I thought I would add some information about overos as I understand it. Overos come in 3 different
designs and combinations of them. The most common is the Sabino , then the Frame and last the splash. It is sometimes
very hard to tell by looking at some horses which they are. I like to see what the parents and grandparents look like
if possible. My stallion Peppy is a combination of frame and sabino...therefore his jagged edges turn into speckled
lacy edges. The only way I am sure he is a combination is his grandsire is a obvious frame overo. Plus Peppy has
produced both frame and sabino foals.. otherwise a person could argue his pattern genetics forever.
Frame overos carry the lethal white overo gene. University of Davis also related the lethal
white gene to sabinos...however their study was done on APHA horses who have intermixed the frame and the sabino for years
before it was understood they were two seperate patterns. My personal belief is that Sabinos that are pure sabino like
you find in the gaited horses do not carry the lethal white because you do see solid white sabinos that do not die.
For more examples of this go to this site http://www.coloredhorses.com/whitesabino.html
The splash gene appears not to have the lethal white but I don't believe enough studies have been
done to be definite about that.
Now that said, lots of people are really freaked out by the lethal white of the frame overos. Actually
it is only a problem if you breed two frame overos. Or breeding two horses that carry the frame gene even
though they may not have spots. (this has happened in APHA horses) The good news is that through pedigree research and
DNA testing you can find out if your unusually spotted overo is a lethal carrier or not. Once you find out that your
horse is a LWO carrier, just don't breed him or her to other LWO carriers. The other factor is that even
if you do breed LWO carriers together your chances are 1 in 4 that the foal will be born a lethal white.
Now I don't advocate breeding two carriers, but people have done it, knowing the odds and have a 50% chance of a frame overo
and a 25% chance of a solid and 25% chance of a lethal white..
VERY IMPORTANT NOT ALL SOLID WHITE FOALS ARE LETHAL WHITE!!!!!!!! Solid white foals are
born that are maximum expression Sabinos. Also cremellos appear to be solid white. Sabinos may or may not
have blue eyes, cremellos usually have blue eyes... DO NOT DESTROY your white foals they most likely are Sabino or cremello.
The frame gene is so rare in the fox trotter breed you are not very likely to have a lethal white. The beautiful mare
pictured below is a TWH who is a maximum Sabino...wouldn't it have been as shame is someone had destroyed this beautiful
girl thinking she was a LWO!!!
Here is are sites I really like that gives some good examples of paint color patterns and explains the differences
very well. Also note on the Colored horses site they have provided highlighted links to pages specifcally about
one pattern or another with more expamples such as the exteme white sabinos and what they produce .
another brief description is given here
Also read up on these genetics for yourself in the books
Equine color Genetics by Dr. Phillip Sponenberg, DVM, PHD. and the one
one by Ann T Bowlings Horse genetics