Difference Between Sorrel and Chestnut - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-17-2011, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Difference Between Sorrel and Chestnut

I've never been able to figure out the difference between sorrel and chestnut. If anyone could explain the differences for me it would be greatly appriciated!

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post #2 of 14 Old 01-17-2011, 09:38 PM
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i don't believe there is a difference, but when i think of Chesnut i think of a more brighter fiery colored horse, and when i think Sorrel, i see a more brown not quite so shiny and bright, but still brown. but the words are interchangeable, as they mean the same thing. which is a Red based horse.


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post #3 of 14 Old 01-17-2011, 09:47 PM
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I use them interchangeably. The only difference I've found is that Western riders are more prone to using the term "sorrel", and English riders seem to prefer to call their red horses "chestnut".
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-17-2011, 09:48 PM
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In the English world, there is no "sorrel" - there is chestnut, and that's that. Liver chestnut is a rich, dark shade of chestnut.
In the Western world, chestnut is considered what us English folk would call "liver chestnut" and sorrel describes lighter shades of chestnut.
That's how I understand it, anyhow.


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post #5 of 14 Old 01-17-2011, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Ahhh, that makes sense. I've always ridden English and called all of our "Red" horses chestnuts (one red chestnut, one with a flaxen mane and tail, one liver chestnut and a chestnut overo). Anyway, the barn manager (who rides western) wrote Jesse's color down as Sorrel Overo. It just made me curious.

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post #6 of 14 Old 01-17-2011, 09:53 PM
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I've always understood it to be sorrel horses are Western and that Chestnut horses are English. Anything more detailed is beyond me.

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post #7 of 14 Old 01-17-2011, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
In the English world, there is no "sorrel" - there is chestnut, and that's that. Liver chestnut is a rich, dark shade of chestnut.
In the Western world, chestnut is considered what us English folk would call "liver chestnut" and sorrel describes lighter shades of chestnut.
That's how I understand it, anyhow.
Precisely There is no actual difference between the 2 colors, though many western people do refer to "liver chestnut" as chestnut.

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post #8 of 14 Old 01-17-2011, 10:35 PM
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Woo! Glad I'm not completely off base! Thanks LR :)
Believe me, I was completely confused when I started working for a mostly-Western barn... "go grab the sorrel with the star in that field -- no, not that one! The sorrel! "


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post #9 of 14 Old 01-17-2011, 10:48 PM
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Genetically sorrel and chestnut are exactly the same. The difference is in shading.
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-17-2011, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NdAppy View Post
Genetically sorrel and chestnut are exactly the same. The difference is in shading.
I did some more research and that is just a debate. There are many many different shades of chestnut. Red, light, black, liver chestnut are just some examples. So really, it pretty much covers every shade of that coat there is.

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