The Falkland Islands and South Atlantic


The South American gauchos, brought to the Falklands to work the wild cattle have left a legacy of the Spanish/ criollo system of naming horse colours (and horse gear) accurately. Many words have been changed slightly to a Falklands version over the years.   


Lista describes the white mark or blaze down a horse’s face, it being no wider than a man’s two fingers.
Thus a horse might be described as gateado lista blanca, colorado lista blanca etc.

Should the white stripe only reach part way down the horse’s face then it is described as lista perdida.
Where the stripe runs off to a definite left or right of the bridge of the face this is lista tuerta.
If there are just a few white hairs on the forehead this is termed pelos blancos.

A small (2-3 cm or 1 inch) roughly round shaped spot or star is estrella.

A larger white spot on the forehead is called lucero and if it is heart shaped it is a corazon.

Malacara describes a star with that extends down the nose.
A wide white, bald face is termed Pampa, this may be accompanied by a zarco eye.
Pico blanco describes a horse face with a white nose.


Most large Falkland Islands sheep stations had one or more horses with a ‘Zarco’ eye (and usually a few dogs as well).

This is caused by a lack of pigmentation in the iris, typically just of one eye, resulting in the eye appearing a pale blue. This is usually combined with white lashes giving the whole face a strange appearance.


Sources: Pelajes Criollos- Emilio Solanet, Vocabulario Y Refranero Criollo- Tito Saubidet, Horse Color Explained- Jeanette Gower,The Color of Horses - Dr Ben K. Green, but mostly learned from Chris Perry