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THE EQUINE EDUCATION STATION

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`nekemomma → double trouble
July 4th, 2022 1:20:31pm
12,739 Posts

THE EQUINE EDUCATION STATION

BROUGHT TO YOU BY NEKE (#19460)

•••••••

In the past few weeks, I have been asked (several times) to have a sort of education area for the myriad of equine related knowledge I have amassed in my thirty years of owning, breeding, and riding horses.  It took a while for me to figure out how I wanted to do this; but here it is!

•••••••

In this forum thread I will be posting a myriad of equine-related information.

From proper hoof care, to colour genetics, to saddle fitting – no topic is off limits!

Not only will I be doing blog-style posts on specific subjects, I will also be providing pictures, and/or sources for further information when (and if!) I can.  I also welcome questions on any of the topics I post about – or requests for future subject matter.  Conversation is a huge aspect of learning, and I welcome conversation on these subjects.

•••••••

My hope is that this can become a bit of a reference for other horse owners on the game.
 As such, I will try my best to maintain a level of organization.
Please feel free to contact me directly for suggested subjects you want to hear about!

•••••••

DISCLAIMER FROM NEKE:

Please keep in mind that while I do have a fair bit of knowledge that applies across all disciplines, I do primarily ride Western, and do Harness work at this time.  As such, asking me a direct question about Dressage may not be something I can speak on.  In addition, please keep in mind that whether one is 13, 30, or 80, they are still learning.  This thread is meant to be informative, and conversational in nature, not a textbook.  In addition, I am not a veterinarian.  While I can speak on subjects that I have learned a lot about (with help from my local equine veterinarian team), a knowledgeable friend is not a substitute for a veterinarian.




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`nekemomma → double trouble
July 4th, 2022 1:31:15pm
12,739 Posts

PAST SUBJECTS

JULY 4TH 2022 – Clover Poisoning
(Located on: Page 1)
AUGUST 2ND 2022 – Colour Genetics Series Spotlight: The Basics of Colour
(Located on: Page 1)
AUGUST 4TH 2022 – Colour Genetics Series Spotlight: What Is a Gray Horse
(Located on: Page 1)
AUGUST 4TH 2022 – Colour Genetics Series Spotlight: The Cream Gene
(Located on: Page 1)
AUGUST 8TH 2022 – Colour Genetics Series Spotlight: The Champagne Gene
(Located on: Page 1)

•••••••

FUTURE SUBJECTS
• Colour Genetics Series Spotlight: The Silver Gene
• Colour Genetics Series Spotlight: The Dun Gene
• Hoof Cracks / Dry Hoof Care
• Broodmare Series Spotlight: Mare Estrus Cycles
•Broodemare Series Spotlight: Gestation Timing & Breeding Back-to-Back
• Bone Development In Young Horses
• Lameness Series Spotlight: Ringbone
• Lameness Series Spotlight: Toed In/ Toed Out




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utakata - 🌟 -{main; dwbs}- - stars are better off without us
July 4th, 2022 2:27:14pm
734 Posts

-rubs hands together-


Ready to get me some colour genetics knowledge. Thanks for doing this, Nekkers, it's a great idea. :)




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`nekemomma → double trouble
July 4th, 2022 4:04:40pm
12,739 Posts

 UPDATED: JULY 4TH 2022

•••••••

Our first subject of note is one that I feel all should be educated on when summer is coming: CLOVER POISOING.

Clover Poisoning is a topic that becomes important more so in the summer, than it is in the winter. 

While hay can (and often does) include clover, if you ask your supplier for horse quality hay, it should include very small amounts (under 5%) of the dangerous weed.  I do encourage checking yourself while you feed; the plant is intrusive, and it’s always safest to be sure!

While I will go into extensive detail, the basic gist of today’s discussion is:
If ingested, alsike clover can cause toxicity in horses, leading to photosensitization, laminitis, and the destruction of the liver.

•••••••

WHAT IS CLOVER EXACTLY?

Clover is a common weed that grows across that vast majority of the world in a huge variety of strains and types.

The problemativ one is known as TRIFOLIUM HYBRIDUM.
It’s more common name is ALSIKE CLOVER.
To see what it looks like, go here - https://covercrops.ca/alsike-clover/ 
and here - https://www.ediblewildfood.com/alsike-clover.aspx
We’re going to focus on it for a bit, as it is the most problematic clover.

