Friday, May 21, 2010

Cremello and Perlino Horses

I've always been fond of horses. Recently, I learned of a lovely color variation called cremello. The cremello is not a specific breed, but is formed by a double dilution gene resulting in an ivory or white horse with blue or very light amber eyes. Cremellos also have pink skin around their eyes, muzzle and underbelly. A horse who inherits two cream genes will be a cremello. If a horse only has one cream gene, he or she will be a palomino, buckskin or smoky black. Without any cream gene, the horse would be a sorrel or chestnut. 


Breeds who often produce cremellos include; Quarter Horses, Tennessee Walking Horses, draft horses and Arabians. 


Though the American Quarter Horse Association wouldn't allow cremellos into the registry for many years, they now do so.

A second color very similar to cremello is the perlino. Without the double dilute gene, the perlino would be a bay horse instead of a sorrel or chestnut. Though their coloring is almost the same as the cremello, the perlino has a reddish mane and tail. I think they're both very handsome. 

A common misconception is that cremellos and perlinos are weak and unhealthy. This is not true.They're not more prone to deafness or blindness than any other horse. They're also not albinos. So if you ever see a white horse with blue or very light amber eyes, you'll cleverly tell your friends all about cremellos and perlinos.


Pet Mom 1 said...

These poor babies would get sun burned here in our intense sun. They are beautiful and unique.

lifeshighway said...

There is a cremello at our barn and he is quite handsome. Arabians do not recognized cremellos or perlinos. The dilute gene doesn't exist in the Arabian blood lines. It is possible to have those colors including palominos and buckskins with half-arabians.

LunaKris said...

That's interesting about the Arabians. I read somewhere there's no such thing as an albino horse. I have no idea if that's true or not. Do you know anything about that?

Della Smith said...

Dear Blogger: may we have permission to use the photo of the Cremello horse on your website for our conference website? We are producing a conference in Spokane, WA, in July of next year, and one of the tours we are offering to our conference attendees is a tour of a farm that features this type of horse. Could you please advise if we have permission to use your photo?
Della Smith, Conference Management Services, Bryan, TX. Email:

Anonymous said...

That's weird i thought they were albino... i don't get it.

TheMasterOfRandom@dA said...

Albinos are different, Albinos have a defect in their pigmentproduction/they lack melatonin (i don't know the exact english words, sorry.)
Also, Akhal-Teke's also have a lot of cremello/perlino in their bloodlines/pedigrees.

Arabians, as mentioned earlier, do not have cremello originally, unless they mixed breeds.