Tag Archives | tail color

Requested images


One of the commenters asked for images of the other side of this horse, which appeared in the original tobiano marking post. I was fortunate to get quite a few good images of him. (If only all the classes were held in this particular arena, which is situated just right relative to the morning sun!)

TobianoFace7 copy

You can almost see the random roan patch on his left hip in the side shot, but it is more visible in this one taken from behind.

I liked the way his tail was variegated, so I got a number of shots of it. (Be warned, however, that because Paint Horses can use tail switches, colors on tails may not always be natural to that horse.)


This was a good shot for showing how the color on the head of a tobiano spreads downward towards the jaw, so that in individuals with more white, there is a narrow “V” at the throat where the color on the two sides merge. I am working on a post that goes into more detail about this, and about how color tends to travel on the faces of tobianos, since that is relevant to the discussion on tobiano face white.

I am also trying to pull together some pieces to expand on some of the unusual colors that have appeared in recent posts. I apologize that we have wandered off in several different directions, but threads tend to come back around eventually. Fortunately you are all pretty tolerant when we take the more erratic, meandering path!

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Wild Bay


I am not going to have time to finish up the post about eye color before I leave for Kentucky, but I did run across these pictures while looking through my coon tail references. The horse has a variation of the  agouti gene  known as “wild bay”. Horses with that form of bay have a reduced amount of black pigment on their points. In this particular horse, it was particularly noticeable on his tail.


I find this version of bay useful when painting sculptures because the variation in color allows you to pull out detail in the tail that would be lost to shadows if the tail were truly black. The gene isn’t found in all the breeds that have bay, and some breeds (like the Cleveland Bay) actively select against the washed-out legs that go with the wild bay gene.


That is visible on this horse’s one (mostly) colored leg. Only the ankle is truly black, and the hocks are just smudged with black hairs. The amount of black on the legs of a wild bay will vary, but the amount on this horse is pretty typical in my experience.

And while it is a poor photo taken indoors with a low-resolution camera, here is a wild bay with a coon tail. It makes for an interesting contrast.


(I suspect the blackest areas at the end of the tail on the first horse, and the lightest areas on this second horse are tail extensions, by the way, so uniformity of coloring there may be misleading.)

The blog will be quiet while I am in Kentucky, but with luck I will return with some interesting pictures as well as the promised post on eye color.

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More ‘wrong’ colors


(Previously posted on September 24, 2008 on the Blackberry Lane Studio Blog.)

This might look like a very white tobiano, which would explain why the bottom of her tail is so dark. Tobianos, even very white ones, tend to do that. But that’s not a tobiano tail, because her pattern doesn’t include her tail.


She’s a grey tobiano, and her hindquarters are colored – not white. So that’s technically a grey tail, and grey tails are not supposed to do that. Grey tails typically lighten from the bottom up, rather than from the tailhead down.


You can see her tobiano pattern a little better here. She’s also a little unusual for having greyed out so quickly; her owner said she had just turned five. She also said that she was born roan, which might explain why her body greyed out while her tail remained dark. It certainly was striking, and I noticed a number of onlookers comment that they had not seen a grey horse with such a dark tail before.

[June 6, 2011: Just a quick note.  There were more photos with oddities that should have been posted to this series back when it first ran, but shortly afterward the computer where they were stored crashed.  It's a shame because that particular show had a lot of oddities!]

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