Sabino (Sah-BEE-no) is a white spotting pattern that is usually included with Frame and Splash and given the generic name, Overo. This is because it displays pattern characteristics which can be very similar to either of these patterns.
Sabino is very prevalent and occurs in many, many breeds such as: purebred Thoroughbreds, Tennessee Walkers, Akhal-Tekes, American Baskir Curly, Spanish Mustangs, Quarter Horses, Arabians and Morgans, just to name a few. There are actually very few breeds in which Sabino does not occur - Icelandic Horses being one.
One Sabino characteristic is a white marking on the face which can vary from a few white hairs to a large blaze. Anoter very common characteristic of Sabino is white on the lower lip and/or chin, ranging from small to large. Some very minimal Sabinos may not have this characteristic white spotting but will have other traits of the pattern. Even though facial white is common, even to the point of causing a "bald" or "apron" marking at times, blue eyes not considered a trait of the pattern and if it does occur in conjunction with Sabino it is usually a trait of a certain line of horses and these horses usually only have one blue eye, not two. (The Khemosabi line in Arabians is very prevalent with Sabino, some of which have blue eyes), or it is being caused by another gene.
Leg white that ranges from a coronet to a high stocking is also common. There really is no rule as to how many legs are white, but generally at least one will have some white on it. Patches on the knees, that are not connected to any other w
At it's most maximum expression Sabino will cause the horse to be totally white, if any color remains it's usually as roan or speckled on areas such as the ears, tail base, chest and flanks, these areas may not have colored hair, it may just be the
colored skin showing through the white hair. In the past, a horse colored like this was said to be "Dominant White". This dominant gene, labled W, was thought to be lethal when homozygous, like Frame. The problem with this theory was that many horses who were "Dominant White" didn't have the necessary "Dominant White" parent, the rule of dominant genes being that at least one parent must have it for the foal to have it. Research has shown that these "Dominant White" horses who
are usually born from non-white parents are really Sabinos with the maximum expression of the
pattern. The theory of the "Dominant White" gene has been left in the past, especially since there has never been any scientific evidence to support that it exists.hite, are also a trait that can occur with Sabino.
Splashed White is another white pattern that can look similar to Frame and Sabino, because of this it's also usually grouped in with those patterns and given the generic term, Overo. This pattern was thought to be harder to find in North American than Frame or Sabino, but as we begin to understand just how the pattern looks and how the genetics work it's becoming obvious that Splash is much more common than was previously thought we just haven't been identifying it correctly.
Facial markings on Splashed Whites are commonly bottom heavy and may involve just a snip. Larger markings tend to give the horse an "apron" marking.
Leg white tends to be crisp and may be more blunt than with other patterns. As with Sabino there really is no rule as to how many legs will be white but in general at least one will be and it's common for the hind legs to have marking while the front legs do not. The leg markings will range from small to large, a coronet to a high stocking.
Belly spots are common, even on horses that don't have very large facial markings or high leg markings.
If the body has white it occurs in a very unique pattern. It's as if the horse was dipped in paint, starting with the legs and nose. The horse is white from the bottom up, arranged in a horizontal pattern. When the body is marked like this it's not uncommon for the head to be extensively and sometimes completely white with just the ears having color. The line between the white and color is very sharp and crisp. Blue eyes are very common and thought of as the rule with this pattern.
As with all pinto patterns Splash does come in a minimal form, at times it could be as minimal as a small faint snip on the nose.
that involves the base of the tail, flank and belly areas of the horse. As with all white patterns, Rabicano is will vary to lesser or greater degrees. In some horses it may involves minimal white hairs at the base of the tail and it may not even be visible in the flank unless inspected closely.
And in others it can be an extreme manifestations and the flank area will be heavily roaned with white hairs and the tail will have obvious white striping at the base. The pattern can blend into vertical roan stripes over the ribcage. This pattern is very rarely ever extensive enough to be confused with Classic Roan. Some horses may even have large white spots between their hind legs or on the underside of their belly.
This pattern is usually referred to by it's Spanish name of Rabicano, but it is also known by the English terms of white ticking, highlights and skunk tail.
Rabicano can resemble Sabino as that pattern also causes a similar roaning. But Sabino does not involve the base of the tail and is also usually accompanied by a white marking on the face, a chinspot and white legs