For horses since the time of Hippocrates, it is customary to distinguish four main suits: redhead, gray, black, bay.
The remaining suits are considered to be derived from these four basic suits.
Recently, however, abroad it is customary to base the classification of stripes on genetics. American scientist Dr. Phillip Sponenberg (D. Phillip Sponenberg, ‘Equine Color Genetics’, 2003) singles out: black, bay, and red as the main stripes.
Monochrome or bicolor (plain).
Black (main suit) – Black color of the whole body, head, limbs, mane and tail. Black, in fact, is black uniform coloring of the whole body, head, limbs, mane and tail. Black in the sun – the tips of black wool on the body, and sometimes the head brown or reddish, burned out in the sun. The limbs, mane and tail are black.
Derived from the black:
Karakova – Black coloring of the body, head, limbs, mane and tail; The lightening (burns) of the brown color around the eyes, mouth, in the groins, and sometimes in the area of the fixation fossa, elbows and buttocks. Most authors distinguish this color in a separate suit, but some call it a otmaskom a crow (black with tan) or a bay (the extreme version of a dark bay) suit. Probably, a horse with a scorching burn was called a horse with a smaller number of scorch marks, and a carakan horse was called a big one.
Blacks in the sun – a kind of black color, burning out in the summer in the sun. A black horse in sunburn has burned out, reddish hair ends. With the particular instability of the black pigment and a long stay in the bright sun, such a horse can become almost a dirty-brown color. In winter, such horses again become black.
Ash-black – the mention of this suit is sometimes found in the domestic literature on the inheritance of stripes. Genetically, this suit is associated with salt, lamb and isabella. Ash-black in appearance is difficult to distinguish from the usual black, although the hair of such a horse, the bearer of the Isabella gene, is slightly less rich and has a specific dark brown or chestnut shade.
Bayed (main suit) – Torso, head and upper limbs brown in various shades; the limbs from the hock and carpal joints and below are black, but young horses (at least up to 3 years old) may have brown hair. The mane and tail are always black. Dark bay – the horse has a dark, sometimes almost black color in the upper part of the head, neck (along the ridge and at the shoulder blades), back and croup; the rest of the brown wool is usually not much lighter. In some animals, dark wool descends to the sides of the body, and the darkest ones differ from karakas only by a large amount of brown, which is located in the lower part of the body (stomach, throat). The bay itself has a uniform color or slightly lighter belly, throat, lower part of the head. Reindeer-bay – dark-top and light-bottom from below – upper part of the head, neck (along the crest and at the shoulder blades), back and rump, the sides are dark brown, the end of the muzzle, the throat, the belly is light brown. Light bay – light brown, gray-brown, reddish uniform or with a light bottom color. Chestnut – rich, rather dark chestnut shade of wool. Cherry (red) – red-brown, sometimes almost red-red shade; dark-colored horses have cherry-colored wool. Golden – yellowish-brown with a golden sheen wool. Podlasaya – the horse has very light, whitish tan markings around the eyes, mouth, in the groins, and sometimes at the elbows and on the buttocks.
Red (main body) – Red is a variety of different shades of more or less uniform coloring of the whole body, head, limbs, mane, tail and brushes (brushes are mostly the same color as the mane, tail); for light-colored horses, the stomach and the lower limbs, as a rule, lighter, while dark-maned front surface of the limbs is also dark. The mane and tail can consist of a mixture of hair of different shades of red. Auburn – auburn, close to brown shade of body, head and limbs. The mane and tail are usually darker, sometimes with an admixture of black hair, but they may be lighter, even straw. Dark-brown horses differ from brown horses, firstly, by the characteristic reddish shimmering of wool, and, secondly, by a possible admixture of strands in the mane and tail that are lighter than the body. The redhead itself is a redhead of many different shades of color of the entire body, head, limbs, mane, tail and brushes. The mane and tail may be darker, for example, brown, or lighter, up to straw. Light red – light, from gray-red to reddish-golden color of the body, head and limbs. The mane and tail are mostly bright. The red-red is reddish, with a copper tint of wool; inherent, as a rule, dark-red horses. Golden-red – yellowish, with a golden hue. Most often it is possessed by red and light red horses. Golden-red horses may have a red-red mane and tail.