Sunday, September 18, 2016

How to perform research....

Why do we need research? 
For myself, it is a scholarly inquiry, curiosity, and the desire to learn more about the world. I want to be able to discuss issues in the mustang community in a voice that is backed by as much research as I can find.

Research is not perfect, scientists aren't always truthful and fudge their data (read up on the Fat vs. Big Sugar issue, a recent discovery that changed the way we view the relative nutrition of fatty foods.). A lot of research is funded by grants, (money) and the grants come from big companies. The companies, in turn, have agendas and sometime scientist may tweak data to please their benefactors to get more grants. There are also predatory journals which publish articles that are not scholarly or scientific so just because you see someone "published," it may not mean much (more about those journals later).

If you find a lot of studies that say the same thing over and over (vaccines are safe and not to linked autism) and one study that conflicts with those studies (vaccines cause autism). It might be prudent to err on the side of the majority and conclude vaccines do NOT cause autism (and the author of the 'vaccines cause autism study 'admitted he made up his data- he lied). Most data is scientifically rigorous, subject to strict rules and regulations including behavior regarding human and animal subjects in research. This committee is called the "Institutional Review Board".

The IRB: Every University or college that conducts must have an Institutional Review Board (IRB) which oversees the subjects in research whether human or animal. The rules are very strict and this group reviews EVERY proposed study. If you want to know more, Google the university name and IRB. You'll find a ton of information regarding animal handling, care, and what is acceptable and humane. They have links to report studies you think are behaving in an unethical manner however you must have first hand knowledge of the behavior and you need proof. You can't use a recycled photo of a horse with sutures/staples along the animal's flank claiming this study is harmful. Remember, a university may not agree with your definition of ethical. I picked Montana State University as an example, please take a look. (

Research is the foundation of the scientific community, it drives our quest for knowledge and provides answers to questions. It allows you to make a statement "Fast Thoroughbreds win races" and back it with over one hundred studies conducted at universities all over the world, not to mention horses races all over the world as well. (I have a rescued off the track Thoroughbred, he is not fast hence why he's home stuffing himself full of lush grass).

Some studies discover things that are directly opposite other studies. It may seem that no one has answers, but that is also the appeal of research. Be curious, ask questions, never stop learning.

How does one conduct research? It's not as challenging as you might think. You need scientific sources usually in the form of research articles published in reputable scholarly journals. How do I know so much about research? I spent the past three years studying research for my doctoral degree. My research was on cervical cancer screening intervals, but I learned a lot about research in general. I have a bachelor’s degree in biology, nursing, and a Masters in Nursing in addition to a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. My husband is an environmental educator (herpetology), and he has worked for US Fish & Wildlife, the Peace Corps, and is an expert on wildlife conservation. I hope you find this blog post educational as well as entertaining.
-Dr. Meredith Hudes-Lowder

First, you must begin with a question. We will look at the lethal white syndrome as an example later on. The best place to start is Google Scholar. You can use plain Google, but if you're looking for research studies, it's a better place to start your search. Go to Google and type in Scholar, this will take you to Google Scholar

Now you need keywords- words that will help refine your search on your topic. You'll need to be as accurate as possible to narrow the search field. Sometimes the keywords are terms you may not agree with such as the keyword “feral” for wild horses, but it is a scientific term used to describe wild horses. Use different but similar words like horse, stallion, band, herd, mare, foal, wild, feral, mustang, equine, equid, behavior, ethology; you get the idea. Once you get an article that deals with your topic, the authors often provide keywords for their article, and this can help you find better keywords to refine your search efforts along with the titles of the articles themselves.

Remember, all you need is one or two decent studies published on your topic in the past five years or so to seed your research studies. From those studies, the reference list at the end of each article is a treasure trove of other articles related to your search. Other useful types of articles are systematic reviews, meta-analysis, or an integrative review. These studies are reviews of a lot of other studies. A “Systematic Review of the Temperament of Chestnut Horses” would be a study examining a lot of other studies on chestnut horse temperament. It's a summary of the available research and very useful to find. Some of the journal publishing groups will allow you to view the abstract AND will list all the articles that used that article in their study. The “cited by…” is an excellent tool and is often a springboard to other articles related to your topic. Sometimes the web page will ‘suggest’ other studies based on your search terms/keywords. (See the research example below). Use systematic review or open access in your searches.

