Horse nomenclature

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Horses are commonly given a compound name consisting of two words, one describing the color and the second describing some other distinguishing feature such as gait or age.

Horse coats

  • ак (ak) white.
  • ала (ala) multicoloured, variegated, motley, piebald (black and white), skewbald (white and any colour but black).
  • бора (bora) grey.
  • доруг (dorug) bay (reddish-brown); кара-доруг (kara-dorug) dark bay.
  • калдар (kaldar) sorrel (reddish-brown with yellowish markings).
  • кара (kara) black.
  • карала (karala) (< kara ala) dark piebald, dark skewbald.
  • кыр (kïr) roan (dark coat sprinkled with grey); liver-chestnut.
  • кыскыл (kïskïl) chestnut.
  • кула (kula) tawny, lightbrown with black mane and tail.
  • ой (oy) dun, isabel; кара-ой (kara-oy) dark dun.
  • сара (sara) light bay.
  • сарала (sarala) (< sara ala) light skewbald, yellowish.
  • сарыг (sarïg) yellow; blond, light bay.
  • шилги (šilgi) reddish, ginger, chestnut.
  • шокар (šokar) motley, dappled, spotted.
  • хоор (xoor) light-chestnut, fallow, tan, pale-coloured.
  • хувала (xuvala) light bay.


  • базар (bazar) ambling.
  • челиш (čeliš) / челер (cheler) trotting.
  • чыраа (čïraa) pacer.
  • саяк (sayak) ambler.


  • дай (day) colt, young horse of two or three years.
  • дөнен (dönen) four-year-old (livestock).
  • кулун (kulun) (suckling) foal, colt.
  • сарбаа (sarbaa) one-year-old foal (born in autumn).


  • чүгүрүк (čügürük) able to run fast, racing, swift.
  • эмдик (emdik) not broken-in, unridden.
  • хертеш (xerteš) curved, arched (said of a horse's back).
  • оглаа (oglaa) shy, easily scared.


  • Эмдик-Бора (Emdik-Bora): Unridden Grey
  • Эмдик-Ой (Emdik-Oy): Unridden Dun
  • Чыраа-Бора (Čïraa-Bora): Ambling Grey
  • Базар-Ой (Bazar-Oy): Ambling Dun
  • Хертеш-Ой (Xerteš-Oy): Arched-back Dun
  • Оглаа-Дай (Oglaa-Day): Shy Colt
  • Доруг-Дай (Dorug-Day): Bay Colt
  • Кула-Дай (Kula-Day): Tawny Colt
  • Шокар-Дай (Šokar-Day): Dappled Colt