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White and grey horses are easily and often confused. A horse with the greying gene will often times appear pure white. However, it is very different from a horse with the white gene. You see, a horse with a greying gene will start out like any other colored horse. However, as it ages its coat will fade like human hair until one day it is snowy white. A horse with a white gene, on the other hand, will be white from the day it is born.

One very important reason to tell the two apart is that the white gene can be deadly: a horse with two dominant white genes will die in its mother's womb. Therefore, unlike a grey horse that appears white, a horse with the white gene must be carefully bred so as to avoid embryonic fatality.

Sometimes, it can be easy to tell the difference between a grey horse that looks white and a truly white horse. A grey horse, having started out some other color, will have skin and eyes to match. On a dark horse like a Lipizzaner this makes it obvious the horse is a grey rather than a white, because its skin is dark. A truly white horse, on the other hand, would have pink skin.

Other genes can result in pink skin as well, however, and on those horses determining white from grey can be more difficult.

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Black is a relatively uncommon coat color in horses, though not so unusual as to be considered rare. For a horse to be considered black, it must be completely black except for white markings.

A visible difference between a true black and a dark chestnut or bay is seen in the fine hairs around the eyes and muzzle; on a true black these hairs remain black even if the horse is sun-bleached, while on other colors they will be lighter.

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