What Color Is A Horse? (Solution found)

There are only four basic horse colors. Bay, brown, black and chestnut. Everything else is a variation on these four colorsor the absence of color giving you white.

What are the five basic colors of a horse?

  • Common Horse Coat Colors. The five most common horse coat colors are chestnut, bay, black, grey, and pinto. Chestnut- also called sorrel- is a basic color featuring brown, ranging from pale (flaxen chestnut) to reddish to deep dark brown (liver chestnut). Bay horses are brown with black mane, tail, and “points” Black Horses may be true black looking, or may appear to fade to reddish-brown in

What is the rarest color of a horse?

Among racehorses, there are many successful colors: bay, chestnut, and brown horses win a lot of races. Pure white is the rarest horse color.

What Colour is a horse?

Common horse coat colors are Sorrel, Bay, Palomino, Dun, Dapple gray, Buckskin, Roan, Paint, Appaloosa, Gray, Chestnut, and Black. Horses’ coat colors are derived from one of two possible base pigments: red or black, which means that every horse has a gene for either of these pigments.

What is the most common horse color?

1) Bay. Bay is the most common color in most horse breeds; it’s their base color. Bay horses typically have brown bodies and a black point coloration in their tail, mane, muzzles, lower legs, and rims around their ears.

Do pink horses exist?

Khadi is a Perlino horse, an usual breed defined by their cream coats and pink skin and their blue or glass eyes. Because of this, they are sometimes called pseudo-albino horses. The cream colour can vary from a very pale off white to a pale coffee colour, but shines through pink under their short summer coats.

Are purple horses real?

The purple horse thing, that’s entirely mine. Yes this is real horse. His name is Teaspoon according to the owner.

What color is a roan horse?

Roan is a white patterning coat color trait of intermixed white and colored hairs in the body while the head, lower legs, mane, and tail remain colored. Roan horses are born with the pattern, though it may not be obvious until the foal coat is shed.

What is a yellow horse called?

Palomino horses have a yellow or gold coat, with a white or light cream mane and tail. The shades of the body coat color range from cream to a dark gold. Unless also affected by other, unrelated genes, palominos have dark skin and brown eyes, though some may be born with pinkish skin that darkens with age.

Is Appaloosa a breed or a color?

Appaloosa, colour breed of horse popular in the United States. The breed is said to have descended in the Nez Percé Indian territory of North America from wild mustangs, which in turn descended from Spanish horses brought in by explorers. The name derives from the Palouse River of Idaho and Washington.

What are the 3 types of horses?

All horse breeds are classified into three main groups: heavy horses, light horses, and ponies. Heavy horses are the largest horses, with large bones and thick legs. Some weigh more than 2,000 pounds. Light horses are smaller horses, with small bones and thin legs.

Is palomino a breed of horse or color?

Palomino, colour type of horse distinguished by its cream, yellow, or gold coat and white or silver mane and tail. The colour does not breed true. Horses of proper colour, of proper saddle-horse type, and from at least one registered parent of several light breeds can be registered as Palominos.

Are white horses real?

A white horse has mostly pink skin under its hair coat, and may have brown, blue, or hazel eyes. “True white” horses, especially those that carry one of the dominant white (W) genes, are rare. Most horses that are commonly referred to as “white” are actually ” gray” horses whose hair coats are completely white.

Is chocolate a horse color?

Chocolate horses have a dark body color with a flaxen or white mane and tail. Chocolate horses are also called Silver Dapple or Taffy. Genetics: The Silver Dapple Gene works to dilute the black pigment in a horse’s hair.

Different Horse Colors with Pictures

Horses have a range of coat colors to choose from, and within each of these colors, there may be multiple variants within it. While a few horses may develop a different coat color as they get older, the majority of horses keep their original coat color throughout their lives. The underlying skin color, on the other hand, may change as a result of a disease. Horses are normally born with a coat color of either chestnut (commonly known as red) or black as their base coat color. The absence of the extension gene (‘e’) results in the development of a chestnut or red coat, whereas the presence of the extension gene (‘E’) results in the development of a black coat.

Horse Color Chart

1.BayVariations: Dark Bay, Blood Bay,Brown 2.ChestnutVariations: Basic Chestnut,Sorrel, Liver Chestnut, Flaxen Chestnut 3.Gray Variations: Salt and Pepper Gray,Dapple Gray, Fleabitten Gray, Rose Gray

Relatively Rare Coat Colors

1.BlackVariations: Fading Black, Non-Fading Black 2.Brindle 3.Buckskin
4.Champagne 5.Cream 6Cremello
7.DunVariations:Grulla, Red Dun, Bay Dun, Buckskin Dun 8.LeopardVariations: Blanket, Varnish Roan, Snowflake, Few Spot Leopard, Frost 9.Palomino
10.Pearl 11.Perlino 12.PintoVariations:Piebald, Skewbald, Overo, Sabino, Tobiano, Tovero
13.Rabicano 14.RoanVariations: Blue Roan, Red Roan, Bay Roan 15.Silver Dapple
16.Smoky Black 17.Smoky Cream 18.White

Horse coat color is governed by heredity, and alterations in genes are responsible for the numerous hues and variances seen in the animal’s coat color. In addition to the colors described above, there are other genetic modifiers, such as the Agouti, Sooty, Pangaré, Flaxen, and Mushroom, that have an effect on equine coat colors, such as the Sooty, Pangaré, Flaxen, and Mushroom. The distinguishing markings or patterns (such as white, brindle, pinto, or Appaloosa) that emerge on the coat of horses, in addition to their color, can be used to identify them.

Common Horse Coat Colors – The Horse

Horses are available in a wide range of vibrant coat hues, ranging from solid and static to complex and constantly shifting. These coat colors are determined by a complicated set of hereditary factors. Here are some examples of popular horse coat colors that you may come upon on the trail. | Photograph courtesy of Photos.com


Bay horses have brown bodies with black manes, tails, and points on their legs, faces, and ears. Bay horses are often known as bay mares. | Photograph courtesy of Photos.com


Chestnut horses have red coats that can range from light (referred to as sorrel by many stock-breed registries) to dark (referred to as liver by many stock-breed registries) (dark). They may also show off flaxen manes and tails, which are lighter in color than the horse’s coat, to great effect. | Photograph courtesy of Photos.com


A truly black horse has a coat that is completely black, with no brown hairs. The coat can occasionally have a blue tint to it. | Photograph courtesy of Photos.com

Seal Brown

Horses with seal brown coats are practically black in color, but they have brown hairs in the fleshy portions of their bodies, which are commonly around the nose, elbow, and flank. The image is courtesy of Natalie Perry Dressage


The dorsal stripe, leg baring (horizontal striping on legs), ear frames (dark-tipped ears), face masking (dark points on the face), shoulder blade stripes, frosting (light hairs in the mane and tail), and cobwebbing throughout the coat are all characteristics of the “primitive” dun: dorsal stripe, leg baring (horizontal striping on legs), ear frames (dark points on the face), face masking (dark The bay dun (also known as the zebra dun), the red dun (with a red or chestnut mane and tail), and the blue dun are all examples of this coloration (also commonly called grulla).



Buckskin horses have golden coats, black points (legs and ears), and black manes and tails. They are also known as “buckskin ponies.” Buckkins are distinguished from the similarly colored zebra or “classic” dun in that they do not contain dun factor (a characteristic of the latter). | Photograph courtesy of Photos.com


Palominos have golden coats and manes and tails that are creamy white in color. Palominos’ base coat is available in a variety of colors ranging from mild yellow to a rich, gold hue. | Photograph courtesy of Photos.com


Horses with the gray gene are born in a different hue, such as bay, chestnut, or even palomino or dun, and gradually turn gray as they get older and mature. Gray foals are frequently born solid except for the presence of “gray goggles,” which are a minor graying around the eyes. The presence of black pigmentation on the skin of a light gray horse distinguishes it from other light- or white-colored horses of similar color. | Image courtesy of Photos.com


Horses with the gray gene are born in a different hue, such as bay, chestnut, or even palomino or dun, and gradually turn gray as they get older, according to the breed standard. Despite being generally solid, gray foals are frequently born with “gray goggles,” which are a small graying around the eyes. The presence of black pigmentation on the skin of a light gray horse distinguishes it from other light- or white-colored horses. Photos courtesy of Photos.com


Appaloosa designs are available in a wide range of colors, as well as spotting and blanket varieties. Many appear to be wrapped in a white blanket with spots on it, as if someone had placed it over them. There are many different coat patterns available, including, but not limited to, leopard (a white body covered in darker spots), the ever-changing roan or snowflake blanket (Appaloosa roans differ from traditional roans in that they change), and few spots (as the name implies, these horses are blanketed but have “few spots”).

Image courtesy of Photos.com


If you look closely at Pinto coloring, it appears as though someone has sprayed white paint over an otherwise-hued horse, or colored paint over an otherwise-white horse, causing enormous splotches (which are larger than the spots on an Appaloosa). Multiple genes are involved in the production of paint and pinto colors, which occur in many different hues and combinations of colors. | Image courtesy of Photos.com

Common Horse Coat Colors

Horses are available in a wide range of vibrant coat hues, ranging from solid and static to complex and constantly shifting. These coat colors are determined by a complicated set of hereditary factors. Here are some examples of popular horse coat colors that you may come upon on the trail. Cookies are used on this website to enhance your browsing experience. If you continue to use the site, we will assume that you are in agreement with this policy. Accept More information can be found at

A Horse of a Different Color: Common Equine Coat Colors!

It might appear at times that horse people speak in a dialect distinct from the rest of us. We’re deciphering some of the terminology that you’ll hear the most frequently when it comes to horse coat colors. Being familiar with these phrases will be beneficial while researching horse adoption and looking for yourRightHorse onMy Right Horse!


When viewed from the side, bay horses have a brown body with distinct black colouring on their legs, mane, and tail. This gorgeous coat color will be seen in a variety of different forms. A “dark bay” might have a body that is almost completely black, but a “blood bay” is a brighter shade of reddish-brown. Like any other coat color, bay horses might have white markings on their lower legs or on their faces, just like any other hue. Day’s End Farm Horse Rescue has a bay horse named Indiana available for adoption right now.


Chestnut horses are distinguished by their red bodies, manes, and tails. Chestnuts are typically referred to as “sorrel” in the Western disciplines, with the epithet “chestnut” reserved for those with heavier brown-red coats. Despite the fact that chestnut horses have white markings on their bodies, they do not have any black on their bodies. Penny, a chestnut terrier mix, is available for adoption through Longmeadow Rescue Ranch.


Gray horses are precisely what their name suggests: they are gray. During their first few years of life, gray horses are born with a range of distinct coat colors that gradually “gray out” as they mature. They will continue to go through this procedure until their coats become completely white. Many gray horses acquire little specks of color all over their body, which are referred to as “fleabites.” Some gray horses get this tint, which is referred to as “flea-bitten gray,” as they grow older and develop flea bites.


Black horses are less common than you might expect, owing to the fact that they have a recessive coat color that is regularly changed by more dominant genes. Day’s End Farm Horse Rescue has a black mare named Electra who is available for adoption.


Horses with white hairs distributed as a secondary color throughout their body have a shimmering appearance due to the white hairs. If you’re looking for a red roan, look for a chestnut horse that has white hairs throughout their coat. A bay roan is, well, a bay horse that has white hairs dispersed throughout their coat. Blue roans are also conceivable, which are black coats that have white hairs dispersed throughout throughout the rest of the coat. Longmeadow Rescue Ranch has a dog named Roan – Suri that is available for adoption.


Palomino horses are distinguished by their golden coats and white manes and tails. Palominos can range in color from a deep golden brown to a much lighter creamier, light yellow hue. Kentucky Equine Adoption Center has a Palomino mare named Daisy that is ready for adoption.


Buckskin horses have a gorgeous golden coat color that is similar to that of a palomino.

In contrast to a palomino, they’ll have black on their legs as well as a black mane and tail to distinguish them. Mountain Valley Horse Rescue has a Buckskin gelding named Roman who is ready for adoption.


There is a gene in the dun horse that “dilutes” the color of their base coat and allows them to develop more distinctive characteristics; for example, dun horses will always have a stripe down the back of their neck called a dorsal stripe. They will frequently have a darker face and legs, and they may also have horizontal stripes on their legs from time to time. Red and bay duns are precisely what you’d expect them to be: a variety of chestnut and bay foundation coats in different colors. A grulla is a horse that carries the dun gene, which causes it to have a black base coat instead of white.


Pinto horses are distinguished by the presence of huge patches of color and white across their body. The pinto pattern is one of the many diverse coat patterns that have been documented, and there are particular equine registries that seek to conserve and identify pinto horses. Pinto – Delight, a dog available for adoption via the Humane Society of North Texas, is a delight to see.


Appaloosa is both a horse breed and a color that is associated with it. You’ve probably seen an Appaloosa before; they’re known for having lovely patches on their bodies. While a certified Appaloosa will nearly always have the distinguishing spots, other breeds may occasionally have Appaloosa markings on their coats or legs (although it is very rare). Horses’ Haven has an Appaloosa named Spot who is available for adoption. With your newfound knowledge, you’ll be able to walk into any barn and accurately identify and describe the horses in front of you without any assistance.

The site allows you to search among hundreds of available horses, learn more about the adoption process, and quickly post photos of your favorite horses on social media, which will aid in the process of matching the right horse with the right person.

The 10 Most Common Horse Coat Colors

Horses are incredible animals. They can do everything. Horses are gorgeous and heartwarming creatures that come in a variety of hues, much like shoes. Horse coat colors are determined by heredity in the same way that our own hair and eye colors are. Horse colors are derived from three basic hues: red, bay, and black. However, what are the most prevalent colors used on horses? Continue reading to find out more about it.


Because bay is a foundation color, it is without a doubt one of the most widely used coat colors in the world. In the case of bay horses, black points indicate that their mane and tail are black, as are the rims around their ears, and that their snout and legs are generally black as well.


The chestnut hue is derived from the foundation color of red.

The mane and tail of a chestnut horse must have the same color as the horse’s coat in order for the horse to be termed chestnut. A chestnut horse does not have any black spots, but might be a deeper red color, such as liver chestnut.


A sorrel horse should not be mistaken with a chestnut horse, which is a different breed. Despite their similarity, a sorrel horse is lighter in color than a chestnut horse, and the mane and tail of a sorrel horse are lighter in color than the horse’s coat. It is even possible to have a flaxen or blonde appearance.


Another basic color, but one that is more difficult to identify, is genuine black. A true black horse’s coat color is completely black, with no red undertones. The mane and tail are both black, and there are no white patches on their coat at any point.


The palomino horse’s color stands out from the rest of the herd. The coat is a light cream tint, with a white mane and tail to complement it. Despite the fact that this hue is derived from a red base color, the horse has an expressive cream dilution mutation in their genetics, which results in a stunning color.


Buckskin is another another eye-catching color, this time with a golden coat and dark tips. In the same way as a palomino is generated, this color is created with the exception that the base color is bay rather than red.


The dun horse color is equally as gorgeous as the bay horse color, if not more so, because it is so uncommon. True dun-colored horses have a black dorsal stripe, and some have black zebra stripes down their legs, which distinguishes them from other horses. This genetic mutation may impact all base colors, and the color of the dun hue is dependant on the base color that was used to create it.


Gray horses are born with a different foundation color and gradually lose their pigment as they age. They eventually become a pale gray or even white color.


Roan horses are as distinctive as their coats are. White hairs are distributed throughout their coat, which gives them a white base color. Roan horses have their unique colors that are derived from three basic colors: strawberry or red roan, bay roan, and blue roan – all of which are derived from the black basis color – and the black base color.


A horse’s pinto coat color does not always indicate that it is a Paint. While a Paint horse is a distinct breed of horse, a pinto color may occur in any breed of horse. In terms of appearance, this hue is similar to a horse with a base color and white patches spread throughout its coat. Colors of horses are attractive and distinct, and they may be found in a wide variety of variants and patterns. If only we could have one of each type of animal! What is the color of your favorite coat? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

  1. She works as a veterinary technician manager and is the mother of eight four-legged children, including five dogs, one cat, and two horses.
  2. When she and her boyfriend, Cody, moved in together, the pack grew by three members.
  3. Her horses, Squaw and Tulsa, are her favorite pastime during her spare time.
  4. Squaw is a retired rodeo and cow horse that has been rehabilitated.

The girls have a unique personality and have a strong relationship with Dani. Since she was a child, she has been around horses, and she rodeoed throughout high school and into her early adulthood. She now likes horseback riding on the ranch, handling cattle, and trail riding in the mountains.

The 20 Most Common Horse Coat Colors

The color of a horse’s coat is determined by heredity, much as the color of human hair is determined by genetics. Consider the 20 most prevalent horse coat colors and how to distinguish each one as we go through this article.

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1) Bay

Bay is the most frequent hue in most horse breeds; it serves as the foundation color for these animals. Bay horses have brown bodies with black point colouring in their tail, mane, muzzles, lower legs, and rims around their ears. Bay horses are also known as bay mares. Related:Horses

2) Black

A real black horse is distinguished by its brown eyes, black hair coats, and black skin coloration. Despite the fact that they do not have any regions of brown or reddish hair, their coat might occasionally have a blue tint to it. Black horses aren’t technically uncommon, although they are considered to be uncommon among certain breeds. Generally speaking, there are two sorts of black horses:

  • Fading blackhorses have a black coat that gradually fades to a brown tint when the horse is exposed to frequent sunshine.
  • When exposed to sunlight, non-fading blackhorses have a blue and black colour that does not fade.

3) Chestnut

Typical chestnut horses have a coat that is reddish-brown in color with flaxen tails and manes that are a few shades lighter than their coats and can range from sorrel to dark in color. In contrast to bay horses, which have a black coloration on their lower legs, talk, or main, chestnut horses do not have this colouring. You can tell the difference by looking at the lower legs, talk, or main of the bay horse.

4) Brown

Brown horses have a coat that is either dark brown or dark seal in color, with black spots on their lower legs, mane, and tail to distinguish them from other horses. A reddish tan or lighter brown coloration can be found around the muzzles and eyes, behind the elbows, and in front of the stifle of these animals. Horses live for an average of 15 years.

5) Dun

Dun horses are distinguished by their creamy golden hue, as well as their black tails and manes, which have a pronounced dark dorsal stripe. They are available in a variety of colors, but every dun horse possesses the same traits, including a dorsal stripe, dark-tipped ears, leg-baring, and black markings on their forehead. Duns also have shoulder stripes, tail and mane frostings, and cob webbing all over their coats, in addition to their shoulder stripes.

6) Buckskin

Buckskin horses have black tips on their legs, manes, tails, and ears, and their coats range in color from a rich golden to a creamy golden hue. They are distinct in that they do not display the conventional dun horse coloring, but are comparable in that they have a zebra coloring pattern on their backs.

7) Palomino

Palomino horses have golden coats and creamy white tails and manes, which distinguish them from other breeds. Their base coats are available in a variety of colors ranging from a rich gold to a pastel yellow.

8) Gray

Light gray horses are sometimes misidentified as white horses, however white horses are exceedingly rare in the wild. Gray horses are often born as chestnut, dun, palomino, or bay horses, and as they mature, their coats grow lighter in color, finally turning gray or white.

Gray horses are available in a variety of colors ranging from dark gray to virtually white, and their dark-pigmented skin can generally be seen through the lighter tints. A gray foal is often born with a solid coloration and a tinge of gray around the edges of its eyes.

9) Roan

The roan pattern, also known as varnish, is distinguished by the presence of white hair that stands out from the base of a horse’s coat. Because these horses are born with a certain coat color, it does not alter with age. Roans are available in a variety of bay hues, including bay, red, blue, and black. There are two well-known variants of roan horses: the roan and the bay.

  • Roans with a dark base color and white hairs that are mixed in with black undertones and dark tips are known as blue roans.
  • Red roans have a chestnut base color and white hairs that are mixed in with some red or dark brown colouring
  • White roans have a chestnut base color and white hairs mixed in with some red or dark brown coloration.

The alternative text depicts a dark roan horse with white around its mouth and eyes.

10) Appaloosa

Colors, blankets, and spottings in Appaloosa designs are available in a variety of varieties. These are some examples of patterns:

  • Blanket Appaloosas are distinguished by the presence of unique white markings over their rump.
  • Leopard Appaloosas are distinguished by their leopard-like markings and white coat.
  • A snowflake blanket covers the body of an Appaloosa roan’s body, and their look changes continually throughout their lifetimes.
  • In contrast to appaloosas with many spots, which are blanketed but have no or few spots on their coats, spotted appaloosas have no or few spots on their coats.

11) Pinto

Pinto horses have a white paint splashed appearance on their black coats, giving them the appearance of pintos. They feature big patches or spots on their bodies that are available in a range of color and pattern combinations.

12) Dark Bay

A dark bay horse has a black tail, main, and points, much like a bay horse, but they have a deeper base coat than other bays, which can make them look pitch black at times. They have lighter spots around their flanks, forelegs, and snout, which makes them stand out.

13) Sorrel

Sorrel horses are a variant on the chestnut horse, but they have a reddish color that distinguishes them from the chestnut. They have a bright reddish coat and manes and tails that are blonde. Sorrels are often referred to as light chestnut horses because of their light chestnut coloring.

14) Overo

Overo horses have a white pattern on their coats that originates from the area around their stomachs. This pattern may be blended with virtually any other coloring, resulting in a huge range of overos to choose from.

15) Cream

Cream horses have a specific gene that dilutes the basic colors, such as bay, chestnut, or black, making them seem cream. Palomino or buckskin horses with this gene become considerably lighter in color than they would otherwise be.

16) Dapple Gray

Dapple gray horses have a gray base coat with splatters of white spots all over their coats, giving them their name. A dapple gray with black tips is virtually identical in appearance to a blue roan.

17) Grullo

Grullo horses are black horses with a dun overlay over a mousy black coat. In addition to having a dorsal stripe, they might have zebra stripes on their legs and a darker face.

18) Tobiano

Tobiano horses have a spotted color pattern with pink skin patches and white hair among their base coat color; it is most typically observed in Pinto horses. Tobiano horses have a spotted color pattern with pink skin patches and white hair among their base coat color. Tobiano horses are distinguished by the presence of white legs and a solid color on their heads.

19) Skewbald

Skewbald is a term used to describe any horse that possesses overo or tobiano markings (or a combination of the two) but does not have a black coat. EPM in Horses is a related topic.

20) Piebald

Piebald horses are the polar opposite of Skewbald horses in that they have a black base coat with a theovero, tovero, or tobiano pattern on it. Alt-text: A horse with a brown coat and white markings on its face and ears

5 Common Horse Coat Colors

Horse coat colors, variants, and unique colorings are available in an astounding variety of hues and shades. In order to get you started, here are 5 popular horse coat colors and their distinguishing features. Brown coat color (which may be light or dark) with black spots on the ears, legs, and occasionally other areas of their body distinguishes a bay horse from other breeds. The color of the mane and tail is black. The image above was borrowed from Pinterest Black – in order to be classified black, a horse’s coat, mane, and tail must be completely black.

The image above was borrowed from Pinterest Gray – Gray horses have the appearance of being white and are frequently referred to as white horses.

The image above was borrowed from Pinterest Colors such as chestnut and bay are the most frequently mentioned when someone refers to a “brown” horse.

The image above was borrowed from Pinterest “When the Almighty put hooves on the wind and a bridle on the lightning, He dubbed it a horse,” says the author of the Bible. The author is not known. Saddle up!

21 Most Common Horse Coat Colors

What color coat comes to mind when you think about horses? Do you have a favorite hue? There is no surprise that you are thinking of a red, bay, or black horse because these are the three most prevalent basic colors from which all other horse colors are derived. However, there are many various coat colors available, all of which are magnificent and attractive to the sight. The color of a horse’s coat is determined by genetics, just as the color of our hair and the color of our eyes are determined by genetics.

  1. Let’s go right to it and find out for ourselves.
  2. 1 Because it is the basic color of several horse breeds, it is the most prevalent color in those breeds.
  3. Bay horses are often known as bay mares or bay fillies.
  4. The color black Brown eyes, pure black skin, and black hair coats are all characteristics of a true black horse.
  5. This hue is unusual among horse breeds, despite the fact that it is not regarded rare.
  • Fading black– If the horse is exposed to sunlight on a frequent basis, its black color will fade and turn brownish. Black that does not fade in the sun– It has a blue-black hue that does not fade in the sun.

The third option is chestnut. A chestnut horse has reddish-brown hair with flaxen manes and tails that are lighter in color than the coats of other horses. Its color might range from light or sorrel to dark or liver-colored. It is distinct from the bay, and the simplest way to tell the difference between the two is that bay horses have black on their lower legs, mane, and tail, or both, but a chestnut horse does not have black on its lower legs, mane, and tail, or both. 4. The color brown In addition to their dark brown coat or seal color, brown horses also have black tips on their lower legs, tails and mane.

  1. 5.
  2. Dun horses are available in a variety of colors, but they all share the same characteristics as primitive dun factors, which include the dorsal stripe, leg-baring (or horizontal striping on legs), ear frames (dark-tipped ears), and face masking (if present) (dark points on the face).
  3. This breed’s color can range from the bay dun or zebra dun to the red dun, which has a crimson or chestnut mane and tail, and the blue dun, which is also known as the grulla.
  4. Buckskin horses may be seen in many sizes and breeds.
  5. Palomino (number 7) Palomino horses have golden coats with creamy white manes and tails, and they are quite rare.
  6. Gray is the eighth color.
  7. Gray horses are often born as bay, chestnut, palomino, or dun and gradually develop lighter in color until they are gray in color.
  8. Gray horses are available in a variety of colors ranging from white to dark gray, with the light gray being distinguishable from the others by the presence of black-pigmented skin.
  9. 9.

They are born with the color of their coat, and it remains the same throughout their lives. Roans are available in a variety of base hues, including strawberry (bay), red (chestnut), and blue (sea) (black). The following are examples of the well-known roan variation:

  • White hairs are blended together with dark tips and black undertones in the blue roan’s base hue, giving it its distinctive appearance. Scarlet roan has a chestnut base color with white hairs mixed in, as well as red or dark red/brown colouring on the face and legs. Depending on the breed, its mane and tail are either red or blonde.

Appaloosa, number ten. Appaloosa designs are available in a variety of colors, as well as spotting and blanket varieties. Among the numerous different coat designs are the following, which is by no means exhaustive:

  • An Appaloosa with a noticeable white marking distributed across the rump, which may or may not contain spots, is known as a Blanket Appaloosa. Leopard Appaloosa– has distinctive leopard-like patches over a white coat, making it stand out from the crowd. Appaloosa roans– This pattern distinguishes itself from classic roans by virtue of its snowflake blanket and constantly changing look. Few spots– as the name implies, these horses are blanketed or covered, yet they have “few spots” on their bodies.

11. PintoPinto horses appear to have had white paint splattered on top of their colourful covering, or that the white base has been painted with a variety of other colors. This explains why it has huge patches that are larger than the spots on an Appaloosa. Paint and pinto spot are controlled by different genes, and they are available in a variety of hues and combinations.

12.Dark Bay

The dark bay horse has a brown coat with a black mane, tail, and points, which is similar to a bay horse’s coat, but its base coat is darker in color than the typical bay. It can also be mistaken for a dark color like black. However, it is distinguished by the presence of lighter spots around its muzzle and flanks, as well as under its forelegs. The reddish colour in its coat distinguishes sorrel from other varieties of the chestnut color, which is merely a variant of the chestnut color. Besides having a light reddish/yellow body, it also has a mane and tail that are either blonde or the same color as its body.

  • Cremello is the fourteenth artist on the list.
  • The white coat pattern that emerges from the belly may be mixed with any hue to form a colorful horse.
  • OveroIt is a white coat pattern that emerges from the belly.
  • The “cream” hue is produced by the “cream” gene, which dilutes the intensity of base colors such as chestnut, bay, or black.
  • Dapple Gray is the seventeenth color.
  • If a dapple gray has black spots on it, it can also be referred to as blue roan.
  • grulloGrullo horses are black with a Dun overlay and a mousy tint, and they have a dorsal stripe, with zebra stripes (bars) on the legs, or a mask on their faces (dark face).
  • This hue has a spotted color pattern with white hair and pink skin patches in its base coat color, and it has a white base coat color.
  • Tobianos may be distinguished from other species by the fact that it does not have excessive facial white; instead, it has a solid-colored head and white legs.
  • Generally speaking, it is used to designate any color horse other than black that has an overo or tobiano pattern, or a mix of the two, on its coat (tovero).

Piebald is number twenty-one. It is a horse that is black in color with an overo or tobiano pattern or a tovero design on its back (a spotted blend of overo and tobiano).

Recognizing Horse Colors, With Pictures

A broad variety of colors are available for horses, and within each hue there are typically multiple variants to be found. A few typical horse colors are described and illustrated in the text on this page as well as the pages that follow this one. Colors of Horses – Page 1 Colors of Horses – Page 2 While reading this material, it’s crucial to remember that not every individual or breed group agrees on or defines horse colors in the same manner that the author does. Our descriptions of horse colors are deemed reputable, however it should be noted that they may not be acknowledged as true by all horse enthusiasts.

Definitions change from one organization to another, and they may be different from the ones we’ve used in this document.


A bay horse’s coat is a variety of colors of reddish brown or reddish brown in color. Bay horses are distinguished by their black mane and tail, as well as their black lower legs. A bay stallion. A different bay horse, this time. The bodycolor of this horse is more vibrantly red in tone than the horse in the previous photograph.

Bay Roan

In addition to having a blend of red and white hairs throughout all or most of its body, a bay roan horse has a black mane and tail, as well as black on its lower legs. The head is darker than the rest of the body, mainly because there are more red hairs present, but it can also be because there are some black hairs present. A bay roan is a kind of dog.


A black horse is distinguished by having a black body, head, legs, mane, and tail. The horse’s color is a true, or dark, black throughout, with no regions of brownish, reddish, or lighter hues to be found. The presence of white markings (such as a star, blaze, socks or stockings, etc.) on a black horse should be noticed since these markings are not regarded to be the lighter colorings that would lead a black horse to be categorized as a different hue in the first place. The color of certain black horses can fade or be “sun scorched,” which implies that their black hairs can get bleached to a lighter shade as a result of exposure to the sun.

A horse that is black.

Blue Roan

Blue roan horses have a blend of black and white hairs on their bodies, which makes them appear blue. The head and legs usually contain more black hairs than white hairs, which causes them to look darker in appearance. However, there are certain exceptions to the rule of having darker legs, notably in the case of draft horse breeds, which are discussed below. An example of a blueroan draft horse may be seen in the photo below: As you can see, his legs are not just lighter in color, but he also wears long, white stockings.

Some draft horses, regardless of their color, are distinguished by their stockings of this kind. A roan of blue color. NOTE: It might be difficult to distinguish between roan horses and gray horses at times. Please read the bottom of this page for information on how to distinguish between the two.


Blue roan horses have a blend of black and white hairs on their bodies, which gives them their distinctive color pattern. In many cases, the head and legs have more black hairs than white hairs, which gives them a darker appearance. It is true that there are some exceptions to having darker legs, notably among the draft horse breeds, but there are no exceptions. It is a blueroan draft horse, as shown in the photo below. Not only do his legs appear to be lighter in color, but he also wears white stockings.

A roan in the color of sky blue.

Please read the bottom of this page for information on how to determine the difference.


The chestnut coat color is comprised of a variety of red tints ranging from bright coppery-reds to darker reddish browns. A chestnut that is extremely dark in color is sometimes referred to as a liver chestnut. Horses that are chestnut in color will have no black hairs on their coats. For this reason, while the legs of a chestnut horse may match or be lighter in color (including white socks or stockings), they cannot have black legs, as may be the case with horses of other colors. The manes and tails of a chestnut horse are the same color as the horse’s body, or a lighter shade of the same colour.

A chestnut stallion.

A dark chestnut with a flaxen main and tail, with a flaxen main and tail.


Dun horses have a body color that ranges from various colors of yellow to gold, with a tannish tinge on occasion. Their mane and tail are normally black, with flecks of different colors thrown in for good measure. A dorsal stripe is usually present on Dun horses. They often have black bottom legs, although they may have legs with horizontal stripes, depending on the species (often called “tiger” or “zebra” stripes). Duns may also have a stripe that runs transversely over their withers, which is a distinguishing feature.

The dorsal stripe (the black stripe going down the back of this dun horse) may be easily seen in the shot below.

Tiger stripes are sometimes referred to as zebra stripes.


A gray horse has colorful body hairs that are interspersed with white hairs on its body and legs. The colored hairs are most typically black, and when they are combined with the white hairs, the horse has a distinctive gray appearance. Gray horses have black skin, which not everyone notices since they are not looking carefully enough (asopposed to white horses which have pink skin). Gray horses are born with black coats and gradually develop more white hairs as they get older. As a result, a dark gray horse is often a young horse, whereas lighter gray horses are typically older.

Gray horses can have a wide range of color variations from the moment they are born until they are completely grayed out, depending on the breed.

