Horses come in all shapes, sizes, breeds, and colors. If you tune in to a showjumping competition or a rodeo on tv, you’ll probably see a lot of brown horses (called chestnuts), white horses (called greys), and brown horses with black manes and tails (called bays). There are other horse coat colors that aren’t as common. Every now and again you might see a palomino, a buckskin, or a paint.
The horses on this list truly are horses of a different color. Keep reading to see horses that really stand out from the crowd.
These Horses Are Called Leopard Appaloosas For A Reason
These horses are appaloosas, but they’re very special kinds of appaloosas. These two spotted horses are leopard appaloosas. Leopard appaloosas are white horses that have dark spots that cover their entire bodies including down their legs.
Just like other appaloosas, these horses have prominent scleras. The horse closest to the camera also seems to have some pretty stunning wite eyelashes. These appaloosas also have mottled manes and tails. You better keep these horses away from Cruella de Vil, because each one of these boys is like ten dalmatians.
Very Few Horses Have The Sabino Gene
This horse has the Sabino gene, which is a rare gene that causes white spotting on a horse’s coat. There is a DNA test to determine if a horse truly has the Sabino gene, or if it’s just a roan. We’ll discuss roan horses later on this list. While there are other kinds of spotted horses, Sabino horses always have white spotting.
They also only have the spotting around certain areas of their coat, usually around the face and around the belly. True roan horses have white fur all throughout their coats.
Is That A Horse Or A Cow?
This horse is known as a pinto because of its unique coat coloration. Pintos can be white and brown, white and black, or white and blonde, but they’re always a mix of white and some darker color. Pintos kind of look like cows because of the splotches of white on their bodies.
Sometimes pintos are referred to as “paints,” but a paint is a breed of horse and pinto just refers to the horse’s coloring. Not all pintos are pure breed paint horses. Most paints are actually part thoroughbred or part quarter horse.
Appaloosas Have Lovely Speckles
An Appaloosa horse is a horse with a speckled coat. Usually, appaloosas have two-toned fur. They have a darker base color and then lighter colored spots. There are also appaloosas with light fur and dark spots. These are called lighter appaloosas.
Appaloosa horses also usually have really bright eyes. Most horses scleras (or the whites of their eyes) are obscured by their eyelids, but appaloosas have larger scleras because of their pigmentation pattern. They also usually have striped hooves for the same reason.
This horse with a brindled coat is absolutely gorgeous. Brindled horses, or horses with stripes, are quite rare. These stripes aren’t quite as stark as zebra stripes. Sometimes this pattern is called tiger striping (for obvious reasons).
It’s quite rare to see brindled horses in the wild. Appaloosas are much more common than horses with brindled coats or horses who’ve inherited the brindle gene. You’re more likely to see a brindled dog, goat or guinea pig than a brindled horse.
This Silver Buckskin Is Almost Spooky
Buckskin horses are quite common, but you don’t see a silver buckskin like this one every day. traditional buckskin horses have light-colored blonde or tan fur combined with a black mane and tail. A silver buckskin has a rare mutation of the silver dapple gene. They have grey bodies with black manes and tails.
Buckskins and sliver buckskins also typically have dark pigmentation that runs up their legs. Spirit in that animated DreamWorks movie about wild horses was a buckskin.
Perlinos Should Stay Out Of The Sun
This long-maned creature has a perlino coat. Just like the cremello hore we saw earlier, his horse gets its unique color from a mutation of the cream gene. While cremellos are chestnut horses who have inherited the cream gene, perlinos a bay horses with the same gene.
Without the cream gene, this horse would have a brown body and a black mane and tail. Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between cremellos and perlinos. The only way you can truly tell them apart is by knowing their parentage or performing a DNA test.
Dapple Greys Change With Time
When we say that a horse is “grey,” we mean that the horse has black skin and a white coat. Most horses that look white are actually born dark grey or black. They turn whiter as they get older. You can actually tell a grey horse’s age by how dark their coat is.
This is a dapple grey Arab or Arabian horse. Dapple “blooms” are appearing on his coat starting from the middle of his body and moving outwards.
Palominos Are Too Glamorous For The Farm
Palominos are the Barbies of the horse world. These blonde beauties have tan colored coats with lighter, almost white manes and tails. Just like cremello and perlino horses, palominos get their unique coloring from the cream gene.
