Roaning in Arabic as applied to horses: ablaq

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 25th, 2016 in General

Coat colors in old Arabic treatises on horses pose a big challenge not just because of their sheer number — close to a hundred — but also because they do not follow quite the same pattern as color coat definitions of Arabians in the west: grey, chestnut, bay, and black. I having been trying to look for an internal logic to color classification by the ancient Arabs and Bedouins for some years now.

I am now certain of a few color correspondences. One of them is ablaq (feminine balqaa), and its roan. It’s defined in the old Arabic dictionaries as the appearance of white hair in any other coat color which does not fade as the animal ages (ie, grays). It’s also further qualified by the base color: so you have “ashqar ablaq” which is the equivalent of a chestnut roan, or a “kumayt ablaq”, which is a bay roan. Then you have different types of “ablaq”, depending on which part of the body the roaning occurs.

One Response to “Roaning in Arabic as applied to horses: ablaq”

  1. Just to state what I am sure everyone here already knows, this describes the rabicano gene not the roan gene which is not found in Arabian horses.

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