Sorrel horse (7 interesting facts)

We will talk about the Sorrel horse in this article. What is a Sorrel horse? What is its origin? What is its importance around the world? Will be some questions we will answer in this article. So, here we go

Sorrel horse:

Sorrel Horse is a horse having red colour coat skin lacking any black in the body. Talking about horses, the colour chart of the horse represents its breed. A horse’s colour is an important factor in classifying horses in different breeds and families. 

The Sorrel horse with its reddish appearance seems easy to identify, though some regions classify the Sorrel horse as a Chestnut while some don’t. What are the similarities upon which a Sorrel horse is classified as a Chestnut and what are the differences upon which it is not classified as a Chestnut will be discussed later in this article.

Horses are known for their wide thorax and lean muscular bodies all around the world. The leaner and muscular a horse is the faster it can run, which helps it to be the fastest on a racetrack. Sorrel horses are also lean and muscular and also used for riding as well in racing purposes.

Let’s try to know more about the Sorrel horse

Sorrel horse: What does it look like?

Horses have their characterized markings and colours that help them being classified into different breeds. There are different skin colour coats such as grey, white, black, red or brown etc as well as marking on the face, legs and body of a horse such as star, strip or stockings.

Sorrel horses have a reddish skin colour that gives copper tinge and not at all black. So if you see a lean muscular horse with a reddish coat and copper tinge on the body, you can tell yourself it is a Sorrel horse. The term Sorrel comes from the colour of a flower spike of a Sorrel herb.

A sorrel horse grzaing

Sorrel horse is often confused with the Chestnut, we will discuss in detail whether a Sorrel horse is a Chestnut or not. Sorrel horses have perfectly oval hooves, long beautiful necks and a long tail. Their maintenance should be according to their needs, a Sorrel horse must be fed properly otherwise its appearance may start to become weak and the hair coat will start to become ruffled.

So far we have learned what exactly a Sorrel horse looks like and how come the word Sorrel is associated with it.

Sorrel horse and Chestnuts

Some regions and breed registers interchangeably use the term Sorrel and the term Chestnut, meaning that they both are the same while some of them use the term Sorrel to distinguish it from the Chestnut. This raises a question: is a Sorrel horse Chestnut or not?

Sorrel horses have a reddish skin coat meaning that they can be called as Chestnut as most of the Chestnut horses have a dark red or brown skin coat. Furthermore, this difference in the terminologies can also be regional for example in England and its nearby regions a Sorrel horse is called a Chestnut and these terms can be used interchangeably there, while in America the term Sorrel is mostly preferred.

Sorrel horse and Chestnuts similarities:

They both have comparable body mass indexes as well as the body structures, both horses are lean and muscular, keeping in mind that muscularity of a horse depends upon the feed and physical exercise it goes through just like humans.

Both horses have similar skin markings as well, leading to the definite confirmation of the fact that all Sorrel horses are Chestnuts, only the colour difference leads to the question whether it is a Sorrel horse Chestnut or not. The study on colour genetics in horses is not much of a hot topic yet.

So now you can support your answer with proof and say that a Sorrel horse is a Chestnut.

Sorrel horse and Chestnuts dissimilarities:

There are not many dissimilarities between a Sorrel horse and a Chestnut but in some regions, the Sorrel horse is distinguished from a Chestnut horse on basis of the colour. The Sorrel horse is known to have a light coppery shade while a Chestnut is known to have a dark brownish skin colour.

As mentioned above there is not enough data on the molecular genetics regarding the skin colour of horses but it is said that the light copperish shade of a Sorrel horse is due to the presence of a recessive “e” gene in the genetic makeup of the Sorrel horse. This could give rise to a new field of research in future, but till then it is the only difference that we know between a Sorrel horse and a Chestnut.

So given the facts, it would suffice to say that all Sorrel horses are Chestnut, but are all Chestnut Sorrels?

Are all Chestnut horses Sorrel?

As you have learned so far that all Sorrel horses are Chestnuts, so an important question may arise; are all Chestnut horses Sorrel? Before answering this question you should know that how a horse appears is a very important breed distinguishing characteristic and this not only consists of skin coat color but also the musculature as well as the skin markings on a horse’s body.

All Sorrel horses are Sorrels but all Chestnut horses are not Sorrels because Chestnut horses have a wide red color range in which different types of horses may fall. Some of the most common Chestnuts have dark reddish appearances as well as the lighter shades and may look exactly like a palomino.

So now you know that Sorrel horses are just light reddish coat Chestnut horses with long tail and copper tinged base body color and Chestnut horses have a broad spectrum of red color horses including Sorrel horse as well.

