What Is A Dun Horse?

  • Dun is a coat color of horses that occurs due to the presence of a dilution gene affecting both the black and red pigments. The dun gene is responsible for lightening the body more than the primitive markings and point coloration of the ears, mane, legs, and tail.

What is the difference between a dun and buckskin horse?

Buckskins generally have yellow bodies, and black manes, tails, stockings and dorsal stripes. Duns have a sandy brown or a mouse-gray body, with a brown or dark gray dorsal stripe. Manes and tails can differ in color depending on the individual horse.

Are dun horses rare?

The dun gene is prevalent in many horse breeds but is more common in heavy pony types such as fjord horse, Icelandic horse, highland pony, and the Shetland pony. Duns are rare in Thoroughbreds and breeds with a lot of Arabian influence. 3

What makes a dun horse a dun?

The dun gene is a dominant modifier and can appear on both black- and red-based horses. It affects the shade of the horse’s coat and adds the dun characteristics: a dorsal stripe, zebra stripes on the legs, striping over the withers, dark tips on the ears and darker coloration on the lower legs.

Do dun horses change Colour?

However, unlike blue roan, dun has no intermingled black and white hairs, and unlike a true gray, which also intermingles light and dark hairs, the color does not change to a lighter shade as the horse ages. With a dun, the hair color itself is one solid shade and remains so for life.

Is dun a dominant gene?

Dun is a dominant trait of equines characterized by lightening of the body color, leaving the head, lower legs, mane, and tail undiluted.

Are buckskins good horses?

Buckskins have been long noted for their superior qualities and strength. They have more stamina, more determination, harder feet, better bone, and are generally hardier than other horses. A Buckskin with weak or spavined legs is a rarity.

Is a grulla a dun?

Basically, it’s a dun horse. A grulla has a dark stripe down it’s spine, shoulder stripes and leg barring. A grulla horse is fairly rare, as these things go, and is often the result of mating a black stallion with a red or dun mare.

Is buckskin a dun?

The difference between dun and buckskin horses is that buckskins have a tan body with black points and a dorsal stripe, and duns are a sandy brown with a crisp dorsal stripe, and primitive markings. But unlike a buckskin, their manes and tails aren’t always dark. Many people often confuse dun and buckskin horses.

What breeds can be dun?

Horse Breeds That Can Have Dun Coat Color

  • Fjord Horse.
  • Konik Horse.
  • Spanish Mustang.
  • Pintabian Horse.
  • Heck Horse.
  • Przewalski’s Horse.
  • Pryor Mountain Dog.
  • Lundy Pony.

What colors look good on a dun horse?

Dun and Brown: Deep blue, purple, blue-green, black or bone on most duns. Sorrel: Royal blue, dark green, emerald green and black. Gray: Dusty rose, mint green, green, cornflower blue or pale purple with light gray horses. Choose red, royal blue and purple with dark gray horses.

Do dun foals change Colour?

Foals change colors; they are born with dull coats they usually shed three or four months after birth. Very few are born the color they will become as an adult horse. These traits typically fade shortly after birth but are pronounced enough to fool their owners into believing they’re a dun or grulla.

What is the rarest coat color a horse can have?

While it’s relatively common in dogs and cows, brindle is by far the rarest coat color in horses. Brindle stripes can show up on any base color in the form of light or dark hairs. Because this pattern is a result of two embryos fusing, the hairs making up the stripes can be a different texture to other body hairs.

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.

Are Palomino horses rare?

Palominos are not rare. Palomino coloring is found across many breeds, including the Quarter Horse, Arabian, Morgan, Tennessee Walking Horse, and American Saddlebred. 5

What Does a Dun Horse Look Like?

A dun horse is more than just a buckskin with a dorsal stripe on the back of its neck. Discover the distinctions between red dun, classic dun, and grullo, as well as the dun variants within each. The dun gene has an effect on the color of the horse’s coat and the appearance of the horse’s dun traits, which include a dorsal stripe, zebra stripes on the legs, striping over the withers, dark tips on the ears, and darker pigmentation on the lower legs and lower legs. (Photo courtesy of Dana Hoffman) April 10, 2018 |

Registration/transfer,Breeding and foal care,Breeding,Registration forms,Horse Ownership,Breeding and foal care,Breeding,Registration forms,Horse Ownership The Przewalski horse (pronounced per-zih-vahl-skee) is the only truly wild horse left on the planet, and it can be found exclusively in Asia.

In the hue known as “classic dun,” there are black spots on the horse’s head and neck, as well as leg barring (stripes that run horizontally across the horse’s knees and perhaps hocks).

The Difference Between a Buckskin and a Dun Horse

Because the phenotypes of the two colors are so similar, many people describe a dun as “a buckskin with a dorsal stripe.” However, many people distinguish between the two colors by characterizing a dun as “a buckskin with a dorsal stripe.” They are, nevertheless, genetically distinct from one another. Buckskins are bay horses who have had a single dosage of the cream dilution to make them white. The dun gene is a dominant modifier that may be found in both black and red-based horses, depending on their background.

These characteristics are acquired as a bundle – a dorsal stripe does not a dun make.

The dun gene produces a dorsal stripe, zebra stripes on the legs, striping over the withers, dark tips on the ears and darker coloration on the lower legs. (Credit: Brent Corbett)

Variations of the Dun Color in American Quarter Horses

A red dun is the name given to a sorrel horse that has received the dun modifier. This horse can be found in a variety of colors ranging from pale red to light brown, but it will never have black points. Cream to dark red can be found on the mane and tail of this animal. It will exhibit some, if not all, of the qualities of the dun.

Classic Dun

A bay horse that has been modified with the dun modifier is known as the classic dun. The hue of its body can range from a very pale yellow to a very dark brown.


A grullo is a term used to describe a black horse that has the dun modifier (grew-yo). Colors that are silvery, smoky, or mousy are represented by this color. The silvery hue is consistent throughout the hair; it is not a mixture of light and dark hairs that have been separately dyed. These horses will also exhibit features associated with duns. Multiple genes, such as dun and cream dilution, can be carried by a single horse, making it a multi-gene carrier.

