White patterns are the addition of white hairs to the base colors of the blacks and chestnuts. Genetics for white patterns can produce dominant white, gray, roan, tobiano, overo, flaxen and frosting. White patterns happen when the white hairs replace some of the colored hairs.
Dominant white horses are not albinos even though they have mostly pink skin. Dominant white color horses will have normal color eyes, blue eyes are very rare. “Patchen Prince” was a dominant white thoroughbred race horse, “Topper” ridden by Hopalong Cassidy was a dominant white horse also, along with “Silver” ridden by The Lone Ranger.
Graying occurs with age, for example a gray colt will be born with a colored coat and shed out to be gray. Most gray horses have black skin and dark eyes.
Left is a gray horse with a dapple pattern. Clint Eastwood rode a horse like this in The Pale Rider.
Above is a bay horse that has a roaning white pattern.
This horse has dark seal points, for example, feet, tail, ears and nose. Roaning can occur in chestnuts and blacks alike. Blue Valentine was a famous blue roan ranch horse. A black horse with a roan pattern is a blue roan. Below is a black horse with a roaning pattern or blue roan.
Above is a sorrel horse with a roaning pattern or red roan.
Tobiano pattern usually has rounded edges in the pattern and the white passes over the back. Tobiano pattern can be in blacks or chestnuts.
Above are sorrel horses with a tobiano white pattern. “Color Me Smart” was a cutting champion bay horse with a tobiano pattern.
Overo pattern is the opposite, the pattern has jagged
edges and the white does not pass over the back. Overo patterns can occur in chestnuts and blacks.
Above is a chestnut horse with a overo white pattern. “Colonel Smoking Gun” was a famous reining horse with an overo white pattern.
The white pattern flaxen is a yellow almost white, more common on manes and tails of the lighter chestnuts. The flaxen pattern does not occur in the blacks or non-chestnuts. Flaxen is more common in tails, but doesn’t have to be in the mane.
Gene Autry’s horses “Champion, Jr.” and quot;Television Champion” were chestnut horses with a flaxen mane and tail. Also, Roy Rogers horses “Trigger”, “Trigger, Jr.” and “Little Trigger” also had a flaxen mane and tail. Above: Flaxen mane on a chestnut mare.
Frosting is white guard hairs in the mane and tail.
Above is a buckskin horse with frosting in the mane and tail. Dale Evans horse “Buttermilk” had frosting.