Dapple gray, steel gray (or “iron” gray), and flea bitten gray are all adjectives that can be used to describe gray horses in addition to the term “gray.”

  • A gray horse has colorful body hairs that are interspersed with white hairs on its body and mane and tail. Most of the time, the colored hairs are black, and when they are combined with the white hairs, the horse has a distinctive gray tint. Gray horses have black skin, despite the fact that hardly everyone pays attention to it (asopposed to white horses which have pink skin). Gray horses are born with a black coat and gradually develop more white hairs as they get older, becoming grayer overall. The darker the gray coloration, the younger the horse, and the lighter the gray coloration, the more experienced the horse is. After age 9 or 10, the majority of gray horses get entirely “grayed out,” which means their color does not lighten much more (this rule of thumb is general,however, and may not always be accurate). Gray horses can have a wide range of color variations from the moment they are born until they are completely grayed out, depending on the environment. Even though some people mistakenly refer to older, lighter-colored gray horses as white, the horse is still correctly categorized as a gray, which is acceptable given the circumstances. Dapple gray, steel gray (or “iron” gray), and flea bitten gray are all words that are frequently used to characterize gray horses.

Always remember that gray horses lighten with age, so a horse that is one sort of gray one year may appear completely different a year or two later if kept in the same environment. Gray Horses With Blood Marks From Flea Bites “Blood mark” or “bloodyshoulder mark” refers to an unusual marking that emerges in flea-bitten gray horses and is seen on their shoulders. Rather than being gray, the region that makes up the mark is painted in a different color. The blood mark region is often crimson (chestnut in color), which lends the marking its name.

Horse Blood Marks on the Ground?

A gray horse that has been infested by fleas.

The horse on the left is a gray mare who is four years old.

Grulla (or Grullo)

Always remember that gray horses lighten with age, so a horse that is one sort of gray one year may appear completely different a year or two later if the horse continues to mature. On flea-bitten gray horses, blood stains can be seen. A “blood mark,” sometimes known as a “bloodyshoulder mark,” is an unique sign that emerges in flea-bitten gray horses. Rather from being gray, the region that makes up the mark is painted in a different color altogether. This marking is known as a chestnut mark because the blood mark region is usually red (chestnut).

Is there evidence of horse blood on the ground?

A gray horse with flea bites.

An approximately 4-year-old gray mare, the horse on the left is being shown.

Horse Colors And Markings

A horse’s color is not affected by the presence of white markings on its body (such as a star, blaze, socks, or stockings, among other things). In the image above, even if a bay horse (which has black on its lower legs) has one or more white socks, the horse is still classified as a bay horse. Please keep in mind that white markings on a horse’s body are distinct from spots on the horse’s body. Spots in a horse’s coat typically DO make a difference in how its color is classed. Please check this page: How To Recognize CommonHorse Face Markings for more information about horse face markings, which is illustrated with photographs.

The Difference Between Grays and Roans

It can be difficult to distinguish between a gray horse and a roan horse at times. Regardless of the situation, colorful hairs interspersed with white hairs serve as the horse’s primary body color in both circumstances.

It may take some time to determine if a horse is gray or roan, especially in the case of young horses, and it may be necessary to wait until the horse matures before determining its color. Here are some distinguishing characteristics that may be used to distinguish a gray horse from a roan horse:

  • It is normal for Roan horses to maintain a nearly equal ratio of white hairs to colored hairs as they get older. In any case, it’s worth noting that some roans get more white hairs as they grow older than others.
  • Gray horses have much more white hairs and less colorful hairs as they grow older, leading their coats to become noticeably lighter as they age.
  • The head and legs of roan horses are frequently darker in color than the rest of the body
  • When gray horses get older, the head is frequently the first part to lighten in color.

Horse Colors: What Is A Dorsal Stripe?

Some horse colors are distinguished by the presence of a “dorsal” stripe. A dorsalstripe is a stripe of color that runs down the dorsal side of a horse’s body hairs that is darker than the surrounding body hairs. So, what exactly is a “dorsal”? In animals with a backbone (such as the horse), the “dorsal” side of the animal refers to the side of the animal that is closest to the spine of the animal. A horse’s top of the neck, back, and the top of the rump are all located on this side of the horse’s body.

Horse Colors: What Is Transverse?

Some horse colors are distinguished by the presence of a stripe that runs “transverse across withers.” What exactly does that imply? “Transverse” refers to lying across or in the direction of the long axis as compared to the short axis. Because a horse’s longest axis extends from nose to tail, a transverse stripeon a horse would run from side to side on its longest axis. “Transverse over withers,” on the other hand, indicates that the horse has a stripe of color that is darker than the rest of the horse’s body hairs and goes from side to side over its withers.

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Horse-Breeding Basics: Quarter Horse Color

Understand the fundamentals of horse color genetics so that you can readily determine the color of your newborn foal. April 10, 2018 | About the AQHA| Breeding and foal care,Breeding,Horse ownership,Breeding and foal care,Breeding,Horse ownership According to legend, a red horse is fiery, a dun horse is tough, and a white-legged horse is unsteady on its feet. Horsemen of wisdom, on the other hand, believe that there is no such thing as a fine horse that has a terrible color. American Quarter Horse colors include the following: chestnut, sorrel, black, brown, gray, bay, palomino, buckskin, smoky black, smoky cream, cremello, perlino, white, classic champagne, amber champagne, gold champagne, dun, red dun, grullo, red roan, bay roan, brown roan, blue roan, and blue roan.

This collection includes the hues smoky black, smoky cream, classic champagne, amber champagne, gold champagne, and brown roan, among others.

All other hues – bay, gray, roan, and so on – are simply variations on these two fundamental colors.

Base Horse Colors

The extension gene is responsible for the creation of all horse colors. Genes for the color black are controlled by (E), while genes for the color red are controlled by (E).

  • White hair is caused by a lack of color in the hair shaft. Pink skin on a horse indicates that the animal lacks pigment and that the pink hue is obtained from blood vessels under the surface of the skin. The exceptions are smoky creams, perlinos, and cremellos, which include pigment but are dilute
  • And smoky creams, perlinos, and cremellos, which contain pigment but are dilute

First and foremost, while determining a horse’s color, it is important to overlook any white marks on the animal. They must be separated from the base color in the same way that frosting is removed from a cake. Consider the frosting first, after which you should choose what sort of cake you are working with. Black is the more dominant of the two primary hues, while red is the more recessive.

  • This means that a black horse will seem black regardless of whether it possesses two copies of the black gene E/E (homozygous) or one copy of the black gene E/E and one copy of the red gene E/e (heterozygous)
  • It is only when a horse does not have a copy of the black gene that it appears red.

When it comes to black-based horses, the best rule of thumb is that they are either solid black or have black on the points (ears, mane, tail, and legs). Even though the mane and tail seem dark or black, a red horse will not have any black on the tips of its ears.

