Horse Color Genetics in the Bronze Age
As the Copper Age came to an end, the Bronze Age and the time period of horse domestication began. People started to see horses in a new light as they discovered the horse’s strength, beauty, and intelligence. As a result, people began to selectively breed the horse for traits they desired; one such trait was color.
Many of the colors that emerged during this time period including Chestnut, Sabino, and Tobiano, would not have occurred as rapidly in nature because the unique coat patterns would have made the horse more easily spotted by predators. The predators would have decreased the frequency of horses with the spotted alleles, making it less likely for those genotypes to be passed on to the next generation.
However due to domestication, the horses with unique coat colors such as Chestnut, Sabino, and Tobiano were valued by people, and therefore, were protected from predators. Because these alleles were protected and selectively bred, new phenotypes emerged much more rapidly after domestication.