What does the 4th of July and horses have in common? Well, they both have stars and stripes, of course! How is that possible you ask? Let’s take a look.

The markings on a horse’s face are usually described based on location and shape. Since they are often mentioned when describing our equine friends, it’s good to know them.

Common facial marks are:

  • Star: a white mark between the eyes or on the forehead. If a blaze or stripe is present, the start must be larger or wider than the vertical marking to be considered a separate marking.
  • Stripe, Strip or Race: a narrow white stripe down the center of the face. It can originate from a star.
  • Blaze: a wide white stripe down the middle of the face.
  • Snip: a white marking on the nose or muzzle.
  • Bald Face: a very wide blaze that can cover most of the face and may extend over one or both eyes, in which case the horse may have a blue eye inside the white marking.
Bald Face with Blue Eye

Additional terms used to describe facial markings in even more detail include the following:

  • Faint: a small, but permanent marking of white hairs that do not have any pink skin beneath them.
  • Connected: refers to markings that are connected simultaneously to one another, like a star and stripe!
  • Interrupted: a group of markings or a marking that is broken or not connected to each other. Usually a strip or blaze that is not solid down the entire face.
  • Irregular or Crooked: Any strip or blaze that does not follow a straight path.
  • Lip Markings: markings located on the lip or lower chin and are most closely associated with sabino color pattern.

One unusual marking that should be mentioned is the Badger face, in which the marking is colored instead of white leaving small, thin strips of white that go down each side of the face and sometimes across the forehead. The markings actually resemble the white and colored stripes on the face of a badger, hence the name.

Foal with a Badger Face and Blue Eye.

It could be said that facial markings on horses could be as countless as the stars in the sky and each is unique in it’s own way. Treat your horse to a striped star mint and have a happy and safe 4th of July. Enjoy the stars and stripes forever. God bless America!

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