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BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

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thorwood
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BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.
OK, help me out here. I have just been read an article written by a breeder here who says that splash (apart from cream DD) is the only cause of blue eyes. Now, from the years I have been hanging round the old forum, I thought I had learnt that frame can also cause blue eyes. Out of interest, how do we actually know which gene is causing blue eyes & which is not, given that so many horses have multiple patterns??? The article also says that all homozygous splash horses have blue eyes. I am not sure how we would know if a horse was homozygous, considering we don't have a test. There is no specific research or sources quoted.
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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

Out of interest, how do we actually know which gene is causing blue eyes & which is not, given that so many horses have multiple patterns???

We do not. It is all theory based on observation.

thorwood
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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

Thanks Maigray.

So why then do we say things like "splash causes blue eyes" when we really don't know??? I mean given that horses with blue eyes often have splash, sabino & frame.

Just trying to get it straight in my head, :lol: so I can give an intelligent reply if someone asks me.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

Short answer? Because we are lazy with our language use.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

There are other reasons, too, but basically that's it.

thorwood
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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

So is there any available research on this topic??? Why did it become generally accepted to say that frame & splash cause blue eyes, when
we really don't know??? :|

Also, is it generally accepted that splash is an incomplete dominant???

Sorry for all the questions, but these things often come up on a general horse forum I visit & I like to think I can give an acceptable & accurate
answer.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

So is there any available research on this topic???

No, I don't believe so.

Why did it become generally accepted to say that frame & splash cause blue eyes, when
we really don't know???

Through observation; that may sound weak, but that is how all the white patterns were originally identified and then distinquished from each other. Generally, they still are identified that way.

Splash is considered a seperate pattern from the others because it looks different from them. It's a theory based on observation. That observation often included the appearance of blue eyes. The same thing happeend with frame.

Blue eyes were seen most often in horses with white patterns, so they became linked with them. The white patterns were seperated from each other because people noticed differences between them; overo and tobiano.

Blue eyes were noticed more often with overo horses. The overo patterns were split apart because people noticed differences between them. Blue eyes were really consistent with a splash phenotype, and they were still happening in general with overos. Sabino was gradually seen as a very wide ranging phenotype that affected almost all breeds. But blue eyes remained rare in those breeds who had the sabino phenotype but not the pinto breed standard. So they became associated with splash and frame.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.
So is there any available research on this topic???

No, I don't believe so.

Why did it become generally accepted to say that frame & splash cause blue eyes, when
we really don't know???

Through observation; that may sound weak, but that is how all the white patterns were originally identified and then distinquished from each other. Generally, they still are identified that way.

Splash is considered a seperate pattern from the others because it looks different from them. It's a theory based on observation. That observation often included the appearance of blue eyes. The same thing happeend with frame.

Blue eyes were seen most often in horses with white patterns, so they became linked with them. The white patterns were seperated from each other because people noticed differences between them; overo and tobiano.

Blue eyes were noticed more often with overo horses. The overo patterns were split apart because people noticed differences between them. Blue eyes were really consistent with a splash phenotype, and they were still happening in general with overos. Sabino was gradually seen as a very wide ranging phenotype that affected almost all breeds. But blue eyes remained rare in those breeds who had the sabino phenotype but not the pinto breed standard. So they became associated with splash and frame.

Beautifully put ! :D

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

OK here I go..."overo" is a nonsense term, and very confusing, and also, of course, only used in the US, unless you are trying to push the price up by saying something is a "rare Overo" as some people over here do....
We say Splash and Frame carry blue eyes because they often do...they do not have to, but they often do.
Sabino is not known to carry or cause blue yes, but since you very rarely see these patterns on their own, and there is not test for them yet, it is not possible to prove any of this.
But then it's not possible to prove that a Fewspot is H/Z but they are generally accepted to be so.
There are a number of things that we are pretty sure are true, but are as yet unproven.
And there are a lot more important things to get tests for than blue eyes, interesting though it is, so, I do think if a test for blue eye hereditary is found it will be incidental to another, more important test.
After all, it is not yet possible to test reliably for Dun, yet horses are proclaimed to be Dun on breeding and phenotype, so I do think conclusions drawn without absolute proof are still relevant.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