“Dunalino” and “Dunskin”

A “dunalino” was genetically present in the 1940 stallion Hollywood Gold, who was registered as a dun (dun plus palomino).

As a result, he was able to pass on both the dun and the cream genes to his children. His renowned great-grandson, Hollywood Dun It, who was born as a dun but was genetically a “dunskin,” was genetically descended from him (dun plus buckskin).

Hollywood Dun It (Credit: courtesy of American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame)

Dun gene – Wikipedia

A bay dun, sometimes known as a “classic” or “zebra” dun, is a kind of duck. A red dun is a kind of duck. Thedun gene is a dilution gene that influences the amount of red and black pigments in a horse’s coat color, as well as the overall coat color. A dog’s body is lightened to a greater extent than its face, with just the hair on its tail and legs and rudimentary markings remaining the hue of its original base coat color. It has a black dorsal stripe down the center of its back, and it normally has a darker face and legs.

The color of the body is determined by the genetics of the underlying coat color.

Coloration of duns with achestnut bases can look as an ivory tint, while those with black bases can appear as a steel gray.

The dun gene has the potential to interact with all of the other coat color variants.

Taxonomic distribution

Dun is regarded to be a basic traitDun is thought to be the ancestral or wild typecolor of horses, according to a cave artwork found in Lacaux. Many of the equines depicted in prehistoric cave paintings, such as those found in Chauvet Cave, are dun, and numerous closely related species of the genus Equus also exhibit traits of the dun. Onager, kiang, and African wild asses are just a few of the animals that have gone extinct. Others include an extinct subspecies of plains zebra known as thequagga, and an extinct subspecies of horse known as thetarpan.

Both the non-Dun1 and non-Dun2 mutations were not discovered in any of the other equids tested.

Color traits

A red dun with a dorsal stripe The dun gene has a dilution impact on the body coat, lightening it, but it has less of an influence on the primitive patterns and point colors of the mane, tail, ears, and legs, which are all darker. Dun has a visible effect on all three base colors: bay (bay, classic, or zebra dun), black (mouse dun or grullo), and chestnut (bay, classic, or zebra dun) (red dun). When it is paired with other dilution genes or when it is influenced by gray, it becomes more difficult to detect.

  • Its body is tan or gold in color with a black mane and tail with primitive patterns, and it is also known as the bay dun, classic dun, and zebra dun. The bay dun is the most prevalent form of dun. On a genetic level, the horse has an underlying baycoat color that is influenced by the dun gene. In addition to having reddish points instead of black points and primitive patterns, the red dun is also known as the claybank. The dun gene is responsible for the horse’s underlying chestnutcoat color, which is influenced by the dun gene. As a result, because there is no black on the horse that might be damaged, the undiluted underlying color is red. Grulloorgrulla, also known as blue dunormouse dun, is a smoky, blue-gray to mouse-brown hue that can range from light to dark. It is also known as blue dunormouse dun. They feature black tips that are uniform throughout, and they frequently have a dark or black head. Primitive marks are often wholly black in color. Due to the action of the dun gene, the horse’s black coat has an underlying hue of black.

Primitive marks are another another hallmark of the dun gene family. The following are characteristics of Dun:

  • The dorsal stripe runs along the middle of the back and along the spine, and it is virtually always found on duns. Horizontal striping on the rear of the forelegs, which is prevalent on most duns, though it can be a little weak at times
  • Mask with a darker patch around the nasal bone and forehead, occasionally bringing the head close to the undiluted color
  • Such designs are referred to as “Cobwebbing.” When present, the transverse stripe is an across stripe running over the shoulders perpendicular to the dorsal stripe that is quite prevalent in donkeys but less common in horses, and when present, it is generally weak and noticeable only on a short summer coat, if at all
  • Frosting is made up of fine hairs that may be found on each side of the mane and on either side of the dock of the tail
  • It is also known as “frosting.”

Other differences are caused by the interaction of other genes, as follows:

  • Combining the chestnut and dun genes with the cream gene (a single copy) results in “dunalino” or “palomino dun.” ‘dunskin’ or ‘buckskin dun’ is the result of combining the Bay + Dun + Cream gene (single copy).

One copy of the cream gene on a black base coat does not considerably lighten black hair, but it may have a slight impact; similarly, one copy of the cream gene on a grullo does not have a discernible effect on the grullo’s hair color. Double copies of the cream gene, on the other hand, result in horses that are extremely pale in color (cremello,perlino, andsmoky cream). As a result, if a horse has two cream dilutionalleles and also contains the dun gene, the animal will likewise be cream-colored, with rudimentary patterns that are not evident to any major degree.

There are two forms of non-dun, which are referred to as non-dun1 and non-dun2.

If non-dun1heterozygous with non-dun2 results in no primitive markings or whether it is the mechanism that results in weak dorsal striping or countershading is unclear.

The term “brown dun,” orbrunnblakk, refers to a zebra dun; “red dun,” orrdblakk, refers to a red dun; “gray,” or gr— meaning “gray,” refers to a grullo; buckskin duns, orulsblakkor white dun; and a dunalino (dun + palomino) is referred to as a “yellow The term “white” orkvit refers to a cremello, perlino, or smokey cream.

Dun mimics

It appears to be a buckskin horse with no known dun bloodlines, yet it has a countershading stripe that may be mistaken for a dun pattern. This might be an example of non-dun1 acting alone, or it could be an example of both nd1 and nd2 acting together. Dilution hues were commonly mixed together and simply referred to as “dun” in the past, before recent genetic investigations discriminated between alleles. When present in a “bay dun” horse, the dun gene might appear to be very similar to the buckskin gene in that both hues have a light-colored coat with a black mane and tail.