Palominos are more common than cremellos and perlinos, but less common than chestnuts or bays. Like cremellos, palominos have a chestnut base color that has been mutated by the cream gene. Palominos are often sold for higher prices than chestnuts.
A Red Roan Doesn’t Actually Have Red Fur
This a photo of a quarter horse with red roan coloring. You can tell it’s a quarter horse because of its well developed hind end, and you can tell it’s a red roan because it’s fur contains both brown and white fur all mixed together.
Like Palominos, red roans have a chestnut base coat. They don’t have the cream gene, though. All of their chestnut fur is broken up by a flurry of white. They still have solid brown manes and tails.
A Mini Blanket Appaloosa
Nope, that’s not a pony. That is a mini horse. Mini horses are even smaller than the smallest ponies. A pony is a horse that’s under 14 hands. In the horse world, a “hand” is four inches. You measure a horse’s height from the ground to their withers, which is the part of their spine that’s right at the base of their mane.
This mini horse is a blanket appaloosa, which means that her appaloosa patterning only covers a small portion of her hind end, kind of like a blanket.
Champagne Horses Are For People Who Can Afford Champagne
Champagne horses are extremely rare, which means that they’re also extremely expensive. The champagne gene affects a horses skin, not just its coat. Chestnut horses with the champagne gene end up looking like they’re golden. Most horses have black skin. Even grey or white horses have black skin.
If you look closely at this horse’s ears and eye sockets, you can see that her skin is actually pink all over. Her light skin makes her coat appear lighter.
A Dapple Grey And A Paint All In One
We’ve seen a dapple grey and we’ve seen a paint, but what about a dapple grey paint? WE already know that grey horses turn lighter as they get older, which means that this horse is probably quite young. As he gets older, the distinction between his darker patches and his lighter patches will become less noticeable.
This horse also has feathers, which is the technical name for those long bits of fur around his feet.
Flaxen Manes Stand Out From The Crowd
This horse has a flaxen mane which means that his mane is lighter than the rest of his body. Not all horses with flaxen manes are palominos, but all palominos have flaxen manes. This particular horse has a chestnut coat, a flaxen mane and tail, four white socks, and a stripe on his face.
If that white line on his face were thicker and nearly reached both of his eyes, it would be called a blaze instead of a stripe.
The Shiniest Cremello Pony
This might just be the shiniest horse in the world. His caretakers must have spent hours brushing his coat to get it to look like that. Horses with cremello coats usually have rosy pink skin and pale blue eyes. These horses are technically chestnuts (meaning brown pigmentation) but they’re coats are just extremely light. This horse’s coat is even pearlescent. His lighter colored coat is a result of the “cream gene.”
The horse in this photo is an Akhal-Teke, which is a breed that comes from Turkmenistan.
A Clean Dunk
This horse is a paint, just like the paint we saw earlier on this list, but this paint horse has a very unique coat pattern. Instead of having several brown and white splotches all over his body, he has one big brown splotch on the top half of his back.
The bottom half of this horse is completely white. He also has a small brown patch on his muzzle which kind of looks like a little mustache.
Rabicanos Are Special Roans
Traditional red roans have solid brown manes and tails, but rabicano horses are roans that only have roaning (or white fur) around the top of their tails and around their flanks. Sometimes this pattern is called “white tickling.” Because of the restricted roaning, rabicanos aren’t considered true roans.
Most rabicanos have tails that are both brown and white. The word “rabicano” comes from the Spanish language. “Rabo” means tail and “cano” means white in Spanish.
Blue Roans Aren’t Really Blue
Just like red roans, blue roans have white fur all over their bodies. Unlike red roans, blue roans have a black base coat. The white doesn’t typically interfere with the horse’s mane or tail, so blue roans have solid black manes and tails.
Sometimes blue roans have reddish manes and tails. These horses aren’t actually blue, but the combination of black and white in their coats can make them look sort of blue in certain lighting.
Three Horses In One
This is a photo of a foal, which is a baby horse. This little foal looks like three different horses in one. It has some red roan coloring, some blue roan coloring, and some paint coloring. That white stripe along its withers makes it look like someone dipped a paintbrush in some white paint and divided the horse right down the middle.
When this little horse gets older, he might lose some of his unique coloration, but for now, he’s as special as he’ll ever be.
