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We are so wrapped up around the mesmerizing colors the black or brown horses have to offer that we often forget to appreciate the beauty of those white horses galloping around the field in all their grace. And, just in case you didn’t know white horses existed… Go on! Google them now.
They are the perfect unicorns, minus the horn.
To embrace these rare and beautiful equines, here is a post that tells you all you want to know about white horses and which horse breeds are white. But before we get to the nine-horse breeds that are white, let us give you an insight into the four types of white horse breeds, starting with gray horses that usually turn white.
If you are a beginning-level equestrian and would like to know all about horses, stallions, mares, and all other ‘equine’ terms, read this article.
4 Types of White Horse Breeds
Most horses you’ll see that are white in color aren’t truly white horses. The major portion of white horses are horses of different color coatings such as gray, brown, black, or red, which turns white over the years due to depigmentation of the fur or the coating.
The only truly white horses that are born white and aren’t usually the result of depigmentation or varying phenotypes are very rare. The most obvious and relevant example of truly white horses is the caramillo horses that are born white.
We’ll discuss more them further in the post, but let us begin with the four different white horse breeds and how they turn white.
1) Grey Horses That Eventually Turn White
A grey horse is born with either a grey hair coat or may be of a different base color, and gradually with time and progressive depigmentation of their hair coat, they turn brighter and brighter and finally become white. And most of these grey horses have dark skin and eyes. The white hair starts to appear on their body after birth, and it becomes progressively more prevalent either at a slow or a fast rate as they mature. Mostly the white hairs appear on the muzzle, eyes, and flanks in the beginning.
The white and the dark hairs form different patterns on the horses, and hence the horses get some informal names such as dapple gray, flea-bitten gray, iron-gray, and rose gray. The color of their mane may or may not be of the same color of the body, they usually have black skin, and some of them even have white markings at birth, and their eyes are dark brown, and in some cases, the eyes may be different due to the effect of the gene.
Some of the gray horse breeds are:
American Quarter Horses
2) Sabino Horses
Sabino Horses have a wide variety of irregular white spotting patterns on their body, and these spots are usually produced by the Sabino 1 (SB1) gene. A Sabino Horse can be of any base color, including bay, brown, black, etc. They can be easily identified by the roaning at the edge of the white markings, by the belly spots, irregular markings on the face extending to the eyes or onto the skin.
White markings on the face are common in almost every Sabino Horse. The splash or the lacy markings can be found anywhere on the body but usually on the belly. Usually, the Sabino Horses have white legs, but their legs can also be dark-colored, and their eye color is usually blue or brown.
Other than the Sabino Horses with white spots and patterns, there are sabino horses that are almost completely white, and they are called White Sabino, and the base color remains on the ears or tail dock.
Some of the Sabino Horses are:
Tennessee Walking horses
3) Truly White Horses
Truly White Horses are rare as they are completely white and remain white throughout their life. They are the ones that carry the dominant white(W) gene that is special and rare. Truly White Horses have a complete unpigmented pink skin with unpigmented white hair, and this absence of pigmentation is due to the absence of melanocytes. Their eye color may vary, but it is mostly dark-colored.
These white horses are different from those of the gray horses, as these horses are born with pink skin and white hairs, and they are white throughout their life whereas the gray horse has dark skin – they may bear with any solid color, and gradually the hair as they mature becomes lighter and finally becomes white.
Some of the truly White House breeds are:
Camarillo White Horses
4) Cremello Horses
Cremello Horses are extremely rare. Thus, they are also an extremely valuable breed. Though the breed appears to be white, it is actually cream-colored, and the coloration is actually due to the presence of the cream gene. They have a white or cream mane and tail. The color of their eyes also varies due to the cream gene. The gene lightens the eye color.
The horse can be easily recognized by its elegant cream-colored noble appearance. Inclining from pale off white to a more rich texture of pale gold, cremello horses have a striking coat that is more cream than white.
Although the Cremello is identical to Albino Horses, they aren’t the same; albino horses are born white and have no pigment, whereas the Cremello Horse appear white, but they have cream-colored coats.
