Please click here, color-and-markings-4-16-14, for The American Quarter Horse’s chart on their 17 registerable colors. Written descriptions of further color reference, or oddities are below.
Bay – Red/brown body with Black points. Points include: Mane, Tail, Ear outline, and muzzle.
Chestnut – Dark red or brown red body with matching dark red or brown red mane/tail. Often times the mane/tail will appear black as it is dark, or it can also be completely flaxen. Legs will not have any black points on them, although it may have a dorsal stripe.
Sorrel – Red or copper red body with matching red or copper red mane/tail. Often times the mane/tail will have a mix of flaxen/red in it, and can also be completely flaxen. May have a dorsal stripe.
Brown – A horse brown, or black in color with brown or lighter brown points inside its flank, upper legs, and frequently around its muzzle.
Black – A horse black in color. A horse with a Dominant black gene will always pass on its color to its foal. You may also see a black/brown looking horse, it may also be black, just not pure black in the sense of genetics.
Grey – A color mutation with occurs when a horse with the black color gene (Black or Bay) transitions to a white color. Since the skin of the horse is still black, this horse is not true white. They make have brown flecks known as fleabitten, or silver round marks known as dapple color. Born bay or Black, these horses change color at varying points, in their life, and to varying degrees. While you do register your horse as a grey, it’s technically a mutation of bay or black, and not its own color.
White – A Horse that appears nearly white in color and has pink skin over his entire body. Eyes are usually dark in color.
Palomino – A dilute color of chestnut. One shade lighter or darker than a newly minted copper penny, with a white mane and tail
Cremello – A double dilute of chestnut. A white or cream color, with a white or cream mane and tail. They have pink skin over their entire body, and blue eyes.
Buckskin – A dilute color of bay. The coat is a a golden color, while the black pigment on the legs, mane are tail are unaffected, as are the points on the ear tips and muzzle.
Perlino – A double dilute of bay. A white or cream color, with an orange or darker cream mane and tail. They have pink skin over their entire body, and blue eyes.
Dun – A horse with a bay base coat. They usually have a tan body with black points, and often appear identical to buckskin horses. A dorsal stripe and other other primitive dun factors are present, although due to the dilute mutation of color, they may be subtle or hard to spot.
Red Dun – A horse with a chestnut base coat. The points are generally a shade darker than the main body, but the mane and tail may also be lighter. A dorsal stripe and other other primitive dun factors are present, although due to the dilute mutation of color, they may be subtle or hard to spot.
Grullo – A horse with a black base coat. They have black points and usually a face mask. They are usually a mouse grey color, but have no relation to the color roan or to true grey. Each hair itself gives off a light/dark appearance. A dorsal stripe and other other primitive dun factors are present, although due to the dilute mutation of color, they may be subtle or hard to spot.
Primitive markings, or Dun factors: dorsal stripe, shouder stripe, neck stripe, leg barring, mottling, frosting, masking, cobwebbing, & ear tips.
Blue Roan– More or less a uniform mixture of bay coloring mixed in with white hairs. Roaning is primarily on the body, while head and legs and tail have remained the black, base color.
Red Roan – More or less a uniform mixture of red coloring mixed in with white hairs. Roaning is primarily on the body, while head and legs and tail have remained base color. Tail and mane may be flaxen or red in color.
Bay Roan – More or less a uniform mixture of bay coloring mixed in with white hairs. Roaning is primarily on the body, while head and legs and tail have retained their black points, true to the bay base color.
Rabicano is a concentrated pattern of white hairs similar to roaning. The coloration occurs over black skin, so this is not a pinto spotting. It often is accompanied by white hairs in the top of the tail. True roaning occurs all over the body, not in concentrated areas like this. Not an AQHA registered color.
Pinto – Not registered colors of AQHA, but color patterns that do occur.
Tobiano: A Tobiano is a Pinto coloration where the white spots over pink skin cross over the back. they typically have white legs, and a darker face.
Overo: An Overo is a pinto coloration where the white spots over pink skin stay on one side of the horse or the other. From the neck and across its back is a solid color. The mane and tail are typically solid, and the face is typically bald.
Sabino: A pattern of white splashing that is colored over top of pink skin. Although these markings are not typical of how you think of pinto spotting, the collective white markings make up the same area as a larger, Tobiano spot. High white legs, and under the chin white markings are additional Sabino traits.
Know your colors? Take the quiz! https://www.playbuzz.com/bethtd10/basic-horse-color
Find further confusion of Pinto Color patterns here: http://apha.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/TheColorInside1.pdf