January 5, 2007, Newsletter Issue #206: Horse - Facial Markings

Tip of the Week

Facial Markings

Specific terms are used when identifying a horse's facial markings. The illustration depicts locations of face markings. True white markings are distinguished by pink or light-colored skin beneath the white hair. These white markings are evident at the time of foaling and do not change throughout the life of the horse. Be careful not to confuse roaned areas with white markings.
Star: A star is always found on the forehead and may be of any size or shape.
Stripe: A stripe is a vertical marking found below eye level and above the imaginary horizontal line connecting the top of the nostrils. Any mark in this area regardless of size is referred to as a stripe.
Snip: A snip is any mark found below the top of the nostrils, down to and including the lower lip. Snips can enter into one or both nostrils, or extend to the lip.
Blaze: A blaze is a large or wide marking which connects a star, stripe and snip. A blaze is always a combination of all three of these marks and therefore will never end above the nostrils. It extends close to the eyes, wide over the center of the face and bridge of the nose, and either extends almost the width of the nostrils or over part of all of each nostril.
Bald Face: A bald face refers to a very large blaze, which can extend outside of the eyes in the forehead and/or center of face. It will generally cover the width of the nose and the entire muzzle. A horse with a bald face will often have a large snip on the lower lip which can extend to the under lip area or chin.

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