What Is A Blue Roan Horse? (Best solution)

Blue roan is the combination of a black base coat with white hairs. This is the strict definition of the term, but it is sometimes also used to describe any roan coat that creates a blueish effect.


  • Blue Roan Horses are practically horses with an underlying coat in the darker shade, preferably black or deep brown. If it’s a lighter shade of underlying coat, it’s often a red roan horse and if it’s the opposite, it’s a blue roan horse. However, that’s not all that goes into the specifications of a blue roan horse.

What is a true blue roan horse?

What Exactly Is a Blue Roan Horse? A blue roan has a coat that is a 50/50 mix of white and black hairs in their coat. That’s right – a blue roan is not actually an indigo coated horse, but rather one with a dark, black base. This mix of black hairs and white hairs gives the horse a blue-hued appearance, hence the name.

How do I know if my horse is blue roan?

Blue roan horses have a color pattern with a relatively even mixture of black and white hair that creates a blue appearance. Their head and lower legs are typically darker and have little or no white. Blue roan horses are present in many equine breeds.

What makes a blue roan?

Blue Roan. The roan gene affecting a black horse can produce a blue roan if at least one parent carries the roan gene. The color genetics of blue roan are identical to that of black and, to some extent, brown. Some blue roans may carry the cream dilution gene and will have the color genetics similar to buckskins.

What horse breeds can be roan?

It is also found regularly in North American breeds such as the Quarter Horse, Paint Horse, Peruvian Paso, Paso Fino, Standardbred, Spanish Mustang, Missouri Fox Trotter and Tennessee Walking Horse. British ponies such as Dales, Welsh, Gypsy Cob, Shetland, Connemara, and New Forest ponies may be roan.

What is the rarest horse color?

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

Is there such a thing as a blue horse?

Although no one has real evidence that blue horses exist, there are many tales of sightings across the region from legions of true believers. Legend has it that a horse called “Big Lex” turned blue from grazing in nourishing bluegrass pastures his entire life.

What are blue roan horses good for?

The most common coat color is chestnut, including flaxen chestnut and chestnut roan. However, blue roans can be bred, although they are less common. In the past, they were employed as workhorses and were also often used to improve other breeds. However, nowadays, they are most commonly bred for their meat.

What color is a bay horse?

Bay is a hair coat color of horses, characterized by a reddish-brown or brown body color with a black point coloration of the mane, tail, ear edges, and lower legs. Bay is one of the most common coat colors in many horse breeds.

Can you breed a roan horse to a roan horse?

I have heard, but this might be an old wives tale, that you shouldn’t breed roan to roan or the offspring can die, its a fatal combination or something. This is very true. If you put two roans together that contain the O gene you have a high possibilty that the foal will die shortly after birth.

What color is a bay roan horse?

Bay horses have a black color coat base, but based upon their genetic influences, the color shades can vary greatly. Bays often have a reddish sheen, and when affected by the roan gene, the horse looks similar to a red roan. However, a bay roan will have black points, whereas a red roan will have dark red points.

What is bay roan?

Bay Roan is true roan on a bay coat. The particular shade depends on the underlying shade of bay; but the mane, tail, and lower legs are black, and the reddish body is intermingled with white hairs. The head is usually red. Formerly, bay roans were lumped together with chestnut roans and both called “red roans.”

What is a hammerhead roan?

Hammerhead – A stubborn mean spirited horse. Roan – Having a chestnut, bay, or sorrel coat thickly sprinkled with white or gray.

What is a chestnut colored horse?

Chestnut is a hair coat color of horses consisting of a reddish-to-brown coat with a mane and tail the same or lighter in color than the coat. Chestnut is characterized by the absolute absence of true black hairs. It is one of the most common horse coat colors, seen in almost every breed of horse.

What is a Blue Roan Horse? Breeds, Names, Colors, & Pictures

Any links on this page that direct you to things on Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a compensation. Thank you in advance for your assistance — I much appreciate it! My neighbor had recently purchased a five-month-old blue roan colt, so I decided to take my grandson to view the horse for himself. Following that, he expressed an interest in learning all he could about blue roan horses, so I conducted extensive research to supply him with as much information as he could possibly desire about this intriguing animal.

The color of their head and lower legs is often darker, with little or no white on them.

Equine coat patterns with bright colors are popular among horse owners, and blue roan horses are among the most eye-catching of these patterns.

What horse breeds have blue roans?

Many horse breeds, although not all, are affected by the blue roan gene. Thoroughbreds and Arabians are two popular horse breeds that do not have blue roans on their coats. They do, however, have horses with grey color patterns that seem like roans but are not actually roans. I’ve seen a couple of Thoroughbreds who had the appearance of a blue roan, but they are genetically distinct. When I contemplate how people acquire features that can be detected through DNA, the distinction becomes a little easier to fathom.

With horses, it’s the same way; just because a horse appears to be a roan doesn’t imply it actually is.

Draft horse types, pony breeds, and a large number of equine breeds that originated in North America are all known to carry the roan gene.

American Quarter horse

The American Quarter Horse Association recognizes seventeen different colors for registration, and blue roan is one of those colors that is accepted. It turns out that the blue roan horse that my neighbor recently acquired is an American Quarter horse. The American Quarter Horse is descended from a variety of horse breeds, including Thoroughbreds, Percherons, Belgians, and wild mustangs found in the western United States, which developed into the American Quarter Horse. They were initially bred for short distance racing in the early colonies, which was more than 200 years ago.

The American Quarter Horse Association has the greatest number of registered horses in the world, with more than 200,000 horses registered in total.

Quarterhorses are said to have inherited the roan gene through their European ancestors, which include Belgians, Percherons, and Welsh ponies, among others.


Percherons are normally black or grey in color, however they will accept a variety of colors, including blue, bay, red roans, chestnut, and bay if the situation calls for them. The Percheron Association of America was founded in 1876, and it was responsible for establishing stringent standards for the breed. However, over time, the conditions for registering have been altered to be more receptive to newcomers. Percheron Association of America was the largest in the world at one point, with over 10,000 horses registered each year, according to its website.

  • Percherons are a French draft horse breed that is known for its versatility and hardiness.
  • In common with other draft breeds, Percherons horses have a placid attitude, yet they are also attentive and eager to please their owners.
  • Their tenacity and intellect have earned them the title of percherons.
  • Pearsall contributed to this article.


Belgian horses in the United States are generally bay or chestnut in color, with white markings on their faces and legs, according to the breed standard. Belgians are seen in both blue and red roan colors in the United States, although they are more common in Europe. Belgians are a huge draft breed with a calm temperament and incredible power, which makes them ideal for working cattle. They are the owners of the majority of the world’s horse pulling records. They stand between 16 and 17 hands tall and weigh around 2,000 pounds on average.

The “big horse” refers to the steed on which medieval knights rode in combat.

