Pictures of Brindle Horses

Brindle Horses
(Donkeys and Mules too!)

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Bits N Pieces / Registries
Brindle Horses Slideshow
History of Brindles
General Information
Brindle Characteristics
Unnamed Horses
You Can Help!
Update & Contact Information
Brindle Stallions and Donkey Jacks at Stud
Sales Listings - Brindle Horses, Donkeys, Mules
Equine Coat Colors - Color in Horses website

Bits N Pieces

Phenotype vs Genotype

A distinction must be made between an animal's phenotype (outward appearance) and genotype (actual genetic composition). A similar outward appearance between animals can often be the result of a variety of unrelated factors. For example, in Pinto/ Paint horses, all are outwardly white spotted (phenotype). However, the various white spotting patterns are now known to result from several different unrelated genes (genotypes). Since the genes are located at different loci, it is only coincidental that the genes produce a similar white-spotted outward appearance. Occasionally, spotting even occurs due to a coat developmental abnormality, chimmerism, or a displaced pigment patch, and is thus not the result of any genes at all.

As mentioned in last month's article, some phenotypical (outwardly appearing) brindle patterns can result from mosaicism or chimerism. Since a specific gene is not involved in producing a mosaic or chimera pattern, these types of brindle patterns usually do not reproduce themselves, unless the original chimeric condition can be duplicated. However, there is evidence for a gene responsible for producing some of the other phenotypical brindle patterns based on the production records of some brindle horses.

Brenda Batty Atty:

Brenda's base color (picture at top of page) is either dark mahogany bay or light seal brown. While she is registered as a brindle dun with the IBHA (International Buckskin Horse Association), she actually only has the Brindle pattern. She does not have the dorsal stripe or leg barring associated with Dun Factor type horses. Brenda has produced four foals to date, 2 of which have had her pattern. This indicates there may be a gene involved, which is inherited dominately, since 50% of her foals have inherited the pattern from her. In addition, one of her daughters has also produced a brindled foal, indicating the pattern is capable of being passed from generation to generation, also lending support to the idea of gene for brindle. Below is a summary of Brenda's offspring.
  1. Brenda's Baybe:
    Red Bay Brindle daughter of Brenda Batty Atty by an unknown stallion. Because she is a red bay (clear red color with little smuttiness/ sootiness/ countershading), darker hair is prevented from appearing on the body, so you cannot see any darker striping on her coat, even though she has coat texturing like her dam. Her dam "Brenda" is a dark bay or mahogany bay base color, which allows darker hairs to appear on the body, so the brindle striping can be seen.

    Brenda's Baybe had three foals before she had to be put down due to an accident from trailer loading. Pictures were not taken of her first foal. Her second foal was a 2 week premature filly pictured below on the left. A definite brindle, she had coat texturing and two colors (buff and gray) apparent in her coat at birth. Her third foal was the mahogany bay colt pictured below on the right. While he showed countershading striping down his back and some texturing in his coat as a foal, he ended up being an ordinary non-brindle mahogany bay. He did retain his countershading stripe down his back, but this should not be confused with brindling. Rather, sooty/ smutty/ countershading (darker hair mixed in on the body) is just one of the factors that seems to be involved in helping make a brindle pattern visible. Many foals will exhibit coat texturing or primitive striping, which they loose as they mature. However, by comparing these two pictures, you can see that the brindle coat texturing has a slightly different appearance. It has more of an irregular "moth-eaten" look caused by the different hair types or lengths of hair.

  2. Little Bits Lightfoot:
    Fading Black colt out of Brenda Batty Atty by a Grullo stallion. Non-brindle.

  3. Brenda's Shadow:
    Black filly out of Brenda Batty Atty by a Seal Brown Roan stallion. Non-brindle.

  4. April 29, 2000 foal:
    Red Bay Brindle filly by a mahogany bay stallion. Since she doesn't have a dark stripe down her back like most mahogany bay foals do at birth, this filly will probably shed out the same color as Brenda's Baybe above. Unfortunately, while she will have the brindle coat texturing, she will probably not exhibit the darker striping like Brenda Batty Atty does. Note the "moth-eaten" appearance caused by raised tufts of hair, indicating different hair lengths characteristic of the pattern in this family group.


There is a new registry for brindle horses started by Anita Garza in 1998 called the Brindle and Striped Equine International. She is registering brindle, heavy dun factor, "netting", horses, zebra hybrids, zebras, donkeys, mules, ponies, etc. She says her registry will have a Register of Merit awards program. Contact her for more detailed information at 409-793-4207, e-mail, Anita Garza, 11819 Puska, Needville, Texas, 77461.

Some brindle horses can be registered with the IBHA as "brindle dun". They have had the category "brindle dun" since approximately 1971. Unfortunately they aren't able to produce a list of horses registered as this color since most occurred prior to computer searches being generally available. Visit their website for more information, or contact: (219) 552-1013, International Buckskin Horse Association, PO Box 268, Shelby, IN 46377.

