Horse Colors

Horses can be found with a wide variety of coat colors. Some horses are mostly one color, while some horses have multiple colors. Most horses have at least some white such as a blaze, or snip or a white sock.

A blaze is a wide white stripe on the horses face. A snip would be a small white marking on the muzzle not connected to any other face markings. Horses can also have a star, which is a white marking on the forehead. If a horse is said to be bald, it just means the white covers most of his face, possibly covering the eyes.

Socks are white markings that usually include the fetlock joint. Legs can also have stockings, which usually go up to or include the knee. A coronet is just a thin band of white just above the hoof.

Some common horse colors are bay, chestnut, palomino, white and black. The more common colors are listed below. There are more colors than we have listed.


  • Bay horses have brown bodies and black manes and tails, black points on their legs and face.
  • Chestnut horses have red coats. They can have a lighter coat, called sorrel to a darker liver chestnut color
  • Black horses, if a true black, have no brown hairs. They almost have a sort of blue hue to their coat.
  • Seal Brown horses are almost black. They do have some brown usually around their flank, muzzle and elbow.
  • Buckskins have golden coats and black points like a bay would have. They are similar to a dun, but do not have the dorsal stripe
  • Dun horses can come in a variety of shades, but have characteristic dun factors such as a dorsal stripe, leg baring (striping on the legs) dark tipped ears and dark points on the face. They also have light hairs in the mane and tail.
  • Palomino horses have golden coats from a pale yellow to a rich gold color. They also have cream colored manes and tails.
  • Grey horses can range from dappled grey (with darker dapples) to flea bitten grey (white with brown flecks) in their coat. They differ from white colored horses because they have dark pigmented skin.
  • Roan horses can have a base coat of bay, chestnut or black, but they have white hairs throughout their coats.
  • Appaloosas can have a white blanket over their hind quarters covered in sports, or they can be a leopard appaloosa, which is a white body covered with spots. Some have a lot of spots, where some have few spots.
  • Pinto or horses usually have a color of bay, or chestnut and white spots. They can have a variety of colors and combinations. Pinto horses can be different breeds. The term Pinto comes from the colorful coat pattern
  • Paint horses have the coat patterns like a Pinto, however, they can only have the bloodlines of Quarter Horses, Paint horses or Thoroughbreds in their pedigrees. In a Tobiano Paint, the spots are regular and distinct ovals or round patterns. Those patterns extend down over the neck and chest. This gives the appearance of a shield. Their head markings are like those of a solid-colored┬áhorse, with a blaze, strip, star or snip. A┬áTobiano may be either predominantly dark or white.

    Beautiful Paint Gelding trotting on meadow