Friday, September 9, 2011

Colour Palette

I am frequently asked what colour Rosie is, and I always answer "Liver Chestnut" as that is what the vet called her.
July 2009
This question came up again this week as a matter of importance, and I wasn't sure how to answer it.  I was asked specifically:  "Is she that color all season long though? Her base color is the only thing that has me guessing.  I want to say she's either a sunburned black, or a liver chestnut, but the color options from those pictures runs the gamut (grey on seal bay, smokey black, etc)."

To answer the first part of that; no in the winter she is more black than anything else.  But when you look at the picture above you will see some lighter hair around the coronet, fetlocks, and pastern of the front legs, and up the cannon bone of the rear legs.  Not to mention all the dappling.

In the winter there is no dappling, and all that blonde is black.

I've seen pictures of when she was young, yearling I believe, and she looked to be Haflinger coloured.  She was not dark at all.  I know nothing about her sire or dam other than their breeds.

July 2011
While her body colour hasn't changed much since 2009 to 2011 her mane colour is changing.  There is much more silver in her mane today then there has ever been.
August 2011
Do you see it in there?  That's not sun burn, it's all in the under side.

So what colour do you guys think she is?  Do you think she'll change colours again?



  1. What a beautiful girl. Yes, I think she will change colors again. I had an Anglo Trakehner mare that was born a dun, turned chocolate roan, then dappled grey and finally white.

  2. I too think Rosie will continue changing color. It seems the majority that do, continue. No clue why they do, when they do, but I am fascinated by it!!

    Great pic of you two!

  3. She seems to be a classic liver chestnut. We have Friesians which are black. The Dutch registry colors them from brown-black to blue black and we have examples of all 4 allowed color types. But Rosie, who is a darling looks to be a classic liver chestnut. If you could find the wonderful book by Dr. Ben K. Green, THE COLOR OF HORSES, the Scientific and Authoritative Identification of the Color of the Horse, you will see the colors broken down in the the different color ranges and the sub-ranges.
    You have a lovely blog :)

  4. I don't know if she will keep changing, but I have to say that I LOVE the picture of her braided and you in show clothes. She is so pretty and you look great.
    Her color is such that it seems it could go many ways. The mane adds to the mystery. I forget her age, but I know she's young, so there's just no telling.
    My Rogo is getting lighter with each passing month...I wonder what they'll all look like in a few years?

  5. I love her color, no matter what it is called. The dappling is also really neat. I believe it is possible she will change color from year to year and season to season. My Divna is more of a dark brown in summer and black in winter. She is 15 now, and getting more grey hair in her mane as I am getting more grey hair on my head! had to post as "Anonymous" again..for some reason your site no longer recognizes my profile name(????) -- Regina Z - Horse Talk Indiana

  6. Regina - not sure what is going on there either. I have the same issues posting to some sites as well =( Blogger has lost it's mind ?

  7. I think she's gorgeous no matter how many times she changes color and she'll probably continue to do so.
    My Dusty is a beautiful dappled palomino in the winter and then in the summer she turns almost completely dappled brown. Now my greys all started out as dark dappled greys with black legs and manes, then turned to (flea bitten)greys with brown flecks and then my Erik turned totally white mane, tail and all. Donnie still has his black mane and some black on his legs. It's all very interesting but confusing too.

  8. Well, I think I would go with liver chestnut- despite some seasonal color changes. If you go to you can actually submit a photo of your horse for a color analysis! I'm going to follow your blog, just in case you do submit your girl, I'd love to see the results :)


    p.s. I have a soft spot for oversized horses... my 17.2 Irish sport horse is a big boy, but lacks the density of your girl!

  9. Just love that Rosie mare and all the different shades and colors of Big/ Beautiful she is!! Yea, that photo of you both decked out is awesome!
    I'm no color expert but most seem to think she is as you've researched, Liver Chestnut.


Happy Trails!