The breed is closely associated with the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria, where the horses demonstrate the hate Cole or “high school” movements of classical dressage, including the highly controlled, stylized jumps and other movements known as the “airs above the ground.” The horses at the Spanish Riding School are trained using traditional methods that date back hundreds of years, based on the principles of classical dressage.
Its name derives from one of the earliest stud farms established, which was located near Li pica (spelled “Li pizza” in Italian), a village in present-day Slovenia. The rescue of the Lipizzaner during World War II by American troops was made famous by the Disney movie Miracle of the White Stallions.
The breed has also starred or played supporting roles in many movies, TV shows, books, and other media. Today, eight stallions are recognized as the classic foundation bloodstock of the breed, all foaled the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
All modern Lipizzaner trace their bloodlines to these eight stallions, and all breeding stallions have included in their name the name of the foundation sire of their bloodline. Also, classic mare lines are known, with up to 35 recognized by various breed registries.
The majority of horses are registered through the member organizations of the Lipizzaner International Federation, which covers almost 11,000 horses in 19 countries and at 9 state studs in Europe. Most Lipizzaner reside in Europe, with smaller numbers in the Americas, South Africa, and Australia.
Generally gray, the Lipizzaner is a breed of Baroque type that is powerful, matures slowly, and noted for longevity. However, horses bred to be closer to the original carriage-horse type are taller, approaching 16.1 hands (65 inches, 165 cm).
Lipizzaner have a long head, with a straight or slightly convex profile. The jaw is deep, the ears small, the eyes large and expressive, and the nostrils flared.
They have a neck that is sturdy, yet arched and withers that are low, muscular, and broad. They are a Baroque horse, with a wide, deep chest, broad croup, and muscular shoulder.
Lipizzaner are not actually true white horses, but this is a common misconception. Until the 18th century, Lipizzaner had other coat colors, including dun, bay, chestnut, black, piebald, and skewbald.
The earliest predecessors of the Lipizzaner originated in the seventh century when Barb horses were brought into Spain by the Moors and crossed on native Spanish stock. By the 16th century, when the Habsburg ruled both Spain and Austria, a powerful but agile horse was desired both for military uses and for use in the fashionable and rapidly growing riding schools for the nobility of Central Europe.
Therefore, in 1562, the Habsburg Emperor Maximilian II brought the Spanish Andalusian horse to Austria and founded the court stud at Klaus. In 1580, his brother, Archduke Charles II, ruler of Inner Austria, established a similar stud at Li pizza (now Li pica), located in modern-day Slovenia, from which the breed obtained its name.
Spanish, Barb, and Arabian stock were crossed at Li pizza, and succeeding generations were crossed with the now-extinct Neapolitan breed from Italy and other Baroque horses of Spanish descent obtained from Germany and Denmark. While breeding stock was exchanged between the two studs, Klaus specialized in producing heavy carriage horses, while riding and light carriage horses came from the Li pizza stud.
Breeding became very selective, only allowing stallions that had proved themselves at the Riding School to stand at stud, and only breeding mares that had passed rigorous performance testing. Today, eight foundation lines for Lipizzaner are recognized by various registries, which refer to them as “dynasties”.
Six trace to classical foundation stallions used in the 18th and 19th centuries by the Li pizza stud, and two additional lines were not used at Li pizza, but were used by other studs within the historic boundaries of the Habsburg Empire. Two additional stallion lines are found in Croatia, Hungary, and other eastern European countries, as well as in North America.
They are accepted as equal to the six classical lines by the Lipizzaner International Federation. Several other stallion lines have died out over the years, but were used in the early breeding of the horses.
Traditional naming patterns are used for both stallions and mares, required by Lipizzaner breed registries. The world-famous Spanish Riding School uses highly trained Lipizzaner stallions in public performances that demonstrate classical dressage movements and training.
In 1572, the first Spanish riding hall was built, during the Austrian Empire, and is the oldest of its kind in the world. In 1729, Charles VI commissioned the building of the Winter Riding School in Vienna and in 1735, the building was completed that remains the home of the Spanish Riding School today.
The Lipizzaner endured several wartime relocations throughout their history, each of which saved the breed from extinction. The first was in March 1797 during the War of the First Coalition, when the horses were evacuated from Li pica.
In November 1797, the horses returned to Li pica, but the stables were in ruins. They were rebuilt, but in 1805, the horses were evacuated again when Napoleon invaded Austria.
The horses finally returned to Li pica for good in 1815, where they remained for the rest of the 19th century. Following the war, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up, with Li pica becoming part of Italy.
Thus, the animals were divided between several studs in the new postwar nations of Austria, Italy, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The nation of Austria kept the stallions of the Spanish Riding School and some breeding stock.
During World War II, the high command of Nazi Germany transferred most of Europe's Lipizzaner breeding stock to Hos tau, Czechoslovakia. The breeding stock was taken from Fiber in 1942, and additional mares and foals from other European nations arrived in 1943.
