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Spots in Socks

One Facebook fan wanted to know if spots were allowable in socks and stockings.

AQHA stallion A Classic Trans is a great example of a horse with various colored spots on his white markings. He is shown here with Emily McDowell showing in the Amateur Aged Stallions at the AQHA World Championship Show.


Can a purebred Quarter Horse have a colored spot on their stocking? My sorrel mare has a tall stocking on her hind leg — a normal Quarter Horse marking — but has a sorrel spot in it. Is this normal?

- Emily Freel


Hi Emily,

It is not uncommon to have dark spots or darker colored hair inside a white marking.

- Lisa Covey
Equine Color Specialist

Here is a little more about white markings from The American Quarter Horse Journal's Andrea Caudill:

Imagine white markings as the frosting on a really good cake. They don’t affect the basic makeup of a horse, but they top it and make it irresistible. A horse with lots of white markings — termed “chrome” — is flashy.

Head 'Em Up
There are a number of variations on facial white. A star is a small patch of white on the horse’s forehead. A strip is a narrow path of white running down the face, while a blaze is much wider. A snip is a white marking between the two nostrils. A horse with a bald face has extensive white across its head, much wider than a blaze. It can extend out past the eyes and around the nostrils. A horse can also have a combination of these markings, such as a star and strip or star, strip and snip. If a horse just has a few white hairs on its head, this can be noted as well.

All Leg
The smallest amount of leg white a horse can carry is called a coronet. This is a narrow marking that circles the coronet of the hoof. Add a tad more white, and you have a half pastern, which crawls halfway up to the horse’s fetlock (or ankle). All the way to the fetlock, you have a pastern, which if it makes it over the fetlock and halfway up the cannon bone is termed a sock. A high white mark on a leg — extending to the knee or hock and beyond — is a stocking.