Category Archives: Medical

In honor of Black Friday, let’s look into the equine color “black”.

Originally posted in 2015.


Last night I was in the car with Hubby and I expressed my desire to talk about something ‘black’ in honor of Black Friday.

I said that I always love to chatter about genetics and how that effects coat color…  but that I felt most people already knew all of that stuff.  For example, that black and red are the same master gene – and Hubby stopped me.

He said, “What do you mean?”

Me:  “Well, that’s why Irish people have mostly red or black hair.”

Hubby:  “Huh?”

Me:  “Genetically, Black is the parent gene to red.  You have to have black to get red.”

Hubby:  “Really?  Like the Kurds?  I noticed when I was over there that they all have either black or red hair.”

Me:  “Exactly.”

Hubby:  “Well, I think that is interesting.  Why don’t you write about that.”

So I did.  (Well, actually, I just researched and cut and pasted… and wrote a little…)

See below…

Is this true black?


Do you remember doing a genetics eye color chart in High School biology class?  I do.  I loved it!

That chart stayed with me in my mind while I was a Morgan breeder…  I knew there were so many variables to coat color – like eye color in humans – and I also knew that Chestnut was the least favored Morgan color (at that time).  I wanted to steer clear of Chestnut if I could.

The first stallion I bred to my mare (Tess – bay) was a black.  Gorgeous black.  But, I knew that I didn’t have any idea if he was EE or Ee.   So, at that time, it was a roll of the dice to figure out what color the foal might become.  Black does produce red (Chestnut in the Morgan world).  I was tempting fate by choosing a black stallion.

Tess was bay  and I could follow her color lineage more closely via her papers.  She had lots of Chestnut in her pedigree… but Chestnut is recessive to black.   The stallion that I had chosen had a black sire and chestnut dam.  His papers showed many browns, chestnuts and bays.  In fact, there were no other blacks in his pedigree until you went back several generations.

Yet, he was black…  This fascinated me.

So, this foal, Gwen, who was the product of a black sire and a bay dam with lots if iterations in the woodpile, would be a surprise.

Gwen, turned up seal brown – just like many of her relatives on her sire side.

Actually, when she was born, she looked to be a bay until her baby coat shed.  Silly me, I was so anxious to get her registered that I did it before her true coat came through.  So, Gwen is registered bay when she has never had a bay day in her entire adult life.  Oh well…

Anyway, now one can almost predict the potential color of the foal if you have the sire tested with available robust color mapping tests.  Studs should already have this available – if they are in a color popular breed.

But for me, the variables are what I find so interesting.  If any part of the genetic color code is recessive, all sorts of variations can happen.

Love it!

Except, that is,  for true black.   True black, EE, can never be diluted.

Gwen’s sire’s pedigree with colors


My Tess (Gwen’s dam) pedigree with color.



I have cut and pasted the below article from three different sites – because they said it so well, I didn’t think I could rewrite it any better.  So, here you go!

(I found this from Abmor Acres Farm, 377 Chesbro Road   Pennellville, NY 13132,   /   (315) 668-9360)



Easy to understand…



(This is from UC Davis)

Defining the coat color


even deeper…



PHOTOS always help…






Since a QH can be any color… their color information is very interesting.



Thanks for exploring this with me on Black Friday…

I write write more about horse colors in a later post.  Coat color expression really interests me!


Later I’ll go into other coat colors like this one… WOW!


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I’m no genius. Just an average girl who has a passion to save horses in need. This is my idea going forward. If we have a constant fund going daily… we will have funds to give to those on the ground who are saving these horses in real time at the killing auctions.

Horse and Man Foundation, Inc has a new Fund button. KEEP THEM OFF THE TRUCK FUND. This fund will go on all day, all the time. It will always be here. If you want to save a horse from slaughter, you know we will do that here.

All donations are 100% tax deductible!



HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

Can You Identify Normal Horse Vital Signs?

I saw this article from Standlee Feeds (no affiliation except I like their feed…) and thought it was good information.

Click here to go to the original article.

Click image to go to the original article

August 31, 2021

In the words of Dr. Cubitt, “Know what is normal for your horse, so you can identify when something is abnormal.” Knowing your horse, their quirks and tendencies not only helps to create an unbreakable bond and solid relationship but can also keep them healthy and well.

Normal horse temperature should be between 99.5 and 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit
The most accurate way to take a horse’s temperature is rectally (dipped in lubricant), using a digital thermometer.


Always be sure to clean the thermometer after use
Exercise, stress or infections can elevate temperature
Leave the thermometer in long enough to avoid a false low reading

Normal horse pulse is between 38 and 40 beats per minute
There are 3 ideal areas to take your horse’s pulse: under the jaw, beneath the tail at its bone or an area on the side of the foot. Count for 15 seconds and multiple by 4.


Don’t double count heartbeats
The normal pulse for foals is between 70-120 beats per minute
The normal pulse for yearlings is between 45-60 beats per minute

Normal horse respiration is between 8 and 15 breaths per minute
Watching your horse’s ribcage or nostrils for 1 minute, count 1 inhale and 1 exhale as a single breath.


Do not measure respiration by letting your horse sniff your hand
Wait for 30 minutes after exercise to check rate
Respiration rate should not exceed pulse rate

Horse dehydration can be observed when the skin takes more than two seconds to return to its place
Pinch the skin on your horse’s neck or shoulder area and it should return to its usual position within 1-2 seconds.


Horses need 5-12 gallons of water per day in normal environments
In heat or with heavy exercise, horses need 15-20 gallons of water per day
Learn more about horse hydration needs during the winter and summer months.

A normal horse gut sound is gurgling, like the sound of fluid dripping or tinkling
Place ear or a stethoscope up against the horse’s body, just behind the last rib, checking both sides.


Call the vet if there is an absence of sound, as it could indicate colic
Normal horse capillary refill time is between one and two seconds
Place finger against horse’s gums for 2 seconds, creating a white mark from finger pressure. The white mark should return to a normal pink tone within 1-2 seconds.

Other Tips for Horse Owners:

Be sure to check vital signs regularly to know what is normal, so that you can identify anything abnormal
Do not take vital measurements on a nervous horse to ensure accuracy
Call your veterinarian immediately if anything is abnormal
If all else fails and you are unsure if something is wrong, be sure to contact your veterinarian. If you have questions on nutrition, please contact the nutritionists at Standlee Premium Western Forage.

Click image to go to original

Click here for this quick fact sheet pdf, laminate and hang in your barn for easy access and share our image from Facebook or Instagram with your horse friends!

Also available as – JPG | PNG

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!