This type of clover is fairly easy to distinguish once it has bloomed, but you can look at the green growth as well.  Like a host of other clovers, it grows low to the ground.  It spreads out in clumps, and the growths are leafy.  In the case of alsike, the leaves are alternate, usually in groups of three.  They are oblong, and gently curve towards the end, in a bowed shape.

The flower is what is most obvious.  Towards the stem the flower is pink, but the tip is white.  This distinct colouring is how you know this clover is alsike clover, and therefore, a problem!

•••••••

WHAT DOES IT DO TO HORSES?

Without going into the scientific details of how the chemicals break down during digestion, the simple answer is that there is a toxin located in the head of the flowers that damages liver cells during digestion.

Over prolonged and repeated exposure, this damage leads to cirrhosis of the liver, or scarring.  If a horse is exposed to a large amount all at once, they can even die from acute liver failure.

A horse with a healthy liver, who is eating 5% or less clover in their daily ration, will often metabolise clover as a part of their normal digestion. 

As a horse becomes over exposed to alsike clover (or perhaps has a predisposition to such poisoning, or a weak liver for another health reason), the digestive process is unable to handle the toxin.  As such, the liver stops metabolizing it, and the problematic by-product (it’s called phylloerythrin) circulates throughout the body.  This by-product accumulates in skin cells.

This is where photosensitivity comes in!  When light hits the affects skin cells, the skin cells die due to the toxin damage.  The skin becomes inflamed and fluid accumulates.  The fluid creeps out of the skin, and infection sets in.  However, this problem is typically only seen on unprotected skin – around the eyes, nose, and mouth.

For a picture, please look here: https://csuvth.colostate.edu/poisonous_plants/Plants/Details/66

Please note that due to skin pigmentation, this malady is easier to spot in horses with white on them (particularly their face).  This does not mean dark coloured horses are immune.  A good rule of thumb is that if the bald-faced mare has the scabby nose indicative of clover poisoning, her jet-black pasture mate has it too.

The problem is this: by the time you see the scabby nose?  The damage is already done to the digestive system. 

In order for the phylloerythrin to accumulate in the skin cells, the liver must already be inflamed have lesions, and become damaged.  This liver damage can escalate rapidly into problems like internal hemorrhaging, liver failure, chronic colic, diarrhea, and death.  It can even cause digestion related laminitis.

•••••••

SO HOW DO WE TREAT IT?

In the case of alsike poisoning, treatment depends on the damage done to the horse in question.

The first thing to do is to pull them out of where the clover is.  That is your best way to treat a poisoned horse.  Then, depending on behaviour and damage, call a veterinarian.

The liver damage is something that will remain problematic for the remainder of the horse’s life.  While the inflammation (aka: Big Liver) can go down on the proper diet, the lesions remain as scars.  This means that a horse who has had such issues will always be more prone to clover poisoning, along with other digestive problems.  Depending on the severity of the damage, the horse’s diet will have to be monitored for the remainder of its life.

What about the skin issues and photosensitivity?  The skin issues will heal, to a degree.  What I mean by this is simple: while the scabs and sores will heal, if treated correctly, the horse may remain sensitive to light for the remainder of its life.  This usually depends on the colour of the horse, as horses that are light in colour are more adversely affected by this issue.

In the interim, though, take a look at the scabs and determine the damage.  If they are crusty and scabby, in small amounts, with no foul smell or drainage?  They will likely heal on their own, but keep an eye on them regardless.  If they are oozing liquid, cover a large amount of skin, or smell funky? Call a veterinarian to get the horse seen – there is a skin infection building and you likely need a topical antibiotic.  If untreated, such infections can lead to systemic infections, abscesses, etc.

To help speed the healing of such skin issues, try to keep the horse out of the sun.  Keep them dry, as well, as moisture is the worst thing to happen to skin issues.  Consult your veterinarian; sometimes they suggest a zinc oxide cream to cover and protect vulnerable areas.  A summer sheet over the body, should the horse be light coloured, can help.  Stalling during the day and turning out for grazing at night also helps.

There are other associated problems, with a huge one being colic.  I will touch on colic another time, as it is its own subject.  However, if you are concerned that the horse may colic, I suggest monitoring for signs – sweating, fevers, shakiness, biting the stomach, rolling, etc.

