Leopard Appy's black legs turning white?
We've had Legacy for just over 2 years(got him in the beginning of June 2010). Today I was out in the pasture and noticed the black markings(not spots but now socks or stockings either, not sure how to explain them) seem to be getting lighter. I brought up a picture on my phone and they clearly looked darker when we first got him. What is causing them to get lighter? The vet guessed him to be in his late teens to early 20's and his previous owners confirmed this estimate when they contacted me. I have a few pics to explain what I mean, The first pic is one his previous owner sent me, it's probably from 3-4 years ago.
The next 2 are both from the fall of 2010
And this one is from last week.
Are you sure it isn't just a winter/summer difference? His spots look black in winter/spring and then faded to brown in summer.
Also, Appsloosa patterns are notorious for changing constantly.
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What causes them to change color? I've never had an appy before so the thought of their color changing is odd to me lol
It could be varnish roan causing it.
Appaloosa genes are ridiculous, that's why he's losing his leg color. They just are. They act within certain guidelines, but are all over the place most of the time in how they distort color. Someone just posted a thread not long ago about this mare that is genetically grulla, but her Appyness has skewed her color so much that you would guess her to be a chestnut without knowing any different.
I honestly don't know a lot about Appaloosa coloring, only that it's notorious for changing much like grey. I thought that was mostly varnish roans though, not so much with leopards but I suppose anything is possible! Hopefully one of our color experts can figure it out, I'd like to know to!
Varnish does work similarly to gray, but rather than being like gray, which is a process that starts colored and ends white over a few years without issue, it does whatever. I board with a chestnut snowflake mare that is 12 and just now starting to show varnish. And I know of a lady who has an Appy gelding that was born black and now, being 20, is entirely white, but is not gray.
NdAppy also has a progression of one of her mares and the affect of varnish over several years.
Is it just varnish roan that is wacky or is it ALL of the Appaloosa complexes? It just seems strange that this horse doesn't appear to show a trace of varnish and he's 20 now, so can it occur that late or is it entirely possible that it's just that leopard complex acting wacky? I guess we also don't have photos of how he's progressed from foalhood to now!
I'm not very good at explaining Appyness and I am not very good at even identifying the different patterns because I can't even keep them straight. I just chalk the weirdness up to Appaloosa genetics. :/
I'm sure Chiilaa, NdAppy, or Faceman will come give a better explanation.
This is the tested grulla mare.
I like to think of the appy genes as the "funkify" genes. They love to do whatever. Appy really especially loves to funk with black hair. In this case, it could be varnish roan funkifying his legs, or it could be just plain appy funkification. Either way, I can't offer more than that. It's funking ridiculous what appy will do.
Yes it could take that long for varnish to affect the legs as it affects "hard" spots last. On a solid horse or mostly solid the boy would varnish to reveal the "holes" (spots) that would be there if the horse were a leopard or blanket appy. Varnish, unlike grey, will not erase spots.
Varnish, similar to grey, can be something that is extremely fast or extremely slow or some where in the middle.
I am guessing that his legs were "solid" and the varnish is probably just now starting to get to them, if that makes sense.
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