Tristan is a funny sort of color. He’s a deep red in the winter, and in the summer he’s quite distinctly more roan. His mane and tail are frosted the whole year ’round. I’ve tried many different color combinations on him over the years, and always default to black and white, with a hint of gray. I do so wish I could do more colors, though.
I just spent some time playing with a fun tool to design your horse’s color scheme. Now, it’s not comprehensive, and the interface is a little clunky, but it is a marvelous time waster. (The things you are reduced to doing when you are being dumped on by a foot of snow…)
Here’s what Tristan currently looks like to go XC.
I did one for Hannah
‘s Tucker, too, except it needs more spangles.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I should probably duck and run…
I am sort of constantly trying to figure out just what color my horse is. In shorthand, and on all his official papers, I list him as a bay roan. It seems simplest and most descriptive.
However, there’s a decent chance that’s not what he is, genetically. Roans don’t typically have salt-and-pepper manes. They don’t typically have skunk tails and barring above the tail.
He also quite clearly has a few primitive markings: a hint of a dorsal stripe and tiger stripes on his legs.
Since he was born in the wild, there’s no way of knowing (at least at this late and far removed date) who his parents were, and no way of including or excluding certain possibilities based on their color.
Is he rabicano? Is he minimally expressed sabino? Is he mealy? Who knows!
His color is one of the reasons I’ve always been fascinated by equine color genetics. I am by no means an expert but I usually consider myself to have a decent eye.
Lesli at Equine Tapestry
an expert. She writes about color with detail and precision, and backs her findings up with extensive photographs. She’s always got a new, interesting quirk to talk about. I love reading every word of her posts and I always come away thinking. Consider this a strong recommendation to follow her!
Tristan is an unusual color. I’ve always labeled him as “bay roan” for the purposes of Coggins tests, stall cards, and shorthand discussions but the truth is that there’s probably something else going on, genetically. He has a few quirks that don’t fit the typical mold for a roan horse.
Sometime soon I’ll do a whole post about his colors and his interesting points – yes, I promise, this blog will be about something other than endless rehab updates! – but in the meantime, I’ve been sucked into this blog recently, both for the gorgeous pictures and for the really intelligent discussion of color genetics.
The Equine Tapestry
Maybe when I put my picture collection together, I’ll email them to her and see what she thinks.