Mustangs 4 Us
Roan-ish Variations
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Mustang Heritage
Adopt a Mustang!
(Wild Horse, not the Car!)
Wild Horse & Burro Watching
Gentling and Training
Mustang Mules
Wild Horse & Burro Herd Areas
Mustang * Horse Colors
Helpful Videos
"Free to Good Home"
"Working With Wild Horses" Book
Cool Stuff to Buy
Our "Wild " Herd
How to Read a Brand


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This is a non-commercial, independent website, owned and written by Nancy Kerson, for the benefit of actual and potential adopters of BLM Mustangs and Burros and similar animals.

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Working With Wild Horses, Second Edition
Working With Wild Horses
Second Edition 
Printed Book $23
$7.50 Download

Now available on iTunes!

This website is owned and created
by Nancy Kerson, a private
citizen - I am not the BLM or anyother branch of  government!

Information about BLM adoptions
is offered as a service, to help
mustangs find homes and to
promote public appreciation of
wild horses and burros.

For information about the BLM
Wild Horse & Burro Program,
please call (866) 4MUSTANGS
or Click HERE

Please direct adoption questions
to the BLM, not to me.

And I sure as heck am not a
Mustang car dealership!

I have NO horses or burros for
sale and am not interested in
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promoting your sale animals!

This website:
Copyright 2001, 2002, 2003,
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008,
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
All Rights Reserved.
I am happy to share, but please
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Kitty Lauman:
From Wild to Willing:
Using the Bamboo Pole to Gentle Mustangs
More from Lauman Training available now!

2-DVD set: almost 3 hours of instruction!

$39.95 plus $5 shipping/handling = $44.95 total

BUY 2 DVD Set:

Can't Order Online?
No Problem!
Just email us and we'll tell you
how to mail order

Lesley Neuman:
The First Touch
Gentling Your Mustang

Lesley works with 3 wild horses at a BLM adoption, and very clearly explains what is happening, what she is doing, & what she sees in each horse as it progresses. Study this video and you can learn "pressure and release" gentling techniques to gentle your own new mustang!


Help for Burro adopters!
Crystal Ward
Donkey Training

All the basics of gentling, handling, and training. A MUST for new burro adopters! Good for domestic donkeys, too!





Red Rabicano

"coon" or "skunk" tail
white bars at top of tail head
 - typical of Rabicano

True Roan
(Bay base)
showing roaned body w/ solid head & lower legs

Appaloosa Varnish Roan
(photo courtesy of Liz Cohen)


Sabino Roan (uniform roaning over entire body, including face; Usually combined with high, jagged-edged leg white) Easily confused with early graying or true roan


 "Roaning" occurs when the coat has white hairs mixed in with it, but the effect is not due to either a gray or true roan gene.

There are a few color patterns that are Roan-like in appearance, but are genetically not linked to the Roan gene. These include:


    Rabicano/Rubicano is often confused with true Roan. Rabicano is a genetic modifier that creates roaning that is usually limited to the underside, flanks, legs, and tail head areas. Rubicanos often have a 'coon tail' of white barring at the tail head and white hairs in the flanks. 

    The tail bars, or "Skunk-tail" indicate rabicano rather than true roan.
      Ochoco Belle, a sabino rabicano mustang from Oregon

    Rubicano is similar to Sabino in that the underside, legs and flanks have the most white splotches.  Sabino will usually be accompanied by jagged-edged white socks or stockings, extensive facial white, and other sabino traits. Sabino does not have the barred tail head ("skunk tail)

    "Frosty roan"
    owned by Julie Yocom of Texas

  •  Appaloosa Varnish Roan

    These horses closely resemble roans and greys. The color develops similarly to grey, in that it gradually overtakes the previous color pattern and covers it up. It is called "varnish" because its action is much like that of brushing varnish over a still-wet painting. The colors will blur and blend into a new, mottled and non-distinct pattern of coloring. Varnish Roan is part of the appaloosa complex.


  •  CORN 
    "Corn" is an effect of the true Roan gene. When a roan horse suffers a scratch or scrape, the hair often grows in over the healed area as the base color (black or red) without any roaning. Over a horse's life, these accumulate to create an effect reminiscent of an ear of Indian Corn.



  •  The GRAYING Process
    in its early stages can look very much like roan, and many young gray horses are incorrectly labeled as roans.

    Note that with the graying process, the face is "roaning" faster than the body. With true roan, the face is not roaned. Gray is also progressive: over time, the horse continues to lighten, going through the classic dapple gray phase, and then finally, almost pure white.


Leopard Complex (Appaloosa) Tobiano The Overo Group Roan Pintaloosa

Rabicano Roan-ish Variations

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copyright 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015  Nancy Kerson, all rights reserved - I'm happy to share, just need to be asked and have credit given where due.

Disclaimer: Horses are inherently dangerous. Use the information contained within this website at your own risk.