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Different Types of Horse Hair 

Below is the beginning of a classification of different types of hair on horses, and how they react to color-modifying genes.

  • black tail hair -- seemingly the last to dilute, except for its guard hairs.  

  • red tail hair -- dilutes to white with single cream and also usually with single champagne ; does not dilute with dun (except for its guard hairs). 

  • black mane hair -- next to last (as in flaxens that are mane-only. How many horses are flaxen-tailed only, except for when it's caused by a spotting gene?) Same with the Silver dilution.

  • mane & tail guard hairs -- tend to go nearly white in the presence of practically any dilution gene

  • lower leg hair -- it dilutes with double dream, even more with champagne, but not with dun or single cream.

  • dorsal (over the spine) hair -- tends to be darker than body hair, resists dilution more than body hair, especially when "sooty" hairs are present.

  • regular body hair -- it dilutes a moderate, "normal" amount. The color that we usually refer to.

  • easily-diluted body hair -- what becomes the "roaning" in a Palomino or buckskin. Dilutes to an ivory color with only one cream gene.

  • "sootiness hairs" -- diluted by some genes and not by others. Possibly correspond to "guard" hairs? Just a hunch.  

  • dapple hairs, which have a different texture than non-dapple, and dilute differently with cream than with dun or champagne.


    • grey hair -- seems like it can be any of the above ; ranges from a some pigment left to completely clear, like glass.

    • markings hair -- again, any of the above ; hair in a white marking loses all of its pigment, becoming clear as glass, like a gray hair.


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