According to the person who found the tobiano gene, it does not cause blue eyes. According to the people who found the frame gene it does. However... since they can not test for all of the other white patterns that could be virtually invisible when combined with frame, yet can cause blue eyes, it's impossible to REALLY know. I am of the opinion that frame does, but I admit that could be wrong. I am 100% of the opinion splash does. Obviously no proof yet, but the evidence is overwhelming IMO. Based on my opinion of the homozygous splash phenotype, no I don't think they all have two blue eyes. Again, that's just the opinion I've formed after looking at thousands of theorized splash horses. I am also in the camp that feels 100% certain that sabino, as we know it, does not cause blue eyes.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

Pretty much ditto to ACC. Careful observation and breeding records can point us in a pretty good direction on some of these patterns so we can be quite sure of some things even without a test. Observing breeds where certain patterns do not appear to be present really helps. Of course we could all be proven wrong at some point!

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

Also, is it generally accepted that splash is an incomplete dominant???

It's a generally accepted theory.

I will also say that many of these theories originated among groups of people I remember from the old EC board. The information works its way around, and years later, you hear it come back full circle. Some people talk about it as if it were fact because they think it is, and some people because they believe it is, and some people just assume other people know the difference. Some people don't know, and some people don't care; some people do know and don't care, and others don't know and don't care.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

Thanks for the replies everyone.
But let me get this straight, there are no actual legitimate documented studies or research relating to this matter, just observations, made by anyone
who cares to have an opinion & who may or may not have any scientific background or ability to observe or document in an acceptable manner.
Just sounds very airy fairy to me & not in the slightest objective or scientific.
I just find it very interesting how "observations" & personal theories very quickly become accepted as fact.

I think from now on if anyone asks me what patterns cause blue eyes I shall just say it isn't known.
Are there any breeds where blue eyes are not known to occur???

So why is sabino not considered to cause blue eyes, it is a white pattern & can result in very "loud" white markings.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

But let me get this straight, there are no actual legitimate documented studies or research relating to this matter, just observations, made by anyone
who cares to have an opinion & who may or may not have any scientific background or ability to observe or document in an acceptable manner.

I believe some of the books on horse color have noted the association, as well as some articles.

Congenital deafness associated with pigmentation (white coat or blue eyes) has been reported in several species, including humans, dogs, cats, and mink (6–10). The horse in this report was a blue-eyed, sorrel and white paint horse. Blue eyes in horses occur mainly in splashed white overos and in toveros and bald-faced horses (11). It is a common myth that all splashed white horses are deaf. Suspected congenital deafness in 6 predominantly white American paint horses with either a uni- or a bilateral blue iris was confirmed in 4 cases by BAEP, (personal communication 1998, KD Magdesian).

That is an excerpt from the Canadian Veterinary Journal in an article on diagnosing deaf horses. They cite Sponenberg for it. Sponenberg has zero conclusive evidence to back it up either (unless that has changed in later editions of his book I have not read).

I am a firm believer that you do not need to be a scientist or to have a scientific background to make smart, legitimate conclusions. The appearance of splash as a distinct pattern, it's association with deafness, and the associaton of blue eyes with deafness does not really need to be spelled out by a scientific paper.

Are there any breeds where blue eyes are not known to occur???

That is unknown.

thorwood
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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

Oh Maigray, I totally agree, you don't have to be a scientist to make intelligent observations. Not all scientific studies are particularly objective either.
But, if your "intelligent" observations aren't based on accurate knowledge then they don't stand for much.

I have no objection whatsoever to people making all the observations & conclusions they like under the sun, as long as they preface it by saying
that either it is their opinion or observation, rather than stating it as fact, as so many sources seem to do.

The article I am speaking about is well written & articulate, but makes statements like, "all homozygous splash horses have blue eyes" & also has pictures
of horses with various markings stating they are "only sabino" or "only splash". Just wondering how we can know that when we can't test for splash.
Yet this person talks as if all this is fact.

From your quote
"Blue eyes in horses occur mainly in splashed white overos and in toveros and bald-faced horses (11)."

In my observation there are plenty of horses with blue eyes that have very little white on the face & some have none, also plenty of horses with blue
eyes that have obvious sabino markings(not to say they don't have other patterns as well). There are also plenty of horses with bald faced markings that
do not have blue eyes.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

I agree, I just didn't want the lack of formalized study to put you off considering the theories themselves. They do have a basis. It is two separate issues for me.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

It depends on what you consider credible. A number of us here have spoken directly to leading researchers in the field and gotten their studied opinions. While these people may have not published anything, I respect their observations if they feel strongly enough about them to say it.

