Horse breeds have been preferred by humans not only on the basis of their riding performances, but also on their visual appeal and attractiveness. Since their initial domestication in around 3,500 BC, changes in human preference patterns across cultures and over time have been witnessed
The results of a comprehensive study on historic changes in horse coat color preferences have been published in Scientific Reports.
They analyzed a dataset of 201 samples of ancient horse DNA; and found fourteen different types of colors. In early breeds, six color variants were found. Of those three already existed in pre-domestic horses. During the Bronze and the Iron Age, this number further increased from six to nine, signifying new color preferences. During these times, spotted and diluted horses were more common.
Then, during medieval times, solid horse coat colors took over, particularly chestnut color was widely preferred. The royalty preferred this color, as mentioned by the "Apocalypse of St. John", the last book of the New Testament, in which the rider of victory sat on a white or white spotted horse. Over time, this preference changed, and the white and spotted horses got a negative connotation.