Dapples can happen on any coat colour. They are an effect of light splotches surrounded by dark hairs on the horse’s coat. Dapples can range in saturation making some Dapples bold and noticeable and on other horse Dapples hard to see. Dapples can range in amount from only a small section to an entire body. Dapples are often located on the barrel, back and rump of the horse.

Dapple Genetics

There are debates on what causes Dapples on coats, and it does seem that there are multiple reasons for a horse to have Dapples.

Sooty – Often horses that are Sooty are boldly dappled.

Nutrition – Often horses that are in good health with good nutrition have Dapples.

Grey – We also see that in one stage of the greying progress (called Dapple Grey) bold dappling happens. Dapple Grey horses are generally the only time when dapples are used to describe a colour, this is because Dapples are not always constant on horses.

Silver – The Silver gene is also known to give bold dappling to horses.

Seasonal Coats – The Dapples can come and go with the seasons on some horses.

Check out pictures of horses with Dapples in the Dapples album: