ROAN HORSE

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Roan Horse pictures photographed by Ejaz Khan.

A roan horse has a coat color pattern of a mixture of colored and white hairs on the body. The head and “points”—lower legs, mane, and tail—are typically solid-colored. Roan Horses have white hairs evenly intermingled throughout any other color. Their head, legs, mane, and tail have fewer scattered white hairs or none at all. The pattern is dominantly-inherited and is found in different horse breeds.

True roan is present at birth, though it may be hard to see until after the foal coat sheds out. Depending on the season, the coat may lighten or darken. Unlike the gray 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 also have other characteristics. If they damage their skin, a scrape, cut or brand, the coat grows back in solid-colored without any white hairs.  These regions of the solid-colored coat are referred to as “corn spots” or “corn marks.” It can appear even without the horse having a visible injury. 

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