??Why*do*some*paints(Fade)?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-30-2008, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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Question ??Why*do*some*paints(Fade)??

i have this paint mare which i bought her at 3 years old. when i first bought her she was like dark gray on her markings. over the past years. she faded and faded to almost completely white. why does this happen? is it from sunlight?

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post #2 of 10 Old 11-30-2008, 12:59 AM
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It's not just paints. It has to do with the gray gene.

Gray (horse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


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post #3 of 10 Old 11-30-2008, 01:00 AM
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That has absolutely nothing to do with the paint gene, but is rather a trait of the grey gene. A grey horse of any breed is born a regular color - like black, chestnut, palomino, etc. The grey color then "takes over" the coat by removing the color pigment and thus leaving the grey color. It is very similar to what happens to humans as they age - but it just happens to horses with the grey gene at a young age. The grey gene continues to remove pigments until the horse is white.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-30-2008, 10:17 AM
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I've owned a lot of paints and a couple of them have also faded down with a lot of white. I'm have no idea what causes it as it happened only in a couple of the paints I owned.
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-30-2008, 12:00 PM
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That is the gray gene showing up in your mare. A paint's colored areas will only lighten (not fade) if they have the sabino gene or a roaning gene. In that case they will have more white hairs mixed with their colored hairs. The colored hairs themselves will not actually change color.
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-30-2008, 04:21 PM
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It is very common for a gray/white paint to fade to white that is why alot of paint breeders (around here) do not like them.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-30-2008, 04:54 PM
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Maybe Black as Knight or paprika would bring some color back in her but it will not make her look like she did when she was young.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-30-2008, 06:32 PM
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Like others have said, it has nothing to do with that fact that she's a paint but rather the fact that she is GREY.

Grey horses, over time, will become increasingly grey (ie a horse can start black but if they have the grey gene, will eventually turn grey) and then become a very whitish color.

Originally Posted by Rara Equus
Dapple Grey and Greying Horses

Believe it or not, horses are never born grey, dapple grey, or fleabitten grey! The gene that is responsible for a grey horse is not actually a color gene, but a color modifying gene. Grey horses are, genetically, another color. They may be black, bay, or chestnut- they can even be dilute colors, pinto, or appaloosa patterned. Regardless of original color, the grey gene will eventually fade the pigment of the horse's coat and cause it to turn grey.

Usually signs of a horse carrying a gray gene are apparent at or soon after birth. Grey foals will be born a different color, but will often have grey "goggles" around their eyes or a spattering of grey hairs on their face. Although all horses will grey at different speeds, most grey horses will have begun obvious signs of greying by the time they are old enough to wean.

Many grey horses will be a dark steel grey by 18 months, start showing dapples on a dark grey coat by 2 and over the course of the next 5 or 6 years the dapples (or rather, the dark hair dividing dapples) will become fainter and fainter until dapples are no longer visible and the horse appears completely white. Many grey horses will remain white but some gray horses will begin to gain flecks of black in their coat- called fleabitten grey- after a few years of appearing white. Generally the amount of fleabitten flecks will increase annually thereafter. Of course these time frames are all estimates, and each horse can grey at varying rates. Some horses will keep dark dapples into their twenties and some grey horses will be snow white by their second birthday. Just enjoy having a horse who's color you'll never grow tired of!

Typically fleabitten is an "advanced" stage of greying- usually seen in horses in their teens and later- but because horses can grey out at very different rates, some horses will go fleabitten years earlier than others. Typically it progresses from original color to dappled grey to white-grey, and then after being white for awhile they begin to develop fleabitten spots.

How do you know if your foal will be grey? Grey is a dominant gene so if it is passed, it will absolutely make the foal turn grey- there is no "recessive grey". However, there is only a 50% chance grey will be passed to the foal if one parent is grey. If neither sire nor dam is grey, there is a 0% chance of having a grey foal, if one parent is grey, there is a 50% chance the offspring will be grey, if both parents are grey, there is a 75% chance of a grey foal and a 25% chance of a homozygous grey foal. A homozygous grey foal will appear to be a typical grey horse, but when bred will produce 100% grey horses regardless of what color it is bred to.

Last edited by WesternPleasure27; 11-30-2008 at 06:38 PM.
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-30-2008, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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thank you all for answering my question. ive always wondered why this happens.

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but the strengh to trust lies between the horse and his rider!!!
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-28-2008, 10:12 PM
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color fading

Years ago I fell in love with a chestnut blanket appy at a auction. I bought him. He had just a white butt blanket. He was 2 and hinda a sandy color chestnut. When I sold him a few years later he was all grey. go figure
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