Wow Bubba! Bones looks like a different horse from his 4 year old pic to his 6 year old pic! I have a gray also. She's 8 and is still a little bit dark dappled. I wonder if she'll just go white or get flea bites?
It's a funny thing. There does seem to be some genetic factor to it, for certain. Arabians in particular, I've noticed, seem to get the most fleabites. Like this crazy-looking guy:
Homozygous horses tend to gray out faster and go whiter than heterozygotes. Whether homozygotes ever get fleabites, I don't know. Anecdotally, I've heard that they do. Scientifically, I don't understand how they could--but there's a ton about genetics we have not worked out....
I tend to believe that they do get more of them as they age. Dobe is certainly developing more as he gets whiter...but some of them are hard to see because it's easy to mistake the buckskin fleabites for just being dirty LOL.
Lol the guy that owns the horses trust me judgement. Its they guy that's "training" the horse that tells him its a blue roan
And NdAppy Varnish = roan
Grey = roan
And apparently brindle = roan
He posted a picture on facebook of Reckless dan the famous grey brindle QH, and said it was registered as a blue roan even with a white head, I looked up his owned information and his papers and posted them and said he is registered as GREY and posted the links explaining what brindle is, he then proceeded to tell say "this chick would try to prove god mispelled the word bible.. i'm done here" case one and closed lol
Look at the endurance horse's face, even. He is sweaty, but he's also extremely fleabitten, with probably more bay spots than white areas on him.
And yes, fleabites do increase with age. General progression is along the lines of
Original base color
Steel gray / dapple gray / rose gray
Dapples and fleabites
White and fleabites
....at least for those heterozygotes who go through the fleabitten steps. Some horses will stay in a dark gray state nearly indefinitely; others will quickly turn pure white and stay that way (I would imagine that those are nearly all homozygotes).
For example, here are two aged homozygous gray stallions. This is Bones' grandsire:
ok genetics are a love of mine. And there is this old cowboy dead set in if its grey its a blue roan.. there is a horse bought from an auction by a friend of mine who is CLEARLY grey, but because he has a little grey around his eyes and nose, with a white face he is blue roan. His explanation is once a horse hits 4 his color is set no matter what. so if its a grey it will be completely white before the age of 4 according to him.. and he helps register horses.. no wonder registery colors are in such deep trouble lol
If anyone is so kind to have progresson pictures (as many as you got I don't mind!) where you can pretty much clearly tell its the same horse (by the same marking or the same person) so he can't try to disclaim it with a close estimated age with the pictures so I can prove to him that his horse is grey. Ignorance usually doesn't bother me, but when you deny TRUE information that has facts to back it up. I must prove my point.
I'm interested in hearing how it went when you show him the pictures . I wonder if he'll change his mind or still insist the horse is a blue roan?