Horse Face Markings

Horse face markings are as varied as the animals who wear them. Each horse marking is wholly unique to them, but most fall under several broad categories.

Bald Face

Bald Face Horse

Image from Anes

A bald face is when the marking on their face extends to the eyes or past. This is generally found in paints/ pintos (& often there is at least one blue eye involved). However almost any color horse can exhibit large facial markings.

Apron Face

Apron Face Horse

Image from Anes

Similar to the bald face, except an apron face literally looks like it’s wearing an apron of white over the color. White extends along the jaw to the throat latch & generally covers the whole muzzle.

Medicine Hat

Tobiano Pinto Medicine Hat

Image from Just Chaos

Also called the moroccan pattern, medicine hat is generally displayed on a Tobiano pintos. This is a backward marking, the horse’s face is mainly white with dark markings around the ears.


Blaze Marking

Probably the most common face marking, the blaze is found on horses of every breed & color. It is a broad white stripe down the middle of a horses face, generally starting at the forehead & running all the way to the nose, or mouth.


Snip Marking

The snip is a small white marking between a horses nostrils. It can be any shape & ranges in size from a small dot to a larger blotch. This marking is often seen in conjunction with other facial markings like a star or a faint.


Star Marking

Stars are found in all sizes on the foreheads of horses everywhere. A number of different terms have popped up for markings in this location, if it’s between the eyes & more than just a spot of white, it is a star.

Strip / Stripe / Race

Stripe Marking

This marking can be broken down into three categories, but in the name of simplicity it’s really just a broad category. A stripe is similar to a blaze in that it runs down the center of the face, but it is much thinner – almost a line.


Faint Marking

A faint is located on the forehead between the eyes & in many case is almost too small to see. It can range from a few white hairs to a small white spot (& can easily be hidden by unruly forelocks.

Interrupted Stripe / Blaze

Interrupted Stripe Marking

Image from Kallerna

Now we are getting into sub-categories which I try to avoid, however this is a valid category simply because there is so many horses out there with odd bits of white on their face. Essentially an interrupted stripe or blaze is one that doesn’t finish, or that has a break in it somewhere.

Irregular or Crooked

Irregular Marking

Another sub-category, but another good one because it is so broad. If your horses face markings are a strange shape, irregular or crooked, then they fall under this category.

Common Combinations

There are virtually an endless stream of face marking combinations, and where pintos are concerned they become even more varied. Here are examples of a few of the more common combinations.

Star & Stripe

Star & Stripe Markings

Star & Snip

Star & Snip Markings

Star & Blaze

Star & Blaze Markings