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Gray Horses: Interesting Facts and Pictures

Dean Eby

Gray horses are incredibly unique and beautiful creatures that can actually display a wide array of different hues. When discussing gray horses, you’re not simply talking about the color of their coat. Some gray horses even appear to be white.

While horses come in many shades of gray, they all have one thing in common; black skin. All gray horses have black skin covered with hair that’s either gray or white. Some can even be born dark, though their coat will lighten up as they age. Let’s take a look at some of the gray horse variations you might run into.


Light Gray

Light gray horses often appear to be white since they’re covered in white hair. The way you can differentiate a light gray horse from a white one is the black skin that shows through in some places; usually around the face, ears, and legs.

Steel Gray

Steel gray horses look like they’re almost a faded black color. Their coats are black, but there are many white and gray hairs mixed in, which lightens the appearance of the black hair. As steel gray horses age, their coats often get lighter and they become dappled grays or even light grays.

Rose Gray

Rose gray horses have a very unique look. They’re a medium-gray horse with hairs that are tinted red, giving the horse a rosy glow. These horses usually have darker points than the rest of their body.

Fleabitten Gray

Fleabitten grays have a very unique look. They almost look like a dirty light gray. They have light-colored hair covering their bodies, but there are black or brown specks distributed across the body. These horses are often confused with roans or Appaloosas, but they’re distinctly different color patterns.

Dapple Gray

Dappled grays have dark hair, similar to a steel gray. The major difference is all the white patches that look like the dark color was erased in those areas. These white patches cover the horse’s whole body, creating a unique look like some sort of zebra hybrid.

Related Read: 12 Grey Horse Breeds



Gray horses come in a variety of different shades and patterns. They’re often mistaken for other colorations and patterns, such as Appaloosas and roans. But you can always tell a gray horse apart by the black skin underneath their coat; the defining characteristic of a gray horse.

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Featured Image: Abramova Kseniya, Shutterstock

Dean Eby

An avid outdoorsman, Dean spends much of his time adventuring through the diverse terrain of the southwest United States with his closest companion, his dog, Gohan.  He gains experience on a full-time journey of exploration. For Dean, few passions lie closer to his heart than learning.  An apt researcher and reader, he loves to investigate interesting topics such as history, economics, relationships, pets, politics, and more.