Horses of a Different Color

I sure wish I knew something about coat pigmentation in horses.cometdard

As it relates to their physiology?

Or maybe their genes?

It’s puzzling the heck out of me as I watch one horse go from light to dark while the other horse goes from dark to light.

Peppermint, the pony, is at her darkest brown in the summer. Right now, she’s light khaki brown fuzz ball.

Comet, with similar paint markings, is at her darkest in the winter. Right now, her otherwise brownish coat is jet black.

The two coat hues met somewhere in June or July.

That’s because the long and sunny days bleached out Comet’s coat.

At about the same time, Pep had shed out her lighter-colored wooly look to reveal a lovely, dark chocolate tone. She lightened up significantly less under the same summer sun.

comet lightCheck out the images. Do you have horses whose coats change drastically?pepdarkpep light

Posted in General.


  1. Yes! my paint horse has gone from almost all brown/chestnut to mottled gray dappling, and an entirely gray face, in 9 years. She changes every time her winter coat sheds. She has individual hairs of black, chestnut, brown, gray, red, and blond. They reflect the light differently at different times of day/season. You never know what you are going to see in the paddock every morning!

  2. It’s all in the genes, coat colour can be expressed by one dominant gene, or a number of genes giving us the variation we see. Horses coats change due to the environmental factors, such as the weather and daylight hours again giving the differences between summer and winter coats. it’s all down to the genes of a horse and the way they all correspond – really interesting stuff

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