Abstracts without the full study. As you perform research, you may find there is a fee to view the whole article. Some research is Open Access and the author/publisher posts the full version visible to everyone; some journals are private.  Unless you are affiliated (work for a university, you are a student and have access to a university library), you may not be able to read the whole article. The abstract is an excellent starting point it's a summary of the study and gives a quick overview of to what the researchers discovered in their study. If you can't get the full article, the abstract gives you a general idea of the findings of the study and is meaningful.

If you are lucky enough to have an entire article to read, I usually start with the abstract, then the background and significance, followed by the discussion/conclusion. I like to know what the researchers found before I read through the methods, data analysis, and results sections. A lot of numbers gives me the willies, and as much as I love research, I get headaches when there are a lot of tables of numbers. If you want to research and do a decent job, learn the basics of research. Invest in few good books on research and a beginner’s guide to statistics. Most data are analyzed using statistics, and a basic knowledge is useful. (Note that the word data is plural in scientific research).

Journals: Size does matter
Journals: How do you know if a journal is respected and scholarly? It is pretty simple, the number of citations. A citation is a reference or footnote where the author of one article quotes or takes excerpts from another article. They are usually written as (Hudes-Lowder, 2016) or add a number to the sentence. Hudes-Lowder said all Thoroughbreds are great horses1 . This number or article referenced can usually be found at the end of the paper or the bottom of the page if it is a footnote. Unless a citation is enclosed in quotes,  the author is paraphrasing the results of another research study. 

If a research article is good, people will use it as a reference in their paper, so articles with a lot of citations are considered good research.  How can you find this magic number? The impact factor is defined as the number of citations,  go to the Web of Science ( and you'll be able to locate the journal’s “impact factor.”  Type in the name of a journal and see the impact factor. The higher the number, the more citations found for articles in that journal. Most journals are between 0.5-5 although a few medical journals in medicine have an impact factor greater than forty. It is not a perfect system, but it does offer a way to quantify research. Be a research snob, only use the best journalsand well cited articles!

What are peer reviewed journals? By strict definition, a peer-reviewed journal is one in which the submitted articles are reviewed by “peers” in your chosen field of science. For example, a nursing journal is reviewed by other nurses.  The term “peer” is a bit of misnomer because the review board members are regarded as experts in their field and not necessarily on the same scientific or academic level as new graduate right out of a Masters level program. However, peer-reviewed journals are more scholarly, and therefore better than non-peer reviewed journals since the submitted articles are jJudged by a panel of experts. The exception to this type of peer review are the predatory pay- er-publication journals, but we will talk about those later.

Scholarly vs. Predatory Pay-per-Publication Journals 
A well-known 'wildlife ecologist' n the mustang community published a paper (2014) in the Journal of Life Science. Curious, I looked up the journal’s impact factor but could not find any reference to this journal. I went to the journals website and found it was a member of the Science Publishing Group. Claiming to be peer reviewed, this group publishes journals, none of which were familiar. Immediately, I became suspicious that this was a predatory pay-per-publication journal. There is a website that tracks these journals that essentially publish anything for a fee. The peers who review the submitted journals are often fictions or scientists with no standing in the scientific community. 

These journals have no credibility, no academic or scientific value, and they are regarded as jokes by most scientists. Only very desperate scientists and people who were dismissed from colleges, universities, and research labs publish in these journals. To the average person who doesn't know much about research, it looks prestigious to see an article published peer-review viewed journal but remember, not all journals are equal. They are called predatory because they prey on recent graduates who may have trouble publishing and may not know these journals are disreputable.  While I was in school, I regularly received emails from predatory journals and universities warn students about them early in most programs. 

