An Interesting Horse

Meet Paco.

First of all, his facial marking is not unlike that of Ross, the horse I’m currently painting.

They both seem to have a ghost on their forehead. Spooky, eh?

But that’s not the interesting part.

Paco is a Franche Montagne, or Freiburger, horse.

This is a breed I’d never heard of until he arrived at the farm. It’s a utility breed from the Jura region of Switzerland. By utility, I mean a medium-weight horse which is expected to do more than simply haul stuff, a bit like the Irish Draught, in fact.

That’s not the interesting part, either.

Physically, Paco is not unlike a light Irish Draught.

Mentally, he seems to have a sensible head on his shoulders, although he came to the farm for re-training after dumping his owner and breaking a couple of his ribs. He seems to have taken well to Equitation Ethologique, though, and his owners are pleased enough with his progress that there are rumours of him staying long-term at the farm.

We’ll see what happens.

That’s still not the interesting part.

This is the interesting part :

Can you see what I’m talking about? Yes? No?

Zoomed in :

Now can you see?

He is literally zebra striped.

The strips are not textured ie, when I run my hand over his side, I feel no lines or ridges.

They’re in the colour of his coat. And, even more intriguing, they are more evident on his right hand side. I only noticed them one day because I happened to be on his off side when the light hit him a certain way.

Of course, I googled Brindle Horses. It’s a thing, but a very rare thing.

So, Paco is a very interesting horse indeed. A breed I’d never heard of and a colour I’d never heard of.

6 thoughts on “An Interesting Horse

  1. That IS interesting. I wonder….is there some Bashkir Curly somewhere in his background, or at least the genetic basis for that sort of …skin? For a moment, looking at the ‘punctures” over his hip, I thought maybe he’d been bitten by something big! But no, that can’t be…you don’t have big cats in France. It would be interesting, I think, if you were to take a few hairs from the ‘ridge’ lines, and a few from a spot where he sports no such markings, and look at them under a microscope.
    Ooooh, now you have the biologist in me all a wonder….


    • Hmm I thought the hip marks were bites too, from another horse or from flies? Now that he has his winter coat, it’s harder to see his coloration. I’ll watch out in the spring.

      Liked by 1 person

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