  • 32 A bay dun is a bay horse that carries the dun gene, according to genetics.
  • Buckskins are typically devoid of basic markings.
  • Duns always have rudimentary patterns on their faces and bodies.
  • Alternatively, aperlino, which is genetically a bay horse with two copies of the cream gene, might be confused with a red dun.
  • Perlinos, on the other hand, are generally substantially lighter in color than a red dun and have blue eyes.
  • However, unlike a blue roan, dun does not have any mixed black and white hairs, and unlike a truegray, which also has interwoven light and dark hairs, the hue does not lighten as the horse develops and does not become a paler shade as the horse matures.
  • To make matters even more confusing, it is conceivable for a horse to possess both dun and cream dilution genes; animals with golden buckskin coloring and a complete set of primitive markings are referred to as “buckskin duns” or “dunskins,” respectively.
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Dunalino: An apalominothat that caries dun and has rudimentary dorsal striping or leg bars characteristic of the red dun may be referred to as a “dunalino.” Countershading of nd1 may be more difficult to distinguish between a dorsal stripe on light-colored horses, such as red duns, and a dorsal stripe on darker horses.


On a dun horse, the dorsal stripe and light guard hairs are visible. Shoulder stripes that run across to the body Dun(D), non-dun1(d1), and non-dun2 are the three known alleles of the dun gene (d2). Because the gene for dun is dominant, the phenotypic of a horse with one or two copies of the gene is dun. In practice, two non-dun parents are unable to generate a dun offspring. Some asymmetry in pigment distribution, resulting in primitive markings, may be found in horses that are not dun1d1/d1ord1/d2.

  • Horses who are homozygous for non-dun1/non-dun1 tend to exhibit more distinct primitive markings than horses that are heterozygous for d1/d2.
  • A horse with two copies of non-dun2 does not have primitive markings on its coat.
  • The silver dapple gene, on the other hand, only operates on black-based coats, while the cream gene is an incomplete dominant that must be homozygous to be fully expressed, and when heterozygousis only apparent on bay and chestnut coats, and then to a lesser extent.
  • To be more specific, hairs from diluted regions only contain pigment on one side of them, whereas hairs from darker places, such as the dorsal stripe, have pigment on both sides of them.
  • When functional, it results in dun coloring, which includes the primitive marks, and when recessive, it does not result in dun coloration at all.
  • The abnormalities are associated to a set of developmental disorders known asulnar–mammary syndrome, and the null allele (which is incapable of producing any TBX3) is believed to be embryonic fatal.
  • It should be noted that when the coat is diluted, the color is not equal throughout each hair, but rather is more vivid on the outward-facing side of the hair shaft and lighter underneath the surface.
  • “Microscopically spotted pattern,” according to one of the researchers who participated in the study.: 31: Now is a brand-new phenomena in science, and it has not been detected in rodents, primates, or carnivores before this.

The striping pattern of zebras may also be determined by the location of the TBX3 gene expression.

Non-dun alleles

A variation of the non-dun color is non-dun1, which is produced by a different mutation, and non-dun2, which is caused by a different mutation. Horses who are not dun1 have some basic markings, but horses that are not dun2 do not. Prior to the domestication of the horse, it is believed that the wild typemodifiers dun, non-dun1, and the leopard complex were the wild typemodifiers of the foundation colors bay and black for wild horses. This genetic mutation (as well as formation of the chestnut base hue) is assumed to have occurred after domestication, according to current thinking.

  1. Example of a non-dun1 bay horse with a clearly visible dorsal stripe is seen below.
  2. A projected binding site for the transcription factors ALX4 and MSX2, both of which are known to be important in hair follicle development, is anticipated to be present in the area lost in non-dun2.
  3. When it came to dun horses, the pattern of TBX3 expression matched the pattern of pigment deposition in the hair, which means that TBX3 was discovered wherever pigment was not present.
  4. All of the horses, on the other hand, had a thin outer layer of hair in which TBX3 was expressed.
  5. This implies that the pigment-producing cells in the hair follicles of dun and non-dun horses are distributed differently in their respective hair follicles.
  6. It was discovered that keratinocytes expressingKITLGcould be detected on both sides of the hair shaft in non-dun horses, but only on the pigmented side in dun horses.
  7. It is not believed that TBX3 has a direct effect on KITLGexpression.
  8. Non-dun1 has aguanine at chromosome 8 base pair 18,226,905, whereas Dun1 has anadenine at base pair 18,226,905, which appears to be sufficient to give non-dun1 coloring.
  9. 8: 18,227,267 (aguanineindun being replaced with thymine in non-dun1).
  10. Non-dun2 contains a 1,609 bp deletion as well as a second deletion that is extremely close to 8 bp.

It is most probable that the non-dun2 mutation arose on chromosome 8, which already contained a non-dun1 mutation, based on the nucleotide diversity found in the flanking areas of chromosome 8.