A Horse That Lets You Know Exactly What He Is
You already know that this horse is a paint, but if you look closely at the side of his body, you can see that the white patches along his side actually spell out the word “horse.” The lowercase “h” is on his hind end and there’s an uppercase “E’ on the side of his neck.
People who own paints often claim that they can find neat shapes in their horses’ fur, but finding the whole word “horse” is pretty unbelievable.
A Different Kind Of Champagne Horse
We already know that champagne horses have light-colored skin that makes heir coats look lighter than they otherwise would be. The champagne horse we saw earlier had a chestnut coat, but this champagne horse has a black coat. if she didn’t have light skin, she would look completely black. He pink skin makes her appear bronze in the light.
This horse is also very shiny. She must have been groomed very thoroughly before this photo was taken.
We All Love A Liver Chestnut
This horse is a liver chestnut, which means that it has a dark brown coat with a lighter mane and tail. This beautiful horse even has some blonde streaks in his tail that are even lighter than his light brown mane. He also has four white socks and a blaze on his face.
This horse has a very long and thick forelock. The forelock is the part of a horse’s mane that sits between their ears and falls onto their face. During races or competitions, a horse’s forelock is usually braided and tucked away.
Bay Overo Paints Are Beautiful And Unique
This horse is a bay overo paint, which means that its a bay horse with noticeable white patches along its body. This horse also has legs that are darker than the rest of its body (although it does have two white socks on its back legs).
All horses possess some kind of unique beauty, but this horse does look very special. Is it more special than other, solid-colored horses? We’ll let you be the judge of that.
This Strawberry Roan Is Too Pretty For Us
Red roans are sometimes also known as strawberry roans. This strawberry roan actually does have the paint gene, so his roan coloration is interrupted by some very striking white patches.
You can tell that this horse just knows that he’s pretty. Look at that magnificent crest and wavy white tail. This hansome stallion must be a hit with the ladies. He has some really interesting facial markings too. We love how pink his nose is.
This Horse Is Rising From The Ashes
This is a photo of a beautiful silver dapple sooty buckskin. This coat color is super rare because it’s a combination of three different gene elements. They have the same dappling pattern on their coats as dapple grey’s but they’re a rich brown color. These horses are called sooty buckskins because it looks like their firey coats are covered in ashes.
Maybe this horse should be named Phoenix or something. As this horse gets older, those dapples around his midsection well spread onto his hindquarters and his neck.
This Grullo Dun Horse Looks Like A Supermodel
A dun horse is a horse with a sandy or sandy-gray coat, black mane, tail, and lower legs, and a dark dorsal stripe. This grullo dun horse has a silvery sheen to her. She’s even lighter than most dun horses. If you look closely, you can see that signature dorsal stripe.
This photo of a horse galloping through a lush green field looks like something out of a magazine. We’re pretty sure that this horse moonlights as a supermodel.
Arabian Horses Have Been Around For A Long Time
Arabian horses hold their heads and their tails high. They have slender builds, and they just look expensive. That’s because they are expensive. Arabians are one of the most expensive horse breeds in the world. They’re also one of the oldest horse breeds in the world. A lot of princes and noblemen own Arabian horses.
Arabian horses come in all colors. The horse in this photo is a flea-bitten grey, which means that it’s a white horse that’s covered in tiny darker freckles.
Thoroughbreds Are The True Athletes Of The Horse World
All the horses you see on racetracks with jockeys on their backs are Thoroughbreds. These horses were made for running really, really fast. They have legs that seem designed to help them take long and easy strides.
They also have wide chests, slender bodies, and short backs. Their specific build gives them a lot of speed and stamina. The Thoroughbred in this photo is a bay, which means it has a brown coat and a black mane and tail.
The Sturdy Quarter Horse
Quarter Horses are the most popular breed of horse in America. These horses are especially good at the sharp turns required in barrel racing because of their very strong hind quarters. Some people think that Quarter Horses got their name because it’s almost like they can turn right on a 25 cent coin, but in reality, they’re called quarter horses because they’re particularly good at quarter-mile races.
The quarter horse in this photo is a pinto. “Pinto” is Spanish for “painted.”
The American Paint Horse Is A Work Of Art
We’ve seen several Pintos on this list, but only a few true American Paint Horses. We’ve already discussed this breed a bit earlier, but let’s dive into their history a bit more. The American Paint Horse was developed from both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse bloodlines specifically selected for the paint gene.
