This post first appeared on October 10, 2012
While searching through some old binders, I found some photographs of an unusual Appaloosa pattern. I apologize for the rather poor quality of the images, which were taken in a poorly lit arena using a traditional (non-digital) camera. I’ve tried to bump up the brightness without losing too much in the way of detail. Apparently the horse was never in the right position to get a good side shot, which is a shame.
He caught my eye because of how abruptly his coat transitioned to the dark areas of his pattern. Also unusual was how rounded the edges were. This is especially visible on his face and neck.
The other unusual aspect of his pattern was the “bleached edge” effect on some of the roaned areas. You can see one on the bridge of his nose, both in the picture above and this one from the front.
The above shot also shows how the roaned areas appear to “pool” around the dark parts of his legs. Dark leg marks like this are pretty common on appaloosas, but the nature of the roaning, which looks a lot like fleabiting on a grey, all in discreet areas (with those oddly rounded edges) while areas of relatively clear bay remain is quite odd. If this was an artistic representation, and not a real horse, I would have said the artist needed to work on more realistic transitions on the legs.
On both the leg shots, the faintly whiter outline on the roan areas can be seen. The blanket pattern on his hindquarters, though, is pretty normal. I’ll include a close shot, since the spots show a really nice contrast between the two different types of halo-spotting. The darkest spots have halos that are made up of a mix of white and colored hairs, while the centers are colored. The centermost spot has a halo created by dark skin underneath white hair. The center of that spot is a mix of white and colored hair, though elsewhere there are spots that have dark skin halos and purely colored hair centers.
These photos are probably close to 15 years old now, and I never did learn the name of the horse. If anyone recognizes him, please drop me a note. I’d love to be able to look into his background.