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A little sidetrack,
@QtrBel and @Yogiwick
Would you be able to elaborate on the specific genetics between a fading and non fading black?

Is this a EE vs Ee thing?
Which one fades and which doesn't?
Do you have any evidence for this? I have always been interested in this and haven't gotten far with it in a scientific sense other than through personal observations.

I wouldn't say that I'm a professional in the sense but I'm really interested in horse genetics and working with the dom white thoroughbreds really took it a step further, since those genes are even more unknown to us.


Here's a picture of Dodge I took a couple days ago where you can see he is fading red. His winter coat grows in black, but now that it's been in for a few months it fades to red. When it sheds he will grow out black and will stay black all summer. I think this is due to the shortness of the hair follicle, but I always wonder more than that.
 

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Fading vs non fading is more than just EE/Ee. I know Ee horses who don't fade at all. There's another component, but I don't think it has been identified. Definitely runs in lines though.
 

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It isn't as simple as EE vs Ee. There are other modifiers that effect the black coat. The research hasn't caught up with the theory. Sooty is a gene that IMO effects the degree to which a black fades. I say that looking at horses that I have or have known that carry sooty. The black from sooty doesn't fade IME. Add sooty to a black and there is no visual difference but where I have suspected it there were different fade patterns or little to no fade. I am sure there are other genes they will find that effect it.
 

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I went and checked out the "Black 3" at the Horse Tech website. Sounds great but at $80 for what I calculated (hopefully correctly) to be about a 3 month supply, I don't think I will spring for it. I love my horse dearly, but I don't have a lot of disposable income. :frown_color:

What I have been thinking about is rice bran and paprika. I know rice bran gives her a beautiful coat and I just started reading a bit about paprika.

Has anyone had any good results with paprika? It's relatively cheap and they say it's a good source of copper as well as vitamin C and some other good stuff. What do you guys think of paprika? Has anyone tried it and do you think it makes a difference?

Now when she is just starting to shed would probably be a good time to give it a try. My horse actually doesn't fade too bad. And I'm not terribly worried about it. But if I could give her a little something inexpensive to help keep her black, I would do it. Black is my "dream color" and after about 20 years I finally have one. I didn't pick her for her color (a friend actually gave her to me) but I do adore her color!

People have told me that they got good results from paprika and yes it's the copper in it that makes it effective. If you show at all where they test you don't want to use it as it will make a test come up positive. If you don't show, well no worries with that.

I supplement because the pasture that they are on is extremely lacking in mineral content except for iron, lots of iron. Years ago, I had them on a different pasture and my black horse still faded a little bit but no where near like she did where she's at now. I think that if you have pasture that is wet a lot, you are going to run into problems with pasture not having proper amounts of minerals in it. It has to be amended periodically.

Here is a pic of my mare in one of her worst times of fading and to tell you the truth, I don't think that she felt her best at this time either. The second pic is her from this past summer. This horse is homozygous black and does not carry the creme gene.
 

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It isn't as simple as EE vs Ee. There are other modifiers that effect the black coat. The research hasn't caught up with the theory. Sooty is a gene that IMO effects the degree to which a black fades. I say that looking at horses that I have or have known that carry sooty. The black from sooty doesn't fade IME. Add sooty to a black and there is no visual difference but where I have suspected it there were different fade patterns or little to no fade. I am sure there are other genes they will find that effect it.
I'm wondering if there's different agouti genes that may effect it, since the horses don't fade on the legs. Not a big A, but maybe similar to At or A+, but little version, at, a+, etc... I know that A restricts black to legs and a doesn't but there could be more to it than that, and it makes sense to me at least since agouti does influence the legs. Similarly could explain the vast differences in chestnuts since there's so many more possibilities in variance there. Even those chestnut ones that have darker legs sometimes.
 

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People have told me that they got good results from paprika and yes it's the copper in it that makes it effective. If you show at all where they test you don't want to use it as it will make a test come up positive. If you don't show, well no worries with that.

I don't show, so no worries there. I might test out the paprika. The only thing is, I don't know if she would like the taste of it. I hate to "ruin" her evening treats because she enjoys them so.

I supplement because the pasture that they are on is extremely lacking in mineral content except for iron, lots of iron. Years ago, I had them on a different pasture and my black horse still faded a little bit but no where near like she did where she's at now. I think that if you have pasture that is wet a lot, you are going to run into problems with pasture not having proper amounts of minerals in it. It has to be amended periodically.