When in doubt?  Call your veterinarian.

IN THE CASE OF ALSIKE POISONING, YOUR BEST TREATMENT IS PREVENTATION.

Because of the long-term affects of liver damage and photosensitivity the best advice I can give you is to walk your green pastures and check for clover.  Remove it, or fence it off as needed.  Your best treatment in this toxin is to prevent ingestion.  You will never 100% succeed, but any reduction is good, as any ingestion of 5% of daily feed intake is categorized as unhealthy.

•••••••

HOW DO WE GET OF CLOVER IN OUR PENS

Clover is a plant that was cultivated originally as a small mix within forage.  However, it is invasive as heck, and it chokes out other, better grazing plants.  It also grows fast, and low to the ground, which horses love.  As such, you need to know how to kill it.

There are herbicides, called grazing herbicides, that you can spray.  They will kill a vast majority of things like clover, thistle, and other weeds, and leave the grass alone to grow.  The herbicides are still poisonous, so it is important to read the directions prior to use.  Typically, a grazing herbicide recommends 24 HRs to 48 HRS of no animals in the area.  Since clover poisoning affects the liver, I always like to give it 5 days to settle, before I turn animals out again. 

There are also natural remedies you can try, if the clover is not widespread.   You can mix vinegar and water (50% of each) and ad a drop of dish soap (per every two cups of mix).  This method is harmless of most animals, and sticks to the leaves which dries them out.  Since clover loves moisture, this tends to kill it over several weeks of repeatedly doing it.  It works, but to be blunt: it is tedious as hell, and takes weeks.

You can also add nitrogen rich fertilizer, as clover hates that and it will kill the weed over time. 

Typically, what we have done is combined herbicide (Dicamba) with fertilizer, to remove the threat.  It is best to do early in the season, but in a pinch anytime will do.

Please note that while you can take measures, clover will try to return over and over! We try to do some land every other year, to prevent it from breaching the 5% of forage and damaging amounts!

•••••••

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER TYPES OF CLOVER?

So, I’ve talked a lot about the bad clover, alsike.  But what about white clover?  Or red clover?  Or sweet clover?  Or…you get the point.

As I said before, Alsike Clover is one of MANY types of clover.  However, Alsike Clover is what is poisonous to horses.

Red Clover, ( https://garlicseed.ca/products/red-clover ), is considered relatively harmless to horses, and even a good forage option.  There is a type of fungus common in it that can cause horses to drool, if ingested.  This is called Slaframine poising, and is also problematic, though not as bad as Alsike poisoning.  For the most part, they recover when they stop eating it.  White Clover is much the same as Red, only white in colour.

Sweet clover ( https://www.damseeds.com/products/sweet-clover-organic ), however, poses risk in other ways too.  It spoils very quickly, leading to mold in storage conditions.  Beware of moldy hay!

The problem is that if you allow a lot of other clovers into your pasture, Alsike clover is often sure to follow.  And what kills Alsike Clover, often kills other varieties of clover.  In addition, some varieties, like White Clover, are hard to tell apart from Alsike Clover at a glance, as they look very similar. 

While these other types of clover are forage that a horse can ingest, a lot of horse owners do not risk it.  I, myself, always avoid clover, in general, just to be safe!

•••••••

Additional Sources:
https://csuvth.colostate.edu/poisonous_plants/Plants/Details/66
https://www.producer.com/opinion/alsike-clover-can-be-deadly-to-horses-animal-health/ 




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Oak 💕 ‹main› ↬Vanners↫ ↬Project October Fox↫
July 4th, 2022 5:05:06pm
2,747 Posts

-rubs hands together- I absolutly loveeeeeee this idea and I cannot wait to learn about colour genetics and other stuff! Thanks Neke for putting together a forum post where we can all come to learn. 




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`nekemomma → double trouble
July 4th, 2022 5:30:49pm
12,739 Posts

Anytime!  I'm about finished typing up the colour genetics stuff, but I want to have examples that are easy references people can save if they want!

I want to talk about other genetic things as well, like HYPP and such.




