Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions.
ABRA registers buckskins, duns, red duns, and grullas. Horses of all breeds are eligible. Those horses with unknown pedigree may be registered according to their color eligibility alone.
ABRA registers light horses only. Horses with draft blood are not eligible.
ABRA has a Horse Section and a Pony Section. Horses must be at least 56 inches (14 hands) at 4 years of age. All ponies, regardless of height, and horses under 56 inches (14 hands) are registered in the Pony Section. This includes Miniature horses.
ABRA has limitations of white. There is no white allowed above the center of the knee, point of the hock, and no excessive white on the face. (Drawing a line from the center of the ear to the corner of the mouth, the white cannot exceed that line). White on the lower lip (chin) is limited from one corner of the mouth to the other corner.
Horses whose body coat color is of a color other than buckskin, dun, red dun or grulla, are not acceptable, even though they possess dun factor markings.
Paints and Appaloosas may be eligible for registration, only if the body coat is solid, and the white markings do not exceed the limitations of white. Roan and gray horses are not eligible for registration, since their mixed coat color exceeds the white rule.
If you are registering a foal, and the foal is eligible for registration in another breed registry, have the foal registered in that breed registry first. The name must remain the same, and ABRA must have a copy (front and back) of the other breed registration certificate.
BUCKSKIN: Body coat some shade of tan, from very light (creme) to very dark (bronze). Points (mane, tail, legs and ear frames) are black or dark brown. Dorsal not required.
DUN: Body coat some shade of tan, from very light (creme) to a dull or smutty brown (earth tone). Points, dorsal stripe and other dun factor markings are dirty black or smutty brown. There are many shades and variations in the dun color. Dorsal stripe required. Note: The buckskin colored horse with dun factor (dorsal stripe, leg barring, ear frames, shoulder stripes, face masking and cobwebbing) is the ideal color that ABRA was founded to preserve over thirty years ago.
RED DUN: Body coat a reddish tan without the range of shades as seen in the other dun colors. Mane and tail are red or reddish brown, creme or mixed. The dun factor markings are red or reddish brown. A full, definite dorsal stripe must run the length of the tail.
GRULLA: (Grew-ya) A Grulla's body coat is slate colored (bluish gray as the blue heron) from light blue-gray to a brownish shade. Points and dun factor markings are black. A dorsal stripe is required. The Grulla color is the rarest of all horse body coat colors. The word Grulla is Spanish and translates into English as “crane”.
Note: There are many variations in the colors and for this reason we insist on eight good colored pictures of each animal to determine eligibility. Many times these horses will be found to have a fringe of cream, dun or grulla colored hairs along the edge of the mane and at the base of the tail. ABRA will not register Paints, Pintos or Appaloosas showing white coat pattern on their bodies, only the solid breeding stock type.
A Dun horse is most easily distinguished by his primitive or dun factor markings. These markings are darker than the body color, and most often the same color as the mane and tail.
The most common dun factor marking is the dorsal stripe. The dorsal stripe usually runs from the base of the mane to the base of the tail, along the spine. Some horses may only have a partial stripe, extending up from the tail and fading out over the loins. A very desirable addition to the dorsal stripe are barbs or lines that extend down from the dorsal stripe along the ribs.
Shoulder stripes and neck stripes are also dun factor traits. Markings on the neck and shoulders may either be single or multiple lines often combined with dark patches, called shadows.
Leg barring is sometimes referred to as tiger stripes. They may be found on both the front and back legs.
Mottling is commonly described as reverse dappling, splotches or dark smoke, can be found on the forearm, gaskins, shoulders and stifle. Mottling can extend up onto the body of the horse, as well as down from shoulder and dorsal stripe.
Frosting can be at the edge of the mane and base of the tail, and may also be intermixed. The base color of the mane must still be dark for the horse to be considered a true dun.
Masking is dark shading on the muzzle that extends up toward the eyes. Most horses have masking on the bridge of the nose, but it can extend around the horse head on to his jaws.
Cob webbing are lines of dark color that start on the forehead and may extend down over the eyes.
Ear tips are a darker outline of color around the outside edge of the ear. Some horses may have shadows of color on the back of their ears, or even pronounced horizontal stripes.
Some bay and chestnut horses will display dun factor markings, but do not have the color qualities of a true dun.
