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The Simple Life Farm

Well-Known Member
Dec 30, 2006
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Wills Point, Texas
Below is a pic of my new yearling bay stallion. When I did his first clip, I found he has about a 6' long strip of white going from his heel up the back of his leg. It is the same on all 4 legs. Does this mean anything???? Just curious.

Those are called eel stripes. They are a dun marking. Your colt may be a bay dun. It is hard to see with this photo but does he also have a dorsal stripe?
That does not sound like tiger or zebra stripes/leg barring to me (they run horizontally - not up the back of the leg) ... but more like the shading you get on the backs of legs at times - especially with young horses. Clipping closely brings up that paler shading.

An eel stripe is another term for dorsal stripe.

If he had a true dorsal stripe - it would show up clearer/sharper when he was clipped. Not disappear.

What colour are his dam and sire?
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I have also heard of dorsal stripes being referred to as eel stripes. What I know of as eel marks are pictured below. They are on a grullo or dun on black and I have only seen them on my duns, no other colors. This is not the best picture but it is the only one I have that shows them fairly well and I believe it is what she is seeing on her horse. They are actually quite a bit more distinct than this picture shows them, are on all 4 legs and are present now at maturity and have been present since birth. This horse also has a dorsal stripe, face mask, and horizontal zebra bars on his legs but not all duns do.

They are on a grullo or dun on black and I have only seen them on my duns, no other colors.
You can see that shading on some silver bays, bays and buckskins as well - as I said, especially on some young horses when you clip them down for show...

This is not exclusively a dun factor thing.

I have only heard of eel stripes in reference to dorsal stripes... but others may have different terminology.
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I wish I could show you a better picture of it but they are all fluffy with their winter coats right now and it doesn't show up as well as when they are clipped although the hair is lighter there. This is NOT shading - it is an actual, clearly defined stripe, running up the back of their leg from the ergot to just below the hock and knee. I have seen shading as you are describing it many times - this is not the same thing.

Your picture is exactly what I am talking about. He does have appy in is buckground, but no dun that I am aware of. He is not showing any appy spots YET on his body, but he does have the light spots on the inside of his lips.

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