15 Unique & Rarest Horse Colors in the World (2023)

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While all horses are beautiful, some of them have extravagant coat colors with an additional wow factor. These unique horse colors have the power to transform an ordinary animal into a magical fairytale creature that turns heads wherever it goes.

Generally, the most common horse colors are bay, chestnut, gray, black, and dun. Pinto and spotted coats are also common in certain horse breeds but rare in others.

As you’re about to learn, nature can produce some truly unique horse colors you wouldn’t believe exist in real life. They are not only beautiful, but also have a fascinating genetic background that makes them stand out in the horse world.

Here are the fifteen most unique and rarest horse coat colors.


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Brindle is a type of chimera coat pattern. While it’s relatively common in dogs and cows, brindle is by far the rarest coat color in horses.

Brindle stripes can show up on any base color in the form of light or dark hairs. Because this pattern is a result of two embryos fusing, the hairs making up the stripes can be a different texture to other body hairs. Brindle markings are always vertical and usually don’t extend to the head and legs.

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The most eye-catching brindle horses have a sharp contrast between the stripes and their base coat color. Examples are gray or golden brindles with striking black markings.

Just like other chimera patterns, brindle coats are not normally heritable. However, in late 2016, scientists have identified a heritable brindle gene (Brindle1 or BR1) in a family of American Quarter Horses.

Also Read: 6 Facts You Didn’t Know About the American Quarter Horse


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The cremello is a unique horse color that features cream hairs, blue eyes, and pink skin. Some people refer to cremello horses as white or albino, although their genetics differ from these.

A cremello horse has a chestnut base color and two dilution/cream genes that lighten all hairs to nearly white. This color is typical in the Akhal-Teke, Lusitano, and certain pony breeds.

Perlino horses are similar to cremellos, except their base color is bay. As a result, their manes and tails are darker than their bodies, often reddish or rust in color.


The chimera is possibly the most eccentric horse color among all. It is created when a rare and bizarre DNA error causes two non-identical twins to fuse in the womb. The result is a horse with two sets of DNA that will show both coat colors at birth.

Chimera horses can display a combination of any two horse colors. Their pattern will depend on how the embryos fused prior to birth and follows no particular rule. Chimerism is extremely rare in horses and cannot be passed on to offspring.

Gold Champagne

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Champagne horses have a black base color that is modified by the rare champagne gene. These horses will have blue eyes at birth that change to hazel as they grow older. The champagne gene also causes pinkish skin with freckles and golden or brown hairs.

Gold champagne is a truly fabulous version of the classic champagne and often has a metallic shine. Gold champagne horses have a chestnut base color that is lightened by the champagne gene. They will also have lighter skin, hair, and eye color than a classic champagne horse.

Silver Buckskin

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The silver buckskin is a rare horse color with dark points and a silver coat. This is the result of the rare silver gene that lightens dark hairs on the horse’s body, producing a silver coat.

While the term is used to describe a variety of horse colors, a true silver buckskin must carry the silver gene. This gene only affects black hair pigment and often causes a silver mane and tail. However, a silver buckskin retains its black points, with the silver gene only showing up on the body.

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While not strictly a horse color, a metallic sheen is displayed by certain horse breeds related to the Akhal-Teke. This rare trait puts a unique spin on the horse’s coat, making it shine like molten metal.

A metallic sheen was originally characteristic of the Akhal-Teke breed of Turkmenistan. These horses have been around for at least 3,000 years and are famous for their speed, intelligence, and endurance. Due to their shiny coat, Akhal-Tekes earned the nickname “Golden Horses.”

The cause of their unique metallic sheen lies in the Akhal-Teke’s hair structure. Unlike in other horses, the hairs of Akhal Tekes fold on top of each other in a specific scale pattern. The cuticle of each hair shaft is also particularly smooth and flat, contributing to the metallic glow.

The distinctive shine is most noticeable in dilution horse colors, such as the cremello, champagne, buckskin, and palomino.

Other than the Akhal-Teke, certain Russian horse breeds that trace their ancestry to this breed also feature a metallic sheen. These include the Don, Budyonny, and Karabakh horses.

Also Read: 10 Interesting Facts About Akhal-Teke Horses

Silver Dapple Pinto

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Silver dapple horses are already beautiful, but silver dapple pintos are even more special! This unique horse color combines the fabulous silver dapple coat with pinto coloration.

