This post first appeared on June 4, 2011
Cindy Evans sent these photos of appaloosas being bathed at the Kentucky Horse Park. As an artist, the mottled nature of the skin on the forehand of this leopard were something I had wanted as a reference.
Here are more:
When not wet, horses like this don’t look so obviously mottled, but that area does look more like the coat of a white-grey, whereas the areas with pink skin look truly white.
I have found with leopards that area most consistently pink-skinned is the hindquarters, often in a pattern that follows a similar outline to the white on a blanket appaloosa. I did find it interesting how very pink the cannon areas were on this guy. I guess I expected that lightning marks (those are the white splashes on the lower legs of some appaloosas) would be more mottled, much like the upper legs in this picture.
Here is a true blanketed horse with a lot of pink skin under his blanket. Although is pattern extends as far as the one on Sprinkles, his is probably a true blanket pattern rather than a suppressed version of the leopard pattern. It seems to me that the suppressed horses have darker skin on the whole than the blanketed horses.
Notice the concentration of the dark skin to the underside of the pattern. That seems typical, especially between the hind legs. (Well, except for the sheath or udder. Those always seem to be pink, which can be a challenge when painting rearing or bucking sculptures, since it does draw the eye!)
This is a foot from the original leopard. Even with leopards that have a lot of white, there is a strong tendency to retain dark skin (and often coat) around the feet. (True leg markings like socks and stockings are different of course.)
I will continue to post examples as I get them. It would also be neat to get some wet coat shots of heavily patterned sabinos to see how their skin color relates to their coat patterning. Something tells me I may be hanging out at the wash racks when I go to the Horse Park this year!