Submitted by Aravis

Welsh pony

Welsh ponies can be red or blue roan, as well as a variety of other colors, including black, gray, bay, roan, cream, or chestnut, but they cannot be piebald or skewbald. Welsh ponies are sometimes known as Welsh horses. Welsh ponies may grow to be between 11 and 14.2 hands in height. Welsh ponies’ coat density varies widely as well, with some having thick wooly coats and others having a smooth coat. In addition to their height range variances, Welsh ponies’ coat density varies greatly. Because the animals differ so much from one another, there are several classifications within the breed.

The Welsh pony is an old breed that originated in the highlands of Wales and is still in existence today.

They were able to survive due of their adaptability and toughness. They’ve been employed to pull chariots in athletic venues, to labor in coal mines, and as a ranch pony, to name a few applications.

American Paint Horse

The American Paint horse breed is typically white, but it can also be found in other colors such as black, bay, palomino, chestnut, dun, or blue roan as well as other shades of white. The American Paint Horse Association, on the other hand, permits some solid coat colors to be registered as “Solid Paint Bred.” To distinguish between the three paint horse patterns, tobiano, overo, and tovero are used. When a tobiano pattern is present, the horse’s head and flanks are typically solid colored, with white beneath the hocks on each leg.

On their heads, the majority of overos have a lot of white markings, and their tails are a solid color.

It usually has color on its flanks and dark color around its ears, with one or both eyes blue, and it has color on its back.

Paso Fino.

The Paso Fino Horse Association permits horses of different colors for registration, and the breed does contain the roan gene, according to the organization. However, the most often encountered hues are bay, chestnut, brown, and black. The Paso Fino horse is a naturally gaited breed that originated in Puerto Rico and is now found all over the world. They are a cross of many breeds, notably the Barb and the Andalusian. They are renowned for the smoothness of their ride as well as their amazing strength.

This stride allows the animal to move at speeds of up to 22 kilometers per hour while maintaining a smooth gait.

What are some good names for blue roan horses?

Choosing a name for your new horse is a lot of fun. Little blueberry is the name given to their blue roan colt by my friends’ six-year-old daughter. I believe it is a suitable name, however I would consider dropping the “little” as the horse reaches maturity and replacing it with blueberry.

Top 10 names for blue roan horses:

Blue roan horses are sometimes regarded as the most attractive horses on the market; not only do they have a striking hue, but their speckled hair is also distinctive and eye-catching. Because they’re so attractive, you’ll want to give them a name that complements their appearance. So here are some recommendations:

  1. Blue
  2. Silver
  3. Steel
  4. Blue steel
  5. Frosty
  6. Rain
  7. Storm
  8. Lightning
  9. Skye
  10. Breezy
  11. Blue

Top 10 names for roan horses.

  1. Roany
  2. sRona
  3. sShadow
  4. sDusty
  5. sGhost
  6. sBreeze
  7. sSpeckles
  8. sSprinkles
  9. sThunder
  10. sStardust

Top 10 names for red roan horses.

  1. Apricot, Big Red, Cayenne, Pepper, Dusty Rose, Flame, Gypsy Rose, Raspberry, Rosebud, and Spitfire are some of the colors available.

How do you get a blue roan horse?

In order to have a blue roan foal, you must have at least one parent who possesses the roan gene, as well as one parent who carries the black horse gene. For example, if a black horse possesses the roan gene, it has a chance of producing blue roan offspring, but this is not guaranteed.

The genetics behind the blue roan color pattern.

It is the goal of genetic science research to understand how and why individual living creatures acquire traits, attributes, or structural features from their ancestral species. Horses with blue roans, for example, are such because they have inherited certain genes from their mothers and fathers. Genetics is the study of the gene that is responsible for the development of certain characteristics. In genetics, Roan is represented by the Rn allele, which is dominant, which means that it may hide the influence of a different variation on the same gene.

  • Roans can be homozygous, which means that they have two roan genes in their genome and that every foal they produce carries one of the roan genes.
  • The genotype of an animal is the collection of heritable genes that it inherits from its parents and passes on to its children.
  • For breeders, these characteristics are critical because they can ensure the production of roan offspring from a homozygous roan mare or stallion.
  • It has been discovered that some relation to blue roan breeding is successful.
  • The horse must have one chromosome that has both the non-chestnut allele and the dominant roan allele on one chromosome.
  • In certain horse breeds, a roan zygosity test is reliable for identifying genuine roan genotype, but in others, it is not.

However, there is still a great deal to be discovered about the genetics of roan animals. If you want to understand more about roan genotype testing, I recommend starting here at the University of California, Davis website.

Blue roan facts

A blue roan horse has white hair interspersed with black hair to give the illusion of having a blue coat color, as previously described. The discussion of roan horses will now proceed in greater depth. We’ll go through the etymology of the name, characteristics that are specific to roans, and some other interesting facts regarding blue roan horses.

Etymology of roan

The origin of the term “roan” may be traced back to Middle French around 1500. Originally, it was used to designate a reddish-brown tint that was particularly associated with horses. It is possible that it is derived from the Spanish words roano or raudano, which are linked to the Germanic word rauos, which means red. During the reign of King Henry VIII, roan barbs were imported and utilized to help produce the Thoroughbred. The arrival of the horses in England under King Henry VII may have sparked Shakespeare’s interest in this particular equine hue.

Shakespeare incorporated roans in his plays as well, with King Henry II riding a roan horse in one of them.

Roan horses appear in several of Shakespeare’s plays, and his usage of the term helped to popularize both the horse and the descriptive phrase.

Roan horse definition

The term “roan” is used to refer to the color of an animal’s coat in modern times. This term is often used to describe an equal mixture of white hairs with the animal’s basic coloration. Roan animals are also known to have less white hair on their heads and lower legs than other animals. Horses, cattle, antelope, and dogs are just a few of the animals that have roan colour on their coats.

Unique roan traits

In contrast to greyhounds, which may be born black and lighten as they get older, a roan exhibits its colour from the moment it is born. A roan foal’s coloration may lighten or darken with the seasons, but its overall appearance will remain the same as they get older. It’s interesting to note that the blue roan foals I’ve seen are born with red manes that turn black before they reach the age of two years old. I’m not sure if this is a regular occurrence in all blue roan foals or if it is exclusive to the ones I’ve observed.

The base color of a red roan is chestnut, the foundation color of a blue roan is black, and the base color of a bay roan is bay.

Any cut or scratch on the skin of a roan horse will result in the wounded region becoming solid and devoid of white hair.

In addition, roan horses reverse dapple. Dappling shows as black circles on the coats of horses other than roans when they have dappling. The circles on a roan horse are a brighter shade of brown than the animal’s coat. As a result, we have a reverse dapple.

Are blue roan horses rare?

Despite the fact that blue roans are the rarest hue of roan horses, they are not a particularly unusual horse color pattern. They may be seen in a variety of horse breeds, with quarter horses being the most common. What is called “rare,” on the other hand, varies based on your locality and breed. The most frequent horse colors are bay, chestnut, dun, and black. Bay and chestnut are the most prevalent horse colors. In general, roans are regarded to be a reasonably common horse hue, and blue roans may be seen in nearly all horse breeds.

What is a true blue roan horse?

