The Roan Gene!! Supreme has it!

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Supreme was born with a bay foal coat. I started clipping her at a very young age trying to see if the roan gene was present. I could see some white fuzz mixed in at the hairs at the base of her withers. They were also present just behind the ears. Out came the clippers. She has such a sweet nature, that she did not and does not mind being clipped. The roan gene causes there to be white hairs fairly evenly distributed throughout the coat of the main body, with non-roaned heads and points (mane, tail, and lower legs). Roaning can give a horse’s coat a silvery effect. Although we could see the beginning of her roan hairs coming through right after birth, they say it does not really become evident until at about 2.5 months of age. Once the roan gene is evident, there is not a gradual lightening up of color like you see in a grey horse; however, there is a seasonal change with them being their lightest at the onset of summer.

 Below is a picture journal of Supreme from birth until her roan coat was obvious at 2.5 months

Supreme 1 day old, unshaved

Supreme 1 day old, unshaved

I can't keep the clippers off of her, for I am hunting for that roan gene. This is Supreme at 5 days old with her head and neck shaved.

Supreme, now completely shaved at 7 days old


Supreme, 28 days. You can now see the dark triangles on her legs from the roan gene

Supreme, at 55 days, is beginning to look silvery.

Supreme, at 75 days. Her coat is silvery and her head is now bay, but look at the color of her legs.

We are still waiting for her legs to change to black as bay roans do as they mature. There is black starting up from her Coronet band and should work up her legs in time.

Movement? Supreme has it! This comes from her NFCs Dandy Moon Man lines.

Here is a stunning example of a bay roan with the legs dark. This is Alliance's Unforgettably Hot and can be seen on their site at

At 3.5 months of age, her legs are finally black! August 28th, 09!

And, blacker still by the end of September! I have seen many horses mislabeled as "blue roans" which is another term for a black roan. Blue Roans have black faces. Supreme is a bay roan with a bay face. Click on these thumbnails to see her bay face.


There are 3 obvious types of roans, but it is important to note you can have the roan gene present with all other color patterns. However some of these color patterns are so light that you do not see the roan hairs as easily( i.e. the Palomino roans or even a Cremello roan). Roan is a dominant gene.

Roan Type

Base color + Roan Gene

Blue Roan

Black base + Roan gene

Bay Roan

Black base + Roan gene + Agouti gene

Strawberry or Red Roan

Red base + Roan gene

There are other color patterns that are often confused with roaning. Varnish Appaloosas are often mistakenly called a roan, as well as Sabino and Rabicano patterns.


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