The stallions of the Spanish Riding School were evacuated to St. Martins, Austria, from Vienna in January 1945, when bombing raids neared the city and the head of the Spanish Riding School, Colonel Alois Podhajsky, feared the horses were in danger. The rescue of the Lipizzaner by the United States Army, made famous by the Disney movie Miracle of the White Stallions, occurred in two parts: The Third United States Army, under the command of General George S. Patton, was near St. Martins in the spring of 1945 and learned that the Lipizzaner stallions were in the area.
Patton himself was a horseman, and like Podhajsky, had competed in the Olympic Games. On May 7, 1945, Podhajsky put on an exhibition of the Spanish Riding School stallions for Patton and Undersecretary of War Robert P. Patterson, and at its conclusion requested that Patton take the horses under his protection.
Meanwhile, the Third Army's United States Second Cavalry, a tank unit under the command of Colonel Charles Reed, had discovered the horses at Hos tau, where 400 Allied prisoners of war were also being kept, and had occupied it on April 28, 1945. “Operation Cowboy”, as the rescue was known, resulted in the recovery of 1,200 horses, including 375 Lipizzaner.
Patton learned of the raid, and arranged for Podhajsky to fly to Hos tau. On May 12, American soldiers began riding, trucking, and herding the horses 35 miles across the border into Rotating, Germany.
The Lipizzaner were eventually settled in temporary quarters in Impeach, until the breeding stock returned to Fiber in 1952, and the stallions returned to the Spanish Riding School in 1955. In 2005, the Spanish Riding School celebrated the 60th anniversary of Patton's rescue by touring the United States.
The Lipizzaner breed suffered a setback to its population when a viral epidemic hit the Fiber Stud in 1983. Forty horses and 8% of the expected foal crop were lost.
By 1994, 100 mares were at the stud farm and a foal crop of 56 was born in 1993. In 1994, the rate of successful pregnancy and birth of foals increased from 27 to 82%; the result of a new veterinary center.
In 1996, a study funded by the European UnionIndo-Copernicus Project assessed 586 Lipizzaner horses from eight stud farms in Europe, with the goal of developing a “scientifically based description of the Lipizzaner horse”. A study of the mitochondrial DNA (mt DNA) was performed on 212 of the animals, and those studied were found to contain 37 of the 39 known mt DNA haplotypes known in modern horses, meaning that they show a high degree of genetic diversity.
The Lipizzaner International Federation (If) is the international governing organization for the breed, composed of many national and private organizations representing the Lipizzaner. The organizations work together under the banner of the If to promote the breed and maintain standards.
As of 2012, almost 11,000 Lipizzaner were registered with the If; residing with private breeders in 19 countries and at 9 state studs in Europe. The 9 state studs that are part of the If represent almost one-quarter of the horses in Europe.
Because of the status of Lipizzaner as the only breed of horse developed in Slovenia, via the Li pica stud that is now located within its borders, Lipizzaner are recognized in Slovenia as a national animal. For example, a pair of Lipizzaner is featured on the 20-cent Slovenian euro coins.
In October 2008, during a visit to Slovenia, a Lipizzaner at Li pica, named 085 Favor Carissa XXII, was given to Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. She decided to leave the animal in the care of the stud farm.
The traditional horse training methods for Lipizzaner were developed at the Spanish Riding School and are based on the principles of classical dressage, which in turn traces to the Ancient Greek writer Xenophon, whose works were rediscovered in the 16th century. His thoughts on development of horses mental attitude and psyche are still considered applicable today.
Other writers who strongly influenced the training methods of the Spanish Riding School include Federico Gris one, the founder of the first riding academy in Naples, who lived during the 16th century, and Antoine de Pluvinel and François Robinson de la Guarnieri, two Frenchmen from the 17th and 18th centuries. The methods for training the Lipizzaner stallions at the Spanish Riding School were passed down via an oral tradition until Field Marshal Franz Holbein and Johann Manner, Senior Rider at the School, published the initial guidelines for the training of horse and rider at the school in 1898.
In the mid-20th century, Alois Podhajsky wrote a number of works that serve as textbooks for many dressage riders today. Young stallions come to the Spanish Riding School for training when they are four years old.
Forward riding, also called straight riding or the Remontenschule, is the name given to the skills taught in the first year of training, where a young horse learns to be saddled and bridled, learns basic commands on a long line, and then is taught to be ridden, mostly in an arena in simple straight lines and turns, to teach correct responses to the rider's legs and hands while mounted. The main goal during this time is to develop free forward movement in as natural a position as possible.
Campaign school, Campagneschule or Champagne, is where the horse learns collection and balance through all gaits, turns, and maneuvers. The horse learns to shorten and lengthen his stride and perform lateral movements to the side, and is introduced to the more complex double bridle.
High-school dressage, the hate Cole or Home Schulz, includes riding the horse with greater collection with increased use of the hindquarters, developing increased regularity, skill, and finesse in all natural gaits. In this period, the horse learns the most advanced movements such as the half-pass, counter-canter, flying change, pirouette, passage, and giraffe.