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`nekemomma → double trouble
August 2nd, 2022 12:59:40am
12,739 Posts

 UPDATED: AUGUST 2ND 2022

•••••••

COLOUR GENETICS SERIES SPOTLIGHT: THE BASICS OF COLOUR

•••••••

There are a lot of different options when it comes to horse colouring.
Some horses come in beautiful solid blacks, while others are splashed with white.
Some horses are dark, rich, liver brown, while others are a shiny silver gray.
Some have beautiful markings, and others have no markings at all.
In the course of this series, we will explore a myriad of information regarding colour!
And the best place to start is,of course the basics!

•••••••

It is widely recognized that there are only 3 base coat colour for horses:
• Black
• Chestnut
(in this explanation, Sorrel, Red, and Chestnut are all Chestnut, I will delve into more later on this subject)
• Bay

And a little bit less well known that horses are really only capable of producing 2 pigments:
• Red (Pheomelanin)
•  Black (Eumelanin)

So..... what makes all the rest of it?

COLOUR GENETICS!!!

•••••••

Colour genetics are rooted in the horses DNA.

As such, some terminology is important.
(all from websters dictionary)

GENE : 
Aunit of heredity which is transferred from a parent to offpsring and is eld to determine some characteristic of the offspring.

ALLELE:
One of two or more alternative forms of a gene that are found at the same place on a chromosone.

HETERZYGOUS:
Having two different alleles of a particular gene.

HOMOZYGOUS:
Having two of the same alleles of a particular gene.

•••••••

Before we delve deeply into the confusing world of equine coat colours, let's discuss the three basic colours.

Well, chestnut is pretty obviously red, isn't it?
And black is obviously black.
But bay is a little bit of both, all wrapped up in one.

So how does a bay become a bay?

•••••••

In order to understand that, you need to know what "points" are.

The points are:
• Mane
• Tail
• Legs
• Lower limbs
• Rim of the ears

These points can either be black, or "non-black".

•••••••

There are 2 genes in charge of the base coat colour of a horse:
• Extension
• Agouti

•••••••

EXTENSION

This gene controls the pigment colour - either black or red, as forementioned.
This is your "E" gene.

This gene has two alleles - "E" and "e".

"E" is a dominant gene, that creates black.
It enables black in the coat and skin of the animal.

"e" is considered recessive, and creates red.
The skin remains black, but the hair is red.
It is recessive, so it is only shown if the "E" dominant gene is not present.

It presents in three forms:
E/E - Homozygous black
E/e - Heterozygous black
e/e - Homozygous red

It is important to remember that all other colour genetics modify or change the Extension gene!

•••••••

AGOUTI

This gene controls the distribution of black to the points of the horse.
This is your "A" gene.

This gene only modifies the black pigment.
It does not affect red pigment for a simple reason - there is no black pigment ti distribute.

This gene has two alleles - "A" and "a".

"A" restricts the black to the points and is dominant.

"a" is recessive and enables black pigment throughout the entire coat.

It presents in three forms:
A/A - Homozygous Agouti
A/a - Heterozygous Agouti
a/a - Homozygous non-agouti

•••••••

While all of that does seem a bit complicated - it's quite easy to read once you learn how.

chestnut has red extension (e/e), with black restriction being unimportant, as it does not work on red (a/a, A/A, A/a).
black has black extension (E/E, E/e), with no black restriction on points (a/a).
bay has black extension (E/E, E/e), with black restriction on points (A/A, A/a).

•••••••

BUUUUUUUTTTTT....

Don't worry, I know.
There's a mulitude of shades and types of red horse, and bay horse, and even black horse!
But we mustn't get ahead of ourselves, as a lot of those colours come from dilutions, and depigmentation!
So we aren't going to get into those quite yet!
This lesson is just a short introduction on extension, and agouti.

•••••••

Next lesson: Colour Genetics Series Spotlight: What Is A Gray Horse
ETA: AUG 3 2022




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`nekemomma → double trouble
August 4th, 2022 12:36:59am
12,739 Posts

 UPDATED: AUGUST 4TH 2022

•••••••

COLOUR GENETICS SERIES SPOTLIGHT: WHAT IS A GRAY HORSE

•••••••

 No photo description available.
Photo: Fancy, courtesy of Nekeneke #19460

•••••••

If you've ever seen horses in person, you've likely seen a gray horse.
They come in a huge variety of breeds, and are prominent in several.
Some breeds even are primarily gray - such as Lipizanners or Andalusians.

So what is a gray horse?

•••••••

Remember talking about different genes in our last lesson?

Like all equine colours, gray is controlled by a gene.

