The Colors of Life

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Color Dictionary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Agouti - 1. a gene which regulates the production of eumelanin in the coat and creates the bay phenotype

Amber champagne - a bay base coat + the champagne mutation

Amber cream - a bay base coat + one copy of cream + a copy of the champagne mutation

Appy roan – roaning caused by the Lp complex; also called marble or varnish roan

Apricot - a term which was used briefly for Pearl

Apricot dun - 1. a descriptive term for red dun; 2. the lightest shade of red dun, which may have mealy/pangaré markings.

Apron face - a large blaze which widens at the bottom

B

Badger face - an inverted blaze, where the head is white and the blaze is colored; also called a reverse blaze

Bald face - a large blaze which covers the eyes and can engulf the entire head

Barlink factor - another name for Pearl, referring to a horse who can be traced to the Barlink line of Quarter Horses

Base coat - 1. the color of the horse at the Extension locus; 2. the color of the horse separate from any dilution, modifier or white pattern

Bay dun - a bay base coat + dun

Bay silver - a bay base coat + the Silver mutation

Bend Or spots/smuts - dark spots of color in the coat. They can be any size or shape and occur singly, in groups or scattered over the body. They occur randomly, but can be associated with the sooty/smutty factor. Named after the Thoroughbred stallion, Bend Or, who displayed them. Also called grease spots

Birdcatcher spots – white spots, usually dime sized or smaller, which may appear and disappear at random in a horse's coat.

Birdcatcher ticking – 1. white ticking in the coat, named after the Thoroughbred stallion Birdcatcher, who displayed the trait; 2. a descriptive term for the rabicano phenotype

Black bay – a bay horse so dark he looks black

Black Buckskin --  A term sometimes used for Smokey Black especially in Australia

 

Black chestnut – the darkest shade of chestnut, where the coat appears black

Black dun - a black base coat + dun

Black roan - a black base coat + roan

Black silver - a black base coat + the Silver mutation

Blagdon - 1. a term for a Gypsy horse with white markings on the legs and belly; 2. the sabino phenotype in Gypsy horses

Blonde sorrel - 1. a pale chestnut shade created by the effects of mealy and flaxen; 2. a term used by American Belgian breeders

Blood bay – a descriptive term for a bay horse with a very red colored coat

Bloodmark – an accumulation of pigment on the body of a grey horse

Bloody shoulder – an accumulation of pigment on the shoulder of a grey horse; named after the legend of an Arabian mare who outran pursuers while she was heavy in foal. Her Bedouin master was shot in the pursuit and she foaled a colt that night with the same marking as the blood that ran over her shoulder from his mortal wound.

Blue roan - a black roan

Bright chestnut - an official term for an orange colored chestnut horse in the Suffolk Punch breed

Brindle - a horse with stripes of color in the coat, like a tiger

Buckskin - a bay base coat + one copy of the cream mutation

Buttermilk buckskin – a descriptive term for a pale buckskin

C

Calico – a horse with a pinto pattern, generally referring to a sabino-type pattern.

Calico Overo - a horse with a sabino-type pattern, consisting of white on the face and legs and belly spots, usually with speckling, flecking or roaning; called "blagdon" in Gypsy/Drum horses and cobs.

Calico Tobiano - termed coined by Dr. Phillip Sponenberg, noted geneticist and equine color expert, to describe a tobiano marked horse with a dilute coat color mixed with spots of undiluted base coat color.

Cat tracks - small colored spots in the white patches of a pinto horse; associated with the Tobiano pattern; also called inkspots and pawprints

Champagne - a dominant mutation which dilutes the coat color of the horse

Cherry bay - a descriptive term for a bay horse with a very red colored coat

Chest shield - a horse with a pinto pattern who retains an area of color on the chest; associated with the Tobiano pattern

Chesnut - a traditional spelling for the term "chestnut" in the Suffolk Punch breed

Chimera - a horse with two populations of genetically distinct cells from zygotes that merged in early pregnancy.

China eye – a blue eye

Chocolate - 1. a descriptive term for a black silver horse: 2. the official term in the Rocky Mountain Horse breed for the black silver phenotype

Chocolate chestnut - a dark chestnut

Chocolate palomino – a dark palomino

Chrome - a term for white markings; usually refers to blazes and socks on otherwise solid colored horses

Chubari/Chubary spots - white blotches, often oval or egg shaped, in the coat of a grey horse; also called Tetrarch spots.