Blue eyes in Arabians and Thoroughbreds are INCREDIBLY rare. Other than Friesians, I've never noticed a breed that never has blue eyes (maybe Fjords).

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

Thanks for the replies everyone.
But let me get this straight, there are no actual legitimate documented studies or research relating to this matter, just observations, made by anyone
who cares to have an opinion & who may or may not have any scientific background or ability to observe or document in an acceptable manner.
Just sounds very airy fairy to me & not in the slightest objective or scientific.

Yes and no. Yes there are a lot of observational "theories", yes there is (was) a group studying splash, and no, there's no documented proof yet...last I remember hearing, the splash researchers had hit a brick wall (IIRC, it was in a post horsegen had made after attending one of the seminars a few years ago, and had posted on the old forum).

I just find it very interesting how "observations" & personal theories very quickly become accepted as fact.

Which is why it's helpful when the party making tests available have some sort of explanation of what they are looking for available to the public, and which is why some have "problems" accepting tests that have no such explanation/published papers.

So why is sabino not considered to cause blue eyes, it is a white pattern & can result in very "loud" white markings.

Because there would be wider instances of horses with blue eyes, since there are wide sections of the horse population carrying "sabino". There are people who insist that sabino makes blue eyes, for example, Clydies, as they claim that there is no splash in Clydies...but without a test for splash, and with some very "splashy" looking specimens in the breed, I don't see how they can use that breed as "proof".

Diane

accphotography
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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

If sabino caused blue eyes, Thoroughbreds and Arabians would have tons of blue eyes within the breed.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

, and with some very "splashy" looking specimens in the breed,

Speaking of splashy looking Clydes
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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

I'll also say that the theories that come to be studied and then published on by current researchers all come from the informal, online groups of interested owners/breeders, and the early researchers who pioneered the work. I've never seen anything in this field that was not already known, named, investigated and theorized about long before a test was managed for it.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

I'm pretty sure now that there is Splash in Clyde's, but I would like to know if there is Splash (ie blue yes) in the ones bred here, that we know are purebred, or whether it came in "through the back door" via out Antipodean friends!!
It is not really important, if it looks like a dog and it barks, the chances are it is a dog, as far as I am concerned.
The only time I get upset by "new" colors and patterns suddenly appearing in breeds not previously known to have them is when the type and quality is lost.
I would be quite happy to have an Appy Welsh, so long as it was quality and bred true.
Wow....sorry, went a way OT there!!
This obsession with scientifically proving things is all very well, and it's nice to have theories verified, but it is pretty obvious that Sabino doesn't carry blue eyes and I am quite happy to put it forward as solid theory....not cast in stone as it is not scientifically proven, but accepted to be true.
There is nothing airy fairy about peoples knowledge, BTW.
Rabbit's sire sired a black mare with blue eyes, some time ago now....it was Splash, but blue eyes seem to be the minimal expression in a lot of Splash animals.
I think Frame does cause blue eyes, I had always considered it did, and I had not heard of anyone questioning this....is this new or is it merely that some people don't think Frame causes blue eyes???

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

I don't understand it either RF. I've heard numerous people question if frame truly does cause blue eyes or not lately. I've not seen any major source (ie book, article, etc.) so I think they may have all come to the theory on their own.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

More interesting points to consider, thanks for all the responses.

Yes, I can certainly see that given the numbers of sabinos in TB & Arabians & how rare blue eyes are in these breeds,
that in all probability we should see alot more blue eyes in them.

The problem is, how does one know who is an expert???? :D
Lots of people like to think they are experts.

That's why I was asking about how we know such things, given that the article I am talking about catergorically states that
ONLY splash causes blue eyes. This person is certainly considered an expert by many people here in Oz & believe me, if this article is published in any
newsletters people who have no colour knowledge will believe it is fact set in stone.

