A Horse of Every Color, Part 1

I realize that a lot of people who read my blog don’t know the difference between sorrel and chestnut, or brown and bay- a horse is just a horse to them. So I figured, since we have a horse of just about every color here on the ranch, this is a great excuse to show off some of our pretty horses, and educate my readers on some horse terminology too! Bang! Two birds, with one stone! Ok. Maybe I am just a little too excited about this!

First, the American Quarter Horse Association, which is the breed registry that most of our horses belong to, officially recognizes 17 colors. Bay, Black, Brown, Sorrel, Chestnut, Dun, Buckskin, Red Dun, Grullo, Palomino, Gray, Red Roan, Blue Roan, Bay Roan, Cremello, Perlino, White. Of the colors listed, the three that we don’t currently have here on the ranch, are Cremello, Perlino and White.

We’ll start first with Bay. It’s an easily distinguishable color, as the base color is red based while the legs, mane and tail are black.

This is one of our 4 studs, Chachi. Three of our 4 studs are bays.


Next is Black- quite self explanatory, though it’s often confused with brown. The difference is, that a black horse has black points- and while they may fade in the sun, their nose will always be black, whereas a brown horse will have lighter points- at the nose, the flank, and often the ears.


Notice how black these colts noses are? There is some sun fade through their flanks, but these are some BLACK colts.

Now, a good picture of a brown horse, one of our stud prospects, DX Tabasco Tivio, aka Cisco; I’m sure you’ll be able to see the difference straightaway!


You can see that he’s not really red enough to be considered bay, and he’s not black enough to be black. So he’s brown.

Sorrel is a simple color to distinguish. People often call a sorrel horse, a red horse. There are several shades of sorrel. This and bay are the most common horse colors.

Here is DX Toots Zee Pop, aka Gidget.


The last color we’ll cover in this post is Chestnut. Genetically it’s the exact same as sorrel, but it manifests itself in a different way. Both my horse Gump and his little brother, Dino are Chestnuts. Next to black, it’s my favorite horse color!

DX Jurassic Classic, aka Dino:


And because I can’t leave him out:

Dx Gump

In the next color installment, we’ll cover the following colors:

Dun, Buckskin, Red Dun, Grullo, Palomino.

Happy Thursday!


[ad#Google Adsense][ad#Google Adsense]

What's on your mind?

  1. We have similar tastes! My favorite color is black and chestnut is a close second! Of course I never pick a horse for its color but I will always have soft spot for blacks!

  2. I love this post and very educational. Even hubby was reading it. He knows a little about horses from waaaaay back and he didn’t know there are 17 colors.

    Can’t wait to read more, going to have to bookmark this post for future reference.