This level emphasizes performance with a high degree of perfection. Although the Fiber Stud trains mares for driving and under saddle, the Spanish Riding School exclusively uses stallions in its performances.
Worldwide, the Lipizzaner today competes in dressage and driving, as well as retaining their classic position at the Spanish Riding School. The “airs above the ground” are the difficult “high school” dressage movements made famous by the Lipizzaner.
The evade is a position wherein the horse raises up both front legs, standing at a 30° angle entirely on its hind legs in a controlled form that requires a great deal of hindquarter strength. A less difficult but related movement is the decade, where the horse rises up to a 45° angle.
In the crusade, the horse jumps with both front and hind legs remaining tucked under the body, and he does not kick out. The mézair is a series of successive evades in which the horse lowers its forefeet to the ground before rising again on hindquarters, achieving forward motion.
Lipizzaner have starred or played supporting roles in many movies, TV shows, books, and other media. The wife of the film's producer owned the only Lipizzaner in the US at the time the movie was made.
The movie was the only live-action, relatively realistic film set against a World War II backdrop that Disney has ever produced. Hephaestus EU Lippi 1580–1880, Wain 1880 ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n “Lipizzaner Origins”.
^ Bonging, Simon & Schuster's Guide to Horses and Ponies, Entry 37. ^ Podhajsky, The Complete Training of Horse and Rider, p. 249 ^ a b “The Spanish Riding School”.
“The 2005 Lipizzaner Tour of the Spanish Riding School” (PDF). The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis.
^ a b Edwards, The Encyclopedia of the Horse, p. 129 ^ a b Kelly, Jeff & Kelly-Simmons, Lisa (Winter 2012). ^ Favor, Tatiana; Bred, Gottfried; Have, Franc; Soldier, Johann; Dove, Peter (2002).
“History of Lipizzaner horse maternal lines as revealed by mt DNA analysis”. ^ Lipizzaner horses used by Mounted Carabiner Regiments ^ Music, Sneezing (2008-10-22).
CS1 main: extra text: authors list (link) Broke, Douglas (2004). Dozen, Milan (translated by Marco Harvey and Susan Ann Peachy) (1981).
Dictionary of American children's fiction, 1960-1984: recent books of recognized merit. They Rode Into Europe: The Fruitful Exchange in the Arts of Horsemanship between East and West.
CS1 main: multiple names: authors list (link) Patton, George S. & Martin Benson (1996). The Complete Training of Horse and Rider In the Principles of Classic Horsemanship.
The great majority of Whitehorse carry a dominant mutation that results in rapid grain with age. White hairs begin to appear at or shortly after birth and become progressively lighter as the horse ages.
Depending on breed, management and environment, the modern domestic horse has a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years. The Gray gene causes progressive pigmentation of the hair, often resulting in a coat color that is almost completely white by the age of 6-8 years.
There is a genetic mutation within this line of horses that means that some may inherit a disease, called over lethal white foal syndrome, which causes severe intestinal tract abnormalities and results in the early death of affected animals. The dun gene lightens most of the body while leaving the mane, tail, legs, and primitive markings the shade of the undiluted base coat color.
If a stripe or blaze is present, a star must be significantly wider than the vertical marking to be designated separately. This means they distinguish colors in two wavelength regions of visible light, compared to the three-color (dichroic vision) of most humans.
True Whitehorse have pink skin and white coats, and many have dark eyes, as here. Whitehorse's have pigmented skin and a white hair coat.
In contrast to gray horses which are born with pigmented skin they keep for life and pigmented hair that lightens to white with age, truly Whitehorse are born with white hair and mostly pink, pigmented skin. Some Whitehorse are born with partial pigmentation in their skin and hair, which may or may not be retained as they mature, but when a white horse lightens, both skin and hair lose pigmentation.
In contrast, grays retain skin pigment and only the hair becomes white. Pigmentation phenotypes have various genetic causes, and those that have usually been studied map to the Edna and KIT genes.
Researchers have suggested that at least some forms of dominant white result in nonviable embryos in the homozygous state, though others are known to be viable as homo zygotes. While homologous mutations in mice are often linked to anemia and sterility, no such effects have been observed in dominant Whitehorse.
Dominant Whitehorse typically have white noses that can be subject to sunburn. They are homozygous for the dominant SB1 allele at the Sabine 1 locus, which has been mapped to KIT.
The Sabino1 allele, and the associated spotting pattern, is found in Miniature horses, American Quarter Horses, American Paint Horses, Tennessee Walkers, Missouri Fox Trotters, Mustangs, Shetland Ponies, and Aztecs. The Sabine 1 allele is not linked to any health defects, though sabino-whites may need some protection from sunburn.
