The Dun Gene | Types of Horses

The Dun Gene is easily the most misunderstood of all the color genes. Buckskin and Dun are not the same thing. A buckskin with a dorsal stripe does not automatically become a dun; they are two separate genes, though a horse can have both, and horses without the dun gene can be linebacked. Like cream, dun is dominant: a horse must have a dun parent in order to be dun itself.
Dun is considered a “primitive” color, and many wild and feral horse populations are exclusively or almost all dun: Sorraias, Tarpans, and Przewalski’s horses to name a few. Norwegian Fjords are all dun, though with different base coats.


  1. chrisitne August 1, 2014 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    The horse is just beautiful…and thank you for the information. i wasnt aware. I used to be much smarter about horses in general when i was a young girl. they were my life. i read encyclopedias constantly on the subject and every horse book i could get my hands on at the library. Of course my life got busy with a family and college and work and i have forgotten most of what i had learned. Seeing this post was a strong reminder of my love for horses and now that i have more time and my hands and the internet, i can pick up my horse hobby again!!! Thank you.

  2. Margaret Kelso November 15, 2014 at 2:15 am - Reply

    I love the color of the horse pictured. I had a (orange?) dun mare a long time ago … she had the stripes and the dorsal. She was a light orangey color. I named her Tangie.

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