Bend Or Spots

In the comments on this post, I mentioned getting updated pictures of Prince, the palomino with all the Bend Or spots. I thought that he was more heavily spotted than last year, and after comparing earlier pictures I believe he is. These aren’t the best pictures since I didn’t have time to take him out of his shady pasture. He’s also a bit of a love sponge, so getting far enough away from him to get his whole body is always a trick. (I have almost as many fuzzy close-ups of his nose as I do of Sprinkles.)

In those comments, Sarah mentioned that the Bend Or spot on her Arabian, Dar, had the same three-dimensional quality that Sprinkle’s appaloosa spots have. I had a theory that perhaps the black hair grew at a different rate. But Prince’s spots seem to disprove this idea because they are flush with the rest of his coat. Here are some close-ups.

a spot on his shoulder

a large spot on his right hip

another large one, this time inside his thigh

and on his foot, too

So perhaps it isn’t about the color of the hair, but rather the density of the pigment. Appaloosa spots are densely pigmented. This is particularly obvious when an appaloosa has self-colored spots on a dark background. Many Bend Or spots have that same appearance, and those might appear three-dimensional in the winter. Prince’s spots are, however, clusters of black hairs mixed in with his normal color. Some of the spots have a higher percentage of black hairs than others, but they are all something a of a mix. If I had to guess, I would think that Prince was genetically a sooty palomino but that something was directing the black hairs to form spots rather than more usual patterns (dappling or all-over dispersion).

Rebecca Turner sent me some pictures of another odd expression of sooty palomino, and I’ll see if I can’t get permission to post those, too. He was another really unusual horse!


3 Responses to Bend Or Spots

  1. Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig November 8, 2008 at 5:52 pm #

    How interesting, Lesli! Keep an eye on them tho — maybe as his coat grows, their quality might change. Dar’s Bend Or spot only got 3D with a winter coat, otherwise it was as slick as his chestnut coat. Also, maybe the “plushiness” of a Bend Or spot is dependent on the body color? “Original” colors of red and black may be inherently different than a dilute? Dunno. ~Sarah

  2. Becky Turner November 8, 2008 at 8:27 pm #

    Sure you can post any pictures I send you! the horse is a 7 year old palomino gaited morgan ..his name is sky. and we call him mr Ed he talks alot and is a huge pig! Skys dark markings stayed the same growth as the rest of his hair.. I never though f them as being Bend or spots.. I guess they cold be..I was thinking it was more of a sooty gene thing…
    Rebecca Turner

  3. Stephanie November 13, 2008 at 7:51 pm #

    His spots are so cool. I love my mutt. He doesn’t have spots, but he has the dun stripes. He’s the BEST horse! Of course, I would have said the same about my beautiful black percheron. LOL She was my snuggle girl. Horses are a wonderful gift from God.

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