Along with poor quality journals, avoid articles published in magazines like Time. Time magazine utilizes decent research, but you should review the reference list at the end of the article. The same applies to a newspaper, ANYTHING you read online, Wikipedia, people who quote or cite themselves, and always remember to question everything. Just because it is online, that doesn't mean it is true and check citations. People can write anything and claim it came from a source, but you should check the actual source.  Even reputable scholarly journals can be fooled by research so keep an open mind and be curious. You'd be surprised how much false information is on the Internet especially in the mustang advocacy.

Here are some humorous posts regarding the Science Publishing Group…

Remember if an article you are reading comes from a journal that asks for money to publish and offers 50% off your first article; it's best to 'move along, these are not the journals you are looking for'.
-Dr Hudes-Lowder

Books are available online or in libraries, and these can be used for research. For scientific research, it is best to avoid ‘self-published’ books from Blurb or CreateSpace or similar self-publishers. It's not to say these books are without merit, but they are usually not shining examples of rigorous scientific inquiry. Otherwise, they would have been picked up by a publishing house. Many represent the view of the author and not necessarily hard science, so it's probably best to leave the conspiracy theorists on the shelf when conducting serious or scholarly research. 

Research example:
I decided to research lethal white syndrome as an example because it appears in mustang populations and I am fascinated by coat color inheritance. It is an inherited condition and as the name state, lethal in newborn foals. There is a blog post about this condition here.

I went to Google Scholar and typed “lethal white horse foal genetics” and the fifth link looked the best with not a lot of biochemistry or complex genetics terms.  “Lethal white foals in matings of overo spotted horses.” Even though my science strengths are ethology (animal behavior), genetics, and medicine, I find some articles have titles I cannot grasp at first glance. I like articles with titles I comprehend immediately, with this in mind- I selected the fifth link. Clicking on the link takes me here:

The journal  Theriogenology has a respectable impact factor of 1.798 (2014/2015) and is published by Science Direct which is well regarded in the scientific community.  The author has a Ph.D. which is important because it means he worked for a minimum of two and as many as six years at a university performing research and learning how to write for scientific publications. At the bottom of the page is ‘Citing Articles,' in this case, there are 13 listed. Scrolling down the page, we find citing articles (light blue circle), recommended articles (pink circle) and note the small PDF icon (circled in yellow with an arrow). The recommended articles are based on your keywords and similarity to the article about the lethal white syndrome.

The PDF icon (also document or text icon) is great to find. This means the article is free and you can download it. I usually recommend downloading any article you can in your topic. The reference section at the back of each article is also an excellent resource. Create a folder with your research topic as the folder name and download all articles and abstracts to that folder. A good recommendation is to save the file with the title of the article rather than the alphanumerics that is usually the filename - otherwise, you'll have fifteen articles without titles, and you'll end up having to open each one to find the article you were looking for. 

Once you have the article or the abstract on a particular topic, print them out. Now, sit down with a large cup of coffee and at least five highlighters in different colors, a four color pen and read. Highlight things that make sense and get a feel for the study and what authors found in their research. Keep a legal pad hand and write the author(s)and the date of the study- then summarize.  If you plan to publish your spectacular research online, download a copy of "EndNotes" ( and use it to format your word processor in a scholarly fashion It puts in your citations and formats your reference section. It's free and wonderful. It will format for APA, MLA, and AMA as well as other recognized scientific formats.

I sincerely hope this blog was useful, if you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Perpendicular Approach -Stallion Interaction #2

The Weekly Post
Week of July 17, 2016
Series: Stallions Interactions #2-Perpendicular Approach
© Equus ferus- Wild Horse Photography 
© Karen McLain Studio

In last week's post on stallions, I discussed the behaviour of stallions. In this post in the continuing series The Interaction between Stallions we examine the “approach”. Generally stallions meet and size one another up before getting within striking distance. Of note, is when stallions approach one another, often one horse will pivot so that they are perpendicular to one another. This behaviour is similar to animals who puff themselves up to appear larger and more formidable to predators or other males.