A “true blue” roan is a roan that has had its base color coat painted black. There are numerous other coat colors that may be used to create the appearance of a blue roan. For example, some gray horses have the appearance of blue roan. Additionally, dark bay roans may give the appearance of having a blue roan coloration. However, only a horse with a black background and intermixed white hair is regarded a “genuine blue” roan and is recognized to be a blue roan in the traditional sense. If you have any doubts about whether or not your blue roan is genuine, genetic testing can be performed.

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Are blue roan horses expensive?

In this case, the roan has a black base color coat, which is called a “true blue” roan. It is possible to have a blue roan coat in a variety of color variants. Some gray horses, for example, have the appearance of blue roan stallions. Dark bay roans, on the other hand, may give the appearance of having blue roan coloration. Only a blue roan horse with a black foundation and intermixed white hair is regarded to be a “genuine blue” roan in the strictest sense of the term. If you are concerned about the authenticity of true blue roans, genetic testing can be performed.


Blue roan horses have a combination of black and white hair interspersed throughout their coat, with the exception of their head and lower legs, which stay dark. Truly roans are distinguished by an unique gene that defines their roan color pattern and patterning.

Can you breed a roan horse to another roan horse?

Yes, you are permitted to breed two roan horses. Until not very long ago, people believed that pairing roans with each other would result in a foal that would die in the womb after birth. This notion, on the other hand, has subsequently been proven incorrect.

Is there a black roan horse?

You’ve got yourself a blue roan on your hands. In appearance, it is a blue horse with a black foundation and white hairs dispersed throughout its coat, creating the impression that it is blue.

What Are Roan Horses? the Color They’re Born and Other Facts

Any links on this page that direct you to things on Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a compensation. Thank you in advance for your assistance — I much appreciate it! My next-door friend adores roan horses, and I have to admit that they have a really beautiful colored coat. However, his horses are all various colors, and this prompted me to ponder what color combinations result in a roan horse. And what are the traditional colors of a roan horse?

It’s common for their heads and points (tails, manes, ear tips, and lower legs) to have some white hair, but it’s not equally distributed and is deeper in color than the rest of their coat.

Roan is a unique color scheme for a coat. True roans are difficult to distinguish from other horse coats that seem similar. There are several methods to distinguish a classic roan from a horse that simply seems to be a roan.

What is a roan horse?

Classic roan colors include blue, crimson, and bay roan, to name a few. Any base coat color can be used in conjunction with intermixed colored and white hairs to create the look of a roan horse; the effect is that of the coat’s silver sheen. Although their heads and tips are solid colored, they have an inverted V form right above the knees that is characteristic of this species. Roan is a term used to describe any horse that has a mixture of white and colored hairs in its coat, which some people believe to be all horses.

The genetics of a classic roan horse.

A “genuine” or “classic” roan, on the other hand, has a certain genetic composition that results in a distinct pattern. When it comes to classic Roan, it is inherited as a single dominant gene, represented by theRn allele. Because of the necessity of this gene, a horse must have had at least one roan parent in order to be considered a real roan. True roan horses’ coats normally lighten and deepen with the seasons, but their coats do not lighten with age, as is the case with grey horses’ coat.

Roan horses darken in the winter

When exposed to low temperatures, roans’ hair grows longer, rougher, and thicker, resulting in a darker appearance. When this occurs, the horse’s base color is represented by the longer, thicker hair, which cloaks the horse’s white hair, which stays short. Because of this, the coat pattern becomes deeper and more colorful, with less white showing through. A horse’s look becomes significantly whiter during the summer weather months, as more of the shorter hairs are visible while the thicker and longer hair of the winter coat sheds, giving the horse a considerably whiter appearance.

I discovered that the true color of the roan horse is most clearly discernible in the early summer months, after the horse has shed its winter coat but before it has been exposed to a great deal of direct sunshine.

What color are roan horses born?

Raans’ hair grows longer, gets rougher, and gets thicker when they are exposed to cold temperatures. Because the horse’s foundation color is represented by the longer, thicker hair, the white hair that stays short is masked. Because of this, the coat pattern is deeper and more colorful, with less white showing through. A horse’s look becomes significantly whiter during the summer weather months, as more of the small hairs are visible when the thicker and longer hair of the winter coat sheds, giving the horse a significantly whiter appearance.

However, roans often darken greatly in the winter, making it difficult to determine their real color.

Injuries cause permanent changes to a roan’s coat.

When a roan suffers skin trauma, one of its distinguishing characteristics is that the hair in the affected region regrows in a solid color, without any white. It is known as “corn markings” or “corn spots” in order to describe this part of the body.

Bend-Or spots are spots on the coat of some palominos and chestnut horses that are similar in appearance to each other. The spots are normally dark red to black in color and emerge at random. They are not associated with roans or skin injuries, and they do not cause pain.

Dapples on a roan are unique.

Another distinguishing characteristic of roans is the way their coats dapple. When it comes to horses, dappling is widespread and is believed to be a sign of excellent health. Dappling is a pattern of hair rings in a horse’s coat that are a shade or two darker than the surrounding areas. Dappling is most common in non-roan horses. An exception to this is when you have a roan, when the dappling rings are lighter circles of hair instead. Classic roans do not contain partial pattern roaning, such as varnish, rabicano, or sabino, which are examples of partial pattern roaning.

As a point of clarification, the phrases “classic roan” and “genuine roan” are interchangeable.

Blue roans have a black color base

Blue roan is one of the most stunning hues available. A classic blue roan has a black base color (E/E or E/e) with no Agouti (a/a) and roan (R/R or R/r) genes. It has no Agouti (a/a) and no Agouti (a/a) genes. Black and white hairs are uniformly distributed over the whole body of a classic roan, giving them a blueish tint as a result of the interspersion. Their head, lower legs, mane, and tail, on the other hand, stay completely black. Grey horses and grullo horses are sometimes mistaken for blue roans because of their lighter summer coats and darker winter coats.

What’s the difference between a grullo and a blue roan?

There are certain grullo’s who have a coat that is extremely similar to a roan in appearance, with a blue color and black tips. A grullo’s coat, on the other hand, is composed of solid color hairs that seem blue, and a blue roan is composed of a blend of white and black hairs that appears blue. Aside from that, I published an in-depth post about grulla horses that has a great deal of valuable and intriguing information: What Is a Grulla Colored Quarter Horse and Where Can I Find One? 5 Quick Points to Remember

What’s the difference between a grey and a blue roan?

My buddy owns a horse that he claims is a roan, but to me it appears to be a gray horse. I understand that some roans might seem quite similar to others, but how can he be certain that it is a roan? When white hair is intertwined with a horse’s base color, the result is a color pattern known as roan. The horse’s head and extremities are normally the horse’s foundation color. As a horse grows older, its foundation color becomes lighter and lighter in tone. Unlike roan foals, grey foals can be born in any color, including chestnut, bay, brown, and black.

Grey is not a genetically determined color; rather, it is a color modifier that causes a progressive loss of pigmentation in colors over the course of time.

There are no dominant genes in the roan or the grey breeds; in other words, it takes two roans to make one grey, just as it takes two greys to make one grey. Betty Wills contributed to this article.

