Common and rare colors of horses

You can determine which breed a particular horse belongs to according to several criteria. One of the most revealing signs is the suit. In other words, the color is the color of the animal. Let’s figure out what kind of horse suits exist today.

  1. What is the suit
  2. Classification of marks
  3. Characteristics of the suits of horses
  4. Frequently occurring suits
  5. Voronoi
  6. Gnayedaaa0>
  7. Bulanayaaaa0>
  8. Saltovaya
  9. Ginger
  10. Not the most common suits
  11. Kauraya
  12. Gray
  13. Chubarai
  14. Rarely occurring suits
  15. Isabella <
  16. Gambling <
  17. Gray in apples
  18. Interesting facts
  19. Conclusion <

Масти лошадей

Horse suits

What is the suit

The color of the horse’s hair is transmitted genetically from adult mares to foals. If we talk about thoroughbred animals, then the suit is primarily a sign of breed purity. If the color of the coat, skin and eyes does not meet the breed standard, the horse is not purebred.

The color of the horse means not only coat color. Each coat color must have a specific eye and skin color. It is worth noting that the color of the skin partly affects the perception of the color of the coat.

At birth, it is impossible to determine the color of the foal. As you grow older, the coat changes color. The same applies to eye color, which is changing.In this case, only the skin is an exception, because if it changes its color, it is insignificant.

As in humans, horses may have so-called “birthmarks,” which are called marks. They are located on the head or legs, are inherited. These spots are unique. You can meet horses with an asterisk on the crown. In general, marks can have any shape and various sizes. They can be found even on the hooves of horses. If we are talking about a thoroughbred horse, then the documents attached to the foal not only indicate the fact of the presence of marks, but also describe their shape and size.

Classification of marks

Despite the fact that each mark has a unique shape, they are conditionally divided into 3 groups, each of which was named according to the shape of the mark:

  • asterisk;
  • protochina;
  • volumetric groove.

The first group includes all marks that resemble a rhombus, leaf of a plant, sickle in shape or have any other shape, although vaguely similar to the shape of a star.

The second group includes all the marks that have a long form and a relatively smooth edges. If you try to find a comparison with existing objects, then they resemble a bridge or a straight line in shape, which has not perfectly even edges. Marks in the form of grooves can have different widths or lengths.

In the third group are all marks that are located not only on the nose of the horse. In view of its size, and the word “voluminous” indicates precisely large sizes, they cover, in addition to the bridge of the nose, at least one eye of the animal.

On hoofs there are marks of different sizes and different shapes, which often change from hoofs to legs.

The borders of the marks are clearly defined, there is no gradient transition between the coat color in the marks area and the main color.

Characteristics of the suits of horses

In fact, there are more than 70 suits of horses. It is difficult to describe all the suits in one article. Therefore, we will dwell on the description of the most common colors of horses. We will also pay attention to those suits that are rare in nature and appreciated by horse lovers.

The most common is gray, black, bulan, nightingale, bay, brown and fawn. Also quite common is the red color of the horse. Rarely encountered are isabella (cream) colors, pied, pinto, gray in apples and pinto gray in apples, bay tiger and gray, roan and red roan, pearl, leopard, silver-brown and sabino horse suit p <067>> The white color of the horse is also rare. In fairness, I must say that in fact the white suit does not exist. Although some horsemen claim that white horses still exist.You can distinguish between white and gray by skin color. If the horse has pink skin, then the suit, accordingly, will be white. If the skin is dark gray. That color will be gray. But the color of the coat in both stripes is white.

Among many animals, albinos are found. But, among horses, the birth of an albino horse has not yet been recorded by history. Some mistakenly consider white horses to be albinos. But albinos have red eyes. But for white horses, their eyes are dark.

Let’s look at some colors of horses in more detail.

Horse suits
TOP 5 colors of horses
Horse Suits

Frequently occurring suits

One of the most common suits is black, so let’s start with it.


The horse of this suit always looks elegant. The color of the coat is black or close to it. If the horse is well looked after, it will shimmer in sunlight. Marks, if any, are especially noticeable on this suit. Mane and the tail should be painted black, the hooves, to match the whole body, are also black. It is worth mentioning that the marks on horses of the black color are most often found on the hooves.

Speaking of the breeds, the presence of the black color is allowed by the standard of many breeds. But I want to note the Friesian horses.

In summer, the black color fades slightly in the sun. During this period of time, you can see such a name of the suit as black in tan. The ends of black hair in this case have a reddish color. How much the horse will keep its coat color in summer depends on the durability of the black pigment. Also, the burnout of the color is affected by the length of time the horse is under the scorching sun. Sometimes the horse’s hair color fades to dirty brown, which indicates the particular instability of the pigment. In winter, the color of the coat becomes black back.

Also, the ash-black color is also separately distinguished.But to distinguish it from a crow is extremely difficult. The black color of the coat in this case is a little less saturated, when exposed to direct sunlight, you can see a light chestnut or dark brown tint.


The bred suit of horses is considered one of the most common. This suit is allowed by the standard of almost all breeds. The coat is brown. There are no restrictions on shades of brown. It can be a fiery red color and almost black. The mane should be black. The same goes for the tail. Even if the hair is colored fiery red, the tail and mane remain black. In addition to the tail and mane, the limbs are painted black, below the hock and carpal joint.

In young foals, the limbs can be painted brown. But after reaching the age of 3, the color of the limbs turns black.

Dark-bay, light-bay and deer-bay colors are distinguished into separate groups. We will not consider each of them in detail. From the name it is obvious that with a dark bay color, dark shades of brown are present in the color, with light bay it is light. As for the deer-bay, it combines light and dark bay. At the same time, dark shades are present on top (head, neck in the area of ​​the shoulder blades and crest, croup, sides, back), and the lower part is painted in light shades of brown (throat, end of muzzle, stomach).


The color of the bulanian horse varies from yellow to sand.The presence of black hair in horses on the body is not a deviation from the standard. As with bay color, the mane should be black. The tail is also necessarily painted black. The same goes for limbs. Sometimes on the legs the hair is dyed black already in the shin area. But in addition to black hair on the extremities, light ones can be present, but in small quantities. Also, the black belt is not prohibited by the standard.

A variety of a bulan is a dark-bulan suit, light-bulan and golden-bulan. In addition to the golden and sandy shades with a darkly bulky color on the horse’s body, there are hairs:

  • a reddish or brown tint, if we are talking about a dark-bulky suit;
  • almost white shade of yellow and sand, if we are talking about a light-mint suit;
  • rich yellow, when it comes to a golden-mantle suit.

Regardless of the variety of the mulberry color, the tail and mane are always black ones. Sometimes there are marks, the shape of which resembles the wings of butterflies. Often these marks are located slightly below the withers.

If we talk about the literal translation of the word “bulany”, and the origin of the name has Tatar roots, then it means “deer”. Accordingly, you can imagine without a photo what a bulky horse looks like.


If you look from afar, you can confuse the solovy mare with a bulan.But, although there is some similarity between the body color, the mane and tail of the solo horse are painted yellow, including all its shades. The color of the coat on the body can completely match the color of the mane and tail. Dark hair is allowed by existing standards. But it should be no more than 15% of the total. The body is painted evenly.

You can distinguish dark, light and golden-tan color. In accordance with the names there is an admixture of reddish hair, sand or light yellow and saturated yellow, almost gold. At the same time, horses of light shades have dark hooves. The same feature is characteristic of representatives of the golden variety.

Many stallions are born with white hair, which darkens over time. It is worth noting that the skin at birth is colored pink. But as she grows older, it darkens. As for the eyes, they are brown.


Horses of a red suit are not uncommon. The wool does not have to be red, it can be dyed in any shade of red, but it is painted evenly. Horses of this color in the photo do not look unusual, but there is something mesmerizing in this color. Depending on the saturation of the red coat, pigmentation in some parts of the body can be more or less intense. So, for example, in dark horses, in addition to the fact that black hair is present in the tail and mane, the front surface of the legs is somewhat darker than all other parts of the body.

Sometimes horses of dark red color have almost chestnut hair. In light red, it is sometimes only reddish. In general, the range of shades of red suit is unusually wide. Perhaps wider than all the other horses in the list we are considering. This is what the red and pinto suit deserves recognition. The latter differs from the red one in that white spots are present on the body. It does not belong to common suits, but it’s difficult to call it rare.

Not the most common suits

There are colors that are not very common, but are not rare . It is worth noting that, depending on the peculiar horse fashion that also exists, in some years this list of horse suits included some that are considered rare or common today.


Some mistakenly kauri horses are classified as wild horses. Their torso is painted in light shades of red. The color is somewhat faded, which, however, does not spoil it. In the photo, horses of this color look mesmerizing. It is not a deviation from the standard of the belt of a darker shade than the main hair. But the mane and tail are much darker. Both the mane and the tail include hair of different shades of red. Along with dark and brown there are light spots. But the ends of the hair, sometimes red-brown. Such a mane is an adornment of any horse.

Very often on horses of this color you can see marks (mainly on hooves) that have a simple shape. There may be grooves at the withers.

In many breeds there is a kaura suit (Yakut breed, quarterhoz, Altai, Kazakh, etc.).


The gray suit in the photo looks noble. Color varies from the lightest shades to dark. There are horses with almost white hair. But, regardless of the color of the hairline, the skin of horses of gray color has a dark color. This is what distinguishes gray horses from white horses. Hooves are light or dark gray. The horse’s coat is dyed evenly.

Horses of a gray color, as a rule, become light by 9-10 years old, even if initially they were dark gray. At this age, gray is very similar to white. But the skin, unlike hair, does not brighten. Therefore, a more thorough examination to distinguish between a gray horse and a white one is not difficult. Therefore, there are light and dark gray colors. But here separately in the list of suits of horses I want to highlight gray in buckwheat. In this case, brown spots are present on the body. They are scattered randomly, without creating a specific pattern, and are small in size. In the photo, such horses look quite specific.


