What Color is My Horse?

I have quite a few young horses so it has been on my mind lately to get some good conformation photos of them. I’d like to have a pictorial reference for how the horses change as they get older. Especially since I have horses of significantly different bloodlines and breeds. In that vein, I got Boot City to snap some photos of Coco and Simon on Monday.

Here is Coco. She is a BAY 5yo RPSI registered mare by Coconut Grove out of a mare called I-Mai Tai. Mai Tai is by Mezcalero and out of a daughter of Amaretto.

The angle is off so I probably won’t use this photo for an actual conformation analysis, but for this post the point of this photo is that Coco is BAY. Her coat is decidedly red and her points (legs, mane and tail) are decidedly black. She is the textbook definition of the color BAY.

Here is Simon. He is a 3yo Thoroughbred gelding of undecided color by Ghostzapper out of a mare called Precious BROWNIE. Precious Brownie is by Golden Missile and out of a daughter of Explodent (TERRIBLE name!).

Simon’s papers describe his color as “dkb/br” (if you aren’t horsey, that means dark bay/brown). It has been on my mind lately that most every horse this color is described as “bay”. Well, to me, this horse looks brown. No one calls their horse “brown”. Why is this? It seems to be true of most all breeds that there is a bias against calling horses “brown”. I googled it a bit yesterday and the most specific description of brown versus bay that I could find stated that a brown horse tends to have tan around it’s muzzle, flank and at the top of it’s legs.

Here is a photo of Simon with his full winter fuzz. I think the tan spots are more prevalent here than with his summer coat.

So, people on the interwebs, what color is Simon and why?

9 Comments on What Color is My Horse?

  1. Amanda
    May 10, 2017 at 11:36 am (6 years ago)

    He looks brown to me, especially with the pangare nose of his winter coat. There’s an easy way to prove that with genetic testing. My mare is brown and I’ve always called her brown and not bay, but you’re right that most people don’t make a distinction.

    • tntibbetts8008
      May 10, 2017 at 4:28 pm (6 years ago)

      How do you go about the genetic testing for that? Vet? It is silly, but I kind of really want to know!

      • Amanda
        May 11, 2017 at 12:45 pm (6 years ago)

        Further searching reveals they’ve suspended that test for now. You can still test for extension & Agouti zygosity and get a pretty good picture though. But yes, I’d be willing to put all my money on the fact that he’s brown. The winter picture is a dead giveaway, trademark brown horse, and it’s not at all uncommon for the summer coat to be lighter. He looks pretty much identical to how Sadie’s dam looked in the different seasons and she was as brown as brown could be. He’s not a dark seal brown (like Sadie) but he’s for sure brown. Presto is brown too. All the best ones are. 😉

        • tntibbetts8008
          May 12, 2017 at 9:02 am (6 years ago)

          The Color Genetics page has links to labs that do genetic testing and it looks like UC Davis will do it for $25. Pretty sure I’m gonna do that. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. Janet
    May 10, 2017 at 7:17 pm (6 years ago)

    Looks bay to me. In the Morgan world ,brown is almost black with a mealy muzzle. Hard to tell when not in person – lol

    • tntibbetts8008
      May 11, 2017 at 8:19 am (6 years ago)

      Right?! His muzzle was very mealy when he had his winter coat. Now it seems that his whole body is pretty mealy! He is turned out with a fly sheet every day so he should’t be at all sun bleached, that is just his color. I am hoping to get the genetic test done so I will know for SURE! Thanks for your response!

  3. Becki
    May 11, 2017 at 3:35 pm (6 years ago)

    Definitely brown! I’ve got one that color as well. Brown is my favorite color.

    • tntibbetts8008
      May 12, 2017 at 12:44 pm (6 years ago)

      Brown AND no white socks, so he’s pretty dreamy. 😉 His blaze is very handsome and makes up for no white on his legs. Plus it is much easier to keep clean!


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