This is Jag, my appaloosa puzzler. I mentioned Jag and what makes him unusual in one of the earliest posts on this blog. That’s because there are aspects of Jag’s pattern that say he is heterozygous for the varnish roan gene. His blanket is most definitely spotted.

And yet his feet, which have no white markings whatsoever, are predominantly shell-colored.

They were recently trimmed in this shot, which is why they are so bright. Here they are a few weeks later. The dark area on the left hind (furthest right in the picture), is not visible in the shot above, since he’s facing the other direction. That one area is a bit darker and more striped, but otherwise the hooves look more like the shell hooves of a homozygous horse.

He also has mottling on his muzzle that I think of as being more typical of homozygous horses – but only one one side!

See how pink and freckled with black the one side is, while the other has the webbing of pink on a dark background? In fact, that area that looks so pink is even roaning out really fast, while the rest of his face – indeed, almost his whole body – shows almost no varnish roaning. The patch of varnish roan can be seen in the picture with his newly trimmed hooves.

Here is a close up of that side, which shows the white hairs along that part of his face really well. (I am sorry to say I didn’t think to take a contrasting picture of his “normal” side!)

Here if a face shot that shows his roan patch pretty well. The only other area he is showing any significant roaning is his tail, which – like the patch on his face – is silvering quite rapidly.

Jag also has mottling around his eyes, though it is not very pronounced. He has a partial blue eye on the right side, too.

Jag is a puzzle to me. I am looking forward to the release of the leopard complex test, because I’d love to test him to see if he is truly heterozygous (as his spots suggest).