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Color people, could a 3 year old go gray with no gray parents?

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  • Color people, could a 3 year old go gray with no gray parents?

    I cannot seem to figure this out on my own. I clipped the chest of my pony and it surprised me to see she looks like she is actually a gray. She is supposedly a buckskin, her daddy is a buckskin and her mother is bay by a buckskin sire. But her undercoat is a mousy/steel gray and when you look up close I would say 25% of the hairs are white. In the light she looks like a gray.

    People tell me it does look like she is going gray, but other say genetically it's impossible. Is it?
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  • #2
    no

    A gray horse MUSt have at least one gray parent.
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    • #3
      It is impossible....

      In order to get grey at least one of the parents needs to be a grey.

      Perhaps she is a sabino.
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      • #4
        Buckskin is one of the colors that gets mixed up with dun factor fairly often. Perhaps she is a grulla as that is a mousy grey based dun color. Then there are dunskins, which carry both buckskin & dun genetics, so there is that possibility as well.

        As already stated, you cannot have grey without a grey parent.
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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks, that is what I thought, but people started freaking me out when they told me that they thought she was going gray (since buckskins can go gray I think, but only with a gray parent).

          She certainly is a bizarre color underneath. Her breeder said she shedded out nearly black her yearling year. I guess every season will be a new color surprise.
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          • #6
            Many buckskins will also look grey when bodyclipped.
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            • #7
              Brown or sooty horses often look grey if clipped due to the undercoat being paler.

              undercoats are often duller, greyer or much paler than top coats in many horses. Just part a winter coat and you will see the lighter fluff.

              So I wouldn't worry about your horse going grey, just a temporary seasonal thing.

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              • #8
                My *Gunsmoke 2 YO is buckskin, but there is a lot of silver in with the gold. Her dam is bay but does have random gray hairs
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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by carolprudm View Post
                  My *Gunsmoke 2 YO is buckskin, but there is a lot of silver in with the gold. Her dam is bay but does have random gray hairs
                  Maybe that is where she gets it from!? Her damsire happens to be Gunsmoke
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
                    Thanks, that is what I thought, but people started freaking me out when they told me that they thought she was going gray (since buckskins can go gray I think, but only with a gray parent).

                    She certainly is a bizarre color underneath. Her breeder said she shedded out nearly black her yearling year. I guess every season will be a new color surprise.
                    Every horse that has one grey parent has a 50% chance of getting the gene and going grey. So, no matter what the base coat color is, they can go grey if a parent is grey.

                    Our buckskins always look that light grey color when clipped. I find it can be one of the strangest coat colors - I've got one mare that's super dark in the winter/spring, light buckskin during the summer and then almost looks light grey in the fall after we've clipped her. Totally normal!
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CowgirlDressage View Post
                      Buckskin is one of the colors that gets mixed up with dun factor fairly often. Perhaps she is a grulla as that is a mousy grey based dun color. Then there are dunskins, which carry both buckskin & dun genetics, so there is that possibility as well.

                      As already stated, you cannot have grey without a grey parent.
                      The breed of the pony is a Connemara and while breed terminology is that it is called a dun, genetically it is a buckskin so there is no chance of the pony being a grulla.
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                      • #12
                        I had the same worry with my black connie X gelding. Over the summer I was noticing some white hairs in his coat and tail. Uh oh! He's graying. I've had 3 other horses. All of them gray and I was really psyched about my little black dude.

                        But both of his parents were black and I was really relieved to find out about the 1 gray parent thing.

                        I think the white hairs are sabino if the horse has no gray parents.
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                        • #13
                          Not to intrude..........but........just to say........I have a foal (now 2 1/2) that is out of a gray mare by Donnerhall, and by my Blue Who, (gray) "hootie" mostly, but not always has gray foals. This filly is liver chestnut. I am hearing (not into warmbloods, but wish I was) that Donnerhall is liver chestnut. I was totally takenaback with this!!!! sandy
                          And sorry for the interruption.
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                          • #14
                            Why is that such a surprise? LOL A mare who is gray but doesn't always have gray foals is heterozygous gray - 50/50 each foal will be gray. Donnerhall certainly isn't gray LOL So, this foal had a 50/50 chance at conception of being gray or not. Seems he's not
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                            • #15
                              Buckskins, like a lot of colors, look like another color when clipped. My WS has one (actually looks a lot like yours PP) and she changes color each season and unless clipped looks just like a yak all winter.
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                              • #16
                                Our pony did the same thing. In fact you would have a hard time believing she was the same pony afterwards.
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                                • #17
                                  You must not clip a lot of horses. Sorry, but I got a kick out that one. Tell the folks at the barn she'll be dun/buckskin in the spring.

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Dune View Post
                                    You must not clip a lot of horses. Sorry, but I got a kick out that one. Tell the folks at the barn she'll be dun/buckskin in the spring.
                                    I have actually. It's not the color change that shocked me and everyone else, it is the huge amount of gray/white hairs and the fact that the shaved part looks like a graying horse. Then I looked at the unshaved part and noticed all the gray hair.

                                    I am assuming that that cream gene that creates a buckskin must also sometimes add a lot of white to the coat.
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                                    • #19
                                      It doesn't add white to the coat, it dilutes the "brown" hairs of the body. The shade of "yellow" depends on the shade of brown that would have been there.

                                      But many colors have a different shade at the base, compared to the tip. Many liver chestnut horses look positively pumpkin orange when clipped. Many black horses look very gray when clipped. The black-based colors are more likely to look gray when clipped.
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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by JB View Post
                                        Why is that such a surprise? LOL A mare who is gray but doesn't always have gray foals is heterozygous gray - 50/50 each foal will be gray. Donnerhall certainly isn't gray LOL So, this foal had a 50/50 chance at conception of being gray or not. Seems he's not
                                        Seems to me she said the mare (by Donnerhall) is grey, and the sire (Blue Who) is grey. So I can understand her surprise at the non-grey baby.

                                        But again, it's a Punnett square kind of thing... Each grey parent must have been heterozygous, because each must have thrown their non-grey gene into the liver chestnut foal. With two grey parents, both heterozygous, there is a 75% chance of a grey offspring.
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