How Do I... Determine Color & Markings?
purpose of this guide is to help Arabian horse owners understand the Association definitions of coat
colors and markings on the purebred Arabian horse. The description listed on the Certificate of
Registration should identify each individual horse for life. This is why it is extremely
important for owners to carefully draw their horse's markings correctly the first time.
As the horse ages, there is always a possibility that it may become lost or mistaken for
another horse. One of the primary means of identifying purebred Arabian horses is by their
markings as described on the Certificate of Registration.
Arabian owners take pride in the fact that Arabian horses are the purest of all breeds. It
is the responsibility of the Association, and all Arabian horse breeders, to protect and
maintain that purity of bloodlines. This can only be done through accurate record keeping
and proper identification of each individual Arabian horse.
Please fill out your registration applications with care.
Under The Foal Coat: Clues for Getting the Right Color:
The Association records the following coat colors: bay, chestnut, grey, black, and roan (see color examples). Most Arabians are registered as foals between the ages of three and six months. Sometimes, this makes it difficult to correctly specify coat color on the registration application because foals are usually born chestnut or dull bay and change colors after losing their foal coats.
There are clues, however, to help owners determine what color a foal will be. Here are a few helpful
- Most foals will begin to lose their fuzzy baby hair around the
eyes and nostrils and the root of the tail first, followed by
the legs. Check the color of the smooth hair in these areas.
Usually, that will be the foal's permanent color.
- If white hairs appear on any area of the face, the foal will
usually be grey. Some horse owners say that if there are white
or grey hairs on the foal's eyelids, and if that foal has at
least one grey parent, the foal will be grey.
- If the foal coat is replaced by black hair on the legs, the
foal will usually be bay.
- If the foal coat on the legs is replaced by chestnut hair, and
the foal's mane and tail are not black, the foal will usually be
- The rule of genetics followed by the Association is that the
mating of two chestnuts always results in a chestnut foal.
- Another rule of genetics followed by the Association is that a
foal will never turn grey unless one parent is grey.
- Commonly, a horse that will be black is born a mousy grey
color and a foal that is born looking black will not stay that
What color is my horse?
How do I draw the horse's markings?
How do I draw the markings for my grey horse?
How do I identify the parts of a horse?
How do I change the registered color?