Sorrel horse: Mane and Tail

Mane are the long hair on the backside of a horse’s neck and back while tail is an extended structure found at the base region in animals such as horses having long hair as well. The mane and tail hair of a horse are the symbol of its beauty, along with its lean muscular body. All over the world the mane and tail are recognized as the beauty symbol of a horse.

A Sorrel horse has a beautiful mane and a tail. The color of the mane and tail hair of a Sorrel horse is just like the color of the body of the Sorrel horse, this is one of the best characters that can help you identify a Sorrel horse.

Some of the Sorrel horses have mane and tails in lighter shades than the body, this kind of Sorrel horses are known as flaxen Sorrel horses or flaxen Chestnuts depending upon the region they are found in, as discussed before.

A flaxen sorrel horse with mane color lighter in shade than the body

Sorrel horse: Diet 

As we know that all horses are herbivores which means that they only eat grass and vegetables, they are not flesh eaters. An interesting question arises from this point that if horses don’t eat flesh then how do they have strong body muscles and incredible horse strength.

Sorrel horses eat like all other normal horses, they eat green fodder and drink a lot of water, they  can even eat fruits like  apples, grapes, melons, strawberries and bananas etc. They can also eat grains, but giving a Sorrel horse grain might be risky as they might lead to metabolic diseases like acidosis.

So we have learned that a Sorrel horse just like a common horse is a herbivore and can eat any kind of fruit or vegetable. The only thing that Sorrel horses dont eat is flesh, so in a sense it won’t be funny to say that all Sorrel horses are purely vegetarians.

Sorrel horse: The most common horse

Sorrel horse is one of the most common horses around the world, other common horses may include black,bay,gray and Chestnut. Sorrel horses are known to be the largest in the number of horses registered in the American Quarter House.

People look at horses differently, some of them look at their feet, some of them look at their faces but the most common feature of a horse is its colour and most of the horses have a base reddish copper skin coat and are known to be the Sorrel horses.

Some horses may be confused with the Sorrel horse , for example a red roan horse and a Sorrel horse are hard to tell apart.

Sorrel horse and Red roan horse

A Sorrel horse has reddish copper color skin coat having the same shade of mane and tail hair, while a Red roan has a red body with slightly light whitish mane and tail hair. Most of the time it is difficult to distinguish them apart but as far as we know the main difference between a Sorrel horse or a Red roan is the shade of the mane and tail colors.

Sorrel horse: The greatest racehorse of all time

Secretariat is the fastest horse of all the time, winning most of the races and breaking records. The secretariat was a Sorrel having a red body with copper gleam in the sunlight. Most of the raceclubs don’t register the Secretariat as a Sorrel,  they register it as a Chestnut, but according to what we have discussed in this blog we can say that the greatest racehorse of all time was a Sorrel horse because of its reddish copper skin coat colour.

Conclusion:

We talked  about the Sorrel horse in this article. We answered questions like what is a Sorrel horse? What is its origin? What is its importance around the world? 

We came to know that all Sorrel horses are Chestnuts but not all Chestnuts are Sorrels.

FAQs: Sorrel horse 

What makes a Sorrel horse?

Reddish body coat with copper tinge is what really makes a Sorrel horse.Sorrel horses have a reddish skin colour that gives copper tinge and not at all black. So if you see a lean muscular horse with a reddish coat and copper tinge on the body, you can tell yourself it is a Sorrel horse

What is the difference between a sorrel and a chestnut horse?

The difference  between a Sorrel horse and a Chestnut is that  in some regions, the Sorrel horse is distinguished from a Chestnut horse on basis of the colour. The Sorrel horse is known to have a light coppery shade while a Chestnut is known to have a dark brownish skin colour.

What does sorrel mean?

The term Sorrel comes from the colour of a flower spike of a Sorrel herb.

What breed is a sorrel horse?

Sorrel horses are known to be chestnuts.Sorrel horses have a reddish skin coat meaning that they can be called as Chestnut as most of the Chestnut horses have a dark red or brown skin coat.

What color looks good on a sorrel horse?

The colors that look really good on a sorrel horse includes purple,blue and green.

What is the rarest color of a horse?

Brindle is the rarest horse.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorrel_(horse)

https://theSorrelhorse.co.uk/2020/12/01/Sorrel-horse-to-remain-closed-for-the-time-being/

https://knowledgenuts.com/difference-between-Sorrel-chestnut-and-red-roan-horses/

Hi, I am Martin, I am a pet lover! I own a Golden retriever and a Long-eared Owl. They keep me company & I often had questions about them which I couldn't find answers for online. I put this hub together for people like me & you.

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