Colors

BLACK
The Black horse’s entire body color is black. The black foal may be an overall mousy grey at birth, but will be black when it sheds its foal coat.  

SMOKY BLACK
The Smoky Black is a black horse with one cream dilution gene. The body color can vary from dark brown to almost black with brown hair in the ears and the eyes range from hazel to dark brown. At least one parent must have a cream gene.

SMOKY CREAM
The Smoky Cream is a black horse with two cream dilution genes. It always has blue eyes, pink skin and is a rich creamy off white. Both parents must have a cream gene. 

CLASSIC CHAMPAGNE
The Classic Champagne is a black horse diluted by a champagne gene. The body color varies in shade from a dove color to a dark chocolate and the points are a darker shade of the same color. The foal coat color is almost black at birth and the skin is pink and as the horse ages freckles develop on the pink skin. The eye color is always blue at birth and changes to brown or hazel color. At least one parent must be champagne.

CLASSIC CREAM CHAMPAGNE
The Classic Cream Champagne is a black horse diluted by a champagne gene and a cream gene. It always has pink skin and is usually born a creamy off white and darkens to a rich or dark creamy color. The eye color is always blue at birth and usually ends up a greenish hazel color. At least one parent must be champagne and one parent a cream dilute or cream champagne. 

BAY
Bay horses have a body color coat that ranges from light-to-dark
reddish-brown hues, and are distinguished by their black mane
and tail, legs and ears rims.

BROWN
The Brown horse’s body color is black except for lighter brown
areas around the muzzle, eyes, flanks, and insides of the legs.

BUCKSKIN
The Buckskin is a bay horse with one cream dilution gene which
dilutes only body color to any shade from creamy tan to sooty brown
with black mane, tail, legs and black ear rims. At least one parent must have a cream gene.

PERLINO
The Perlino is a bay horse with two cream dilution genes. It is born a creamy off white color with pink skin, blue eyes, yellowish mane and tail and legs. Both parents must have a cream gene. 

AMBER CHAMPAGNE
The Amber Champagne is a bay horse diluted by a champagne gene.  The body color can vary from a golden tan body color with chocolate brown points, though the legs are often lighter than the mane & tail. The foal coat color resembles a bay horse at birth and the skin is always pink and develops freckles on the exposed pink skin. The eyes are always blue at birth and change to brown or hazel color. At least one parent must be champagne.

AMBER CREAM CHAMPAGNE
The Amber Cream Champagne is a bay horse diluted to a creamy tan body color with light to medium brown points with the legs often lighter than the mane & tail. The skin is pink and as the horse ages it develops freckles on the exposed pink skin. The eye color is always blue at birth and usually ends up a greenish hazel color. At least one parent must be champagne and one parent a cream dilute or cream champagne.

CHESTNUT/SORREL
Chestnuts vary in shade from a light golden red to a dark reddish brown. Quite often, the mane and tail will be the same color as the body coat
but they can also have a flaxen mane and tail. Sorrels are called “light chestnuts” in some of the other breeds, but genetically chestnuts and sorrels are the same.

PALOMINO
The Palomino horse is a chestnut with one cream gene that dilutes the body to a golden color with white mane and tail. Ideal color is that of
a newly minted gold coin but can vary from pale gold to a deep gold
coat with off-white mane and tail. Palomino horses always have dark
skin. At least one parent must have a cream gene. 

CREMELLO
The Cremello is a chestnut horse with two cream dilution genes. It is born a creamy off white color with pink skin, blue eyes, white mane and tail and legs. Both parents must have a cream gene.  

GOLD CHAMPAGNE
The Gold Champagne is a chestnut horse diluted by a champagne gene. The body color can vary from pale to dark golden color with the mane and tail a flaxen, near-white or golden color. The foal coat color is darker than the adult, resembling a sorrel or chestnut horse at birth and the skin is always pink and develops freckles on the exposed pink skin. The eye color is always blue at birth and changes to brown or hazel color. At least one parent must be champagne.

GOLD CREAM CHAMPAGNE
The Gold Cream Champagne is a chestnut horse diluted by a
champagne gene and a cream gene. It always has pink skin and a
creamy off white color and as the horse ages it develops freckles on the exposed pink skin. The eye color is always blue at birth and usually ends up a greenish hazel color. At least one parent must be champagne and one parent a cream dilute or cream champagne.   

