Sorrel vs. Chestnut

Hanging out with my beloved, Flame.

So, the great debate, sorrel vs. chestnut. In my opinion, Flame is a sorrel horse, however, the Arabian Horse Association doesn’t recognize that color, so he is registered as chestnut.

Wikipedia says that there is no difference between the two colors: “Sorrel is a reddish coat color in a horse lacking any black. It is a term that is usually synonymous with chestnut and one of the most common coat colors in horses. Some regions and breed registries distinguish it from chestnut, defining sorrel as a light, coppery shade, and chestnut as a browner shade. However, in terms of equine coat color genetics there is no known difference between sorrel and chestnut. Solid reddish-brown color is a base color of horses, caused by the recessive e gene.”

If you search Wikipedia for the terms sorrel (horse) or chestnut (horse), the same horse is pictured:

The funny thing is, I would have called this a dun horse or maybe a red dun horse. So confused!

Timmy-the half Haflinger

As for my rescue horse, Timmy, I’ve always considered him chestnut, but I’ve heard others refer to him as sorrel. I know that many people consider sorrel, the lighter color and chestnut the darker color, but I’ve always thought the opposite.

The American Haflinger Registry agrees with me:

“The specialty of the Haflinger lies, of course, in its unique golden chestnut coloring with a long, flowing white mane and tail.”

In conclusion, I’ll continue to apply the terms sorrel and chestnut the way I want to, in regard to my own horses anyway! 😀

Flame and his half-brother, Blaze=sorrel
Honey=chestnut
Frisco=sorrel
Timmy=chestnut, okay golden chestnut
Patriot=grey

Wait, how did Patriot get on this post?! He’s not my horse; belongs to The Franch, but he sure is beautiful!