When testing in a coat colour panel, results will either show as present, or absent - depending on if the gray allele is present.

N/N = no gray genes present

N/G = one gray gene present.
These horses will be gray and will produce 50% gray offspring.

G/G =two gray genes present.
These horses will be gray and will always produce gray offspring.

By testing for this gene, you can conclude if a horse is gray, or not.

But why can't you just know by looking?

•••••••

Here's the thing: 
Most people determine horse coat colour when they are foals being registered.
And while gray is a colour - it's not like other colours of horse.
Gray is actually a depigmentation over another colour.

All this means is that a foal can be born brown as can be, and over time, it will turn gray.
Typically this process takes 6-8 years, and goes through a few typical stages.
Below, is a good graphic of the process.

Greying progression as the horse ages

Keep in mind that this graphic is a basic example of the progression, and each horse varies.

•••••••

Some gray horses have a mane and tail that depigment as they age.
These horses, over time, become completely white.

Some gray horses have a mane and tail, and lower legs that remain dark.
These horses stay darker than their white counterparts.

•••••••

You also need to keep in mind that there are different colours of gray as a horse goes through depigmentation.

Steel Gray horses typically occur in black or dark bay horses.
This gray is a very blue looking gray.
Steel Grey Horse (Iron Grey Horse)

Rose Gray has a bit of a reddish tint to the hair.
This gray occurs over red/chestnut horses.
Often, these horses are misrecognized as roan by those unaware.
Rose Grey Horse

Dapple Gray is a beautiful coat pattern.
This occurs in the middle of the graying process - and typically comes after the rose or steal stage.
It doesn't always happen - but it is very common.
Dapple Grey Horse

Flea-Bitten Gray is a gray coat speckled much like a chicken egg.
This is one of the last stages before a horse turns white, as pigmentation disappears. 
This pattern is not overly common - but many do seem to go through it.
There is no known cause of this pattern, but it is unique to look at.

There are a lot of other variations and combinations of the depigmentation colour, gray, but these are the most common!

•••••••

What's the difference between gray and white horses, then?

For a great many people, it's hard to tell the difference between the two colours.
But the basic way to tell the difference is the skin!

Gray horses have dark or black skin.

White horses have pink skin.

All you have to do is look in the areas where the coat is this - the eyes, the muzzle, and the genitals.

Another way to tell is if you see the horse being born - while gray is a depigmentation, white horses are born white.

•••••••

Well, what's the difference between gray and roan horses, then?

When they are in the stages of depigmentation, it can often be hard to tell the difference due to the mixing of white and coloured hair.
Gray is produced by a modifying gene, whereas roan is a white colour pattern.
This means that gray horses lose colour as time passed, whereas roans stay pretty much the same.
In fact, roan horses can even grow darker with age.

However, at a glance - look at the face.
Gray horse depigment across the boady and face.
Roan horses typically have a darker face.

•••••••

How can you tell if a foal is gray?

Firstly, look at the parents.
If one or both are gray, chances are your foal will be gray.
Gray is a dominant gene, and it does like to pass on.

Typically, though, until it sheds the foal coat?
It's hard to say.

There is one sign that can be easy to spot - the gray goggles.
Some foals will be born with white rings around their eyes that look like glasses or goggles.
This sign indicates a gray foal!

•••••••

Now, I can go into a lot more detail and add some fun facts, but that's quite a lot of information already.
Feel free to ask questions!

•••••••

Next lesson: Colour Genetics Series Spotlight: The Cream Gene
ETA: AUG 4 2022




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utakata - 🌟 -{main; dwbs}- - stars are better off without us
August 4th, 2022 11:32:53am
734 Posts

Oooh we're gonna get into some dilutions! But for some reason the genetics of grey ponies always confused me, so thanks for this. :)




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mako 🎃
August 4th, 2022 2:20:10pm
1,339 Posts

I can't wait for dilutions! You're killing this, Neke. Thanks for taking this on!




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`nekemomma → double trouble
August 4th, 2022 9:07:48pm
12,739 Posts

 UPDATED: AUGUST 4TH 2022

•••••••

COLOUR GENETICS SERIES SPOTLIGHT: THE CREAM GENE

•••••••

I would like to preface this with an apology;
I started to post this last week and ran into some technical issues.
Then, when I fixed those – well, it became the weekend!
For those of you unaware, my weekends are incredibly busy with fencing.
There are links to pictures depicting each colour -as it is simply too many pictures for our forum to love, haha!

