Not grey

22 05 2017

Corona

Every time a visitor is with me and we spot Corona, I put them on the spot (fair warning to future visitors :)) and ask them to identify her color. Thus far, that question has mostly been met with silence.

The obvious – and wrong – answer is grey. But she’s not grey. She was born the color she is; she hasn’t “greyed out.”

Now and then, we’ll get close enough to see the subtle roaning in her coat (minimal rusty red hairs), and someone will tentatively guess roan. But she’s not roan. She doesn’t have the characteristic dark (sorrel) head and lower legs. Though the shading on her face (sides/cheeks, mostly) and lower legs is faintly darker than elsewhere, she’s just not roan.

So now that we’ve established what colors she’s NOT, any guesses? 🙂 I have a two-word guess, and having spent some time on various color and genetics sites (oh, my scrambled brain), I’ve dropped one word and am going with the second, of which I’m fairly sure, though she doesn’t have one particular characteristic (or doesn’t seem to).

Here’s a closer photo for your enjoyment and guessing pleasure:

Corona

See that spot on her neck above her shoulder? That’s permanent … like a birth mark?

Years ago – before the 2007 roundup – we had a mare this color (a bit darker in her shading) that everyone called “the strawberry roan.” I knew then that she wasn’t roan – of the strawberry or any other berry variety – but I didn’t know what the heck color she was, so I called her “the pumpkin mare” (though in reality, she was more pinky than orangey). The mare had at least one offspring the same color, but BLM removed them both. That was before I started documenting the Spring Creek Basin herd, so I don’t know a thing about the source of their color, and we sure haven’t seen it since then.

Corona is the product of our 2008 introduction from Sand Wash Basin. Her mother is Raven, a minimally marked black-and-white pinto. Her sire, as best I can tell from photos given to me by someone who was following the Sand Wash Basin herd at the time, is their famed Corona, a dunalino (look verrrrry closely if you don’t believe me).

Every time I visit Sand Wash Basin, I look for a horse of a similar (or identical) color. But I haven’t seen one yet.

If you can verifiably tell me Corona’s color, you’ll win my undying gratitude. 🙂

While you’re at it, any guesses about Mysterium’s color? She was the napping subject of a blog post a few days ago. I do absolutely know her color, and no, she’s not grey, either. 🙂

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14 responses

22 05 2017
Pat

It is a mystery, huh! You are the wizard of color and would not have a clue. Beautiful she is.

22 05 2017
Sue Story

I feel so much better now! 🙂 Even the undisputed genius on horse colors – that would be you, TJ – gets stumped now and then! I stand forewarned – won’t ever call Corona “grey.” But whatever she is, she’s so very pretty!

22 05 2017
Kathe

She’s a pale palomino.

22 05 2017
Kathe

Mysterium could be a claybank dun?

22 05 2017
Kathe

I cheated and looked it up in one of your reports. Unless you were wrong, ha, ha.

22 05 2017
TJ

Oh, Kathe. 🙂 Too bad you cheated, but good thing I can admit I was wrong. 🙂 My guess on her color has matured, and I no longer believe she’s even pale palomino. Plus, you can’t use my former guess as your guess. I’m looking for someone to TELL me her color … not cheat at guesses!

Don’t you remember what color I told you “the strawberry roan” mare actually was? And that your horse (now a pasture companion) is that same color? Full disclosure: Even after Internet reading, I’m still not entirely sure whether this is a color or a pattern … or a color pattern!

Yes, Mysterium is dun. 🙂 Her baby coat was more obvious, and you guys had that photo of her (as a baby) and her mama hanging in the Dolores Public Lands Office for a while.

24 05 2017
baileytan

What ever color she is a beautiful wild and free mustang.

26 05 2017
TJ

🙂 Yes!

26 05 2017
puller9

Varnish roanaloosa?

26 05 2017
TJ

Ha! I love your creativity! 🙂

29 05 2017
Liz

She could be a dunalino with the roan gene. I’ve been told that if a horse has two copies of the roan gene they have more white hairs to the point where it is hard to see the base color.

29 05 2017
TJ

Thanks for the information! I’m not sure about the roan genes; her mother is a black, very minimally-marked pinto, and her sire is a dunalino. I don’t know the parentage of either her dam or sire, but Corona-the-stallion (Sand Wash Basin) is very well known, so someone might know his parents?

29 05 2017
Liz

I have no idea, genetics are such a weird thing. We barely understand them! 😂

29 05 2017
TJ

Ain’t that the truth! 🙂 Looking into color genetics will make your (my) brain spin. Fortunately, we have pretty calm colors here in Spring Creek Basin. 🙂

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