Horses are some of the most majestic creatures on the planet, but they’re not just beautiful—they’re diverse, too. Among them are a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and coat colors. Some are rarer than others, but if you get to see them up close, it doesn’t take long to realize they’re all equally as mesmerizing.
Even if you’ve spent your whole life around these elegant creatures, chances are you haven’t had the privilege of experiencing at least some of these gorgeous breeds.
Here are 23 stunning horses that sport the most uniquely patterned coats you’ve likely ever seen!
1. Cremello Akhal-Teke: This magnificent breed of horse comes from Turkmenistan, and it’s also the national emblem of the region. Nicknamed “golden horses” because of the hue of their coats, this is one of the oldest existing horse breeds in the world.
2. This is another majestic photo of an Akhal-Teke horse. The misty background makes this picture look like it came straight out of a fantasy movie. The white shining coat is truly a sight to behold when you see one of these steeds in the wild.
3. Dappled gray: Gray is an unnatural color in horses that is a result of artificially selected breeding. While all gray horses will eventually turn white as they age, white-gray horses are born with black skin, while “true” white horses have pink skin.
4. Black and white pinto: A pinto’s coat features any combination of white and another color. At a quick glance, this horse looks like he stole his coat from a cow! The contrast between the white and black is a mesmerizing look.
5. Perlino: Some horses are born with a “cream gene” that makes their coats look, well… creamy. There can be different mixtures of the gene, but this horse has it pure, and the result is a stunning white color.
6. Buckskin: Buckskin is a well-known color among various horse breeds. All of the hairs on the base of the coat are diluted with a red coloring. The mane, tail, and legs are usually unaffected by the coloration, however.
7. Buckskin pinto: This horse has the pinto white color mixed with the deep-red coloring of the buckskin. The freckled mid-section of this horse is common in breeds who sport both of these genes.
8. Silver dapple pinto: This coloration is absolutely breathtaking. Horses with the silver dapple gene have sooty white or silver manes with a dark gray body coat. This guy looks like his body is covered with ornate snowflakes!
9. Red rabicano: Rabicano, which is also described as “white ticking,” is a coat color that is most prominent in the tail and the side flanks of the horse. It looks like someone threw flour all over the belly of this lovely horse!
10. Sabino: Sabino is a group of white spotted patterns that affects the hair and skin. The irregular patterning on this horse’s face is a dead giveaway of the unique sabino gene. It truly looks stunning, doesn’t it?
11. Silver buckskin: This is a version of the silver dapple gene. When this horse gallops through a field, the amazing contrast between her color and the background is something any photographer would want to capture.
WorthAShotFarm / YouTube
12. Sooty on buckskin: Here is another horse who has the sooty color on his back, his mane, and his tail. The black coloring stops at the horse’s belly, however, where it fades into a dull white. Still, he looks amazing.
13. Classic Champagne: The Champagne gene changes the dark hue of a horse’s skin and makes it appear lighter. This horse is a great example of that; her black coat actually appears a soft brown.
14. Gold Champagne: This subtle color looks magnificent. A chestnut-colored skin usually appears gold in horses who have this particular Champagne gene. Whoever owns this horse must be very proud!
15. Gray brindle: The brindle color is mostly associated with dogs, cattle, and guinea pigs, but on rare occasions, horses will also inherit the gene. The patterning is sometimes called tiger striping due to the vertical markings on the skin.
Angeles / Pinterest
16. Chocolate flaxen: This horse looks like he’s actually made of dark chocolate! Usually horses with a flaxen color are a pale yellow, but the chocolate flaxen breed is a lush dark brown color that makes this horse look like he just rode out of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory!
17. Leopard Appaloosa: It’s pretty obvious why this coloring has the name it does: the spots do resemble a leopard’s! Appaloosas are known for their spotted pattern, but this guy in particular could almost pass as a long-legged jungle cat.
In case you couldn’t get enough of the spotted Appaloosa breed, here’s another picture of one trotting through a snowy field. His body almost blends into the background entirely, making the photo look like an optical illusion.
18. Blue roan: Horses with the roan gene have dark underlying coats that can appear to have a bluish hue to them. The head and the legs aren’t typically affected by the roan color, but occasional spotting can occur.
19. Red roan: Here is another version of the roan coloring. If you look closely, you can see the freckled spotting running across the horse’s sides and hind. This horse has more of the roan color than normal on his face and legs.
20. Overo: This fascinating horse looks as though he’s wearing a white mask over his eyes; it’s similar to the black fur that makes raccoons look they’re wearing furry bandit masks! This coloring is very unique, and you won’t find many horses with it.
william cowles / Pinterest
21. Friesian and Appaloosa cross: At first, it looks like this horse could pass for a zebra! This mesmerizing mix is rare. The legs on this guy are extra long, which gives him an even more graceful appearance.
22. Splash overo: This steed’s white face would stand out in any group of horses. The legs and face are a gorgeous all-white color, and the shiny brown sheen of his coat makes him every horse owner’s dream come true!
23. A horse’s horse: This is something you don’t see every day! Sure, his spotted coat is amazing, but if you look carefully, you can actually see the word “horse” spelled out on his side! He’s telling you exactly what he is.
These horses are all stunning, but that last one… wow! Could you have imagined any of these beautiful variations existed in nature?
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