•••••••

Now that we have covered the three base coat colours…
And the depigmentation of colour known as gray…
It is time to dive into dilutions!

So what, exactly, is a dilution?

A dilution is a gene that dilutes (hence the name!) the amount of pigment or colour produced in the hair.
As such, this means that dilutions typically act on top of other colours.
Some of these dilution genes affect only one colour of pigment, while others can affect both.
Some affect the base coat, while others affect the points, and some affect both simultaneously.

There as six different dilution phenotypes in horses:
• Cream
• Champagne
• Dun
• Pearl
• Silver
• Mushroom

Today we're going to discuss the cream dilution!

•••••••

Cream is considered a dominant colour.
As such, even one allele of the cream gene will produce cream on a horse.

Like other colours, cream can be both heterozygous (one copy of the allele) or homozygous (two copies of the allele).
Similar to other genetics, heterozygous horses for cream will pass cream on 50% of the time, and homozygous will pass it on 100% of the time.

In layman's terms:
If a horse has the cream gene, it is a cream, but it is only promised to have cream foals if it is homozygous!

When reading cream on a colour test, it reads as:
CR/CR - homozygous
N/CR or CR/cr or CR/N or cr/CR – heterozygous
(Some tests indicate presence with CR, versus non-presence with N, whereas some use upper and lowercase.)

•••••••

So what does cream do?

Well, we already learned about base colours.
Cream acts on those colours to produce a lightened, or diluted, version of that colour.
Cream tends to lighten it towards an off white or creamy colour – hence the name!

•••••••

When you mix cream with chestnut, it can produce two colours.

The most well-known cream coloured horse in the world is a pretty easy one to spot:

One copy of the cream gene makes the palomino!

The colour palomino is made when one copy of the cream gene is present with a red base coat, like chestnut.
Palominos are heterozygous for the cream gene.

Link - https://i.imgur.com/oAonl13.jpg
(Photo from: Daneka’s personal photography)


Cali, a gorgeous mare that my mom owns, is one such creature.
She has one copy of the cream gene from her father, though her mother was a chestnut.

You may notice that her mane and tail are almost white.
Cream cause this sort of lightening with red tones – meaning her mane and tail would have been red, and are now incredibly white.
The cream gene has lightened the coat to an almost yellow colour from the chestnut shade.
This creates a horse with a yellow coat, and a white mane and tail.
And the coat can range from a light yellow - like Cali - to a dark, rich, yellow - like my own palomino, Goldie!
Palomino is a beautiful colour, and much sought after by breeders.

However, it can be hard to recognize in foals.
Foals that are palomino can be born quite light (almost white) but are sometimes born red and shed into a palomino.
Foal camouflage is very tricky!

In addition, because palominos are heterozygous – they will only produce a cream dilute foal 50% of the time.

Two copies of the cream gene makes the cremello!

Link - https://i.imgur.com/M5LlJez.jpg
(Photo from: https://www.horse-genetics.com/cremello-horses.html)

Cremellos are known as double dilutes, since they are double the cream!
Since cremellos are homozygous for cream, they are guaranteed to pass their cream genes on.

In order to get a cremello, both parents must have cream genetics!
One allele comes from each parent.
To produce the CR/CR that means each parent must have cream!
As such, two palominos can create a cremello about 25% of the time.

At a glance, you can see how a cremello differs drastically from its heterozygous counterpart.
Cremellos are significantly lighter, nearly white in the body.
Their mane and tails are white (palominos can have yellows and red hairs in theirs)
Cremellos typically have blue or lighter eyes.
Cremellos typically have pink skin that is obvious around the mouth, ears, and ears.

Fun Facts:
Did you know a lot of breeders who seek to produce palominos with buy cremello broodmares?
Because these horses pass cream to foals, they guarantee palominos when bred to chestnuts!
This makes them highly sought after as broodmares!

•••••••

When you mix cream with black, it can produce two colours.

The cream coloured horse that is most commonly missed is a mix of black, and cream.

One copy of the cream gene makes the smoky black!