  1. University of California, Davis, “Dun Dilution – Direct Test.” The University of California’s Veterinary Genetics Lab. On April 27, 2019, Pruvost and colleagues (M. Pruvost et al (2011-11-07). “Genotypes of predomestic horses correspond to phenotypes shown in Paleolithic cave paintings,” says the researcher. Publication number: PNAS.108(46): 18626–30. PNAS 2011
  2. Doi:10.1073/pnas.1108982108
  3. PMID22065780
  4. “Przewalski’s horse.” The National Zoo of the Smithsonian Institution. The 25th of April, 2016. Imsland F, McGowan K, Rubin CJ, Henegar C, Sundström E, Berglund J, et al. (2019-04-26)
  5. AbcdefghImsland F, McGowan K, Rubin CJ, Henegar C, Sundström E, Berglund J, et al (February 2016). Horses’ Dun camouflage color is disrupted by regulatory mutations in TBX3, which is a transcription factor involved in asymmetric hair pigmentation. “Dun Zygosity Test,” Nature Genetics, 48(2), 152–8, doi: 10.1038/ng.3475.PMC4731265.PMID26691985.Lay summary–Science Daily
  6. Abcd”Dun Zygosity Test,” Nature Genetics, 48(2), 152–8, doi: 10.1038/ng.3475. The University of California, Davis’s Veterinary Genetics Laboratory. This web page was visited on December 4, 2009
  7. Abc”Introduction to Coat Color Genetics”. University of California at Davis. Adalsteinsson S. Adalsteinsson S. Adalsteinsson S. Adalsteinsson S. Adalsteinsson S. Adalsteinsson S. (May 1978). It was discovered that the Icelandic toelter horse had inherited traits from both yellow dun and blue dun. CREAM – Horse Coat Color
  8. J Hered.69(3): 146–8.doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals/jhered.a108913.PMID731005 Further information about Dun and Primitive Markings is available here. Etalon Diagnostics is a diagnostics company. Retrieved2019-04-28
  9. s^”Dun”. CAG is an abbreviation for the Center for Animal Genetics. retrieved on April 30, 2020
  10. Phillip Sponenberg’s “Color in Fjord Horses” is available online. The Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry is a non-profit organization. 20.01.2010
  11. Retrieved on 20.01.2010
  12. The abcImsland, Freyja (2015). In chickens and horses, monogenic traits are associated with structural variations (PDF) (Thesis). Uppsala University Press, p. 42, ISBN 978-91-554-9295-3, ISSN1651-6206
  13. “A Horse of a Different Color: Buckskins and Duns” is a play on the phrase “A Horse of a Different Color.” Cowgirl Magazine published an article on August 15, 2017. Retrieved2019-04-28
  14. s^ Moon AM, Frank DU, Emechebe U, Thomas KR, and Emechebe U (2013-07-02). R. Dettman & Associates, Inc. (ed.). “TBX3 mutant mice provide evidence for unique molecular processes underlying Ulnar-Mammary Syndrome.” (2013) PLOS ONE 8 (7): e67841
  15. Bibcode: 2013PLoSO.867841F
  16. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067841.PMC3699485.PMID23844108
  17. AbWaara, Anneli, abWaara (December 21, 2015). “Genetics of camouflage and the Dun pattern in horses,” according to the article. Uppsala University’s SciLifeLab is a research facility dedicated to the study of life sciences. On June 26, 2016, I was able to retrieve

External links

  • On Wikimedia Commons, you can find images and videos connected to the Dun gene in horses.

Dun Horse Facts You Might Not Have Known

What comes to mind when you think of a wild horse is the first thing that comes to mind? Most of us have visions of a horse like Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron, or a horse that resembles him – possibly a dun with a long mane and tail that flutters in the breeze – when we think about horses. That being said, here is all you need to know about the stunning dun horse color:

Dun Coloring

When it comes to being showy and unusual, a dun horse gets an easy 10 out of 10. This breed of horse may be distinguished by its primitive markings, which include dark or black zebra-striped legs, a dorsal stripe, black edging around the ears, a black shadow that seems to be a mask, and stripes on the withers, among others. The color of their mane and tail is generally the same as the color of their black border. A red dun horse and a classic dun horse are the two sorts of dun horses that are available.

This is because sorrel is the base coat color.

Traditionally, duns have a bay base coat color, with the hue of these horses ranging from a mild tan to a deeper tan.

Genetic Makeup

Who or what is responsible for this gorgeous dun color? If you recall the essay on Cremellos, then this look at phenotyping and genetics will be a piece of cake for you to digest. The dun coloration is caused by a genetic mutation known as a dominant dilution genetic modifier, which causes the coat’s appearance, or phenotype, to look diluted as a result of the mutation. This gene is exclusively found in horses who have a base coat color of red and black as a dominant trait. What is the source of the colors sorrel and bay in base coats?

It is possible to test dun horses to determine if they are homozygous for the dun gene.

Dun colored breeds

The fact that you’re thinking about a dun horse makes you think of a wild horse isn’t that far-fetched! The Przewalski horses, which are wild Asian horses, are usually dun in color. Other horse breeds that are commonly seen to be dun in color are American Quarter Horses, Icelandic Ponies, Highland Ponies, and, of course, Mustangs. (He’s a dunskin, thus he’s close to Spirit.)

Are Dun and Buckskin the same thing?

No, the coloration of dun and buckskin is not the same as one another. Rather than a genetic mutation, a single dose of the cream dilution gene on a bay base coat color results in the production of a buckskin shade. Aside from the Palamino color, the cream gene is also responsible for the cream hue. A buckskin may be distinguished by a dorsal stripe as well as a black mane and tail. However, in order to be considered a real dun, all of the other features, as well as the dorsal stripe, must be present.

  • It’s fascinating to consider.
  • Sources:, a little about the author Dani Buckley is a Montana citizen who lives in a tiny community.
  • When she returned to her hometown in Montana, she brought her horses and dogs with her (Carbon and Milo).
  • Together, they have a German Shepard (Lupay), a Border Collie (Missy), a Blue Heeler (Taz), and her two darling mutts as well as other animals.
  • Dani has had Squaw for 17 years, and this horse has accompanied Dani on two cross-country journeys with her!
  • Tulsa, her second mare, is a promising ranch horse in the making.

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.

Dun Horse: Facts, Lifespan, Behavior & Care Guide (with Pictures)

A dun horse is a horse that, if you are new to horses, you may have heard of previously, but may not have known what it was. Simply described, a dun horse is a horse that has developed a distinct colour as a result of a genetic abnormality. It is not limited to a certain breed, and it may occur in a variety of horse breeds. Consider that dun horses are available in a wide range of colors, physical qualities and temperaments, depending on the breed that has been afflicted by the genetic mutation.

