First things first! Horse colors stem from two base colors, the red base and the black base. Bay is not a base, sorry guys! These two base colors create the basic coat colors of the horse, including: bay, chestnut, black, and brown. These basic colors may be further diluted by certain genes in order to create the cream, champagne, pearl, silver, and dun colors. White patterning genes may also change the basic colors of the horse and create dominant white, tobiano, appaloosa, overo, grey and roan colors. The colors of the horse's coat are determined by the genes of the breeding cross between the mother (dam) and father (sire).
Here are some of the basic colors that, more often than not, you will see around the barn/show grounds/ etc.:
|Cleveland Bay Stallion|
|Property of AzraelsRose13 aka Kristina Ransbury|
Horses with this coat color are usually a reddish color without the black points. The mane and tail are usually the same color as the body or even a few shades lighter. Chestnut is a modified red gene and therefore comes from the red base color. There can be variations of this color, where the strength of the color on the body can be darker or lighter than a medium chestnut coat color.
|Virtual Horse Ranch|
Horses with this coat color are usually black. The mane and tail are usually the same color as the body. The black coat color comes from the black base gene. There are two types of black coat colors. The non-fading black and the fading black coat color. The non-fading black coat color stays black even through the summers and usually has a blue-black sheen to the coat. The fading black coat color fades during the summer months so that it is a little more brown.