What Is A Grulla Horse And What Do They Look Like?

Last Updated on February 28, 2022 by Allison Price

What is a Grulla Horse?

The grulla horse, also called grullo or grullo, is a member the dun horse family. It is also known as a mouse dun or blue dun. Its coat is lighter in color than its tail and mane, and is distinguished by its mouse-colored or tangray coloring.

They have dark faces, dark mottle, and distinctive markings that make them stand out from other horses.

Grullas come in a variety of colors, but must have a dun and a black genetic to be able to change their basic markings and coat color. There are many horse breeds that can display the grulla colors and markings. They are growing in popularity and becoming more sought-after.

Although grey dun horses can be very unique and beautiful, there are some characteristics that must be present in order to be considered grulla horse. We will discuss these below. It is not enough for a horse to be a grulla just because it belongs to the dun family.

What does a Grulla coat color look like?

What does it look like?

They should have:

  • The distinctive dark dorsal stripe runs along the back of the dog’s backs and continues into the tail.
  • Dark-tipped ears
  • Darker head than the rest of the body
  • Dark legs, usually black or brown

You will see all these characteristics in horses that have this color. Why?

They must possess the black gene with the dilution added of the dominant dun gene to get the grulla color. This gives rise to the unique color, the black giving the primary markings and the dun the main coat colour.

Because black is a rare color in grulla horses (compared to bay or chestnut horses), it must be combined with dun gene to create grulla coloration.

Even with a black parent and a dun parent, you are not guaranteed grulla coloring in the foal.

What are some other markings you might notice?

These horses can have many more variations once they have fulfilled their previous characteristics.

Grulla Horse

These include:

  • Leg bars (striped legs)
  • Stripes at the neck of the horse
  • Stripes on horses’ shoulders and back (often a transverse line that runs towards the horse’s forelegs).
  • Sometimes called cobwebs, forehead stripes are sometimes called cobwebs
  • Dark rings around horses’ eyes
  • Horse’s legs and shoulders are decorated with carved patterns
  • Guard hairs of white or creme color in the mane and tail, particularly around the base or base of your tail

You should also remember that the dun gene may be combined with other genes, such as the cream gene.

Grullas may have many markings as long as they meet the criteria. These can range from silvery-white to near-black.

What Are the Colors of a Grulla Horse’s Head?

Grulla horses can come in many colors as long as they are not a diluted version of black. HorseRacingSense provides a detailed explanation of the genetic interactions and the unique markings created by the dominant dun gene.

Keep in mind that these markings may be subtle but still count. A horse whose head is just a shade darker than its body could still be classified as an grulla, provided it meets other criteria (e.g. The dorsal stripe

There are many shades of grulla. There are many shades of grulla, including champagne, chocolate brown, silver dappled and blue. Even though the main color of any of these items can be grulla, it is possible to see them with a grulla-colored accent.

Because the markings themselves, which are often dark, are more noticeable on horses with light colors than they are on those with darker skin tones. Even though the markings may not be as clear, dark horses can still be considered grulla.

Look out for dark hair, dark eyes, dark legs and dark heads – these are all signs that a grulla mare is present.

How Do You Get A Grulla Horse?

Gray dun horses can be quite rare. This horse requires a unique combination of colors so it’s not easy to breed one. It is possible, but you’ll need to have some luck in order for the right genes to be obtained.

You have a better chance of success if you can do genetic testing on the parents. This will allow you to quickly determine if the foal will be a grulla. It will not always be easy to tell from sight.

Pairing up two grulla or black adults will give you the best chance of breeding a grulla baby, or both.

You need both the black and the dun genes to succeed. You are not guaranteed to have a grulla foal even if you have two grulla parents.

To be successful with horse genetics, you will need to do extensive research and speak with someone who is familiar.

The other option is to purchase a grulla mare from a breeder. This is far more likely to result in success.

You should take care. Due to their rarity and growing popularity, it is tempting for breeders selling non-grulla horses under false pretenses.

Grulla foals can often look a lot like dun foals. It is easy to mistakenly or intentionally miscategorize foals. GrullaBlue says that almost any horse, including red duns or grullas, could be considered a grulla until the foal’s first coat sheds.

