Also called mealy, donkey coloring, or mule coloring
This "blond Belgian" horse shows very strong "pangare effect",
in addition to having a
flaxen mane & tail. Note: this is a
chestnut, not a
thumbnail picture to see full-size.)
"Pangare" is what we call the lightening of the muzzle,
around the eyes, flanks,
belly, groin, armpits, and lower legs (coronet band to fetlock or
higher) to a nearly-flaxen color. Some horses manifest it in
all of these places, some only the muzzle, etc.
It appears to be another form of
camouflage, like sootiness/shading, and if often found in
combination with that. This pattern is the opposite of
sootiness, but has the same effect: to make the places that
would be in the shadow look lighter, and so disguise the shape of
This is a color phenomenon that has been the center of much discussion
and dissension, and is far from being understood.
In the past it has been suggested that it's a single gene that causes a bay
or dun to have the "wild
donkey" look, or a chestnut to have the pale muzzle, underbelly, etc. like the typical Haflinger
or Belgian (see photo, above.)
It's been disproven to have any role in "seal"
brown, as was once suspected.
Another researcher, Leah Patton, has stated:
"We have been shown photos of pangare-marked horses from parents that had none, and horses with no pangare from parents which were both pangare-marked. This rules out a simple, single gene, either dominant or recessive. It is now believed to be some sort of multi-gened effect, like flaxen. But nobody has studied it thoroughly yet, to our knowledge, so many questions
about it remain unanswered."