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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so as I have explained in other posts, I am totally new to the gaited horse world (not horses in general). My new boy is a Rocky Mountain Horse. I thought they all came in one color. Apparently they don't, and I can't seem to find a key online even on the Rocky Mountain Horse Association site that shows pictures of the differences in color, of which I am told can be pretty slight! Apparently they come in chocolate, dark chocolate, grey, champagne, silver bay, and more. This guy has lighter legs than the rest of his body, and has some striping on his upper legs (I will have to get pictures of this, I don't have any currently up close).

Would he be considered a chocolate? Thanks in advance!
 

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I would personally consider him chocolate - any searches I've done don't really show a difference between chocolate and dark chocolate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would personally consider him chocolate - any searches I've done don't really show a difference between chocolate and dark chocolate.
I'm just curious because he is lighter in places on his legs, and he has striping. The ones I've seen are solid. It's just weird. It doesn't really matter I'm just curious.
 

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Genetically, he has either one or two Silver Dilute genes (they look the same), on a black base coat. The dilution gene turns black to a shade of chocolate or liver, and the mane and tail are lightened. Silver dilute does not affect the coat color of genetically red horses (though they can be carriers).

There are a number of lookalikes, such a liver chestnut with a light mane and tail (a very dark expression of chestnut or red), and very dark palomino (red with one cream dilute gene), also called chocolate palomino, but Silver Dilute is so common in RMH's that there isn't much question that's what he is, whatever its name is. I've mostly heard "silver dapple" even when there's not a dapple in sight. The striping is interesting, I've seen it on other silver dapples (ponies).

Read up on eye problems associated with the Silver Dilute gene. I do not recommend you read anything written by an RMH breeder about it, however. They are still in the "it's not really a problem!" stage of denial that color breeds all go through.
 

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^ Yeah, that. It's a striking color, but it does have a tie to some recessive health issues. If your boy is healthy and a gelding, it's not a big issue, but something to be aware of in case you notice a health problem down the road. It's unfortunate that the silver dilute colors are SO popular in the RMH because it is causing health issues in what used to be a very robust, healthy breed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes I have done a lot of research already on Anterior segment dysgenesis (ASD). It's definitely interesting. The articles I have read says it generally does not affect the vision of the horse. However, unless I had an equine optometrist do a thorough exam, I wouldn't know whether he has the lesions. It's not supposed to be a degenerative condition either, but is usually present by a year of age. Apparently you can't see them by a normal vet just checking the eyes with a regular eye exam. But that a lot of breeders try to pass them off as not having ASD by doing just that!
 

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I knew a silver dapple shetland pony gelding who had ASD, cataracts, and some other thing I forget. He was heading toward blindness and probably eye loss as well. Pretty sad. Kind of soured me on the beautiful color.
 

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I have TWH's but I am forum acquainted with a couple folks who raised Rocky's and KMSHs.

His gorgeous self is considered chocolate in the RMH, KMSHA world. That means he could be at risk for a certain type of eye disease horses with the silver gene carry.

Here's a link that discusses it.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/rocky-mountain-horse

If you haven't had his eyes tested, you may want to :)

P.S. Whomever took those pictures is a terrific photographer! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have TWH's but I am forum acquainted with a couple folks who raised Rocky's and KMSHs.

His gorgeous self is considered chocolate in the RMH, KMSHA world. That means he could be at risk for a certain type of eye disease horses with the silver gene carry.

Here's a link that discusses it.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/rocky-mountain-horse

If you haven't had his eyes tested, you may want to :)

P.S. Whomever took those pictures is a terrific photographer! :)
Thank you! I took the pictures :smile:

Yes I have looked into the eye issue and have a plan on my vet checking his eyes, but will probably need a referral to UF, who probably has better diagnostic tools than my local vet. However, I haven't noticed any spooking or issues with eye sight, but would still be good to know/be aware of if he does have it.
 

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Can't comment as to the color, but it's pretty...and he's a looker!!!!
 
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