Red roan horses have a chestnut color base

It appears to me that my friend’s horse, which is described as roan, is actually a gray. Though I understand that some roans might seem extremely similar to other breeds, how can he be certain that it is in fact a roan. Color patterns of white hair interspersed with a horse’s base color are known as roans. Typically, the horse’s head and extremities retain their base color, resulting in the appearance of a roan pattern. With time, a gray horse’s foundation color lightens, and it eventually becomes white.

They might be born chestnut, bay, or brown and turn grey later on.

As a horse grows older, the color of its hair gradually lightens, and some horses’ coats become virtually white in appearance.

Betty Wills contributed to this report.

Bay roans have black points

Bay roan horses are generated by the bay color scheme being modified by a roan gene to produce authentic roan horses. Depending on the base shade of bay, the specific shade will vary; nevertheless, as with all genuine roans, the mane, tail, and lower legs will retain their original color, and the body will be equally interspersed with white hair. Generally speaking, bay horses have a black color coat foundation, but the tints of that coat can vary widely depending on their hereditary factors.

In contrast, bay roans will have black points, while red roans will have dark red points, indicating that they are of the same breed.


Colours of roan sheep include bay, red, and blue, which are the most prevalent. Roans may be found in any base color, although those with light-colored coats are difficult to recognize since the white hairs do not show out as much as those with darker coats.

How do you tell if your horse is a roan?

Roan horses have coats that contain white hairs interspersed with the horse’s basic color, giving the horse a roan appearance. At the same time, other areas of their bodies, such as their heads, lower legs, and manes, retain their solid colors. Roans are typically born with these markings, although it may be difficult to tell which one is which until the foal’s hair falls off and reveals its actual nature.

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Blue Roan Horse Color Genetics with Photos and Descriptions

The beauty of roan horses cannot be overstated. The appearance generated by placing coats on their bodies that are equal parts colorful fur and white fur is breathtaking. Roans are available in a variety of hues, including red, blue, and, more recently, bay roans, which cover the deeper brown roans that were previously put within the red roans category but are now considered separate species.

Each coat variant is different and one-of-a-kind, with the blue roan coat being the most easily distinguished. Photo by Lori Ackerman Photography of a Blue Roan –BLM Mustang in the Little Owyhee Herd Area. The animal was exported from the United States to Germany.

What Exactly Is a Blue Roan Horse?

A blue roan’s coat is made up of a 50/50 mixture of white and black hairs, which gives it its color. You read it correctly. A blue roan is not exactly an indigo-coated horse, but rather one with a dark, black base color. The combination of black and white hairs gives the horse a blue-hued look, which is how the name came about. If you look closely at the mane, tail, head, and lower legs of a roan horse, you will see that the white hairs are either less noticeable or completely missing. The background coat color of a blue roan, on the other hand, is invariably black.

Frequently, the word “roan” is applied incorrectly to horses that do not truly have roans, but rather have patterns that are interpreted as “roaning.” Most of these horses are sabino (which is a paint gene) or gray in coloration.


Blue Roan vs. Red Roan

The most obvious distinction between the two hues is, of course, that blue roans appear blueish and red roans appear reddish in appearance. While blue roans are born with a black undercoat, red roans might be born with a coat that is chestnut, bay, or anywhere in the middle of the spectrum. In the past, the phrase “strawberry” was used to designate to roan that was pinkish in hue. The foundation coats of these werehorses are typically chestnut or sorrel in color.

“True” Blue Roans

A true blue Roan half Arabian / half quarter horse that has been DNA-tested and proven to be Roan rather than gray. An Arabian Bay mare, with a Buckskin Roan father — Photograph by the authorA pure blue roan is just an Arabian Bay mare with a black coat. True roans are defined as classic, and they do not include patrials or patterns such as varnish, rabicano, or sabino, which are considered to be modern. This indicates that the horse has an equal distribution of white and black hairs over their whole body (excluding the legs and face).

True roans are genetically separate from the other patterned roans in that they have a specific pattern on their backs.

Consider the genetic composition of a roan horse in order to have a better understanding of the situation.

Roan Coat Color Genetics

The genetics of coat color determines the appearance of a roan coat. The roan gene is a dominant trait (Rn), which means that a foal born to two non-roan parents would not have the roan trait present in them, even if their parents come from a lineage of roans in their background. Even though there are many different roan varieties, most stock horse registries recognize three distinct sorts of roans for the purposes of registration. Blue Roan, Bay Roan, and Red Roan are the three types of roan.

Additionally, they either have or do not have the agouti gene.

When Agouti is present, he is represented by a capital “A,” and when he is absent, he is represented by a lower case “a.” Agouti is responsible for turning a black horse bay.

When riding a Bay Horse, the “Red Roan” is more commonly used, although the “Bay Roan” is more appropriately defined.

BLM Mustang Gelding – Photo courtesy of the author. It’s important to remember that all genes are paired. Due to the fact that there are three basic base roan colors, roans are often grouped together into the one that best matches the base color of the roan.

Base Color Black Gene Agouti Gene Roan Variation
Black EE or Ee aa Blue Roan
Bay EE or Ee AA or Aa Bay Roan
Chestnut ee AA, Aa or aa Red Roan

Genes that are dominantly inherited cannot be passed down over generations. As previously stated, two non-roan parent horses are unable to generate a roan offspring. However, there are situations when it may appear as though a roan coat has jumped many generations in age. Sometimes it turns out that one parent was indeed slightly roaned, but the coloring was quite subtle; other times, their true roan nature was concealed by an excessive amount of white marks, giving the appearance that they were not truly roaned.

Roan Imposters

However, there are certain horse coat colors that appear to resemble roan, but appearances may be misleading. Here are the four most often encountered. Despite the fact that this pintoBLM mustang appears to have roaning across her neck and withers, she does not possess the roan gene. The author took the photograph.

Sabino(also called Sabino Roan)

It has been observed that some sabino horses express their coat color in a way that gives the appearance of being roan. The sabino gene can be expressed at low levels, such that you are unaware that it is present, or at high levels, such that it is extremely evident that it is present. Something to keep in mind is that an overly expressive sabino may resemble an actual hoot. Among truth, this is rather prevalent in purebred Arabian horses when the roan gene does not exist, as is the case with several draft horses.

These marks sometimes have borders that are severely roaned, and as a result, they are sometimes wrongly classed as roans.


Rabicano is a pattern that is similar to rabicano. Instead of having an even mix of white hairs all over their main body, rabicano has white hairs that are more crowded near the base of the tail and on the flanks, which distinguishes them from real roans. The base of the tail has horizontal white hair stripes that may be seen. Rabicano patterns may be found in a wide variety of breeds, and Arabians that are genuinely rabicano are sometimes misidentified as roan in appearance. Also common in Thoroughbreds is the presence of this disease.


This Varnish Roan Appaloosa does not have the roan gene in its genetic make-up! The author took the photograph. A varnish roan can be found in breeds that have traits of the appaloosa. This is a form of leopard complex coat color that is an all-over combination of white and colorful hairs, and it is one of the most common. Patches of skin that are tightly connected to the skeleton, such as those on the face or on the legs, do not produce as much white hair in a varnish roan appaloosa as other patches of skin.