Horses with only one copy of the Sabino1 gene usually have dramatic spotting, including two or more white legs, often with white running up the front of the leg, extensive white on the face, spotting on the midsection, and jagged or loaned margins to the pattern. Two factors influence the eventual appearance of a leopard complex coat: whether one copy (heterozygous LP/LP) or two copies (homozygous LP/LP) Leopard alleles are present, and the degree of dense white patterning present at birth.
If a foal is homozygous for the LP allele and has extensive dense white patterning, they will appear nearly white at birth, and may continue to lighten with age. White born foals are less common among Appaloosa horses than Knabstruppers or Workers, as the extensive dense white patterning is favored for producing dramatic full leopards.
Homozygous leopards are substantially more prone to congenital stationary night blindness. Congenital stationary night blindness is present at birth and is characterized by impaired vision in dark conditions.
Lethal white syndrome is a genetic disorder linked to the Frame over (O) gene and most closely studied in the American Paint Horse. However, the colon of these foals cannot function due to the absence of nerve cells, and the condition cannot be treated.
Foals with Lethal White Syndrome invariably die of colic within 72 hours, and are usually humanely euthanized. Carriers of the gene, who are healthy and normal, can be identified by a DNA test.
While carriers often exhibit the “frame over” pattern, this is not a dispositive trait and testing is necessary, as the pattern can appear in a minimal form as normal white markings or be masked by other white spotting genes. Its hair coat is completely white, but its underlying skin, seen around the eye and muzzle, is black. True Whitehorse have pigmented pink skin and pigmented white hair, though eye color varies.
The lack of pigment in the skin and hair is caused by the absence of pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. Instead, white -like coat colors result from various changes in the ways melanocytes produce pigment.
Gray horses have the most common white -like” coat color. However, the most noticeable difference between a gray horse whose hair coat is completely white and a white horse is skin color: most gray horses have black skin and dark eyes, Whitehorse have light, pigmented skin.
Gray foals may be born any color, but the colored hairs of their coat become progressively silvered as they age, eventually giving mature gray horses a white or nearly- white hair coat. Gray is controlled by a single dominant allele of a gene that regulates specific kinds of stem cells.
This “Ivory Champagne” foal has both cream dilution and champagne dilution genes, shown by DNA testing as well as visibly semi-pigmented, rosy skin and a cream-colored coat that can be mistaken for white. This same hair coat shade would be considered cello if the horse had double cream dilution, but still would not be white.
True white hair is rooted in pigmented skin that lacks melanocytes. In contrast, diluted coat colors have melanocytes, but vary due to the concentration or chemical structure of the pigments made by these pigment-producing cells, not the absence of the cells themselves.
There are at least five known types of pigment dilution in horses, three which, as described below, can act to produce off- white phenotypes. The Cream gene produces two types of diluted color.
Cellos, Perkins, and smoky creams have rosy-pink skin, pale blue eyes, and cream-colored coats that can appear almost white. When heterozygous, the cream gene is also responsible for palomino and buckskin.
A few Palominos have a very light hair coat is occasionally mistaken for either cello or white. White markings and patterns are visible against the slightly-pigmented coat and skin.
These two distinct dilution factors interact to produce a cremello-like coat. Champagne and cream are another pair of unrelated dilution factors that interact to produce a cremello-like coat.
In other animals, patches of pigmented skin, hair, or eyes due to the lack of pigment cells (melanocytes) are called piebald ism, not albinism nor partial albinism. All so-called “albino” horses have pigmented eyes, generally brown or blue.
In contrast, many albino mammals, such as mice or rabbits, typically have a white hair coat, pigmented skin and reddish eyes. The definition of albinism varies depending on whether humans, other mammals, or other vertebrates are being discussed.
For example, the Pass Fine Horse Association registers cellos and other cream colors as “albino.” The Aqua later replaced the word “albino” with “cello or per lino,” and in 2002 the rule was removed entirely.
In other mammals, the diagnosis of albinism is based on the impairment of tyrosine production through defects in the Color (C) gene. Humans exhibit a wide range of pigmentation levels as a species.
However, the diagnosis of albinism in humans is based on visual impairment, which has not been described in Whitehorse. Vision problems are not associated with gray, dilute, or white coat colors in horses, and blue eyes in horses do not indicate poor vision.
The iris pigment epithelium prevents damaging light scattering within the eye. This accounts for the reddish appearance of eyes in some types of albinism.
In research mammals, such as mice, albinism is more strictly defined. Albino mice occur due to a recessive mutation of the C gene.
While mammals derive their pigments only from melanin, fish, reptiles and birds rely on a number of pigments apart from melanin: carotenoids, porphyrins, psittacofulvins, Perkins, etc. Most commonly, reptiles with a condition homologous to human OCA1A retain their reddish and Frankish hues.
As a result, birds and reptiles without the ability to manufacture tyrosine are more accurately described as mechanistic.” However, other benign mutations on Map are responsible for normal variations in skin, hair, and eye color in humans.
Likewise, most Whitehorse used in movies are actually grays, in part because they are easier to find. One of the best-known examples was “Silver,” ridden by the Lone Ranger, a role actually played by two different Whitehorse.