Classic champagne - a black base coat + the champagne dilution

Classic cream - a black base coat + one copy of cream + the champagne mutation

Clayback dun - a descriptive term for red dun

Claybank dun – a descriptive term with an uncertain meaning, but variously used to describe: 1. a dun with non-black points; 2. a red dun; 3. the paler shades of red and bay dun; 4. an old fashioned term for the amber champagne phenotype

Cobwebbing - 1. stripes of darker color on the face; a primitive marking associated with dun; also called spiderwebbing; 2. another term for lacing

Copper dun - a descriptive term for shades of bay or red dun

Corn markings - areas in the coat of a roan horse where scrapes or scars occur and the hair grows back solidly colored

Corn spots - see above

Countershading - 1. a form of adaptive camuoflauge where the coat color is darker dorsally; 2. a term applied to any pattern of darkened hairs in the coat color

Cream - an incomplete dominant mutation which dilutes the coat color of the horse

Cream dun - 1. a dun horse who is going grey; 2. a cream + dun horse

Cryptic cream - 1. a horse who carries the cream dilution but does not show it; 2. a horse who has been misidentified to not carry cream; this often happens to smokey blacks, dark bay/brown/seal buckskins or a horse with heavy sooty factor

Coyote dun - 1. a descriptive term for a bay dun; 2. specifically a bay dun with sooty effects or a darker shade of bay dun

D

Dapple grey – a stage in the greying process that describes a horse with circular rings of grey pigment on a grey coat

Dilution gene - a gene which causes lightening of a horse's color.

Distal marks – small spots of pigment on the coronet band

Dorsal barbs - strips of color projecting from a dorsal stripe; a primitive marking associated with dun

Dorsal barring - see above

Dorsal stripe - a stripe of dark pigment running down the back of the horse; a primitive marking associated with dun; also called an eel stripe, list, or spinal stripe

Double cream champagne - any base coat color + 2 copies of the cream mutation + the champagne mutation

Double dilute - 1. a term for a horse who carries 2 copies of a dilution gene; 2. often used to refer to a homozygous cream horse

Dun - a horse with the dun mutation

Dunalino - palomino + dun

Dunomino - another term for palomino + dun

Dunskin - bay dun + buckskin

Dusty dun - a descriptive term for a bay dun with a beige body color

E

Eel stripe - a stripe of dark pigment running down the back of the horse; a primitive marking associated with dun; also called a dorsal stripe, list or spinal stripe

Ermine marks – small spots of pigment on the lower legs

Eumelanin – a form of melanin that colors hair black/brown/yellow/grey

Extended blanket - a descriptive term used to describe a white blanket that extends almost to the shoulders and down to the hocks; a pattern caused by the Lp complex.

F

Face mask - darker shading on the face; a primitive marking associated with dun

Fading black - a genetically black horse whose coat fades to lighter shades of color; also called a summer black

Faint - a very small star on the forehead, sometimes mixed with colored hairs

False Leopard - a horse who is not genetically leopard, but who has roaned out to look like one; i.e. a horse with a spotted blanket who has roaned on the rest of the body and now appears to be leopard. In truth, it may be impossible to determine if a horse is a false leopard or a true leopard because the leopard pattern itself has varying levels of expression.

Fewspot - a white horse with small, often small and sparse, spots of color in its coat; a pattern believed to be caused by homozygous expression of the Lp Complex

Flank shield - an area of color on the flank of a horse with a pinto pattern; specifically associated with the Tobiano pattern

Flash marks - irregular markings on the cannon bone that do not touch the hoof

Flaxen - a chestnut horse with lighter hairs in the mane, tail and/or lower legs

Fleabitten grey - 1. a grey horse with specks of color in the coat; 2. a stage in the greying process

Fox dun - a descriptive term for red dun Frame - a horse with one copy of of the Lethal White Overo mutation

Frost – white hairs scattered on the topline of the horse; 1. a pattern caused by the Lp complex; 2. a separate form of roaning

Frost blanket – a mixture of white and colored hairs on the hindquarters of a horse; caused by the Lp Complex

Frosted tips - white hairs mixed into a dark coat; caused by the Lp complex

G

Garters - striping on the legs; a primitive marking associated with dun; also called leg stripes, leg barring, zebra stripes or zebra barring

Ghost paints - 1. a pinto horse whose base color is going grey; 2. a pinto horse with pigmented skin that extends under the white patches

Giraffe markings - another term for lacing

Glass eye – a blue eye, often referring to the more pale shades

Gold champagne - a red base coat + the champagne mutation

Golden chestnut - 1. a descriptive term; 2. an official term in the Suffolk Punch breed

