Monday, August 27, 2012

Coat Colors

Horses come in a wide variety of colors. Not only are the colors diverse, but the names that describe the colors are also very diverse. This is where things can get confusing if you don't know the difference between a sorrel with a flaxen mane and tail and a palomino, a grulla and a roan, or the difference between a white and grey horse. And that is where I come in! Below, you will find a basic overview, some colors and their descriptions.

First things first! Horse colors stem from two base colors, the red base and the black base.  Bay is not a base, sorry guys! These two base colors create the basic coat colors of the horse, including: bay, chestnut, black, and brown. These basic colors may be further diluted by certain genes in order to create the cream, champagne, pearl, silver, and dun colors. White patterning genes may also change the basic colors of the horse and create dominant white, tobiano, appaloosa, overo, grey and roan colors. The colors of the horse's coat are determined by the genes of the breeding cross between the mother (dam) and father (sire).

Here are some of the basic colors that, more often than not, you will see around the barn/show grounds/ etc.:


Cleveland Bay Stallion
The body of the horse is usually a deep red or reddish brown color. The points of the horse (meaning the mane, tail and lower legs) are black. Bay is a modified black gene and therefore comes from the black base color. There can be variations of this color, where the strength of the color on the body can be darker or lighter than a simple bay horse. However, the coat still has to have a be some shade of red with black points.



Property of AzraelsRose13 aka Kristina Ransbury
Horses with this coat color are usually a reddish color without the black points. The mane and tail are usually the same color as the body or even a few shades lighter. Chestnut is a modified red gene and therefore comes from the red base color. There can be variations of this color, where the strength of the color on the body can be darker or lighter than a medium chestnut coat color. 



Virtual Horse Ranch

Horses with this coat color are usually black. The mane and tail are usually the same color as the body. The black coat color comes from the black base gene.  There are two types of black coat colors. The non-fading black and the fading black coat color. The non-fading black coat color stays black even through the summers and usually has a blue-black sheen to the coat. The fading black coat color fades during the summer months so that it is a little more brown.


Powderbark Stud
Horses with this coat color usually have a black or brown coat with lighter points around the nose, flank, belly, eyes, inside upper legs, and girth. The mane and tail are usually the same color as the body. Brown is a modified black gene and therefore comes from the black base color. This color can sometimes be called seal brown or black and tan.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Horse Breeds Inquiry

I was thinking the other day how I can make this blog even more informational. And then it hit me like a wall! It was one of those ah ha moments that I always seem to have at inopportune times. I believe it actually happened a few days after I wanted to see what different horse breeds were in the Olympic competitions. Yeah, I researched that for a while before giving up. 

Anyways, before I get totally off topic. I'm thinking about doing some blog posts on horse breeds. I always loved learning about the different breeds when I was younger. I even had those smallish horse breed posters that the Horse Magazines would include within their pages. They were pretty cool. They were also plastered everywhere in my room. I definitely didn't have that organization bug as I do now. 

I'm not quite sure what I would include in each. Probably some kind of disclaimer about how all horse breeds are different, but all horses within each breed are different as well. That horses have distinct characteristics that are exclusive to that breed, but are diverse in their personalities. Then I'll talk about the usual, height, type, what is particular to that breed, the colors that it comes in, maybe something about the horse organization, etc.

So, what do you think should be the first horse breed that I post about? I was thinking the American Mustang. But I think it may just be that I recently did an article on them. Hmmmm..... Thoughts?

In The News: Mustang Roundup

It is a newsworthy day, today, which means that I get to pick a horse article from the web and share it with the viewers and readers of The Equus Ally. But instead of compiling information about the topic into a whole bunch of paragraphs that look a lot like a news article in and of itself, I am going to list the main points of the subject at hand. This way, the reader, you, can look over the main points without having to rifle through all of that other stuff...

So, What's in the News today?

The Mustang Roundups: General Overview

  • Wild mustangs still exist in states such as Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, and Oregon and after roundup are held in "holding pens" awaiting potential homes
  • The Bureau of Land Management manages the wild population numbers by culling the wild herds of some of the horses.    
  • More than 30,000 horses are kept in holding pens, and there are at least 5,000 horses kept at any singular BLM holding facility at one time.
  • The BLM now has to make "welfare" homes for un-adoptable horses in Kansas and Oklahoma. This means that the horses are feeding off of the public dole.
  • According to some horse geneticists, horses need to have at least 150 horses in a herd population in order to have genetic diversity. Recently however, some of the horse herds have been found to have less than the recommended amount.
  • The Bureau usually uses helicopters over the course terrain to herd the animals. This can be traumatic to horses as the helicopter swoops down to get the horses moving. The helicopters also push the horses too fast, causing pregnant mares to abort their fetuses while younger horses and newborns get trampled, left behind and left to die. A sad end to a historical animal of America.
  • There are other options beyond the helicopter gatherings in order to keep herd numbers down.  Bait trapping is where the horses are lured in by mineral blocks and water and then given a contraceptive injection known as PZP. However, these methods are not as utilized as the helicopter roundups.
  • The companies, ranchers, and farmers are complaining that they now have to pay for the welfare of horses that they pressured the government to take off public lands so that they can farm, or raise cattle on for cheap.
  • In my personal opinion, the BLM needs to stand up for the policies that the American people hold to it.