For Sale

Forums

Photos

Politics
Login to PonyBox!               Create Account
A Horse of a Different Color – Unusual Horse Colors
 By mosquito   •   14th Sep 2010   •   32,670 views   •   8 comments
We’ve had a lot of talk about coat colors (A Horse of a Different Color - Tutorial), so I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the most unusual horse coat colors. Some of these are still mysteries, but whatever causes them, they certainly are fun to see.

The Rabicano
Often confused with a roan, a rabicano horse doesn’t actually have a roan gene, even though it looks ‘roany’. How can you tell the difference between a rabicano and a roan? The roan coloring of a rabicano is usually only on its belly and flanks, and rabicano usually have white hairs at the top of the tail, called a ‘skunk tail’.

Pearl
A recently discovered gene, pearl horses look a bit like palominos, but don’t have the lighter manes and tails. It only occurs in horses with quarter horse or Spanish breed descent, and it still isn’t entirely known how the gene works. In quarter horses, it seems to always trace back to a horse called My Tontime, and her grandson Barlink Macho Man, so it is sometimes called the ‘Barlink factor’.

Dark and light shading
Some horses appear to be bay or chestnut, but seem to be ‘marbled’ or have areas of light or dark coloring. Horses with dark patches, usually on the back and shoulders, are called ‘sooty’, and horses with light patches are ‘pangare’. Fjords, with light underbellies, are often pangare. Pangare horses also often have lighter, ‘flaxen’ manes and tails. The sooty modifier often explains dapples on bay horses too.

Silver
Called the ‘Z’ gene or ‘Z’ factor, silver is a dilution of a black coat, usually resulting in a dark chocolate color with a very light mane and tail. Where it comes from is still unclear, but it certainly is beautiful!

Silver Horse z gene

Brindles
One of the rarest of all equine colorings, brindle is a bit like ‘sooty gone crazy’. On a brindle horse, the coat appears a lighter color with striped clumps of dark hairs, a bit like a tabby cat (even more rare is a dark coat with white stripes). Brindle is what is called a ‘chimeric’ gene. Chimeric genes occur when a mare is pregnant with two non-identical twins, but the two embryos become ‘fused’ into one. What you actually have is two coat colors from two different horses all mixed up. This means chimeric genes, including brindles, are almost totally random and it is almost impossible to breed for it. Geneticists are still trying to figure out the truth behind the brindle gene. It is definitely striking though, and brindle horses often cost a lot of money.

Brindles horse

Weird spots
Unique to horses in Argentina, manchado colored horses look like paint horses in many ways, but don’t carry any genes for spots. It only occurs in Argentina, so it is probably caused by something in the environment, but what it could be no one knows. Birdcatcher spots are random white patches of hair on a dark coat. The pattern is also not genetic, and takes its name from a through bred racehorse that had the spots. Similar to Birdcatcher spots, Bend Or spots are non-genetic dark spots, also named for a thoroughbred racehorse.

Weird spots horse

Some grey horses are born with dark patches that never lighten, keeping a brown or chestnut color reflecting underlying coat color genetics. These are called ‘bloody shoulder marks’, because for no know reason they commonly occur on the shoulder, although they can appear anywhere.

Shiny horses
Most horses can shine just fine with good grooming, but some are born with extremely glossy coats. Some are the result of breed characteristics, like the Akhal-Teke, who have shiny or metallic coats because the hairs of the coat are hollow and reflect more light. Some other horses have this shiny, or ‘satin’ appearance too. Some horses with the ‘champagne’ color gene, which lightens base coat colors, can also have a striking sheen, but it isn’t clear why. Is there a ‘shiny’ or ‘satin’ gene that occurs outside of the Akhal-Teke, maybe unique to ‘champagne’ horses? We just don’t know yet.

Pearl Horse

Having a horse with an unusual color is a lot of fun, but remember beauty is only skin deep. It doesn’t matter if your horse is a one-in-a-million genetic oddity, or one of a million bays, a good horse is worth its weight in gold!