Gold cream - a red base coat + one copy of cream + a copy of the champagne mutation

Grease spots - another term for Bend Or spots

Grey - a simple dominant genetic mutation which causes progressive lightening of the coat

Greyed out – a horse who has turned completely white due to the action of the grey mutation

Greying out – a horse in the process of losing pigment in its coat due to the grey mutation

Grulla - 1. the feminine form of grullo; 2. a black dun mare or filly

Grullo - a regional term for black dun

Gulastra plume – named after the Arabian stallion, Gulastra, who was said to often sire chestnut horses with lighter tails

H

Halo paints - a pinto horse with pigmented skin that extends under the white patches

Halo spots - colored spots where the pigmented skin extends under the white hair

Handprint - a blood marking

Hip blanket – an area of white over the hindquarters, with or without spots, caused by the Lp Complex

Hip spots - a horse with spots on the hindquarters, caused by the Lp complex

Honey bay - a descriptive term for a light shade of bay

I

Inkspots – small colored spots in the white patches of a pinto horse; associated with the Tobiano pattern; also called pawprints or cat tracks

Iron grey – a descriptive term for a dark grey coat

Isabella palomino – a pale shade of palomino. It refers to the biological term "isabelline" and is popularly associated with the legends of Isabella I of Castile and Isabella, the Archduchess of Austria, wearing their undergarments for such long periods of time they became discolored.

J

Jet black - a black horse who does not fade; also called a raven black or a non-fading black

K

L

Lace blanket - a white blanket with very irregular edges, caused by the Lp complex

Lacing - an unexplained pattern of striping, spots or blotches, usually on the back of the horse; also called giraffe markings, cobwebbing, or marbling

Leg barring - striping on the legs; a primitive marking associated with dun; also called leg stripes, zebra stripes, zebra barring or garters

Leg stripes - see above Lemon - a descriptive term for a palomino horse

Lemon chestnut - 1. a descriptive term for a shade of light red; 2. an official term in the Suffolk Punch breed

Lemon tobiano - usually refers to a palomino tobiano marked horse

Lethal White Overo - an incomplete dominant genetic disorder which produces a depigmentation pattern in the coat

Lightning marks – irregular markings on the cannon bone that do not touch the hoof; associated with the Lp Complex

Lilac dun - a descriptive term with an uncertain meaning, but variously used to describe: 1. believed to be an old fashioned term for the classic or sable champagne phenotype; 2. also used for pale shades of black dun, darker shades of red dun, bay dun, buckskin or even palomino; 3. has been defined as a dun with non-black points, a "rosy" hue to the coat, amber or hazel eyes and no dorsal stripe; 4. has been defined as a cream dilution of a dark bay/brown/seal horse Linebacked - a horse with a dorsal stripe List - a dorsal stripe; a primitive marking associated with dun; also called a dorsal stripe, eel stripe or spinal stripe

Liver chestnut – a descriptive term for darker shades of red; may be created by the action of sooty in the coat.

Lobo dun - 1. a descriptive term for the darker shades of black dun; 2. specifically refers to a black dun with sooty countershading

Loin blanket - a blanket that extends forward of the hips and onto the loin; caused by the Lp complex

M

Mahogany bay – a descriptive term for a bay horse with a red-brown colored coat

Marble – roaning caused by the Lp complex; also called Appy roan or varnish roan

Marbling - another term for lacing

Maximum sabino – a white or nearly all white horse whose color is not attributable to any other pattern of white

Mealy - an alternate term for pangaré markings

Medicine hat – a specific term for a color pattern with several variations: 1. a pinto horse who is mostly white but retains color on the ears and the top of the head; 2. other descriptions may add a “shield” of color on the chest or flank, and/or splotchy markings on the flank and legs; 3. or blotches of color at the base of the tail, flank and chest; the name is taken from Native American lore where such a horse was considered lucky and had strong “medicine” or magic; 4. may also be called a Warbonnet Minimal blanket - a very small white blanket on top of the hips, caused by the Lp complex

Moon eye – a blue eye

Moroccan pattern - 1. a white or mostly white horse with a colored head; 2. maximal expression of the tobiano pattern; 3. variation on the Medicine Hat and Warbonnet patterns

Muddy dun - 1.a descriptive term for darker shades of bay or black dun; 2. the darkest shade of red dun, with brown points and a pale brown body color and a dark head, mane and tail; 3. an old term for an amber champagne phenotype

Mushroom - a genotypic red horse with the phenotype of an unknown black dilution; described in the Shetland breed

Mouse dun – a descriptive term for black dun

N

Near fewspot - a horse who is not born with the fewspot pattern, but who sheds out or roans out to look like one; caused by the Lp complex

Near leopard – a descriptive term for a horse with a more minimal expression of the leopard pattern; i.e. it has not taken over the entire body.

