The Colors of Life

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Frame (LWO)

Frame is otherwise know as lethal white overo (LWO). Frame tends to put color on the barrel and face of the horse, move horizontal, and leave the legs solid (although other patterns can add leg white). It also tends to leave white that is "splotchy" with jagged edges. It is well know to cause blue eyes but not to cause roaning in the coat. The name "Frame" comes from the patterns propensity to leave a "frame" of color along the outer edges of the barrel.

Frame (LWO) is lethal in its homozygous form with the foals being born solid white and only surviving a few days. They are born without a functional digestive track and unless euthanized die in gastric distress. Because it is often hard to visually tell if a horse has frame (there have been cases of solids testing positive) it is important to test breeding stock in all breeds that carry frame in order to avoid producing a lethal white foal. Frame is a dominate characteristic and breeding frame to frame does not increase your chances of obtaining a frame foal. 25% of foals from frame-to-frame breedings will die leaving 50% frame and 25% solid. Breeding a negative frame to a frame will give 50% solid and 50% frame foals. By only breeding nonframe to frame you effectively reduce your chance of a dead foal by 25%. The confusion among some breeders is most likely the result of horses carrying multiple white patterns such as sabino and splash in addition to frame.