(Previously posted on September 12, 2010 on the Blackberry Lane Studio Blog.)
One of the best places to find horses with unusual coloring are trail rides. In many breeds, traditional colors dominate the show ring, but among the horses used for pleasure riding there is often a lot more variation. That is what I was hoping to find at the recent Latta Plantation Poker Run. I got there a little too early to see many horses, but I did get these pictures of “Peaches”, a Rocky Mountain Horse.
I wanted to share her because she is a really good example of what happens to silver dilutes with age. Peaches is a buckskin silver, and according to her owner she is seventeen. I apologize for the extreme in perspective (my camera has been out-of-whack in that regard for a while), but I wanted to show just how dark her tail was. Pale manes and tails tend to darken with age, and silvers are no exception. It is not unusual to find an aged silver with a tail almost indistinguishable from a non-diluted horse of the same color. The manes usually keep their lighter ends, but it might be a stretch to call them flaxen. It could also be easily mistaken for sun-fading.
Peaches also had a really cool trait that seems to be more common in horses carrying two separate dilution genes (silver and cream in this case), but it can be found in horses without any dilution at all. That is a hazel eye.
Peaches was great for holding still while I got a number of close-ups, although I did have to keep brushing her long forelock out of the way. (Click on the picture to see a larger version.) I am going to have to try to work this trait into a ceramic horse at some point, because it sure is striking.