9 Common White Horse Breeds
Lipizzaner, or Lipizzan, is a grey horse breed, and their ancestry is Spanish, Arabian, and Berber. A Lipizzan has a powerful conformation, and it has a short and thick neck. Flared nostrils and small ears are the characteristic features of a Lipizzan. The breed has one of the most expressive eyes amongst all the white horse breeds that are typically large.
Lipizzan have got muscular and broad withers, and their sturdy neck is arched. They have a wide and deep chest with muscular shoulders; their legs are strong and well-muscled. Their tails are carried high and are well set.
Lipizzan have black colored skin, dark eyes and gray-colored hair coat which turns into white color as they mature and become an adult. They also have a rare solid-colored coat, which is usually black or bay color. These horses are commonly 15-16.1 high, and they weigh around 1,000-1,300 pounds.
2) Camargue Horse
Named after the Camargue region in Southern France, these horses are strictly distributed in this region only. This white horse breed dates its origin back to ancient times and is now one of the few horse breeds that have a white coating. Camargue horses are not born with white or gray hair, rather they are born with dark brown or black hair coats, and their hair coats turn gray or white as they mature and become adults.
The gray color is actually due to their underlying black skin. They have a square and expressive head similar to a Barb horse. They have bright and wide-set eyes, small ears set apart, a neck of medium length, and an abundant mane.
Their chest is deep and wide, and their powerful and muscular shoulders give them a sturdy look. Their legs are long and well proportioned, with large knees and hooks. Their average height is between 13-14.5 hands, they weigh around 770-1100 pounds, and their life expectancy is 20-25 years.
3) American Cream Draft
American Cream Draft is a horse breed that has a medium cream with pink skin. They have a refined head with a flat facial profile. They have a well-muscled body with wide chests, sloping shoulders, and they also have well-proportioned legs set apart. Medium cream is the ideal coat color of these horses, with amber or hazel eyes and a white mane and tail.
Their average height is 15-16.5 hands high, and they weigh around 1,500-1,600 pounds. American Cream Drafts are reported to have a life expectancy of 25-35 years. The breed is popular for its calm and quiet temperament, and its willing demeanor makes them easy to handle. Originally the breed was developed in Iowa in the early 1900s.
4) Camarillo White Horse
Camarillo White Horses have pink skin under their white hair coat. The breed was originally developed in the United States of America, and it is a popular horse breed for use in a parade, riding, and show events. They are white from their birth, and they are famous for their white hair. The color of their mane and tail is also naturally white-colored. This breed has a broad skull with a medium-sized clean-cut head.
They have a well-proportioned body along with a well-muscled and well-arched neck. They have large and expressive dark eyes, with pronounced withers, long back, strong limbs, and laid back shoulders. The average height of a Camarillo horse is 14-17 hands in adults, weighing around 1,250 pounds with an average expectancy of 20-30 years.
5) Boulonnais Horse
Boulonnais Horse or White Marble Horse is a draft horse breed that is famous for its large and elegant appearance and white color. A short head, wide forehead with a muscular neck make the Boulonnais one of its own. They have sloping shoulders, and their legs are fairly short, robust, and strong.
The fine texture of their skin and the delicate appearance of their veins is why their look is often referred to as polished marble, and this is the reason why they are called by the nickname White Marble Horse. Boulonnais horses are branded by a small anchor mark on the left side of their neck. The height of a Boulonnais Horse ranges from 14-16 hands weighing around 1,200 pounds with a life expectancy of 25-30 years.
Percheron is a heavy draft-horse breed known as the gentle giants of the horse world. It is an ideal breed of horse for owners and riders of all levels who are comfortable with large horses and are also chosen for their willingness and adaptability. Percheron has stocky legs and a wavy mane! Oh, beach vibes!
They have a fairly small and clean-cut head with a long and strong neck and a well-muscled body. They have a broad forehead, large eyes, small erect ears, deep and wide chest, and the head has a straight profile. Their legs, along with their feet, are well muscled and clean. The average height of Percherons is 15-19 hands, they weigh around 1,800-2,600 pounds, and they have a lifespan of 20-30 years.