Neck cape - 1. darker shading on the neck; a primitive marking associated with dun; 2. an effect of sooty countershading

Night eye – a blue eye

O

Oatmeal buckskin - a descriptive term for a pale shade of buckskin, often with sooty countershading

Olive dun - 1. a descriptive term for black dun; 2. a black dun with a yellowish cast to the coat; 3. a light shade of black dun

Orange dun - 1. a descriptive term for red dun; 2. the second lightest shade of red dun

Overo – 1. a traditional term to describe any horse with a pattern that does not appear to be Tobiano; 2. a general term to refer to the expression of sabino, splash or frame; 3. a specific type of white pattern as defined by the APHA; 4. a generic term for the frame pattern.

P

Paint - a registered member of the Paint Horse breed

Palomino - a red base coat + one copy of the cream mutation

Pangaré - a specific phenotype where there is a pattern of pale hair around the muzzle, eyes and underside of the horse

Patchy blanket - a white blanket with very irregular edges, often mixed with darker hairs; caused by the Lp Complex

Pawprints – small colored spots in the white patches of a pinto horse; associated with tobiano pattern; also called inkspots or cat tracks

Peach dun - descriptive term for red dun

Peacock spots - 1. colored spots where the pigmented skin extends under the white hair, similar to the spots on a peacock's tail; also called halo spots

Peanut butter dun - 1. a descriptive term for a bay dun with a coat the color of peanut butter; 2. has been described as the middle shade of bay dun

Pearl - an incomplete recessive mutation which dilutes the coat color of the horse

Penn Simon - a rare, unidentified color pattern in Gypsy horses that appears to be either Lp complex roaning or a form of sabino

Pheomelanin – a form of melanin that colors hair various shades of pink/yellow/red/brown

Pinto – a horse with a pattern of white on the body

Primitive markings - a group of markings usually associated with primitive breeds and the dun color: dorsal stripe (eel stripe, spinal stripe, list, linebacked dun); leg stripes (leg barring, zebra stripes, zebra bars, tiger stripes, garters); vertical striping (neck stripe, wither stripe, shoulder stripe); shoulder cape, neck cape; dorsal barbs (dorsal barring, fishboning); rib marks; ventral stripe; zippers; guard hairs (frosting); bider marking; cobwebbing, spiderwebbing; ear marks, ear tips; eye spots; face masks

Prophet's thumb – an small muscle indentation, named after a belief or legend that the Prophet Mohammed marked his 5 favorite Arabian mares with his thumb

Purple roan - 1. a bay roan; 2. specifically a roan with a seal/brown/dark bay base coat

Q

R

Race - a narrow streak of white down a horse's face, which may be crooked or wavy

Raven black - a black horse who does not fade; also called jet black or non-fading black

Reach - a streak of white down the horse's face Red chocolate - the official term for a bay silver phenotype in the Rocky Mountain Horse breed

Red roan - a red base coat + roan

Reverse blaze – an inverted blaze, where the head is white and the blaze is colored; also called a badger face

Ribbon paints - a pinto horse with pigmented skin that extends under the white patches; also called a halo paint

Roan blanket – a mixture of dark and light hairs over the rump

Rose grey – a stage in the greying process when the coat has a pinkish hue from the mixing of the base coat color with grey hairs.

S

Sabino - 1. a horse who carries the Sabino-1 mutation; 2. a horse with a phenotypic white pattern which is called sabino Sabino-1 - an incomplete dominant mutation which produces a variable white pattern Sable cream - a dark bay/brown/seal phenotype + one copy of cream + the champagne dilution

Sable dun - 1. descriptive term for darker shades of dun; 2. believed to be an older term for champagne dilution; 3. officially refers to a dark bay/brown/seal phenotype + dun + champagne

Sable champagne - a dark bay/brown/seal phenotype + the champagne mutation Sandy bay - a descriptive term for a light shade of bay

Seal dun - 1. descriptive term for darker shades of black or bay dun; 2. believed to be an older term for the champagne phenotype; 3. a dark bay/brown/seal phenotype + dun

Semi-leopard - 1. an extended blanket; 3. a near or false leopard

Shadow Paint - 1. a Paint horse with grey; 2. has also been used to describe a pinto horse with grey

