This post first appeared on March 22, 2012
Body-clipping a horse can give some really strange results, but I thought this warmblood was particularly interesting. I’ve noticed that clipping a horse sometimes reveals dappling that is not evident on the regular coat. That seems especially true for silver dilutes. I’ve also noticed that some clipped horses are rather unevenly colored, and that even more of them grow back with uneven color, but this is the first one that I have seen where those uneven areas look so much like a dappling pattern in reverse.
Here are some more angles on the same horse. (And thank you again to Kim Smith for sharing her pictures. Getting such numerous clear shots of unusual colors is such a treat!)
Notice on this last one how the dark area on the hind leg follows the pattern of the veins, just like ordinary dappling does in reverse.
I must admit that my own experience with clipping is very limited, so I don’t know how common reverse dappling might be, and whether it is something seen when the horse is clipped or something that appears as the coat grows back. Perhaps owners of Miniature Horses, which are often clipped for showing purposes, can share their experience with color changes.
I do know that horses like this are often mistaken for roans or even for duns, especially in photos where the difference in hair length cannot always be seen, because of the contrast between the head and the body color.