The descriptions below are to aid in identifying the particular shade of a dun horse. All duns, regardless of their shade, must have a coat color that has been diluted, having yellow-tan or dove/slate tones, and have some combination of dun (primitive) markings, such as dorsal stripe, leg barring, wither stripe, face or chest webbing, etc.

 

Photo Copyright vs. Current Owner of Horse

On these pages, photo copyright credits are listed with each photo. However, the photo copyright owner may not be the current owner of that horse, as it may have been sold, or someone else took the photo of that horse and contributed it to DCS for use here.

Please visit the Verified Dun Morgans page for more up-to-date listing of the current owner of any particular dun dilute Morgan shown on these web pages. We will try to keep the current ownership of dun dilute Morgans as up-to-date as possible on that page. If you see any incorrect owner listings, please do not hesitate to bring it to our attention. To email updated ownership info, click here.

 

 

BROWN DUN SHADES ~ BROWN BASE COAT

Adult brown dun: A genetics lab in France proved that seal brown colored horses are not the result of mealy (pangare) on a black horse. Rather, they are black + an agouti gene. However, because seal browns have very little red on them from the restriction of their agouti gene, it is believed that there are at least two mutations of the agouti gene. One that creates clear bay colored horses by restricting black to the point areas; and one that creates brown or seal brown, by mainly restricting the black from the "soft areas" of the horse, thus the horse remains mostly black in color.
NOTE: It is believed by the author of this page that browns can vary in expression, from light (mahogany bay looking), to nearly black (seal brown). If this is true, some light expressions of brown dun could be easily mistaken for a bay dun. Research is currently being conducted by Michal Prochazka, MD, of Pet DNA Services of Arizona. He research is showing a lot of promise at this time, and it is supporting the belief that there are different mutations of the agouti gene for bay and brown.

It is believed that when the dun dilute gene is present on a horse with a brown base coat, the resulting color of the horse can be confusing. At times, the horse's coat may appear to be somewhere between grulla and bay dun. The head will sometimes be very dark (but not always), and the coat color may appear to be similar to the dove gray of a grulla. Other times, the coat color will be more like that of a bay dun. The appearance of the coat may waver between 'similar to grulla' and 'similar to bay dun' during seasonal coat changes. The expression of dun on a brown base can be highly dependent on how light or dark the expression of brown is. Some browns are nearly black looking, and these dark expressed brown base colors would generally tend to appear more like a grulla when the dun gene is present.

U.C. Davis offers the agouti test, which would tell the owner of such horse if that horse has an agouti gene or not. If the horse has an agouti gene, it is not a grulla. The current agouti test cannot, however, tell if the horse is brown or bay based.

Brown dun foals may be born looking very similar to bay dun foals, but there may be some clues present that the foal is actually brown based. They may have a very dark or black dorsal at birth, and may already display somewhat developed leg points. Brown dun foals may display darker neck and wither markings, as well. Masking on the nose of a brown dun foal may be more similar to a grulla foal's charcoal coloring, rather than the red masking of a bay dun foal.

BAY DUN SHADES ~ BAY BASE COAT

On an adult bay dun, the dun dilution gene dilutes the red body to a shade similar to that of peanut butter. Or it could be described as a "tan with some red tones". As with any coat color, bay duns can have light to dark shades. The dun gene does not generally affect the point color on bay duns, but they can be mildly diluted on some horses. The points typically remain black, although the mane and tail head often have frosting that closely matches that of the body color. Many adult duns will not show much, if any, dun mane or tail frosting except in winter coat

Bay dun foals will be born a light peachy-buff to caramel-red shade. Clear coated bay dun foals will have a red dorsal stripe, which will become black as the dorsal enters and runs through the tail. If the foal also has some counter shading at birth, the dorsal may be some shade of brown-red. They often have red face masking on their nose just above the nostrils. They may or may not show evidence of leg barring at birth . . . many do not.

