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Learn Equine Color Genetics

Dilutions In Horses

Dilutions in horses "dilute" the base color of the horse making the horse appear lighter in color. Some, as with homozygous cream, can make the horse appear very nearly white. Some dilutions affect black pigment, other affect red and some affect both red and black pigment. A horse can carry and express more than one dilution and at times it can be difficult to distinguish different dilutions with similar expressions. The dilutions in horses are Cream, Dun, Champagne, Pearl and Silver

White Patterns in Horses

Horses can have a great variety of white patterns. All of the following white patterns can occur on any color horse, with any combination of dilutions, modifiers, and other white patterns. For example, it is completely possible to have a tobiano/sabino/splash/roan/palomino. However, while it is possible, not all horse breeds carry all white patterns and dilutions, and possible does not equate to a likely outcome. All white patterns can also be present in minimal and maximal forms. Minimal can be very minimal indeed (think white spot on the bottom of a hoof for frame), and maximum expression can be almost completely white, especially when more than one pattern is present.