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Rabicano is a pattern of white hairs sometimes confused with roan. It consists of white hairs interspersed in a faintly brindled pattern along the flank area, belly and up between the front legs. It also causes a "coon tail" of white banding at the tailhead. Rabicano horses can have such minimal expressions of the pattern that it is missed.
The rabicano gene is dominant, so rabicano horses will have at least one rabicano parent.Click on any picture to enlarge
KATHARINE SERENITY (UVM Tennyson X Run Brook Tiffany), 1994 brown rabicano mare owned by Buffy Tarr. The photo on the right shows
a classic expression of the rabicano "coon tail" or "squaw tail". Photos by Erin White.
ANCAN ALLIANCE OF DANGER (Fiddler's Blackriver X Ancan Lil Miss Dangerous), 1997 chestnut rabicano mare owned by
Judith Kuntz. Photos by Debbie Uecker-Keough.
DIA H SNOW GOOSE (DJB Yukon Jack X Dia H Dark Sprite), 1999 flaxen chestnut rabicano mare, owned by
Angie Nadon, shown here with her 2003 bay Morab filly, RGR Dance of Joy. Notice how the roaning starts on "Glory's" underside in the flank area, and becomes faint brindling along her sides. She has the white
hairs at the top of the tailhead, aka "coon tail" or "squaw tail", that are typical of rabicano as well. Photo courtesy of Susanna Schaenzer.
Roan is a pattern of white hairs over the horse's body, mixed in with the base color hairs.
The points and head remain the base color. As with all the patterns of white, there are degrees of expression, so that some roans
are nearly white on the body while others remain fairly dark. Roan is dominant, so all roans have at least one roan parent.Click on picture to enlarge
In Morgans, there are two known sources for roan, the 1964 chestnut roan mare Doll Rose (out of the roan mare Rosemont), and the 1940 chestnut roan mare Torchy (out of a roan, X registered daughter of Mansfield). Doll Rose's only surviving roan offspring is represented the blue roan gelding Caduceus Herod, pictured below. Torchy's line comes down to us through the Double J prefixed horses, and at the present time her only known surviving roan descendant is the
1985 bay roan mare Viv LaMae (Double J Apollo X Carlyle LaMae). As a result the roan gene may, unfortunately, be extinct in our breed.
CADUCEUS HEROD (Wyoming Flyhawk X Doll Rose), 1987 blue roan gelding owned by Barbara Putnam of N. Liberty, Iowa.
Herod was Reserve Champion at Third Level and fourth at Second Level
in the 1996 USDF All-Breeds Awards. Herod and an aged bay roan mare, Viv Lamae, are the only known true dark-headed roans in the breed.
Frame overo is a pinto pattern characterized by dark legs, a bald face, and
white spotting on the sides of the horse, "framed" by the base color. It can be present on any base color.
As with other patterns of white, there are varying degrees of expression, from a blaze face as the only white marking to
nearly white all over. Frame is lethal when homozygous; such individuals die
shortly after birth due to an incomplete digestive tract and are referred to as
"Lethal White" foals. Responsible breeders never mate two frame overos together
for this reason. Frame is a dominant gene, so a frame overo will have at least one frame overo parent.Click on any picture to enlarge
SKY'S BLU (Black Tuxedo Topic Man X Sky Walker AB), 2003 buckskin overo
mare owned by Fred and Karen Beck of Angola IN.
This filly was
the first foal produced by her palomino frame overo dam (pictured below). This foal and her dam are the only known AMHA registered frame overo Morgans.
The suspected color line behind this filly and her dam is coming through Q
Tawny. There may be other frame overos from these lines out there, perhaps so
minimally marked (blaze face only) that they pass as "solids". A Lethal White
Overo test from UC Davis (essentially a test for the presence of the frame gene)
would identify such suspected frame overos. First photo courtesy of Barbara
Fogel; second and third photos by Nancy Castle.