Quick Facts about Dun Horses

Species Name: Equus caballus
Family: Equidae
Care Level: Expert
Temperature: 18 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit
Temperament: Varies by breed
Color Form: Dun (classic, red, or grulla/grullo)
Lifespan: Varies by breed
Size: Varies by breed
Diet: Hay, foliage, water
Minimum Stall Size: 12 x 12 with pastureland
Stall Set-Up: Wooden stall inside barn
Compatibility: Great for horse experts

Dun Horse Overview

Image courtesy of Blackout Photography and Pixabay. In most cases, when you hear someone refer to a dun horse, they are not referring to a specific horse breed. Instead, the term “dun” refers to a particular colour. Tan or gray-gold dun horses are the most common, however other colors of horses can also be categorized as dun horses. Their distinguishing qualities, on the other hand, may be more difficult to identify. There are three different hues of dun all throughout the place: classic dun, red dun, and grulla/grullo dun.

  • They have tan coats with black tails and manes and black tails and manes.
  • Last but not least, the grulla dun is available in a range of hues.
  • Because of the dun gene, horses’ bodies are often lighter, allowing their basic patterns on their ears, legs, mane, and tail to be seen more clearly.
  • Dun horses are particularly popular among horse enthusiasts because of the distinctive coloring that results from this trait.
  • A real dun horse will have a distinct dorsal stripe that extends from the horse’s mane to its tail, indicating that it is purebred.

How Much Do Dun Horses Cost?

Given that the name “dun” relates to the hue of the horse, there is a wide variety in terms of their price, which is understandable. The actual cost of a dun horse will be determined in large part by the breed and color of the horse’s coat. Another aspect that will influence the price is your age, health issues, and inherited characteristics. In our web research, we discovered that the majority of dun horses were priced between $500 and $5000. That is a significant disparity. Adult horses in need of a new home tended to be the more affordable options.

Typical BehaviorTemperament

Because dun horses are largely distinguished by a single genetic trait, a gene mutation, they do not exhibit a consistent pattern of behavior or temperament, as would be expected of a horse breed. If you want to evaluate the temperament of your dun, it is preferable to look at the breed of the horse rather than the hue of the horse’s coat. A dun Norwegian Fjord, for example, will have a disposition that is distinct from that of a dun American Quarter Horse.

Unfortunately, there are a large number of horses that can be affected by the dun gene, and we are unable to provide you with any more information regarding the general behavior and temperament of duns.


As an alternative to waste time discussing the numerous distinct dog breeds that can be affected by the dun gene, let’s take a look at the many colorations and patterns that are common to most duns.

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Classic Dun

The classic dun is sometimes referred to as a zebra dun or a dun in some circles. A dusty yellow or tan colored body with a black mane and tail will be the appearance of these horses. In addition, the legs and rear of the animal will be marked with characteristic primitive marks.

Red Dun

A red dun, sometimes known as a clay back, will have a pale brown coat and will be covered with mud. Because of the mutation, these horses would have been dark Chestnut in color, but the gene makes them lighter in color. The hue of their mane and tail will be reddish in tone.

Grulla/Grullo Dun

Grulla or grullo dun horses are available in a range of hues, the most common of which is a tan and gray combination. These horses will have the dun gene, the black gene, and the mouse hair gene, which can make it more difficult to distinguish between their various colorations and markings.


Grullas or grullo dun horses are known for having a wide range of colors, the most common of which is a tan-gray blend. Horses with the dun gene, black gene, and mouse hair genes are more likely to have colors and markings that are difficult to distinguish.

How to Take Care of Dun Horses

When it comes to caring for a dun horse, the same principles apply as when caring for any other horse. They require a great deal of food, water, exercise, and open area in which to run around.

Habitat, Stall ConditionsSetup

Temperatures between 18 degrees Fahrenheit and 60 degrees Fahrenheit are generally considered pleasant for horses, however their specific preferences can vary depending on their breed and coat. A stall that provides shade in the summer and warmth in the winter is ideal for keeping your dun horse happy. If you reside in a very cold climate, you will almost certainly need to make additional investments in order to keep the stall as warm as possible. Horse jackets and specific heating components are examples of this type of equipment.


As previously said, horses require an indoor enclosure to which they may retreat if the weather is unpleasant for them. The majority of individuals prefer to use a stall. It is recommended that stalls have a minimum of 12 by 12 square feet in size, which is a reasonable size for the majority of horse breeds. For bigger horse breeds, on the other hand, you might want to build a stall that is 12 by 14 feet. Stable floors and stall mats should be placed just above the floor of the stall to give additional comfort for your dun horse when in the stall.

However, this bedding can get polluted very quickly.


Although you may have a wonderful stable for your horse, they still want pasture time. Stalls do not give adequate space for people to walk around and exercise freely.

Check to be that your horse has access to pasture so that they may feed and rest. More importantly, be certain that the pasture does not include any potentially harmful or deadly plants that your horse could accidently consume.

Do Dun Horses Get Along with Other Pets?

Once again, the breed of the dun horse is the most important factor in determining whether or not your horse will get along with another animal in the household. Certain horses have a reputation for being courageous and sociable. Others, on the other hand, are fearful of other creatures and can be easily frightened by them. Horses, on the whole, are not aggressive and want company, although they do not always get along with one another in the stable. Introducing a new horse to your dun horse, or vice versa, will necessitate a cautious introduction to determine whether or not the horses are compatible.

Overall, it just depends on the breed and individual horse, but they will almost certainly require the company of another equine companion.

What to Feed Your Dun Horse

Image courtesy of Dorena and Pixabay. Dun horses, like people, require a variety of nutrients in five distinct forms. Proteins, vitamins, water, minerals, and energy-producing substances like as lipids and carbs are included in this category. Due to the fact that horses are so large, they require 10 to 12 gallons of water each day on average. They may require between 15 and 20 liters of water if the weather is really hot. They require a large amount of water, regardless of the weather. Consequently, throughout the winter, make sure their water does not freeze.

Grass and alfalfa hay, or a combination of the two, are commonly used in this situation.

They require pastureland that does not yield any potentially harmful or deadly crops in order to graze.

This will supply your dun horse with concentrated energy concentrations to keep him going.