At least one horse who played “Topper,” ridden by Hop along Cassidy, was also white. Another famous white horse is Musician, a Japanese Thoroughbred racehorse who won the Kant Oaks at Kawasaki Racecourse.
^ “Introduction to Coat Color Genetics” from Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis. Website accessed January 12, 2008 ^ Raider, Stefan; Christian Dagger; Gabriela Obexer-Ruff; Toss Lee; Pierre-André Ponce (2 February 2008).
“The SNP was found among American Miniature Horses, American Paint Horses, Aztec, Missouri Fox Trotters, Shetland Ponies, and Spanish Mustangs.” ^ Sandbar, Lynne S.; Carrie B. Break; Sheila Archer; Bruce H. Grain (2007).
^ Locke, MM; MCT Opened; SJ Bricked; LV Million; JD Murray (2002). “Linkage of the gray coat color locus to micro satellites on horse chromosome 25”.
Although the rate at which horses will turn gray is variable, the amount of white hair increases with age until the coat is completely white at maturity. Dark skin distinguishes the gray phenotype from that of pink-skinned cello and white horses.
^ Spielberg, Girl Rosenberg; Anna Gloves; Elisabeth Sandstorm; In Curia; Johan Lennartsson; Monika H Seltenhammer; Thomas Drum; Matthew Binds; Carolyn Fitzsimmons; Gabriella Lindgren; Key Sandberg; Rosetta Bandung; Monika Letterman; Sara Stronger; Manfred Grabber; Claire Wade; Keratin Lindblad-Toh; Fredric Often; Carl-Henrik Held in; Johann Soldier; Leif Anderson (2008). “A cis-acting regulatory mutation causes premature hair graying and susceptibility to melanoma in the horse”.
The Coat Colors of Mice: A Model for Mammalian Gene Action and Interaction. ...the inability of albino animals to produce pigment stems not from an absence of melanocytes ^ a b Davis, Jeff (September–October 2007).
^ “No horse is eligible for registration which possesses all three characteristics which designate a horse commonly known as an albino: light (or pink) skin over the body; white or cream colored hair over the body; and eyes of a bluish cast.” Albinism results from a structural gene mutation at the locus that codes for tyrosine; that is, albino animals have a genetically determined failure of tyrosine synthesis.
^ Hamilton, Peter; Richard Greg son; Gary EDD Fish (1997). In the most severe form, the latter may look pink since the only pigment present is hemoglobin within the iris blood vessels ^ “Chromatophores”.
^ Maria, Denis; Head Tourist; Gerard Turin (2003). “A mutation in the Map gene causes the cream coat color in the horse”.
^ Graph, J; Voila J; Hughes I; van Deal A (July 2007). “Promoter polymorphisms in the Map (SLC45A2) gene are associated with normal human skin color variation”.
They can be born any color (chestnut, bay, black, roan etc, ) but they have the graying gene. So any horse that is called white or flea-bitten or dapple gray are all incorrect to an extent.
I don't know the full extent of the disease but I think their intestines aren't fully developed or something, and they will eventually die, if not put down. I thought I might add that since gray horses are born a color such as chestnut their skin is not pink (unless they have/had a sock/ white marking on their face when they were born, in which case the skin under the white area would be pink) their skin is black.
This can happen in one of two ways: a horse can either inherit one copy of the dominant “W” gene, or the horse is born a “fully expressed” Sabine. They can be born any color...from chestnut to black to buckskin, etc...then, if they have the gray gene, they will lighten with age.
Each year they get older, their coat color will become lighter until some may resemble a white horse. Grays aren't always black and the foal will have its base color when born.
All gray horses are born black or dark, and they turn lighter each year until they appear white. There is an association for Albinos formed back in the day, though.
IF there was a true albino horse his eyes would be pink, the bottoms of his hooves, including the frogs would also lack pigment. Pink skin, light hooves, blue eyes.
How nice to have a horse go from one color, shed out it's foal coat and go to another, then to a roan then to gray. Some are albinos, and a lot of grass (“ white horses) are born chestnut or bay.
We had a really lovely bay roan born at my farm this summer, but unfortunately he's starting to go gray. Nobody is born with gray hair but some people get it when they're older.
Horses are the same way, but they start to go gray much younger than humans do. My friend has a gray horse but when he was born he looked almost like a sorrel color.
I have a gray horse, but she was more like a blue roan when she was born. Mkay, well... A lot of people have given you inaccurate answers.
Just like the Frisian is known for being the black beauty of the equine breeds, the Lipizzaner is known for its glistening pale coat and incredible grace at performing amazing high school dressage. If you grew up a horse lover, chances are you may even know a bit about their history from Disney’s classic Miracle Of The White Stallions.
Check out these fun facts about the stellar Lipizzaner. Way before the story that the Disney movie tells, the Lipizzaner breed dates clear back to the 16th century, where they were first bred as the personal mounts of the Hapsburg monarchy, part of the Holy Roman Empire.
