Markings and Colours

Facial Markings of Horses





White Face

Interrupted Stripe


Markings of Horses

Bald face: A marking that colours the entire face white.
Blaze: A white marking that starts at the forehead and extends down to cover the nose.
Snip: A white facial mark between the nostrils.
Star: A white facial marking on the forehead.
Strip: A slim white mark the extends down the horse’s head.
Coronet: A narrow white strip around the coronet above the hoof.
Half-pastern: A vertical white mark from the coronary band halfway up the pastern.
Pastern: The same mark as the half-pastern, extending up the fetlock joint.
Sock: White on the leg above the fetlock no farther than halfway up the canon bone.
Stocking: White on the leg above the fetlock and continuing farther than halfway up the canon bone.

Colours of Horses

Albino: The coat is white and the horse’s eyes are blue.

Appaloosa: Appaloosas are commonly thought of as spotted horses. There are many variations in colour, but most typically the Appaloosa sports a white area on the hips and loin, which is dotted with small dark spots. This spotted horse is identified by specific colour patterns: the spotted blanket, white blanket, leopard, frost and marble, and snowflake.
Bay: The colour of the coat ranges from a golden tan to a dark mahogany, and the mane and tail must be black.
Black: The coat is black, and so is the flank and muzzle.
Brown: The coat is brown or black, but the flank and muzzle must be brown.
Buckskin: The coat ranges from a tan to a dull brown, and the mane, tail and lower legs must be black. A black stripe runs along the top of the back.
Chestnut: The coat ranges from a bright copper to a sorrel (red) to a deep liver colour. The mane and tail must be the same colour as the coat, or a lighter colour.
Dun: The coat is a grey-tinged yellow, and the mane, tail and lower legs are black. The dun horse also sports a black dorsal (back) stripe.
Grey: Grey horses are born black, bay or chestnut, then fade through stages of grey, often becoming dappled. At birth, gray hairs around the eyes are a sign of a future grey horse.
Grullo: Grullo is attributed to horses whose coat is a smoky color composed of individual gray hairs, and not a mix of black and white hairs. The grullo has black points, and most have zebra stripes on their legs, and a black line down their backs.
Palomino: The coat is a golden colour, and the mane and tail are white or silver.
Pinto: Pintos have large spots, and are divided into two types: overo, meaning dark coats with large white spots; and tobiano, meaning white coats with large dark spots. A piebald horse is white and black, while a skewbald horse is white with any other color except black.
Roan: The coat can be any fairly dark colour, as long as white hairs are intermixed throughout. A blue roan refers to a black base coat mixed with white; a strawberry roan refers to a chestnut coat that is mixed with white. The roan colouring does not fade as greys do.
White: A true white horse does not change colour with age, or with the seasons.

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