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A varnish roan can be distinguished from a real roan by the presence of leopard complex traits, such as striped hooves or mottled skin around the eyes and the bridge of their nose.


When gray horses are foals, and even in their early years, they might frequently appear to be roan in color rather than gray in color. As previously stated, the Jockey Club habitually registers horses as “Gray or Roan” when they are not. A gray horse, like a roan, must be raised by a gray parent. Gray is another another hue that is dominant and does not pass from generation to generation.

So, if your foal seems to be roan and has at least one parent that is gray, additional examination is necessary to determine the cause. Despite the fact that this foal seems to be roan, he is most likely gray, exactly like his mother.

To Complicate Matters

To further complicate matters, any of the four “roan imposters” described above can occur in conjunction with the roan gene, resulting in a total of eight possible combinations. As a result, a horse might be roan and then turn gray. As an example, a horse might be varnish appaloosa or roan in color. To be more specific, it is theoretically feasible to have a horse that possesses all of the aforementioned genes. This is just one of the many reasons why horse coat color genetics is such an interesting subject to study!

Exceptions to the Roan Parent Rule

In regards to the roan parent rule, I’d like to make a quick point. It is safe to assume that a roan horse will have at least one roan parent in order to exist. It is always expressed in some way when Roan is present, and a horse that has it can pass it without being hampered. The foal is gray at birth, registered as gray, but begins to produce roan offspring when bred to another gray foal. This is known as a gray syndrome. This almost always indicates that the gray horse is also roan in color.

I say almost always because there is a very small chance that a single roan horse could be produced from a non-roan parent through gene mutation, which is why I say almost always.

Keep in mind that you are more likely to win the lottery and be struck by lightning on the same day than you are to have a foal born with a random gene mutation that results in the foal being roan despite the fact that the foal’s parents were not roans.

How to Get A Blue Roan Horse

Purchasing a blue roan horse is the most straightforward method of obtaining one. After that, if you want to attempt breeding your mare or stallion in order to produce a blue roan foal, there are a few factors you should consider in order to improve your chances. Any foal born to a pair of parents that are homozygous for agouti (AA) has zero possibility of being born a true blue roan foal. One of the first things you should do is test your own horse for the presence of red and black. This will assist you in selecting a partner that will provide the highest potential probability for the birth of a blue roan foal.

The test is simple and simply asks you to mail in a sample of your hair.

This ensures that the foal will have a black foundation and will carry a roan.

This is dependent on whether or not either horse have any additional color-modifying genes.

In addition, if your horse tested positive for Aa, there is a 50 percent probability that the dominant agouti gene will be passed on to the foal, resulting in a bay roan instead of a blue roan in the offspring.

Blue Roan Horse Breeds

True roans may be produced by a number of different breeds of dogs. Many European draft breeds, including as the Brabant, the Italian Heavy Draft, the Rhenish-German Cold-Blood, and others, fall into this category. Aside from paint horses, Paso Finos, the Quarter Horse, the Standardbred horse, the Mustang, and the Tennessee Walking horse, Blue Roan horses are also quite common in North American breeds such as the Paint horse, the Paso Fino, the Quarter Horse, the Standardbred horse, the Mustang, and the Tennessee Walking horse.

  • Welsh ponies, Gypsy cobs, Shetland ponies, and a variety of other breeds are known to have roans.
  • Although some breeds may not have the roan gene at all, it is important to remember that some do.
  • While some individuals are born with coats that resemble roans, they are not in fact roans.
  • One of the most well-known roan horses is Red Man, who was born in 1935, and the stallion Blue Valentine, who was born in 1957 and rose to prominence on the rodeo circuit.

Are Roan Horses Gray?

To put it bluntly, no way! Neither roans nor grays are the same as each other. Occasionally, though, roans are confused for grays. Due to the fact that horses may display aspects of both colors, this is an understandable mistake. However, what distinguishes gray coats, which are widespread in practically all breeds, from blue roans is that a gray coat gradually becomes lighter and lighter in hue over time. Gray horses can be born in any hue and gradually fade to gray, even if there is no evidence that they have a gray coat at the time of birth.

The coat, on the other hand, begins to gray.

Adult grays can have coats that are completely devoid of their original color – or even appear to have a “white” appearance – but their eye and skin colors stay the same.

While the coats continue to gray out, they can sometimes take on a roan-like look in the middle of the process, contributing to the perception error.

Final Thoughts

Blue roans are exceptionally attractive horses. The fact that they are a little bit of an optical illusion of white on black, as well, just adds to their uniqueness.

True blue roans are black horses that have the roan gene bred into them. It is the mix of pristine white on solid black that distinguishes them and makes them one of the most widely sought-after roan varieties available today.

Blue Roan Horse Breeds, Origins, Colors & Names (W/ Pictures)

They are widely sought after because of their stunning blue appearance, which distinguishes them from other horses. But did you know that their coats aren’t all the same color as blue? Yes, you are correct. Moreover, in this piece, we will explore the factors that cause the coats to be blue, the horse breeds that have the blue roan genes, as well as other roan horse varieties. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Horses of all breeds and sizes

What Is A Blue Roan Horse?

Blue roan horses have an even distribution of black base coat color and white hairs across their bodies. The blue tint is due to the fact that they have an equitable distribution of resources. Lower legs, tails, and the top of the head, on the other hand, are frequently solid colors with little to no white hairs. Several horse breeds are referred to as roans, despite the fact that they are not a distinct breed. The reason for this is that the “roaning” characteristic is caused by a genetic mutation (more on this later), and if the parent horses do not have the gene, the children will not be roans.

They’ll be dark grey or black when they’re born, and the roaning effect will develop after they’ve lost the initial coat of their first year.

However, unlike the gray horse, roans do not lose their initial coat color as time passes (more about them in a minute).

Types of Roaning Horses

Blue roans are just one variety of roan-colored horse, and there are many more. Roan horses are horses that have an even distribution of white hairs and various background colors, according to the definition. A roan horse can be classified into three categories according to the American Roan Horse Association.

Red Roans

In contrast, the red roan horse is a horse with an even distribution of white hairs and a chestnut background color, which is the second kind. While strawberry roans and horses with a pinkish foundation color were originally known by the name Strawberry roans, these horses have now been classified as part of the red Roan breed group.

Bay Roans

Bay roans are another variety of Roan horse, and they are horses with a base coat that is a mixture of white and bay. Until 1999, bay roans were thought to be a subspecies of the red roans, and then they were given their own category. CHECK:Silver Buckskin Horses are a popular breed.

The genetics behind the Roan Coloring

As previously stated, the “roaning” is triggered by a dominant gene that is passed down through generations. This Rn allele represents the gene in question. The fact that this gene is dominant indicates that it has the ability to obscure the features of another variant gene. Because the gene is dominantly inherited, both parents must be carriers of the gene in order to generate a roan offspring. There have been occasions where a roan parent did not appear to be one, but the foal was born to one.

