Sunday, 19 July 2015

So I keep finding out things about the British native pony breeds that I didn't know before.  I thought that the Dales ponies were always black or dark brown. 

Black Dales pony

 But I was wrong - this is what the Dales pony society says about the Dales' colours - "colours are predominantly black, with some brown, bay, grey and rarely roan".

 Grey Dales pony

In fact it turns out that the blue roan and bay roan colouring in Dales is very, very rare!  It seems it was undesirable for a while and they were discouraged and nearly lost in the breed forever.  Thankfully they are gaining favour again, and the owners of the Roandale stud where I took these photos are actively breeding the roan colours.  They have a very handsome blue roan stallion (which I unfortunately didn't get a photo of as he was indoors at the time).  The Dales ponies come in bay roan and a blue roan, both very beautiful.

 Blue roan and bay roan Dales

Horse colours and how they are bred is a very interesting science - some genes are more dominant / recessive so many colours are harder to get.  Here is a very interesting chart on horse colours and how different genes effect the final colour colour chart

Bay Dales pony

I'm really enjoying this project, and all the fascinating things I am finding out about our lovely British native breeds.

**Please click on the images to see them larger.