Tag Archives | bend or spots

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!

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Riding weather

I had hoped to have pictures of finished, shiny horses up by now. That got derailed by some mold-making problems – caused by a really foolish mistake on my part – that I’ll post about later. It made what should have been a simple task take most of this past week.

So I was really looking forward to Wednesday, which is “barn day” for me. The weather report was predicting temperatures in the 70s, and sure enough it was a lovely warm day. It was such a nice change from weeks of cold, wet rides. As you can see in the picture, Sprinkles is still quite woolly.

And she has Welsh Cob feet! But just on the front. For some reason her hind feet didn’t get much feathering this winter. The folks at the barn were wondering why I was on the ground taking shots of her feet, but I loved how the hair swirled off to the outside on each leg. (They really wondered when I laid on the gravel under her to get some belly shots of the hair growth patterns.)

I also finally got some pictures of “Prince”, one of the lesson horses there that has really unusual Bend Or spotting. His color reminds me a bit of the Thoroughbred stallion GPS Krugerrand, only with charcoal spots rather than chestnut.

Our red clay has stained his mane and tail and he’s pretty dirty, but those dark grey spots are his coloring, not stains. Under the dirt he’s a really pale isabella palomino, so those spots really stand out when he’s clean. I realized after I got home that I took pictures of the wrong side, though. He has even more spots on the other side.

And aside from his odd markings, Prince is one of my favorites because he’s got such a sweet disposition and big Maureen Love-style eyes!

Spending a warm afternoon with the horses was just the thing I needed to get charged back up about finishing up my wayward casting project and getting back to painting and sculpting.

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