  • The “E” gene for black and the “e” gene for chestnut are two of the genes that are responsible for the distinct roan colors.
  • In Roans, it is possible to be both heterozygous and homozygous.
  • Homozygous roans, on the other hand, are those that have two copies of the RN gene.
  • Being aware of the horse’s Roan type is critical, especially if you are looking for specific features in your foals.
  • There is no discernible change in appearance between the heterozygous and the homozygous Roan strains.
  • The University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine was responsible for the development of this test.
  • Breeders, on the other hand, have experimented with many pairings over the years.
  • However, this has shown to be incorrect, since there are now a large number of homozygous blue roan stallions available.

This time, instead of white hair, as is typically seen, the hair will be the primary hue. In addition to being known as “corn marks” or “corn spots,” these patches of solid colors on roans are also known as “corn marks.”

Horse Breeds with the Blue Roan

Several horse breeds feature color patterns that are similar to blue roans or any other roan color, although not all of them are roans in appearance (I will discuss some mimics later in the article). As previously stated, a real roan must possess the appropriate genetic makeup. The majority of breeds that have the blue roan gene originated in North America and Europe, and the list below includes some of them.

American Quarter Horses

American Quarter Horses were bred to compete in quarter-mile races, which is where they got their name. That’s when they came up with the moniker. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, they have been bred for racing and great performance. Thoroughbreds, Wild Mustangs, Belgians, Percherons, and other Spanish native horses are among the horses that have influenced their development. Some European horse breeds may have passed on the real roan gene to these individuals. According to the American Quarter Horse Association, there are now 17 permissible colors of Quarter Horses, with the blue Roan, red Roan, and bay Roan being among the most popular.

The Arabian horse is also believed to be one of the earliest warmblood horse breeds, which implies that they are less neurotic than hot-blooded horse breeds such as the Thoroughbred, and they are more athletic than cold-blooded horse breeds.

Check out this page for additional information about warm-blooded horses: What is a warmblood horse?


Percherons are famed draft horses that originated in France and are now found all over the world. According to Brittanica.com, the first Percherons were produced by crossing the Flemish horse (a prominent Medieval period horse) with Arabian horses in order to make horses that could pull coaches. The Flemish horse was a popular Medieval period horse at the time of its development. However, they were eventually bred to be used as draft horses for farm labor. They are also fairly enormous, reaching up to 17 hands (68 inches) in height and weighing up to 2100 pounds at their full maturity.


Although not as common as the Percheron, the Belgian is another prominent draft horse that was developed by the crossbreeding of the Flemish horse (also known as the big horse) with other breeds of horses. They are massive, and may weigh more than 2000 pounds, much like any other type of draft horse. They are also noted for having a calm temperament, and they are classified as cold-blooded horses because of this trait. Belgian horses may be found in all roan colors, as well as sorrel, chestnut, and bay hues.

American Paint Horse

Known as the American Paint Horse, this breed of horse is distinguished by its blend of white and various colors.

Blue Roan, palomino, black, dun, chestnut, and bay are examples of these color combinations. “Solid Paint Bred” refers to those that have a solid color on their coat. There are three primary color patterns on a paint horse: black, brown, and white.

  • A white coat around the back and legs with a solid-colored head, chest, and flanks
  • A tobiano coat ‘Overo’ is a dark solid color on the legs, a solid color on the back, and irregular white marks on the sides. Their eyes are frequently blue
  • Tovero – This pattern combines the traits of both the Tobiano and the Overo in one design. With the exception of the black head and breast, they have blue eyes and a white coat covering most of their bodies.

All of these patterns have the potential to exhibit roaning features.

Welsh Pony

In spite of their diminutive stature, the Welsh Ponies are incredibly powerful animals. Welsh Ponies, which originated in Wales, were extremely helpful in a variety of settings, including coal mines, arenas, and ranches. Welsh Ponies are mostly seen in solid hues, which include all shades of roans, chestnut, bay, cream, and black, among others.

Paso Fino

Known for its naturally developed three-speed gait, the Paso Fino is a horse breed that is popular around the world. The length of their stride varies depending on their pace, and they develop it from birth. They are also renowned for being quick, well-muscled, sure-footed, and athletic in addition to their other characteristics. It is believed that this breed originated in Puerto Rico when several Spanish horse breeds, including the Andalusian, Jennets, and Barbs, arrived on Christopher Columbus’s journey and established themselves in the island.

Chestnut, bay, and brown are some of the other hues available.

Other Horse Breeds That Can BE Blue Roan

  • Belgian Brabant, Italian Heavy Draft, Rhenish-German cold-blood, Tennessee Walking Horse, Standardbred, Spanish Mustang, Peruvian Paso, and more breeds are available.

Roan Lookalikes

As previously stated, several horse breeds may have the appearance of roans, but they do not carry the roan gene. Some of them are listed below.


Gray is one of the most frequent coat hues, and it is often mistaken for roaning in the eyes of the public. Grays, on the other hand, develop a lighter tint as they age, unlike roans, since they have more white hair than roans. As a result, you’ll encounter grays that are white in their later years. Although Arabian and Thoroughbred horses do not have the roaning gene, their gray variants are frequently registered as roans, even though they are not real roans in the traditional sense. The gray gene is also inherited in a dominant manner.


Since white hairs and other base colors are distributed evenly throughout the Rabicano’s coat, the color pattern is somewhat similar to that of the Roan. The white rings at the base of the tail, known as the coon tail, are another distinguishing feature of this coat pattern. However, unlike in roans, where the white-colored hairs are evenly distributed throughout the body, in Rabicanos, the white-colored hairs are more concentrated in certain sections of the body, such as the tail or the rib cage.


The Sabino is another color pattern that includes white hair as a characteristic. In contrast to the Rabicano, the white hairs on the horse’s body are unevenly dispersed over its body. This uneven distribution of hairs can have a similar effect to roan hairs on some regions of the horse, but these animals are not roans.


Varnish is a form of leopard complex color pattern found in the Appaloosa horse breed. It is also known as the Varnish color pattern. It is made up of a mixture of white and different colored hairs, which is why they are often mistaken for roans in appearance. The face and any other sections of skin that are close to the bone, on the other hand, are generally a solid hue with little to no white hair.

These parts are referred to as “varnish” markings in the industry. As previously stated, a real roan would only develop darker areas (corn spots) if the skin were to get infected or injured.


Duns, sometimes called as grullos, might be mistaken for blue roans due to their bluish hue, which makes them look similar. They do not, however, have white hair, and the bluish tint is attributable to the fact that a black horse’s black hairs contain fewer pigments than a white horse’s. Please keep in mind that each of these lookalikes may still carry the roan gene. Never be startled if you come across a gray horse roaning in the field.

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The History of Roans

Although it is unclear where the roan gene originated, it has been mentioned several times throughout history, most notably in the works of William Shakespeare. It is most famously mentioned by William Shakespeare, who described King Richard III riding a roan horse called Roan Barbary in his play Richard III. Researchers think he was a fan of roan horses and may have even had one at one point. That’s why he brought it up so frequently.

