From Endurance to Dressage
Flea Bitten and Blood Spotted
These are coat colors, not equine maladies! And Speedy has them both.
He didn't start out with them, of course. He was actually a dapple gray when he was young, like most grays. His mane and tail were quite dark and he had white socks. He still has the white socks; you just can't see them unless he's wet.
Just a year later and his coat had already lightened up quite a bit.
And then, just days before he turned 6 years old, nearly all of the dapples are gone from his coat.
At nearly seven years old, his mane and tail were also starting to lighten.
At eight years old, his coat started to take on a bit of a silver hue.
By nine, his flea bites were making a stronger appearance, but he definitely retains the silver coloring.
He's dirty here (ten years old), but his tail is much lighter, especially at the top, and the flea bites are more pronounced.
And while Speedy doesn't sport the rare "bloody shoulder," he does have a pretty large blood spot on his neck. Blood marks are only found on gray horses, and are rarely seen on breeds other than Arabians. Blood marks are simply a large concentration of flea bites in one area.
Speedy will more than likely develop more and more flea bites until he is quite freckled with them. In his very senior years however, he may even lose that pigmentation and turn white. That's okay; I like having a horse of a different color. Each spring I get something new!
6/15/2014 12:35:17 am
Val's color has evolved similarly, more and more flea bites. I think he's got one of those bloody marks too, on his shoulder... just showed up in the last year or so.
6/17/2014 04:06:00 am
You'll need to share his blood mark. They aren't all that common. :0)
6/15/2014 03:19:13 am
That is really cool!! Now I want a gray horse even more!
6/17/2014 04:07:13 am
Grays aren't as shiny as a deep bay or a bright chestnut, but they do have some interesting things about their coat color.
6/17/2014 04:08:31 am
When Speedy gets a deep cut or scratch, it always grows in with reddish brown hair. I don't know why that happens either.
6/17/2014 04:09:47 am
One of my endurance friends has an Arab with a lovely bloody shoulder. It's quite large and covers the entire shoulder. It's not super dark, but it is unusual.
6/15/2014 08:11:55 am
I love Speedy's coloring. You're right--he's much more of a silver color than grey.
6/17/2014 04:11:52 am
I think it's because he has very black skin. A lot of grays have pink skin which makes them look more white, I think. Speedy's black skin shows through which makes him look more silver than white. I am glad he has dark skin because grays have a tendency to sunburn. Every once in a while his nose will get pretty pink if he can't get in the shade. :0)
6/17/2014 04:13:24 am
I always forget what he used to look like since I see him every day. I stumbled over that early picture which prompted me to share his coat changes. I wouldn't mind if the blood spot got bigger. I also think it's an interesting mark. :0)
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
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Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
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