Silver dapple pintos are quite rare and most often occur in the Gypsy Vanner breed. The color was also noted among American Miniature Horses.

Horses with this coloration have a black base color that’s lightened by the silver gene. Moreover, the dapple gene is responsible for the white or grey spots we see in this eye-catching horse color.

Buckskin Pinto

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Like silver dapple pintos, buckskin pintos boast a combination of their base coat color and pinto spotting pattern. Buckskin horses have one dilution gene that fades their original bay color into various shades of cream and gold. Meanwhile, their black points (mane, tail, and legs) remain intact.

Buckskin pintos are uncommon compared to other pinto colorations. They can show up in a variety of horse breeds, including the Gypsy Vanner, American Paint Horse, or Mustang breeds. Due to their rarity, buckskin pintos have a higher price tag in general than horses with more common coats.

(Video) 26 Rare Horse Breeds That Could Go Extinct Soon!


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Often mistaken for roan or rabicano, the sabino is in fact a pinto spotting pattern. Most sabino horses have partially or fully white legs with belly spots of varying sizes. The white spotting often extends to the face and other body parts, and sabinos can even be completely white.

This unique spotting pattern can appear on any base color. A rare and eye-catching combination is a chocolate sabino that has a brown and white coat and bright red mane.

Red Rabicano

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A red rabicano horse has a chestnut base color and sparse roaning typically limited to the underbelly, flanks, tail, legs, and head.

While true roans have white hairs mixed with colored hairs throughout the body, rabicanos only show this trait in part of the body. Rabicano horses also don’t have darker heads and legs compared to the rest of the body.

This rare horse color is the result of a genetic modifier that produces a mealy pattern on certain areas of the horse. Similar to roans, rabicano coloring is most common in chestnut, bay, and black horses.


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Pearl is an extremely rare and beautiful horse color that mainly shows up in horses with Spanish origins. It is caused by a certain dilution gene called the “barlink factor” that lightens the horse’s base color. It also gives many horses blue eyes.

The most common type of pearl is a chestnut pearl that features a uniform apricot color. However, the gene can affect any horse color, from black to palomino. Pearl Andalusians or Lusitanos demand high prices on the market due to their uniqueness and exquisite looks.

Pearl horses are easy to confuse with cremellos and perlinos, especially if they express the cream gene. However, pearl horses have a slightly darker and yellowish coat, while the other two are on the lighter side.

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Leopard Spotting

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Leopard spotting causes colored sports to appear all over the horse’s body. The background color is either light or completely white, making good contrast with the dark spots. Leopard spotting is relatively common in the Knabstrupper, Appaloosa, and Noriker horse breeds but very rare in others.

Horses with leopard spotting also display the markings typical of all spotted horses. These are mottled skin around the eyes and muzzle, striped hooves, and a white sclera in the eyes.

A unique version of leopard spotting is peacock spots. Peacock sports have a white halo around them and often show up on roans, resulting in a truly unusual look. Peacock spotting can occur in some Appaloosa and Knabstrupper horses.

Sooty Buckskin

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A sooty buckskin is a unique type of buckskin with black hairs spread across the horse’s topline, shoulders, and thighs. This rare horse color results from the sooty genetic modifier affecting a buckskin coat, giving the horse a “smoky” appearance.

Sooty horses become darker with age as the black hairs spread onto other parts of the body. The trait is considered to be heritable, although the exact genetic mechanisms haven’t been explored in great detail. This fabulous color can show up in most horse breeds.

Dominant White

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The dominant white is one of the rarest horse colors on the planet. Horses with this color carry the “W” gene that causes them to be completely white.

Few people can correctly identify a dominant white horse. They are easy to confuse with light grays, cremellos, and perlinos. However, dominant white horses are different in a few key aspects.

Unlike other horse colors, dominant white horses have no pigment cells. Hence they are born with white hair, pink skin, and blue eyes. They are, however, not albinos, as albino animals have a normal distribution of pigment cells. As a matter of fact, albinism doesn’t exist in horses.

Dominant white horses also don’t carry the gene for the lethal white syndrome. Foals with this condition look identical to dominant white foals, but they die within 72 hours of birth. This is due to an undeveloped colon that prevents the foals from digesting milk.

Chocolate Flaxen

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The chocolate flaxen is a gorgeous horse color where the horse has a dark chocolate coat with a flaxen mane and tail. This coat color is common in the Rocky Mountain and Morgan horse breeds, while Black Forest horses are exclusively this color.