SKY WALKER AB (Moreeda Andrew, almost full Lippitt, X Q
Tawny, a palomino mare of Cross Ranch breeding) 1982 palomino frame overo mare. Her
first filly is pictured above.
Owned by Karen and Fred Beck of Angola Indiana. First photo courtesy of Fred and
Karen Beck; second photo by Nancy Castle.
Flaxen is a modifying gene that affects chestnut horses' red manes and tails, turning them lighter than the body color. Some flaxen horses have silver-gray manes and tails instead of the more typical pale yellow or off-white shades of flaxen; this effect is thought to be caused by the sooty modifier acting on the flaxen hairs, effectively "dirtying" their color. Light flaxen chestnut horses can be mistaken for palomino, and dark flaxen chestnut horses can be mistaken for sooty palomino or silver dapple. Flaxen can "hide" on black based horses, as they do not have red manes and tails to show the effects of flaxen. Not much is known about the inheritance of flaxen, but it is thought to be recessive.Click on any picture to enlarge
Flaxen is extremely widespread in the Morgan breed. Probably the most famous flaxens are those from Jubilee King lines,
such as those bred by The Quietude Stud. Other prolific flaxen lines include those from
The Airacobra (and his son Beamington) and Fleetwing.
HYLEE'S GOING BIG TIME (Serenity Flight Time x Poincianna), 1991 flaxen chestnut gelding owned by Kim Jaeger.
ELK CREEK HOT TAMALE (Herald Square x Burlington Farms Brandy), 2006 flaxen chestnut mare owned by Angie Riemersma.
WINTERGREEN SHAMAN (HVK Santana x Wintergreen Token), 1999 flaxen chestnut stallion owned by
Wintergreen Morgans. Shaman is a good example of a flaxen chestnut that could be mistaken for a silver dapple. Only a close examination of his pedigree, which
is not from silver lines, and observation of subtle differences such as the red streak in his tail (typical of flaxens)
and lack of darker leg points help to determine his actual color.
Blaine Janssen with
his 2002 flaxen chestnut sabino gelding MOCOMO
CHROME CLASSIC (Old Ways Bimbeau x Adiel's Yennah Babe).
ROSERIDGE FOOL'S GOLD (HVK Warlock x Chandel Fortunaire), 1986 flaxen chestnut gelding owned by Lisa Bryant of Andover, KS.
You can see how he got his name! Many light flaxen chestnut horses are good palomino mimics.
JAZZTIME SOCIETY PAGE (Shiloh Bold Command X Frosty Blue), 2003 flaxen chestnut mare owned by
Nancy Jewel, Jazztime Morgans, WA.
RUSTIC V'S LUCKY STRIKE (Maple Blaze X River Downs Pearl), 1996 flaxen chestnut
gelding. Flaxen horses can have more flaxen in the mane than in the tail, and vice versa. This gelding has a flaxen mane, but no obvious expression of flaxen at all in his tail. Photo courtesy of Ann Priddy.
LSR TANQUERAY STERLING (LSR Canadian Whiskey X D Patricia), 1992 flaxen chestnut mare owned by
Darrell Charlton; photo by Elaine Hickman.
HEAVEN'S ANGEL (Dia H Major Boy X Heaven's Girl), 1990 flaxen black chestnut mare (was suspected silver dapple, but tested via UC Davis' Red Factor Test as a chestnut) and her 2000 palomino colt by Belfair Kruggerrand,
COWLITZ VALLEY YUKON GOLD. Both horses owned by Lona Diemert, Packwood WA.
WHF WHISTLE JACKET (Beamington X UC Duchess), 1982 flaxen liver chestnut stallion owned by Jane Lea Hicks, Conroe TX. I am often asked about this stallion being a possible silver dapple, but he is not. Flaxen liver chestnuts can look similar to some silver dapples, but genetically a silver dapple has a black or bay base coat, not a chestnut one. Base coat color can be scientifically
proven with a simple DNA test called the Red Factor test.
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