Keeping Your Dun Horse Healthy

Make sure to provide your dun horse with enough of fresh water and high-quality food in order to keep it healthy. More information on what to feed your dun horse may be found in the section above. In addition, give them deworming supplements and immunizations, and take them to the veterinarian once a year or whenever there is a problem with them. Even more importantly, strive to keep stress to a minimum. The fact that horses are so vigilant means that they may become stressed far more easily than other farm animals.

  • Horses require extra care and attention when it comes to their teeth and hooves.
  • You can discuss with your veterinarian how frequently your horse’s teeth may need to be filed.
  • Because horses are on their feet virtually all of the time, their hooves and legs require specific maintenance.
  • Instead, consult with a farrier to establish a routine for caring for your horse’s hoofs.

These organisms have particularly developed in order to be able to travel about throughout day and night. When they are confined to stalls, they are unable to obtain the activity they require, resulting in their being overweight and unhealthy.


Due to the fact that the mutation that generates dun colour is dominant, it is regarded to be very simple to breed dun horses when compared to other gene mutations, according to some experts. Indeed, there are three distinct alleles of the dun gene that may be identified. If just one of the parents carries the mutation, there is a probability that the children will be colored in the same manner as the parents. Certain breeds are thought to be more susceptible to becoming dun than others. The Norwegian Fjords, for example, are dominated by draught animals.

Are Dun Horses Suitable for You?

Dun horses are wonderfully beautiful, but they require a significant amount of care and attention, just like any other horse. If you want a unique-looking horse and you have the necessary room and finances to care for two horses, a dun horse is a good choice for you to consider. In the absence of enough stall space, grazing acreage, and the financial means to care for two or more horses, you might choose a lower-maintenance companion animal instead. If you know you will not be able to care for a dun horse, even if they are wonderfully loving and gorgeous, you should avoid getting one.

(Image courtesy of Peter Broster through Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.)

All About Dun Horses: Colors, Markings and More

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! I went to view the new horse that my neighbors had purchased. He informed me he had purchased a blue dun, but the horse I saw appeared to be almost all black. I wasn’t certain he was correct about the colour of his horses, so I decided to do some study on dun horses. The unusual color pattern of the Dun horse is formed by a modifier gene that influences both the black- and red-base coat colors of the horse.

Classic dun horses have tan coats with darker points and a dark, sharp stripe down the middle of their backs, which distinguishes them from other breeds.

Many people are drawn to dun horses because of their distinctive coloring, but duns are much more than just a visually appealing color pattern.

Dun horse color.

Dun is thought to have been an old horse hue, according to legend. In prehistoric cave paintings, dun horses are frequently seen, and numerous closely related animals also exhibit dun traits. Among them are the Przewalski horses, who are the last known wild horse breed. Dun horses are distinguished by their distinctive color pattern, which includes a dorsal stripe down their backs and zebra-like stripes on their legs. This color pattern is formed by dilution genes, which lessen the color of a horse’s base coat to produce this pattern.

  • For starters, all Dun horses have a neat, sharp dorsal stripe and rudimentary patterns on their flanks.
  • A black or dark brown stripe runs down the centre of the back, generally from shoulder to shoulder.
  • Dorsal stripes, horizontal zebra stripings on the upper legs, and a stripe across the withers are some of the primitive features found on this breed of dog.
  • Despite the fact that many Dun horses have clearly apparent primitive markings, all Dun horses have a dorsal stripe that runs from their poll to their tail dock.
  • Indun horses have a variety of coloring and patterns that vary in strength and depth, but they all have a neat, crisp dorsal stripe that is continuous, and they all have dark-tipped ears.

Because countershading, sooting, and other color alterations may be used to imitate dun coloration, distinguishing a dun can be difficult.

The most common dun color pattern looks very similar to buckskin.

The classic dun horse, which has a similar appearance to a buckskin horse, is the most commonly encountered colored dun horse. Duns, on the other hand, have traits that distinguish them from other animals. You should read the following article if you want to understand more about the distinctions between duns and buckskin horses: Dun vs. Buckskin Horses is a horse race that takes place in the United States. What’s the Difference Between the Two? There are five clues. It is particularly difficult to distinguish between dun factors and non-dun factors in foals.

Primitive markings are seen in gray foals, particularly in the males.

Countershading is often mistaken for Dun traits

Color patterns that describe an animal’s back as black while its underbelly is bright are referred to as countershading. Using this form of shading, animals are able to blend in with their environment and have a similar appearance to dun marks. Countershading may be distinguished from dun because the dark regions are not generally as clear and crisp as the light areas, and they tend to fade throughout the summer months, as opposed to the light areas.

Some dun horses have unique markings

It is a neat, sharp mark that goes through a horse’s mane and tail, ending at the dock of its tail. It is permanent and the color is the same as the horse’s base coat color, which is brown. A bay horse’s dorsal stripe, on the other hand, can be either black or reddish in color. According to Arsdelicata,

Leg markings

A horizontal striping can be found on the rear of most duns’ forelegs; however, the patterns are sometimes barely visible. These patterns, which are frequently referred to as zebra bars, are most typically found above the knees and hocks of horses. Thanks to Arsdelicata-commons.wikimedia.org for the image.

Face mask

Dun horses are distinguished by a black patch around the front of their faces and the top of their heads. Cobwebbing, also known as spiderwebbing, is a pattern of fine stripes across the forehead.

Shoulder stripe

The shoulder stripe runs across from the center of the back down each side of the withers and is perpendicular to the dorsal line, as seen in the illustration. Consider the shoulder stripe that is typically found in donkeys.

Dun Frosting

If the hairs on each side of the mane and on both sides of the dock of the tail are noticeably lighter in color, this might give the appearance of frosting on the horse’s coat. Frosting can be highly noticeable on certain horses, but it can also be very mild on others.

Ear Tips

It is the same color as the dorsal stripe on the back of the horses’ ears when they have dark markings. The markings may be limited to the rim of the ear, the back of the ear tip, or a distinct strip beneath the ear tip.