The horses of the foreskin suit look great both in the photo and live because of the unusual color.This color can be given a double description. On the one hand, the color of the main hair may be dark; on the other hand, the black horse may be light. But depending on the color of the main hairline, dark or light spots are scattered throughout the body of the forelock. If the main color is dark, then the body has white spots. Otherwise, you can see spots of black or brown, including its shades, colors.

It is worth mentioning that the spots on the body of a blunt horse resemble a circle in shape. In this case, the form is almost correct. The spots do not make up a single pattern, which can be seen by looking at the photos of this color of horses taken from different distances. But, despite the absence of a pattern of a certain shape, the horse looks interesting.

Such a spotted horse is quite rare, but has not yet been included in the list of rare colors of horses.

Rarely encountered suits

One of the most rare is the Isabella color. Perhaps, we will begin our list of rare horse suits with it.


Looking at the photos of the horses of the Isabella suit, it is difficult to believe in its existence. The cost of such stallions sometimes reaches several million dollars. This color received several names. American horse lovers call him Cremello, and you can often hear that the color is called cream. The latter name gives a more complete understanding of the color of the coat.It is milky pink, sometimes yellowness is present. The skin of the horses is pink, which gives a noble color.

These colors are obtained as a result of the fact that the heredity gene that is responsible for dark pigmentation is suppressed. The eyes of isabella horses are only blue or green.

There is some similarity between siva and isabella. But the first one has black hair and darker skin color, which affects the general appearance of the color.

If we talk about the breed and color of the horse, then we can not help but mention the Akhal-Teke horse, Spanish golden and American cream. Among other breeds there are other colors of horses (palomino, for example, in Spanish golden). But isabella predominates.


The list of horse suits that are rare, without the game one, will be incomplete. In horses of a playful suit, wool is colored in various shades of brown. In this case, there is both a dark brown or almost chocolate color, and red. But the mane, limbs and tail, unlike the rest of the body, are painted white or smoky. Having glanced at least once in a photo of a game suit horse, it will not be possible to forget it already.

Dark-game mares most often have apples on their bodies, and light-playful decorations are brushes of light colors (white, gray, smoky).

Separately, in the list of suits of horses, the play-roan suit is distinguished. But it is not fundamentally different from the game one.The only thing that makes the difference is the presence of white hair.

Gray in apples

It is not for nothing that we put this color of horses on the list of rare horses, separating it from gray. It is found much less frequently than all other gray variations, and is rightly ranked as rare. Both dark and light hair are present on the horse’s body. It is difficult to say which hair percentage is greater. But, despite the randomness of the arrangement of dark and gray hair in relation to each other, looking at the photo of a horse you can see a peculiar pattern, which was called “apples.”

Depending on whether the light or dark gray color, the arrangement of apples is changing. In gray horses, apples are scattered throughout the body, in horses with a lighter shade of gray, apples are located mainly on the back. But for horses with a darker color, most apples are located in the middle and lower chest, on the ribs.

If you look at the photo, you can see that the pattern looks brighter on light horses, it has sharper borders . There is also a marble version of the gray suit. But in this case, dark and light hair is much more uniform. And, accordingly, the picture is vague and looks less effective.

It does not apply to the main colors of horses and is rarely seen by the muhortaya (the main hair is colored in a thick color, and there are yellow tan marks around the eyes, mouth, buttocks, elbows and groin), overo (spotted horse), muruy ( brown coat color).

Interesting facts

Horse colors are very diverse. Sometimes, not only the appearance of the horse depends on the color. Although there is no direct relationship between coat color and character traits, many believe that coat color matters. For example, black horses are considered quick-tempered, and micey or isabella are flexible.

The fact that a horse has light hair does not mean that the skin has a light color. A bright example of this is light gray horses.

Many people believe that all marks on the body of an animal are present not only by a happy coincidence, but they also mean something. But there is no scientific confirmation of this fact.

The color is due to the genes that are transmitted to the stallions from their parents. In addition, each gene carries its own information, and the color is formed under the influence of the dominant unit of heredity. And with a happy combination of circumstances, one can see stallions whose hair is silver, isabella, cherry, etc. Even sometimes there is champagne color (inherited from horses with black or almost hair), trout (red spots of small sizes are scattered on the gray body ), overo frame.These are all rare colors of horses, and the breeds that are inherent in such colors are elite.

Looking at any color of horses, with photographs or contemplating an animal lively, it is difficult to take your eyes off. We talked only about the main colors that have attracted the attention of horse enthusiasts for more than a year.


You can look at the colors of horses with photos and names for a very long time. Some of them look unusual, almost exotic. But, at the same time, the most common and common colors can cause no less admiration than rare ones. We did not consider the complete list of horse suits that exist today, since it would take a lot of time. We examined the standard and the names of those horse suits that, for various reasons, attract the most attention. Although no less attractive are the bluish and light brown, fawn, gray-piebald and silver, palomino. The peculiarity of the gray piebald color is the presence of spots, while the palomino’s main color is golden, saline or isabella, and the mane with the tail is white.

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Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

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