Zaino Horse

Zaino doradillo horse

The term backpack has several meanings, but the one that interests us is the one that process of words saḥim  from Andalusian Arabic and sāḥim from arabic classic what do they mean 'which is totally black'. This qualifier is used for horses and for bulls with a characteristic coat color: dark brown in the case of the former and black in the case of the latter, with the peculiarity that there should be no other variety of color, no matter how minimal.

Now, What is a Zaino horse like? It is the one who It is characterized by having the skin pigmented in a slate gray color and the manes, tail and black ends (By ends we refer to the terminal portion of the limbs counting from the knee and clubs down). His head and cape have a intermixed combination of black and red hairs whose percentage will determine one or the other variety of chestnut horse, from the lightest: the golden chestnut, to the darkest: the black chestnut.

How can we see the chestnut is a type of fur, and not only that, it is a of the most common and recognizable because throughout equine history, the bays were spreading covering different races differentiated from each other by class, appearance, type, and temperament. In the latter case, we find three differentiated branches: cold blood, warm blood and warm blood. Cold-blooded people are usually quite friendly and at the same time fearful; those of temperate blood have great agility and strength, while those of warm blood, who generally come from arabia and Spain, are nervous by nature with a character more of their own.

Equine coat

A remarkable aspect of horse culture is fur, which can transmit fundamental information about the animal, such as measuring its health or assessing its capacity to serve human beings.

By fur we mean the set formed by the hairs of the animal's body, the mane and the tail. What determines the color of the horse's coat are two pigments made by melanocytes (cells housed in the dermis that make the pigments that give color to the skin and hair) and therefore responsible for the tone of the horse's coat: eumelanin, a black or brown pigment, and pheomelanin, a red or yellowish pigment. These so-called basic hues turn out to be rather dark and uniform, and other types of hues are derived from them when the dilution genes come into action, making these basic coats lighter; a good example of this are pearl or champagne coats. The lack of these two aforementioned pigments, whether total or partial, generates albinos and albinoids respectively, therefore the occasional white spots on basic coats are not counted within the coat itself.

Burnt Zaino Colorado Horse and Albinoid Horse

Burnt Zaino Colorado Horse and Albinoid Horse

In the XNUMXth century, equines presented great diversity in terms of their coat, something that has gradually diminished due to the selection and crossing with fine animals that usually present a defined color, such as chestnut.

To get to the peculiarity of the chestnut coat, it is necessary to have the presence of a gene called agouti, a name that comes from the red coat of the primitive horse, although it is true that some authors affirm that the ancestors were wolfish and crawling. This gene is a dominant that groups all the black hairs in the ends, manes and tails of equines.

The most common chestnut coat is he who It runs uniformly along the horse's back, leaving the ankle, muzzle, tail and mane areas for other shades such as black or dark gray. They often have small spots of white and dark colors located on the extremities and muzzle.

Within the bays we find different types of fur that allow us to classify them.

Zaino horse varieties

Considered of mulatto characteristics, where its fundamental colors include brown and reddish, except black or dark gray tones in the manes, tails, muzzle and ankles, It is easier to identify that a horse is chestnut than to analyze the origin or specific breed that said animal presents. Remember that the chestnut horse has different physiognomic characteristics because many breeds have this type of coat.

During the last decades progress in the field of genetics has been more than significant in the field of horses, analyzing the mixing mechanism of the genes of the different races, their coats and classifying those who were unknown.

The genes are distributed at the time of the foal's gestation, this is one of the factors that determine the different shades of the horse's coat. It also influences whether it is recessive or dominant, often the predominant genes are those of darker tones such as black or brown against other types of pigmentation such as reddish or yellowish.

Chestnut zaino, mother and calf

Chestnut zaino, mother and calf

Studies carried out in this field have made it possible to create a registry that includes factors such as the animal's coat, breed, climate and its adaptability. Speaking of bay horses, the part that interests us the most is the first, the fur, where We find a small classification with the different varieties that these horses have in terms of their coat. This classification, which you will find below, is ordered from the lightest to the darkest variety.

  • golden chestnut They are those that have a more yellowish hue, combined with light brown, pleasant colors are acquired for the eye.
  • Common red zaino, It has a dark red color (strong tan), which gradually degrades with light colors of orange or very light brown and yellowish touches in various parts of the body. If it has sheep legs it is considered an excellent animal.
  • Chestnut zaino, It is a particular type of red chestnut named for its similarity to the color of the chestnut shell, a name inherited from Spain.
  • Burnt red zaino, whose reddish tone is higher and darker. The tail, mane and capes are black. Some authors also refer to this type of chestnut as bull's blood red while others maintain that they are two different varieties arguing that the latter has a more vibrant and fiery tone while the burned red chestnut, although it has a raised reddish tone, is darker.
  • Zaino mule snout, They are those with a more ash or gray hue on their muzzle, acquiring a mule appearance along with hints of dark cigar and yellowish hues. The mule snout is determined by dilution and is more of a feature of the face as in the case of the chestnut malacara It can occur in any variety of coat (in the chestnut it is present especially in the red chestnut and the golden chestnut). These two peculiarities of the head are considered by some authors as a type of fur itself, although there is some controversy.
  • Sullen Zaino, They are those that present more reddish tones, determining some black tones with small frictions of brown hair. These types of horses are highly desired in the equestrian community due to their beauty.
  • Backpack, has all the characteristics mentioned for this type of animal and the percentage of streaky red and black hairs is approximately 50% each.
  • Zaino pangaré, It is when the muzzle, the skin below the eyes, armpits, chest, abdomen, stifles and panties, have a washed color (more yellowish), the rest of the coat being zaina. We are facing another type of dilution such as the mule snout. The pangaré is a peculiarity of the coat that can be found in different coats, but it is most frequently seen in the chestnut trees, especially in the red chestnut and the golden chestnut.
  • Black Zaino, Of a dark tan color, the hairs on its head and coat are black and red with a greater predominance in the percentage of black hairs, which differentiates it from red chestnut.
Black Zaino horse

Black Zaino horse

To conclude with the chestnut horses mention that their coat may show slight variations when crossed with some breeds. They can present, for example, partial albinisms as in the case of the overos and tobianos; intensifications like the sooty and rolled; rosillism in the case of rosillos and rosillos moros, or tordillismo as in the vinous tordillo.

All this, as we mentioned towards the middle of the article in the form of small brushstrokes, is due to genetics. There are times when the genetic part of the chestnut horse may be less dominant, such as when he meets a horse of purebred. In certain cases small degradations in the shape of moles can be witnessed tiny in the buttock area of the animal. Another case resulting from the cross between a chestnut horse and a thoroughbred, is the one that results in obtaining a more mongrel animal that presents large spots along its body giving it the characteristic appearance of a Holstein cow.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I did writing it.


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