I don't have pasture of any kind, I feed a combination of alfalfa and bermuda hay sometimes with a little senior feed or rice bran as a treat and for coat shine. :smile:


Here is a pic of my mare in one of her worst times of fading and to tell you the truth, I don't think that she felt her best at this time either. The second pic is her from this past summer. This horse is homozygous black and does not carry the creme gene.
My mare doesn't fade nearly that much. She get sort of rusty looking, but your girl could pass for some sort of sooty buckskin or dun in that top photo!


I was looking at her this morning and I didn't take a picture because she is muddy and dirty but she is somewhat faded right now, which makes sense because they will be shedding soon. Maybe if I get her cleaned up I will get a photo. :cool:

I'm wondering if there's different agouti genes that may effect it, since the horses don't fade on the legs. Not a big A, but maybe similar to At or A+, but little version, at, a+, etc... I know that A restricts black to legs and a doesn't but there could be more to it than that, and it makes sense to me at least since agouti does influence the legs. Similarly could explain the vast differences in chestnuts since there's so many more possibilities in variance there. Even those chestnut ones that have darker legs sometimes.

That is an observation I have made with my black mare as well. I don't know anything about the genetics of it, but she will fade only on the body. Legs and mane/tail stay nice and black. So it's like the black body hair isn't the same as the black points. Like a black horse is another version of bay.......kinda, sorta, but not really! :think:
 

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I have a black and white APHA gelding... he seems to stay black most of the time, a few times his mane has turned brown at the very ends of it... See pics:
Wow, he is so beautiful! I have a real soft spot for the paints, especially black and white ones :)
 

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I'm wondering if there's different agouti genes that may effect it, since the horses don't fade on the legs. Not a big A, but maybe similar to At or A+, but little version, at, a+, etc...
ASIP is supposedly fully mapped in the horse, with there only being two alleles, A or a. But that doesn't mean there isn't another undiscovered locus/loci that will be found to control fading vs not or even shades within colors. And possible that mystery locus/loci interacts with ASIP to create phenotype.


What is currently known about horse color genetics is much simpler than dogs or cats.. is that because there is actually less variation in horses or is more money being spent on small animal research?
 

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I finally got around to having my mare tested and she is EEaa. I think that when a black horse fades as much as she did in that top picture, it is a combination of a black horse that has a tendency to fade coupled with lacking in certain minerals. She still fades a little in the summer but nearly as much as she did that one time. At the moment, they all get a combo of coastal, timothy, and alfalfa. Plus a small handful of hard feed to mix their mineral supplement in. I give way less hay in the summer otherwise they would be obese. I don't really like the pasture that they are on but for now, it is what it is.
 

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You can also rinse them with a cream rinse that has UV filters to help protect the coat as well as mane and tail. The mane and tail don't have to be done as frequently as the body. You dont have to go fill on and bathe them everytime just a good rinse with that added after getting the sweat gone.
 

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For what it's worth, I gave my mare a little paprika today with her "treats" and she didn't seem to taste it at all. Or if she did, she didn't say anything. :lol: Probably less than a tablespoon full, I wanted to give a small amount just to see if she objected and she didn't.



So......I guess I will try the paprika trick. I don't think it will hurt, it's inexpensive, and well, it's the perfect time to try it because shedding season is getting ready to start. It seems like most recommendations are for 1-2 tablespoonfuls. I really didn't see any down-side to trying it.....right? I mean, it's food and I eat it myself (albeit not everyday). :shrug:
 

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You can also rinse them with a cream rinse that has UV filters to help protect the coat as well as mane and tail. The mane and tail don't have to be done as frequently as the body. You dont have to go fill on and bathe them everytime just a good rinse with that added after getting the sweat gone.

Sounds promising for after-ride rinsing in the summertime. :cool:
 

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Black. Very very faded.

She may carry cream, she may not. There is no visible phenotypic difference between black and smoky black. Single cream does not affect black pigment (or else buckskins wouldn't have black points!). Double cream does, but there's massive overlap in double cream phenotypes. You cannot accurately phenotype cremello vs perlino vs smoky cream.

Fading (as well as the light ear fluff formerly attributed to cream) is more likely to be due to nd1 than cream.
And nd1 is a mutation at Dun. All horses are Dun, nd1 or nd2 (or any combination of one or two of the above). An nd1 will have primitive markings but little to no body dilution (thus, not dun), whereas an nd2 has no primitives and no dilution.
 
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