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Dun markings

There are quite a few markings* that dun horses have in common.
Some have one or two; some have all of the, below, and more. 


Shoulder & neck

Almost every horse that is even suspected of being a dun has a dorsal stripe.  This one is very strong; wide, and with the horizontal, or *transverse*, prongs known as "fishboning".   "Dorsal" means along the back, between mane and tail.  The color and other characteristics vary according to the horse's other color genes, etc.  This is the (sadly, deceased) mare Charm of Karisma Kigers.

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Leg markings are the next thing we look for.  These are typical front legs with "barring".  It can also appear as blocky, ladder-rung-like "barring",  zig-zagged finer striping, or even smudges/ mottling.  Same mare/farm as above.

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A very fine example of eye markings on  HIGH COUNTRY FIREDANCE, courtesy of Karisma Kigers

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Somewhat unusual hock markings on    Karisma Dun in Diamonds, Karisma Kigers.

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Face mask.  This lady has an upper AND lower, nice dark mask.  Karisma Diamonds of Intrigue, 2002 Dun Kiger Filly.  Sire:  Cherokee   Dam:  FireDance (above),  Karisma Kigers

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Shoulder barring and dorsal stripe (interrupted) on Marjena Bass' late stallion Go Copper Glo. (top picture)

El Duc, owned by Springwater Station Kigers; great shoulder and neck markings. (second picture)

For some unusual neck (and other) markings, see

Shoulder_and_dorsal.jpg (408135 bytes)

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Cobwebbing - concentric circles of very fine dark lines, on the forehead.



Ear barring - Missouri Fox Trotter stallion, "It Must Be Dun", owned by Elizabeth Kopplow of Lazy K Bar Ranch.  Notice that halfway down the length of these ears they have a wide, dark horizontal "bar" =>

Ears72.JPG (15541 bytes)

blueberry3.jpg (80879 bytes)wpe4A.jpg (32742 bytes)Rick To A Tee 2 left 1-2-04.JPG (59597 bytes)Body Colors : many folks are sure they "know what a dun looks like"; this page hopefully will enlarge all of our horizons a bit further. 

Sugar mane, face.jpg (202253 bytes)Mane & tail frosting:  this is not exclusively a dun trait.  If you are interested in studying it, many non-dun dilutions such as buckskins do have it, and the late mare with the dorsal and leg markings in the top 2 pictures did not.  Photo, left, is of an amber cream (non-dun) QH filly.  Her mane is brown under all that frosting.

The same is true of dark ear tipping and outlining.  

We are still investigating dark- topped ears with a white tip... they may be found on duns only, but we think we've seen them on other colors a time or two; if so, they are not an exclusively dun trait.


* We see no reason to call a stripe or a mark(ing) "factor".   The dun gene also *dilutes* the horse's coat color where there are no markings.  This means the color will be lighter than true bay, chestnut or black (or whatever color the horse would be without the dun gene.)  There is a consensus among dun owners that dun colors tend to have a muted, rather than bright, color intensity to them ... sandy rather than golden, for example.  However, this is not *always* the case.

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