Best Names for Your Blue Roan Horse

The following are some suggestions for naming a blue roan horse:

  • Ares, Ash, Blue Diamond, Sky, Gray Wolf, Hurricane, Blizzard, Fire n’ Ice, Acer, Phantom, and many more.

Blue Roan Horse FAQs

Any horse having a bluish color is referred to as a blue roan. Due to the dispersion of white hair and the black backdrop hue, this blue look has been created.

How Many Types of Roan Horses Are There?

Generally speaking, there are three types: blue (with a black base coat color), red (with a chestnut backdrop color), and bay (bay background). However, you may purchase roans with a broad variety of other backdrop colors as well.

How Much Does A Blue Roan Cost?

A pure blue roan may be purchased for between $800 and $4000 dollars.

Are Blue Roans Rare?

No, not at all. Even though there are fewer blue roans than there are of the other roans, they are not uncommon in horse breeds or color patterns. Conclusion I hope this has answered all of your questions. Blue roan horse breeds aren’t genuinely “blue,” as the name implies. The bluish tint is caused by a combination of white hair and black hues, which are mixed together. They are a sort of roan horse, and the roan pattern is caused by a dominant characteristic in the horse. Other varieties of Roans include Red roans with a chestnut basis color and Bay roans with a bay base color, as well as a variety of other colors.

Quarter horses, Paso Finos, Belgians, Paint Horses, Percherons, and Welsh ponies are some of the breeds that can be roaned, as well as others.

  • Genetics, descriptions, and photographs of the BLUE ROAN HORSE COLOR. “Breeds of Livestock – Welsh PonyCob — Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science,” according to the website www.grullablue.com, which was accessed on July 9, 2021. For further information, go to afs.okstate.edu and search for “welsh” in the “breeds” section. This is the percent 20pure percent 20Welsh percent 20pony percent 20may. :text= “Home Page,” accessed on the 9th of July, 2021. “PHAOA,Breed: Paso Fino,” says the breeder. “Horse Facts: The American Paint Horse,” Globetrotting, 1 December 2018, accessed 9 July 2021
  • “Horse Facts: The American Paint Horse.” Greetings, Trail Brothers. “Roan Zygosity Test | Veterinary Genetics Laboratory,” accessed on the 9th of July, 2021. “Shakespeare Horsemanship,” vgl.ucdavis.edu/test/roan, vgl.ucdavis.edu/test/roan
  • “Shakespeare Horsemanship.” “Shakespeare Horsemanship,” hankwhittemore.com/tag/shakespeare-horsemanship/, from Hank Whittemore’s Shakespeare Blog. “What Is a Roan?” was accessed on the 9th of July, 2021. American Roan Horse, accessed on the 9th of July in the year 2021

What do you think about horses with blue roan markings? Have you ever seen one of these? Please share your opinions in the comments section! Horses have always held a special fascination for Peter. He received his first horse, a Morgan Horse, when he was 13 years old, and he has been studying everything he can about them ever since. He enjoys writing to this blog in order to share what he has learnt thus far in his life. You may find him on social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Check out his most recent articles onFACEBOOK.

Is the Blue Roan Horse really Blue? Do we know about this Blue Horse

Roan horses, particularly rare blue roan horses, blue roan appaloosas, blue varnish roans, blue roan draft horses, and blue roan horse breeds in general, have been revered by horse aficionados for generations because of their striking appearance. This stallion definitely makes a statement with his appearance as a representative of the true blue roan horse breed, which is defined by their amazing coats, blue roan paint, and pure blue roan color.

A roan horse is widely acclaimed for its uncommon color genetics, real blue horse color, blue roan paint, and magnificent beauty, all of which are characteristics of this breed.


The termroanddescribes the color pattern of a horse’s coat as well as the breed of blue roan horse that bears the word. True roan horses have an equal blend of white and blue roan colored hairs and are extremely rare when compared to other breeds such as the black rabicano horse, the roan appaloosa, the blue roan draft horse, and the varnish roan, which are all similar in appearance. When the color pattern of the white hairs is combined with the base color, it results in a stunning coat color for the real blue roan horse color that is hard to miss.

More significantly, roaniis a dominant gene that must be inherited, which contributes to the rarity of the uncommon blue roan horse since it is a dominant gene.

Many European and North American breeds of horses, as well as the uncommon blue roan horse, carry the gene, however it is more commonly seen in European and North American horses.


As with any other color, the term “roan” is often used in conjunction with a base coat color to define a roan horse’s shade, such as “bay” or “red,” “red” or “blue,” “blue roan appaloosa,” “blue colored horse,” or “blue roan.” Roan coats are distinguished by their hue, which is divided into three categories: blue, biay, and red. The basic color of a blue roan horse is black (the most known are thefamous blueroan horses,) A bay roan horse has a bay foundation color (which is common of blue roan appaloosa horses), while a red roan horse has a sorrel or chestnut base color (which is typical of red roan appaloosa horses) (seen in the lilac roanhorses, the strawberry roan horses, and the red roan horses.) Red roans used to contain both chestnut and bay coat colors, but in 1999, the American Paint Horse Association split red roans from bays to distinguish them as different breeds.

  • They followed suit once more in 2003, this time using the phrase “strawberry roan.” A strawberry roan, sometimes known as a red roan, is a horse that is pinkish in color, similar to a light chestnut or sorrel roan.
  • While less prevalent, the name lilac roan can be used to describe a dark chestnut roan horse, a honey roan horse, an apalomino roan horse, or the lightest sorrel roan horses, among other things.
  • (The blue roan horse color) will look darker in the winter because the colored hairs grow longer and thicker than the white hairs, which will make the horse appear darker.
  • Because the white hairs are more noticeable on a deeper coat color, roan is simpler to detect on a lighter coat color.
  • It is necessary for the roan gene to be inherited from at least one parent because it is a dominant gene.
  • An unusually high concentration of white hairs above the eyes might give the appearance that a roan horse is sporting white eyebrows on occasion.
  • True roans are born with a solid color and do not emerge roan until the foal coat sheds, as is the case with the lilac roan horse, the strawberry roan horse, and the red roan horse, among others.
  • These damaged areas are referred to as “corn markings” or “corn spots” by the general public.

Traditionally, dappling in a roan is the polar opposite of dappling in a horse coat, in which the dappling rings are lighter circles of hair on the renowned blue roan horses and the blue colored horses, where the rings are darker circles of hair on the white horses.


As with any other color, the term “roan” is often used in conjunction with a base coat color to define a roan horse’s shade, such as “bay” or “red,” “red” or “blue,” “blue roan appaloosa,” “blue color horse,” or “blue roan.” There are three major colors of roan coats: blue, biay, and red. Blue is the most common color. An emerald green horse with a blue roan pattern on its back (the most known are thefamous blueroan horses,) When a horse is bay roan, the horse’s foundation color is bay (as is common of blue roan appaloosa horses), and when a horse is red, the base color is sorrel or chestnut (as is typical of red roan appaloosa horses) (seen in the lilac roanhorses, the strawberry roan horses, and the red roan horses.) It used to be that a red roan horse could have either a chestnut or a bay coat color, but the American Paint Horse Association split red roans from bay roans in 1999.

