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We just had our elderly cushings mare clipped (only acquired her and her 5 year old gelding 2 weeks ago), and I noticed that she appears to have 'black' dappling.

Now, she's a chestnut arab partbred, who has no had the best life. She is pretty standard chestnut with a very slightly darker tail. As I understand it, chestnuts cannot express black pigment, hence the quotations around the blacks. I'm therefore assuming that it's an incredibly dark brown, but that makes for a longer title.

The dappling is sort of like webbing, really, in that it surrounds the dapples rather than the dapples themselves being 'black'. It appears along the top of her neck, and then on her shoulders and along the ribcage, mostly. Unfortunately I don't have a photo, but if it helps, I'll attempt to get one on Tuesday, when I'll have time to properly focus on that.

I was just wondering what that would be, really?


If it helps, her son is a dark chestnut colour. A fair bit darker than your average chestnut, and especially dark on his cheeks and knees. But again, no black pigment there. His mane is the same colour as his body, but his tail is a reddish brown, almost black at the end. That made me wonder if possibly sooty is involved?

I'm not really very good at horse genetics or 'advanced' colours, so would much appreciate any help. :)
 

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It's most likely what would be normal dapples with a full coat, but because she's clipped, they appear much darker. The lower part of the shaft of hair is usually a much different color than the ends that we judge color on. But a picture will help make a concrete decision.
 

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Sounds like sooty. I have a chestnut gelding who gets black dapples each year in the same spots - One on his neck, then a bunch down one side of his rump. Sooty expresses on red and also on palominos/buckskins.

My mare also has a bit of sooty, hers is less like dapples and more like black spots scattered over her though.
 

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sounds like sooty to me as well. My sorrel mare has a black spot on her hip. and when she sheds out she has black dapples on her neck. this is how sooty expresses on sorrels.
 
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