September 8, 2011

Rabicano Ticking

I thought I'd post a little update on Rose's rabicano expression. She definitely has a lot more ticking this year than last and she will keep getting more every year (click here for last years article). The ticking is much more noticeable in person than in photographs, due to her shiny coat. This summer was the first time anyone else has ever really noticed it and asked me if she was "roaning".

Here's the current pic and a comparison from last year:
August 2011

May 2010
Equine Genetics Rant:
In case anyone is interested, horses don't "roan". Roans are born roan and stay that way, and you'd be hard pressed to find a roan warmblood. When a horse starts having white ticking show up every year and get more and more white, it means they carry the rabicano gene, as Rose does (click here for rabicano pics). Rose is not the most expressive rabicano out there, but I do wonder just how much white she will end up with. Some rabicanos are pretty darn cool looking, and if I ever bred her I might just look for an Oldenburg stallion that expresses the gene (in addition to talent, etc.) and hope for a foal with a really great skunk tail or max expression. For instance Rose's sire Gatsby does have a small amount of ticking (her coloring comes from Gatsby's side and dates back to the TB Birdcatcher), as does the stallion Escapade and a few others.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

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  1. I think my thoroughbred mare is a rabicano also. She get's tons of white hair in her summer coat but not when she is in her full winter coat. It's really pretty cool! :)

  2. Rose's ticking goes away in the winter too, that's why I was surprised the first year when she shed out! I bet if you look back in your mare's pedigree to the 1840's you'll find Birdcatcher in her lineage too. He seems to be to common link with the ticking, with horses that have TB breeding at any rate. He was a popular stallion back then, and passed the ticking onto most of his get.

  3. Very cool! I never even thought about rabicano ticking to explain the progressing white in the pony mare I grew up with. She has Appaloosa characteristics, but I don't know what other breeds she has in her. Some people say Arabian and Mustang, but it's just guesses. Do Appy's express the rabicano gene?? I always wondered if she wasn't just a very slow gray, but she's twenty and doesn't have a ton of white so the rabicano seems like a much more likely explanation. It used to only be her neck, but as she's gotten older there is now white on her face, neck, flank, back, etc. Here is a post I did about her where you can see old and newer pictures (about 6-10 years apart). I used to think it was some sort of Appy characteristic, but they don't usually change over the years (just through the seasons usually). Very interesting. Thanks for the info.

    1. It's pretty common in Arabians as well, so it could be your Appy had some Arabian in her bloodlines. I'm fairly sure that's where it originally came from in terms of Birdcatcher, he likely had arab in him.

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