Sometimes a horse has stray hairs of white or black mixed into their normal colors. This can be caused by one of three genes: roan, rabicano, or sooty.
A roan is a horse with white hairs mixed into their normal coat. They usually have a relatively even distribution of white hairs, with fewer on their head, legs, mane, and tail. This is different from a varnish roan appaloosa, which also shows a roaning pattern, as the varnish roan will have an uneven patchy distribution with prominent roaning on their head.
Unlike a grey horse that might have some hairs that are white and others that are not, a roan or rabicano will remain relatively the same color its entire life. A grey will progressively get more white hairs until it is pure white.
A rabicano, which is genetically separate from a classic roan, is a horse that only displays roaning on its belly.
Sooty, on the other hand, is a horse with black hairs mixed into its coat. These black hairs are usually more prevalent on the top of the horse, as though a bucket of ash were tossed over the animal.Previous: Silver Dapple and Flaxen - Home - Next: Pintos and Paints