When most people think of the Andalusian they think of the white horse often seen in dressage and a vast number of popular movies. This is mostly because white and gray are the chosen classic colors for a performance mount. However, the Andalusian also comes in a vast array of other colors such as black, chestnut and palomino. While white and gray remain a popular color for the Andalusian, it can mean missing out on the cream and champagne colored horses found in the breed as well. In Spain, the country from which the Andalusian hails, the question of color is rather a question of coat type. This is because even within the classic colors of white or gray, there is a wide variance in shades. Instead of just white or just gray, there is dancing white, silver and dapple.
One color of the Andalusian, or Pura Raza Espaola as it is sometimes called, comes in a shade referred to as castao. Translated, castao means chestnut but in all actuality refers to an Andalusian that is bay colored. As with white and gray, there are variances in castao colored Andalusians. Castao amorcillado refers to a horse that is a dark bay bordering on black. Castao claro is light bay while castao oscuro is a balance between the two. Pure black Andalusians are not an uncommon site and many breeders have specifically dedicated themselves to raising what is referred to as the Negro Andalusian. Both black and bay Andalusians can be found with white markings.
A chestnut colored Andalusian is referred to as alazano by the Spanish. While very beautiful, it is not a wholly common color in the breed yet is still on the accepted list of colors by the Pura Raza Espaola Breed Registry. Another uncommon color for the Andalusian is palomino; or as the Spanish call it, perla. Both are a top choice for those enthusiasts wanting an Andalusian with a unique and distinctive coat. It is said that horses with the perla coloring owe their one of a kind shade to a chestnut gene somewhere in their bloodline. In general, an Andalusian registered with the Pura Raza Espaola Breed Registry usually only has only one parent registered with the breed registry as well. There have been extra rare champagne colored Andalusians as well.
Along with buckskin Andalusians, or bayo Andalusians, there is also cremello and perlino Andalusians. When it comes to color, the Pura Raza Espaola of Spain is anything but limited. Cremello colored horses are those that have not only pink muzzles but majestic blue-green eyes. For the most part, lighter colored Andalusian horses tend to have a pearlescent sheen that makes them stand out even more. Because of their wide varieties of color, much study has been done on the Andalusian to better understand not only Andalusian genetics but genetics of all horses. Understanding how color is passed down from one bloodline to the next is what helps pave the way for safer, more effective breeding techniques.