Additionally, when two stallions approach one another, there is often a lot of posturing consisting of arched necks, raised tails, pawing the ground, squealing, and the action of their legs is high. The trot and canter become big, extended, and powerful. When they approach more closely, they turn to face one another and press nostrils close with necks arched- this may be accompanied by squealing or striking out with a foreleg. Sometimes they fight, and sometimes they go in different directions. In the photos presented in this album, we can clearly see the perpendicular stance of two stallions approaching one another.

The last photo is of Cowboy (paint) and Snowman (grey). Both of these stallions grew up in a bachelor band together. They have been 'sharing' the duties of a band stallion for Mayday (colt) and Heidi (mare). They know each other well especially with regards to fighting capabilities and frequently spar with one another. At the time of this photo, Cowboy was leading the small band, and Snowman was the 'satellite' or lieutenant stallion. However, Cowboy was usurped by Snowman within a month of this photograph. The father of the colt in this band, Mayday, is unknown because his mother Heidi gave birth to him while still in her natal band.

Friday, July 15, 2016


Today I took out and examined my equipment (happy dance)...

Camera: I bring a Canon 7D Mark ii and a back-up Canon Rebel T3ii. The lenses fit both. I usually have them professionally cleaned over the winter so they are ready for the spring, summer, and autumn photography trips.

Lenses: I use a 100-400mm image stabilised Canon lens most of the time. The Rebel has a 18-135 mm for panoramic vistas. I carry both in the field to make sure my lenses overlap. I also have a 18-55 mm but that won't cover the area from 55-100 mm so I bring the 18-135 mm. This way I have a full range of lens choice that overlap. A lot of camera stores sell refurbished used lenses and this is a great way to get a lens for a reduced price.  You must have a lens with a minimum distance of 300 mm because you cannot approach the horses closer than 100 feet in most management areas so a long lens is crucial.

Memory Cards: I buy new cards every year. The most important thing is the speed and the size. Get a size that you won't have to swap cards out frequently, but make sure to have extras. I find the highest speeds to be the best for mustang photography. For the SD Cards, go for 90-95mb/sec read/write and Class 3. Compact Flash Cards come in 120mb/s for the high speed setting. You want to be able to use the camera's rapid fire capability, so you'll want the card to match the speed of the camera. I also recommend many smaller sized cards versus one huge card. I usually carry 64MB, 32MB and few 16MB.

If something spectacular happens (and it often does), those photos may turn out to be some of your best work, take the card out of the camera and put it in a safe place when the action is over. The precious photos will be safe and you won't have to deal with a card failure (rare, but it happens). I kept my first photos of Picasso on a CF Card and carried all the way home after backing it up multiple times.  Another trick- I keep empty cards in my right pocket, and used cards in my left. They are numbered 1,2,3 etc and this way I instantly know what cards are used and which are empty.

Batteries: I carry four. Two are in the battery-grip for the camera all the time and so far, I haven't had to replace the double battery even after 12 hours of shooting. But I always carry four freshly charged batteries in the field. The back-up camera has a single battery and I carry a spare. We charge them using car charger adaptors or we also use a PowerVerter or Power Inverter which offers plugs and uses the car lighter for the power source. We charge batteries while we drive to save time.

Monopod/Tripod: There are wonderful to stabilise your camera. At places like the waterhole, there is a lot of action going on all the time. Karen usually has one leg of her tripod extended and she will drop the other two if it looks like we will be stationary for a while. I usually carry the tripod with all three legs extended.

External Hard Drives: I carry a 2TB hard drive and a ColorSpace UDMA2 and I upload every night. I don't even look at the photos until they are backed-up on two external hard drives and then, sparingly. Once I am home, they get backed up via the Cloud and the hard drive goes into the safe. Only then do I go through all the photos. The nice part about the ColorSpace is functions as a hard drive AND as a file viewer with a nice sized LCD screen.

Computer/ Laptop: I bring my Macbook into the field. It is very light and has a nice sized screen. I opted for the Macbook over the Macbook-Air because the Macbook run Photoshop- always useful to have to examine photos if necessary or after they are backed-up.