The genetics of the dun horse color pattern.

The dun horse color pattern is one of the most unusual and intriguing color patterns that you will ever see on a horse, and it is one of the most difficult to identify. This breed of horse is easily distinguished by a dorsal stripe down their backs, as well as stripes on their legs that resemble zebra stripes. But what is the source of this unusual color pattern? The dun color pattern is caused by a dominantdilution gene that is present in all individuals. The gene has an effect on the base coat of a horse, causing it to grow lighter in color without changing the animal’s basic markings and points (the extremities of a horse, their mane, tail, lower legs, and ear tips.).

It is possible to tell them apart genetically based on whether or not they have the extension gene “e.” The letter “EE” stands for black, while the letter “ee” is used to denote to chestnut.

All horse color coats are produced by modifying genes that work on these two fundamental principles. Despite the fact that the traditional dun horse is the most typical outcome, there are several varieties and various colored dun horses.

Dun is a dominant gene “D”

The dun gene is denoted by the letter “D,” and it is responsible for diluting both red and black color coats. In the dilution process, the hues that appear range from apricot and golden to dark gray and olive in addition to numerous other small variations. Dun is a dominant gene, which means that it always manifests itself, and every dun horse must have at least one parent that possesses the gene. You may identify whether or whether your foal is a dun through genetic testing. Genetic testing for horses is available through the University of California Davislabs.

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Duns are extremely unusual in Thoroughbreds and breeds that have a strong Arabian heritage.

A red dun has a chestnut base color

Red Dun is a color that is associated with the color red. The red dun seen in the photo is a dark shade of red; yet, red duns can be as light as the hue of a peach in appearance. All duns have a black dorsal stripe, and they are frequently equipped with leg bars and cob webbing as well. Red duns are produced as a result of the dun dilution gene’s action on a chestnut base coat. Red duns are difficult to distinguish from other colors because the contrast between the markings and the coat is not as noticeable as it is in other colors.

Blue duns have a black base color

A grulla dun is known by many other names; some people refer to them as blue duns, black duns, grey duns, and mouse duns, among other things. However, regardless of what they are named, these horses contain the dun gene “D,” which causes the “EE” black foundation coat to be diluted, resulting in a dun coat. By Kumana @ Wild Equines – initially submitted to Flickr as Blue Dun Silver Dapple, this image has since been modified. Dilution produces a dark blue hue that spans from light silver or light mouse grey to a deep dark gray that is almost black in appearance.

Dun horses don’t turn gray

Dun horses do not get lighter in color as they grow older, nor do they have a mixture of white and dark hairs on their coats. Dun is a phrase that refers to a horse’s genetic composition that is distinct from other horses. However, even if some dun horses have gray coloration, such as a blue dun, it is still a dun horse and not a gray. Horses that are classified as “gray” must have only one dominant allelegene in order to be classified as “gray.” An adult gray foal can be born with any color of hair, and as it grows older, white hairs gradually replace the color of the foal’s birth hairs.

It can be difficult to tell the difference between gray and aroanor dun foals since some gray foals display characteristics of either duns or roans before they reach maturity. Duns don’t alter hue in any way. By Wj32-Own work, we mean

Bay dun is the most common color of duns.

A bay dun is the most frequent coloration for a dun. It is regarded as the classic dun, and it is frequently referred to as a yellow dun in some circles. From creamy yellow to deep reddish gold, the coat’s hue can be found in various shades. It is frequently mistaken for a buckskin coat.

A buckskin with a dorsal stripe is a dun.

Buckskin horses and bay duns are difficult to identify from one another. They have comparable coat colors and dark tips produced from a bay base, which they have in common. Duns have features that are derived from a dun dilution gene, whereas buckskins have qualities that are derived from a cream dilution gene. When looking at the horses, describing the variations in genes does not assist; nevertheless, genetic testing may be done on the horses to confirm that their children have the same coloration.

If there is no prominent dorsal line, the horse is classified as a buckskin.

Is Spirit a dun or buckskin?

A dun, Spirit can also be classified as a dunskin or buckskin dun depending on the skin type. Buckskins with a dorsal stripe are known as duns, but some people refer to them as “buckskin duns” or “dunskins” instead. Spirit is a common name for dun horses, and it is derived from the Greek word meaning spirit.

Are Claybank duns rare?

Claybank duns are quite unusual, to say the least. One of the most common types of red dun is the claybank dun, which has a flaxen mane and tail. The bay dun is the most prevalent type of dun. Claybank horses are distinguished by their amber eyes and faintly colored hooves.

Are Grulla Duns Rare?

The dark blue dunis are thought to be quite unusual among the grulladuns. However, I’m not sure how rare they can be because I’m aware of a couple of dark blue duns that live in the vicinity of my home. These dun horses are so dark that they appear to be completely black.

Dun vs. Buckskin Horses, What’s the Difference? 5 Clues.

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! Even experienced equestrians might be perplexed by the differences between duns and buckskin horses. However, when my grandson asked me to explain the distinctions, I didn’t have a fast and clear response, so I went online and looked up the differences between these two identical coat colors.

It is true that their manes and tails are not usually black like a buckskin.

Many individuals make the mistake of conflating dun horses with buckskin horses. However, there are some significant distinctions between the two, which are particularly crucial for breeders since genetic variations are critical in determining the color of offspring.

What are the differences between Dun and Buckskin horses?

Despite the fact that dun and buckskin horses appear to be identical, they have unique genetic variances. Furthermore, as you’ll see, they have distinct distinctions in their color patterns on the outside as well.

Genetic differences between duns and buckskins.

In a nutshell, here’s what happened: A cream dilution gene acting on a bay base color produces the buckskin horse color, while a dun pattern is produced by a dun dilution gene operating on any base color produces the dun pattern. The dun dilution gene results in the development of primitive markings such as a dark stripe across the shoulders, a dorsal stripe, and stripes across the legs of the animal. Horse genetics is a fascinating topic of research that has a lot to offer. Some genes are dominant in humans, which means that both parents must contain the gene in order for the child to be born.