7) Orlov Trotter
Orlov Trotter is a hardy and versatile breed famous for its speed, stamina, and fast-paced trot. They are generally taller and robust than most trotters. Due to its stamina, the breed is not only for harness racing but also for riding, farm work, and driving. They have a well proportioned muscular body with a large head and a pair of large and expressive eyes, a long back, and sloping shoulders.
They have a ‘swan neck,’ prominent withers, and their chest is broad and deep. Their legs are clean and square set, and they appear elegant with a light but powerful build. The calm, gentle, docile, and willing temperament of these horses make them ideal for all riders and owners. Their average height is 15-17 hands, weighing around 990 pounds, and their average lifespan is 25-32 years. Today Russia and Ukraine raise pure-blooded Orlov Trotters in fifteen stud farms.
8) Connemara Pony
Connemara Pony, also known as sports pony, is a versatile pony breed ideal for shows and with stamina for endurance riding. They are famous for their willing and gentle temperament, suitable for all levels of riders. Their head is broad between the large eyes with deep jaws and clearly defined cheekbone.
They have a well-laid-back shoulder perfect for riding, and their neck without undue crest gives a good length of rein. Their legs are relatively short, with well-muscled upper legs and well-shaped hard feet. The adult Connemara Ponies are 12-15 hands high with an average weight between 500-600 pounds, and their average life expectancy is 25-30 years.
9) Shagya Arabian
Shagya Arabian breed can be distinguished by its characteristic strength, endurance, and performance. Deep-set dark eyes and a well-formed head make them easily recognizable. They have small and slim ears, fine nostrils, and a high arched neck with moderate length and thin mane. They have well-muscled withers and an elastic back with medium length and a high carried tail. The Shagya Arabian breed has a stocky well-built muscular shoulder that is sloping.
The willing temperament, gentle nature, and intelligence make them suitable to meet the requirements of show jumping, eventing, and endurance. Their friendly nature makes them easy to handle for beginners and young riders. Their average height is 13-15 hands weighing around 600-800 pounds, and their average lifespan is 25-32 years.
How much do White Horses cost?
Although there is no fixated price range, white horses can cost anywhere between $500 – $150,000. The color is not the sole factor responsible for setting a price on a certain horse breed. The primary factors that set a horse’s price higher than the others’ are behavior, training by the master, and the temperament of the horse.
Another equally important factor that allows for the pricing when a horse is put on sale is the parentage. Generally, a purebred horse with the parentage of known bloodlines from the finest breeds is much more expensive than the other horses.
Coming back to the white horses, if we specifically discuss the price of caramillo horses, you’d not be so happy to hear that there are VERY rare chances that you’ll be able to get your hands on this truly white horse breed; they are very rare to come across and are even rarely put on sale. However, if you find a lucky clover and get your hands on a caramillo horse, we may not be able to tell you the exact figure at which you may be able to buy it, but it is going to be some GOOD money.
Are White Horses a symbol of good luck?
Horses are present in almost every culture, and they have a special significance in mythological cultures, and they represent the concept of freedom, wisdom, and power. The white horses have a significant role in many mythological cultures as they are associated with sun chariot, with warrior heroes, and with fertility, and there are many other interpretations too. In Christianity, they are regarded as the symbol of death. However, in other mythologies, white horses are a symbol of beauty, power, and wisdom.
Do albino horses exist?
No, albino horses do not exist, and people most often confuse Jaramillo horses with blue eyes to be albino horses. Albino is the term used for any animal or creature born without pigmentation on the coating or flesh. However, truly white horses are just white horses, and they can not be considered to be representing albinism.
Why are white horses rare?
Horses born with any color and then lose pigmentation and gradually turns gray or white are very common and can be easily found. But a true white horse or the one that carries a dominant white (W) gene is rare, they are naturally born with a white hair coat, mane, and tail, and they are white throughout their lives.
Why are white horses usually called GREY?
Unlike the horses like Cremello, who are born with completely white and pink skin, they have these white colors throughout their lives while the other horses are born with chestnut, black, or brown hairs, and due to progressive depigmentation of the hair, their coat gradually turns gray and becomes completely white after some time, and some horse appears gray even if they have white hair it is because of their underlying black skin.