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Colors and Definitions

A list of colors and descriptions/definitions for them.
To see examples of these colors, click on the highlighted color names. The links lead to group pages of colors, with all of the variations together for comparison.
* indicates that it was taken from "Registering you American Paint Horse", provided by the American Paint Association in 1994
N A indicates a color where a deffinition could not be found.

ALBINO - a horse with no melanin, or pigment. The skin is pink, the mane, tail, and coat are white, and the eyes are pink.

*BAY - the body color ranges from tan through red to reddish brown. The mane and tail are black. Black is commonly found on the lower legs.

BLACK BAY - a bay where the coat is a very dark brown that appears black, except around the muzzle and maybe the belly, sometimes called seal brown.

BROWN BAY - a bay where the coat color is brown

CHERRY BAY - a type of bay where the coat color is a dark red, like cherry wood.

COPPER BAY - a bay where the coat is a very red, copper color

DARK BAY - a bay with a dark coat

GOLDEN BAY - a bay with a golden colored coat

LIGHT BAY - a bay with a light coat color.

RED BAY - a bay with a decidedly red coat.

SEAL BAY - see black bay

*BLACK - true black coats are rare. the body color is black with no toher color hair visible. The mane and tail are black.

BRINDLE - similar to the pattern seen on dogs and cats, it is a striped look, with darker hair striping along the horse in most color, such as browns. Bays have stripes with different coat textures, but not different colors since there are not darker colors in the horses coat. Most brindles have a different coat texture at their stripes, that causes the stripes to stand out of the coat.

*BROWN - the body is a shade of brown or black with no hint of red. light areas are found on the muzzle, eyes, flank, and inside upper legs. The mane and tail are black.

SEAL BROWN - an extremely dark brown, sometimes mistaken for black, that has lighter brown hair on the muzzle, around the eyes, and sometimes on the knees.

*BUCKSKIN - a type of dun with body color a shade of yellow or gold. The mane and tail are black. Black is common on the lower legs. A buckskin may or may not have a black dorsal stripe (American Quarter Horse association notes "horses do not usually have a dorsal stripe", as opposed to duns, who always have a dorsal stripe).

DUSTY BUCKSKIN - a buckskin where there is darker shading along the sides, making them look dusty.

CHAMPAGNE - a dillute, like the ones that create palamino and dun, that is actualy a different color depending on the color that is being acted on, such as gold champagnes (champagne on a chestnut/sorrel), ivory champagnes, amber champagnes (champagne on a bay), and the classic champagne color (champagne on black, creating a beige color with darker chocolate points). The foals are born a normal color, which lightens when they shed their foal coat, rather than darkens as with other dilutes. They are born with bright, light blue eyes, that darken to green or hazel, or sometimes with blue specks in them. They are born with pink skin, which tends to gain color as they age. This affects both black and red pigment, turning black to buff or brown and red to gold. They often have a satin or metallic sheen to their coats. Any dappling seen is reversed, with the darker centers. A cross between a champagne and a non-champagne has a 50% chance of producing a champagne.

*CHESTNUT - the body color is dark red or reddish brown.

BLACK CHESTNUT - a very dark chestnut, with lots of black hair, but keeps the red color, darker than liver chestnut.

GOLDEN CHESTNUT - a chestnut with a rich, gold coat.

LIVER CHESTNUT - a dark chestnut, often with black hairs mixed in.

*SORREL - the body is a clear reddish or copper-red color. The mane and tail are usually the same color as the body and may be flaxen.

CHOCOLATE - from silver dapple to a dark chocolate the shade of a Hershey's kiss, with a white or flaxen mane and tail.

CREMELLO - essentialy a white horse, with some shading on the knees and fetlocks possible (more common on perlino) with blue eyes. This is the result of a cross between a homozygous cream and a chestnut.