Type & Conformation
Acceptable Type & Conformation: The Buckskin is found in all types of horses and for this reason all types are eligible for registration. ABRA registers light (not draft) horses. For the purpose of this provision, a draft horse shall be any horse which by reason of its weight, conformation or bone structure, is fitted for heavy work. An ideal Buckskin is that horse which most closely represents the ideals of its particular breed type.
ABRA registers ponies and mules in a separate section of the registry. Ponies and mules may not compete in horse classes, but they will follow the rules and regulations as set forth in the horse section for their respective classes.
Horses must be at least 56 inches (14 hands) at four (4) years of age. All ponies, regardless of height, and horses under 56 inches (14 hands) will be put in the pony section. All other rules will apply unless stated otherwise.
Keep in mind that when taking the photographs that will be submitted with your registration application, the photos are to determine color eligibility and confirm all markings. Always make sure that the photos you send show the true color of the horse.
Remember, ABRA requires eight (8) clear color photographs to determine eligibility when applying for registration.
Use a 35mm camera. Instant film and digital photos are not acceptable for various reasons.
Take the photos out doors in the natural light, making sure there are no shadows against the horse.
Stand the horse in an open area and on flat ground so that any feet and leg markings are visible.
A photo of each view (front, rear, and each side) must be submitted. On the side views, the horse should not be standing square, but so that any white markings on the feet/legs are clearly visible.
If there is white on the face, pull or pin the forelock to the side, and get a straight on closeup of the facial markings. If the white runs along the side of the face or under the chin, take a closeup of that as well.
If a dorsal stripe is claimed, stand up on the back of a pickup or on a fence, and get a full overhead view of the (complete) dorsal stripe. Make sure this photo shows the dorsal stripe clearly before you submit.
The ABRA registration application states that eight (8) photos are required. If your horse has any unusual markings, the remaining photos should consist of closeups of those markings.
However, if you have a buckskin with no dun factor and no white markings, it is not necessary to submit all eight of the photos. If the mandatory four view photos are taken outdoors and as described, the office will accept four (4) photos only.
Always make sure that the photos of the four views are as closeup as possible, but including the entire horse.
Do not send photos of horses with leg wraps, tail wraps, fly nets, or blankets on.
Do not send photos with more than one horse in it.
The horse should not be saddled or mounted.
Do not body clip your horse before you take the photographs.
Weanlings are eligible for ABRA registration. In order to receive the reduced registration fee, the application for registration must be submitted to the ABRA office prior to December 1st of the foal's birth year. The application must be accompanied by the required photos, proof of ownership, and proof of pedigree.
If the foal is eligible for registration in another breed registry, he/she should be registered with that registry first, as the name must remain the same. Also, by submitting a photocopy of the breed registration certificate, that suffices as your proof of ownership and proof of pedigree.
Weanlings are not issued a registration certificate until their yearling year. A Weanling Work Order is issued in lieu of the registration certificate and is valid until July 1st of their yearling year. Prior to that date, but after the horse sheds as a yearling, six (6) additional photos are required. At that time, if the horse is still found to be color eligible, the registration certificate is issued.
The reasoning behind this procedure, is that some weanlings tend to change color (sometimes drastically) from the time they turn from a weanling to a yearling.
The Weanling Work Order issued will indicate their lifetime registration number, and is valid for exhibiting. In the event the horse is sold, the Weanling Work Order is handled in the same manner as a registration certificate.
ABRA's approved color class is called "Dun Factor". Horses are judged in-hand and outside in natural light. The dun factor markings are grouped into five categories with each category scored from one to ten, based on the intensity and contrast of the markings. An additional score of one to ten is awarded for conformation. White markings like blazes, stars and socks are given a value from 1 - 4 and subtracted from the horses score. The class is placed based on the total scores of each horse.
In the dun factor class, the horse must be shown in his natural coat and color. The use of any coat conditioner or dressing, etc., made of any material that is not clear or non-pigmented to enhance the dun factor markings is prohibited and shall be grounds for disqualification. Judges shall not wear non-prescription sunglasses while judging the Dun Factor class. Artificial tails are not allowed in dun factor class.
In the Dun Factor class the judge(s) may visually screen the class, but must tabulate the top eight (8) horses on an official Dun Factor Score Sheet. This score sheet must be returned to the ABRA office along with official show results. To view the score sheet used by the judges, including the A.B.R.A. guidelines for judging dun factor markings, Click Here .