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Horse Breeds and Coloring
I want a horse of every color, standing in my field. I want a horse of every breed in my barn. How many horses will that make? A girl can never have too many horses, right? I'm actually going to disagree with this statement. Unless you've got unlimited time and unlimited funds (which most of us don't) that would be way too many horses. Just how many would it be? A lot. I'm going to list the main color horses (some breed associations have other colors, but these will be the main ones) and breeds.
Some Colors are Breeds
There are some associations that are made up of breeders of specific coloring. These breeds include the Palomino Horse Association, The Palomino Horse Breeder's Association, The International Buckskin Association, The American Buckskin Registry Association, The Pinto Horse Association, The National Pinto Registry, and more.
Most breed associations must maintain certain bloodlines in order to be registered with their breed. These associations listed can be registered in a breed association, and registered in the qualified association based on their color. For example: I might have a Registered Quarter Horse (AQHA) Mare and she is a buckskin. I can also register her with the International Buckskin Association and The American Buckskin Registry Association. If the mare is a competition horse, this gives more options on places to compete and can add extra value if the horse is for sale.
Colors Recognized by the AQHA
A good horse is never a bad color. I learned this when I was searching for my current horse. I had a color chose I was looking for and ended up with my least favorite color of all. There are a lot more things to consider besides color, but for the color snobs, color is everything. Here I'm going to list the colors that are recognized by the AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) that you'll find in the picture above.
Sorrel: Reddish or Copper-Red body color. The mane and tail will either be the same color as the body or it can be flaxen.
Black: The body is black without any lighter spots. Mane and tail are also black.
Bay: The body is either tannish, reddish, or reddish-brown. The mane and tail are black, and there is black on the lower legs.
Brown: The body is brown or black. There are light areas (separating some brown horses from a true black horse) Mane and Tail and legs are black.
Blue Roan: The body is mix of white and black hairs, but darker on the head and legs.
Grullo: The body is smoky or mouse colored, the mane and tail and legs are black. These horses usually have a dorsal stripe.
Bay Roan: The body is a mix of red hairs and white hairs. The head will be darker. This horse will have black mane and tails, and black on the lower legs.
Red Roan: This horse has a mix of red hairs and white hairs. The head and lower legs will be red.The mane and tail will either be red or flaxen.
Chestnut: The body color is dark red or brownish-red. The mane and tail are usually the same color as the body, but can be darker or lighter.
Red Dun: The body is yellowish or flesh colored. The mane and tail are red or reddish, or flaxen. The horse has a reddish dorsal stripe and red or reddish tiger stripes on their lower legs.
Dun: The body is yellowish or gold. The mane and tail are black or brownish. There is a dorsal stripe and usually tiger stripes on the lower legs.
Palomino: The body is golden yellow and the mane and tail are white.
Gray: The body is a mix of white and other colored hairs. Gray horses are usually born a darker color and lighten with age.
Buckskin: The body color is a yellowish or gold color. The mane and tail are black, and usually their lower legs are also black.
Cremello: The body color is white or a light cream. The mane and tale are white, there is a pink or pinkish skin over the entire body and the horse will have blue eyes.
Perlino: The body color is white or light cream. The mane and tale will have a darker tint, usually either pale copper or orange. There is a pink or pinkish skin over the entire body and the horse will have blue eyes.
White: The body color is white. The skin is pink, and the eyes are usually dark.
Breeds with More Color
Appaloosas, Paints, and Pintos have even more color. They have large areas of white (see examples to the right).
In the Paint and Pinto World they have Tobianos, Overos, and Toveros.
Tobianos usually have dark areas covering their flanks. All four legs are usually white (and they must be white below the knees). The Tobiano has spots that are usually oval or round. They are either predominantly white or dark. The tails are usually two colors.
Overos are also either predominantly white or dark. The tail is usually one color. Their white is usually only on the sides of the horse and is irregular, kind of "splattered" looking.
Toveros usually have one or both eyes blue. They have spots on their flanks and their chest.
In the Appaloosa World there are also common colorings identifying the breed.
Horses with blankets have a solid white area over their hips.
A Blanket with Spots, is where the horse has the same white area and spots the same color as their coat within the blanket area.
Spots, are when a horse has dark spots all over its body.
Some Popular Horse Breeds
Bashkir Curly Horse
Missouri Fox Trotter
National Show Horse
Pony of America
Rocky Mountain Horse
Spotted Saddle Horse
Links to some Breed Registries
- Welcome To The World Of Small Equine
- Welcome to the Official Web site of the Appaloosa Horse Club
The International Breed Registry for the Appaloosa Horse
- APHA.Com - Welcome to the Association
- Home Page
- PALOMINO HORSE ASSOCIATION
Registry founded in 1936 to register Palomino horses and ponies in all breeds. Includes history of the colour and the association and membership information. This is the Original Palomino Horse Registry. We are worldwide and register all breeds of ho
- Palomino Horse Breeders of America :: Home
- AQHA - AMERICAN QUARTER HORSE ASSOCIATION
- AMERICAN BUCKSKIN REGISTRY ASSOCIATION, INC. ~ A.B.R.A.
Dedicated to the preservation and promotion of buckskin, dun, red dun, and grulla horses since 1963.