My aunt went through the same thing with her Mustang. she sent hair off to UC Davis and they did an analysis of some sort and were able to tell her what color exactly he was. Don't remember exactly what it was but it wasn't something common.
In all seriousness, I am no guru, but I thought the first pic looked like a chestnut with flaxen mane and tail. After clipping I also think she's probably a silver somehow. She is totally adorable, and I LOVE her clipped color! Let us know if you decide to appease your curiosity and do DNA. I think it's only about $40 or so from UC Davis.
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Thanks for the suggestions. She's 7, so I'd think she's a little old to be graying out?
She definitely has a flaxen mane and tail, but doesn't look in the least bit chestnut once clipped. The little bit of chestnut along the crest of her neck and on her back legs is just me needing to clean up her clip job.
Sooty palimino is not at all the same as chestnut with flaxen.
Chestnut w/ flaxen has no cream involved. Palomino is chestnut with a single cream gene.
That said, some palominos can be mistaken for chestnut w/ flaxen, and vice versa. Usually it's not difficult to tell even in those cases if you know what you're looking at. The first pic of the OP shows a chestnut color not remotely to be mistaken for palomino though
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I think we need more (adorable) pre-clipping full body shots.
I don't think you can tell a whole lot about color post-clipping. Other than pink skin under white markings, the skin sort of looks the same under most other colors. And that clipped bits of hair can look pretty much the same no matter what color the horse started out.
Her tail definitely has some darker streaking to it, but the mane is pretty much flaxen. Her legs are light. You can kind of see it in the before clipping full body shot, but she has a random smattering of white hairs on her back and side.
I just hadn't ever seen something I thought was chestnut clip to something like this - they normally look like pumpkins!