Friday, July 8, 2011

Minimal White

Ever since I was a child, I've been fascinated by horses' face and leg markings.  At our barn right now, we've got an interesting set of markings, or rather lack of markings.  There are 8 horses, 4 mares and 4 geldings.  There are three bays - Dawn and Charisma are both red bays and Sugar is a seal bay.  There are three chestnuts - Drift, Pie and Fritz - they're all red, with Drift being the darkest, Pie fairly dark and Fritz the lightest.  Then there are the two buckskins - Scout and Misty.  That's not too odd a distribution of colors.

But it's the markings that I think are somewhat unusual, at least in their scarcity.  We have three horses with no white markings on either face or legs - Dawn, Charisma and Scout.  There are two additional horses with some white on their faces - a star in both cases - who have no white on their legs - Drift and Sugar - so 5 horses out of 8 with no white leg markings.

The three horses with white leg markings - Misty, Pie and Fritz - have only one leg with white and in all three cases it's the same leg - the left hind.  Fritz has the least white on his leg - just part of his pastern; Pie's white extends partially over his pastern joint and Misty's white extends a bit up onto her leg.  But that's all, only three legs with white out of 32 legs - I'd guess that's a pretty low percentage except in breeds that often have little white, like Standardbreds.  But all of our horses are either TBs (Dawn) or QHs or QH crosses except for Charisma who's a Morgan.

Even when it comes to face markings, we're pretty minimal - Drift, Fritz and Sugar all have stars and only Pie and Misty have white farther down their faces - Misty has a narrow blaze and Pie has a narrow stripe and also a big snip in addition to his star.

Sugar's star looks a bit like a heart to me:

Fritz's star is irregular:

Drift's star looks a bit like South America to me:

Misty's blaze is irregular but pretty:

Pie's star sometimes looks like a letter F up close, and his snip always fondly reminds me of Noble, who also had a big snip as well as a star and stripe:

Just part of the wonderful variety that's horses!

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