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
From KNOW THE ARABIAN HORSE by Gladys Brown Edwards
"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."