True black, smoky black, fading black - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 26 Old 07-21-2013, 01:07 AM
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We were told by a vet/nutritionist that our black TWH was considered a "Black Chestnut" which I have never heard of. However, on ground flax he stays jet black. I think the sun bleaching is a lack of omega 3's
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post #12 of 26 Old 07-21-2013, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Chiilaa View Post
Your horse can't be black with a silver gene. If she were, then she would have a paler mane and tail, especially considering she is a RMH. They tend toward a lot of expression. Even other breeds, while they may not get the full silver effect in the mane and tail, most will have a definitely noticeable change in colour of mane and tail.
And that website is a really old one, with a lot of misinformation on it now that we know more about the genetics. One of the best sites is this one: Equine | Color Genetics not only do they have a lot of really accurate information, but they will keep up with current research very quickly.
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I always assumed (obviously wrong) that what caused Vida's dapple was the silver gene. I also, again obviously wrongly, assumed that in order for a RMH to have the chocolate flaxen coloration was for one parent to have the silver gene. I was told by the breeder that Vida had the silver gene. Of course that was 10 years ago. Can a gene not be present but not express itself to a parent only to it's offspring? As I stated I'm not a geneticist but by the information on the site you offered. "The dominant allele of extension 'E' causes the production of eumelanin in the horse's coat causing a "black base color"...ALL other phenotypes other than red and black are caused by the addition of other modifiers/diluters"

Dilutions-
"Black Silver (Chocolate, Silver Dapple) A black horse with silver can range in shade from creamy to nearly black in color. The mane and tail can be from white to a color similar to the base coat, or appear sooty. The body commonly has dapples. They were traditionally mistaken for flaxen liver chestnuts, or very sooty palominos. But the roots of the hair and the lower legs are both areas which usually appear lighter in true chestnut horses." I will be sure to check the expiration date on any further information I attempt to share.


Vida is obviously the black one. Saro, her daughter is the chocolate flaxen.. They are all summer faded in this photo.
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post #13 of 26 Old 07-21-2013, 08:40 AM
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I thought I'd throw this one in there to show the color changes during the summer. All my horses are on fresh ground flax (I grind my own) year round. Not sure if the lack of Omega's makes much difference in the fade. We do have very hot very sunny summers though.
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post #14 of 26 Old 07-21-2013, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Vidaloco View Post
I always assumed (obviously wrong) that what caused Vida's dapple was the silver gene. I also, again obviously wrongly, assumed that in order for a RMH to have the chocolate flaxen coloration was for one parent to have the silver gene. I was told by the breeder that Vida had the silver gene. Of course that was 10 years ago.


Vida is obviously the black one. Saro, her daughter is the chocolate flaxen.. They are all summer faded in this photo.
Vida appears to be black. Saro appears to be silver black. What color was Saro's sire? Silver is a dominant gene, and it only takes one copy to be expressed. The only way it can 'skip a generation' is if it is hidden on a red based horse (since silver doesn't show on red based horses they can carry it and not show it). Black based horses will show it if they carry it.
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post #15 of 26 Old 07-21-2013, 09:19 AM
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The daughter looks like a silver black to me. That is far more the "normal" expression in RMHs. However, she has to have gotten the silver from her sire, because I cannot see any sign of it in her dam. Like I said, RMHs tend to have quite good expression of silver, especially when compared to other breeds. In fact, out of all the horse breeds (so not pony breeds) only RMHs and Gypsies ever have that much expression as a normal standard.

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post #16 of 26 Old 07-21-2013, 09:20 AM
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Both younger horses (the two in the middle) have the same father. He looked like Shiloh whose mother is the chestnut.


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post #17 of 26 Old 07-21-2013, 09:24 AM
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So the sire was a chestnut? I'm sorry, I am not sure which horse is Shiloh.
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post #18 of 26 Old 07-21-2013, 09:48 AM
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I should have said Shiloh is the one on the far left. The chestnut in the photo is her mother. Shiloh is the same color as her sire. So in the photo are 2 mother (the black and the chestnut) and their daughters who are half sisters.
Sorry to the op, this is getting way off topic. Didn't mean to highjack your thread.


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post #19 of 26 Old 07-21-2013, 12:17 PM
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I use the terms "non-fading black" and "fading black," since both are genetically black (at least for what we know so far) and therefore "true black" IMO. I believe there is some as-yet unidentified genetic difference (as I have seen non-fading blacks who did not receive great nutrition) but that nutrition will affect just how much a fading black fades.

As mentioned, smoky black is a black horse with the cream gene. While the cream gene doesn't express on a black coat, it does seem to make them more prone to fading. There's no foolproof way of identifying a smoky black horse from a fading black horse without genetic testing (or by producing a dilute offspring with another non-dilute horse)
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post #20 of 26 Old 07-21-2013, 01:34 PM
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Having had a smoky black I'd say it does express in the degree and evenness of fade. It isn't obvious at all when the winter coat comes in or off but give it a few days and the fade begins. Mine and the ones I've seen once fade starts can look like buckskins. Here is a pic of mine (tested EE Cr) This isn't the height of fade it is just begining - notice how even. His ear fluff is cream year round.
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