The American Paint Horse in this photo is a tobiano paint, which is characterized by rounded white markings all across the body and down the legs.
We Love A Wild Mustang
Mustangs are strong, independent horses that even have a car named after them. Mustangs are Spanish horses that were introduced to America during the time of the conquistadors. These were domesticated horses that eventually were abandoned in droves and then became feral.
In 1971, the United States Congress recognized that “wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West, which continue to contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people.”
The Elegant Friesian Horse
Friesian horses are known for their long, lush, wavy manes and tails. These horses are always entirely black, and they are incredibly agile and nimble, especially for how big they are. These horses are usually between 15 and 17 hands tall.
Friesian breeds are native of Friesland in The Netherlands, so that’s where their name comes from. These horses were often used during times of war because of their speed, agility, and power. Now they’re mostly used for dressage and harness sports.
We’ve Spotted Another Appaloosa
We’ve seen a lot of appaloosas on this list, but it’s hard to not stare at these gorgeous spotted horses. The Appaloosa is actually a distinct American hore breed, not just a coat color. We have reason to believe that these horses have been around for a very long time, especially because you can find cave paintings of spotted horses that date back to prehistoric times.
Appaloosa horses are used widely in both English and Western riding.
The Cheeky And Adorable Shetland Pony
Shetland ponies are definitely adorable, but they’re also notorious for some naughty behavior. Maybe they act out because they feel self-conscious about their size. A lot of children learn to ride on Shetland ponies.
These ponies originally came from the Shetland Isles in the north of Scotland. Because of the harsh conditions of that environment, these ponies developed resilience and grit. Shetland ponies come in pretty much every color. The pony in this photo is a young grey.
The Very Graceful Gypsy Vanner
This horse is a Gypsy Vanner, and Gypsy Vanners are known for their long legs and jumping abilities. A horse like this can jump a four foot fence with no trouble at all.
Gypsy Vanners are worth a lot of money, and they’re mostly used in jumping competitions. Thes horses are also used in dressage, harness events, and western riding. Most Gypsy Vanners are black and white paints (also known as piebalds), although they come in all kinds of colors.
The Classic Clydesdale
The Clydesdale horse is a draught horse that originated in Scotland. Clydesdales often have bay coats with various white markings such as socks, stockings, stripes, and stars. If this breed of horse looks familiar to you, that’s probably because the Budweiser brand uses Clydesdales in all of their marketing.
These horses are great at pulling heavy loads, and they’re super sweet and friendly. Clydesdales are really big horses, usually standing between 16 and 18 hands.
The Oh So Elegant Morgan
Like Arabian horses, Morgans hold their heads and their tails high. Morgans are one of the oldest horse breeds to be developed entirely in the United States. Morgans were actually used as cavalry horses during the American Civil War. Morgans are usually black or chestnut in color, but they can also be bay or palomino (among other colors). These horses have strong legs, short backs, and slightly convex faces.
Morgans can pull heavy weights even though they’re quite small. Most morgans stand between 14 and 16 hands in height.
The Solid Standardbred
Standbreds are best known for their harness racing abilities. These horses were developed in North America, but their bloodlines can be traced back to 18th century England. Even though they’re known for their use in harness events, they’re also used for showjumping, dressage, and pleasure riding.
These horses are more muscled than thoroughbreds, and they also have longer bodies. This gives them more pulling power, which is necessary for harness sports such as carriage driving or harness racing.
The Well Rounded Dutch Warmblood
Dutch Warmbloods were built for jumping— showjumping specifically. A lot of champion showjumping horses are Dutch Warmbloods. Their big bodies and powerful muscles let them leap into the air with ease.
Dutch Warmbloods also have great temperaments and they’re really easy to train. These horses are eager to please, and sometimes it really does seem like they enjoy winning those blue ribbons. These horses were developed in the Netherlands in the 1960s. Since then, they’ve been dominating the winners’ circle.
The Stunning Andalusian
The Andalusian horse is one of the oldest horse breeds in the world. These horses are very smart, which makes them very easy to train. Yeah, they’re very expensive, but look at that conformation and that coat! He’s totally worth it.
These horses come from the Iberian Peninsula, where they have been living for thousands of years. The Andalusian has been recognized as a distinct horse breed since the 15th century. Andalusians are often used for both showjumping and dressage.