The International Striped Horse Association started by Mary Jagow in 1988 has been closed in March 1999 as per Mary Jagow.

Brindle Horses Slideshow

This slideshow was last updated January 1, 2000. To see if new pictures were added since the last time you were here, you may have to "refresh" or "reload" your screen. Remember, these photos in the slideshow are for informational purposes only, in order to educate people on how variations in the Brindle pattern can look. Most of these photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission. There is a link at the bottom of the page to a photo that can be printed out and distributed to your friends if you wish. If you have trouble with the slideshow, the pictures can also be viewed through our Table of Brindles. The photos on the table, even though small, take a while to load because they are links to larger photos, and the larger photos are the ones that are being loaded. However, you can scroll down and read the table, and click on the unloaded photo box to jump to that larger picture if you wish. If it shows the photo as being not found, it is one of the photos I haven't completed yet.

Brindle Horse Slideshow

Click picture to start slideshow ---->>
Some browers may not play the show automatically, so you may need to click each picture to proceed. Also, you may just click each picture if you want to scroll faster through pictures you have already seen.

You Can Help !

We are looking for other Brindle Horses, or information on the Brindle pattern, for a study. Brindle in Horses is very rare. Most people are more familiar with the Brindle pattern in Dogs or Cattle. If you come across any Brindle Horses, or information on the pattern in reference to horses alive or deceased, please let us know.

Click this type to go to our section of unnamed horses, and click each picture to continue. Please see if you can recognize any of these horses. The first three unnamed photographs were probably taken around 1978 to 1980 by Chuck VanHorn of Cave Creek, Arizona, to make a slideshow presentation demonstrating various colors and markings for the International Buckskin Horse Association. Unfortunately, names of the various horses were not recorded. The next two unnamed photographs were taken of Bavarian Warmbloods in 1989 by Evelyn Simak. If you recognize any of these horses, please contact us.

General Information

The first record of the Brindle Pattern in Horses seems to be by J.A. Lusis, in the publication Genetica vol.23, 1942. In the article on "Striping Patterns in Domestic Horses", he details a Russian cab horse from around the 1800's, that was preserved and put in the Zoological Museum of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R., in Leningrad. I believe the horse is now in the Natural History Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. If anyone has connections to do research in Russia, we could use more detailed information on this horse, if it is available in their archives. The most recent book mentioning the Brindle Pattern is Jeanette Gower's book Horse Colour Explained, 1999, Kangaroo Press, available thru 20 Barcoo Street, East Roseville NSW 2069. Another book is Phil Sponenberg's book on Equine Color Genetics, 1996, Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa, 50014. Another good book on genetics, is Ann Bowling's new book Horse Genetics, 1996, CAB International, available thru Oxford University Press, 2001 Evans Rd, Cary, North Carolina, 27513.

Brindle has occurred in such diverse breeds as Arabians, Thoroughbreds, Mustangs, Quarter Horses, Bavarian Warmbloods, Russian Horses, Spanish Horses, and supposedly also in the Netherlands. Sometimes the pattern seems to be composed of dark hair (black or brown), sometimes of white hair (roan). Since so little information is available on the Brindle pattern in horses, we are not sure if they are from the same gene or not. There could be several genes involved, producing similar patterns (much as pinto/paint spotting can result from several different genes). Many people confuse Dun Factor markings (stripe down the back, barring on the legs) with brindle. Indeed, there have been many examples of horses that were probably carrying both genes. However, the Russian cab horse, and the Brindle mare on the far right in the photo you can click the highlighted type to see, do not have any Dun Factor markings whatsoever. Click highlighted type to compare Dun Factor and Brindle. Brindle horses also have texturing in their coat, similar to that seen in some Appaloosa horses. The pattern seems to be inheritable, especially in terms of coat texturing, but the expression of the darker or more intense pigment to make the pattern visible is highly variable, and even varies with individual horses seasonally / yearly. However, before we start drawing too many conclusions about the pattern, we need to locate more examples for a study.

Update & Contact Information

Written information was last updated © May 1, 2000. When returning to this site, remember to select the refresh or reload icon from your internet explorer tool bar at the top of the screen, so your screen will reload the latest information. The address of this web site is

You may e-mail me at Click here to e-mail me!

You may also contact me: (209) 477-1536, J. Sharon Batteate, PO Box 8535, Stockton, CA 95208 USA
Click this type for a picture of a Brindle Horse with contact information you can print.

Unless otherwise noted, the articles on this site are by J. Sharon Batteate The pictures and information on this site are for informational purposes, in order to educate people on the Brindle pattern. The pictures and information on this site are copyrighted. All rights reserved. No part may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright holders.

People have visited this page since November 1998.

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