Ok I'm confused on the Brown, bay thing. I see bay but others see Brown could someone please explain how you can tell this horse is brown and not bay? Thanks! Posted via Mobile Device
Don't quote me on this, but I think how you tell the difference is that a bay is clearly one color while browns have different shades of brown on different parts of their body's. Again, I'm not a color person so this could be completely wrong.
Brown horses will have a lighter color in the "softer" areas such as the flank, muzzle, around eyes, inside of legs, etc. some appear to look like bays but it usually becomes pretty obvious in their winter hair.
This guy is brown (ironically posted as a bay under wiki):
He'd probably be easy to see in winter too but it's just so you can see the lighter color. I can't seen to find a good pic of a brown who appears bay currently. Brown is genetically different than bay. Posted via Mobile Device
but bays have black "points" and he definitely has a black muzzle, black ear tips, black legs, black tail, etc. just what I have always learned?
Brown and bay are mutations of the same gene, the agouti gene. Both will cause the horse to have black points. The difference is in the "soft" points. In a bay horse, the flanks, muzzle, inside the legs, around the eyes, base of the ears, point of the buttocks etc will stay a uniform colour that is the same shade as the rest of the coat. In a brown horse, these will be significantly paler.