Sunday, May 20, 2012

Buttermilk Buckskin: Changing Colors


May is the month when Harley's dapples blossom.  The reddish hairs start to appear on his shoulders and rump first, cascading onto his ribcage and barrel shortly there after.  They are not dark or dramatic.  His dapples are subtle and intertwined like a red webbing, which stretches and recoils as  he moves.  His dark stockings are just about grown, reaching above his knees and hocks.  He has developed some more dark points on his withers and crest.  These dark points are more of a sandy color than the red on his hip and face.  There is still some soft fluff on his belly, but by the time I am posting this, the last wisps of his winter coat have just about gone.

Harley is a quarter horse with withers!

Can you see the darker hairs along his topline?  He has a sandy-red shading that goes to his tail, but is not defined enough to qualify as a dorsal stripe.

Light dapples and the last of the winter fuzz on his belly.

The dapples at his girth area and shoulder are more noticeable in the shadows.

There is a limit to his patience.

Harley: "Let's go!  No more pictures."

"The camera can't see me now."

Red on his hip.

I was waiting for a beautiful day to take these pictures.  The sky was breathtaking blue.


See the red on his face?  And his nose and muzzle have traded black for grey.


Buttermilk Buckskin glory

Later this day, Harley got his first shower of 2012 and shortly thereafter his first good post-shower roll.  A dirty horse is a happy horse, but I sure am glad that I decided to take these pictures first!  He was a good sport about it and smiled nicely for the camera for the last two photos in this post.  As you can hopefully see, his weight is looking very good this spring.  He is eating half a scoop less feed at each meal than he did this winter, but seems to have maintained pretty well.  Cold weather requires more heat generation and more energy consumption, so this makes sense.  I would say that he has dropped from a 6 to a 5 or a 5+ (and holding) on the condition scale and I am more than delighted with that for my hard-keeping Harley.

28 comments:

  1. Harley looks really good- a really nice, healthy weight. It's nice to see all your hard work paying off :-D.

    I love these posts, by the way- My "first" horse was my mother's old buckskin mustang/beast. He was ancient (in his 30's when I was born and over 40 when he died) and lived out at pasture. I loved seeing him change colors with the seasons, and Harley is just as lovely.

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    1. It is wonderful to hear about your first horse and a buckskin, too. I hope that Harley has some of your mother's horse's longevity.

      Thank you for your kind words.

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  2. Harley is looking good! The pad I use underneath, that belonged to a previous horse, is built up in the wither area since he was shark fin TB with concave spots. The problem with Winston is that he is very narrow so I need bulk. Using two pads takes care of that problem. I don't want to invest in a new trail saddle and this works. Hopefully, he will bulk out with age and work and eventually I won't need both heavy pads.

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    1. Thanks, Annette!

      I have been reading along, so I knew why you were using two pads. The Skito pad that I recommended would not put extra bulk on top of the withers and it was reasonably priced, around $60, when I bought one. The pad is designed for exactly the fit issue, which you described. I have used it under a jumping saddle and a friend borrowed it for use under a western saddle. Both horses (and their riders) were very happy with the pad arrangement! It was too good a thing not to mention.

      http://www.skito.net/prod03.htm

      See the "Shoulder Bridge Combination". My trainer recommends Skito and always carries a spare half pad with her.

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  3. He has such wonderful coloring, it is so interesting to watch him change with the seasons. I love the dapples!
    I am sorry I haven't been reading much lately. The good news is, I have landed myself a good job, the bad news is, I don't get to read as much as I want to. I miss reading about everything Harley, I will catch up though.

    (Freddy's experiencing some adjustments too, but he's really doing good. Just a bit needy when I come home.)

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    1. That is really good news! I am sure that Freddy will get used to the routine. At least you know that he values your time. :)

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  4. Buckskin is my favorite color, and buttermilk buckskin beats them all by a mile! Absolutely gorgeous.

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  5. His colouring is truly amazing love how he changes colour, reminds me of Gatsby becayse whilest Gatsby is black when its winter in the summer he looks a lovely dappled chocolatey black colour its amazing to watch!

    He looks great <3

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    1. Dapples and chocolate? Now that is a wonderful combination!

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    2. Will take a picture and put it on my blog when I next go up to see him (when my hand's healed a little bit) its ever so subtle its like a dappled chocolate colour looks stunning but is only properly seen when the sun is out will look if i have a picture now :) <3

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    3. just posted a picture of him on my blog that shows off his colour dapples arent as easy to see as its not that sunny! xx

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    4. I saw the picture! He is a lovely chocolate brown. You should definitely plan a photo shoot. :)

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    5. think I will have to, love spending time with him and he loves the camera xx

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    6. Harley looks so handsome all shed out! I love his dapples. My favorite picture is definitely the one with his eyes closed. "If I can't see you, you can't see me!"

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  6. Harley is looking terrific! Great color and weight. Buckskins are one of my favorites and he has beautiful coloring.

    I think it's odd how they change color with the seasons. Dusty is such a light dapple palomino during the winter but come spring and summer she turns a dapple brown. I find that odd and don't really know why it happens. I'd have to read up on it somewhere. It's so nice that Harley has a wither, wish my two quarter horses did.

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    1. Dusty's dapples look really neat. Very dramatic compared to Harley. I do not know why either. I wonder if they are only seen in domestic horses.

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  7. I love how you record all of Harley's color changes. He is a very handsome horse!

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  8. What a beautiful colour Harley is ....love the darker shades of his coat coming through with summer. How nice it must have felt to have the wash then a good roll in the dirt

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  9. He really is a gorgeous color. Harley has the whole package!

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  10. Hi,
    Can u write me at picchionicavalli@gmail.com please?
    I'm looking for your email but I can't find it.

    Congratulations for your blog, really nice!
    Martina

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  11. Ha. You are always so fun to read. We have had our first post shower roll in this year now too. And no more "winter belly" hair. Finally. The posts before this were very interesting and make me realize I have SO much to learn. :)

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    1. Thanks, Margaret!

      Post shower rolls are the best, says Harley.

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  12. Hey there Val!
    Oh I beg to differ...Harley looks the perfect weight-so very fit- deff a 4!

    His coloring is almost exactly like Maddy mare , a Buckskin QH at my stable.Though she is the typical mutten wither and does have a dorsal stripe with 2 dots on her rump...reminds me of the Monarch butterfly eye- on the wings!
    Love the changes you are documenting...Oh Love of a horse!

    Bathing and rolling go hand in hand...gotta "reapply" fly dust!
    XO
    KK

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    1. The butterfly markings sound really interesting. It has been fun documenting the changes and I am glad that others have enjoyed it with me.

      Glad you like Harley's physique. He never gets voluptuous, but he definitely has muscle!

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