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Settle an Argument:What is "Sorrel?"

This is a discussion on Settle an Argument:What is "Sorrel?" within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        12-05-2008, 11:58 AM
    I found these on the AQHA website. Personally I would say that a chestnut has a darker mane and tail than their body color and a sorrel is the same all around or else a lighter mane and tail. But the 3rd and last picture don't agree with me so I'm probably wrong.

    Red chestnut or sorrel is a recessive trait.
    The color is caused by pheomelanin
    (fee-oh-MEL-ah-nin). This sorrel is
    Higher Math, owned by Julianna Hawn Holt
    Of Blanco, Texas.

    These two horses are the same genetic color, but are different
    Shades. The horse on the left is a flaxen sorrel. The horse on the right
    Is a liver chestnut.

    Love That Chapelle, owned by MJ Farms of Veguita, New Mexico, is a sorrel.

    Big Daddys Caddy is owned by Robert and Sandra Ogden of Shadow
    Hills, California. The mare is a sorrel with a sooty flaxen mane and tail.

    This youngster is a liver chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail.
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        12-07-2008, 12:47 AM
    So what color is this horse...
    Attached Images
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    File Type: jpg horse 009.jpg (123.1 KB, 55 views)
        12-07-2008, 07:56 AM
    According to AQHA and to registered horses that I've owned - Sorrel.
        12-07-2008, 08:04 AM
    Huh, I also thought it was whether you were western or english, that western used 'sorrel' and english used 'chestnut.'

    But chestnut is the lighter version, and sorrel is the darker version? My half arab mare was a sorrel after all, then.

    Does the mane and tail hafta be flaxen for it to be classified a chestnut?
        12-07-2008, 08:19 AM
    I used to think that also (English = Chestnut, Western = Sorrel) but the Breed Registry uses definitions not disciplines.

    As for flaxen, it's the other way around, flaxen = sorrel, black = chestnut.
        12-07-2008, 08:26 AM
    Mane and tail can be any color on a Chestnut doesn't have to be flaxen. You can get a flaxen mane and tail with two sorrels, my daughter has a QH mare from my old sorrel stud and a brown mare that looks exactly like a Belgian just smaller. But blonde with a very flaxen almost white mane and tail.
        12-09-2008, 05:26 AM
    This is the best definition I could find and the one that I agree with.

    "Difficult to distinguish from light chestnuts but has more yellowish
    Body showing little or no red. Mane and tail are often same as body,
    But with flaxen mane and tail, may appear similar to dark palomino."

    I *think* the main difference between sorrel and chestnut is the color
    Of the mane and tail. Chestnuts have solid red manes/tails, the color
    Of their body hair (but they may have some darker hairs mixed in too).

    Sorrels can have white or flaxen color in their mane/tail hair.
    Sorrels are usually a little more orange than red in color.

    Among the variations of sorrel are, that I remember hearing or using:
    Cherry sorrel a dark deep red (Red Sonny Dee AQHA is listed as this
    Color) Chestnut Sorrel a dark red with lighter colored legs Light
    Sorrel a strawberry blonde color (we call this orange)

    On the subject of color, I disagree with the Sorrel coloring of mane/tail.
    I have a dapple chestnut, with a flaxen mane/tail. Sorrels can have solid
    Mane/tails same color as the body, or flaxen mane/tail. Chestnut is similar
    To Palamino, only darker, some people refer to her as a dark Palamino, where
    As Sorrel is Red, either bright or dull, lighter shade.

    I would classify the one above as a sorrel due to the lighter lower legs and slightly lighter mane and tail

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