Sooty or Smutty Horse Coat Color Modifier

Sooty or Smutty Horse

Thought to be a form of natural camouflage, the sooty or smutty gene causes black hairs to grow mixed into the body coat (generally concentrated on the topline & points).
This often results in counter shading, dappling and in rarer cases brindle or dun type striping.

Sooty or Smutty Modifier

This modifier can display a seasonal effect, often seen in lighter animals affected by a creme dilution which display darker striping and shading certain times of the year. There is speculation about whether this is related to the primitive striping found in duns as well as dark bays, liver chestnuts and dark palominos. Sometimes the shading can actually conceal the animal's original color. Sooty buckskins can be mistaken for duns, dark bays and even black animals.

Quick Sooty Facts

  • Modifiers darkens color from the topline down
  • Can cause brilliant dapples
  • Can darken coat uniformly
  • Also called countershading or coloring modifier
  • Can express itself in smudges, patches, stripes, spots or dapples

Smutty Shades

This coloring can be found on both chestnut and black bases (yes, that includes Bay)
Although for obvious reasons, darkening of the coat only has a visible affect on variations of bay & chestnut animal.

Although the cause of this coloring and how it is passed on genetically is unknown it's passed on readily enough to be dominant to some degree.

Sooty on a Black Base

Sooty Bay Horse

Sooty gene displayed on two different bay horses
Sooty on a Chestnut Base

Sooty or Smutty Chestnut Horse