By Patty Wilber
“The expression of Leopard Complex (LP gene) includes several components: mottled skin around the muzzle, anus, genitalia, and eyes, and progressive roaning of pigmented coat areas with age. (My underlining.) White spotting may also be present, with pigmented leopard spots tending to occur on the white spotting background of heterozygous horses. The mutation is an incomplete dominant and expression of Leopard Complex is variable ranging from absent to extreme white patterning.” (UC Davis genetic testing site.)
Indy has an Appaloosa with spots father and a quarter horse mother. When I bought her, I didn’t look too closely (because color wasn’t why I bought her), and I didn’t think she had inherited any Appaloosa color genes from her father. Her mom being a solid colored quarter horse, didn’t have any Appaloosa genes to donate!
But then she shed her winter coat and became a roan! Thus, she did get one copy of the LP gene–from her dad!! One copy is fun–a horse of a different color every season and every year! I happy with only one LP gene copy though. Horses with two copies of the LP gene have “Congenital Stationary Night Blindness (CSNB) which is the inability to see in low to no-light conditions.” (UC Davis genetic testing site.)
Winter came again and while the mottling on her skin stayed visible, her longer dark winter coat and covered the roan!
Shed-out #2 and she is lighter than in 2015!
Another bay winter coat, but it is a bit lighter than previous years, and does (if you look really close in person) have some white in it.
I put in a series of spring pictures because I have had a lot of fun watching her roan out again this year.
Only 5 days later, the light, even in her unshaved areas is starting to show!
Twelve days after than and now she is a dapple! I have seen this “spring shedding dapple effect” in other horses. I always get a kick out of it. The dappling largely disappears when the shedding is complete.
Three weeks later and now she is looking like a “varnish roan”. Her summer coat is definitely lighter as a three-year old and her tail is more than half gray now! She will continue to lighten up throughout her life, and since I plan to keep her, I will probably do an update post about once a year!