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Colors of The Tennessee Walking Horse



A diluted bay coat mixture of red and black hairs from a bay coat results in several shades of the buckskin horse with a black mane and tail. The actual shade of the diluted coat depends upon the degree of black hairs intermingled with red hairs. The dark bay, for example, is diluted to a sooty yellow with black points. There are many shades of diluted bay coats, from off-white to sooty tan. The most common color for the buckskin is a tan.



Closely related to the buckskin, the dun horse is usually flashier in color, and with frequent dark dorsal stripes and zebra" stripes on the shoulders and legs. The dun body coat is also a dilution of the bright red bay to a clear yellow with dark points.


Generator's Charmer - Chestnut

The copper-colored chestnuts vary in shade from a light golden red to a dark reddish brown, sometimes identified as a "liver chestnut."   Quite often, the mane and tail will be the same color as the body but, occasionally, a chestnut will have a flaxen mane and tail, and will often show white face and leg markings.  Light blonde baby fuzz on their legs should not be confused with true white markings, with the hairs springing from a pink skin.  Genetics dictate that the mating of two chestnuts always results in a chestnut foal.



The base color of the body is nearly white but with a yellow tinge.  Mane and tail color ranges from white to muddy yellow.  Other "white" horses may be derivations of aging greys (in rare occurrences);  the roaning horse also carrying grey genes.

Another possibility for the "white" horse is the "dominant white."   This term is used to describe a horse that is born completely white, with pink skin and colored eyes (blue, brown, amber, or hazel).  A dominant white horse is truly white, not cream-colored like the cremello (pseudo-albino).  True albinos (pink skin, pink eyes and completely white coat) are unknown among horses and should not be confused with 'pseudo-albino cremellos  (pink skin, blue eyes and almost-white coat.)

Dominant White


Another near-white horse is the perlino, whose lack of color is attributed to a dilution of the bay ancestry. The coat is diluted to near white while the dark points either remain dark or become a light rusty or chocolate shade. The perlino pattern also may be marked by a dark dorsal stripe and sometimes zebra marks on the legs and shoulders.


Powder River - Overo

White spotting of the overo horse usually comes up from the belly and rarely across the back. The white areas are usually irregular with uneven edges. The overo horse may have solid-colored legs, except for normal white markings. Overo spotting can occur on any color base background. It may also have a white bonnet that covers the ears and poll and encircles the neck at the throat; it may be bald-faced, covering both eyes, or apron-faced, with white markings extending beyond the ears and under the chin. The eyes of an overo with extensively white facial markings are frequently blue or white ("china eyes").



The sabino is a horse with color and markings similar to the roan, yet it is genetically different. Its base coat color is mixed with white hairs, similar to roaning, but often with overo markings: high stockings, white face, white spots. The base color, bay, black, chestnut, etc. is used with sabino for better identification: i.e. "bay sabino", "chestnut sabino", etc.


A tobiano TWH is basically solid-colored, spotted, and with four white legs. The face is marked similarly to that of a solid horse with a dark head and white face markings such as a star or strip.

Golden Tobiano

Paint's Cotton - black Tobiano

The tobiano has white spots that are regular and rounded, with even borders, and cross over the back. 

The base color can be any color recognized by TWHBEA (black, bay, chestnut, sorrel, palomino, buckskin, etc.; the white spotting occurs with all colors except dominant white.) 

Bay Tobiano