Horse Colors, Patterns And Markings

Wild Bay Horses: Description, Facts & Photo Gallery

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Did you know there's an ongoing debate about the genetics of the wild bay horse coloration? Some believe it's a modification of the Agouti locus gene while others suggest it's part of a completely different gene. Get into the controversial theories surrounding wild bay genetics.

Are you wondering what a wild bay horse is?

Well, there are bay horses in the wild, but what I am referring to is actually a coat color.

Wild bay, like standard bay, is a specific shade of the bay horse coat color. There are many shades of bay. Wild bay is believed to be genetically different than the other bay colors.

Keep reading to find out the characteristics of the wild bay shade, some quick facts, how to identify a wild bay and a gallery of wild bay horse photos, so you get a good sense of what they look like.

Description Of The Wild Bay Horse Coat

Wild bay is a color variation of bay. Wild bays, like other bay horses, have a reddish coat with black points (legs, mane, tail, and ear tips). However this shade of bay tends to vary from a standard to a lighter bay color, with the black points on the legs below the knees.

7 Quick Facts About The Coat Color: Wild Bay

Here are some more details regarding the wild bay coat variant now that you know what a wild bay looks like.

  1. The wild bay is also known as a “low-point bay.”
  2. The wild bay is sometimes found with a trait called “pangaré,” which gives the underbelly and soft areas, like the area around the stifle and the nose, a pale color.
  3. These bays have lighter coats than the majority of bay horses.
  4. The wild bay is theorized to be a modification of the Agouti locus gene called A+
  5. Another idea theorized by some is that the wild bay allele is part of a completely separate gene, not Agouti.
  6. The wild bay gene is hypothesized to be dominant.
  7. At this time, no one knows what causes wild bay in terms of genes.

Identifying a Wild Bay: Questions To Ask Yourself

In order to determine whether or not a bay horse is a true wild bay, consider the following questions.

  • Is the horse bay, (reddish brown, with black points?) If there are no black points it is not a bay. If the coat is yellow to gold colored it is not a bay.
  • Are the horse’s black points on the legs below the knee around the fetlock area and below? If the black marking covers the legs up to the knee it is not a wild bay.
  • Is the horse a lighter bay color? The color can vary from the standard bay coat color to a lighter bay color.
  • Does the horse have the mealy or pangaré markings ? Wild bay horses commonly have this trait.

You may see examples of the wild bay coat color variance in the pictures below.

If you want a better look, just click on the picture, and it will open in a new tab so you may study it in more detail. If you have any bay horses in your life, use these to get a sense of the hue.

Video: Friesian Cross Arabian With Wild Bay Coloration

Wrapping Up

You should have a much better idea of what a wild bay looks like now. You’ve read the description, seen the photographs, and now you know how to recognize a wild bay.

Do you personally know any wild bay horses?

Cheers, Kacey

P.S. To discover more about the bay coat color and its color variants, see the following blog post:

Bay Horses 101: Learn All About The Beautiful Shades Of Bay.

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Disclaimer Notice: Please be aware that horseback riding and related equestrian activities carry inherent risks. The advice and experiences shared on this blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional training or advice. Ensure your safety and that of your horse by wearing appropriate gear, practicing safe horse handling, and consulting with certified equestrian professionals. Remember, each horse is unique, and techniques may vary accordingly. Always prioritize safety, respect, and patience in your equestrian endeavors.

Kacey Cleary Administrator
Kacey has been an equestrian since 1998. She was a working student at several eventing and dressage barns. She has owned horses, leased horses, and trained horses. Kacey received an A.S. in Equine Industries from UMass Amherst, where she rode on the dressage team. She was certified with the ARIA and is licensed to teach riding in MA. She has been a barn manager and has run her own horse farm.
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