How ‘Bout Them Dapples?

She got them dapple-bottom genes, boots with the fur…OK, I’ll stop.


[Top image: Flickr: Ray Anderson Images/ Creative Commons]

Who can resist a dapple gray? No one, that’s who (at least before they turn fully gray and become impossible to keep clean). But what causes dapples? It’s most prevalent in grays, especially in the springtime when they shed out their summer coat, but dappling can occur in almost any coat color.

Eye candy. Commence:


[Flickr: Jean/CC]


[Flickr: Rachel Kramer/CC]

Jupiter Alta

“Mangalarga Marchador” by Fábio Vidigal – Arquivo do Rancho Haras Quitumba /CC


Conventional knowledge is that dapples are a sign of a healthy diet with enough minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, but some people also believe that dapples are somehow related to areas heated differently on the coat.


[Flickr: Five Furlongs/ CC]


[Flickr: Leah Markum/ CC]


Fun fact: Dapples are sometimes called “hammer marks” in the UK because they resemble the mark a hammer would make on copper or tin. I guess that makes sense…sort of?


[Flickr:Jenna Fox/CC]


[Flickr: Five Furlongs/CC]


Dappling is also sometimes genetic. One gene associated with dappling is called the “sooty” gene, which creates dark points. Not all horses that carry the sooty gene necessarily show dapples, however.


[Wikimedia Commons: Lar]


[Wikimedia Commons: Dagur Brynjólfsson/CC]


“Silver dapple” is when a horse with a black coat has hairs with diluted pigmentation. Rocky Mountain Horses are most famous for carrying the silver dapple trait.


[Wikimedia Commons:Kersti Nebelsiek/CC]


[Wikimedia Commons: Tim Kvick/CC]


[Wikimedia Commons: Kumana @ Wild Equines/ CC]

Even cats love dappled horses. And cats rule the internet, so get with the program.


[Flickr: Lionhearted/CC

Go Riding!

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