It’s not worth paying more for a grulla foal only to find out that you actually purchased a black foal after it sheds its fur and shows its true colors.

Make sure you choose a reliable breeder and take the time to learn about the most important signs for a grulla foal.

Many people are born with light hair and will have a distinct dorsal line. Also, look out for facial markings such as dark hair around the eyes and on the face.

These things do not guarantee that a foal will be a grulla. It is also difficult to predict the horse’s color from its first coat. A foal born with mouse-colored hairs won’t necessarily have them later.

Even experienced breeders can make mistakes in categorizing horses. To be safe, you might consider buying a horse with a mature coat and its adult colors.

You should know what to look out for if you want to purchase a foal. Also, consider asking for genetic testing.

If you are looking to purchase a grulla horse, make sure you only choose reliable breeders.

What Does a Grulla Horse Cost You?

This color variation’s price varies greatly depending on many factors. You probably already know that they can be expensive to buy.

Avoid falling for any offers that seem too good to be true and research the breeder thoroughly before making a purchase.

A grulla adult horse can cost between $3000-$20,000.This may seem like a large range. However, the price of a horse is not determined solely by its color. You also need to consider the breed you are purchasing and other aspects such a horses history, parentage, etc.

Although you may be able acquire gray dun horses for less money, a foal is more expensive. However, it is important to remember the potential risks of purchasing a foal that has not shed its first coat. This is especially true if your goal to get a grulla.

FAQs On Gray Dun Horses

What is the Difference Between Grulla and Grullo?

You may have come across “grulla” or “grullo” and wondered what the differences are.

There is no definitive difference between them, but people do use them differently. Some people even use them interchangeably.

Grulla is the Spanish term for “crane”, which also shares the grey coloration of the horse. “Gray horse” is “grullo”, but Spanish is a gendered language. Many people use “grullo”, which means “gray horse”, and “grulla”, to refer fillys or mares.

A person could refer to a mare as a mare, but a stallion would be called a “grullo”. However, you can use any terms you like and everyone will understand what your referring to.

How Do You Pronounce Grulla Horse?

Petkeen says that both words are Spanish and that “grulla” should actually be pronounced “grew-ya”. This will help avoid confusion and make it easy to communicate with breeders.

Unintuitively, “Grullo”, can also be pronounced “grew-yo,” so learn both pronunciations if you plan to keep these types of horses!

What is the Best Horse Coat Color?

Although grulla coloration of the coat is uncommon, it is not the most rare in the world. This might make you wonder what it is. According to TheEquinest, white. Albino horses don’t survive long. This refers to a horse that is “true white”, rather than one with light grays or diluted coat colors.

Many so-called white horses can change their color over time. They don’t have the dominant white gene but they are cream or another shade. Many horses who are white as adults start life darkened as foals.

True white horses are, however, white all their lives. They have dark eyes and pink skin.

You may be surprised to know that only one breed of “true white” horse exists, the Camarillo White Horse. HorseyHooves claims that this graceful creature will remain white throughout its lifetime, although it is a fairly recent breed that was only established around 100 years ago.

They are also rare. They are often crossed with non-white horses to continue breeding them. There is a 25% chance that they will not produce a foal if two white horses are bred together. They are rare, it is no surprise!

However, grulla horses are still uncommon. They are not common and make up less that one percent of American quarter horses.

This is because more people are interested in the color and more people will ask for it.

They are difficult to breed so they will remain rare for a while. However, some breeders claim they have reliable techniques.

Grulla Horse Pictures

For your viewing pleasure, here is a gallery featuring beautiful pictures of grulla horses:

  • A grullo playing with a ball on a ranch


The markings of Grulla horses are varied and can be hard to spot for the inexperienced eye.

When determining if a horse has a grulla status, be sure to check for dark ear tips and leg barring. These horses belong to the dun family, and should have dun coloring.

It is amazing how complex determining the color of horses is. If you want to breed or better understand the genetics behind determining color and markings, then you will need to spend a lot of time studying.

You should now be able to see clearly what a grulla horse or grullo is and how it is described.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!