The above photos epitomise overall adaptation and health. How can we see that? The shiny coat tells us everything:
- Healthy immune system.
- Body condition / nutritional adaptation.
- Healthy endocrine system.
All of the above is the result nutritional adaptation resulting from:
- Small frame.
- Climatic adaptation.
- Parasite / Disease resistance.
- Voracious appetite.
The photos are from very different environments (Wessel Zietsman, Zimbabwe; Charlie Wilson, Eastern Cape highland sourveld in South Africa), but with a similar genotype – both animals have a high proportion of African breed blood.
I believe coat is the most important characteristic indicating overall adaptation and health. A lack of shiny summer coats on many animals in the USA indicates to me there is a problem with overall adaptation / inherent body condition. This can be rectified easily by incorporating appropriate African breed blood.