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- Horse Colors and Genetics (/horse-colors-genetics/)
- - "Color" breeds (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-colors-genetics/color-breeds-146614/)
I'm probably opening a can of worms, and headed for the firing squad, but I'm really curious:hide:. What exactly are the "color" breeds these days? Growing up we were taught that Buckskin/Dun, Palomino, App, and Paint/Pinto were the color breeds. I realize that with the advancement of genetics colors are more defined, but what about the breed? What role do registries have these days regarding "horses of color"?
This is the way I was taught / understand the definition of these breeds(yes I know it's old school, but that's why I'm asking).
Apps: had to be a "stock" type build to be registered, otherwise it was considered a cross. There was some disagreements as to whether or not non-spotted Apps could be registered.
Paints: Stock type horse with a certain % of white above the knee. Breeding stock paints were not valued as highly since they only carried the gene for color, but didn't have color themselves. The issues came into play when there were "old type" Morgans & QH's that had excess white and they were then registered as paints.
Pinto: Basically the same as Paint, however the registry allowed ANY type of horse with the paint markings. There was no breeding stock classification that I can recall. Also, if you have a horse with paint coloring and unknown parentage, you can also register it as a pinto.
Buckskin/Dun/Grulla: Those registries were only for stock type horses. Buckskin was a black base w/ "yellow" coat, black points, and NO dorsal. Other "dun factor" was acceptable. Dun was basically a red base with a dorsal, or the yellow w/ a dorsal. Grulla was a primarily black w/ silver hairs and a dorsal.
Palomino / Cremello: stock type with a "blonde" base.
I've heard people say that Paints & Apps are a seperate breed while buckskin/palomino is not. Here's where I'm confused. I have rarely, if ever, seen a TB that had Paint, App, Buckskin coloring. Not to say there isn't, I just don't recall seeing any.
You can have a horse that has NO paint genes anywhere, yet come out with what was originally called high white, and suddenly it's said that it has whatever paint gene. So you may or may not get paint if you breed for it. Same as with buckskin, it's a crap shoot.
On the other hand how can you say that paint/buckskin/palomino is anything but a color breed especially considering that the coat patterns show up in many different and diverse breeds.
I used to have a McCoy arab mare who had a large belly spot. As far as I know, that line did not carry paint genes. However, when I sold her as a broodmare to pinto-arab breeder and they had her tested, she had a paint gene. The genetics people said that a paint gene can be a mutation, just like buckskin or palomino making horses with those coat patterns/colors "Color Breeds". So what makes certain colors/patterns a color and not a specific breed while others are considered a seperate breed, not just a color?
Clear as mud, right?:wink:
First, it will help you a TON if you say "white pattern" or "pinto pattern" instead of "Paint pattern." I will get to that in a second because I already started typing what I have below this.
Buckskins and palominos are referred to as "color breeds," but are not their own actual breed. Those registries allow any horse to be registered, provided it is the designated color. Same with pinto. A pinto is any breed that carries and expresses a white pattern that is not associated with the APHA.
American Paint Horses and Appaloosas are their own breed. They were bred to be colored stock horses and have registries with a specific body and color requirement. With Paints: Not all Paints are pintos and not all pintos are Paints. Appaloosas are more confusing because Lp exists in other breeds and is still called appaloosa unlike the Paint/pinto difference.
And white patterns aren't always loud and noticeable. Hence why random QHs were born with a bunch of white all over. Their parents' "normal" white markings (blaze, socks, etc) were actually a white pattern minimally expressed. This is the reason we very much stress testing for frame (LWO) before breeding. That one in particular will hide within "normal" markings and will cause a dead foal. The mare in my avatar only has that blaze and a white pastern and is N/O for frame, but is registered as a solid Paint because her white markings are considered "normal."
If you really want to get technical and muddy the waters even more: ALL white markings are caused by a white pattern. If I remember correctly, the current theory is that it is a mutation of sabino, but only one form has been isolated and identified.
There are several different genes that cause white markings(what you're calling paint gene). They express in different ways. In some breeds, "color" was bred out and considered a breed fault. The original Paint breed was really quarter horses with too much color. Paints don't have to have that distinctive traditional color pattern. You can have a solid horse that is a Paint by breed but not by color. Appaloosas are their own breed and are a stock type. The spotted pattern does appear in other breeds but they're not popular in the US. You can have Appaloosas with few or no spots.
The aforementioned stock breeds have a lot of mixing of thoroughbred, quarter horse, Appaloosa and paint.
With me so far?
The same genes that make a pinto a pinto also can give an Arab white socks or a stripe or whatever. However the combinations that cause the pinto look are not naturally occurring in Arabs. It's the same genes but its now they show up and the different subsets of said gene that appear.
Palomino is a color. Buckskin is a color and so is dun. They are not breeds. Those colors exist in many breeds and some (like Arabians) don't carry that color in purebred lines.
Paints are a breed. Pintos are horses of other breeds that have that coloring. To register your horse as a paint or pinto it has to meet certain requirements. An Arab with the proper coloring could be a registered pinto just because of how the genes express but its still a purebred Arab. Typically speaking, pinto Arabs are partbreds. Not always but usually.
I mention Arabs just because that's what I'm familiar with.
A registry doesn't mean something is a breed. It just is a place to sign up your horse and get papers for it. A palomino registered with Joe Schmoe palomino registry doesn't make that palomino no longer a quarter horse (or whatever it is). Registries do not equate to breeds, plain and simple.
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I'm easy to please... I like brown horses, and red horses. (Brown, Sorrel/Chestnut). They are my favorite :)
Also, Appaloosa markings are quite common in the US. Minis have leopard genes running rampant and that is the main pattern of POAs. It also exists in QHs (google Reminic In Spots).
Sure spotted patterns exist in those pony breeds but in horse breeds? Not common in the US. i know theres some out there - european breeds - but i cant recall the name just now. Minis and POAs aren't all that common either. I mean they're common enough that most horse people have seen a few but I've surely never see a spotted mini and I've never seen a POA outside of pictures. I've not even seen a spotted pony outside of pictures. Not that I'm the know all end all to horses but for several years I was moving every 6 months, and I've been to many horsey areas. If they were as common as you're thinking, I'd have come across one surely.
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Oh boy I'm really going to get it now, hehe. What about mustangs for example. Don't they carry the overo, tobiano, etc genes as well? So would they be considered APHA because they have the approved genes?
And also I'm still confused (shocking, I know) about the arab mare i mentioned. Unless I'm mistaken about the McCoy Arabs (wouldn't be surprised if I was) there were no color genes. So how is it possible she had a tobiano gene. I think it was tobi, I know it was one of the common genes. Granted this was back in the mid 90's when all this DNA stuff was new.
Or maybe I should just stick with "what I don't know won't hurt me" theory of colors and genetics
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And boo for not seeing spotted ponies and minis. You need to find some and poke their spots!
Like I mentioned, if it's carrying and expressing a white pattern and not associated with the APHA, it is a pinto. The mustangs you're asking about would be pintos.
Also, Arabs carry sabino and possibly splash, but I can't remember if that was tested positive. I will go do some research.
ETA: Arabs have rabicano for sure. Derp moment. I know a rabicano Arabian. And it would appear that Arabians carry splash as well as sabino and rabicano. I'm not an Arabian person at all. ;)
Oh great, throw another one in there I've never heard of. You guys are mean, now that means I have more to look up, lol
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