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Animal colors, horses

Horses vary in color and some colors are breeds.
Horses vary in color and some colors are breeds.Public Domain

Animals come in different colors and color patterns and horses are a good example. Some colors have become breeds and the description of horse colors differ from area to area and breed registries dictate the name of the color.

Horse color breeds are Appaloosa, Palomino, and Paint. These registries are very specific regarding color. The Appaloosa has been cultivated by the Nez Perce tribes. The original color was marble, blotches of color. These horses have been bred to include four other patterns. The leopard has distinctive spots. The blanket is solid color with a blanket of spots on the rump. The snow is dark with small white spots. The flecked is white with small dark spots and can be mistaken for a flecked or flea-bit grey. The basic characteristics in order to register an Appaloosa horse should have stripped hooves, mottled skin, coat pattern and white sclera.

The Palomino registry standard states a horse must be golden from light to dark with white mane and tail. They are allowed face and leg markings. These horses can also be registered in their breed association.

The Paint horse is divided into four groups the tobiano, the overo, the tovero and the solid paint which was formerly known as breeding stock. The tobiano has areas of dark on white and the white covers the back. The overo paint has dark over the back and has large patterns of dark. The overo paint is also known as piebald which is black on white or skewbald with is brown on white. The tovero is mostly white with minimal dark markings at the flank, around the ears and at the nose. The solid paint is usually chestnut and double registered in the Quarter Horse registry. These horses have Paint in their blood line and can breed Paint foals.

Basic horse colors are chestnut, a rich brown color. The red chestnut is a ruddy brown. The liver chestnut is a deep brown, almost black. The bay is a chestnut with black mane and tail and four black stockings. The bay is allowed a minimal of white markings on the face and below the knees and hocks. Black is black. Cremello is a solid cream color. Grey is dark skinned and is dappled or solid born light they darken with age. Some greys appear white but if the skin is dark they are grey. A white horse has pink skin and is usually an albino. The pinto is colored much like the Paint horse but is not registered in the association. The roan is a solid dark color with a layer of light hairs making it look as though dusted. The sorrel is a chestnut with flaxen mane and/or tail. Buckskin is a cream color with dark mane and tail with dark stockings.

Milwaukee area residence can find more detailed information about horse colors at the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Milwaukee Public Library and at area stables.