Originally Posted by nikelodeon79
I believe my new boy is a black & white tobiano... but I've read a few posts that said if a horse fades he isn't "true black" and he definitely fades.
It's not whether or not a horse fades that tells whether or not it's true black- there are both non-fading and fading black horses (likely due to a gene or combination of genes that has been identified yet) Lots of people think that fading is a sign of homozygous vs heterozygous black horses, but this isn't true either.
The best way to tell a horse's true color is is to see pictures of it in summer and winter, but particularly in its winter coat. This is because some colors & patterns change from season to season. The seasonal variation that is considered one of the indicators of brown is differenrt from the sun fading that horses of any color can display; it largely affects the "soft points" like the muzzle, behind the elbow, at the flank, etc. A sun faded horse is more likely to show fading from the top down- where it gets the most sun exposure.