Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rondo shows his colors

I don't know whether I'll have a chance to ride today, so I thought I'd share a funny story and some pictures of Rondo.

I was driving down the long private road to my in-laws' house yesterday when I spotted a horse at the fence.  I was pretty sure it was on their side of the fence, but I didn't recognize it — a bay, I thought.  They don't have a bay.

I went down a hill and couldn't see the horse anymore, but when I got a little closer, the horse was obviously Rondo.  His winter coat has changed so much from when I last saw him that from a distance he looks like a bay.

Bay roan in his darker winter coat

I took that picture from the road.  Look at how thick his neck is now, too!  He's sure bulking up and showing his draft side as he gets older.

I've taken a succession of photos over the last few months, to show his changes in color as winter approaches.  For some reason his winter coat is much darker, whereas his roaning in summer is so heavy as to give him an almost silver sheen.  This was taken in August:

Bay roan in his lighter summer coat

The difference in color between his head and the rest of his body is really pronounced in his summer coat.

Classic bay roan with darker head

 Just a month later, in mid-September, he was already getting darker:

Bay roan with a darkening coat as his winter hair grows in

And this was in early October:

Bay roan with a darker winter coat

You can see in the next picture, taken today, that the difference in color between his head and the rest of his body isn't noticeable this time of year.  In fact, he has a lot of black hairs mixed in with the bay in his neck and face this time of year, which makes his neck much darker and causes it to blend more with his head.

Bay roan in his darker winter

I love documenting these gradual changes, and plan to do the same in the spring, when he changes back to his lighter-colored summer coat.  Last spring he went through multiple changes, from dark to light to dark to light again, as he lost his winter coat and grew in his new summer coat.

Isn't he a handsome boy?



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