Equine Color Genetics

*Please note that as of 9/16/14, I am giving the site a much needed overhaul to bring it up to date with discoveries made in the last few years.*

This website is meant to give an easy-to-understand overview of the workings of horse color genetics. Most of the photos here are ones I saved on my computer ages ago to use as reference photos for my artwork, so I don't know who some of the photos are by. If you see one of yours, please let me know, and I will be more than happy to list you as the photographer and add a link to your webpage or email address if you have one. Also, I'm always interested in seeing pix of unusually colored horses, so feel free to email me if you have a unique picture to share or a question to ask. Thanks!

The Basics of Horse Color:

Base Colors (chestnut and black)
* Dilution Genes (agouti, cream, dun, silver, champagne, pearl)
* Grey vs Roan
* Suspected Dilutions (light black, mushroom, etc -- under construction)
* Pinto Patterns (tobiano, frame overo, sabino, dominant white, splash, tovero)
* Appaloosa Patterns (varnish, blanket, leopard, snowcap, and few spot)
* Other Patterns (rabicano, sooty, pangare, brindle, manchado, Birdcatcher spots, chubari spots, Bend Or spots, bloody shoulder markings, Gulastra plume, badger face, chimeras, and somatic mutations)

The Myth of Albino Horses

The myth of albinism and the scoop on sabino white, dominant white, lethal white overo, and other "white" patterns.


Thoroughbred Color

A discussion of horse color on a racing forum sparked my creation of this site, and as Thoroughbreds are "my" breed, I have included some pages specific to that breed. They come in a number of surprising colors and patterns!

The Colorful Thoroughbred

The Thoroughbred has a remarkably colorful genetic palette, ranging from ordinary bays to dazzling dominant white pintos. This page will delve into the mechanisms behind the colors as well as dispel some common misunderstandings about Thoroughbred color.

Winning Colors was NOT a roan!

The difference between grey and roan and why Winning Colors and other so-called "roan" TBs are all actually greys (with a notable Australian exception)..

Pinto Thoroughbreds

A page devoted to sabino, overo, and dominant white TBs, both modern and historical. (Under construction)

Cream Dilution Thoroughbreds

A page devoted to cream dilute TBs (palomino, buckskin, smokey black, cremello, perlino, and smokey cream), both modern and historical.

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