Black-Based Horse Colors

Colors with a black basis include:

  • The following colors are available: black
  • Bay
  • Brown
  • Buckskin
  • Smokey black
  • Grullo
  • Dun
  • Blue roan
  • Bay roan
  • Brown roan
  • Perlino
  • Smoky cream
  • Classic champagne
  • Amber champagne

Some black horses can get sun-faded and develop a brown tinge to their coats, despite the fact that they are genetically black. It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between brown and black horses when they are close together. Brown horses can appear to be practically black in appearance, but they will have brown or tan hairs on their bodies, which are commonly seen around the nose and groin area of the horse.

Red-Based Horse Colors

The red-based hues are as follows:

  • Sorrel, chestnut, Palomino, Cremello, red roan, red dun, gold champagne, and many more.

The colors sorrel and chestnut are used to differentiate between distinct shades of the recessive red gene, despite the fact that they are genetically the same hue. The coat of a chestnut horse has a brown tinge to it, with the most severe hue being an almost dark brown “liver” color at its most extreme. For their part, sorrels have a darker coloration, often resembling copper.

Color variants include a flaxen mane (which is commonly mistaken for palomino) and a black mane and tail, which is generated by a larger concentration of pigment in the mane and tail. Get a free copy of the Quarter Horse Color and Markings Chart by clicking on the button below.

Important Notes About Horse Color

  • It is difficult to understand the genetics of coat colors, and the study of color is a never-ending effort. Researchers are continuing their research into the genes that contribute to the coat hues that we all like. All white marks, including grays, are placed over a basic body color to provide the appearance of depth and dimension. As a result, while addressing color inheritance, it is important to remember and understand the base color. You may learn more about white marks by looking at the AQHA Color and Markings Chart
  • Despite what you may have seen, foals are rarely born in the hue or shade that they will be when they reach their age. Even if there is any doubt, it is normally advisable to wait until the foal has lost its foal coat before attempting to determine the color of the foal. If you are unsure of the color of your foal’s coat, you can leave the color section blank on the paperwork and send it to AQHA. It is mandatory to send images with applications that have a blank color box so that AQHA color specialists can assess them. If you need to make a color correction later on, you can do so for free until the foal is 12 months old or until 6 months after the date on the registration certificate is issued, whichever is later at the time of registration. Find out more about the free rectification procedure by visiting our website.

Are you interested in learning more about horse color? Take advantage of the American Quarter Horse Coat Color Genetics electronic book, which is available for free to AQHA members.

Coat Color Calculator

This calculator will give you the possibleoffspring coat colors and their probabilities when given the parents coat color and pattern information. For a gray sire or dam, you mustenter what colorthe horse was before it went gray as wellas check the box labeled gray to the right of your color selection.Calculation accuracy ofthe offspring color possibilities and probabilities can be greatly increased when providing the color genetics of the sire and dam.


Q:Where is the color Brown? A:Brown (and I’m not referring to Seal Brown) is a somewhat ambiguous term used to identify anumber of horse coat colors but most often refers to a dark variationof Bay. As the genetics behind the variations of the Bay base colorbecome more understood, we will try to make changes to the calculatorthat will incorporate these variations. But for now, selecting Bayfor the color brown will give you the most accurate calculations.However, colors such as liver chestnut or even smoky black are sometimesmisidentified as brown. In which case Bay would obviously not bethe correct selection.Q:How do I select Gray for my Sire or Dam? A:The Gray gene causes the progressive loss of pigment throughoutthe horses coat and will affect any color horse. Even though thehorse is gray, it still has all the genetics of the color it wasbefore going gray. To determine the possible offspring colors thatthe gray horse can produce, it is necessary to know what color thehorse was before going gray. To select Gray on the calculator, youmust enter the color and pattern of the horse before going grayand check the box labeled “Gray”.Q:Where is Chocolate? Where is Taffy? A:Some horse colors are given different names dependingon the breed of horse or what region of the world the horse is in.This is the case for Silver Blacks (a black horse with thesilver gene). The most widely accepted name for a silver black isSilver Dapple but in the Rocky Mountain Horse breed, the color isoften referred to as Chocolate. In Australia, a Silver Black isreferred to as a Taffy. We like to refer to the color as SilverBlack since it best indicated the genetics of the color. A Chocolate Palomino is a dark palomino (a dark red horse with the cream gene) and does not involve the silver gene.Tell us what you think of the coat calculator!

Equine Coat Color Genetics

Horses have three fundamental coat colors: chestnut, bay, and black, which are the most common. A genetic relationship between two genes, Melanocortin 1 Receptor (MC1R) and Agouti Signaling Protein (ASP), is responsible for these effects (ASIP). MCR1, also known as the extension or red factor locus, regulates the generation of red and black pigments. It is found in the human body. At this time, three different forms (alleles) of this gene have been found at the molecular level: E, E, and E a (see Figure 1).

  1. Only red pigment is generated in homozygous people (e/eore a /e a), which is why the red factor is called that.
  2. The dominant gene (A) confines the distribution of black pigment to the horse’s points (mane, tail, lower legs, ear rims), whereas the recessive allele (a) distributes black pigment uniformly across the horse’s whole body.
  3. There is a lot of variation between the three basic coat colors.
  4. Examples include horses who are a deep chestnut color known as liver chestnut and horses that are a lighter yellow color known as briar chestnut.
  5. A lot remains to be discovered about the genetics of shade variations in horses, and we are only at the beginning of our investigation.

Dilution Genes

These genes are referred to as “dilution genes” because they have been demonstrated to diminish both the quantity of pigment generated and the amount of pigment transported from the pigment cell to the hair follicular cells, which are both important factors in hair growth. Some of these dilution genes only impact one kind of pigment (red or black), whereas others affect both types of pigment (red and black) (red and black). Some dilute the coat as well as the points (mane, tail, lower legs, ear rims), while others dilute the points alone, while yet others leave the points unchanged and merely dilute the coat, while others dilute the points as well as the coat.

Cream is dominant and has a dosage effect in that a single copy of the cream allele (N/Cr) results in palominos on a chestnut background and buckskin on a bay background when grown on a chestnut background.

Pearl is an allele located at the same locus as Cream (SLC45a2), but it is recessive; therefore, two copies of the Pearl allele (Prl/Prl) or one copy of Pearl and one copy of Cream (Prl/Cr, which is known as a compound heterozygote) are required to see the dilution effect on the coat in the presence of Cream.

  • Silver is intriguing since it has a significant impact on the black colour of the points (black and bay horses).
  • Horses with the silver mutation, regardless of their base coat color, suffer from an ocular disorder known as multiple congenital ocular anomaly, or MCOA for short, which affects their eyes.
  • The mushroom allele (Mu) is recessive and reduces the amount of red pigment produced.
  • A lighter shade of red on the body with black counter shading is observed in bay horses homozygous for the mushroom phenotype, indicating thatMuincreases black pigment production, which has the opposite impact on black pigment as it does on red pigment, as previously stated.

