Color has definitely been a fun part of our breeding program, making each spring an exciting time to welcome new healthy foals and discover the results that started eleven months previous.
GMR's RMH stallion, Kentucky Tornado is a breeder's dream. His foundation qualities of producing sensible, well-gaited foals are only enhanced with his magnificent color possibilities.
Being red gene negative 'EE' (will not produce chestnut) and caring one copy of the silver dapple gene 'nZ', we can expect chocolate, black, bay andred chocolate (silver dapple bay) from Kentucky Tornado's genotype.
Some of our mares add a little extra color potential with the cream gene and the possibility of a silver buckskin, buckskin or smoky black.
Our latest addition will offer champagne to our breeding program. GMR breeding foundation lies in the sought after traditional qualities of the Mountain Horse in temperament, conformation and gait ~ these are our first priorities ... color just adds a little 'Tornado Twist!
What about Color?
Chocolates (Silver Dapple gene or Black Silver ~ Zz) - is a modifying gene - as a single modifier ...
Black Silver (a.k.a. Chocolate / Silver Dapple) - is a black based horse where the dilution black hair pigment to varing shades of Chocolate and lightens the mane and tail. (flaxen to white)
Bay Silver (Red Chocolate /Silver Dapple Bay) - is a bay based horse where the dilution has no effect on the red body but changes the black points of the bay to chocolate and lightens the mane and tail - the same effect as a the black base.
Chestnut/Palomino - as the Silver gene does not express (show / change) the pigment of these horses and its presence is visually undetectable. In the past few years a genetic color test has been developed so that now these horses can be tested.
With the addition of a second modifier such as the creme/dun/roan genes we get silver buckskins, silver grulla and chocolate roans etc.
- Kathy Parrish, chairperson of the RMH Genetics Committee wrote a detail article simplifies color genetics 2008 Breeding for Color.
- Foal Color Calculator by Animal Genetics The site gives you possible offspring coat colors and their probabilities of foal coat combinations from the parent coat color and pattern information. Homozygous information can even be added to narrow potential percentages.
- Less guess, more science - Silver gene can be tested for at:
When we first starting in the breed very little information available about ASD, now we have many more tools, research and better understanding about what breeding choices affect the possible outcome of ASD. It is important to note that more research is continuing to happen and as we learn more, we'll understand more giving us the ability to improve breeding practices.
Here at GMR we do not want to take any chance of breeding an ASD foal and have made sure that one parent is non-silver. As Kentucky Tornado carries one copy of the silver gene (Aa) our mares have been carefully selected to be true bay, black or chestnut based colors that do not carry a silver gene.
It should be noted that breeding an Aa horse to another Aa or AA horse, you need to accept a that there is a 25% of producing a foal with affected vision.
The rainbow of colors (and good horses) within Mountain Saddle Horse breeds (RMH/KMSH/MPH) is something to be proud of, it is our breeding practice not to take a known risk purely for color.