Appaloosa skin


One of the most surprising things I learned about appaloosa patterns after I got my mare was how loud a pattern could be without having any underlying pink skin.  When I washed Sprinkles the other day, I took a few pictures to illustrate this.  In the picture above, she is wet down to the skin and the only pink under the pattern is that one small spot on her right hindquarter.

Here is a close up of the spot.  Some of the darkness is the black skin and some is dark hairs interspersed in the blanket.



I also planned to get some shots of her belly.  As an artist, those are often the hardest pattern references to find.  Unfortunately I was not fast enough to get more than one before she was up (and filthy again).


The darker area along the midline, with the white appearing to “miter” together, is pretty typical of appaloosas with this kind of pattern, in my experience.  The skin is entirely black until you get to her udder.

We added a new appaloosa to the barn this last month with a pattern very similar to Sprinkles, although I suspect that she has pink skin forming a blanket under her leopard pattern.  That was actually what I had expected to find with my mare.  I am going to try to get a good shot of her wet, too, to compare.  In the meantime, if any readers have appaloosas (especially leopards and near-leopards) that they are willing to wet down and photograph, please consider sending the photos along.  I’ll publish as many as I get!


4 Responses to Appaloosa skin

  1. Simrat June 4, 2011 at 3:15 am #

    Do you know how much white patterning Sprinkles had when she was born? I would tend to think that the pink skin would correspond to the birth pattern. Then the rest of the white patterning that came later would be over dark skin. I could be off, but that seems logical to me.

  2. The Equine Tapestry June 4, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    No, we don’t have a lot of information on her background so we don’t what she looked like at birth. I have owned her since she was 2 1/2, and the white you see in this photo was all there. In fact, with her wet she looks much more like she did then, before she started to roan out. 🙂

    It would be interesting to know if, as babies, they can have white hair on dark skin. I would not have thought so before, because the pink skin corresponding with birth color makes sense to me, but yet it’s hard for me to imagine a horse like Sprinkles being born black and ending up like this by two.

  3. Simrat June 4, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    Yes, that would be a lot of roaning in a short time. I wonder if Sheila Archer would have some insight into the white hair/pink skin at birth question.

    LP sure is fascinating! Sprinkles is lovely btw.


  4. James L. February 17, 2013 at 5:26 am #

    The Few Spot I had owned has a white blanket under her cream coat, over her loin and croup (I noticed one day as I hosed her off). Didn’t get a chance to take a pic, though. Sorry