Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Beginner: Colours

So just as the Inuit have some ridiculous number of words for "ice" and the English language has an equal number of words for "idiot" so too does the horse world have a variety of ways of describing "brown". And then a few other colours for good measure.

Before you can identify your horse's colour you have to know what his points are. The points are main, tail, and legs. These are part of how you identify your horse's colour.

There's the true brown horse, who's well... brown. Complete with brown points.

But be careful, because a horse who looks black, and has a gorgeous black mane and tail may well also be brown (true black is not entirely common). Check the muzzle or the hair by the flank -- if it's brown, the horse is brown. If it's black, you're good to go with black. Got that?

So if a black horse with brown points is brown, what's a brown horse with black points? That would be bay. A bay horse is brown with black mane and tail.

Ok now if you have a reddish brown coloured horse with no black on it and a mane/tail that is the same colour as the body or lighter, that'd be a chestnut.

How about that gorgeous white horse in the field? Yeah, it's probably not white, it's probably grey. True white horses are incredibly rare; a white horse will have white hair and unpigmented (aka pink) skin. These horses are born white, often with blue eyes, and remain white for life. Conversely, Grey's can be born any colour and the coat often starts quite dark (steel grey) and lightens with age - sometimes to completely white (just to confuse things!).

Got all that?

Ok now for some fun colours.

Buckskin - is a golden colour with black points.

Dun - is a buckskin that also has a dorsal stripe (black line running along his spine). May also sometimes have faint zebraish markings (esp on the legs)

Palomino - technically a chestnut horse, a palomino will have a yellow or golden coat with flaxen or white mane and tail.

Pinto - the horse who couldn't decide what to wear in the morning! Has large patches of either brown and white (aka skewbald) or black and white (aka piebald). Note that a Paint is a breed of horse with pinto markings, not a colour.

Roan - is when the horse has white hairs interspersed with the natural body colour. Unlike grey horses, their coat doesn't change colour as they age.

1 comment:

  1. ok thanks now i know what colour my horse is, chestnut. even tho my dearest friend tries to drum it in my head she failed but now i get it so thanks