(Video) 20 Horses That Are Born Only Once In 1000 Years

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Chocolate flaxen horses have a chestnut base and a flaxen modifier that lightens the mane and tail. They may also retain streaks of dark hair in them. The chocolate flaxen is no doubt an enchanting horse color and a favorite of many horse lovers.

Also Read: 11 Facts About the Morgan Horse Breed


What is the rarest horse color in the world? ›

Q: What are the rarest horse colors? Pure white is the rarest, but there are other colors not seen very often. Some include: Champagne.

Does a purple horse exist? ›

There is technically no such thing as a purple roan horse. Roan is a term used to describe a horse's color when the horse has one color of body hair but has white hairs interspersed within the body coloration. The most common type of roan is a red roan or "strawberry" roan.

Does a pink horse exist? ›

Khadi is a Perlino horse, an usual breed defined by their cream coats and pink skin and their blue or glass eyes. Because of this, they are sometimes called pseudo-albino horses. The cream colour can vary from a very pale off white to a pale coffee colour, but shines through pink under their short summer coats.

What is the rarest Arabian horse color? ›

Black is one of the least common coat colors in Arabian horses, as it's often suppressed by the dominant Agouti gene. The Agouti gene (A) is responsible for bay coat coloring and is visible only on black.

How rare is a grey horse? ›

Our research found that about 8% of horses are grey, this makes grey horses unusal but not rare. Grey horses are unusual because, due to how color fades slowly, a grey horse is only visibly grey for 3 to 4 years of their life. Before they turn grey they are generally the base coat color they were born with.

What is the oldest color in horses? ›

Most wild equids are dun, as were many horses and asses before domestication of the horse. Some were non-dun with primitive markings, and non-dun 1 is one of the oldest coat color mutations, and has been found in remains from 42,700 years ago, along with dun.

Do gold horses exist? ›

The Akhal-Teke (/ˌækəlˈtɛk/ or /ˌækəlˈtɛki/; from Turkmen Ahalteke, [axalˈteke]) is a Turkmen horse breed. They have a reputation for speed and endurance, intelligence, and a distinctive metallic sheen. The shiny coat of the breed led to their nickname, "Golden Horses".

What color is horse blood? ›

It is most commonly described as a dark red with purple and brown undertones. The blood would change from a bright red to a darker, oxidized, more brown-red as it aged.

Can a black horse turn grey? ›

(It's interesting to note, however, that when a black foal is going to go gray, it is usually born a deep, jet-black. Black foals that do not carry the gray gene are often born a mousy-gray color, which is why people sometimes joke that “black horses are born gray, gray horses are born black.”)

What is a strawberry horse? ›

strawberry roan in American English

noun. a horse with a reddish coat that is liberally flecked with white hairs.

What is a fairy horse? ›

A subset of horses called fairy horses exist in North of North. These horses are magical horses, part of Herd Moonfairy. They include multiple types of horses, including sprites, pixies, brownies, naiads, and dryad horses.

Is there a real spirit horse? ›

This real Spirit, originally called Donner, was born to a wild stallion and mare that were rounded up in Oregon. Like his fictional counterpart, the real Spirit is Kiger Mustang, known for their unique coloring and DNA connection to the original Spanish horses that arrived in North America in the 17th Century.

What is the most beautiful rare horse? ›

The Akhal-Teke horse is considered to be one of the most beautiful horse breeds in the world due to it's metallic-like shine to it's fur, giving this breed the appearance of golden and bronze statues almost. In Turkmenistan, this breed is the national horse breed and there is even known as 'the golden horse'.

What is the most beautiful color horse? ›

The most desirable horse color is bay – which can range from dull red to yellow to brown. A dark bay with no white and a black tail, mane, and legs from the knees and hocks down is generally considered as the most beautiful color in horses.

Who is the rarest horse? ›

The rarest horse breed on this list is the Camarillo horse breed. With only 22 Camarillo horses living today, it is by far the most in danger of extinction. The Camarillo family cultivated and coveted the Camarillo horse breed for many decades.

What is a rose grey horse? ›

Rose gray or rose grey may refer to: A horse with a grey coat with a pinkish tinge.

What is the rarest white horse? ›

The Camarillo White Horse is a rare horse breed just over 100 years old known for its pure white color. It dates back to 1921, when Adolfo Camarillo, one of the last Californios, purchased a 9-year-old stallion named Sultan at the California State Fair in Sacramento.

