ROAN HORSE FACTS
ROAN HORSE CHARACTERISTICS
The terms “classic roan” and “true roan” are most often used to describe the overall roan breed. Roan equestrians have a coat color pattern mixed with color and white hairs on their body. The head, “points” (lower legs), mane, and tail are typically solid-colored.
Roan Horses have white hairs evenly intermingled throughout other colors. Their head, legs, mane, and tail have fewer scattered white hairs or none at all. Their patterns are dominantly-inherited and also found in different horse breeds. In 2007, 7% of the horses registered with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) were roans.
True roan characteristics are present at birth however, it may be difficult to see until the foal’s first coat sheds. Their coat may lighten or darken depending on the season. Unlike the grey coat color, which also begins with intermixed white and colored hairs, roans do not become progressively lighter in color as they age. The silvering effect of mixed white and colored hairs can create bluish or pinkish coats.
Roan horses have other characteristics. For example, if they damage their skin such as scrape, cut, or brand, the coat grows back in a solid-colored without any white hairs. These regions where the solid-colored coat grows are referred to as “corn spots” or “corn marks.” These marks can appear even without the horse having a visible injury.