Binoculars: As an avid bird watcher, I have a good sturdy pair. You'll need them for the bands in the distance.  I have a simple pair of 8x42 Bushnell.


  • Snake bite kit, yes there are snakes out on the range. So far, no one has been bitten, just watch where you put your feet at all times. The Prairie Rattlesnake is generally docile but even the shyest snake will bite if it is stepped on. Some people wear snake-gaiters and I carry a pair.
  • Sunscreen- tons of the stuff
  • Cooling evaporative towel (Frog Tog)
  • Lens cleaning kits
  • Storm covers- some of the best photos are just before a storm but protect your camera at all times.
  • Food/water/cellphone with car charger
*Always let some know where you are, how long you plan to be there and when you expect to return.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

At the Waterhole : Post for 7 July 2016

Equus ferus- Wild Horse Photography ™
Published by Meredith Hudes-Lowder · 1 hr · 
At the Waterhole
Sand Wash Basin, Colorado 2015
Photography by Karen McLain Studio 
The Waterhole

This is the place to see and to be seen in the mustang world.  Bands come into the waterhole at a dead run, or at a leisurely sedate pace. It is the chance to show off, particularly for the bachelors (studs) who derive great pleasure in chasing each other around and engaging in sparring. It is a chance for band stallions to demonstrate the fitness of their bands. The bands drink in order of dominance; the more dominant drink first while the subordinate bands, bachelors, and lone horses drink last.

There is a lot going on in this photo. In the foreground we have Cowboy (chestnut paint), May Day (dun), and his dam Heidi (pale dunskin). In the background we have Corona and his band (refer to the image below where Heather Robson provided the identification).  Cowboy and Corona eye one another- one stallion to another. It is a glance of appraisal and of acknowledgement but not one of confrontation. The necks remain relaxed and the ears are directed towards one another. Cowboy has healthy action in his trot but it is not excessive.

When stallions intend to spar, the necks are arched and their gait is high, extended, and powerful. They do not play, there is deadly intent in their strikes and blows. Often, the stallions approach with arched necks and simply exchange breath by breathing through mutual nostrils. They may squeal and strike-out, but these often end peacefully; each stallion walking away without any fighting. However, sometimes they fight. Injuries are common and while not usually life threatening, can be debilitating especially if a leg is inured and with more extreme injuries, they face the loss of their band.

Corona runs a very tight ship. He is aggressive, and does not allow any member to successfully challenge his authority. His son Indiana Jones “Indy” is five years old (2011 foal - dark liver chestnut, star, lower very thin blaze and snip) has been stirring up trouble and trying to copulate with the mares in the band and fighting his father. There is a similar situation on Pryor Mountain where Bolder’s older son Echo is also remaining within the band unit and trying to reproduce with a mare in the band as well. Bolder has pushed Echo to the periphery of the band. 

Some scientist theorise that the stallions tolerate their older sons because they act as sentinels 
and lessen the burden of watching for rivals/or predators. Some band stallions even tolerate 
mating between their sons and mares in the band. Generally, band stallions drive out the 
2-4 year old mares and studs before inbreeding can occur. These groups of bachelors with 
an occasional filly are found scattered throughout the management areas although lone
fillies/mares without a stallion are usually incorporated into other bands.

Wayne L. Linklater, Elissa Z. Cameron, Tests for cooperative behaviour between stallions, 
Animal Behaviour, Volume 60, Issue 6, December 2000, Pages 731-743.

Monday, July 4, 2016


We are three weeks out from the Mustang Walkabout 2016. We have six Horse Management Areas in five states planned. Cedar Mountain, Cold Creek, McCullough, Onaqui, Pryor Mountain, and Sand Wash Basin. We have two weeks of travel ahead  (Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, and Nevada) and the Annual Sand Wash Basin Photography Workshop on Wednesday July 27, 2016.


