Coat Colourings


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One of the most common coat colours. A bay horse has a chestnut to brown coat, and black "points" - mane, tail, ears, legs, and muzzle.



This colouring is also very common. It is a reddish shade of gold, usually a rich, red gold, as here.



Varies from a bright golden or rich chestnut coat with striking white mane and tail (picture above) to a pale shade of chestnut with flaxen (a pale shade of yellow) mane and tail (picture below). This colour is uncommon to have much black in it.




A sandy yellowish coat with white mane and tail that often has dark areas, as here.



A very dark, almost black shade of chestnut.



Occurs when the horse's coat is completely black. White markings are another matter.



It's what unknowing people often call "white." But a horse can only be actually white if it's and albino, but then it has pink skin and blue eyes.   

There are four types of grey - light grey (as here), iron grey, dapple grey, and fleabitten grey. Iron grey is a dark grey. Dapple grey is a dark grey with light grey spots. Fleabitten grey is a grey coat with tiny punches of brown hairs.

                   Dapple Grey





                     Iron Grey




Occurs when a horse's coat is a creamy white colour.


                  Dark Palomino

A very rare colour. It's a chocolate brown with flaxen mane and tail.




Usually a golden coat with brownish-black mane, tail, and "points" (ears, legs, and muzzle.) Has a dark stripe running down the back. This colouring is well-known in mustangs. That connection is probably also the reason for the name - a "bucking skin".



Occurs when the horse's coat is any colour except black, with large white patches. When describing a horse which is a skewbald, (there are others known as "Ovaro"), Piebald, or Tobiano, the horse is often just called a "coloured", or "paint". In the words Piebald and Skewbald, the "bald" part means "painted". There are also "paint" colourings known as bay skewbald (bay horse with white patches), and dun skewbald (dun horse with white patches).



Occurs when the horse's coat is a black and white colour.



Ovaro occurs when it is hard to tell what is the horse's base colour. Ovaro can only be chestnut and white.



Tobiano is when the horse's body is white with coloured patches.



Also known as a breed of spotted horses. There a five varieties of Appaloosa, usually dark spots on light coat.


                           Blue Roan


Occurs when the horse's body is grey (any solid shade of grey) with black points. It sometimes has a black head (as here).


                 Strawberry Roan

Strawberry roan is a rusty grey colour, a grey coat with a solid mixture of chestnut hairs. Strawberry roan also has chestnut points. It often has the whole head chestnut (as here).



Copyright(c) 2003 Ekaterina Romanova. All Rights Reserved.