A Horse of a Different Color - Tutorial

A Horse of a Different Color – Unusual Horse Colors
A Horse of a Different Color – Unusual Horse Colors
A Horse of a Different Color – Unusual Horse Colors
A Horse of a Different Color – Unusual Horse Colors
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  mosquito
Dark Star   
silver usually only happens in rocky mountain horses or thats the most common
  Sep 14, 2010  •  8,259 views
 
Softball Girl  
So cool are those your horses?
  Sep 14, 2010  •  8,292 views
 
ImaCoolCowgirl  
Wow!! That is some sweet coloring there!! I've never heard of many of those colors!
  Sep 14, 2010  •  8,262 views
 
HPH Polo  
Actually, the horse in the pic you are calling "pearl" is a perlino. This is a double dilute of buckskin- meaning you have to breed two buckskins together and the offspring gets both dilution genes in order to get this color. Just like breeding two paliminos and getting a cremello. This can occur in any breed of horse that has buckskins or palominos.
  Sep 14, 2010  •  8,401 views
 
mosquito  
HPH, sorry, that photo was meant to illustrate the 'shiny' coat of the Akhal-teke, not the pearl color. Oops!

As for silvers, the silver gene originates in Scandinavia, so descendants of Scandinavian horses, including Icelandic and Nordic ponies, the British pony breeds, and even Scandinavian warmblood breeds also produce silvers. It is suggested that the Rocky Mountain Horse and some other gaited American breeds that produce silvers (like the Fox Trotter) may trace their ancestry - and even their gait - to Scandinavian ponies.The color may be a key to finding one link in the heritage of the American horse!
  Sep 14, 2010  •  9,243 views
 
Mystic Magic  
Wow those colours are soo cool. I have herd of most but that really helped understand them all.
  Sep 15, 2010  •  8,378 views
 
Dark Star   
I'm just saying, they are really common in common gaiting horses (Rockies, Walkers, Fox Trotters)
  Sep 15, 2010  •  8,259 views
 
Shirley  
There is no such thing as a "Chimeric gene".
  Dec 18, 2010  •  8,318 views
 More News by mosquito
Old Joe - Chapter 5   10th Nov 2012   •   979 views
Old Joe - Chapter 5 I couldn’t believe my eyes. For having been so little there before, it looked like a whole town had been turned inside out. Ben shook his head, and walked down to the trail slowly, carefully, picking out way around what was now debris but doubtless once had been the treasures of a family. Luke hopped off Snowy, and started to scurry around and pick up whate . . .
 
Your Horse From the Ground Up - The Hindquarters   21st Oct 2012   •   5403 views
Your Horse From the Ground Up - The Hindquarters We’ve seen how the lower legs and hoof all work together to help the horse move, even without any muscles there. Now let’s start looking at how the muscles of the horse really give him power, speed, and balance. Where better to start than the actual ‘engine’ of the horse, the hindquarters? The horse gets almost all of the power and energy for movement fo . . .
 
Your Horse from the Ground Up - The Lower Leg - Part 2   8th Sep 2012   •   7503 views
Your Horse from the Ground Up - The Lower Leg - Part 2 We’ve taken a look at the solid structures of the lower leg – the bones – now let’s see what makes those bones move. First of all, remember that there are no muscles below the knee or the hock, so there’s no actual ‘engine’ to move these bones. It all comes from a network of ligaments and tendons that connect to muscles higher up the leg. The neat part of th . . .
 
Old Joe - Chapter 4   25th Aug 2012   •   1080 views
Old Joe - Chapter 4 There was no shelter, no trees, nothing. Ben called again and we turned further right, angling away from the train. We were going uphill, and that seemed even more foolish to me until we reached the crest. What goes up, goes down, and Ben was seeking shelter on the other side of a little ridge that had been running alongside the trail. The heavens opened; fi . . .
 