(FINAL CHECK-IN Tuesday July 26, 2016- we will know where the horses are and be able to guide you the most efficiently)

What to bring: *Blue is very important to have

Camera: A DSLR is preferred but anything that can take a photo is welcome.
Memory cards- at least three or more- smaller GB's but bring plenty of cards/space

Sun screen: SPF of 50+
Cooler: With ice, fill up in Maybell, Colorado
Snacks: Jerky is great, lots of sodium and protein, nuts, fruit, chips, cheese 

Water/Liquid: Bring at least a gallon of your preferred beverage.
Please PRINT out this map so we can meet in the morning - we will meet on one of the main roads initially.
Map of Sand Wash: Ask at the general store in Maybell, they are very helpful (get the most detailed map- it's the hunting map)
Baby wipes: Useful for cleaning various body parts
Ziplock bag: See Baby wipes above- PACK IN, PACK OUT at Sand Wash
Frogg togg/Cooling evaporative towel
Cell phone/Car charger
Place to zip your carkeys or a deep pocket
Telephoto lens, snuggling up to the mustangs is frowned upon
Cable Release
Spare battery for camera
Car charger for battery
Sense of humour

* ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS let someone know where you are. Someone who is not sitting next to you in the car 
* TEXTING usually works (not all the time, drive to higher ground)

Please let us know if you plan to attend NO LATER THAN SUNDAY EVENING JULY 24th - we will provide cell phone numbers to contact us at that time.

To print, right click and select print
Change the color to black and white and print

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Cream Dilution Gene

The Cream Gene is a modifier, or a gene that acts on one of three base colours in horses.  The three base colour are chestnut, bay, and black. Some people classify brown as separate colour but for the purposes of this discussion, we will group brown with black since the inheritance is the same.


The Cream Dilution can either be expressed as a single dilution, or a double dilution. Every chromosome has two alleles that represent the way in which each chromosome is inherited and you receive one allele from each parent. Simply put, the chromosomes (usually represented by letters) appear in pairs. To review high school biology, these pairs are generally dominant or recessive. Dominant genes are represented by two capital letters or one capital and one lower-case. The animal appears the same (phenotype) whether they are
EE or Ee. The recessive form is represented by two lower-case letters ee.

The cream gene in the single form acts upon chestnut, bay and black by diluting the red colour to cream. The Cream Colour may be light enough to appear almost white to a dark chocolate tan colour. The black is generally unaffected so bay horses horses retain the black points, and mane/tail. Black horses appear somewhat diluted- a mousey chocolate. Horses with a single Cream dilution generally have dark eyes (unless blue from paint patterns) and black skin except where there are white markings (paint markings, facial markings, and leg markings).

The double dilution, or two Cream Genes acts upon both the red and black colours. The red become light cream/off white, and the black lightens to cream. In a bay horse with two cream genes, the body colour is light cream and the points appear as a a darker shade of cream. Smokey Black Creams have a slightly over all darker shade but without genetic testing, it is impossible to determine what the base colour is in these horses. All double dilute Cream horses all have pink skin and blue or light green/hazel eyes.




Perlino (Dom Divo Perlino Yeguda)

Smokey Black
Smokey Cream

Corona's Band- Six Cream Dilutes

Left to Right: Fleabitten Grey, Palomino (1), Chestnut, Palomino (2),  Palomino Paint(3), Chestnut, Corona- Dunalino ( Palomino + Dun) (4), Grey

Back Row: Chestnut,  Palomino (5), Black, Cremello (6)

Variations of Cream Dilution: Shades, Sooty, Pangaré (mealy)

Shade: A horse can be various shades of their base colour- from pale sorrel chestnut to deep liver chestnut and mahogany bay to a bay so pale it looks nearly buckskin.

Sooty- the sooty trait is another modifier that acts on coat colour. It can act alone with chestnut or bay. It gives the coat an appearance of a fine patina of black that has been airbrushed over the coat.  Chestnut horses may have the sooty modifier but it often appears isolated to the mane and tail. Some chestnut horses do have sooty on their body but it can be difficult to see. On bay horses, the sooty can be very prominent. Sooty can also be found in buckskin and palomino horses. It is possible it also can be found in darker black or brown horses but it would be difficult to differentiate due to the dark base colour.


