Ummm... I do not see white in the feathers in either pic.
That said, IME, it is not uncommon for winter feathering to come in considerably lighter than the normal coat.
I had a bay TWH, not a marking or white hair anywhere on him, and his feathering would come in champagne colored every Winter.
He'd also show the lightening on his lower legs that I do see in your pic.
He was registered TWHBEA but feathered so heavily in the Winter I had to clip to prevent iceballs forming.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
On the front legs, at least, the white hairs that were there last winter/are coming in now were mostly long feather hairs, not short leg hairs. I can't remember about the back legs and don't think I've seen them coming in yet.
Although you're right the whole leg is lighter -- less black points etc in the winter pic. I hadn't really been paying attention to that, just noticed the white.
Still curious about whether there's a known cause or if it's just one of those things that happens with summer/winter coats.
So, sounds like I can chalk my surprise up to a lack of observational skills over the years. Not the first time...
goodpony, your guy is very, very cute!
You might be on to something about the redder base color. I think all the other bays at the barn have a much blacker coat than my guy, and I can't remember seeing such a significant change with them. Although I wouldn't bet donuts on my observational skills on this kind of thing, so... take that for what it's worth.
I have a SUPER dark bay TB but he gets the creamy looking hair on his legs in the winter, plus his belly (towards his sheath area) turns almost completely WHITE. Very strange to look at. Your guy is adorable!
Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.