Shim - a streak of white on a horse's face

Shoulder cape - 1.darker shading over the withers; a primitive marking associated with dun; 2. an effect of sooty countershading

Silver - a dominant mutation which dilutes eumlenanin Silvertail – 1. pale hairs mixed in the tail, creating a silver appearance; 2. a descriptive term for the rabicano phenotype

Silver buckskin – 1. a silver + buckskin horse; 2. a pale buckskin

Silver dun - 1. a silver + dun horse; 2. a descriptive term for a black dun horse with a silver colored coat

Silver grullo - 1. a silver + black dun horse; 2. descriptive term for a light shade of black dun

Silver smokey - 1. a term for a smokey cream horse; 2. a smokey black + silver horse

Skunktail – 1. pale hairs mixed in the tail, creating the appearance of a striped or two toned tail; 2. a descriptive term for the rabicano phenotype

Slate dun - 1. descriptive term for black dun; 2. specifically the second lightest, or medium, shade of black dun

Slate grullo - see above

Slipped tobiano – a minimal expression of Tobiano, where white is limited or only present on the legs

Smokey black - a black base coat + one copy of the cream mutation

Smutty - a darkening effect caused by black hairs mixed into the coat color of the horse; also called sooty

Sky eye – a blue eye

Snowcap blanket – an area of white over the hindquarters without spots; believed to be a homozygous expression of the Lp complex

Snowflake – white spots scattered throughout the base coat; a pattern caused by the Lp complex

Sooty - a darkening effect caused by black hairs mixed into the coat color of the horse; also called smutty

Sorrel – a regional American term, used to describe the lighter or brighter shades of red

Spiderwebbing - darker stripes of color on the face; a primitive marking associated with dun; also called cobwebbing

Spinal stripe - a stripe of dark pigment running down the back of the horse; a primitive marking associated with dun; also called a dorsal stripe, eel stripe or list

Spotted blanket – a white area with dark spots over the hindquarters; caused by the Lp Complex

Steel grey – a descriptive term for a dark grey coat

Strawberry roan - a descriptive term for red roan

Summer black – an Australian term for a black horse whose coat fades; also called a fading black

T

Taffy – the Australian term for Silver

Tetrarch spots – white blotches, often oval or egg shaped, in the coat of a grey horse; named after the Thoroughbred stallion, The Tetrach, who exhibited the trait; also called Chubari or Chubary spots.

Texturing - areas of the coat with a different texture to the hair

Tri-colored – a term to describe a bay or bay based pinto horse

Tobiano - a simple dominant mutation which produces a white pattern

Tostado - a South American term for a chestnut horse with darker points

Tovero - 1. a horse with Tobiano and Overo characteristics; 2. an official pattern for an American Paint horse; 3. a horse with Tobiano and any other pattern

Transverse stripe - a stripe of darker color across the withers; a primitive marking associated with dun; also called a wither stripe

Triple dilute - a horse with 3 different dilution genes

U

V

Varnish roan – roaning caused by the Lp complex; also called marble or Appy roan

W

Wall eye – a blue eye, often referring to the more pale shades

Warbonnet – a specific term for a color pattern with several variations; 1. a pinto horse with color on the ears only; 2. a horse with color on the top of the head and ears and/or minor spots of color on the body; 3. a horse where color covers the ears and extends down to the throatlatch but does not touch the face or extend beyond the top of the neck; 4. another name for a medicine hat pattern

White blanket - a white horse who is colored on the back and/or hindquarters; caused by the Lp Complex

White dun - 1. a very pale shade of dun; 2. a cream + dun horse, also called a dunskin

Wither stripe - a stripe of darker color across the withers; a primitive marking associated with dun; also called a transverse stripe

Wolf dun - a descriptive term for bay or black dun

X

Y

Yellow dun - a descriptive term for a bay dun

Z

Zebra barring - striping on the legs; a primitive marking associated with dun; also called leg stripes, leg barring, zebra stripes or garters

Zebra dun – 1. a bay dun horse; 2. specifically a medium shade of bay dun

Zebra stripes - striping on the legs; a primitive marking associated with dun; also called leg stripes, leg barring, zebra barring, or garters

Comments

colorfan's picture

I use this reference often, I appreciate the time to May I suggest another word to add?
Somatic.
Thank you.

When I ride I feel His pleasure.

jules's picture

Just been recommended this site/forum...............fantastic!!

jules's picture

I have just been recommended this site/forum................fantastic!!