The different horse coat colours and patterns

The different horse coat colours and patterns

Apr 15, 2021

We have seen that horses and ponies have different coat colours and patterns. Despite all of them being beautiful, we love seeing this variety amidst our equine friends. We expand a bit on the different horse coat colours and patterns we can observe worldwide.


Bay: the most common horse colour

The bay horse can go from a pale brown to a very dark brown. The legs are black from the knee downward and the eyes are brown. This brown horse is extremely beautiful; however, it is also the most common colour for horses.

When foals are born, they are brown with a black mane and tail and greyish legs. As they grow up, the legs lighten before turning black. This normally happens when the foal is 4-6 months of age.

Where did they get this colour? Bay horses are the result of a black base colour that is combined with an agouti gene. This controls the distribution of the black pigment.

 

Gray: a classic elegant colour coat

Gray horses are very common, and they can vary from almost white to dark gray. These horses are born with one colour (black, palomino, chestnut…) but a modifying gene turns their coat gray as they mature. They can be very pale or very dark. The mane and tail of these horses is also gray.

 

Black Horse: a beautiful horse coat colour

This black coat is very beautiful on horses, and these black horses have a black mane and tail. This is because black is the dominant base colour and they are entirely black. In some exceptions, horses can have a white head or leg mark.

In addition, on occasions some black horses can fade during the summer in the sun. This will show some brown tint in their coats. Just as when we go to the beach and our hair turns blonder!

 

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