COLOR BREEDS OF HORSES Base breeds are horses which are bred for bloodlines, athletic ability and conformation.
Color breed horses are bred for a specific color type (or pattern). American Paint Horse In order to be registered with the American Paint Horse Association, a paint horse must be born with a predominate hair coat color and at least one contrasting area of solid white hair with some underlying pink (non-pigmented) skin.
The areas of white must be located in specific locations on the body.
Other color markings attributed to the paint breed include: white leg markings extending above the knees/hocks; glass, blue or watch eyes; apron or bald face, two color mane (one color being white); dark spots or freckles in white hair on face or legs; or contrasting area of another color in prescribed areas of the horse’s body. A secondary characteristic used in describing the paint horse involves the color patterns of dark to light hairs.
Although there are a number of words used to describe the color patterns of a paint horse (piebald, skewbald, medicine hat, etc.), only three terms are used by the Paint Association: tobiano, overo or tovero. Tobiano: Dark color patterns cover one or both flanks.
Generally, all four legs are white at least below the hocks/knees.
Spots of color are regular and distinct as ovals or round patterns which extend down over the neck and chest (looks like a shield).
Head markings are similar to those of a solidly colored horse (ie, solid or with blaze, strip, star or snip). Overo: White patterns will not cross the back of the horse between the withers and tail.
At least one, but usually, more legs will be colored.
The white patterns are usually scattered or splashy (called calico).
Head markings are normally very distinctive (bald-faced, apron- faced or bonnet-faced).
The horse is usually either predominately white or dark.
The tail is usually one color (solid). Tovero: The type is more difficult to define because the color patterns are actually a combination of the Tobiano and Overo. Appaloosa The Appaloosa has four distinguishing characteristics: 1) spotted coat patterns of which the leopard (white with spots over the entire body) and blanket (white blanket over hips) are the most distinctive, 2) mottled skin around the muzzle and genital areas, 3) white sclera (skin around the eyes), and 4) vertically striped hooves.
Other color patterns include: snowflake (light spotting on dark background), marble and frost. Palomino The Palomino is said to be a golden yellow colored horse.
Others describe the color as looking like a newly minted gold coin.
The mane and tail are normally white and the eyes are colored (not blue).
Palominos do not have a dorsal stripe. Buckskin Horse The buckskin is normally a yellowish or golden color with darker mane and tail.
The lower legs are usually black.
The Buckskin Horse usually does not have a dorsal stripe. Albino Horse Strictly speaking, the albino horse is not a color breed because it is not selectively bred for a color type.
It is a genetic abnormality in that the horse’s genetic makeup (genotype) is homozygous recessive for the expression of color.
Genetically, the albino would possess two recessive genes for color.
The outward expression of the genetic code, called the phenotype, for the albino is that it the horse has no pigmentation in its skin.
Typically, the horse’s hair are milky colored and lack any color.
The color of the albino horse’s eyes are said to be pale or translucent (not blue or pink).
However, the skin around the eye (called the sclera) is pink because it lacks pigmentation. An albino horse differs from a white colored horse in several important ways.
A white horse has colored eyes and pigmented (colored) sclera and the hairs on its body may contain some colored hairs intermixed with the predominately white hairs.
A white horse is born white colored and remains that color throughout its life.
But, the white horse may also have colored leg hairs, mane and tail – the albino horse will never have pigmented skin or colored hairs. Because it lacks skin pigmentation, the albino horse is extremely sensitive to the sun’s rays and care should be taken to protect it from extended periods of exposure to sunlight. COLORS OF HORSES — A small, oval white marking on the forehead. STRIP A long, relatively thin white vertical marking running from approximately the eyes down the nose. BLAZE A broader, more pronounced strip running from approximately the eyes down the nose. BALD A very broad blaze which can extend from around the eyes down to the upper lip and nostrils. Leg Markings CORONET Any narrow white marking located around the coronet, above the hoof. HALF PASTERN A white marking which includes only one half of the pastern joint located above the coronet. PASTERN
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