Southwest Spanish
Mustang Association
Preserving The Purest
Spanish Mustangs
In Existence Today
Color Genetics 2
The patterns of white hairs and patches do not interact as do the color factors.
Instead, each is independent and as a result they can occur in any and all
Paint or Pinto spotting is characterized as nonsymmetrical white areas on the
body of the horse.  Several distinct patterns are characteristic of this group.
and vertical white spots on the
body that cross the topline
somewhere eyes are usually dark
Several different white spotting patterns exist in horses, but so far only that of tobiano has been clearly shown
to be conditioned by a single gene.
occur with any coat color. The pattern is present at birth and stable throughout life.
In general, white extends from the neck crest, withers on top of the croup in an apparent top-to-bottom distribution
on the body. The white areas may merge to form an extensive white pattern of generally smooth outline.
The legs are white, but the head is usually dark except for a facial marking pattern.
Patterns Of White Hairs
White Patches
May well be polygenic and
causes spots that are usually
flecked and roaned. Usually the
head is largely white, as well.
little as a couple of low stockings and a star; in white.
These snow-white foals are sometimes white. These
snow-white foals are sometimes mistaken as being "living
lethal whites," but it's easy to tell the difference:
pure-white sabinos are healthy but lethal white foals will
die within two-three days of being born.
White (WW ) is a dominant gene that is
lethal to homozygous embryos.
True white horses are white with pink skin
and dark eyes. Some have hair, but most
do not.
some of these genes.
The Medicine Hat pattern is one of
these, and the horses are largely white,
with color remaining on the ears, tail
base, chest, and ears and very little else.
to frame overos, but there are several
recognizable differences:

Like frames, the majority of sabinos have
solid color over the backbone from the
withers to the tail bone. Their pattern
spreads from belly and legs upward and
usually has excessive roaning and
specked flecking in their coats.
Crisp-edged spots are sometimes seen
though, which makes some sabino and
frame overos hard to tell apart.
Most sabinos have lacy, speckled spots
on their bodies with many tiny flecks of
color or white near the spot edges. There
are often roaned or speckled spots within
unusual looking!
Research suggests that the more white a
colored offspring it will produce. This
makes sense--

ninety percent of all sabinos--it's hard to find one with the normal star, strip or snip.
Sabinos usually have solid manes and tails if they don't have much white on their bodies; horses expressing louder sabino
traits often have white in their mane where roaning crosses over the neck, and some sabinos have nearly white manes and
tails, depending on how strongly the pattern is expressed.
Unlike frames, sabinos almost always have four white legs; many "frame overos" with four white legs are usually sabinos or
sabino-frame crosses.
The roan pattern changes:
  1. black to blue roan
  2. brown to purple roan
  3. bay to red roan
  4. dark chestnuts to lilac roan
  5. lighter chestnut and sorrel to
    strawberry roan.

Frosty is similar to roan, only the mane and
tail are also roaned.
Cholo...Cold Springs Spanish Mustangs
well as blue eyes, and usually leaves the feet colored.
This pattern is distinctive and beautiful, especially when loudly exhibited. The name "frame" helps describe this pattern:
Frame overos have their own set of distinctive characteristics:

Although the classic frame has white on its sides, many frames have white spots that spread from the belly up to the
Ninety-nine percent of all frame overos have solid color over the backbone from the withers to the tail bone.
The majority of frames have clean, jagged-edged spots that often have spots within.
Facial markings on frame overos are usually like normal face markings: star, strip, snip, blaze, bald, etc., but can also
have bonnet and apron faces. The edges of these markings are usually smooth like regular markings.
Most frames have solid manes and tails. Occasionally one will have white in its mane where a spot crossed over the
neck, but only rare individuals will have wild half and half manes like tobianos; these horses are probably sabino-frames
or toveros expressing their tobiano gene.
Overo Pattern pintos are much less common than tobianos, and the reason lies in the nature of the spotting pattern.
In patterns are actually dominent like tobiano. Why is it then, that tobianos seem to outnumber overos? For the
simple reason that minimally-marked tobianos are almost always  easily recognizable as a tobiano, whereas
minimally-marked overos merely look like a solid horse! Although it doesn't seem like it, overos probably number
about the same as tobianos, except that many of them don't express their pattern very loudly.

Another point worth mentioning is that many overos actually express a mixture of two or even all three types of overo
genes. The fact is that many paints are a mixed jumble of overo. This can make it quite difficult to exactly identify a
Joker....Mike & Tammy Murray
White face and leg marks occur in most breeds. These are controlled by many, many individual genes all contributing a
small spot on coronary band of hoof half
narrow connected star, strip, snip
small, thin, below level of nostrils on top
of nose or upper lip
bald face extending along jaw to throat
small, thin, up on top of nasal bones
chin spot
lower lip
white head
white up to bottom of fetlock joint, fetlock
white including fetlock joint, sock white up
to half of cannon bone, 3/4 stocking white
3/4 up cannon bone
paper face
bald face