Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Differences Between Dun and Buckskin

Dun vs Buckskin

Horses really know how to make people wonder with awe. Horses flaunt their beautiful coat as they powerfully gallop on their way. Their speed and proud neigh never fail to astonish horse lovers and even ordinary people. But what makes me even applaud with wonder is the horse’s coat. I am not a horse lover, but their coat always caught my eye. Whenever I see a dun horse and a buckskin horse, I can’t tell them apart. I am absolutely confused since both horses look so similar. So I performed a little research, and here’s what I’ve got. I will now tell you the differences between a dun horse and a buckskin horse.

Like me, several people mistook a dun horse for a buckskin horse, or the other way around. We cannot blame them since both horses have similar shades of a golden color. Though they have similar coloration, these horses come from different genes. It’s all thanks to the bay animal where dun and buckskin horses have originated their dilution in genes. And because of that, both horses can have a golden coat with a black mane, tail, and legs. Both horses can also have different coat color variations such as light to deep, golden brown.

Dun horses get their attributes from the gene called the dun dilution gene whereas buckskin horses get their attributes from the gene called the cream dilution gene. These genes contribute to the appearance of both horses. The dun dilution gene adds a dapple of white to the body of the dun horse but not on its head, legs, and tail. On the other hand, the cream dilution gene adds white to the base color of the buckskin horse.

It is also said that dun horses are tougher than any other horses. This notion is supported by the idea of having ancient horses displaying dun characteristics. Another difference of dun horses among buckskin horses is that they have a dorsal stripe. The dun’s dorsal stripe is the best way to differentiate it from the buckskin since it does not have a dorsal stripe. The dorsal stripe runs in the center of the dun’s back from the mane to the tail. The dorsal stripe of the duns is sharp and clear. The buckskin horse may mimic a dorsal stripe, but it’s only the buckskin’s countershading. The buckskin’s dorsal countershading is wider with fuzzy edges. Aside from the dorsal stripe, the dun horses also display horizontal stripes on their forehead, shoulders, and legs.

The dun dilution gene also affects red dun horses and in grulla or grullo. Red duns are horses with a chestnut coating while the grulla are horses with black bases. Buckskin horses with a cream dilution gene display a golden color if its base color is brown. Most often, the buckskin horses with a brown base color also display dapples on their bodies. However, if the base color is black, the cream dilution gene shows little effect on the coloring of the horse. But if the cream dilution genes are on a chestnut base, it creates a Palomino buckskin horse.

Telling the dun horses and buckskin horses apart is really difficult. You need to see them up close in order to differentiate them. I hope that this article sheds a little light on determining the differences between a dun and a buckskin horse.


  1. Dun and buckskin horses have similar shades of golden brown.

  2. Dun horses have the dun dilution gene while buckskin horses have the cream dilution gene.

  3. To tell them apart, you need to check the horse’s dorsal stripe. If it has one, it is a dun. If it doesn’t it is a buckskin.

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1 Comment

  1. This was a go9od article BUT. A picture of both & or even examples of the many you discussed in the article would have been nice.

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