There are three genotypes of genuine dun, two genotypes of pseudo-dun, and one non-dun, which is diluted without the dun gene in the dun population.

They will not be present in the last kind.

They are allowed to have more than one, as previously stated.

All buckskins have a bay base coat color.

Bay horses are the only ones who have the buckskin cream dilution gene. Bay horses have a distinct genetic pattern that results in black points and a copper-toned coat on their coats and legs. However, the cream dilution on a bay foundation lightens the hue of the horse’s coat while retaining the black points. When this gene is present, dark brown bay horses will have a few golden highlights in addition to their dark brown coat. That does not rule out the possibility that the horse possesses a dun gene as well.

Dun genes can affect any base coat color.

Horses with the dun gene will have a lighter coat color, similar to that of a buckskin. The gene that causes the dun pattern has an effect on all base coat colors, including black, because it is a recessive gene. Even though black horses with the dun gene are commonly referred to as grays, the equine word for this condition is grullo or grulla when it affects the coat of a black horse. There is a reliable method of determining whether or not the dun gene is active. All dun horses must have at least one dun parent in order to be considered dun.

Coat and pattern differences between dun and buckskins

  • A dorsal stripe and a shoulder stripe are characteristic of the basic patterns on Duns. Many Duns will also have lateral markings on their legs, as well. When compared to a dun, which has striping on its lower legs and generally webbing around its face, buckskins have black tips, lower legs, ears, and a face. Buckskins may have a black stripe along the rear of their shoulders, although this stripe is usually countershading. A countershading dorsal is frequently fractured and does not extend all the way to the animal’s tail. In horses, the dun gene is dominant, which means that a horse with one or two copies of the gene will be dun
  • And since the dun gene is dominant, it will always show

Unlike other duns, a real dorsal stripe is clear, uninterrupted, and extends from pole to dock. Something extremely remarkable about this gene: it’s old, it’s responsible for the original coat color of equids, and it’s quite similar to another gene, the one found in zebras, which makes it really intriguing. While the gene for dun horses produces less defined striping than the zebra gene, it does create more unique striping than the zebra gene.

Nonetheless, if you’ve ever wondered why certain horses appear to be zebra-striped in a sense, you now know that it’s because they have a dun gene, which is responsible for this appearance.

What is a dunskin horse?

A dunskin horse is a horse that possesses both the dun and the buckskin genes. Essentially, it’s a buckskin with a dun modifier placed on top of it. This combination produces a magnificent coat color on a bay horse while also allowing for the appearance of gray color. Dunskins are often a touch lighter in color and have a little more frosting in their mane and tail than a conventional dun horse.

What is a dunalino?

A dunalino is a palomino that possesses the dun gene. A standard palomino is formed by a dilution gene operating on a chestnut base color to produce a palomino-like appearance. A dun dilution allele is introduced to the mix in order to create a dunalino. Furthermore, because the dun genes are dominant, their characteristics are visible over the palomino coat. These stunning horses have a golden palomino coat with a pronounced brown dorsal stripe and stripes on their lower legs, and they are quite well-behaved.

Other cream dilution coat colors: Cremellos and Perilinos

There are various distinct cream alleles, and some of them may be blended with dun and/or buckskin to produce a unique combination. Crellos are some of the most attractive horses in the planet, and they are distinguished by the presence of two cream dilutions in their genetic code. Having a large number of dilution genes can lighten the coat to the point that it is virtually white. Smoky creams are the name given to them when they appear on a black-coated horse. When there are two copies of the double cream allele, this might cause complications.

Buckskins and bays are distinguished by their black skin and dark eyes.

For a long time, breeders and others involved in the equine industry avoided this type of horse because of its appearance.

A number of other registries similarly refused to register them.

There do not appear to be any health issues associated with this particular genetic type.

The pink color is due to the presence of pigment rather than a lack of pigment.

To assist avoid this problem, it is advised that a vet-approved sunscreen be administered to the face before going outside.

When the horse tried to get away from them, one horse owner said that the animal ripped through a hundred feet of fencing.

In general, this is an excellent idea for all equines, especially in areas where they are the most common.

Less dark-colored eyes appear to be more sensitive to sunlight, and the mask is designed to look somewhat like horse spectacles.

They aren’t; if they were, they would be more susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer at a younger age than other people.

It is hypothesized that they are not viable and that they are miscarried as a result.

One topic that is frequently questioned is whether or not double cream dilutes are white in color or not.

If you compare them to a real white horse, you will see that they are a little off in color, similar to the hue of cream.

They need to be groomed and washed on a regular basis to be healthy.

Dirt accumulates on them in a short period of time. When you have pale skin and a light coat, even the smallest amount of dirt or mud is easily evident. Because some horse owners have reported that their horses’ feet seem to bruise more quickly, more caution should be exercised when handling them.


Duns and buckskins have a similar appearance, yet they may be separated from one another. The dorsal stripe is the most distinguishing feature between them. It is true that some buckskins have a dorsal stripe; however, it is not well defined and is referred to as “countershading.” When it comes to duns, the dorsal stripe is well defined; the YouTube video below provides an excellent demonstration of the distinctions between duns and buckskins.

Related articles:

  • Is it true that horses are indigenous to North America? The Fossils Have a Story to Tell
  • The 12 Horse Coat Colors: Patterns, Genetics, and Photographic Illustrations
  • Can you tell me what the colors of a Roan Horse are? What is a Dapple Gray Horse, and where can you find one? Breeds, facts, and color are all covered. Does the color of Chestnut horses and Sorrel horses have anything in common? Thoroughbred Horses Registered in the United States: What Colors Are Allowed
  • What is a Bay Horse, exactly? Colors, patterns, and more There are 101 good names for Dun Horses, including names for males, females, and Red Duns.


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