Old Joe - Chapter 3   5th Aug 2012   •   1081 views
Old Joe - Chapter 3 It wasn’t long before Luke rode up alongside us on Snowy. I couldn’t see him for my blinkers, but I could hear Snowy’s little quick hoofbeats and smell his carroty breath. Snowy reached over and gave me a nip on my muzzle; I turned my head to tell him off, when I saw what he was trying to tell me. As I tipped my head and peered off to the south through my bl . . .
 
Old Joe - Chapter 2   29th Jul 2012   •   1151 views
Old Joe - Chapter 2 As the sun grew higher in the sky, the dew dried on the grass, and the last few lingering clouds fluttered and disappeared. The bright blue sky – with that deep blue of a cold morning – changed to a softer hue, as a muggy haze began to crawl out of the west. I don’t mind working in the heat, but the trouble with Appalachian weather is the air gets so damp t . . .
 
Your Horse From the Ground Up - The Lower Leg - Part 1   19th Jul 2012   •   4998 views
Your Horse From the Ground Up - The Lower Leg - Part 1 Now that we have the foundations – the hoof – let’s move up our horse and find out a little more about how he moves. In this article we’ll visit the lower leg. For the most part, the front and hind legs (below the knee and hock) are pretty much the same, but after this feature, we’ll have to take the front half and back half of the horse separately. First . . .
 
Old Joe - Chapter 1   15th Jul 2012   •   1252 views
Old Joe - Chapter 1 I heard the rooster crow, and shifted in my stall to try and stretch as much as I could. First he crows, then Farmer Ben comes along, Bess and I have breakfast, and we get to work. Sunday was yesterday, when we got brushed up nice, Amy put a ribbon in our forelocks, and we took the wagon to church. If yesterday was Sunday, that meant today we had a week of w . . .
 
  View All News by mosquito
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 2) Before I begin, let me make something clear. These are my methods. Methods that have worked for me in the past as well as new methods that I have decided will work for Moony in the future. These methods might not work fo . . .
16 October 2010 Provincial Junior Showjumping Championships - Part 2 This day started with Polo and Bronze each doing their speed classes. Polo started brilliantly, went around at a great pace and took all the tight corners I mapped out for her. She clipped a pole down on the tightest tur . . .
National Junior Championships – Part Five After these fantastic results, we faced our first hint of a problem. I felt a strange choppiness in Finola’s stride, and suddenly placing her became difficult. The stride I saw didn’t seem quite as good as before, but Fi . . .
Cyber Bullying - There Are No Consequences We all know how harmful bullying can be in real life. Correct me if I’m wrong, but... Isn't that the reason a whole lot of us are escaping here to the Internet in the first place? Don’t look at me like that, you know I’m . . .
Trick Training - Teach Your Horse to Kiss When asking your horse to kiss, always be aware that horses are big animals, and to have a horse’s head anywhere near your face can be dangerous. Always be ready to back away in case he moves his head too suddenly. And, . . .
Against All Odds - The Story of Bronze - Part 1 So you all remember the stories of Polo, Choc and Finola, and I’m sure you’ve all been thinking "But what about Bronze? Doesn’t Bronze also deserve a story?" Yes, he does. This is a story I have been planning to write . . .
Five Very Good Reasons To Learn To Use English I hope all your brains are overflowing with this new knowledge, and that your enlightenment has brought you not only amusement, but motivation to improve your own language usage. Nobody can be perfect, of course. In fact . . .
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 4) I began by free jumping Moony, working him until he was jumping decent height fences in good form and with loads of spring. We introduced a few spreads as well, and Moony popped over everything comfortably. Once I was sa . . .
The Fall On 22 August 2010 I attended a small practice jumping show. After entering my young horse, Moonfire, in the 60cm and 70cm class I took him home to fetch my brilliant little pony, Tempest, for a friend of mine to ride. Th . . .
The Elusive Nature of the Half Halt The half halt - every rider's best friend - also happens to be an annoyingly elusive tactic that at first seems near impossible to grasp and is often near impossible to explain. If you are like me, you will have been . . .
 
Terms & Conditions     Privacy     About Us     Contact Us     Moderators
Ponybox LLC  All Rights Reserved 2002 - 2014