Marking Inheritance

  • I know. I'm really ashamed for opening up so many threads in here, but this is something that's been bugging me for a while.
    Since I'm a sucker for realism, I'm curious to find out if anybody happens to know how horse markings are inherited?
    Especially since I got my first pregnant mare at the moment, I'd like to know which markings I can "realistically" consider for the foal.
    I usually would do it the following way with foals I don't register that I have in my game:
    Dam has 4 high stockings + Sire has no leg markings = Foal has 4 moderate leg markings, so basically I'd always try to find a middle point between the two parents' markings.
    Anybody know a better, more realistic way to work out markings on offsprings, or is the way I'm already doing it somewhat correct?

  • Development Committee

    Markings are random..You have have 2 unmarked horses and the offspring could have socks and a blaze or some other simple kind of white

  • Administrators

    Standard white leg and face markings are caused by a family of genes we call White Spotting, or W. Our understanding of these genes is limited, but we do know that they cause an enormous spectrum of markings in horses. Everything from the most minor white markings to solid white horses can be caused by W genes, though we haven't isolated and named all of them, and we aren't sure how they all behave. That said- it sounds like the dam of your foal has a W gene- 4 high stockings is almost certainly a result of a W gene in real life (likely a gene we call W20 that is found in hundreds of breeds that is usually the culprit for 4 white legs and a blaze) If you mare is heterozygous for W20, meaning she has one copy of it, and your stallion has no W genes, it means your foal has a 50% chance of inheriting his mother's W20 which would cause him to probably have medium to high white legs, like his dam. Or, he could not inherent the W and have much more minimal white legs or be unmarked, like his sire.

    However, saying that, W20 can show itself in all sorts of ways. Here are two horses carrying W20- one is heterozygous with one copy of the gene, the other is homozygous with two copies. As you can see, they have roughly the same amount of white.
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    Here is another horse with one copy of W20, Mister Monsieur- as you can see, he has very minimal white; only a thin blaze and a single pastern marking.
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    On the other end of the spectrum, here is Jango, a Gypsy Vanner with 2 copies of W20, but he has extremely extensive markings spreading far onto his body.
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    This is a very long-winded and scientific way of saying that you can give your foal pretty much any sort of leg/face markings you'd like and it would be realistic, as the way white markings are inherited and interact doesn't follow strict patterns and they can show up in an enormous variety of ways, and there seems to be a degree of randomness deciding how they appear. Your method of giving the foal markings 'between' the mare and foal is an excellent way of deciding :D

    (Slightly unrelated but also awesome- here are 5 horse clones that all have the exact same genetic makeup. However, there are large differences in their markings despite being genetically all the same horse!)
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  • @Nikki-Calvaria Thank you so much!! I had already guessed that it probably functions the same way as it does with the "regular" coat genes, but the note on the markings basically being random helps a lot!
    I always elaborate the foal's genotype with a wheel spin decider while considering the chance of the foal inheriting a certain gene, so I guess I'll now do it the same way with markings + a spin for each leg :'D Yes I'm crazy like that.

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