 

 

~ FOAL-TO-ADULT EXAMPLE ~
Brown/Bay Dun

Example pics of a bay dun from foal to adult, and in various seasonal coats.
Lineback Double Take ~ bay dun Morgan stallion
(Images are full sized)

 

Example pics of a brown dun from foal to adult, and in various seasonal coats.
Row 1: Alpinemist Dreammaker ~
light brown dun Morgan gelding
Row 2: Ragtime Up In Smoke ~
dark brown dun Morgan colt
(Images are full sized)

 

FOAL SHADES ~ BROWN BASE COAT

Click this image to enlarge

Alpinemist Dreammaker
(Morgan)
Definite Brown Dun
Alpine Mist Morgans

The gelding on the left is shown as a newborn, and he is a definite brown dun. His sire is a grulla (no agouti), and his dam is a seal brown. Seal browns can only have brown agouti genes, so that is the only form of agouti this gelding could have inherited.

By clicking on the small image to see the larger picture, you will be able to easily see that the front leg points are already over the knee, even if just as a dark shadow. This is only common with brown based foals, not bay based foals.

 
Click this image to enlarge

Amberfield's Dun Lovin
(Morgan)
Possible Brown Dun
Copyright Sue White
Brookridge Morgans

This filly is a possible brown dun. She is shown here at approx. 3 months of age.

Her head and neck are very dark, which would be typical for a brown based foal, but not a bay based foal. And her leg points are extremely high and well developed for such a young foal, indicating that brown is most likely her base color, rather than bay.

 

FOAL SHADES ~ BAY BASE COAT

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Alpinemist Caramel Ripple
(Morgan
)
Lazy S Morgan Ranch

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"Cowboy"
(Quarter Horse)
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Kristina Amoree
(Morgan
)
Daymark Farm
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Lineback Doubletake
(Morgan)
Possibly homozygous for dun.
Daymark Farm

Lineback Doubletake as an adult
(Morgan stallion)
Daymark Farm

 

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HCTF Lost In A Storm
(Morgan)
Draconia Keep Morgans
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Bastianne
(Fjord)
Homozygous for dun.
Owned by Anja van den Hoek, Nederland
Click this image to enlarge

Lineback Hija de Sue
(Morgan)
Homestead Morgans

Lineback Hija de Sue as an adult
(Morgan mare)
Homestead Morgans
Click this image to enlarge

LSMR Caballo de Fuerza
(Morgan)
Lazy S Morgan Ranch
Click this image to enlarge

SGT Poco King Buck
(Quarter Horse)
Preheim Bailey Stud
See him on the Adult Shades page, where you can click for a larger version of the image.

SGT Poco King Buck
(Quarter Horse stallion)
Preheim Bailey Stud

 

BROWN/BAY DUN FOAL MARKINGS
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Bay Dun
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Bay Dun
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Bay Dun

Left: Lineback Doubletake (Morgan) - Daymark Farm
Red dorsal stripe, changing to black as it enters the tail, very plentiful dun tail head frosting matching the body shade/coloring, and red leg barring due to the leg points not having developed above the fetlocks yet.

Center: Alpinemist Caramel Ripple (Morgan) - Lazy S Morgan Ranch
Red dorsal stripe, changing to black as it enters the tail, dun tail head frosting matching the body shade/coloring.

Right: PBS Jack O Lantern (Quarab) - Preheim Bailey Stud
Red dorsal stripe, changing to black as it enters the tail, dun tail head frosting matching the body shade/coloring. Light red leg bars on the front leg, but may be difficult to see even in the enlarged image.

 

 

ADULT SHADES ~ BROWN BASE COAT

Definite Brown Duns

Below are examples of definite brown based duns.

Alpinemist Dreammaker and Alpinemist Pendragon are full brothers. Their sire is a grulla and their dam is a dark seal brown. Since grullas have no agouti genes, we know that both geldings had to get their agouti genes from their dam. Brown based horses only have brown agouti genes, because if they also had a bay agouti gene, they would appear bay rather than brown, due to the bay agouti gene restricting the black to just the points. Since the neither of the parents of these two geldings can have bay agouti, we know they have to be brown based.

Click this image to enlarge

Alpinemist Pendragon
(Morgan gelding)
Definite Brown Dun
Alpine Mist Morgans
Click this image to enlarge

Alpinemist Dreammaker
(Morgan gelding)
Definite Brown Dun
Alpine Mist Morgans
 

Possible Brown Duns

Below are two examples of dun Morgans who may be brown based duns, though both would be either lighter or medium expressions of brown plus dun.

