buckskin and dun? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 9 Old 04-24-2013, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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buckskin and dun?

I need simplified differences between dun and buckskin, and if anyone wants to go in depth, I won't mind that either, but this will be used as a reference for people that I know. It's a huge debate around here, I've always thougt of buckskin as a pale color without a dorsal stripe and dun as a range of shades but with the primitive markings and whatnot. We all are squared away that grulla is black with dun gene, red dun is sorrel with dun gene, but the classic dun or bay dun is so commonly confused for buckskin around here and I'd love a better way to explain to people the difference!
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-24-2013, 02:47 PM
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Buckskin: Black + agouti + cream.

Dun (bay dun, anyway): Black + agouti + dun.

Both dun and cream are dilution genes, which is the reason bay dun and buckskin look so similar. Dun dilutes the body color, leaving the normal color on the head and legs. In addition, it adds markings specific to the gene such as a distinct dorsal stripe, shoulder barring, and leg barring. Dun is also a complete dominant, meaning it will cause the same effect regardless of whether the horse is heterozygous or homozygous.

Cream is the dilution gene responsible for turning bay into buckskin, chestnut into palomino, and black into smoky black. Cream, however, is an incomplete dominant, meaning heterozygous will cause a certain amount of dilution, but homozygous will cause further dilution. Turning buckskin to perlino, palomino to cremello, and smoky black to smoky cream.

Dun can also affect any color. You can have a dunkskin (buckskin with dun), bay dun roan, grullo, etc.

Buckskin can and do have pseudo dorsal stripes called countershading that are not caused by dun. Bay duns are also typically a flatter, duller color than buckskin which are usually have a much golder tint to their coat. Oooor if you end up with a horse with the much more gold coat, but has the listed dun markings, it's probably a dunskin (example: Hollywood Dun It).

Whew. I think that's about as best as I can describe it.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-24-2013, 02:51 PM
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Excellent description! ^^^^
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-24-2013, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you SO much! What an awesome description!
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-24-2013, 03:29 PM
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Another note: a true dorsal stripe will be quite distinct, as those drawn on with a marker. Countershading, the majority of the time, will have blurred edges and appear to be a fuzzy line down the back. There are outlying exceptions to this, but it is not common.

Such as this. It does make a more concise line towards his tail, but up on his back, it's blurred all over.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-29-2013, 03:42 PM
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Another way to tell if it's counter shading or a dorsal stripe is look for frosting in the tail. :)
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-29-2013, 04:02 PM
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Right from the ABRA site:

BUCKSKIN: Body coat some shade of tan, from very light (creme) to very dark (bronze). Points (mane, tail, legs and ear frames) are black or dark brown. Dorsal not required.

DUN: Body coat some shade of tan, from very light (creme) to a dull or smutty brown (earth tone). Points, dorsal stripe and other dun factor markings are dirty black or smutty brown. There are many shades and variations in the dun color. Dorsal stripe required. Note: The buckskin colored horse with dun factor (dorsal stripe, leg barring, ear frames, shoulder stripes, face masking and cobwebbing) is the ideal color that ABRA was founded to preserve over thirty years ago.

RED DUN: Body coat a reddish tan without the range of shades as seen in the other dun colors. Mane and tail are red or reddish brown, creme or mixed. The dun factor markings are red or reddish brown. A full, definite dorsal stripe must run the length of the tail.

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post #8 of 9 Old 04-30-2013, 11:32 AM
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Just to add, since i've found this to be a common misunderstanding with many people I run into, Dun cannot "crop up" in a line, it has to be passed directly from parent to offspring, whereas buckskin can appear to "crop up" (for example, if one parent is bay/brown and the other is palomino or smoky black the resulting foal could come out buckskin).

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post #9 of 9 Old 04-30-2013, 12:51 PM
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Just to add lilruffian, dun COULD "crop out" if breeding greys. But both dun and cream MUST be carried by one parent or both to appear and WILL always display physically - neither gene can "hide". The only cirumstances it can't be spotted is if grey is covering it up or as lilruffian said, one horse is smokey black which often appears no different than regular black.
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