The following are examples of current genetic testing for dilution mutations in the horse:

  • Champagne
  • Cream
  • Dun
  • Mushroom Dilution
  • Pearl
  • Silver
  • Champagne

White Spotting Pattern Genes

Horses’ white coat patterns are caused by a number of different genes, which are listed below. These may occur on any base color and in any combination with any dilution mutation, and they are particularly common. Depending on how the white spotting patterns are scattered, they might be classified as distributed white or patch white patterning. The traditional Roan and Gray patterns are examples of distributed white patterns, in which white hairs are intermixed with colored hairs. Dominant mutations are responsible for the development of both traditional Roan and Gray.

  1. Grey horses will gradually lose pigment that has been spread throughout their coat as they get older.
  2. Appaloosa, Dominant White, Sabino 1, Splashed White, Tobiano, and Overo are some of the patch white spotting patterns available.
  3. For example, Appaloosa white patterning is often symmetrical and centered on the hips, but the amount of white can range from a few white specks on the rump to a horse that is nearly totally white.
  4. All of the patch white patterns that have been discovered so far have been created by dominant mutations.
  5. When the frame-overo allele (O/O) is present, homozygosity for the trait is deadly (Lethal White Overo syndrome).
  6. This implies that horses having two copies of the Appaloosa mutation (LP/LP) are unable to see in low light circumstances.
  • Gray
  • Lethal White Overo
  • Roan
  • Sabino 1
  • Splashed White
  • Tobiano. Appaloosa Spotting
  • Appaloosa Pattern-1. Camarillo White
  • Dominant White. Gray. Gray.


The physical appearance or phenotype alone can be sufficient to properly detect some color assignments and also genotypes in some cases. Although genetic testing may be required in order to characterize phenotypes that are visually confusing, it may also be used to determine the colors that will be available to kids. For example, it is impossible to determine if a chestnut horse is capable of producing a black horse just on the basis of looks. As a result, genotyping for Agouti can be beneficial in several situations.

Researchers at the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory and other institutions around the world are striving to find more genetic variations that are involved in developing the wide variety of gorgeous coat color phenotypes that exist in the horse.

More information on Equine Color Genetics may be found in the following publications:Sponenberg, D.P., and Bellone, R.R. (2017). Fourth Edition of Equine Color Genetics It is published by Iowa State University Press in Ames, Iowa, with ISBN 978-1-119-13058.

Summary Table

Gene Name Variant Allele(s) Function Wild type allele
Agouti a The dominant allele (A) restricts black pigment to the points of the horse (mane, tail, lower legs and ear rims). The recessive allele (a) uniformly distributes black pigment over the entire body. A
Red Factor e, e a The recessive alleles e and the rare e aproduce red pigment (pheomelanin). E
Cream Cr Dilutes red pigment (pheomelanin) to yellow pigment in single dose (e.g. palominos, buckskins, smoky blacks) and to pale cream in double dose (e.g. cremellos, perlinos, smoky cream). N
Champagne Ch Dilutes hair pigment from black to brown and red to gold. N
Dun nd1, nd2 The dominant allele (D) lightens the body color and dilutes both red and black pigment, leaving the head, lower legs, mane, and tail undiluted, and also produces primitive markings. Horses with nd1 (and without D) will not be dun dilute but may have primitive markings. nd2/nd2 horses will not be dun dilute and will not have primitive markings. D
Pearl Prl Two doses on a chestnut background produce a pale, uniform apricot color of body hair, mane and tail. Skin is also pale. Interacts with cream dilution to produce pseudo-double cream dilute phenotypes including pale skin and blue/green eyes. N
Silver Z Lightens black/brown pigment but has no effect on red/yellow pigment. The mane and tail are typically lightened to flaxen or silver gray color but may darken with age on some horses. N
Mushroom Dilution Mu Dilutes red pigment (pheomelanin) and is characterized by a distinctive sepia-toned body hair color, often accompanied by a flaxen mane and tail. N
Leopard Complex LP White coat pattern characterized by variable patterning with or without pigmented spots known as leopard spots. Also characterized by mottled skin, stripped hooves, white sclera, and progressive loss of pigment in the coat with age (varnish roaning). N
Appaloosa Pattern-1 PATN1 Modifier of leopard complex spotting (LP), controls the amount white in the coat. Horses with LP and PATN1 are typically born with a 60% or greater white spotting pattern. N
Camarillo White CW Causes completely white coat, mane, and tail. N
Dominant White W5, W10, W20, W22 W5, W10, and W22 cause white patterning. W20 may have a subtler effect on the amount of white expressed unless in combination with other dominant white alleles, in which case it may increase the amount of white patterning. N
Gray G Causes a progressive depigmentation of the hair, often resulting in a color that is almost completely white, and can act on any base coat color. N
Lethal White Overo O Causes the frame overo pattern in heterozygotes and in homozygotes causes a disease characterized by a completely white coat and improper innervation to the gut, leading to death soon after birth. N
Roan Rn Also known as classic roan, causes intermixed white and colored hairs on the body while the head, lower legs, mane, and tail remain colored. N
Sabino 1 SB1 One copy causes white spotting pattern, usually on the legs, belly, and face, often with extensive roaning. Two copies produce horses that are at least 90% white and are referred to as sabino-white. N
Splashed White SW1, SW2, SW3, SW4, SW5, SW6 SW1-6 cause variable white spotting patterns characterized primarily by a large, broad blaze, extensive white markings on legs, variable white spotting on belly, and often blue eyes. N
Tobiano TO Causes a clearly marked white spotting pattern characterized by white across the spine that extends downward between the ears and tail.The tail can be both white and pigmented. N

Tests Available at the VGL

Currently, genetic testing for particular pigmentation alterations in horses are available, including the following:

Iris Color Variation:

  • Red Factor Agouti
  • White Pattern 1
  • White Pattern 2
  • Appaloosa 1
  • Appaloosa 2
  • Coat Color
  • Full ColorPattern
  • Shetland Pony
  • Shet

Single Coat Color Tests:

  • Agouti
  • Appaloosa Spotting
  • Appaloosa Pattern-1
  • Brindle Coat Texture
  • Camarillo White
  • Champagne
  • Cream
  • Dominant White
  • Dun
  • Gray
  • Lethal White Overo
  • Mushroom Dilution
  • Pearl
  • Red Factor
  • Roan
  • Sabino 1
  • Silver
  • Splashed White
  • Tobiano
  • Tobiano Tobiano Tobiano Tobiano Tobiano Tobiano Tobiano Tobiano Tobian

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