What is a gilded horse? ›

A gelding is a castrated male horse, donkey, or mule. Unless a horse is to be used for breeding purposes, it should be castrated. Gelding can make horses more even-tempered and easier to handle. A stallion who is gelded later in life may retain more aggressive stallion-like behavior.

What kind of horse is spirit? ›

Spirit was the perfect example of genetically and historically rare 15th-century Spanish Barb horses, and animators observed his movement to create the most accurate and realistic movement on the screen. Following the film's release, DreamWorks selected Return to Freedom (RTF) as Spirit's permanent home.

What horse breed is born black then turns white? ›

Gray horses, including Lipizzans, are born with a pigmented coat—in Lipizzans, foals are usually bay or black—and become lighter each year as the graying process takes place, with the process being complete between 6 and 10 years of age. Lipizzans are not actually true white horses, but this is a common misconception.

Are horses color blind? ›

Horses are not color-blind. At one time people thought that horses were colorblind. Horses are considered Dichromatic while people are Trichromatic. Horses naturally see the blue and green colors of the spectrum and the color variations based upon them, but cannot distinguish red.

What is a legendary horse? ›

Legendary horses are extraordinary and heroic horses. Each horse comes from a different country and has a specific temperament. You get a legendary horse when you give 5 pieces of legendary tack to one of your horses. That horse's skills are then doubled.

What is the shiniest horse in the world? ›

The Akhal-Teke horse is so beautiful that it can be compared to a golden statue. With his thin skin, it looks almost metallic in sunlight. The Akhal-Teke is considered the most beautiful horse in the world by buzzfeed.com.

What is a blonde horse called? ›

Palomino is a genetic color in horses, consisting of a gold coat and white mane and tail; the degree of whiteness can vary from bright white to yellow. Genetically, the palomino color is created by a single allele of a dilution gene called the cream gene working on a "red" (chestnut) base coat.

What color is spider blood? ›

Snails, spiders and octopi have something in common- they all have blue blood! We're not talking in the sense of royalty, these creatures literally have blue blood. So why is their blood blue and ours red? One of the purposes of blood is to carry oxygen around the body.

What color is horse urine? ›

Normal horse urine appears colorless, yellow or even cloudy yellow as it is voided. The color and cloudiness change as the bladder is fully emptied. If the urine appears a red, brown or orange color as it is being passed that can indicate a significant problem.

What color is horse milk? ›

A mare's first milk (colostrum) has a thick sticky consistency and is tan to pale yellow in color. The foal usually ingests all of this colostrum in the first hours of life. After that, a mare's milk is white.

Why is my black horse turning red? ›

Red tips on dark manes and dark coats, particularly noticeable in bays and black horses, may be due to a copper deficiency which is easy to fix, but it requires knowing the levels of copper and zinc in the entire diet.

Is Black Horse rare? ›

Black is a hair coat color of horses in which the entire hair coat is black. Black is a relatively uncommon coat color, and it is not uncommon to mistake dark chestnuts or bays for black.

Why is my black horse turning white? ›

Since sun exposure is the root cause of black horses bleaching, turning your horse out at night is a surefire way to protect the color of their coat from damage.

What is a taffy horse? ›

Silver (taffy) coat colours include the eye-catching black silver (aka silver dapple) and bay silver. The silver gene alters the distribution of black pigment but does not affect red. This means that the effect of the silver gene is not visible on chestnut horses and other colours that have no black, such as palomino.

What is a pixie horse? ›

Description. Pixie horses were a quick and nervous breed, easily distinguished from other horses by their two feathery antennae that grew up from their brows.

What is a chocolate horse? ›

This means a horse that has two copies of both the black and the silver gene (such as our Maple) will always throw a chocolate foal if no other dilution genes are added to affect the color. A chocolate horse can also be called a silver black.

Is black horse rare? ›

Black is a hair coat color of horses in which the entire hair coat is black. Black is a relatively uncommon coat color, and it is not uncommon to mistake dark chestnuts or bays for black.

What is the most favorite horse color? ›

Preferences for the colors, from highest to lowest, were turquoise, light blue, light green, green, yellow, and red. Horses chose the blues over other colors and light-toned colors over darker tones.

What is the rarest horse in real life? ›

The Rarest in the World
  • Akhal-Teke Horse.
  • American Cream Draft Horse.
  • Boulonnais Horse.
  • Caspian Horse.
Mar 2, 2022


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