Yipes! Stripes!
Striping in Horses, Donkeys, Mules, and Asses
(Striping in the Family Equidae, Genus Equus)

Batty Atty Acres
Color in Horses
Archive Articles

   Dun Factor Striping
   Palomino/Buckskin Striping
   Foal Coat Striping
   Coat Texturing

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Brindle Horses - a rare equine coat color
Brindle in horses is very rare. People are more familiar with the pattern in dogs and cattle. Click picture to go to the Brindle Horse website with slideshow and information on Brindle Horses.

Stripes Aren't Just For Zebras!
Article by Leah Patton discussing different types of striping in various equidae, with pictures of Donkeys, Mules, and Zebra Hybrid crosses.

Striping and Camouflage in Horses
Article by Sharon Batteate discussing protective coloration and different types of striping in horses, such as the more commonly recognized Dun factor markings, and less commonly known Countershading striping, Roan striping, and Brindle).

Countershading ( Mealy / Sooty / Smutty )
An ancient camouflage technique, some forms of countershading are responsible for the introduction of darker hairs into the coat, producing sooty and smutty colors in horses. Sometimes it is accompanied by a form of striping that is confused with the dun factor type of striping.

Striping on Palomino/ Buckskin/ Cream    (c cr dilution)
The Palomino/ Buckskin/ Cream dilution is probably the most common dilution. In Quarter Horses it accounted for 10% of all colors registered in 1996. This dilution in a double dose (homozygous) produces cremellos. In a single dose (heterozygous), it mainly affects only the red pigment, changing it to a golden yellow color, with little effect on black pigment, which can thus produce confusing results on darker sooty/ smutty colors or black horses.

Dun Factor Striping
Dun Factor colors accounted for 7% of Quarter Horse colors registered in 1996. This is the dilution associated with dun factor (primitive) markings and leg barring (zebra markings) and in a double dose (homozygous) will not produce a cremello (unlike the c cr dilution above).

Foal Coat Colors - Dun Factor Dilution
Here are pictures of some common dun foal coat colors, and the final color they turn out to be. Predicting a horse's final color from the foal coat color can be very difficult. I have seen a buff colored foal with red mane shed out to be a silver grullo with a black mane. Often they seem to go through several color changes, with the final color only becoming fixed around 2 years old.

Foal Coat Colors - Sooty/Smutty Striping    (countershading striping)
These foal coat colors are often confused with the dun factor dilution colors above, and produce surprises for people as the horses mature and shed out their foal coats. These colors demonstrate why it can be very difficult to predict a horse's final color from their foal coat color.

Foal Coat Texturing - Coming Soon
Many foals exhibit primitive markings, striping, or texturing in their foal coats. It is generally lost as the foal matures (like white spots on Deer fawns or striping on Lion cubs).

Coat Texturing
Many patterns, such as dappling, appaloosa spotting, paint/pinto spotting, brindle striping, and dun factor markings, are also accompanied by various forms of coat texturing.

Dappling and Reverse Dappling
Dappling in horses consists of a lighter colored center (usually circular in appearance) surrounded by darker colored hairs. People are most familiar with seeing it on gray horses, but it can appear on any color.

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