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Article: Horse coat colors

Fellfarben der Pferde
Reitsport-Themen

Horse coat colors

A good horse has no color, says an old equestrian proverb. Of course, the color of a horse's coat does not influence whether it is suitable for dressage or show jumping or whether the horse can become an intrepid leisure partner. And yet horse breeding produces a wide range of horse colors and some horse lovers still choose their horse based on the color or exclude horses of some colors when choosing a new partner. What fur colors are there? Is it possible to breed horses to produce a specific coat color? This article gives you an overview of all horse coat colors.

Foxes are a dime a dozen, they say in the equestrian world. The light brown horses with coats of the same color can actually often be seen in the pastures and stables of Germany. However, not all foxes are the same. A distinction can be made between the horse coat colors: light fox, dark fox, copper fox, red fox, cabbage fox and sweaty fox.

If we talk about a brown horse, not the entire horse is brown, but only the color of the coat, whereas the mane and tail are black. If the horse is brown, the legs are black up to the carpal and hock joints, and the face is also black. Browns are also relatively common. A dark brown has a darker brown coat color with a coat of the same color.

The terms black and gray are not only known among horse lovers. Lay people often use these terms incorrectly; they speak of a "black horse" or a "white horse", although horse people often have to smile a little because of this duplication. A black horse has black fur and black long hair. However, in addition to the all-season black horses, there are also horses that get reddish or brownish fur in winter, the so-called summer black horses. Winter blacks are only black in winter and change to reddish, brownish or grayish fur in summer. Black horses are popular animals not only in the equestrian world but also in the advertising world because they express a particular degree of dynamism and power, so that car advertising, for example, likes to show a black horse galloping next to the off-road vehicle being purchased. In addition, the series stars Fury and Black Beauty were rapping.

The gray horse is also a popular advertising model, usually in connection with a fairytale magical world. As a foal, white horses can have all sorts of colors before they become whiter and whiter over time, i.e. they become moldy. The mold is caused by the Gray gene, a mutation of the STX17 gene. This Gray mutation also causes an increased susceptibility to melanomas, lumps and tumor-like growths, which are usually benign in mold. The melanomas that can only affect mold are also called mold melanomas. Because of these lumps, some horse lovers avoid mold, but also because dirt on them is more noticeable and their fur quickly turns yellowish, especially when they are lying in manure.

Furthermore, the white horse can have special patterns, such as outlined circles on fairly light fur. A horse marked like this is called a dapple gray horse. If the white fur has countless small black dots, it is called a fly mold. The trout mold is similar to the fly mold, but the small spots are brown or reddish. Normal mold often turns into fly mold or trout mold as it ages. It is not clear why this phenomenon exists. In Spanish horses, such as the Andalusian or the Lipizzaner, horses of this color predominate, and the French Camargue horses only have white coat color.

Check horses were a specialty a decade ago, but now almost every boarding stable herd contains one or more check horses. If the pinto horse combines black and white spots, it is called a black pinto. However, piebalds are possible in all basic colors, such as fox piebalds and brown piebalds. Spotting is a disorder in which certain areas of the horse's skin are not encouraged to produce color and then form white hairs. It cannot be controlled, but happens randomly.

The dun horse is caused by a dominant gene called Dun factor. This lightens the horse's coat. A black horse becomes a black dun or a gray dun, a brown becomes a brown dun and a chestnut becomes a red dun. If a black and brown horse is involved, the mouse dun is created. Fallows have an eel line, the head is usually darker, as are the legs.

The Palomino horse is recognized as a horse breed, although strictly speaking the Palomino is just one of the horse's coat colors. The Palomino horse breed is inconsistent in appearance, as breeding horses is not about the exterior, but rather about the special color of these horses. The coat color is an Isabel-colored gold tone, the covering is flax-colored or silver-white. The name was probably derived from Don Juan de Palomino, who received some of these beautiful horses as a gift from Queen Isabella of Spain. The most famous horse of this color is the stallion Bamboo Harvester, who is more commonly known as "Mr. Ed" is known.

In addition to these well-known horse colors, there are also horse colors that are defined by mixing colored hair with white hair. These horse colors are referred to as "roan hair", or the horses are called red roan, brown roan or blue roan depending on the mixed colors of the hair.Brindle, Lacing and Mosaic Pattern are very rare horse colors. With the Brindle, the horse is reminiscent of a brindle boxer. A Brindle horse has lighter or darker stripes on the base color. These stripes appear primarily on the neck and torso, but they can also be distributed over the entire body. The lacing coloration is even rarer than the brindle horse. The lines on the horse's back are in the shape of giraffe spots. Since these lines are white, they are reminiscent of the fur that grows back in the event of a fungal infection. However, they are born this way as foals, so there can be no connection between lacing and fungal infestation. A check shape without white markings, also called a mosaic pattern, is extremely rare. The horse's fur colors are brown and black, brown fur with black spots. Only very few of these Mosaic marked horses are known, for example the Icelandic mare Miljon fra Grund. Since both parents and all siblings of this Icelandic mare are normally colored, it is assumed that this unusual coat color is caused by a non-reproducible mutation.

The colors of the horses are diverse and colorful. But no matter whether your horse is a dun horse, a gray horse, a piebald horse, a black horse, a palomino horse or your horse is a dapple gray horse or has a very unusual pattern, in the end it is the character that counts more. Because a good horse has no color.

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