What color???! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 12-30-2009, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Question What color???!

Ok, really, I guess it doesn't matter much in the grand scheme of things (!) but I'm having a hard time putting a "name" to my horse's color. He was sold as black, but I now highly doubt it. At first I thought he was just very sun-faded, but his winter coat has since come in and is much lighter; even sandy in places.

The first pic below was the day I got him. Still in his summer coat. The middle pic was about a month ago, now in winter fuzz (and dirt...!). In the the bottom pic he would almost pass for a bay, but I think it's just the light and the angle.

Now, here's what I've gone through in my mind: I doubt the bay coloring because while his lower legs are certainly mostly black, his mane and tail are not true black. So then I would switch gears to brown, but his head IS black!....there are no light-colored or brown hairs on his muzzle whatsoever. I don't have a good pic of his side right now, but there are sandy hairs around his flanks and hindquarters (you can actually see a hint of this in the first pic). AND, lately I've noticed that he has a distinct dorsal stripe, although I've ruled out dun because that is not supposed to exist in Arabians, unless he's not 100% pure Arab (he's not papered so I don't know for sure).

Again, this is more for my own satisfaction than anything else....But I'd love to hear what y'all think!

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post #2 of 24 Old 12-30-2009, 12:58 PM
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Look at all those leaves in his tail! That's pretty funny :) Mine get burrs or tumble weeds!

I'd still say he's black, although maybe there's a particular color of black someone might know that accounts for his different shades. He's darling, by the way :)

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post #3 of 24 Old 12-30-2009, 06:19 PM
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I disagree with the above post. A true black horse should not have a single brown hair in its entire coat. In the first few pictures I'd say grullo, though the last throws me off.

But I'd say the logical answer is grullo.
About grullo: http://greenfield.fortunecity.com/dreams/799/hc/grulla.htm

Last edited by eaferg; 12-30-2009 at 06:21 PM.
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post #4 of 24 Old 12-30-2009, 06:59 PM
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I vote for grullo as well. In the last photo he looks like a bay, but has a black face. Especially because he has darker shoulders, darker legs and a dorsal stripe.


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post #5 of 24 Old 12-31-2009, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by danastark View Post
Look at all those leaves in his tail! That's pretty funny :) Mine get burrs or tumble weeds!


Isn't that funny?!!....we have all oak trees around here and of course the leaves are down now, so every time he takes a roll in the sand, he comes up with a tail full of leaves.

OK!.......made a discovery this morning! That little dude has a couple of dark bands on his upper forelegs! I thought I saw it the other day, but as he was walking away from me at the time I didn't get a close look and again, I was ruling out dun because - according to what I've read - that gene is not supposed to occur in Arabs. As I was waiting for his water trough to fill at breakfast, he was just standing eating his hay so I went down for a better look. Sure enough, my eyes were right.....there's a solid dark band at his upper leg, nearly an inch wide, a slightly lesser one below, and then a thin dark line goes vertically down towards the knee. On both legs. I wouldn't call it "heavy" zebra striping but they are definitely there.

Which now means that either a) I read wrong and occasionally the dun gene does appear in Arabs, or b) he's an Arab cross (which is possible, although he has strong Arab characteristics).

I'll try to get some more pics today. The rain has finally cleared out (!!) and I should be able to get out with my camera.
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post #6 of 24 Old 12-31-2009, 10:13 AM
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I'd say grullo as well. And I'm not an Arabian expert, but he doesn't quite look full Arab to me. Maybe some QH or Paint in there somewhere would give him the grullo gene.

He's a cutie!

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post #7 of 24 Old 12-31-2009, 10:26 AM
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he does look like he could perhaps be a dark-ish bay type colour? if that makes any sense lol! also, i agree with that he doesn't quite look full arab either

he's a cutie, though!

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post #8 of 24 Old 12-31-2009, 03:26 PM
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He's grullo. Grullo's CAN have dorsal/zebra markings. Look at the website.

But I do believe he is a cross as well.
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post #9 of 24 Old 01-01-2010, 01:56 AM
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Sorry but I disagree, he isn't grullo. He doesn't have dun factor. I don't see any dominate dun factor. Also if you look he doesn't have dun points. I'd like to see a picture of his back. I'd say he's a bay of some sort.
Bay | www.equine-color.info

A dun horse without a dorsal stripe is NOT a dun. A dun has to have dun factor no matter what. There is no hiding it.

Dun appears to lighten the base coat, but leaves the color of the mane, tail, and legs alone. Dun horses also show primitive markings, such as dorsal and shoulder stripes, and leg striping on the limbs, or various other parts of the body. This association is so strong and consistent, a horse is not believed to be dun unless they exhibit at least a dorsal stripe; nevertheless, not all horses with dorsal stripes or other primitive markings are dun.

Last edited by HorsePoornBigSky; 01-01-2010 at 02:02 AM.
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post #10 of 24 Old 01-01-2010, 11:36 AM
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I'd go for black or a bay color. A friend of mine has a quarter horse that started out looking like he would end up grullo as a youngster, and even now in adulthood he has a weird muted color to him like your horse appeared in some of the pictures. She sent in DNA to have his color checked out before she registered him, and he came back as black.
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