Once again, I have no problem with people having theories & documenting them as long as their articles state that their theories are their personal opinions
& also what their conclusions are based on. ie Janette Gower's book states that smoky black foals are born pumpkin coloured & then darken. LOL, well, I have
bred a few of them & not one has ever been born pumpkin coloured, they have all been born very dark, a couple almost black. So my theory is that they are
not born pumpkin coloured, they are born chocolate coloured, but my experience is based on about 6 foals. So it is perfectly possible that SOME may be born
pumpkin coloured, though in speaking to other breeders, no one else I spoke to has had one born pumpkin coloured.
I actually emailed her about it & she didn't really want to know, not sure why.
Many, many people consider Jeanette Gower's book to be a factual reference, yet I have seen this book torn to shreds numerous times on the old EC forum.

Another example, here in Oz I am a member of a national society that registers one of the cream dilutes.
Now, two of the head classifiers firmly believe that this colour can pop up out of nowhere, & consider buckskin & dun to be the same gene.
Of course many of the members of this society, I guess rightly so consider that the classifiers know what they are talking about.

:rofl Maybe I am just getting difficult in my old age, but if someone tells me something is a fact, I want to know why & how that fact is established & accepted.
In the case of colour genetics, I don't give a fig if it is scientifically proven, but surely it should be based on sound, accurate & current knowledge & not just because someone can
write a good article or because they have seen half a dozen horses that "support" their theory.

Rabbit, there was an article in one of our welsh journals a few years back about some spotted welshies that are in the UK studbook.
If you are interested I can try & find it for you.

Perhaps we should start a documented record here on the forum of all foals born, photographing their markings, birth colour, colour at 6, & 12 months etc.
This sort of thing is easy to do now with digital cameras & the internet, I would be happy to keep a catalogue.

Thanks everyone for the interesting discussion.
Also, we now have a blue eyed TB in Oz, he came from the US & is a frame.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

What discussion? :lol:

I believe everyone agrees with your assessment that an article which presents theories as facts is misleading. There's not much else to say on the matter.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

:( Oh Sorry, shall rephrase that. Thanks everyone for your comments.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

thorwood, given the huge amount of misinformation out there, the tendency of people to be SURE that they are right based on their experience (no matter how much that might be), and the nature of these things to be passed on as fact without anyone really knowing where they came from, I find your attitude to be quite healthy. :toast

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

Thorwood, I enjoyed the thread no matter what we're calling it. :) I find blue eyes rather fascinating since acquiring my first blue eyed pony a few years ago. I do not know yet whether he is homozygous or heterozygous splash because he has only sired three foals so far but all three of those do have signs of splash to some degree.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

Oh Sorry, shall rephrase that.

No need to be - I really meant everyone agrees with you (at least I think they do).

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

That's why I think this group is really good, we come from a very broad range of backgrounds, breeds, countries etc.. and when someone says they think a colour does something we can intelligently discuss it and reach some pretty good conclusions. Plus if we come up with a really silly theory we can soon get it put where it belongs :lol:

I have had very little experience with frame, but personally I don't think frame causes blue eyes, splash does. The blue eyed frames just happen to have splash as well. But I don't think all homozygous splash horses have blue eyes.

My reasoning for the above is, splash seems to be a lot more common than I used to think, now that I go looking for it. Markings (such as the black mouth moustache) that many folks here call a frame characteristic, I've seen very common in horses with no frame, but more splash type markings.

Also splash type markings I think are now known to effect more (how do I put it) "inner pigment". Such as inner ear, causing deafness and behind the eye causing it to be blue. To me they seem like a similar thing, different to just effecting the "outer" skin like other white patterns. It makes sense to me that they are caused by the same gene. Frame, other than this loose association with blue eyes, isn't known to effect "inner pigment"?

As for the not all splash horses being deaf, having blue eyes etc.. (or homozygotes all having blue eyes). I think splash is a white pattern gene like the others, so can effect some areas of skin and not others on different horses. Thus although it can cause blue eyes, splash doesn't always effect the pigment in that spot to do it to all of them. This means it isn't at all unusual to have a splash horse without blue eyes, any more than it is to have one, with blue eyes. If that makes sense. Being homozygous doesn't change this.

Ok, that's my hopefully intelligent thoughts on what was told to you Thorwood! I don't mind people making statements like what you said as long as they are willing to discuss other reasonings as well.
Cheers

Danni

Edit: Oh meant to say too, observations are very important. For instance it was 'known' by observation long before a Tobiano test, how it was inherited. So saying nothing is known about blue eyes isn't quite correct.

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Re: BLUE EYES, Frame & Splash - Clarify something for me please.

Ditto all of that.

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