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  1. May 13, 2017
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    Well, see, I'm not sure that your stallion is really a smokey black (as in, a black horse with the cream dilution gene). Black horses can become sun faded or have other reasons for not being "as black as the inside of a coal mine at midnight," but smokey blacks usually look quite a bit lighter than he does. If you really want to know what the possibilities are, you can pull some mane hairs and send them to a lab that does genetic color testing (for a price, of course). The mare clearly doesn't have cream, or she'd be a palomino. Cream is a dilution gene; it reduces the amount of pigment in the hairs. Horses with cream have significantly less pigment than those that don't have that gene, but it's most obvious on red-based horses.

    We talk about horse colors as being red-based or black-based. There are two genes that decide whether a horse is red or black, one (E) that says "a horse can make black pigment" and one (e) that says "no black pigment is produced." The gene that allows the black pigment is dominant to the one that says not to make black pigment, so as long as the horse has at least one gene that allows black, the horse's color will be black-based. For a horse to be a red-based color, it must have two copies of the gene that says "no black pigment is produced" (ee).

    Color in animals is made up of two pigments, one that is red/yellow, another that is black/brown. There are a bunch of genes that decide just how much of each pigment is in the hair, and where on the body that pigment might appear. It might be helpful to think of a model of the animal dipped first in red paint, then in black, and then imagine what you'd have to do to that model to make it look like the color you actually see in the animal. In horses, the agouti gene basically pushes black off the body, and restricts the black pigment to the mane, tail, and legs. On a horse that is genetically red-based, there isn't any black pigment to start with, so a sorrel could have agouti and you'd never see it. A bay is a genetically black-based horse with the agouti gene pushing the black out of the way so you can see the red pigment on the body. A buckskin is a bay with a dilution gene thinning down the pigment, so what would have been red is now yellow, and what would have been black is dark brown. Can you follow?

    A palomino is basically a red horse with the cream gene washing out the red, making it look yellow. Black is dominant to red, so for a horse to be red, it has to have two copies of the gene for red, and no copies of the gene for black. For your black horse to sire a red foal, he'd have to have a copy of the gene for red. The mare is red, so you know she'd give a foal a red gene, because that's the only thing she has to give. But it takes two red genes to make a red foal, and you can't be sure that the stallion has a gene for red (he's black, so he might have either a gene for black and one for red [Ee] or he could have two copies of the gene for black [EE]). I'm not convinced that your stallion has a gene for cream; the mare clearly doesn't have it, if the stallion doesn't either, you could breed this pair until doomsday and never get a dilute color like palomino or buckskin out of them.

    Don't suppose you have a pedigree for these two, do you? Looking at the colors of the ancestors can sometimes give you a hint as to what might be lurking unseen in an animal's genetic makeup.
     
  2. May 13, 2017
    CinnamonEli

    CinnamonEli Loving the herd life

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    I do have registration papers for both. I'll dig up the photo I have of the stud's sire. His dam was a solid black, don't know if smoky black.

    Can't find info on the mare's parents just by googling.

    I only have a photo of the stud's sire.
     
  3. May 13, 2017
    CinnamonEli

    CinnamonEli Loving the herd life

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    This is the guy that is on my stud's registration paper as his sire
     

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  4. May 13, 2017
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    [​IMG]

    :drool

    Y'know, while it's pretty unusual for a horse with no white on it to test LWO+, it might be a good idea to at least know the LWO status of your horses.
     
  5. May 13, 2017
    CinnamonEli

    CinnamonEli Loving the herd life

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    Oh my stud does have a white stripe on his face. It doesn't show in his photo.

    Think it's possible to produce something looking like my stud's sire?