*DUN - the body color is yellow or gold, with each hair the same color. The mane and tail may be black, brown, red, yellow, white, or mixed. Duns exhibit a dorsal stripe, and possibly a transverse stripe over the withers, and zebra stripes on the legs (American Quarter Horse Association notes that all duns have dorsal stripes, while buckskins usually do not).

BROWN DUN - body color from extremely dark tan to light cream, dorsal stripe is black or dark brown, mane and tail are typicaly black.

CLAY BANK RED DUN - a red dun the color of red clay, faintly pink

CREME DUN - very pale coat with a very fain dorsal stipe (found in Fjords from a cross between to pale duns).

DARK BROWN RED DUN - a red dun with a lot of dark brown in the coat color, but still with a red tint, and a red dorsal stripe

DARK DUN - a dun with a dark coat and black mane, tail, and dorsal stripe.

GOLD DUN - similar to brown dun, but the dorsal stipe is gold, and sometimes matches mane color.

GOLDEN PEACH RED DUN - a red dun, with a golden peach color in the coat, adding a general peach look to the horse

GRAY/SILVER/MOUSE DUN - mouse gray or silver coat color with dark around the muzzle and eyes, the dorsal stirpe is black, mane and tail are typically black

RED DUN - body reddish tan in color, dorsal stripe from deep reddish brown to light red, mane and tail are red

WHITE/PALE DUN - a dun where the coat color is almost white, with a black mane, tail, and dorsal stripe, the points can range from light to dark.

YELLOW DUN - a dun where the coat color is yellow, with a black mane, tail, and dorsal stripe.

DUNALINO - A palomino colored horse with a dorsal stripe.

*GRAY - a mixture of white and any other color of hair. A gray is born solid or almost solid colored and gets lighter with age and as more hair grows.

DAPPLE GRAY - a horse that is going from a darker color to a lighter one, where the darker color is still showing in a circular pattern, usually on the hindquarters and upper legs.

FLEABITTEN GRAY - a horse that is going gray, where the darker color shows as a widespread scattering of specks of color in the white.

MOUSE GRAY - a solid, smoky gray coat, not a mixture of white and other colored hairs.

ROSE GRAY - a gray that used to be chestnut, and the red hair still shows.

*GRULLO/GRULLA - the body hair is smokey or mouse colored (not a mixture of black and white hairs, but each hair is mouse-colored). The mane and tail are black, and there is typicaly black on the lower legs.

SLATE GRULLA - a dark, very solid gray, like the stone slate.


MULLBERRY - when the horse is predominantly white, with shadings on the legs, with a dark red mane and tail, usually tipped in yellow.

*PALOMINO - The body color is a shade of yellow or gold. The mane and tail are white. Palominos do not have dorsal stripes like the similarly colored dun horse.

ISABELLA - the lightest shade of palomino, the color of cream with a white mane and tail

CARAMEL - the darkest shade of palomino, the color of caramel, with the white mane and tail.

SMUTTY PALOMINO - a palomino with a dark shading over the body, as though it has been rolling in soot, often with dappling.

PERLINO - basicly a white horse, with some shading on the knees and fetlocks, with blue eyes. This is a result of a cross between homozygous cream and a bay.

PINTO/PAINT - a combination of two colors in big markings, like paint was poured on the horse. For a description of different kinds of markings, see the markings page.

PIEBALD - a pinto pattern with black and white as the two colors.

SKEWBALD> - a pinto pattern with white and any color except black as the two colors.


ROAN - a mixture of white and any other color hairs.

BAY ROAN - a roan that is bay, with the white hairs mixed in, giving it a dark mane and tail, and different shades of coat, depending on the kind of bay

*BLUE ROAN - a blue roan is a uniform mixture of white with black hairs.

*RED ROAN - more or less a uniform mixture of white with red hair. The mane and tail may be red, black, or flaxen.


WHITE - a white coat with pink skin, a white mane and tail, with eyes that are brown, blue, or amber (not pink, pink eyes are albino)

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