  • Using the moniker “strawberry roan,” they followed suit once again in 2003.
  • It is now positively identified as an arabicano horse rather than a strawberry roan.
  • There are several shades of roan horses, including the famous blue roan horses, and even individual horses can appear brighter or darker depending on the season.
  • Summertime causes the horses, particularly the blue-hued horses, to seem lighter in color, owing to the shedding of their thick, colorful undercoats, which allows the white undercoats to be more easily distinguished.
  • Horses with light hues, such as palomino roan, have difficultly distinguishing the roaning, as opposed to an arabicanohorse and an appaloosa strawberry roan horse.
  • A horse’s body coat color is affected by the roan gene solely, although the horse’s head, mane, lower legs, and tail are all solid colored, as shown in blue roan foals with blue coats.
  • There are also instances in which the roan characteristic will appear solely across the croup and hip area (this is referred to as “minimal expression”).
  • Any harm to the skin (and/or hair) inflicted on a roan horse or true blue roan results in the regrowth hair being completely colored, with no evidence of white.
  • Dappling is another feature of a roan coat.

It is the complete opposite of the conventional pattern found on a horse’s coat, in which lighter circles of hair are used to create dappling rings, as seen on the renowned blue roan horses and the blue colored horses. Dappling rings are used to create patterns on the blue colored horses.


In addition to roan and blue roan horse coats, there are several more colors of horse coats that are similar to roan and blue roan horse colors, but it is vital not to confuse them or mistake them for an adapple blueroan horse. Almost all horse breeds may be found in gray, which is one of the most prevalent horse colors. It is possible for a gray foal to be born in any hue, even roan. A gray coat lightens with age, but a roan coat does not. This is a distinguishing characteristic. Grayhounds that reach maturity may lose their original coat color and develop a white coat, but their skin and eyes retain their original colors.

  • Because a gray may transition from being totally colored to being wholly white throughout the course of its existence, the process of “graying out” might, at times, appear to be very similar to the process of roan.
  • The dun gene is responsible for the creation of blue dun or grullo colour.
  • When it comes to color genetics, the dun gene has an effect on the black horse by causing it to have minimal quantities of pigment in each of its hairs.
  • Rabicano and sabino colorings are two separate genes that create white hairs in the coat, giving the appearance of roan.
  • Rabicanos have extensive regions of white hair around the base of their tails and on their flanks, which they use for protection.
  • The sabino white patches will appear severely roaned, but the roaning will be unevenly distributed.


It is possible to find roan coats on a variety of breeds such as European draft horses, British ponies, and North American breeds such as the Paint Horse (also known as the Quarter Horse Stallion), Mustang, and Tennessee Walking Horse (also known as a Tennessee Walking Horse). The Japanese Hokkaido Pony may also be roan in color. It is possible that some horse breeds, such as the Arabian Horse, the Suffolk Punch, and the Haflinger, will never produce a real roani. Just to put things in perspective, roans accounted for 12 percent of all horses registered with the AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) in 2017.


Some well-known roan horses include the red roan stallion Red Man, who was born in 1935, and the blue roan stallion Blue Valentine, who was born in 1957 and acquired recognition on the rodeo circuit as a result of his performance. Zippos Mr. Good Bar, a well-known red roan horse, was not a strawberry roan horse, but was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2019.

He was well-known for his show career as well as his status as a great sire. Known as Royal Blue Boon, the famed blue roan stallion who was born in 1980 began a long line of cutting horses that would become world-class.


A blue roan horse is, without a doubt, the most visually appealing of the roans. The breeding of blue roans is difficult since the genetic composition must be correct; as a result, they are the most precious and rarest of all the roans, making them extremely costly and uncommon. While it may appear that blue roans are born with a full black foal coat, blue roans are always roan at birth, albeit they may first appear to be born with a solid black foal coat before sheding their newborn coat to show their roan color.

  1. The barrel, hip, head, and neck are all parts of the body.
  2. Given that a real blue roan horse is a uniform blend of white and black, the equine looks to be a beautiful indigo hue with hints of silver on its coat.
  3. Because blue roans are so uncommon, there is a propensity for people to misidentify them.
  4. Gray horses are frequently misidentified as blue roan horses by those who are not familiar with the breed.
  5. The most straightforward method to tell the difference between a gray and a blue roan horse is to glance at the head of the animal.
  6. Blue roans are further distinguished by the absence of varnish, rabicano, or sabino patterns.
  7. Blue Roan horses are also seen in European varieties, including the Arabian.
  8. Indeed, the hue has been used so frequently that it has become a trademark of the breed.


Varnish roans are typically associated with breeds that exhibit appaloosa characteristics, such as the Appaloosa. Their patches of skin around the face or legs do not produce as much white hair as the rest of their body. The darker patches are referred to as “varnish marks” because they are absent from true roan horses. It is possible to distinguish between a varnish roan and a true roan by observing characteristics of the leopard complex, such as striped hooves or mottled skin around the eyes and nose.


Throughout history, the roan horse has been held in high regard. The horse has long been connected with royalty and has played an important role in the history of the English language, including in William Shakespeare’s famous plays. Richard III of England was shown riding a legendary stallion called Roan Barbary in Shakespeare’s play, Richard III, which was written in 1599.

Many literary experts have suggested that Shakespeare was a fan of roan horses over the years, based on the fact that he made numerous references to roan horses in his writings. “That roan shall be my kingdom,” says a famous phrase from Shakespeare’s Henry IV play, which is still quoted today.


STANDARDBRED One such breed that has the blue roan hue is the Standardbred, which is mostly utilized for harness racing. It is a breed that originated in North America and has roots that may be traced back to Thoroughbreds, Morgans, and Hackneys. They make excellent riding horses since they are athletic and have a lot of stamina. PONY FROM THE WELSH COUNTRY When it comes to horse breeds, the blue roan is more frequent in the Welsh Pony and Cob varieties. Welsh ponies and cobs were domesticated as early as 1600 BC in Wales, according to legend.

  1. Their uses have ranged from pit ponies to laboring on farms, riding, and show ponies over the years, to name a few.
  2. Their intelligence is often regarded as one of the best among horses and they are also outstanding driving horses.
  3. MORGAN The Morgan was one of the first breeds to be produced in America, and it has performed a variety of tasks over the years.
  4. They now compete in a variety of disciplines, including dressage and show jumping.


Percherons are usually black or grey in color, however they will take colors such as blue, bay, red roans, chestnut, and bay if they are offered. According to the Percheron Association of America, the breed’s criteria are quite stringent. However, the conditions for registering have been changed in recent years to be more accommodating to non-citizens. Every year, the group registers around 2,500 horses. Percherons are a breed of horse native to France that are extremely adaptable. They are both exceptional riding and draft horses, with a calm disposition that is matched by their willingness to work and be attentive.

Their tenacity and intellect have earned them the title of percherons.


It is common for blue roans to suffer a scarring cut or scrape, and the hair will grow back over it in a black tint without any white hairs, resulting in a black mark on their roan coloration. Unlike most other colors, which would normally scar with white hairs, this hue does not scar with white hairs.

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