While the breed is closely associated with Vienna, Austria (which was the capital of the Hapsburg monarch for most of its existence), the horse is actually named for one of the earliest stud farms that was located in the village Li pizza (Li pica), in what is now Slovenia. However, Conversant was black, Favor was dun, and Neapolitan was bay.
Roman numerals are assigned to distinguish between horses. Half-Lippizzan mares are not allowed to use traditional Lillian names or Roman numerals.
And although the debate over certain colors will likely continue to rage, the information we've gathered will help you identify some sixty common--and not-so-common--hues in horsed om. We've also simplified basic genetic speak to give you an idea of what pairings can produce these colors-and provided resources that'll help you dig deeper into the world of color breeding.
Just to get things started... did you know that gray isn't considered a color, but rather a pattern of white hairs? We've distilled the standard color classifications into two categories for ease of visual identification: horses with black points (mane, tail, ear rims and lower legs--such as you see on a bay); and those with non- black points (think chestnut).
Simply put, black and red are the two basic equine color pigments. Your horse's ability to reproduce these pigments is an inherited trait, with red being recessive (see “Glossary,” below) to black.
Non- black -point colors are champagne, chestnut/sorrel, cello, red dun, palomino and silver dapple. As with the human hair labels of blond, brunette and redhead, variations within these primary categories would take many more than twelve fingers to count.
Toss in the white -pattern colors of gray, paint/pinto, roan and Appaloosa, and identification can render you colorblind! We've also given you a broad example of sire and dam color, in the form of a “sample genetic recipe,” that could produce such offspring.
Bay: Body color ranges from reddish-brown to washed-out yellow, with or without a mix of darker or lighter hairs; dark eyes. Standard bay: reddish-brown medium shade without a mix of darker or lighter hairs.
Note: Some black horses coats may fade in the sun; those that don't are referred to as “jet” or “raven” black. Note: Brown is not considered a separate color in some registries, but rather a shade of bay.
Sample variations on color: Seal brown: a black horse whose hair has a mealy look. Buckskin: This dilute (see “Glossary”) version of bay can range from cream to a yellowish or orange shade; dark eyes.
Although buckskins are often confused with duns, today “buckskin” is a term generally reserved for tan or yellowish-colored horses that have black points but lack a dun's hallmark primitive markings (see “Glossary”). The term “zebra dun” is generally used to describe buckskin-colored horses with primitive markings.
Grille: This is a dun dilution of black or seal-brown hair that results in a slate-gray or mouse color. Zebra dun: Horses are similar in body color to buckskin, but with primitive markings.
They tend to be more of a tan shade than the lighter, clearer yellows of most buckskin horses. Champagne: This is a recent term for a dilution gene that affects hair and skin pigment.
As a point of identification, keep in mind that the champagne gene always results in lightened skin that lacks black, and in amber-colored eyes (which can darken almost to brown with age). Gold champagne (genetically chestnut): golden-yellow body and legs; red/gold or white mane and tail.
Particularly light-colored horses in this shade can resemble cellos, but the amber eyes tell the true story. Amber champagne (genetically bay): gold body; chocolate mane, tail and legs.
Champagne (genetically black): khaki-colored body that can have almost greenish highlights; mane, tail and legs are chocolate. A strain in the Tennessee Walking Horse breed is famous for this color.
Chestnut/sorrel (see “Sorrel Versus Chestnut,” below): Reddish or copper-reddish body and legs are representative of the red factor. In North America, chestnuts/sorrels are generally named by body shade only, ignoring mane and tail color.
Cream or cello: This double dilution of chestnut/sorrel results in a color so light as to be almost white. In many cases the coat is described as ivory; mane and tail are white or nearly so; skin is pale pink; eyes are always blue.
Per lino: same as cello, except that small amounts of color (cream or coffee-colored) are retained in the mane, tail and lower leg. Red dun: A dominant dilution gene results in tan too reddish-brown to yellow-colored horses that could be confused with chestnuts except for the presence of primitive markings (most commonly a dorsal stripe, or “line back,” hence the general term “line back duns”) and dark points.
Mane, tail and legs can be darker than the body color; dark eyes. Clay bank dun: a pale shade ranging from pale straw to yellow clay, characterized by a yellow cast to the hair; mane and tail are mostly cream or white.
Palomino: This color is actually the result of chestnut with a cream dilution factor. Look for a rich gold to clear-yellow body; manes and tails are generally white or pale; dark eyes.
Golden palomino: a body the color of a newly minted gold coin, with a white mane and tail. Isabel: the palest palomino shade or dark cream with amber eyes.
Sooty (or smutty) palomino: black shading mixed with yellow body hairs; can be quite dark and difficult to distinguish from a chestnut. Silver dapple: A dominant gene acts on black pigments (such as points) by lightening them.
Silver-dapple bay: body red; mane and tail flaxen or mixed; legs light; eyes dark. Silver-dapple black : body chocolate-silver dapple; mane and tail flaxen or white ; legs chocolate brown; eyes dark.
