Each horses markings are wholly unique but most of them fall under several broad categories.
Each category has a definition, which is more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule. Every horse will have specific markings that identify them.
This is a general idea of what that marking is on your horses face.
A bald face doesn’t mean an absence of hair as you might envision. It simply means the white marking on their face extends to the eyes or past.
This is generally found in paints and pintos, (and often there is at least one blue eye involved), however almost any color horse can exhibit large facial markings.
White extends along the jaw to the throat latch, generally covers the whole muzzle.
Usually displayed on a Tobiano pinto, this is a backward marking. The horse is mainly white and the dark marking is around the ears.
Probably the most common face marking the blaze is found on horses of every breed and color. It is a broad white stripe down the middle of a horses face, generally starting at the forehead and running all the way to the nose, or mouth.
The snip is a small white marking between a horses nostrils, it can be any shape and ranges in size from a small dot to a larger blotch.
This marking is often seen in conjunction with other facial markings such as the star or a faint.
Perhaps the favorite face marking, stars are found in all shapes and sizes on the foreheads of horses everywhere.
I’ve seen all kinds of new (some fancy) names for good old star markings, but I prefer to keep it simple. If it is between the eyes and more than just a spot of white, it is a star.
Strip / Stripe / Race
This marking can be broken down into three categories, but again in the name of simplicity, a stripe is not as wide as a blaze and runs down the center of the face.
A faint is just a smaller version of a star. The line between them is vague, however I like to think of a star as a big white blotch and a faint as a little white spot.
Sometimes they are even hidden under unruly forelocks.
Interrupted Stripe / Blaze
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.
Plus it is an excuse for me to show pictures of cool horse face markings.
Essentially an interrupted stripe or blaze is one that doesn’t finish, or that has a break in it somewhere.
Irregular or Crooked
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.
There are tons and tons of combinations of the above markings, some more common than others.
Here are a few you will see frequently.
Star and Stripe
Star and Snip
Faint and Snip
Be sure to learn about your horses leg markings.
While you are at it, learn about your horses color too
Cream horse colors
Dun horse colors
Silver horse colors
Champagne horse colors
Paint and Pinto horses
Unexplained colors and patterns