How many horse colors are there?

Horses can be found in a wide variety of different colors. While there’s a whole spectrum of colors, these are the most common ones:



A bay horse has a brown body with defining black shading on their legs, mane and tail. You’ll see quite a few variations of this stunning coat color. Bay horses, like any other coat color, can have white markings on their lower legs or face.


Chestnut or Sorrel

Both of these types of horses have a red base color, red bodies, manes and tails. However, chestnuts have a darked shade, often referred to as brown or “liver” tint. Chestnut and Sorrel horses may have white markings, but they do not have any black on their bodies.



Roan horses have white hairs interspersed as a secondary color throughout their bodies, giving a shimmery effect. A red roan is basically a chestnut horse with white hairs, while a bay roan is a bay horse with white hairs interspersed throughout their coat. A blue roan is also possible, which is a black base with white hairs mixed in throughout the coat.


Palomino and Buckskin

Palomino and Buckskin horses both have golden coats that can vary from a rich golden color to a much creamier, light yellow color. The only difference between them is that Palomino horses have white manes and tails while Buckskin horses have black on their legs and a black mane and tail.



Pinto horses have large patches of color and white throughout their bodies. There are many different patch patterns that have been identified.



Gray horses are born with a variety of different coat colors and slowly “gray out” over their first few years of life. This process continues throughout their lives until their coats turn white.



Black horses actually not so common to see since it’s a recessive coat color that is frequently modified by more dominant genes like gray or red based colors.



Truly white horses have a red base coat instead of a black one, meaning their skin is pink and therefore the hair is completely white.


Have you met any horses with any of these colors?

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