Even though you may think of gray as a horse color, it's actually considered to be a pattern of white hairs. Also, characteristic of this factor are white sclera visible around the eyes, mottled skin pigment on the face and/or genitals and striped hooves.
Snowflake: white patches up to nearly 3 inches across, scattered over a darker base color. Bony areas (such as the face, withers, hip and stifle) are darker than the rest of the body; the exact opposite of the “frosty roan”.
Such horses are normally born colored, then progressively acquire white hairs as they age; the body, mane, tail and legs are gray; eyes are dark. Flea-bitten gray: small flecks of color (generally red or black) remain in the coat.
Not a permanent color, but rather a descriptive term for a stage of gray through which a bay- or chestnut-hued young horse may go through as he gets progressively grayer. Any number of background colors can exist; mane, tail and legs vary depending on genetic coat pattern (see below); eyes can be dark or blue.
White spots generally occur on the body's and neck's middle or sides and only rarely cross the towline between withers and tail. Sabine: an over pattern that usually involves extensive white on the legs and face.
Body spots are generally on the belly and appear as roan, speckled or (rarely) white patches with clean edges. Mane and tail are colored or mixed white ; eyes are dark or blue.
Spots tend to be regular and distinct as ovals or round patterns that extend down the neck and chest and usually cross the back. Note: Homozygous (see “Glossary”) Tobias generally throw 100 percent patterned coat.
Roan: A dominant genetic effect results in the intermingling of white hairs with the base-coat color throughout a horse's body, but not on the points. Frosty roan: a distinctive and unusual roaming pattern characterized by an uneven mixture of white hairs (like a frost) mostly over the bony parts, such as the hips, down the spine and over the shoulders; dark eyes.
For assistance with this article, the editors thank D. Phillip Spangenberg, DVD, PhD, Professor of Pathology and Genetics at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg; and Ann T. Bowling, PhD, of the University of California Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, Davis, California. Blood marks: Large, distinct patches of color--usually red, hence the name--that can develop on gray horses as they age.
For instance, a black affected by dilution becomes grille; bay becomes buckskin; chestnut becomes palomino. Heterozygous: A pair of alleles that aren't alike on a single chromosome, hence not always breeding true to type for the color involved.
Homozygous: A pair of alleles that are identical on a single chromosome, hence breeding true to type for the color involved. Such foals are born healthy and vigorous, with solid white bodies and blue eyes.
Not immediately apparent is the fact that they lack crucial nerves in the intestinal tract, resulting in a constriction through which material can't pass. Mealy: A genetic modification that causes pale red or yellowish areas on the lower belly, flanks, behind the elbows, inside the legs, on the muzzle and over the eyes.
This effect can also apply to chestnuts in the form of multiple shades of red on the body. Piebald: An older English term used to describe any black -and- white -colored horse.
Most common in dun-colored horses, but can occur on darker colors, such as bay and chestnut. Fabiano: Coloration similar to roan, except that white hairs are concentrated in the flanks; can be speckled in appearance.
Skewbald: An older English term used to describe white spotting on any color other than black (see “Piebald,” above). For instance, draft-horse breeders often reserve the term “sorrel” for chestnut horses with the mealy effect (see “Glossary”) superimposed.
Other breeds, notably the American Quarter Horse, apply the term based on body shade alone: To them, “sorrel” refers to red or lighter chestnut shades, with or without the mealy effect. A third approach, though rare, is to use the term “sorrel” to describe a light chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail.
Unless you're into Quarter Horses or draft breeds, “chestnut” may be the term of choice, at least in a generic sense. The terms “paint” and “pinto” generally mean the presence of asymmetric white spotting patterns on the horse's coat.
Confusion over proper usage has lingered because in years past the term “paint” was used to describe a piebald horse (see “Glossary”). The trend has been to drop those dated English color descriptions in favor of genetically distinctive coat patterns, such as over and Tobago.
However, confusion still arises when “paint” and “pinto” are used to designate breed names. Here's a simple rule of thumb: When the word “paint” or “pinto” is being used in a generic, descriptive sense, it doesn't need capitalizing.
Originally published in the January 2001 issue of Practical Horseman magazine. Though many of these breeds you may recognize for their ability to produce black and white coloring, some may come as a surprise to you.
Ideal for beginner riders, equestrians of all ages and abilities enjoy owning these unique, colorful horses. Paint horses are famous for their beautiful coat patterns that include Tobago, over, and over.
These different patterns can often be found in black and white, which makes for a flashy appearance and overall beautiful horse breed. Though there are some Paints that are a solid color that may be registered, the majority have “natural Paint marking.” This means there is a predominant hair color with at least one contrasting area of solid white that is at least two inches and is located somewhere behind the ears and above the knees.
There are many coat colors in this breed, but most people are familiar with snowflake, blanket, and leopard patterns. They have long been bred for their athletic ability and unique coats, which are often seen in black and white.
