider sorrel a term for horses who are ridden western, reserving chestnut for horses ridden English. Some breed registries use only chestnut or only sorrel; some use both."

I agree 100% with the part I quoted above.

Further on the page it goes into the inheritance of flaxen-- which I think is the "genetic difference" you are talking about. However the papragraphs above already establish that ee means chestnut/sorrel, and that different people assign the different terms to the different shades "differently" but essentially they are the same genetically, because they are both terms used to describe the various shades of "not black".

The theory of flaxen as a simple recessive as spelled out further down that site is NOT PROVEN-- it is pure theory. The study I quoted using Haflingers which points toward it being a polygenic trait is only one such study-- there is also DNA work being done with flaxen Morgans which so far is agreeing with the Haffie study, as well as simple phenotype observation of how flaxen breeds on in other various breeds.

I am not trying to be obtuse-- I really don't care whether someone calls whichever shade of "not black" chestnut or sorrel, and I understand the various reasons why people choose to use one or the other.

The point I am trying to address is the idea of there being a "genetic difference" between chestnut and sorrel based on sorrel having flaxen and chestnut not having flaxen-- IMO at this point there is not an establish-able genetic difference. First off, the inheritance of flaxen is not genetically testable nor even fully understood, much less assignable to a certain type of "not black". Secondly, there is not a "set in stone" established right or wrong usage of chestnut vs. sorrel-- its kind of hard to claim genetic difference between them when there isn't even an equine-industry-wide agreement on how to use the terms.

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Last edited by Eastowest; 12-12-2009 at 03:53 PM.
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post #30 of 34 Old 12-12-2009, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Gosh, didn't mean to start such an argument!

So, is chestnut/sorrel always recessive?

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