Pony Of the Americas Club, Inc. — Official Breed Website

POA Characteristics

Characteristics

POA Color Characteristics

POA coat patterns vary widely and, over time, some ponies get additional color.

Snowflake Pattern

POA Snowflake Pattern
  • Pattern of small spots scattered throughout the base color hair coat.
  • One or two small spots do not make up a snowflake.
  • Snowflakes must be visible at 40 feet.
  • Mottling must be present and also must have either sclera and/or striped hooves.

Blanket Pattern

POA Blanket Pattern
  • Basic dark body color with white “blanket” over croup, hindquarters, back (or part of these).
  • Characterized by white over the loin and hips with dark, round spots.
  • Blanket may have dark spots.
  • These spots may vary in size from tiny specks to spots four or more inches in diameter.

Frost Pattern

POA Frost Pattern
  • A pattern giving the appearance of being lightly frosted over the back, loin, and croup.
  • It is definite white hairs mixed into the base coat. Frost must be visible at 40 feet.
  • Mottling must be present and also must have either sclera and/or striped hooves.

*This mare shows both frost and snowflake.

Snowcap Pattern

POA Snowcap Pattern
  • Similar to a blanket displaying white over the loin and hips, but without any spots.
  • Spots appear over the entire body, spots may vary in size from specks to four inches in diameter.
  • Basic white body color with dark spots over entire body and neck.
  • A leopard is born a leopard and does not change with age unless a graying gene is present.

Leopard Pattern

POA Leopard Pattern
  • Spots appear over the entire body, spots may vary in size from specks to four inches in diameter.
  • Basic white body color with dark spots over entire body and neck.
  • A leopard is born a leopard and does not change with age unless a graying gene is present.

White with Black Spots on Hind Quarters

POA White with Black Spots on Hind Quarters
  • Basic white body color with dark spots over hindquarters, loin, croup, back (or part of these).

Marbleized / Varnished Roan Pattern

POA Marbleized / Varnished Roan Pattern
  • Basic roan body color (including neck).
  • POAs with this pattern also show varnish marks which darker areas are appearing most often on the upper legs, point of the hip, bridge of the nose, and on the cheek bones.
  • These dark patches have smooth edges that gradually blend into the hair in the surrounding area.
  • Many POAs will show increased roaning as they age.• Mottling must be present and also must have either sclera and/or striped hooves.

Few Spot Leopard Pattern

POA Few Spot Leopard Pattern
  • Basic body color white with no or few spots on the body.
  • The few spot has only a few spots usually the head, ears, elbows, neck, flanks and lower leg while the majority of the body is white.
  • Mottling and sclera required.

Solid with Dark Spots

  • A pattern that shows dark spots on a solid background.
  • This pattern must also have mottling and either sclera and/or striped hooves.
  • Not to be confused with Bend or Spots
POA Solid with Dark Spots
POA Solid with Dark Spots

POA Unique Characteristics

Mottled Skin (Parti-Colored Skin)

POA Mottled Skin
  • Mottled skin is different from pink (flesh-colored or non pigmented skin), in that it will normally contain small, round, dark spots (pigmented skin) within its area.
  • If a horse has mottled skin it's most likely to be found on the anus, vulva, udder or sheath. (It isn't found on the penis.) Many breeds of horses have specks of flesh colored skin in these regions, and this shouldn't be confused with mottled skin.
  • POAs have varying amounts of mottled skin on their muzzle, extending over one or both nostrils and around the upper and lower lips.
  • All horses have a line on the lips caused by the contrast of pigmented and non-pigmented skin. Therefore, the lips shouldn't be separated for signs of mottled skin.

White Sclera

POA White Sclera
  • A white area encircling the dark or pigmented iris of the eye.The same color as the white of a person’s eye, true white like a sheet of paper.
  • It should be easily seen when the horse is in a relaxed state.
  • White sclera may be considered a POA characteristic when it's not in combination with a bald face. If your horse has a bald face, the registrar may discount the white sclera.

Striped Hooves

POA Striped Hooves
  • Some POAs have bold and clearly defined vertical light and dark stripes on the hooves.
  • But because many breeds of horses have striped hooves on legs with white leg markings, the stripes aren't considered a POA breed characteristic unless visible in the absence of white leg markings.
  • Also, un-pigmented hooves on non-white marked legs.

It is possible a POA will not exhibit any striping on its hooves. For this reason, the other characteristics of mottled skin and white sclera are the primary ones to look for in identifying the POA.

Clusters of Spots

POA Clusters of Spots
  • Clusters – also called mismarks or blood marks
  • Large concentrated pigmented area

Lightning / Feather Marks

POA Lightning / Feather Marks
  • Irregular white markings on the legs that do not contact the hoof.

Allowable White Face and Leg Markings

POA Allowable White Face and Leg Markings
  • White markings on the face with underlying pink skin should not extend behind a line running from the center of the ear to the corner of the mouth and should not extend on the lower jaw above a line drawn under the chin from one corner of the mouth to the other.
  • White markings with underlying pink skin should not extend above the top of the knee or hock.

Ineligible Markings

  • Ponies with pinto or paint color
  • Stallions or Mares who have excessive white markings.
  • Ponies that exhibit any natural markings that have been altered by surgery, dye or other manner.