Trending
Horse Births Rare Filly, But Pay Attention To Her Face Pattern
Jackie and Scott Nelson were ecstatic when their horse birthed a filly. But when they got a bit closer, they realized she was more special than they thought.
Britanie Leclair
11.16.18

Jackie and Scott Nelson, from Melbourne, Florida, are known for breeding gorgeous paint horses.

coconut-rare-filly-war-horse
downundercolour.com
Source:
downundercolour.com

The couple owns a riding ranch called Down Under Colour, and their horses take home prizes in championship horse shows. Despite their enviable equine knowledge, the couple got the surprise of their lives when they took a closer look at Coconut, one of their newborn fillies.

coconut-rare-filly-war-horse
Honest To Paws
Source:
Honest To Paws

You see, Coconut has extremely rare color markings that hold great cultural significance.

Coconut is a rare ‘War Horse’—considered extremely important in Indigenous culture.

coconut-rare-filly-war-horse
Honest To Paws
Source:
Honest To Paws

Indigenous legends (and Plains mythology in particular), often mention the Medicine Man. Both a priestly healer and spiritual guide, the medicine man would heal his tribe of physical and spiritual problems. Considered to have a special connection with supernatural creatures, plants, and other elements of nature, men in this renowned position would ride only one type of horse— known as the War Horse.

A pinto needed to have specific markings and characteristics to be a War Horse.

War Horses are completely white in color with only a small patch covering their ears and the top of their heads. This marking is called a “Medicine Hat” or “War Bonnet” and is the most important trait for a War Horse to have. Still, however, other characteristics could certainly make it more esteemed.

medicine-man-war-horse
Snopes
Source:
Snopes

In addition to the medicine hat marking, War Horses had to have at least one blue eye. “This eye in [Indigenous] mythology is called a ‘Sky Eye’, Jackie explained. Tribes believed if a medicine man was killed during a battle, the horse’s blue eye would carry his spirit back to the Gods.

medicine-man-war-horse
Joy V. Spicer
Source:
Joy V. Spicer

Indigenous tribes attributed many special powers to the War Horse. They thought the animal could protect the Medicine Man in battle and warn other riders of impending dangers. They were considered “hunters” in a sense, believed to be able to track rare game hiding in the forest.

medicine-man-war-horse
what-when-how.com
Source:
what-when-how.com

According to Wind Chaser Ranch, tribes would try to steal the War Horses of other tribes. They believed the horse held some of the group’s “good magic” and by stealing it (or killing the Medicine Man), they’d be able to weaken the tribe and take their luck. As a result, the animals were closely guarded and protected.

medicine-man-war-horse
John Phelps/Joy V. Spicer
Source:
John Phelps/Joy V. Spicer

Although some people say a ‘real’ War Horse needs a shield on its chest and markings on its flanks, Pony Box notes the most prized War Horses in history were completely white except for a medicine hat.

The War Horse’s white body was also the perfect canvas for decorative war paint.

Indigenous warriors were often clad in war paint, but they painted their horses too. Specific patterns and symbols were believed to bring protection, victory, and luck. In this photo, the circle around the horse’s eye symbolizes alert vision. The handprint on its chest shows he’s previously knocked down an enemy.

medicine-man-war-horse
Marcia Baldwin/Fine Art America
Source:
Marcia Baldwin/Fine Art America

According to horse breeders on Horse Forum, various genetic combinations of tobiano, splash, frame, and sabino can result in a ‘medicine hat’ horse, but the exact genetics remain unknown.

When Jackie and Scott first realized Coconut was a War Horse, they stood frozen in awe.

Realizing what a rare filly they had on their hands, they then took a video to share. Since being uploaded five years ago, the footage has been viewed more than 3 million times.

“What a beautiful baby and a great mom!”

“She is adorable, and such beautiful colouring. Mum is so very attentive.”

“Medicine hat AND the war shield on her chest!”

As you can imagine, little Coconut’s grown up since Jackie recorded the video so many years ago. Although her legs have grown longer and her body thicker, she’s still impressing people with her markings to this very day.

coconut-rare-filly-war-horse
Down Under Colour/Facebook
Source:
Down Under Colour/Facebook

See the adorable video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Article Sources:
To learn more read our Editorial Standards.
Share this article
By Britanie Leclair
hi@sbly.com
Britanie Leclair is a contributor at SBLY Media.
Advertisement
Advertisement