10 Fun Facts About Buckskin Horses

Discover the beautiful buckskin and find out some interesting trivia about this stunning horse color.

buckskin horse
Photo: iStock/Thinkstock

Over the past few months, we’ve explored the beauty of black horses, the allure of palominos, the delight of chestnuts, and the wonder of grays—and it goes without saying that we’re also extremely fond of buckskin horses. After all, what’s not to love about the stunning coloring of a beautiful buckskin? Read on to discover 10 things you might not know about buckskin horses.

  • A buckskin horse has a cream-colored body with black points (mane, tail, ears, and legs), although the exact shade of the body color can vary widely. Some buckskins are a dark tan, while others are a lighter cream color.
  • A buckskin is a bay horse that possesses one copy of the cream gene. The presence of the cream gene lightens the body color to buckskin. (If the same bay horse had two copies of the cream gene, the horse would be perlino.)
  • Buckskin and dun are not the same color, although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. (True dun is not controlled by the cream gene.)
  • Buckskin horses sometimes exhibit amber-colored eyes. The same is true of palomino horses.
  • Dale Evans’ horse, Buttermilk, was a buckskin. Buttermilk, an American Quarter Horse gelding, appeared in many episodes of The Roy Rogers Show and lived until past the age of 30.
  • The International Buckskin Horse Association (IBHA) was established in 1971 as a registry for buckskin, dun, and grulla horses from a variety of breeds, although stock-type horses make up a good portion of the horses in the registry.
  • Although primitive markings (like a dorsal stripe and leg barring) are associated with dun horses, buckskins typically do not exhibit these characteristics. (This is not always the case, however.)
  • The buckskin color is found in a wide range of breeds, including the American Quarter Horse,the Andalusian, the mustang, the Morgan, the Peruvian Paso, the Tennessee Walking Horse, and all sections of Welsh Ponies and Cobs.
  • Buckskin horses have long been a part of television Westerns, including Ben Cartwright’s horse on Bonanza and Trampas’ horse on The Virginian. Buckskin horses have also appeared on the big screen, in Dances with Wolves and The Man from Snowy River (I and II).
  • The animated star of Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron is a buckskin.

How much do you love buckskin horses? Share your stories in the comments!


  1. A buckskin or palomino horse with amber eyes does not result from the cream gene. It results from the champagne gene. They typically also have freckled skin. Buckskins resulting from the champagne gene points tend to be more brown than black.


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