Patterns

SABINO   
The Sabino pattern usually has white that extends up the legs in ragged patches, and then extends onto the horse’s body from the belly. The head is usually excessively white with white extending under the chin and under the jaws and the eyes are commonly blue although many sabino horses have partially blue, partially brown eyes. Flecks, patches and roan areas are common on sabinos. Some sabinos will also have odd white patches on the knee or hock, removed from the main portion of the lower white leg markings. In the middle range of expression, sabino horses are fairly distinctive and are usually difficult to confuse with other patterns. The whitest of the sabinos are nearly or entirely white. Some retain color only on the ears and others are white all over with spots on the skin under the white hair. 

TOBIANO   
A Tobiano can be any solid-colored horse with legs that are usually white and white spots that are arranged vertically with body spotting that is regular, round or oval, and extends down the neck and chest with a shield appearance. They usually have dark areas on one or both flanks and the tail may have two colors. The white usually crosses the top-line somewhere between the ears and tail. The head has no more white than expected on a non-spotted horse. The eyes of tobianos are usually dark. Tobiano horses can vary from quite dark, with small amounts of white, to quite white, with only the head remaining dark. The darker individuals
sometimes have so little white spotting as to be confused with
non-spotted horses.

OVERO
Overo coat patterns occur on any color background and the white areas on overos are usually crisply and cleanly delineated from the colored areas, although some have a halo or shadow of pigmented skin under white hair directly at the boundary. White spotting of the overo horse usually comes up from the belly in a horizontal arrangement and does not cross the topline. The overo horse may have solid-colored legs with normal white markings and the tail is one color. 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.

TOBIANO / SABINO
The combination of the Tobiano and Sabino patterns is a common
occurrence in the Tennessee Walking Horse. The Tobiano/Sabino shows characteristics of both the tobiano and sabino patterns. The main identifying characteristic is the appearance of excessive white on the face, under the chin and under the jaw. Blue eyes or blue spots in the eyes indicate the presence of the Sabino gene. The spotting pattern is a combination of the two patterns with the white crossing over the top line.

Dilutions

DUN   
The Dun gene is a dilution gene that can lighten any body coat color in varying degrees. The dun must prominently display a dark dorsal stripe and zebra stripes on the shoulders and horizontal stripes on the legs. At least one parent must be a dun.

SILVER 
The Silver gene is a dilution gene that affects only black pigment of the mane and tail and dilutes black body color only slightly. The mane and tail are lightened to a silvery or blonde shade, and the eyes can range from hazel to dark brown. The Silver gene is only expressed on black and must have a parent with the silver gene. Bay Silver horses appear to be chestnuts with flaxen or silver manes but genetically are bay horses. The combination of base coat color and the term “silver” is required to describe a horse with
a silver gene such as black silver, bay silver, classic champagne silver, etc.

WHITE
White horses are extremely rare and are born pure white and have
dark eyes and pink skin with no freckles or spots on skin or hair. In
the Tennessee Walking Horse, Maximum Sabinos are frequently
misidentified as white. A Sabino test is available.

Modifiers

ROAN   
Roan is not a color. It modifies any coat color with a mixture of white hairs, intermingled from birth with the darker hairs of the coat color leaving the base color on face, mane, tail and lower legs. Use the
combination of base coat color, such as “black,” and the term “roan” to describe a “black roan.” The true Roan pattern isn’t always apparent until it sheds its foal coat to the color that it will be throughout the horse’s life. At least one parent must be a roan.

GREY   
Grey is a color modifier and no horse is born grey. Grey begins to modify the birth coat color sometimes months or even years later. They will begin showing signs of grey around the eyes, flank and below the elbow. Grey patches occasionally will develop on the body, croup, or thigh before they are visible around the eyes. Grey is progressive and aging causes the coat colors of grey horses to progressively lighten to almost white. Dappling is common and often, older grey horses show speckles of their original coat color hair and are called “flea-bitten.” A grey horse must have at least one grey parent. Ideally to preserve the true color of the horse “Grey” should be added to the birth color black/grey, chestnut/grey, palomino/grey etc.

More Information Including Color Genetics Chart