The horse pictured in the center, RCK Ragtime Tres Oros, was tested "EE Aa Crcr" by UC Davis,
so he also has a cream gene, making him a dunskin. The addition of the cream gene could be causing his overall coloring to be a bit lighter than what he might have been if he only had a dun gene. The black masking on his face is a typical pattern of the brown agouti gene. The photo was taken in winter, and he is lighter in summer coat, with very dark dorsal and dorsal barbs.

 

Click this image to enlarge

Amberfield's Dun Lovin
(Morgan mare)
Possible Brown Dun
Copyright Laura Behning
Brookridge Morgans
 

BAY DUN ADULT SHADES

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Lineback Doubletake
(Morgan s
tallion)
Possibly homozygous for dun.
Daymark Farm

Click this image to enlarge
Robbi-Sue's Success Story
(Morgan stallion)
R Anchor Morgans
Click this image to enlarge
Kee To Success
(Morgan gelding)
Copyright Kerry Farrias
Click this image to enlarge

Ragtime Starz N Stripes - for sale!!
(Morgan gelding)
Copyright Chris Holmes
Owned by Lyle Foster
Email owner for info here or here.

Click this image to enlarge

FPS Success Made In Dun
(Morgan stallion)
Morning Star Morgans

Click this image to enlarge

Vjostar - for sale!!
(Fjord stallion)
Homozygous for dun.
Copyright Hypofocus
Owned by Anja van den Hoek, Nederland
Email owner for info
Click this image to enlarge

Firestorm
(Morab gelding)
Owned by Kathy Morey
Click this image to enlarge

HCTF Lost In A Storm
(Morgan mare)
Draconia Keep Morgans
Click this image to enlarge

Dodge Mtn Jayne
(unreg. Morgan mare)
Mountain Village Farm
Click this image to enlarge

WMS Laurel Lady Bette
(Morgan mare)
Windfield Morgan Farm
Click this image to enlarge

Successfull Reflection
(Morgan mare)
WM-CAR-WMS Farm

Amberfields Jazztime Moro
(Morgan mare)
Owned by Jackie Wyandt
Click this image to enlarge

SGT Poco King Buck
(Quarter Horse stallion)
Preheim Bailey Stud

This Quarter Horse stallion, SGT Poco King Buck (aka "KB") is an unusual, very "red looking" bay dun. This is not a commonly seen or expected expression of dun dilution on bay. Much of the time, now that he has matured, he does not even appear to be diluted. But, if you look closely at the enlarged image, you can see a mild dilution on the barrel of his body. Also, foal photos do prove that he was a fairly tyical expression of bay dun.
"KB" has also proven via his offspring that he is a dun dilute. He has sired dun dilute foals out of non-dun mares.

See the Foal Shades of Dun page to see a photo of "KB" as a month old foal, as well as foal photos of two of his dun dilute offspring, PBS Starbuck (dunskin), and PBS Jack O Lantern (bay dun).

 

BAY & BROWN DUN ADULT MARKINGS
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Left: Lineback Doubletake (Morgan stallion) - Daymark Farm
The leg bars above the leg points are a medium to dark red, while those within the leg points are black or near black.

Center: Firestorm (Morab gelding) - owned by Kathy Morey
The leg bars above the leg points are red toned, while those within the leg points are black or near black.

Right: Cushman's Melanie Dun Sue (Morgan mare) - owned by Rhonda Sewell
The leg bars above the leg points are red, while those within the leg points are black or near black. The arrow points to one of the red leg bars.

 

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(Possible Brown Dun)

Left: Vjostar (Fjord stallion) - Copyright Hypofocus ~ Owned by Anja van den Hoek, Nederland
Barring on the hind legs is often concentrated on the back of the hock. Quite often, barring on the hind legs is most visible on the insides of the legs at the hock joint.

Center: Vjostar (Fjord stallion) - Copyright Hypofocus ~ Owned by Anja van den Hoek, Nederland
Along with a few leg bars on the front legs of this stallion, we also see a red patch on the forearm. This does not seem to be a commonly seen dun marking. Another example of a leg patch appears on this page in the (grulla) foal markings section.

Right: Amberfield's Dun Lovin (Morgan mare) - Brookridge Morgans
This mare's leg bars are all black, and it is clear that her leg points extend quite high on her legs. These are clues, along with other details, that she is possibly a brown dun.

