The Horse Forum > Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics > Horse Colors and Genetics


This is a discussion on Colors within the Horse Colors and Genetics forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

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    07-13-2012, 03:33 PM

For all of you genetics whizzes out there, please don't take this the wrong way, but...!

Whatever happened to calling a horse that was brown w/ a black mane & tail a bay? A "yellow" horse with a "white" mane & tail was a palomino? The difference between a buckskin & a dun was simply whether the horse had a dorsal stripe or not? A color breed was a color breed?


All we are doing is making special names for people to get all upset over if someone doesn't agree with them. AND making it IMPOSSIBLE for me to teach my daughter colors / coat patterns of a horse.
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    07-13-2012, 04:18 PM
I don't understand what point you are trying to make to 'genetics whizzes', but I think they just care about calling a color by the correct name, not a slang or common name, or registering a horse as the wrong color, which happens too often.

Creating a whole new thread just to rant and blow off steam was kindof pointless in my opinion.

It's not complicated once you learn the basics and get the hang of it, then you don't want to stop learning about colors! I am still learning, and I make mistakes all the time guessing colors by pictures, but peope correct me politely and explain to my why it is this and not that, and what factors and clues make it a this. I love to learn more and expand my knowledge all the time.
SpiritLifter likes this.
    07-13-2012, 04:51 PM
I for one find it very interesting. I don't go around my barn telling people that they're calling their horses the wrong color, and I usually call brown horses "seal bay" or "dark bay" because that's what most people are used to hearing and I'm not out to educate the world on the difference between agouti alleles. I don't see anything wrong with teaching your daughter that a "yellow" horse with "white" mane and tail is a palomino, even if it is in fact carrying the champagne gene and not cream. Unless she wants to grow up to be a breeder, it may never interest her to know the difference.

BUT, since this is a color and genetics sub-forum, I think this is the right place to point out inconsistencies and misinformation.
    07-13-2012, 04:58 PM
I'm not sure what the big deal is either. Horse genetics are complicated. Back in the day, there was bay, black, dun, yellow (yes, they actually used to call palominos "yellow"), sorrel, and gray (or white, depending on what stage of graying they were in). Buckskin wasn't a recognized color for a long time and it was lumped in with the "duns". Grullo was called "silver" or "gray".

Knowledge has evolved since then. As the research finds more genes that influence color, then there are more colors discovered....and the newly discovered colors need names.
    07-13-2012, 05:26 PM
I don't think, busysmurf, that it is becoming complicated. The fact is, we as horse fanciers, are becoming educated. If one doesn't care to become educated, then it's up to them. Just like those who still put tiny children without a helmet, on horses. Some will never learn.

Maeras likes this.
    07-13-2012, 05:41 PM
""For all of you genetics whizzes out there, please don't take this the wrong way, but...!""

The response so far is exactly why I put the above statement first!!
I'm not trying to "make a point, rant, or blow off steam." Or even be a B*** I am asking honest to goodness question(s). Why is there a need to micro-name (for lack of a better term) the colors and then get sooo defensive about it? Yes, I understand there are variations within a color group, but whatever happened to the "basics"? It wasn't that long ago, that if you called a bay horse a "red bay" people (very well informed people I may add) gave you funny looks, and said "yep, that's a BAY horse, I guess he does look kind of red".

Granted, I may have over simplified my examples by saying a "yellow" horse with a "white" mane & tail. It's hard to type it out how it would sound being said, but...

It's not that I don't find it interesting, because I do, I like seeing all the different variations these crazy animals pop out with. I just want to know why it's so.....picky (really can't think of a better word, sorry).

I've seen a lot of posts about this breed assoc doesn't know this or that about such & such color, but what about the "color breed" associations, why are ppl saying they (the breed assoc) are behind the times on what actually is the "color" pertaining to their registry? Didn't they define the color to begin with?

Who makes the final call that a purple horse is called periwinkle violet vs. aubergine rose? I am honestly curious!!! Why does someone say I'm wrong because I called my horse a blue roan, when I don't know where she came from and can't prove her DNA? A blue roan is a blue roan is a blue roan, right? Why are some "colors/patterns" still considered just colors/patterns and others are considered a different breed altogether, when a few short years ago there were "color" breed assoc and "breed" assoc?

Since I had those questions about colors, I thought it was fitting if I posted them on a color forum.

What's the difference between a charcoal black and a slate black? What happens if it's 1/2 Arab 1/2 QH, and Arab ppl call it charcoal & QH call it slate?

Maybe I'm spitting it out wrong, or something....
    07-13-2012, 05:48 PM
Green Broke
The reason its becoming more complicated is because there is a better understanding scientifically what is going on on a genetic level and they realize that what used to be lumped together really aren't the same thing. Also there used to be a lot of misinformation or local names for things that were even known at the time to be something else but people called it a certain thing out of ignorance. Now we have the net and better information at our fingertips.

Honestly, not really all that important for the general horse owner who just wants to enjoy their horse - no matter if its really bay, wild bay or brown or palomino, flaxen chestnut, etc. But it IS important for those that are breeding to have a basic understanding of what color genetics is going on in their stock. And its important to those of us who just plain love genetics and the new research that is being done.

Now there are those who ask on here what their horses are and I think when they ask they are looking for the most accurate likelihood. Unfortunately for some colors that looks so similar we can make guesses but never really know for sure until a genetics test is done on that particular horse. But we are horse people and we love to debate.
NdAppy and TexanFreedom like this.
    07-13-2012, 05:50 PM
The "color whizzes" are just being specific because specific genes control color. So while some things are arbitrary such as "chestnut/sorrel", "red roan/strawberry roan", others refer specifically to their genes, which is cut and dry. Because so many people use this forum to ask questions and learn, it is best to use the correct specific information. It doesn't help anyone to pass along incorrect information!

It's just like any other aspect of horses. You can say that a horse has bad feet, or you can talk about what the specific problem is. You can you a horse is tall, or you can say that he is 16.1 hands high. You can say that a horse is bay is in summer and black in the winter, or you can say the horse is brown. :)
Cat and NdAppy like this.
    07-13-2012, 05:50 PM
I would also like to add that a good horse is never a bad color!
    07-13-2012, 05:54 PM
I didn't try to make it sound like a waste of time or it's not important!!!!!!! I just want to learn how/why/who/what.

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