Horse Colours - Skewbald & Piebald
SKEWBALD - Chestnut or Bay with clearly separate white areas across the horse's body
Variations include Tri-coloured which is the presence of both black and chestnut areas together with clearly distinguishable sections of white and Lemon & White (palomino and white)colouring.
These horses (also the Piebald colouring shown below) are commonly known as "coloureds" because their body markings feature more than one colouring.
PIEBALD - Black with clearly separate white areas across the horse's body
Piebald and Skewbald horses are generally classified as either Tobiano or Overo in terms of the shape and placing of their white markings.
Horse Colours and Genetics - Tobiano Gene
A Tobiano coloured horse has white patches mixed with a darker base coat (typically chestnut but can be black or bay with a mixed colour mane and tail).
Any white markings will tend to run vertically down the horse's body being present in the top and bottom half of the horse if you are looking at them sideways-on).
A Tobiano also typically has more areas of white than dark base coat. White patches tend to be rounder or softly blended into the darker base coat.
This is an important distinguising factor from the other less common type of coloured - the Overo.
Some tobiano horses will pass on their colouring to their offspring. This is a certainty if the parent carries the "homozygous" or "double tobiano" gene".
A foal born from a "heterozygous" or "single tobiano gene" parent may possibly be coloured by there is no certainty as the single gene is not guaranteed to override solid colour genes inherited from the parents.
However, breeding a homozygous tobiano parent and a heterozygous tobiano parent will always result in a coloured foal.
Horse Colours and Genetics - Overo Gene
An Overo coloured horse often has white legs and splashes of white interspersed on the lower belly or lower quarters with a black bay or chestnut coat.
Another key difference between a Tobiano and an Overo horse colouring is that the Overo white sections are more jagged in nature and run around the body in a horizontal direction, rarely going right over the horse's back.
If a foal is born that contains the homozygous overo gene it is known as "lethal white" and will likely not survive as it will be born with a faulty digestive system.
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