Chestnut with sooty- appears most prominently in the mane and tail, base colour is chestnut.
Sand Wash Basin
©Meredith Hudes-Lowder
Equus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM

Chestnut with sooty
Sand Wash Basin
©Meredith Hudes-Lowder
Equus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM

Palomino- mid colour
Sand Wash Basin
©Meredith Hudes-Lowder
Equus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM

Palomino- light colour (Isabella/Isabelle)
Queen Isabella de Bourbon of Spain was reputed to have a love for very pale palomino horses. She kept a stable full of pale palominos. These light palominos are sometimes called Isabella/Isabelle.Sand Wash Basin
©Meredith Hudes-Lowder
Equus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM

Buckskin Stallion with three light palominos in his band
Buggs Band
Sand Wash Basin

©Karen McLain StudioEquus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM

Buckskin Stallion with three light palominos in his band
Buggs Band
Sand Wash Basin
©Karen McLain StudioEquus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM

Always get your color-oriented photos before the mud bath…
Buggs Band
Sand Wash Basin
©Karen McLain Studio

Palomino with Sooty
Well known for changing colour as he aged, Bolder has the Sooty gene expressed almost to the maximum. Born lighter, each year he grew darker and darker.  Some liver chestnut horses that have a cream gene are called “chocolate palominos” and may be hard to distinguish from Sooty palominos but the chocolate palominos tend to be browner and the colour is more uniform and not scattered as we see here on Bolder.
Pryor Mountain
©Karen McLain Studio
Equus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM

Palomino with sooty- Bolder and his son Echo, a light palomino
Pryor Mountain
©Karen McLain Studio
Equus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM

Palomino with sooty restricted to the forelegs, face, and chest. Tripod, a cremello- note the pink skin around his muzzle.
Tripod & Palomino Stallion
Sand Wash Basin
©Karen McLain Studio
Equus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM


Sooty Bay
McCullough Peaks
©Meredith Hudes-Lowder
Equus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM

YELLOW ARROWS= Bay with Sooty
GREEN ARROW= Primitive Bay or Bay with Pangaré
A Primitive Bay is a bay with paler colour and the black points of the legs do not extend above the knees/hocks- often paler in comparison.
McCullough Peaks
©Karen McLain Studio
Equus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM

YELLOW ARROWS= Bay with Sooty
McCullough Peaks
©Karen McLain StudioEquus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM

Buckskin Stallion
Sand Wash Basin
©Karen McLain Studio
Equus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM

Buckskin Mare with her Cremello colt
McCullough Peaks
©Meredith Hudes-Lowder
Equus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM

Buckskin Mare- slight Sooty
McCullough Peaks
©Meredith Hudes-Lowder
Equus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM

Buckskin Mare- moderate/heavy Sooty
McCullough Peaks
©Meredith Hudes-Lowder
Equus ferus -Wild Horse Photography TM

Like the Sooty modifier, the Pangaré (mealy),
trait may appear with most coat colours and lighten the coat on the legs, belly, and around the muzzle. Common in Icelandic and Haflinger horses.

Genotype at the agouti locus
Chestnut horses
Palomino horses
Light chestnut
Cream palomino
Red chestnut, with AAAA being the reddest
Golden palomino
Standard chestnut
Seasonal palomino
Aa Aa
Liver chestnut
Chocolate palomino

Gower, J. (1999). Horse color explained: A breeder's perspective. North Pomfret, VT: Trafalgar Square.

Kathman, L. (2014). The equine tapestry: An introduction to horse colors and patterns. Charlotte, NC.: Blackberry Lane Press.

Sponenberg, D. P. (1996). Equine color genetics. Ames: Iowa State University Press.

Presented by Dr Meredith Hudes-Lowder

Why we do what we do.... Ben's Chase

The air is beginning to cool after 95°F (35°C); dusk is settling over the Basin. Karen and I saw horses heading to the waterhole just...