Link - https://i.imgur.com/lvTGVtI.png
(Photo from: https://amazinghorsefacts.com/what-is-a-smoky-black-horse/)

The smoky black is a unique colour in that it is incredibly difficult to spot!
For one, their mane and tail sometimes remain dark, black even.
For two, their coat often remains either an incredibly dark brown, or a dull black.
Because of this hard-to-spot nature of smoky black, it is often misrecognized or completely missed.
Many smoky black horses are assumed to be another colour – like a dark seal brown or even a black with sweat staining.
As such, if you have a black from a crossing that include cream, a colour test is a good idea.

In addition, because smoky blacks are heterozygous – they will only produce a cream dilute foal 50% of the time.

Two copies of the cream gene makes the smoky cream!

Link - https://i.imgur.com/BrUuJbi.jpg
(Photo from: https://www.horse-genetics.com/smoky-cream.html )

Smoky creams are known as double dilutes, since they are double the cream!
Since horses this colour are homozygous for cream, they are guaranteed to pass their cream genes on.

In order to get a smoky cream, both parents must have cream genetics!
One allele comes from each parent.
To produce the CR/CR that means each parent must have cream!
That means a palomino, and a smoky black can produce a smoky cream foal.

At a glance, you can see how a smoky cream differs drastically from its heterozygous counterpart.
Smoky creams are significantly lighter, nearly white in the body with a grey tinge.
Their mane and tail and nearly white.
They typically have blue or lighter eyes.
And they typically have pink skin that is obvious around the mouth, ears, and ears.

Fun Facts:
Smoky cream horses are incredibly rare.
They are often mistaken for other double dilutes.

•••••••

When you mix cream with bay, it can also produce two colours.

One of these is the highly recognizable at a glance.

One copy of the cream gene makes a buckskin!

Link - https://i.imgur.com/MmTtmIt.jpg
(Photo from: My Own Photography)

Buckskin is one of my own personal favourites – cream over bay.
In fact, I love it so much that I own two of them!
In this colour, the bay (or rather, agouti) characteristics remain.
They keep their dark ear tips, dark legs, and dark mane and tail.
But their body lightens to the shades of palomino – cream through to gold.

In addition, because buckskins are heterozygous – they will only produce a cream dilute foal 50% of the time.

Two copies of the cream gene makes the perlino!

Link - https://i.imgur.com/XKIasNE.jpg
(Photo from:  https://www.horse-genetics.com/perlino-horses.html)

Perlinos are also known as double dilutes, since they are double the cream!
Since horses this colour are homozygous for cream, they are guaranteed to pass their cream genes on.

In order to get a perlino, both parents must have cream genes!
One allele comes from each parent. Just like other double dilutes.
To produce the CR/CR that means each parent must have cream!
They also have to have the extension and agouti genetics that make up a bay!

Perlino is far lighter than its buckskin counterpart.
They often appear with an off-white tinge.
Their mane and tail and nearly white.
They typically have blue or lighter eyes.
And they typically have pink skin that is obvious around the mouth, ears, and ears.

•••••••

So…
The double dilutes all look very similar…

Yes, they do.
All double dilutes typically have pink skin, light eyes, and are basically off-white.
Smoky creams are typically a bit gray.
Perlinos can have a bit of a reddish tinge to the mane, tail, and legs.
Cremellos are typically a bit more yellow.
However, the only true way to know the difference is via genetic colour testing.
If you know the parents colouring you can, to a degree, determine the most likely option as well.

•••••••

https://i.imgur.com/fQUk8yo.png
(Graphic from: http://labgenvet.ca/en/horse-genetics-2-0-colours/ )

 

There you have it – Cream in a nutshell!

•••••••

Sources:
• My own photography
https://www.horse-genetics.com/cremello-horses.html
https://amazinghorsefacts.com/what-is-a-smoky-black-horse/
https://www.horse-genetics.com/smoky-cream.html
https://www.horse-genetics.com/perlino-horses.html
http://labgenvet.ca/en/horse-genetics-2-0-colours/

•••••••

Next lesson: Colour Genetics Series Spotlight: The Champagne Gene

 




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Player Avatar
Jaya ❄️
August 4th, 2022 9:15:25pm
20,052 Posts

:O




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`nekemomma → double trouble
November 2nd, 2022 3:11:39pm
12,739 Posts

I have discontinued while I am so busy.
However, for those curious, there is a wonderful guide on https://vgl.ucdavis.edu/resources/horse-coat-color




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