 

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Left: HCTF Lost In A Storm (Morgan mare) - Draconia Keep Morgans
The dorsal stripe on this mare is not clearly red. It appears more of a brown or brown red. This would generally indicate some sootiness or a light counter shading dorsal laying over top of the base (red) color along her spine.

Center: Robbi-Sue's Success Story (Morgan stallion) - R Anchor Morgans
Along with the deep red dorsal stripe on this bay dun, we can see small, red dorsal barbs on either side of the dorsal stripe.

Right: Vjostar (Fjord stallion) - Copyright Hypofocus ~ Owned by Anja van den Hoek, Nederland
This bay dun's dorsal is very obviously a bright red. On either side of the dorsal stripe, just before it enters the tail, we see what appears to be two red vertical marks. This is the first time the author has seen such markings.
Because the head is turned, we can easily see that the head and neck are darker than the body. The head being darker (retaining a bit more of the base color) is fairly common with the dun dilute colors.

 

Click this image to enlarge

Left: Amberfields Jazztime Moro (Morgan mare) - owned by Jackie Wyandt
The dorsal stripe on this mare is quite clearly a rich red in the enlarged version of the photo. This is quite typical for clear coated (non-sooty/non-counter shaded) bay based duns. Although this mare's leg barring is not visible on the hind legs, and only lightly barred on the front legs, she has a very classic bay dun dorsal, dun colored tailhead frosting, and her body color/tone is a very typically yellow-tan of a dun dilute.

Center: Firestorm (Morab gelding) - owned by Kathy Morey
Both the front and hind leg bars are clearly visible on this bay dun Morab gelding, even in the thumbnail image. Click to open a larger image and note his faint dappling along his side and top of his rump. Dun dilutes can have dapples, though they are most generally fairly faint compared to non-dun dilutes.

Right: Firestorm (Morab gelding) - owned by Kathy Morey
The dorsal is a fairly vibrant shade of red, very clearly defined, and is quite noticable as it runs through the tail. Wither and neck markings are also red.

 

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(Possible Brown Dun)
Also note the dun colored mane/tail frosting, and the light ear tips in the enlarged version of this photo.

Left: Finally Taters Tot (Morgan mare) - Copyright Deb Tompkins ~ Ragtime Morgans
The dorsal stripe on this mare appears black or nearly black. This may indicate that she is either a light to medium shade brown dun, or that she has some sootiness or a counter shading dorsal laying over top of the base (red) color along her spine.

Right: Amberfield's Dun Lovin (Morgan mare) - Brookridge Morgans
Along with her dark/black dorsal stripe, the masking on her face appears blackish. On a bay dun, the masking would be red, not blackish. At foal shedding, she appeared more grulla looking than bay dun looking, indicating the strong possiblity that she is brown based, rather than bay based.
In the enlarged version of the above thumbnail photo, you will also see the dun colored mane and tail frosting (closely matching the body shade), and light ear tips
.

 

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bay dun

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possible brown dun

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bay dun

Left: Vjostar (Fjord stallion) - Copyright Hypofocus ~ Owned by Anja van den Hoek, Nederland
The wither patch and neck cape on this stallion are very uncommon in the Fjord breed, from what his owner has told me. The markings are in shadow, so difficult to properly determine the exact shade, but they do appear to be a medium red-brown.

Center: Finally Taters Tot (Morgan mare) - Copyright Deb Tompkins ~ Ragtime Morgans
The wither patch and neck cape on this mare are quite clearly black. On a clear bay dun, these would be some shade of red or red-brown. This mare may be displaying some sootiness, or she may be a light to medium expression of brown dun.

Right: Cushman's Melanie Dun Sue (Morgan mare) - owned by Rhonda Sewell
The wither patch on this mare is red, as expected on a fairly clear coated bay dun dilute.

 

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Left: Robbi-Sue's Success Story (Morgan stallion) - R Anchor Morgans
The wind has conveniently blown the dun diluted tail head hairs so that they are easily seen and can be compared to the body shade. Dun diluted tail head frosting is diluted to a shade very closely matching the body shade.

Center: HCTF Lost In A Storm (Morgan mare) - Draconia Keep Morgans
In the enlarged version of the above photo, you will be able to see the ventral stripe, which runs along the length of this young mare's belly. Her leg bars are quite obvious, even in the above thumbnail.

 

 

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