They are known for their refined heads and muscular, athletic builds, making them a reliable mount for kids. Though this versatile breed is best known for competing in saddle seat divisions, they also shine in dressage, hunter pleasure, jumping, western and driving disciplines.
These flashy horses have a proud, upright carriage, with an arched neck and an animated way of moving. These graceful horses make wonderful mounts for people of all ages thanks to their willingness to please and gentle temperaments.
When it comes to versatility, Morgans shine as they compete in saddle seat, hunter pleasure, jumping, dressage, driving, endurance and western disciplines. With their graceful carriage, elegant heads, arched necks, muscular and athletic bodies, and many coat colors, they stand out in the crowd.
These lovely horses can often be spotted with pinto coat patterns, which is especially stunning when they are black and white. Each year, the Bureau of Land Management rounds up these magnificent horses and places them up for adoption.
Their sturdy builds and beautiful coat colors make them a great breed to own. As well as being the shortest horse breed in the world, they can come in a large variety of colors, including pinto and spotted patterns.
However, due to the extreme breeding of miniature horses, they have long-term health problems associated with heir tiny size. They make wonderful horses to own, as their kind personalities shine through, whether for showing or as a companion.
Shetlands have become popular driving ponies and riding mounts for small youth riders. These precious ponies can come in many coat colors, including black and white pinto.
This elegant breed can come in many color variations, including the pinto patterns over, Tobago, and Sabine. Most famous for their told and flying pace gait, they are also known for the vibrant color patterns that can be found within the breed, including many shades of pinto.
Commonly having a black or bay coat, they are often seen at county fairs or in Disney films such as Brave. Widely regarded as the largest breed of horse, they were traditionally bred in England for pulling farm machinery, barges, and other industrial machines.
Developed exclusively by the Hapsburg monarchy for its use during times of war and peace, the Lipizzaner is the true horse of royalty. Physically capable of withstanding the demands of the Airs Above the Ground, this baroque mount was bred to perform hate Cole dressage at the Spanish Riding School and owes its survival to the intervention of American General George S. Patton during World War II.
The Hapsburg family controlled both Spain and Austria when the art of classical riding revived in Europe during the Renaissance. The Spanish horse, produced during Moorish rule by crossing Berber and Arab stallions with Iberian mares, was considered the most suitable mount because of its exceptional sturdiness, beauty, and intelligence.
His brother Archduke Charles established a similar private imperial stud farm with Spanish stock in 1580 at Lippi (nowadays: Li pizza , or Li pica ) near the Adriatic Sea. The Tulip an (Croatia) and Indicate (Transylvanian-Hungarian) lines are still found in Yugoslavia, Hungary, and other eastern European countries as well as North America.
Born dark, black -brown, brown, or mouse-grey, Lipizzaner gradually lighten until the white coat for which they are noted is produced somewhere between the ages of 6 and 10. As late as two hundred years ago, black, browns, chestnuts, duns, piebalds, and skewbalds were found in the adult herd.
Noted for his sturdy body and proud carriage, the Lipizzaner’ head is remarkable for its large appealing eyes and small alert ears. The body presents a picture of strength with a crested neck, powerful shoulders, muscular hind quarters, and strong legs with well-defined tendons and joints.
To this end, the School has used the Lipizzaner exclusively as a horse capable of performing all the steps and movements of dressage, including the Airs Above the Ground -- the Evade, the Courgette, and the Capriole. Following World War I, in addition to Italy, Czechoslovakia, and Austria, other new states which continued the breeding of the Lipizzaner horse were Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia.
During World War II, the Lipizzaner breed was again threatened with extinction when the mares and foals from Austria, Italy, and Yugoslavia were transferred to Hos tau in Czechoslovakia by the German High Command. Between 1958 and 1969 Temple and Ester Smith of Illinois imported 1 stallion and 13 mares (5 in foal) from Austria, 7 Lipizzaner's from Hungary and 6 from Yugoslavia.
In 1959, Evelyn Dealer of Snohomish, Washington, began negotiations with the Austrian government, and between 1959 and 1973, 3 stallions and 10 mares (1 in foal) arrived from Austria. Other importations have occurred during the past thirty years, each adding another dimension to the American Lipizzaner genetic base.
With fewer than 3,000 purebred Lipizzaner in the world, the breed is considered rare, and the number of foals born each year is correspondingly small. Extreme care is taken by those involved in the production of Lipizzaner horses to ensure that the purity of the breed is preserved.
Much effort has been expended to develop educational programs in order to foster voluntary adherence to the traditional breed goals and objectives. Now, in the early years of the 21st century, the Lipizzaner has proven to be a successful competitor at all levels of competition dressage and driving, as well as continuing to be the ultimate mount for classical horsemanship.
Owners and breeders are dedicated to the Lipizzaner breed because they appreciate its rarity, cultural importance, romantic history, and its traits of intelligence, classic beauty, and harmonious, athletic way of moving.