For Sale



Login to PonyBox!               Create Account
A Horse of a Different Color – Unusual Horse Colors
 By mosquito   •   14th Sep 2010   •   30,933 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’.

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.

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

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
Finola - The Comeback Finola’s rehabilitation process was a long one. Weeks upon weeks of roadwork to strengthen her tendons and build muscles, and still weeks more of gentle schooling until she was ready to really hit the flatwork hard. At the beginning of the year, Finola had come back relatively unschooled, but after what I can only describe as a ‘schooling bootcamp’, I eventu . . .
National Junior Championships – Part Four It was the day after the cross country, and though the weather had improved slightly, the sky was still smothered with clouds – which looked about fit to burst with rain. As usual, we arrived at the show grounds early to feed the horses. Both Bronze and Finola looked perfectly happy, and Bronze’s legs were still looking good even after the cross country t . . .
Finola - The Legend Goes On You see, up until the end of 2008, my beloved Finola was, quite frankly, the most amazing competition horse anybody could ask for. She was brave, she was fast, she could jump and best of all: She loved every minute of it. She wasn't big, shiny and well bred. She wasn't an expensive horse with top breeding, but she was Finola, and she was just a little crazy . . .
The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 3 To me, putting Choc down was never an option. For a horse so full of life, and so eager and ready to take on her next challenge and fight to keep living, it would just be wrong to take away that chance. This, of course, left two options. The stable rest would have been far, far cheaper. It also would have been less risky to Choc, but what of the end result? . . .
Against All Odds - The Story of Bronze - Part 2 Suddenly, from amongst the herd of stallions, one came charging toward me. He was a huge, bright bay creature – standing at least a hand over any of the others, and double the size of most in bulk. He hardly seemed like a Thoroughbred at all. Seeing this tank of a horse bearing down on me, I was not scared. No, this was not bravery, it was pure, unfiltere . . .
5 June Showjumping Competition On 05 June 2010 I attended a showjumping competition with my wonderful horses: Choc, Finola and Badger. Choc was entered in the 1m classes. She completed her first trial round at 1m the previous weekend with just 1 pole down, so this time we were ready to step it up a notch. The little horse was phenomenal. Despite all the illnesses and injuries she has d . . .
The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 5 There were just two options - A second surgery to remove the plate that had been put in just eight months earlier, or... Putting Choc down. All at once, I was thrown back into a nightmare from which I had barely awoken. Had we really come all this way for nothing? The answer, when I really thought about it, was the easiest in the world. No. After all she had . . .
Life Lessons Learned From Horses Carrot ownership laws. 1. If it belongs to your rider, it is yours. 2. If your rider wants to give it to another horse, it is yours. 3. If it is in a bucket, it is yours. 4. If you like buckets, that is yours, too. 5. If there is another horse's head in the bucket - that is also yours. Remove it to ensure that the carrot remains yours. 6. If it is hidd . . .
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 Finola still made a plan and kept jumping, though perhaps not as well as before. In this state, we attended the provincial championship. Our f . . .
Crazy Stunts with Olop - Jumping Backwards - Part 3 What was my revolutionary idea, you ask? Well, it came to me one day when I was riding with a friend, without the supervision of either my mother or my instructor, as usual. I decided that if I was going to try riding backwards, I ought to take extra safety precautions. But what to do, what to do...? It took me longer than I’m proud to admit to think of t . . .
Terms & Conditions     Privacy     About Us     Contact Us     Moderators
Ponybox LLC  All Rights Reserved 2002 - 2014