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This is a discussion on Dapples within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    12-10-2009, 11:34 PM

Hey everyone.
I was wondering what dapples on your horses coat mean.
I have friends that say they mean the horse is really healthy, and others say it is just colouring.
Many horses at my barn are in 'their prime' but don't have dapples. The only horses that have dapples are my friends 3 yr old buckskin QH gelding, and my barns 20 yr old bay clydedale mare that is not the healthiest.

Any info is greatly appreciated.
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    12-10-2009, 11:41 PM
Dapples are only a color pattern and are more common on buckskins :)
    12-10-2009, 11:46 PM
Some colors and breeds are more likely to display dapples. However, health does play a part in most of them. I have seen common sorrel horses that are not dappled when they are thinner or do not have access to good feed and develop dapples when they are at a healthy weight (or a bit overweight) and are on good feed. Some horses will never dapple regardless of body condition or weight and others will dapple when scraggly and half starved. I think it may be a genetic predisposition that is brought about by health.
    12-10-2009, 11:47 PM
It's a color pattern. It's not usually on the horse it's whole life, but rather show up more as it ages. It is, in no way, an indicator of health. =]
    12-11-2009, 01:31 AM
My pinto dapples when he lives outside 24/7 in the summer, but not nearly as much when he is stalled part of the day
    12-11-2009, 10:22 AM
I agree with smrobs on this one.
    12-11-2009, 12:56 PM
Well what does "dapples" mean?

I have a dapple grey mare - she has a pretty coat - her coat is a hotch potch of white, grey, black, bay, flaxen, silver hairs but everyone says she is going to go grey/white as she gets older.
Her mane and feathers are jet black - her tail is multi coloured
But predominantly blonde.
In Anglo/Irish dapple grey is a colour mixture and nothing more.
There is a photo of her on my C/P

    12-11-2009, 01:01 PM
My bay TWH mare "dapples" when she's a bit over-weight. Otherwise no dapples and they never showed up when she was younger. Her half sister never dappled even when fat and either did her half brother. I've seen several palominos do it as well as a buckskin. So I'm with Smrobs on this one.
    12-11-2009, 06:00 PM
Ok, thanks everyone! I just wanted to get this clarified since I have heard so many different stories.

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