A Little About Bend Or Spots

Bend'Or Spots

Image from Just Chaos

Bend Or Spots (also called Ben D’or, smuts and grease spots) are dark spots found randomly on a horse’s coat. This type of marking was named after a Thoroughbred stallion (a chestnut) called Bend Or.

Mysterious Spots

Their cause is unknown and they do not appear to be genetically linked to other spotting patterns, although they are often mistaken for them. Beyond the obvious case of appaloosa spotting patterns, roans can display similar patches of dark hair. Called ‘corn marks’ or ‘corn spots’, these are spots of solid colored hairs which grow over old cuts, scratches & scars. Another potential culprit is dappling which is patches of darker hairs on a lighter coat (often an indication of the grey modifier).

Bend'Or Spots

Image from Montanabw

No Rhyme or Reason

This is a rare and random spotting that is most often found on chestnut & palomino animals. The spots can range from slightly darker than coat color to almost black and vary in size from silver dollar size to the size of an outspread hand. These interesting markings can be present at birth but may not appear until the animal is several years old.

Bend'Or Spots

Image from Jenna

Man O’ War shares bloodlines with the original Bend Or and was said to also possess Bend Or spots.

Bend'Or Spots

Image from Just Chaos

The Color of Horses

Color genetics are a fascinating field (& one I’ll never fully understand) but I’d like to share the best information available. If you know more about Bend Or spots, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Be sure to also check out the rest of the equine rainbow.

14 Comments on “A Little About Bend Or Spots

  1. jackie

    There’s a horse at my school’s barn that has a big greece spot on his thigh. They said he got kicked there by another horse and it never went away. He’s a chestnut.

  2. BJ

    I have a chestnut gelding with a white mark on his cheek and in his mane. He has had these marks since birth. I always thought it was strange, thanks for clearing things up.

  3. Mel Golby

    Hi, I have a TB/ID chestnut mare who has a few of these spots. I have had her since she was a yearling & she has had them since then. They do appear to have grown, but then again, so has she. My mare also has a lot of dapples. Would definately be interested to learn more about them. I thought they were birth marks.

    1. Kate Candy

      I too have a chestnut mare IDxTB and she always had a few Bend-On spots, but this year she seems to have loads.
      From reading about them on the internet they seem to be rare and possbly hereditory. I have nothing on Tushas passport to indicate her breeding:( only that she came from Ireland. If you know your horses breeding, I would love to know it.
      I could email you a piccy of my horse if you want.

      I hope you can help.
      Kate Candy

  4. Jenna

    I have a dappled, chestnut Quarter Horse mare that has a HUGE Bend Or spot. It almost covers her whole left buttocks and it runs down her leg. I love it! I find it very unique; like a birth-mark, and the dapples definitely stand out on it!

  5. Bailey

    Very intresting, my palomino mare has three that look almost identical to the palomino in the photo. I always thought they were scars, but they must be Bend, Or spots. They are only on her left side, does that mean anything to any of you?

  6. sarah

    i have a buckskin that has the Bend Or spots on the one side of his back , and i know a guy with my horses sister and she has it on her shoulder as well. do u have any more info on this ? thanks ,

  7. Deborah Black

    I have a sorrel mare 6 yrs old. She has sooty spots underarms, hips, near chestnuts. But she also has white circles and spots. is this still considered sooty?

  8. heather mcpherson

    our mare “so very stylish” has large areas of bend or “spots” , even the middle of her tail ; her smallest dark hues are about 3in. diameter, and she has a saddle pad size one midbody (more like the blood marks) she is a thoroughbred.

Comments are closed.