Flea bites - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-10-2018, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Flea bites

To avoid stealing someone else's op, I thought we could continue discussing the flea bites and bloody shoulder marks here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomhorse13 View Post
I hope someday they will figure out what controls fleabites, though maybe that would spoil some of the fun.

Of our 4 greys, 1 is not fleabitten now at 18, nor has she ever been (base color chestnut). One was solid "white" until about 16, and now at 19 has a handful of bigger red fleabites spattered around his body (base color bay). Another, also 19, has been fleabitten forever, but is getting more and more fleabitten every year, to the point that we joke he he turning back to bay (his base color), with red fleabites on his body and black ones on his lower legs . The last, age 10, so far is not fleabitten (don't know his base color).

The super fleabitten one also has a blood mark.. which ironically has not changed much over the years. Go figure!
Is it Sultan the most fleabitten? Could you show some photos to compare?

So my mares flea bites are getting more and bigger it seems. In the last photo she was around 6, then 8 the first one, and middle photo taken last summer when she was 11. Now that shoulder spot and face spot look bigger again.

PS. I tried to put the photos in logical order, but failed.
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-10-2018, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fimargue View Post
Is it Sultan the most fleabitten? Could you show some photos to compare?
Sultan is the fleabitten one.

I don't have photos in the same lighting showing exactly the same pose, but these give you a general idea. He was dry in all these photos.

May 2012:




August 2015 (the red on his barrel and legs is dust):




June 2017:




these were taken july 2016, while wet, to show the distinctly different colors:





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post #3 of 19 Old 03-10-2018, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, the pigment. That is so nice.

He reminds a bit of my pure Polish friend, but he is more pink really lol. 22 years old in the photos.

@Yogiwick , isn't your boy Polish as well?
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Last edited by Fimargue; 03-10-2018 at 02:48 PM.
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-10-2018, 02:56 PM
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The only other I have seen that fleabitten is a freckles Playboy son I used to ride. I think the heavy biting is beautiful.
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-10-2018, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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@QtrBel , I wonder if it comes from the Thoroughbred side? Just did a quick check up on the pedigree. Are there a lot of grey Quarter Horses?

Could flea bites be most common in TBs and Arabs? I don't remember seeing a fleabitten Spanish Horse, or Lusitano. Need to start paying attention.
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-10-2018, 03:58 PM
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At my first riding school, there was a Highland gelding named Stookie who had the shoulder markings. I remember the different shades of pale grey/red that looked like something had been spilt down his shoulder. Itís the one and only time that Iíve seen this type of marking in person.

I wonder if itís the genetics for greys of any breed or if it was the influence of Spanish and French horses on the Highland.
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-10-2018, 09:11 PM
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Fascinating thread! Our 3/4 Arab Harley is flea-bitten. He was born chestnut, and grayed out, so the flea bites are chestnut. He also has a few darker marks, some permanent, others that seem to come and go when he gets a scar. I feel like the flea bites are getting more prominent, but we've only had him a little over two years (he'll be 19 in a few days) so it's hard to tell. They almost completely fade in the winter, since his longer guard hairs are white.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-11-2018, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caledonian View Post
At my first riding school, there was a Highland gelding named Stookie who had the shoulder markings. I remember the different shades of pale grey/red that looked like something had been spilt down his shoulder. Itís the one and only time that Iíve seen this type of marking in person.

I wonder if itís the genetics for greys of any breed or if it was the influence of Spanish and French horses on the Highland.
I did quick reading and was mentioned that they used Percherons to create the breed. Arabs were used to create Percheron, to add stamina. I bet that's where it comes from.
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-11-2018, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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@Acadianartist , I just love Harley and his pink nose!

I always wondered if my Polish friend was born chestnut. And today I have been wondering if my mare was born black after all, or rather seal brown.

What do you all think? She is 4 in the photo.



Dam's grand dam is black (product of two grey horses) and there are couple other black horses in the Egyptian side.

Her dam is a chestnut, here:


I have been looking for fleabitten Spanish Horses, does seem to be more rare. I found one stallion for now: Duque CXIII

They have so beautiful horses.
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-11-2018, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fimargue View Post
I did quick reading and was mentioned that they used Percherons to create the breed. Arabs were used to create Percheron, to add stamina. I bet that's where it comes from.
You got me reading as well.

They tested grey and non greys from a number of horses which included TB, Scottish, English and Scandinavian native breeds and found that the greys had a particular mutation which showed that they had a common ancestor. They all had Arabs in their background indicating that the original grey mutation was from an Arab horse.

Given how widely Arabs have been used to refine other breeds, it’s going to be very common. I think there was a lot of Arab blood bred into the Highland pony, including Percherons but also one of the Highland Chieftains brought them north in the 16thc to add lightness.
Equally, you'd think that Spanish Arabs would've influenced the horses of the country, especially as their breeding was in the hands of the Royals and the government. I'm surprised that it's so rare.

It's not a subject that I know very well. My first mare, Sasha, a Welsh, was a grey but i gave her colour very little thought. If fleabitten’s are Gg heterozygous and those that go white are GG, then Sasha would’ve been the later and Stookie the former. Stookie’s shoulder mark seems to have been a deactivated area where normal pigmentation continued.

They say that they don’t know what causes the flea-bitten marks. Some have it as a characteristic of greys while others suggest that it may be unrelated and dark coloured horses have them, the fleabites only showing due to the greying.

it's an interesting subject.
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Last edited by Caledonian; 03-11-2018 at 05:02 PM.
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