Dun Factors

Dun factors - true and false

It has been observed by 'dun' experts that in a true dun the dun factors are the undiluted colour of the underlying coat. False dun factors on the other hand look like a sooty overlay and there is no dilution in the underlying coat.

The true dun factors

Dorsal stripe and dorsal barring

Red (chestnut) dun

Grulla (black)

Mouse (brown) dun

Yellow (bay) dun

Palomino dun (dunalino) - clear coated palomino dun

Palomino dun (dunalino) - palomino dun carrying smut which concentrates in the dun factors.

Buckskin dun (dunskin)

Silver dun

Buckskin silver dun

Classic cream dun

Leg barring and mottling

Yellow dun - note the colour of the barring changes according to the underlying coat colour on a yellow dun. This is a good indication of a true dun.

Buckskin dun (dunskin)

Brown or mouse dun - note the different colour of the mottling above the black points when compared to the yellow dun which is in keeping with the darker coat pigment on the forearm of a brown.

Leg barring is black like the underlying coat


Red dun

Mottling and leg barring on a red dun

Palomino dun (dunalino). Many palomino duns do not exhibit loud dun factors and on some they are almost invisible.

Right - mottling on hind leg of a palomino dun

Ear tips

Yellow dun

Brown or mouse dun

Red dun

Palomino (dunalino) dun

Ear edging

Yellow dun

Red dun

Frosting - on a true dun the frosting is the same colour as the coat whereas on a cream dilute ie buckskin, the frosting is generally cream or white.

Red dun - The light red hair at the top of the tail is the frosting; it is a different colour to the rest of the tail.

Close up of frosting.

Mane frosting on a yellow dun

Shoulder stripe

Cobwebbing, face mask and cream hair in ears

False dun factors or 'countershading'

Wither shadow on standard buckskin

Leg barring on a bay with no dun parentage - bars are not a darker shade of the underlying coat but more a chalky overlay.

False dorsal on chestnut going grey newborn foal. Note the intense colour which is indicative of grey. Again, neither parent is dun.

False dorsal on same bay as above with false leg barring - is not a darker shade of the underlying coat but a chalky appearing overlay.

False dorsal on buckskin (no dun parentage) - again more of a chalky overlay appearance

Left - cream guard hairs on a buckskin

Back to the Dun Register

Shades of Dun

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