Arabians

Significance of Color/Markings

Question: Is there a poem/folk wisdom/myth telling what the number of socks a horse has says about their personality. I read this years ago, but cannot remember exactly how it goes. I seem to recall that four socks was very bad, somehow.

Answer: I didn't find a poem, but I found the following information about Arabians and color, which you might be able to use.

From THE MAJESTIC WORLD OF ARABIAN HORSES, William Pereira, Harry Abrams, Inc., New York, NY, 1986.

"The Bedouin wanted purity in color as well as purity in bloodline. The chestnut was considered swift and of good character, the bay strong and hardy, the gray (white) the mount of kings, and the black good or bad luck. The black Arabian was considered a sign of eternal life by some Bedouins."

From KNOW THE ARABIAN HORSE by Gladys Brown Edwards (Farnam, 1972).

"The Arabas have many terms for colors and markings -- including some for "parti-colors" -- and those strange markings of Hereford proportions on the head, or up to the elbow and stifle on the legs. Many of these names apply to spots, especially as to their location and resulting good and bad luck superstitions. A patch of white on each side, in back of the girth, is called "wings" and supposedly denotes speed. By contrast, a horse with no white at all is called assam behim, "deaf." It was believed that unlucky white markings could be counteracted by killing a lamb and letting the blood drain over the horse's withers. The good or bad luck determinations were occasioned by any unusual experience that took place while a horse with those markings was being ridden. They accordingly differed from time to time and from tribe to tribe."

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