What is the difference between sorrel and chestnut?

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What is the difference between sorrel and chestnut?

This is a discussion on What is the difference between sorrel and chestnut? within the Horse Colors and Genetics forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • What is the difference between chestnut and sorrel colors?
  • Sorrel and chestnut horses, same color?

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    01-10-2012, 03:40 AM
Question What is the difference between sorrel and chestnut?

They look pretty much the same to me.
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    01-10-2012, 04:39 AM
They look the same because they are the same. Genetically, a sorrel and a chestnut are the same thing. Here in Australia, I only ever heard the term "sorrel" except in books like My Friend Flicka.
    01-10-2012, 06:17 AM
^What Chiilaa said. They are the same, just different terms used by different people/organizations in different venues...
    01-10-2012, 06:38 AM
Smile Thank You

Thank you for the quick replies all of you!
Have a nice day,
    01-10-2012, 06:48 AM
Green Broke
I think that they are the same too. I've heard that chestnut is used more for dressage/english and sorrel is used more for western. Some say chestnut is a darker brown and sorrel is more of a red and brown. In the end they are still the same.
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    01-10-2012, 07:19 AM
Usandpets - They are the same. There is no thinking about it. On the genetic level they are both ee (lacking black pigment), aka red.

There are only two base colors in horses.... Red and black. Everything else is a modification of those two base colors.
    01-11-2012, 12:45 AM
Welcome to the forum
    01-11-2012, 09:35 PM
Haha I used to get confused at this too ! Ya they're pretty much the same thing, usually chestnut has the same color mane and tail, while sorrel has a more flaxen mane and tail. Anyways, it all depends on the preference of the person.
    01-16-2012, 04:43 PM
They aren't pretty much the same thing. (That would indicate there are differences).

They are EXACTLY the same. For some reason, someone decided sorrel sounded good? I don't know. Genetically, they are the same. The majority of the world recognizes the color as chestnut. Half the registries in the world only include the term chestnut (including TB and Arabian). But someone, somewhere, likes the word sorrel I guess. Some say that sorrel means they have a flaxen mane and tail, but many arabians have flaxen manes and tails, and they aren't "sorrel".. they are flaxen chestnuts. As we get more and more information on genetics, it would be nice if breed registries kept up (like the UK Welsh.. calling buckskins.. dun. There is no dun gene, so they aren't dun.. it's the term they call buckskins. Calling palominos "creams", etc.).. It just confuses people.
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    01-16-2012, 04:51 PM
I think the only time I have seen sorrel used is in the quarter horse or stock type horses. Typically, chestnut is used instead.

My husband always said he didn't want a sorrel horse, and he ended up with one anyway, a fox trotter with the plainest markings you can get. I told him since it was a fox trotter we would say he was a chestnut, so chestnut he is!

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