I am a big believer in the benefit of grouping images of horses of a specific color or pattern as a way to develop a solid mental image of the different colors. For those of us that paint horses, it is the single best way to develop your eye. Back before there were many horse sites on the internet, I kept clipping files. The down side was that my ability to collect images outpaced my ability to clip them from magazines and sort them into scrapbooks. I still have boxes of unsorted images from that time! With the computer, it was much easier to sort images into folders and I assembled hundreds of thousands of references.

What I have not been able to do is share them. As anyone who has followed this blog for a while knows, I am a stickler for intellectual property rights. I stick with pictures that I have taken, that are in the public domain, or that I have been given specific permission to use. I would love to share my sorted images, but I do not own most of them. Keeping a library of images for personal reference is quite different from posting those same images on a public website. Which brings me to Pinterest.

Pinterest has been described as a virtual corkboard, but really it is a social media site for the sharing of links. The site allows users to assemble groupings of links by topic, and then uses a thumbnail as a visual for that link. Most people use it to share images of products and ideas that they like. For me, I saw it as a great way to put together some color sorting files that linked directly to the source (ie., the owner or farm that had the horse), while still giving an overview of the range in a particular color or pattern. The image above comes from a board I started with images of homozygous tobianos. What I was specifically interested in was the range of face markings, because I had noted that even in breeds not inclined to face markings, the homozygous horses often had a fairly high level of white on the face. Looking at a lot of them, from a lot of breeds, might be helpful to see any trends. I also have a board for tested SW1 splashes, tested Sb1 sabinos, and the Bald Eagle line that has tested negative for splash. Eventually I hope to add more boards for other colors and characteristics, because I think this might be a particularly good way to share visual information.

For those that are not currently using Pinterest, here is a good overview of how the site works. You’ll notice that you do have to request an invite, since the service is actually still in Beta mode. This can take a few days, in my experience.

(Oh, and I must apologize that I have not found a way to separate out my personal Pinterest boards from the horse color ones. So beware that there are boards for recipes and craft ideas and pretty artwork all completely unrelated to the topic at hand!)